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Review: SBK-07 Superbike World Championship

by Steven Williamson on 8 May 2007, 09:25

Tags: Koch Media, Sports

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Tweak your bike for maximum performance

Having never ridden a bike in my life, it's difficult to tell whether the bikes handle as they should do, but navigating around corners does feel very stiff and the bikes don't turn as well as I would have expected. But, depending on which bike you choose, they do have subtle differences on the track and some bikes certainly handle better than others. Whether it be the aggressive Kawasaki ZX-10R which handles well around the twisty tracks to the Honda CBA which boasts an extra 15 horsepower in comparison, each bike has its own stats based on its real world performance and can be tweaked in order to get the maximum performance. If you're into your bikes, they’re all here for you to salivate over and modify and as you progress through the game and unlock further bikes based on your performance in the championship.

There are a decent set of customisation options for tuning your bike before you begin each race, including adjusting the front and rear suspension, gear ratios, shifting the handlebars to change the turning speed of the bike or even shifting the weight from the front to the back of the vehicle in order to increase traction. Having experimented with a few of the options, they do translate well on the track and certainly on the higher difficulty levels could be the difference between success and failure.

SBK-07 offers two different styles of racing. If you want jump straight into the action you can opt for arcade style, where many of the features are turned off such as manual gear changing and traction control, but if you want something a bit deeper and more challenging then simulation mode provides the sternest test.

On the track, the AI of the other Superbikes is spot on as they react realistically to corners, slowing down and speeding up as they burst into the straights. They intelligently shift positions on the track in order find a way through the pack and if you accidentally knock into the side of a competitor they’ll drift away from you in order to find space and prevent the same thing from happening again. Take too much of a knock and you'll see some impressive crashes as those bikes behind you come hurtling into you.