Ask RideApart: What Is The Best Performance Motorcycle For The Street

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Ask RideApart

You ask, the community answers. It’s Ask RideApart. This week: What is the best performance motorcycle for the street?

Reader Kevin writes: “What’s the best performance motorcycle for the street? Supersports are incredible machines, but there’s no denying they’re bred for the track first and the street second. As such, they possess a number of qualities that make them less than ideal on the street, ranging from uncompromising ergonomics to limited tank range to too-tall gearing and top-end-focused power delivery.

“With all that said, what does RideApart recommend for the rider who wants a fast, capable, fun canyon steed that is also well suited to the daily grind, perhaps in lieu of ultimate on-track performance Something that can keep pace (ish) with something like a 600 supersport through the twisties, but also ride comfortably around town or pack up and go for a long weekend away?”

What works for you? Do you put up with the hassle of a supersport in order to enjoy uncompromising performance or is there a third way?

Have a question for us? Post it on our Facebook page, or on Twitter using the #AskRideApart hash tag. We will select the best topic from our submissions and post them here each week.

  • Armin Pelkmann

    Well the typical answer is : The naked cousins of the super sports. Speed Tripple, Brutale, S1000 R(note the one R), 848 etc.

    • roma258

      Basically this, just make sure to spring for the upspec version with nicer suspension and brakes. I’d also add KTM SMT, Ninja1000 and Multistrada to the list.

    • Danny Valdez

      Agree…slightly de-tuned, but still have plenty of power for the city—and plenty for the longer distances (rode my COMPLETELY naked ’07 Speedy from Chicago to California). But i can still tear it up on our congested city landscape. Yea…the street triple is lighter, but just doesn’t have that grunt I’ve grown to love. I’ll take the added weight..

  • GP

    ‘Strom. Good enough for me.

  • s8r

    VFR 800 does the job, or a supersport, with a superbike handlebar (if you forget the limited tank range)? :)

    • NOCHnoch

      VFR800 does ALL jobs!

      • nomad2495

        Except be available in the U.S

        • NOCHnoch

          Just buy a fifth gen

  • maxkohl

    Street Triple. Comfy, good performance and fuel economy. Luggage can be added fairly easily.

    • Rob

      I have one, and got it for that reason. It’s the indian not the arrow, you would be surprised the pace one can keep on an STR, and you would also be surprised at how slow someone can go on a liter bike.

    • Kr Tong

      Non-adjustable suspension. expensive to maintain/upgrade.

      • maxkohl

        Street Triple R has adjustable suspension. Maintenance and upgrade are not more expensive than a Japanese bike.

        • Kr Tong

          There is no way any european bike will ever be as cheap to own, maintain and uprad as a japanese bike. even euro inline 4′s.

          • karlInSanDiego

            Tong, the Brit bikes cost same or less to buy, and your dealer won’t charge less for hourly labor when it’s Japanese, if your dealer sells from both countries. So you’re saying Euro parts are inherently more expensive than Japanese parts? Wake up. It’s 2013. example Ninja ZX6R $11,699, GSX-R 600 $11,699, CBR600RR $11,490, Daytona 675 $11,599., and no the 675R is not the comparable bike. I think you’re confusing Ducati with European.

            • Kr Tong

              I do my own maintenance.

              • karlInSanDiego

                A) You’re using the word exponentially wrong
                B) Great, join the crowd on doing you own maintenance.
                C) Why don’t you show an example of Triumph parts that can not be had for Japanese part money?
                D) the Street Triple 675 engine uses the same clutch from your old reliable ’92 CBR900RR costing $56.00
                E) Modern Triumphs are hella reliable

                • Kr Tong

                  Clutch plate size doesn’t matter.

          • pdad13

            Spoken like someone who’s never owned one.

            • Kr Tong

              “Spoken like someone who prefers spending money on track days.”

              Japanese bikes are just easy to mix and match suspension parts, brakes, MC’s, etc without messing with geometry. Right now on ebay there’s an incredible amount of gsxr front ends that can be put on any number of lower end hondas and suzukis. F4i internals with race tech gold valve cartridges can fit in SV650 forks and require no further changes to the front end. If you buy a CBR250, you can upgrade the rear shock for as little as $50. The SV, $150-200 for a fully adjustable suspension. And its a bike with more torque and hp than 80%-90% of motorcyclists will ever put down on a street. Its also a V-twin so it sounds like a manly man-bike. I don’t own an SV, by the way. I’m just not going to recommend my own bike for certain reasons. You shouldn’t track a commuter and you shouldn’t plan to commute on a track bike, so you should budget for two bikes. The same goes for cars and bicycles. One’s not enough. Everybody’s got two. Three’s what you want and need.

