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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I was lucky enough to have A ride at JenningsGP waiting for me this past weekend.  Thanks to jetblast10, I got to ride with some fireblades.org friends and some new friends as well...  What I wasn't expecting was what turned out to be a multi-bike riding opportunity.

Bike 1:  I had ridden that track A LOT in may on my RC51.  It had traxxion forks, a penske triple clicker rear and an ohlins damper.  I ran M1 sportec tires.  I was very comfy with this setup but even after jacking the rear up and dropping the forks, I couldn't get the bike to go through the kink (turn 2) nor could I easily negotiate the 3,4,5 area...

Bike 2:  Jetblast10's RC51.  It was a lot like my bike.  Dan Kyle forks, penske double adjust rear, the big difference though, it had marchesini cast magnesium wheels!  Jetblast had the forks set to stock height and the bike felt DAMN light!  No problems to speak up with the turn 2 area, the bike turned in VERY nicely, transitioned with minimal effort and to quote kevin, 'The wheels almost make the bike feel light'...  He was VERY right.  Best mod to do to an RC51 IMHO.  Better than my bike was, though slightly unstable, but that, I contribute to the slicks he had on the bike...

Bike 3:  A very gracious offer from CBR99XX was his 954, for one session if I wanted to.  I finally gave in with reluctance and took it out the first session on sunday.  WOW.  The 954 is a MEASUREABLE improvement over my CBR929RR.  Kelvin's 954 was basically stock with the exception of an ohlins rear and a scotts damper (my 929 had DK forks, ohlins rear, ohlins damper).  He had M1 tires.  Did I say WOW yet??  This thing was impressive!  Just like the RC51, I ran 3rd gear the length of the track.  To me, it had EVERYTHING the RC had on corner exits but where the RC would go flat, the 954 was just starting to stretch its legs.  I have never punched through Turn 2 and the kink on the back straight like that!  The damn thing would MOVE!  LIke I remember of my 929, the bike would turn in telepathically and without drama.  Just a short roll out of the throttle in the high speed sections and I was there...  I don't know what else to say, it was smooth, noticeably smoother than what I remember from my 929.  The engine just seemed to spool on power effortlessly.  I was loving it!  I rode it the full 20 minute session (I hadn't ridden the RC on saturday a whole session yet).  It didn't wear me out and I know i was faster on this bike, given a good fork job for confidence in braking, I think I could have done EVEN better on his bike.  I want one!  I had nothing but complements for Kelvin when I returned to the pits.  I had drug my knee more and with more confidence in one session than I did the previous day combined I think.  (Keep in mind, I hadn't ridden in 3 months, AT ALL, so it took me a few sessions to get back up to speed.)  I should say, I wanted one, until I rode bike 4.

Bike 4:  Jetblast10's 600rr.  Again, offered it to me for a session if I wanted (I think he baited me knowing I was wanting a 600 next).  I finally gave in and said I'd give it a go.  His bike was stock with the exception of a penske double adjuster shock and Supercorsa race compound tired.  I roll out of the pits in anticipation.  All eyes were on me it felt like, I was riding 'the man's' bike, the lone BLACK RR at the event.  I better not 'F' this up...  I give it one lap to warm the tires and progressively feed in the speed.  Being the slacker I am, I ran 3rd gear the entire length of the track like I had on the big twin and the 954.  I thought the 954 felt lite, this 600R was light and very Flickable!  My turn 2 issues were gone.  with the RC, I had to roll out of the gas to get the bike turned, with the 954, I had to roll out to not go TOO FAST into the turn, on the 600RR, I was able to keep it pinned and just drive through there at 100% throttle.  The Turn 3,4,5 area...  Where was it?  There was a 'S' there?  Didn't feel like it, the bike just felt right, still on the gas, the whole way through...  WOW I think.  What really bites my a$$ is how much MOTOR this bike has for a 600!  It punched through the 120s like I wasn't on its back...  It didn't slap or do anything ugly on acceleration, it just bit down and hauled ass out of one corner into the next...  Same thing as turn 2 happened coming out of turn 11 going into the final turn.  There is a pretty noticeable kink there.  I was able to just stay on the gas all the way through, hold the bike over and rail right through the kink.  With my and kevin's RC, 'I' had to roll out to get through there, not with the 600RR.  The only reason I had to roll out of the gas on the 954 was because, it seemed to build speed so quickly that I was actually going TOO fast for the corner.  The 600RR is awesome.  I had 100% confidence in how it felt and what it'd to in just a few laps...  Though, running only 3rd gear is a disadvantage.  The bike was only turning 8K or so on some exits, which meant I 'waited' for the revs to build.  Had I been working the shifter, there would have been NO waiting for revs.  As I stated before, the bike has some serious MOTOR skills!  But despite all of this, I think I may have ran a 1.34.5 in may on my bike.  In less than 10 laps on the RR, without shifting the gearbox like I should have on a 600, I had bettered that time with a 1.34.04!  I think had I been on the shifter and working 2nd gear a bit more, I could have at least gotten into the 1.32s...  I mean, with 8K rpm exits on some corners, I was really being mean to the little RR.  It would have been much happier above 10K...  And all this 'greatness' on a pretty much stock bike...  With some fork work for my 230lb riding frame (stability on the brakes), a full arata exhaust and a PC3 and some rearsets, the bike would be THAT much more awesome!  Compared to a FULLY worked out duo of RC51s, its just flat out better...

