As long as there are machines there will be motorsport rivalry. Even when it comes to vastly different machines, we all seem to want to know which one is faster. A Yamaha R1 motorcycle versus a Formula 1 race car? It’s tough to make that one apples to apples.
It’s all fun and games, though, obviously. There’s no real comparison. If I were piloting the bike and you the F1 car, who would win? If Valentino Rossi were piloting a proper MotoGP bike against Lewis Hamilton, the professional F1 driver in the video and five-time F1 champion, who would win? Who’s piloting the bike in the video? It’s not about the capabilities of the machine, but about the capabilities of the pilot. There’s no description of the motorcycle either; for all we know it could be a stickered-up stock R1M.
Hamilton isobviously one of the most, if not the most, skilled F1 driver ever. F1 cars are incredibly capable. Having an F1 car and a motorcycle on the same track at the same time is kind of dangerous and you can tell they’re being careful around each other.
The question is always fun, and not really answerable without a lot of different drivers and riders on a track alone, timed and then averaged, but what fun would that be?
So watch the video (the bike comes in around 1:48) for the pretty amazing skills Hamilton shows for the first minute and a half, and then watch the car and bike share a track for an extra bit of fun. When it comes to “which is faster,” though, that’s going to take some research wherever F1 cars and maybe MotoGP or World Superbike use the same track, some lap time research and a bunch of math. My hunch is that with way bigger contact patches and all kinds of aerodynamics that force those giant sticky tires down onto the pavement, the F1 cars are going to get around a track faster. I know, heresy, right? Prove me wrong. But consider: you can’t buy an F1 car to commute in.