2017 AMCN AusTest | Bike Tests | Latest Tests | Top Sellers in Australia
For the first time in AUSTest history, it’s as much about electronic wonderment as mechanical magic, with serious thrills delivered at the press of a button – and of course a twist of the throttle
Once it was the kind of cutting-edge technology you’d find only on MotoGP and WSBK bikes; now, electronic assist systems and dynamic suspension are the rule of all big-bore production superbikes, not the exception.
Two years ago, we celebrated the rebirth of the superbike, when the world’s top manufacturers pulled themselves out of the GFC doldrums and got back to work creating proper one-litre speed machines – bugger the cost, and bugger the practicality they said.
Two years later, the world’s fastest and most desirable machines have morphed once more. With big-bore nakedbikes becoming the machine of choice for the regular rider wanting usable power, handling and looks in a package they can live with day to day, production superbikes have become the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the motorcycling world. Crammed full of power, performance and electronics few will ever fully test, and riding on a suspension package that can adjust itself on the fly, these machines are gorgeous examples of what is possible yet are
impractical for the road – and that’s why we love them.
Another first for AUSTest 2017: every bike tested sits well over the $20,000 mark. If your five-figure budget begins with a 1, you are out of luck. All that technology comes at a price, but as you are about to discover, the higher price mostly offers better value for money.
While the evolution of the superbike has continued unabated, one thing returning to the way of old is how we conduct AUSTest. For 2017, we invited the manufacturers to be hands-on, requesting they each deliver their bike accompanied by a factory-trained technician to help our test riders find the best possible set-up. Such is the high regard the manufacturers have for the AUSTest title, most sent two or three staff and the whole show looked more like a round of the ASBK than a closed-door test. That’s fitting, considering our AUSTest combatants often go head to head on the track.
In the end, there can be only one winner, and over the next 26 pages we will take you through the exhausting testing process. Then, when you think you have the winner sussed, we will reveal our champion. Enjoy the ride – we certainly did.
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