Of the big 4, who makes the best motors?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Ivy Mike, Oct 11, 2005.

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Who makes the best motors out of the big 4?

  1. Honda

    13 vote(s)
    31.7%
  2. Kawasaki

    5 vote(s)
    12.2%
  3. Suzuki

    12 vote(s)
    29.3%
  4. Yamaha

    11 vote(s)
    26.8%
  1. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    Well, I figured with so many folks riding so many different steeds and browsing various motorcycle literature, we should be able to get some opinions on the subject.
    So, what do you think about this? Who makes the best motors?
    Is it Yamaha who seems to make techno-erotica on two wheels?
    Is it Suzuki who manages to vicious power and sportbikes to match?
    Is it Kawasaki who seems to make the most underrated motors of all...some of which are truly incredible and set the standard a good notch or two higher.
    Is it Honda who seems to build the most technologically inovative stuff...simply to prove that they can?

    My vote goes to Kawasaki.
    The 636cc motor from the ZX6R was simply a monster. Nevermind that it had a slight displacement advantage. It was bar none, the most powerful, the most usable and the meanest motor of the bunch. This beast would make small children cry.
    The mill from the ZX-10 is STILL, the best of the bunch. Yamaha claimed some ungodly 175hp from its R1 and was more or less embarassed when dyno's proved them wrong and they were relegated to the back of the pack. The ZX-10 took on all comers and its compact size and immense power made it a wicked weapon to have between your legs.
    I've got two more that will undoubtedly make others wonder what I'm smoking.
    1. The 500cc twin in the Ninja 500R. Its small, its light, it makes OK power...and its almost 20 years old!!! This mill is STILL dealing with city streets and nightmare freeways. Its smooth competent power gives rookies a fighting chance at not turning themselves into human jelly and still gives more expierienced riders a lightweight thrill. Great motor that may be going away soon.
    2. The motor that lost the speed wars on a technicality. Yes, the mighty lump from the ZX12R. Magazine jockies will quickly point out that the 1300cc mill from the Busa is larger and the bike faster than the ZX12R. While this is true, Kawi also limited it so that it could still sell them in Europe. The countries placed a 300kph (186mph) cap on bikes. Kawi couldn't afford to give up market share. Suzuki could wait it out. I'd like to point out that for 2005 the ZX12R was the fastest bike in the world yet again with Suzi-K limiting its own Busa in an attempt to regain buyers in various countries.
    The ZX12R was a victim of rules. I believe that the motor is an untapped monster that will STILL outshine its counterpart from Hamamatsu.

    There are a couple I'm forgetting like the ZX9R's motor that outshined Honda all the way through the range from 900 to 929 to 954. Or the hefty ZX7R that embarassed Suzuki enough to make it take a balls-out approach to the gixxer 750 just to say they won a horsepower war with a ten year old bike.

    Kawasaki makes the best motors.
    what say ye to that? :hsd:
     
  2. Frequency

    Frequency New Member

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    what about the harley motor in a buell? :mamoru:
    i haven't ridden a honda but im torn between kawi and suzuki
    I'll get back to you
     
  3. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    I limited this to the big 4. Harley certainly isn't one of them.

    I'm not surprised to see Suzuki in the lead even though no one can say why.

    *cough* bandwagon *cough*
     
  4. V!

    V! New Member

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    I've got the 600rr, so it's pretty obvious who i just voted for

    Nicky Hayden, 2005 Moto GP, that's my arguement......lol
     
  5. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    That would be more of an argument for a rider, but I'll take it.
    Now, imagine putting Hayden on something even faster...like a ZX10R.
    That or I'll just mention Kawasaki with 18 poles, 161 podiums and 34 wins this year in SBK.

    None of this really touches on motors though.
     