              Cartriges for the Triumphs will run you 1400. If you can find a daytona front end that’s the way to go, but it won’t be as cheap and you’ll be waiting a while.

              • pdad13

                You’re making a very different argument. The topic of this article is the best performance bike for the street. 98% of the people who buy these bikes will never do a track day and they likely will not be concerned about swapping front ends or take-offs. And the few that do see the track will only do so occasionally.

                If someone told me they wanted a track bike, were concerned about the availability of used parts, and crashed fairly often, then I might advise them to buy a used Japanese bike. But that’s really not what we’re talking about here.

                • Kr Tong

                  Im not making a different argument you just don’t understand. A street bike: Must be able to commute, must be able to adjust suspension for towns, twists, and tracks. Must be able to keep it on the road since the whole point of having a bike on the street is so you can ride it in lieu of a car.

                • pdad13

                  I understand perfectly fine. You argument is convoluted.

                  You seem to flit back and forth between contending that Triumph/European suspensions are not adjustable, and therefore inadequate, which is totally wrong, and a cost and availability argument for used parts for track day bikes. Which is it?

                  Let’s go back to where this discussion started. Please explain to me why in the world a street rider and occasional track day rider would need to change the front end on a Street Triple R. It comes with Kayaba 4-way adjustable suspension, is only $600 more than the base Street Triple and also comes with radial mount, four-piston Nissin brakes.

                  *The base Daytona comes with Kayaba big piston forks with high/low speed compression/rebound adjustment. It also has Nissin monoblock brakes. The shock is also 8-way adjustable.

                  *The Daytona 675R comes with Ohlins NIX30 forks and a TTX rear shock. It also has Brembo monoblocks and a quickshifter. Have you any idea what those cost in the aftermarket? You’re looking at about $5K. The 675R might be the best bang for buck out there. It also explains why a complete front end is not cheap by your standards on the used market.

                  You’re telling me that you would need to replace any of that stuff with a 5-year old GSX-R/CBR/ZX front end?

                  Short of crashing and damaging the forks, there’s no reason to swap the front end with any other bike’s parts for just about anyone.

                  Getting them re-valved or re-sprung costs about the same as any other bike. I mean, they’re Kayaba and Ohlins components, for God’s sake.

                • Kr Tong

                  Clearly you don’t understand. I just mentioned the 675r front end because it is adjustable. It’s also twice the price of any complete Japanese front end.

          • Braden

            Sorry buddy, but I own Italian and Japanese bikes. Done maintenance and repairs for both and worked extensively on on the older Speed Triples. Costs are virtually identical. What you’re saying may have been true decades ago, but not now.

            • Kr Tong

              Maintenance intervals on an italian bike may be getting stretched closer to a japanese bike, but there are engines you can get away with if you miss an interval, and there are engines that will grenade on you if you miss it by a few miles. Its borderline irresponsible to say italian bikes and Japanese bikes are virtually identical.

      • Gordon Pull

        I did a Daytona swap on my standard model for cheap. Was very cheap to maintain and work on. Put 55k on it before trading for my Streetfighter 848. Have nothing but love for the Brit bikes after that experience and will be back soon.

    • engageit

      Another vote for the Street Triple R. Does everything pretty damn well, and IMHO might be the best commuter bike ever. I’ve done 800km days on it for most of a week straight, track days, and commuted to work 5 days a week (45 minutes to work, 1:15 home). I’ve had passengers for multiple hour trips without any complaining, and it makes a great noise with an aftermarket exhaust on…
      Part of me still wants to trade it for a Daytona 675R or Panigale 899, but I’m afraid that those bikes just wont be as good as the Street for anything other than track use and maybe looking at…

  • runnermatt

    I remember a certain Ride Apart video that said that the Ducati Multistrada was the fastest bike on real roads, faster than supersports.

    • AngrySpaceRasta

      It certainly is that. I have never been as fast as easily on any bike as on mine, even two up with full luggage.

      For me, if you’re talking about “the best…” you have to consider price/value. That’s what drops the Multistrada down the scale. It was eye-wateringly expensive to buy. No idea what the reliability will be going forward and the maintenance intervals are relatively long. Certainly left a big crater in my wallet though…

    • runnermatt

      I decided to go and find the video for those who have not seen it. Here it is:
      Day Tripping with a Ducati Multistrada S and a Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX – /RideApart

  • jeremyobryan

    My 2011 Ninja 1000 was built for what you describe. Shaped like a supersport, but with a more upright riding position. All the power, decent agility, adequate wind/weather protection, easy to ride around town, fantastic luggage options. Mine for a little over two months, I’ve ridden it 1500 miles both commuting and strafing … love, love, love this bike and looking forward to a bunch of thousand-mile weekends next summer!

