The Bike: 2013 Triumph Daytona 675R
What It Does Best: Handle
What It Does Worst: Reliability
Why: Slap top-shelf Ohlins suspension on a bike and you can’t really go wrong. Well, you can if you spec too-heavy spring rates, which Triumph has. So either budget on new springs front and rear or pack on some pounds. If you can get the 675R working for you, it’s brilliant, feeling far more exotic than any 600-class motorcycle has any right to be. But, owners tell us they’re spending a totally inordinate amount of time getting warranty work done on these, so keep that in mind.
Who Should Buy One Trackday junkies and canyon carvers who weigh at least 200 lbs. Or, lighter enthusiasts who are prepared to invest some money in new springs. Recovering liter bike owners who want to learn how to ride properly again.
The Bike: Ducati 899 Panigale
What It Does Best: Cheat
What It does Worst: Price
Why: Totally ineligible for supersport racing due to its superbike-like 899cc capacity, the little Panigale nevertheless seeks to conquest sales from the 600 class. It costs fifteen thousand dollars, but makes up for that with the full package of Ducati electronic rider aids and a 148 bhp V-twin. People who like riding rather than posing will buy this over the 1199, its shorter wheelbase, narrower rear tire and steeper rake make it the much sweeter bike. If you can afford it, this one’s our pick.
Who Should Buy One: Puma shoe enthusiasts. Men who spend a suspiciously long time in front of the mirror every morning. Confident riders who want the best Ducati superbike going, but don’t intend to use it just for the bragging rights.