  6. V!

    V! New Member

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    Overall rating:
    (Details below)
    [​IMG] 81.0
    [​IMG] 78.1
    [​IMG] 66.8
    [​IMG] 63.8
    Engine performance:
    [​IMG] 92.4
    [​IMG] 87.0
    [​IMG] 74.6
    [​IMG] 68.1
    Reliability and problem-free driving:
    [​IMG] 92.8
    [​IMG] 88.1
    [​IMG] 71.6
    [​IMG] 68.8
    Fun-factor:
    [​IMG] 93.4
    [​IMG] 90.8
    [​IMG] 78.5
    [​IMG] 71.7
    Value for money:
    [​IMG] 88.0
    [​IMG] 82.5
    [​IMG] 71.8
    [​IMG] 68.4
    Repair and maintenance costs:
    [​IMG] 57.0
    [​IMG] 57.8
    [​IMG] 57.2
    [​IMG] 59.1
    Design and look:
    [​IMG] 93.9
    [​IMG] 90.0
    [​IMG] 76.0
    [​IMG] 69.7
    Offroad capabilities:
    [​IMG] 65.0
    [​IMG] 66.4
    [​IMG] 43.8
    [​IMG] 49.1
    Racing track capabilities:
    [​IMG] 93.4
    [​IMG] 90.6
    [​IMG] 71.1
    [​IMG] 55.9
    Touring capabilities:
    [​IMG] 75.7
    [​IMG] 74.1
    [​IMG] 62.0
    [​IMG] 63.5
    Accident risk:
    (excellent=low risk)
    [​IMG] 58.4
    [​IMG] 53.4
    [​IMG] 61.8
    [​IMG] 63.6
    Bar explanation
    [​IMG] 2003 Honda CBR 600 RR
    [​IMG] 2003 Yamaha YZF-R6
    [​IMG] Average for sport bikes
    [​IMG] Average for all bikes
     
  7. mnewell

    mnewell Lucy.

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    Best motor...

    Hmmm, I think it really depends on the class.

    1000cc-I'd have to say Suzuki. When the K4 came out it quickly sent the rest of the manufacturers to the drawing board. It stayed on top for a few years... You're right, the ZX-10 is one hell of a motor, but the K5 motor has more usable power and a chassis that is a bit more friendly.

    600cc-It's a toss-up. This year (05) Honda made some progress on their RR and it is now the strongest motor in the 600cc class. I don't think you can really compare the 636 in this category as it is a "cheater" motor and the extra bump in displcement makes one hell of a difference. If you don't believe this, compare the ZX-6RR motor to the ZX-6R. Midrange bump is pretty large. The Suzuki was the class of the field in 2004 but the changes made in 05 to the other bikes sent it to the back of the pack. Their are supposed to be some changes in 06 so it will be interesting to see how it rates next year. Same for the Yamaha... it has always been an uber peaky powerplant but I really wanna see what the 06 does. That's really the barometer for this class. It doesn't seem that a 600cc bike is top dog for more than a year.

    Hyperbikes-The Busa is the strongest motor. Sure it is 100cc bigger than the Z-12 (at least through this year) but the amount of power that people are getting out of them is absolutely amazing. The bike/motor does it all.

    Miscellaneous-The SV650 has a great motor. There really is nothing that compares to a small-bore twin for a noob. Sure the EX500 is a great beginner bike, but the SV650 is such a better bike. Other manufacturers have copied the SV650 motor and even used it in there own bikes.

    Dirt-Honda. But this is just bias. I've been a fan of Honda dirt bikes ever since my first bike, a Honda XR75. They are absolutely bulletproof and rarely do they need any other maintenance other than oil.

    Overall-Suzuki.
     
  8. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    I'll agree that the K4 had the best 1000cc when it came out. Nothing touched it. Kawasaki, however brought out the ZX-10, and in true Kawi fashion, the ZX10 was an absolute brute. Even the peaky Yamaha couldn't match it. The CBR was a joke its first year out falling behind even the Suzuki which was a year (or two) old at that point.

    600s really illustrate Kawi's grasp of what the people seem to want. The 636 was a race bike with a more usable motor. The only problem is that, in typical balls to wall Kawi fashion, they mated it with a chassis that punished those unlucky enough to ride on rough roads. It took a very steady hand to control. Once you got it on the track... Watch out! The 6RR was lackluster in its first couple years, but has made up ground. Kawi took the demand for more power seriously and answered. Its still not the most powerful, but it is an awesome track machine.

    The hyperbikes I will disagree on. I still believe Kawi has the stronger, more aggresive motor. The only reason we didn't see more out of it is because they limited things to sustain sales in countries with caps on speed. It could have decimated the Busa without much difficulty. People make amazing numbers with the ZX-12, they just don't happen to be as popular as the bigger Busa.

    The SV650 is a great machine with a great motor. Suzuki built a better Ducati. We'll have to see the new Ninja 650R to see if Kawi can out-do Suzi-K again.

    Dirt...Yeah, I'll vote Honda. Not the most powerful motors, but they do everything so well. The KLR650 however is still THE Japanese all-purpose bike to beat. The XR650L is just weaksauce.
     