    • Chris McAlevy

      Any downsides to your bike? Things you would change? Things a prospective owner should know? I’m considering picking one up.

      • Bob

        Couldn’t agree more with jeremyobryan. I just bought one a few months ago and have put on ~4500 miles already. I’m really happy with mine, no issues so far. The bike is easy to ride quickly and for blind twisty canyon riding, the upright position and high leverage bars make the it super fun.

        Most of my rides are between 4-600 miles of varied terrain and aside from a bit of saddle soreness, I’m not especially tired at the end of the day. I had a 5th gen VFR before this and this bike is a worthy replacement. The short ratio gearbox and torquey engine makes the bike jump out of turns and if you want to hoon, it’s not too hard to power wheelie the front on command. No, it’s no 1000cc supersport but then again, how often are you strafing at 150+ mph?

        As for issues, no mechanical ones yet. The only thing of note is that the bike doesn’t want to stay turned in at steady state, or it may feel slow to turn in on super quick transitions. This is an easy fix by raising the forks by 5-10mm, and throwing on a 55 rear tire. Another thing to note is that this is not a track bike. It’s a little too softly sprung and given that the bars are so high, you’re never going to have the same front end feel of a SS on the track. I had this thing at Thunderhill and even though I’m a small guy and had dampening close to full-stiff, I was still blowing through much of the usable travel. That’s not to say I didn’t have a riot, but then, how often will I actually track that bike?

        You can probably find a NOS pre-2013 Ninja 1000 for $10k out the door or less. Where else are you going to find a new bike with ABS, that can tour comfortably, that has a load of hard/soft luggage options, that is reliable, has fairings and an adjustable screen, that handles relatively sharply, and also has a rippin’ engine that will give many a ss bike a challenge up to non-mental speeds?

        • Mark D

          Sounds like a perfect bike. How is it in the city? Its not a small bike volume or mass wise, but can you split and park and putter in first gear confidently and stable? MPGs?

          • Bob

            I don’t live in California and so I have limited experience with splitting, however in the time that I was there, I didn’t have any issues splitting. Though the bike is a touch over 500lbs, most of the weight is low and the bike feels much, much lighter. I’m short so I’m on my tippy toes with pretty much every bike, but this is by far easier to park than my previous VFR. As for in-town gearing, it’s geared in a way where you could putter about in 6th gear without lugging. It’s perfectly comfortable at 2500rpm or wicking up to 11k rpm, really depends on your mood. I personally don’t track mileage as this is my toy, but others report mid-high 30′s. Good place to find more info is to check out the forums here:

  • Sid Widmer

    When a car cut me off this spring leaving me with a totaled Surperduke I briefly considered going back to a supersport but after throwing a leg over every bike I could the bike that felt like it was mine was the Ducati Streetfighter 848. It’s a good compromise between real world usability and supersport performance. I feel the wind in the chest more than the Superduke and it is a challenge to ride gracefully in town due to the abrupt throttle response but those are minor complaints. It is a fantastic bike. It has lot’s of charisma, it’s comfortable unless you have T-rex arms, rips in the canyons, and sounds amazing with the Termi cans.

  • John Tiedjens

    For the past bunch of years I’ve ridden a Honda 919. I’ve always said the day I can ride it to it’s capacity will be landmark for me. I enjoy riding aggressively through the twisties however and it’s something I preach to all those who want to buy a true sport bike….” getting to the twisties and back is at least 50% of your ride.” Sport bikes are purpose built track bikes with turn signals. “Compromise bikes” ( for the average or good rider it isn’t any compromise at all) like 919′s FZ’s, Bandits, CB1000, SM990…. will all do the job and then some when you want to get busy well beyond most riders skills or willingness to take them to their limits. Their distinct advantage is when you’re not, you’re still enjoying the rest of the ride. I don’t know if this was actually on topic or it’s just me preaching again…. if so sorry. Haha!

    • Stuki

      Any bike will have a specific task it is optimized for, and will be progressively less suited for tasks further away from that. Imagine a Bell curve. And any Bell curve has a peak height as well as a “width.” Where Supersports shine, with their multidecades worth of competition enhanced refinement, is that the peak is so darned high, that even for use cases a good bit away from that, they curve is still so darned high that they work beautifully in an absolute sense.

      As an example, they are the only bikes I have ever ridden that shows virtually no tradeoff whatsoever between high speed stability and quickness of steering; handling tight canyons like a Supermoto while doing 120 in 40mph windgusts like an FJR.

      Unless you are young and limber, they aren’t exactly long ride comfortable, though…… But if you can get used to the ergonomics, there’s no reason to believe there is any other side where the grass is much greener.

