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2012 Japanese Superbike Shootout

New upgrades shuffle the rankings and bring up the question: To TC or not TC?

By Troy Siahaan, Apr. 05, 2012, Photography by Alfonse Palaima/Caliphotography, Video by Chris Killen

It has been a couple years since we last did a Japanese literbike shootout, because, frankly, the field has been q

uite stagnant for a while (save for Kawasaki’s total revamp of the ZX-10R last year). It took them another year, but Honda,Suzuki and Yamaha have all tweaked their respective contenders for 2012 – theCBR1000RRGSX-R1000 and YZF-R1, have significant changes, while Kawasaki returns for 2012 with the same traction-control-equipped machine it introduced last year, confident of its chances.

Having ridden all of the players at their respective intros, we knew it was time to once again pit them against one another for Japanese literbike supremacy. Read the respective stories for details on the upgrades, because here we’re evaluating how they compare to one another. With the CBR’s improved suspension, the GSX-R’s re-worked engine and upgraded brakes, and the addition of traction control to the YZF-R1, the ZX-10R has some stiff competition this year.

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