Find out what GP bikes are really like to ride

Published: 04 November 2003

MCN’s Trevor Franklin has just finished testing the cream of the MotoGP crop in Spain. He’s ridden Rossi’s Honda RC211V, the Yamaha M1 and the Ducati Desmosedici, just days after the season ended.

You’ll be able to read his full report on the three bikes in MCN, out November 12, but we grabbed him as he stepped off each bike to get his first thoughts.

The Honda RC211V: " The Honda is the best bike out there. It’s a phenomenal package. The engine has more grunt, the handling is the most user friendly, and the brakes are strong enough to bend your arms and lift your bum out of the seat. "

" When you combine it with a talent like Rossi, no wonder it’s a champion’s machine "

" You could do a track day on it all day and never break into a sweat, while wiping the floor with your mates. "

The Yamaha M1: " It f**king scared me. It’s a complete animal. All it wants to do is bite you. The engine is so peaky and with such a top end that you wonder if the front wheel will ever touch the ground again on the straights. "

" It’s so different to ride from the Honda. You have to be very precise as it doesn’t tell you what it’s doing. You’d get more feedback going round corners in a wheel barrow. "

The Ducati Desmosedici: " It sounds scary, but it’s a really usable beast. It’s the second best package because it’s so similar to the Honda. The engine is so tractable it’s deceptive. You arrive at the corner far earlier than you think is possible, so it’s a good job it’s got the brakes to match. "

" It’s got a split personality. It’s got loads of mid-range torque and pull, but also a snarling top end. Ducati claims the peak power is at 16,000rpm, and it really does bite. It’s almost as if the power and torque curves mirror each other. It’s that tractable you can use third gear when the Yamaha would use first or second.

Franklin’s full report will be in MCN, out November 12. Overseas readers can subscribe to MCN online by following the link on the right. You can also see what Colin Edwards made of his first ride on the RC211V by following the appropriate link.