      • pdad13

        Totally agree with this. Supersports have taken a beating in the last few years, but the strange truth is that, as a class, they’ve gotten better recently as all-around bikes in some important ways. The quest for torquier, less peaky, more ridable bikes has given us more variety in engine architecture and displacement. Power delivery is becoming more linear, even with some of the inline 4s. The latest GSXR 600 is supposed to be great and I’m eager to see what Honda and Yamaha come up with when they finally get around to really overhauling their supersports. But of course, they still make some concessions (or for many riders, pretenses) for track use.

        That said, their naked siblings are generally still a touch better for most riders in most environments. Being not so young anymore, but still apparently limber enough to enjoy a supersport, I’m willing to live with the compromises. Many people, though, regardless of age, never get quite comfortable enough with them. Thankfully, there are more and more excellent options out there that give up a little absolute performance (which will almost never be missed), for more rational benefits.

      • John Tiedjens

        Well leave me in a turn all day with your SS…. I’m fine with that. I like to ride for the riding’s sake not to prove I’m a candidate for the next Isle of Mann. To each their own.. I feel my approach is more practical for the “average experienced rider” who splits the fence as I’ve seen most of the comments on here echoing the same principle.As far as riding I do on a day trip we range from 300-400 miles…. even on a bike that has a more upright position it becomes tiresome. On a real SS… ? I get they are stunning at their purpose however, I’m an athlete and in good condition but I wouldn’t want to do it on a bet.

  • JP

    Ninja 250

  • Jordan

    I’m still in love with my naked SV1000. The only thing I’m jealous of is ABS.

    • Joe

      Couldn’t agree with you more. More bike than you’ll ever need/want. And easy enough to find for less than $5K

      • Justin McClintock

        Completely agree with both of you. Heck, that copper one is even the right color!

        Mine has a set of 03 650N rearsets on it, a touring screen (looks like that one does too), helibars, and a gel seat. And some other random stuff that doesn’t do anything for ergos. I can’t really see me ever getting rid of that bike.

    • blackcayman

      The Suzuki SV1000 N…
      I’ve been riding that bike for years, its always been a great, trouble free bike. I found mine used with only 1800 miles and in showroom condition for under 5K in 2009. I’ve gotten tons of bang for the buck on it. The only downside of the bigger SV is the increase in steering input it requires over the 650. It took a while to get used to, and now its second nature. Its fun enough for short canyon romps and I can spend the day on it, although 8 hours in the Corbin Saddle gets a bit tingly. I am looking for the next bike with some wind protection, hard bags and ABS…but the same ergos – it must be in the same weight class…. 650-700lb STs just don’t have that nimble feel that a 450 lb bike does – and that’s what I love. I also don’t need or want the tallish suspension that many of the bikes in this category have. I’m not going off-road, not pretending I’m going off-road and with a 32″ inseam, I much prefer a 32″ seat height to a 34″ or higher.
      The 2015 Yamaha FJR-09R is what I’m optomistically hopeful for… I like that torquey triple in a lightweight package, just give me some wind protection, upgraded suspension and a factory hard bag option.

      • Jordan

        Have you thought about the new Ninja 1000 ABS?

        • blackcayman

          Yes, its the most logical choice….I just can’t get worked up enough to commit to a “Ninja”. I keep thinking Triumph will bring out a Daytona 800cc motor in a light ST package or Yamaha will do it on the new 850…both of which would most likely apeal to me more. Aprilia just released the Turismo Veloce…the seat height is higher than I’d want but the performance and ergos are right there.
          The Ninja’s full body work and look at me bright electric paint just don’t sit well with me. I have no doubt its a great motorcycle….
          I have been toying with the idea of a white KTM SM-T….but are they going to give it the 1190 motor next year????
          I’m not settled….by any stretch

  • TP

    I really really love my Buell (XB12) as a street bike. Its not geared as tall as a supersport and the fun part of the engine is at like 3000-5500rpm, so you don’t have to rev the piss out of it to have a good time, you just get your thrills launching from stop lights with the front tire skimming the ground. Great fuel economy (40+mpg on the regular), and a sharp steering. Just did a 1500 mile road trip up to Tennessee and back on it, was awesome.

  • sean macdonald

    How’s your gas mileage? We’ve heard nothing but good things about this bike, but I’ve heard it gets awful mpg’s.

    • John Krause

      Not terrible, but not like an ADV bike. I can usually squeeze around 150 from the tank depending on how I ride, which is usually 80mph on the highway. If you’re more tame it would last a bit longer. After the fuel light comes on you have around 30 miles left. No fuel gauge is a pain, but I haven’t run into any issues with running out of gas.

      • Brian

        My mileage experience is similar, but it varies a little bit with how spirited I am with the throttle, but happily so.

    • Dom

      Now there s a great idea Sean : two future articles based on user feedback : ten worst fuel guzzling bikes and The top fuel efficient bikes of the last decade or for current bikes etc…

      • sean macdonald

        An awesome idea if mnfr’s actually released accurate numbers.