  9. fėnrir

    fėnrir New Member

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    honda hands down

    its not just about power.... honda makes motors with almost perfect balance

    and just the fact that they build the rc211v is enough
     
  10. z31maniac

    z31maniac *insert witty remark*

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    Yamahammer.

    Turbine smooth power band, and just insane up top. And reliable as hell, my buddy sold his old '97 YZF1000 with 65k on the motor and the thing still ran perfect.
     
  11. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    I still think its funny that I'm the only guy who voted for Kawi.

    Yamaha's have a nice powerband assuming you don't want any power until you're about to bounce off the rev limiter.
    see the newest R6 with its 17,500 rpm redline.

    They're gonna need pneumatic valve closure soon...ala F1
     
  12. Jujharoo

    Jujharoo New Member

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    They are all the same (Japs). Arguing over who makes best engine is pointless.
    Honda is known for its die hard engines, while there are Yamaha R1s out there with 250,000 + miles on orignal engine and trans.

    Oh BTW I have owned and currently own Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda. My next bikes gonna be 04/05 ZX10R
     
  13. z31maniac

    z31maniac *insert witty remark*

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    Sounds like you have never ridden one, only read what the magazines say.

    The 03-04's made their peak power at 12,500, 3000 RPM's before redline. 05's at 13k, 2.5k before redline. The R6's are purposely built with lots of overrev, to make the gearing more flexible on the track.
     
  14. trez157

    trez157 You can't trust freedom when it's not in your hand

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    I dont want to taint this poll with my Honda bias, so I wont vote, especially since I ride a Kawi, but I love the RC51
     
  15. Imagine

    Imagine New Member

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    Clean, I agree with you for the most part. However, I think your topic is a little to open. They are all different in there own little way and that's what makes them unique. To say which is best really depends on what you like out of a bike. Kawasaki just seems to be more edgy, sometimes borderline manic. While Honda always seems to be more refined, which sometimes also translates to dull depending on the rider.

    Its safe to say that they are all excellent in their own little way. The '06 ZX10R will be an interesting bike. They have added a little weight to the fly wheel which will make the power more useable. I'm curious to see if it takes away from the punchiness that a lot complained about while a lot of others loved!

    I can't really vote on which one makes the best over all. There are to many variables. But I can say...

    Riders FTW!
     
  16. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    I don't know how you would define peaky power, but not making max till you're about to hit redline sounds fairly peaky to me.
    Yes, I know most bikes are built to overrev, but its not something I would call turbine-smooth power.
     
  17. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    I purposely left the topic open and broad.
    THese manufacturers have been making lots of different motors for many years. You'll notice I mentioned the EX500.

    I'll try and steer things a bit more.
    The Goldwing is THE long distance tourer and has been for many years. The opposed six-cylinder is smooth, rides low and is more than competent to move a rider, passeneger and a weeks worth of gear without complaint.

    Excellent design that I don't think will be going anywhere, anytime soon.
    One could also say that Honda needs to work on its V4's a little more. VTEC was the worst thing Honda could have done to a motor that is known for fat midrange power. They also need to bump the Interceptor up to a full 1000cc's although they should work on the fuel mileage. That V4 can be a thirsty bitch.
     
  18. about:blank

    about:blank Whether you think that you can or that you can't,

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    I'm torn... 600 class definately belongs to Kawi since the inception of the ZX6E in 1993. The liter bike was ruled by the ZX9R only to be dominated by the gixxer 1000 in 2001. In the last 4 years, the bike has been on top for 3 of them with everybody else playing catchup. For 2005 it's a toss up which has a better motor, the kawi or suzuki, most mags say the Suzuki.
     
  19. z31maniac

    z31maniac *insert witty remark*

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    Again, it sounds like you haven't ridden an R6, but and I'll repeat since you didn't read it the first time, the R6 peaks 3000 RPM's before redline.
     
  20. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    When I say peaky power I mean a powerband that spikes to get to its max power.

    The high-revving Yamaha's certainly fall in this category. There are a lot of bikes I haven't ridden, but I can look at a powerband and get a slight idea of how the motor is going to behave and possibly how the bike will ride.

    I heartily disagree with Yamaha making the best motors.
     
  21. z31maniac

    z31maniac *insert witty remark*

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    I'll try to scan a decent pic of my dyno sheet, you will see what I mean about a progressive build of power with the R6.

    And thats cool that you disagree, I like a good debate, especially one that stays mature.
     

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