Rubber and polyurethane, while different in performance and feel, are actually more on the middle ground in the scale of bushing material. If you’re a race car driver that wants maximum performance and cares little about ride quality, an aluminum mount or metal joint is for you. I don’t know of any bushing softer than rubber but if you are crazy and innovative, attempt jello. For the majority of us, when it comes to suspension bushings, it comes down to rubber or polyurethane. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. When it comes down to it, the only person that can tell you what’s better for your ride, is you.
For this test, the manufacturers provided the top-performing versions of the common man’s V-8 muscle car. For Chevrolet, that means a Camaro SS with the 455-hp, -liter V-8 equipped with magnetorheological dampers ($1695) and the eight-speed automatic transmission ($1495). The $895 dual-mode exhaust doesn’t make the car any more powerful, but it delivers a Metallicavian aural assault. The top-tier 2SS trim includes cooled and heated seats, blind-spot monitoring, and ambient interior lighting that can be set to one of 24 colors (one-quarter of which are variations of pink), bringing the total price to $47,480.
Yet, as with both the engine characters and riding positions, there is a marked difference between the way they handle. The Kawasaki is a sporting revelation. It turns out the taut suspension is ideal for my 185-pound frame. The chassis works perfectly with my old-school riding style, where I take precise, sweeping lines through corners, focusing on maintaining my momentum. I never adjusted the suspension at all—it’s that good. The springing is firm, and the damping exceptional. The Z900 feels planted and secure at all times, and soaks up bumps well without throwing the bike off line in a corner.