        • yakimushi

          I’ve found this to be a pretty good resource. My Street Triple R is right in line with the rest of the reports on the site.

          • sean macdonald

            I love their site, but it’s really only effective if you have specific models in mind.

            • jonoabq

              Speed Triple 1050, 40ish MPG if you stick to the bottom half of the rev range (which is easy to do commuting). 4.6 gallon tank can easily go from Albuquerque to Taos on twisties while riding like, well…you know. 50ish MPG on the highway.
              Post your ride of choice #’s here and we’ll add em’ up.

  • DaveDawsonAlaska

    DRZ400SM, or a KTM 690 SMC. Get a second set of dirt wheels and have no boundaries.

    • Piglet2010

      Except you cannot buy a new KTM 690 SMC anymore in the US. But it may come back with new “clothes” as the Husqvarna 701.

  • Jack Meoph

    I was asking myself this question for the past year. After tearing my left shoulder up, the 2009 Kawi ZX-6R had to go. No more sport bikes for me……:(. So I began the search …….I dismissed the Triumph Street Triple, not because it wasn’t in the parameters, but because I’d already owned 2 Hinkley Triumphs (still have the 2001 Sprint RS, more on that l8r) and wanted something else. Z1000? Nope, too much bike (I had the ZX-6R, and I have a 2012 Kawi 250r in the garage as well, so no more Kawi’s). Yamanail FZ-8? Capable and had a great OTD price on one…………..fracking ugly insectoid bike, like so many of the Japanese bikes today. Honda’s new 500 line? eh (I’ve got the 250r). NX700? blah. Nothing that Honda has lights the spark, they’re all practical and boring. Suzuki? ummm Gladius is actually not too bad a bike. Sat on one and it felt waaaay better than the Kawi 650 or the Yamanail FZ-6R, but lacks something in the aesthetics, can’t quite put my finger on it. So no to the Japanese. MotoGuzzi, find a dealer. Aprilia, good luck getting parts. BMW: Do they even have a model that fits in here? So Ducati……..nothing but praise for the Multi, but too much $$$$, on to the Monsters….796 ABS, ah yes, there you are my pretty.

    So my choice is…..The Triumph Sprint RS!!!! Designed to compete with the Honda VFR back at the turn of the century, this dismissed, under selling, do-it-all bike remains in the garage while others come and go, and the reason is because I haven’t found any other bike that will do everything this bike does with nary a problem. Run the canyons, yep, the 955i triple develops 108 hp, 71 fp torque. With risers (installed), higher wind screen(haven’t needed it), you can commute or tour anywhere. Carry a pillion, no problem..plenty of room and power for comfortable two-up riding (Sargent saddle, thankyouverymuch). I’ve had mine since new, 13 years, and I’ve done scheduled maintenance, and the only problem so far was a leaking clutch cover gasket (last year) that was easy to repair. The suspension is adequate, and the brakes are good. Mirrors are iffy, lights suck (changed to high intensity bulbs, yeah), but other than that, the bike is worthy, and they are very cheap on the used market. 40+ mpg no matter how you ride it (tank gives you 200+ mile range). Insurance is cheap, and the 955i is a solid engine.

    • CruisingTroll

      I assume you had the fuel system recall done? If not, do so.

      They are great bikes though, I’m tempted to pick one up again…

  • APG7

    What bar riser kit did you use? I’m trying to do the same thing with my janky CBR.

    • bammerburn

      The top triple was drilled, and simple bolt on risers and the Renthal bar were installed.

  • blackcayman

    Maybe Yamaha will release an FZ-09 “R” with upgraded suspension and brakes (a’la the Speed Triple “R”)…. Until then, its that Triumph
    or….maybe you would prefer a little lighter, sharper & less powerful version called the Street Triple R???
    or you love electric lime green Kwackers – Z1000
    or you’re a HONDAphile – CB1000
    or you like an ultra lightweight single – The KTM Duke 690
    or maybe you need a $2,000 bike – a nice used Suzuki SV650
    there are a lot of right answers – you just have to nail down what is the most important aspect and work backwards into a bike that stirs you & one you can afford – Unless you’re a prince – then buy one of each

  • Jesse

    Take a (preferable older, beat up) supersport, improve the ergos with bar risers (or VFR bars on a CBR, like I’ve got), and stick a GIVI rack on the back. Everyone wins.


      I did exactly that with my trusty Honda Superhawk. Just the bars and a fly screen totally transformed it. It was called Godzilla because it was a Japanese Monster nyuk nyuk. As you might guess from my handle, I’m an extremely contented Striple R owner these days. Couldnt sell the Honda until I turned it back into Superduperhawk.

