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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 344 > SUPERBIKE SPANKING


Ever wondered what it takes to ride a race-winning 215bhp British Superbike without traction? We did too…



When I was growing up I wanted to be a superbike racer, but that turned out to be hard work so I took up writing instead. Thankfully my mate put the graft in, and when he grew up he bagged a ride on the Hawk Suzuki superbike… and then he let me test it. Friends don’t come much better than Richard Cooper who, following a simply awesome year for the Hawk Racing team on a stocker last season, got the coveted ride to partner Brad Ray on the factory-backed BSB Suzukis in 2018.

It’s a bike that’s now been in development since the start of last year and has garnered several wins from several different riders. If you’re wondering how they’ve got it so good so quickly the answers are manifold. The main one, however, is that the men behind the magic, Stuart and Steve Hicken, know a thing or two about making bikes go fast, and riders feel confident as a result.

Having worked with most of the top brands and even more top jockeys over a period of several decades, there’s not much the dynamic father-son duo don’t know, which pretty much explains how they powered Michael Dunlop to his Suzuki-shod TT win in the 2017 Senior on the box fresh Gixer. Of course, what you can do with a bike racing the roads compared to one kitted for BSB is really quite different, with the latter made all the more limited by the controlling measures intended to keep big wallets from simply buying wins like lottery tickets. BSB bikes have controlled electronics for starters, being governed by Motec ECUs that render them only slightly less technophobic than black and white tellies. They’re limited on minimum weight (167kg), made to run on control tyres (Pirellis), and can’t have any engine work done below the cylinder heads.

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About Fast Bikes

Base model blitz! Massive 6 bike budget shootout - The 2018... Aprilia RSV4 RR // Kawasaki ZX-10R // Ducati V4 Panigale // Suzuki GSX-R1000 // Honda CBR1000RR // Yamaha YZF-R1 Hypersport hoops - the best road & track rubber rated. Ultimate local blast - how to ride the IOM's quickest road. PLUS: Hicky's guide to nailing the Ulster GP. Master Silverstone: Choose the best exhaust // used MV Agusta Brutale 675 // How to buy a BMW HP4 // Do trackdays in the rain. 215 BHP with no traction control - behind the bars of Hawk Suzuki's British Superbike.