Knapp: Riding Mladin’s Steed

Paul Carruthers | February 3, 2010’s Taylor Knapp was hoping he’d throw his leg over Mat Mladin’s 2009 championship-winning Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and feel right at home. But he quickly found out that he’s not Mat Mladin – at least not in how he likes a bike set-up.”I could tell it was really dialed in, but it just didn’t suit my style,” Knapp said. “I was so excited to try it, but then it was like, ‘Man, it’s really not what I would want.’ But we had to try it.”Knapp, the Michiganite privateer who finished ninth in last year’s Superbike Championship, was riding the bike for the first time during the two-day test at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, yesterday. What he found was a motorcycle like none he’d ever ridden.”It’s defintely different than what I’m used to,” Knapp said today. “Yesterday I came in and said, ‘I did not know a bike could stop this good.’ I’ve never really ran the Brembo calipers and that was the first thing I noticed. I just kinda got lost in the setup. Another thing I’ve never really had are the triple clamps; I’ve always just ran the stock ones. There’s a lot of adjustability in there that we were going back and forth with. I actually just now got pretty comfortable. The first day was just getting used to things and seeing what different things felt like. But we just made some good progress right here, right now, so it’s looking good and I think it’s going to be a good year.”

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.