  • Joe Bielski

    That is AWESOME!!!

    • bammerburn

      Good to see that my bike is causing excitement :P

  • Chris McAlevy

    I’m also interested in more info on your handlebars. I’m thinking about raising the bars on my gsxr 750 for more comfortable ergos.

    • APG7

      Spiegler makes kits I was going to use for mine. Expensive, but appears to be very high quality

  • Ecki

    Who the f*** needs “uncompromising Performance” on the Street ? Ride a Supermoto instead. Much better control, ergonomics and much much more FUN ! =;-))))

    • John Diamond

      Amen brother. Supermoto’s are unbeatable for fun… I owned a DRZ and bought a Street Triple R because I thought I’d appreciate the better travel ability / carrying passengers / having more power… I still have the DRZ. I don’t have the STR anymore

    • enzomedici

      Everyone needs uncompromising performance on the street. It doesn’t matter if you can accelerate or brake on a race track, you just lose the race, but that is life and death on the street.

  • devillock

    Any streetfighter or SM. Lighter ST bikes can do it too.

  • MikeC

    Hey I change my faired 636s’ oil in 20 minutes too! ..when I don’t change the oil filter.

  • Geoff Bowen

    I’m glad there’s no ‘right’ answer to this one, otherwise we’d all be riding the same bike. Be it a dualsport, a naked, a full on supersport / superbike, my question is this: Can you have fun legally on it and can you ride it all day in comfort? I never managed either on an 1198…

  • sospeedy

    Triumph Speed Triple R. Great in the twisties, but I’ve also gone on 7-day multi-state tours on it (with a Ventura pack added). Love it!

  • Doug Erickson

    honda cb1000r. great tuning on the i4 for low-end, amazing suspension, low weight and cog, combined abs for stop/go panic moments. runner up: kwak z1000.

  • sean macdonald
    • kevin

      Hey Sean, I’m the Kevin that submitted this AskRideApart Question, how was the Hypermotard on the freeway? I’ve got family about 300 miles away that I go visit a couple times a summer. I’m also a little concerned about the 35 inch seat height being 5’10, but I’d love to try one out.

      • kevin

        Just re-read your hypermotard review… looks like an awesome bike but the quote “pretty brutal above 70mph” sorta puts it out of the running for me.

        • sean macdonald

          The touring windscreen from the Hyperstrada changes everything. It’s a straight swap with the one on the Hypermotard (as is the touring seat) and diverts just enough air off of your chest that you’re no longer a sail, while still allowing clean air to hit your helmet. I wouldn’t tour the country on it, but it’s perfect for what you’re looking for.

          • kevin

            Thanks for the input Sean (and Wes)… I definitely need to go ride a Hyper. I’ll definitely shop around though, there’s a lot of nice bikes out there for 15 grand.

        • Wes Siler

          What Sean says. I’d go for the Hyper Evo SP, then bolt on the ‘Strada seat and fit the touring screen any time I was planning a trip.

        • John Tiedjens

          I love the idea of SM bikes but for real street riding of any distance wich is generally required to reach remote twisties .. they just don’t have the legs. Also out on the long Byways of Nor-Cal we generally cruise at 80+ for long stretches. As an avid dirt rider SM’s are really appealing until you consider their limitations on the street.

      • sospeedy

        I have seen reviews that say the bike falls apart out of the canyons… Not good for touring. That said, depends on what’s important for YOU. Lots would say a Speed Triple (or any naked bike) is not good for touring, but I love it. It’s fine up to about 75 then it gets pretty windy (again, like any unfaired bike would be)! What about a Yamaha FZ1 Fazer (partly faired version, with R1 motor, comfy, tourable, and reasonable price)? Best ride your short list before deciding…. Good luck!

        • sean macdonald

          Who’s word you taking over ours?!

          • sospeedy

            The guilty shall remain nameless!! Don’t get me wrong Sean, I love the look and idea of that Duck. Would strongly consider it if looking to buy, but nothing will pry me away from my current machine…for now! But that new Monster is mighty tempting!!!!

  • Ben Barbeau

    Keith Code wrote an article a couple years ago advocating the old adage of “no replacement for displacement” for street use, while the 600 level type bikes should stay to the track, I’m completely paraphrasing here. I looked all through Motorcyclist Magazines search to find the article, but failed.

    • Stuki

      I simply don’t understand that mantra. Every big engined bike I’m aware off, uses all that big engine torque to pull silly high gears, which makes them less suitable as an alround street bike in my estimation.

      On the street, as in city to freeway to canyon, I want a 1st that goes to between 50 and 60, so you can jump solidly ahead of any surface street traffic before shifting. Beyond that, all higher gearing buys you is the requirement to clutch slip in tight traffic and the awkwardness of having to preform 2nd-to 1st to 2nd in exactly the tight environs where you’d rather not have to deal with that. But I’m no Keith Code, so perhaps what I’m ex[experiencing is just the result of a skills deficiency.

