Given that most sportsbikes should be ridden on the track (and will therefore end up in the gravel at some point) there must me some concern that the current obsession with weight reduction compromises crash resistance - my 929 'blade has been dumped twice on the track and came of reasonably well both times. I am not sure that this level of durability is found on other makes and models??
I've heard from a couple racers that the new gen. gixxers have much flimsier frame than the SRADS do..and we won't even talk about CCT's..... I've crashed my 99 750 5 times, 3 lowsides, 2 highsides..and the frame/sub frame held up good..too bad plastic's aren't as strong...
Honda has always been willing to go just a couple pounds over on weight to have bulletproof components. The additional fraction of a second you save for those extra pounds only applies if you're racing, at which time you've already done forged magnesium wheels, carbon/kevlar bodywork, etc.
Couldn't agree more Todd - as you say if you are racing you will find ways to save the weight (and so probably will the rider), however if the bike is fundamentally not able to withstand a routine spill (frame damage etc) then it could be an expensive (or short season). I am a great fan of lightweight sportsbikes but don't see why durability should necessarily suffer given the technological advances that have been made to materials in recent years. I am sure different manufacturers take different viewpoints on this - they are all businesses at the end of the day and if a bike looks good, sells well then needs a severe rebuild the moment it kisses the tarmac that has to be good for top line revenues. I suppose it boils down to whether a manufacturer builds a bike with the rider or its shareholders in mind - reassuring what you say about Honda given it is such a large corporation.
I'd always knew Honda models of the later genre were kinda tough. I had spills from the NC35 to the 98 Blade. Damages were rather minimal as compared to the rest of the makes. Don't know about the newer models, though...Y2K and beyond. I once completely totalled a 2-month old Y2K Blackbird cos of a cracked frame when I sorta like bumped off a tyre wall.