"These things don't belong on the street!"
This has become the cry of the rational motorcyclist when the subject of modern literbikes comes up. But what if you could have virtually all of the same performance-driven componentry and research and development that go into most superbikes in a motorcycle with roughly 30-35% less spank? Would most riders, young and old, veteran and newbie, feel like they could handle such a bike? Apparently, yes.
Supersports, or more commonly, 600s, are red-hot sellers. Editor Duke reported back from his time at the U.S. launch of the 2008 R6 that the tuning fork company claims "the 600cc segment makes up 51% of what Yamaha calls the Supersport market, a segment that is up in sales a huge 52% since 2001." Yep, these things are pretty important.
As a matter of fact, the supersport class may become even more important to OEMs than it already is –whether they like it or not. When the AMA essentially admitted to its ineptness at handling American pro racing and announced in March of this year that Daytona Motorsports Group was granted rights to promote, sanction and manage various AMA racing series, one of DMG's first moves was to change the current structure of road racing. Starting in 2009, the premier class will likely be the "Daytona Superbike" class. As of the writing of this story, DMG hasn’t yet released specific rules for the new class but has stated that the collection of contenders will include Twins, Triples and four-cylinder bikes, and will have "middleweight performance horsepower limits," said to be 140 rear-wheel horsepower. In effect, this opens the door for six more brands that DMG says fit the bill: Aprilia, KTM, Triumph, BMW, Ducati and Buell.
More: 2008 Supersport Shootout: CBR600RR vs Daytona 675 vs ZX-6R vs R6 vs GSX-R600