  • Harve Mil

    In this order:

    1. 2014 KTM 1290R (Get the Akra and upgraded suspension)
    2. 2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R ABS (everything you’ve always loved but now with a reasonable range)
    3. 2014 BMW S1000R with the electronic suspension
    4. 2012 Used Ducati Streetfighter S. (Cheap, Ohlins, forged wheels, TC, etc)
    5. 2014 Triumph Speed Triple SE (love the grey and blue)
    6. 2013 KTM 990 Super Duke
    7. 2012 Used MV Agusta Brutale 1090R

    • Archie

      Ridden all of those, have you?

      • Harve Mil

        Obviously not as 1 and 3 are not even available yet. Still, I know what I like and now you do too.

  • Speedo007

    Speed Triple has got to be up there, comfy, agile and lots of torque.

  • Kr Tong

    It has been/still is the sv650.

  • Dustin

    One that get’s you home with a smile.

  • Piglet2010

    No issues with engine vibration on the freeway?

    • jeremyobryan

      That’s actually a good question, P. Under pretty strong acceleration, the Ninja 1000 begins to buzz around 6500-ish rpm, and seems to buzz harder as you hold the throttle open. But I haven’t accessed that a whole lot yet, especially in top gear. My commute, which is about 12 miles of freeway, I do at 55-75 mph, sometimes 80, which corresponds to around 4500-6500 rpm (I think). I notice the buzz under acceleration when I’m sporting it up, but never notice it on my commutes, probably because I’m operating the motor just shy of any issues. If I commuted at higher speeds, I might be compelled to grab a new sprocket. Although I don’t really have a problem day-to-day, riding this bike hard makes my wife’s Street Triple feel like butter.

    • Bob

      Only vibration I get is around 6500-7000, otherwise the bike is pretty smooth.

  • Brian

    V Strom 650, as you get great torque for the twisties, good highway speed, and reasonable fuel mileage and range, as well as comfortable do it all ergonomics! Customize it with your preference of luggage or cargo attachments and hit the road for as long as you desire.

  • Brian

    I love my SMT and while it isn’t quite as sexy as the 2013 pictured here, it still stands out, with or without my Givi bags on it!

    • John Tiedjens

      Great bike and I believe it can even do some minor dual sporting.

  • Stuki

    Awesome! That Street Triple like kneebend is a bit tough on some us older folks, though……..

    • bammerburn

      My rearsets are stock. It’s just about comfortable for me, but now that I’m entering my thirties I can see that I will want adjustable ones soon.

  • pdad13

    Nary a bad pick in this entire comment section.
    We live in a golden era.

    • John Tiedjens

      I agree…. the choices we have of a myriad of amazing machines that will do everything we want well beyond most of our skills or capacity is marvelous! You could blindfold yourself and pick one and the worst you do is excellent!

  • John Tiedjens

    I love this bike… our local KTM has one set up to even do some minor dual sporting. So capable on so many levels. Great bike! Love KTM…. those guys never stop exploring the options and with such fantastic results.

    • John Krause

      Do you know which tires it has? The only dual sports I’ve found to fit are the K60s, but I’m pretty sure I’d have to remove the front fender to get them on.

  • Kr Tong

    service intervals for any suzuki isn’t 6000 km.

    • Glenn59

      Check this link – Suzuki’s specify fairly constant maintenance for their bikes compared to many other brands. Japanese bikes tend to have long valve maintenance intervals but very short oil and general check intervals unlike the Europeans.

      • Kr Tong

        Gsxr: 4k mile oil change. 10k mile filter.
        Daytona 675: oil & filter 6k
        Cbr600rr: oil & filter 8k
        Ducati 848 oil & filter 7.5 k
        There’s no meaningful difference here.

  • Lord Triumph

    I had a 2011 Street Triple R which I sold to get a Speed Triple R. The Street was the better street and every day bike IMO.

    • sospeedy

      I am curious as to why you pick the Street over the Speed?

      • Archie

        From my viewpoint, the running costs and increased agility of the Street make it a better daily bike than the Speed. Sure, the torque and power of the Speed are great fun, but it’s a little harder to maneuver around, particularly at low speeds.

      • Lord Triumph

        When I bought the Street I was moving from 1000cc I4 japs to 600cc (ish) so the Speed was not one I was considering. Being 95 kgs the Street struggled a bit when pushed. I moved to the Speed for the extra torque and fully adjustable Ohlins while maintaining similar ergos to the Street.

