2014 Yamaha FZ-09 - $7,990
The FZ-09 is on the sportier side of our list, but we were impressed with its ergonomics and great gas mileage and felt it deserved a spot on the list. The 847 cc triple makes a modest 115 hp and 65 lbs.-ft. in one of the flattest torque curves we’ve seen. Despite having such a fun engine, the FZ-09 gets 40-45 mpg and, if that wasn’t enough of a savings, the bike itself retails for only $7,990. The seating position is upright to a degree that its comfortable, while just forward enough that I wasn’t turned into a sail. I even found it to be the perfect angle to use the wind to hold my 6-ft. frame up without much work. While the engine of the Yamaha is beautiful, the fueling needs a re-map to deal with being a tad jerky, and the suspension needs an upgrade if you’re really going to put it through the paces. Still, if you’re looking to ride a few hours to have fun on a nice road for cheap, this is your jam.
2013 Honda CB1000R - $11,760
This de-tuned version of Honda’s CB1000RR makes for a brilliant all-rounder, though is slightly less sophisticated compared to Kawasaki’s Ninja 1000 and its fancy traction control. We spent some time on the CB1000R and were impressed with both its comfort over long periods of time and how much it made us want to misbehave. We’d be hard pressed to choose the Honda over the Kawasaki in this category, but have no problems should you choose to do so.
2013 Suzuki Hayabusa - $14,399
Yes, I’m aware the purpose of this list was to discuss things that were fast and yet still comfortable, thus ruling out sport bikes. The thing is, the Hayabua is actually really comfortable (and this is coming from a guy who’s very rarely comfortable). We did a 190-mile loop for the launch of the 2013 Suzuki Hayabusa, something that normally would have me wincing with wrist, knee, and back pain but, after a full day of riding, I was ready to go back out and do it again. Obviously, the Busa is big as far as sport bikes go and, if you read my review, you’ll see we also found the brakes to be a little too squishy; both making the Hayabusa not as canyon capable as its 600 cc or 1000 cc counterparts. Regardless, it’s still a whole lot faster and more fun to ride on twisty roads than most bikes, while surprisingly capable on the long haul.
How far do you typically tour to get to your favorite twisty road? Which of the bikes on this list do you think does the job best?
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