You know what’s a common theme between Italy and Japan? Tomatoes, that’s what. Italy has, more than pretty much any other nation, embraced that new world fruit as a staple of its cuisine, and also sprays many of its highest performance products in a similar red hue. Japan meanwhile, has a flag that is obviously a tomato on a white background.
When it comes to super bikes – those unbelievably high strung two-wheel conveyances designed to taunt throttle application – the two countries also have more in common than any others. When it comes to cars, Italy takes home the prize, the boot-shped nation being home to the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati just to rattle off the standards. Japan on the other hand lacks dedicated super car builders of such veneration, and as amazing a technological marvel the Nissan GT-R may be, in 15-years time it will be a five-grand used car while a contemporary Ferrari 458 will still be an aspirational purchase.
But motorcycles level the national playing field. Ducati and Suzuki can and do compete on both track and street. Japan has a leg up on the number of mainstream makers of uber bikes, but where Italy lags in number, it more than makes up in cool quotient – to which you’d agree if you’ve ever heard a dry-clutch, desmodromic Ducati’s cacophony bouncing off the canyon walls as you wind it up through its gears. Puccini would be proud. But with so evan an apparent match, is there really one nation that comes out ahead in the super bike spectrum? It’s time to weigh in your opinion: Super bikes – Italy vs. Japan, FIGHT!