  • Ulysses Araujo

    What about the Diavel? Seen guys ride with supersports in track and reports saying it’s a blast on the winding roads. Can even go off road:
    But can it handle heavy traffic?

  • John Diamond

    Some bigger capacity supermoto like street bikes would be a good thing for sure. The KTM 990 SMT and Hypermotard are good examples. I also think some more around the 600cc mark would be perfect. Not too heavy but also some more power for those that like going over 60… I’m just happy to get from 0-60 and around corners as fast as possible. Too many cops and camera’s here in Oz these days to do anything else on the street

  • sean macdonald

    i wanna ride it.

  • Justin McClintock

    SV1000S with a set of helibars. Done.

  • Tomáš Procházka

    Kawasaki Z1000SX best compromise. Cocktail Ninja10 and Z1000. Weather protection, riding as a sport 1000 and is not as heavy as zzr 1400, behavior as naked. Hi from Czech republic :)

  • Zach McD

    Here’s a question for you guys – I’m actually in the market for my next bike and I have a choice between a new FZ-09 or a leftover 2012 Street Triple R. They are very comparable in price (STR is $300 more, possibly could be talked lower).

    Which would you guys choose and why?

  • Kr Tong

    Learn to read and shut up you internet wannabe.

    • pdad13

      Fine argument, which confirms all suspicions. How about you figure out what you’re talking about before you spout off? You were wrong from your first comment considering it appears you don’t know the difference between a base ST and an STR. And learn what “exponential” means.

      If there’s anyone who’s a wannabe, it’s you, Mr. Corner Speed.

      • Kr Tong

        $600 is three times more than I’ll ever pay for forks. Daytona are also not $600. They’re $200, but you’ll spend a lot of time finding them.
        There’s no such thing as high/low rebound.
        You don’t need a spec’d out bike for the track. You just need to be able to adjust your suspension.
        Everything else you posted is garbage that doesn’t matter.

        • pdad13

          The problem is that it’s incredibly hard to follow your logic. Either you’re being imprecise or you’re just moving goalposts. Your comments read something like this redux:

          You: A Speed Triple has nonadjustable suspension and is much more expensive to own. Parts are exponentially more expensive.

          Response (from several people): But the Street Triple R has fully adjustable suspension. Parts and labor are about the same as Japanese bikes.

          You: But it’ll be expense to upgrade the suspension. And I do a lot of track days. Used parts are exponentially more expensive. All European bikes are much more expensive to own than Japanese bikes.

          Response (me): Why would you need to upgrade the suspension on an STR? And most people don’t buy used parts or do their own wrenching, so the cost is not important to almost everyone who buys these bikes.

          You: Because you need fully adjustable suspension.

          Response: Which the STR has. So…?

          You: For track days. I do a lot of track days.

          Response: Aaannnd, the STR has it. It’ll be fine at a track day. And everywhere else.

          You: … a stock 675R front end is $1700. That’s crazy.

          Response: You need a 675R front end for track days?

          You: Yes, for higher corner speed. And for commuting. And in the canyons.

          Response: I think what you saw is the D675R front end, which has Ohlins forks and Brembo monoblocks. I don’t think you need it. You could buy base Daytona forks for a lot less with no mods.

          You: Shut up. You’re stupid.

          Response: Well, okay. I think I’ll decline.

          You: Daytona forks are three times more expensive than what I pay ($200). See, you made my point! Exponentially more expensive. But Daytona forks are only $200, too; they’re just harder to find. And you don’t need a spec’d out track bike. The fast guy rides a beater.

          Response: Huh?? Okay, well, I agree that you don’t need it. I said that already. I’ve not seen good Daytona forks go for less than about $400 give or take for first-gen ones. They’re usually more than $200, I’ll give you that…I think. Newer forks usually go for more, especially on the owners’ forums because they don’t come from salvage yards. But if you can get ‘em for $200, God bless ya. Again, the cost of used parts is nearly irrelevant for most people.

          You: There’s no such thing as high and low speed rebound.

          Response: Yes, you’re right. I should have written it “High and low speed compression adjustment and rebound adjustment,” if that’s clearer. That was sloppy. I was trying to work while also engaging in this stimulating conversation. But it really has no bearing, anyway.

          You: Everything you posted that challenged my view is garbage.

          Response: No, not quite. It’s just that trying to figure out what you’re trying to say is difficult at best. The way I’ve characterized it might not have been what you meant to say, but what you actually said is about as clear as mud.

          • Kr Tong

            Stop typing.

            • pdad13

              Start being coherent.

              • Kr Tong

                You don’t need a 675r front end for corner speed. You need an adjustable suspension if you want the same bike for canyons and around town, and on the track.

  • VagrantCoyote

    Love it, would love to have a project like that someday. I guess the only downside is you are still stuck with the high insurance of a supersport. Nice work!