So, in the order given here, is my impressions of these bikes.  The only thing stopping me from getting a 954, is I know that the insurance on the 600RR will be MUCH cheaper for me.  That, and the 600 will be easier on tires...  These are just MY impressions, on a track that favors a quick handling light steering bike...  Had I rode them back to back on say, VIR north or south, or roebling road or even CMP, the outcome might have been MUCH different!  Though, if not the 600 still, it would have been the 954, so an RR it would have been either way!

Thought some of you might find it interesting.  And I was so delighted to get to sample 3 great bikes this weekend, I had to share.  Special thanks go out to Jetblast10 (again) and CBR99XX...

Thats all for now... I tried to think of the biggest impressions each bike gave me and put them into words. If anyone has specific aspects to compare, post up and I'll give you my $.02...

Charlie
 

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Sounds like you had a great time!!
 

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Thanks for the great review
 

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Great read!
Now I really have to put my bike back together!
I am hanging to get back out on it after reading that!

Coxy
 

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Man, I am seriously thinking of picking up an RC-51. Well, maybe not now, you make my 929 sound much better.
 

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Great post CC....

Edit:
Does the 600RR need any fork work before it can be dialed in for a 180-200lb rider?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Baketech : Does the 600RR need any fork work before it can be dialed in for a 180-200lb rider?
It 'felt' okay to me, but Jennings doesn't really have any impressive braking zones, the track kinda flows... You aren't jamming on the brakes like you would be at a VIR or CMP. So, I didn't really exercise the forks all that much. And jennings is smooth, so the damping felt fine.

Having said that, I'd need to have AT LEAST the springs swapped in the front for me (I'd do the rear shock like kevin did too). (I'm 230lbs) After I did that, then I'd see where that put the damping. It didn't 'feel' overly compression damped the way the 929 forks did. The few times I did get on the brakes somewhat hard, it did feel kinda unstable, but that should just be my weight overpowering the stock springs. No where near as stable as my RC forks were when braking. But then again, Jennings IS smooth, so I doubt I'd been able to pick up on the overdamped forks, if they were at all. But from street riders I've talked to about the bike, its mucho times better damping wise than any other honda bike.
 

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Thanks for the info...sounds like you are giving the RR some serious thought...

Any of you RR owners changed the fork springs yet?
 

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Those are some good guys out there to give up their bike to you. There is no way I'd ever give up my brand new 600RR or RC51 to anyone to go drag some knee pucks and hit 120mph. I'd have a heart attack waiting for my bike to get back. From reading your expierences, it sounds like you're very capable out there on the track but sh&t does happen. Again, awesome of them to offer and good for you to accept. I'd imagine you were under some serious pressure to perform LOL!!! Great review. So, were you saying with other track types (VIR) you'd prefer the 954 or 51 over the 600? The 600RR sounds very fun to ride!
 

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Baketech : Thanks for the info...sounds like you are giving the RR some serious thought...

Any of you RR owners changed the fork springs yet?
I probably weigh around 170-180lbs fully geared and the suspension is perfect for me. I've never ridden anything so stable in my life
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Baketech : Thanks for the info...sounds like you are giving the RR some serious thought...

Any of you RR owners changed the fork springs yet?
Thats the understatment of the CENTURY there! Serious thought is right, so to get to ride it before hand, in a track environment, was VERY helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
SuperDave : So, were you saying with other track types (VIR) you'd prefer the 954 or 51 over the 600?  The 600RR sounds very fun to ride!
Its hard to say. Jennings is unlike any track I think. Its very tight and you are rarely upright, you are always on the side of the tire. VIR is much more 'open' in that there are some straights, so you get time to rest. Maybe the extra punch of the 954 would be nice at the north course. But with the 600RR's motor, I might not even mind! I'd have a hard time picking the RC51 over EITHER bike at ANY track.
 

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Awesome write-up. I'm glad/happy to see an RC rider give the 954 some props without being prejudice.

I think Jennings favors 600cc bikes by a wide margin..like you said. Literbikes just have too much power for the tight, twisty track. A rev-happy 600cc is king out there. I'd love to get a 600RR/636/R6 for a track bike.
 

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ccwilli3 : Quote (SuperDave @ Oct. 22 2003, 8:28am)So, were you saying with other track types (VIR) you'd prefer the 954 or 51 over the 600?  The 600RR sounds very fun to ride!
Its hard to say.  Jennings is unlike any track I think.  Its very tight and you are rarely upright, you are always on the side of the tire.  VIR is much more 'open' in that there are some straights, so you get time to rest.  Maybe the extra punch of the 954 would be nice at the north course.  But with the 600RR's motor, I might not even mind!    I'd have a hard time picking the RC51 over EITHER bike at ANY track.
So maybe you're not afterall
 
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