Flame on me all you want for the click-baity title, but hear me out. Earlier this week I saw a rider coming in my direction from the opposite side of traffic. As he passed, I noticed he was aboard a brand new Yamaha R1. He seemed content as he went by, but I couldn’t help but wonder if he made the right choice for his needs. As it turned out, I saw him again the following day, turning right onto another street, twisting the grip and letting the crossplane crank sing a little before shifting. While I didn’t see his face, I’m sure he cracked at least a passing grin afterward.

2014 Super Streetfighter Smackdown + Video

I had the same reaction when I turned onto the same road a few weeks earlier on the R1 during our 2015 Superbike Street Test. Not long afterwards, however, I couldn’t help but have the opposite reaction when I realized just how racer-centric the Yam’s ergos are. The bars are low, pegs kinda high, and it played havoc on my wrists and lower back only two miles into my first time riding it on the street – and I still had 38 more miles to go! We’ve gone on and on about the ergos of the six different literbikes we sampled recently, but you know what? Even though I voted the BMW S1000RR the best streetable superbike around, honestly, I wouldn’t pick any sportbike as my primary streetbike.

I’d love to own the new R1, but not if it was my only motorcycle.

I’d love to own the new R1, but not if it was my only motorcycle.

It’s been said for a while now, and our latest test really brought this point to light: if you’re one of the roughly 98% of people who buy a contemporary sportbike – any of them – and ride it solely on the street, if you ask me, you bought the wrong bike.

2014 Ultimate Streetfighter Finale + Video

Don’t get me wrong; sportbikes, no matter the displacement, are a riot in their intended environment – the racetrack. Going as fast as you possibly can, scraping a knee on the ground, and maybe even an elbow, passing and dicing as you go, is incredibly fun. Hell, it’s what got me hooked on the sport. But think about it: each of the six literbikes we recently tested has a more road-focused sibling – the Aprilia Tuono 1100, BMW S1000R, Ducati Monster 1200 (and formerly the Streetfighter 1098), Honda CB1000R, Kawasaki Ninja 1000 and Yamaha FZ1 (and FZ-09). Keep in mind this list doesn’t even include similar offerings from other manufacturers.

The reason these bikes exist is simple, and it all goes back to the title of this very piece: Sportbikes Are Terrible … on the street, anyway. What the Super Naked (that just sounds wrong)/Streetfighter class offers are killer engines, taut suspensions, great brakes and nearly the same electronics as full-fledged supersports, in an ergonomic package that won’t kill your wrists two miles into a 40-mile ride, and yet will still allow you to get your boogie on in the twisties and even the occasional trackday.

What’s not to love about the KTM Super Duke R? It’s shockingly powerful, blisteringly fast, and best of all, it’s all-day comfortable!

What’s not to love about the KTM Super Duke R? It’s shockingly powerful, blisteringly fast, and best of all, it’s all-day comfortable!

Maybe as I’m getting older I’m getting (ahem) wiser, but despite the enormous fun and affection I have for track-dominating motorcycles, the only way I’d fork over my own money for one is if I had something entirely more comfortable and practical to ride during the every day. In fact, recently a Suzuki Boulevard M50 cruiser was sharing space next to the Ducati 1299 Panigale S at my abode. Guess which one got more seat time. Hint: it wasn’t the red one.

2014 KTM Super Duke R Review – First Ride

It wasn’t always this way, of course. After getting my motorcycle endorsement I went and bought a sportbike, ignorant to the more comfortable options I had at my disposal. Had the example above with the race replica and cruiser occurred a decade ago, I freely admit the Ducati would have been my go-to choice every time. Nothing else really mattered for me anyway. I was excited and had wrists that weren’t burdened by the rigors of typing behind a keyboard all the time. But this job has given me the benefit of sampling a variety of bikes from nearly all categories, and it’d be a shame if I didn’t pass on at least a little of what I’ve experienced to those who’ll rarely, if ever, see a racetrack, yet insist on buying a repli-racer.

072015-trizzles-take-sportbikes-are-terrible-ktm-super-duke-r-track072015-trizzles-take-sportbikes-are-terrible-ktm-super-duke-r-street

Compared to supersports, the streetfighter category is filled with bikes I’d much rather ride to the track, do a trackday, then ride home.

2016 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR First Ride Review

So there’s the cold, hard truth. I’d love to own a S1000RR, RSV4 RF, Ducati 1299 Panigale S, and even the new Yamaha R1 – but I’d personally only really enjoy it if I were wringing its neck trying to go as fast as I could around a track. But that doesn’t mean I want something boring on the street, either. My more sensible chariot of choice? Give me a KTM Super Duke R and a full tank of gas, and to me, I’ll have the best of both worlds.

  • Brian Whipple

    Good take. I agree, and its one of the many reasons I just bought a Tuono V4 APRC. Sportbike performance, but with much greater versatility and practicality.

    • TroySiahaan

      I’ve never doubted your taste in vehicles, B-Whip!

  • Old MOron

    You’re preaching to the choir, here. Amen!

  • Alan Golightly

    agreed; ninja 1000 here.

  • john phyyt

    Come on; come on Yamaha. I have an Fz 09 ( Love it!)and I’m just waiting for the FZ 111( remember the F-111 fighter/bomber: Get it : Multi purpose fighter) or whatever : Light; very powerful; triple with great suspension electrics and sorted EFI.

    • fastfreddie

      Maybe get a flex-bar streetfighter,where the bars go lower automatically at a certain speed 😀

      Love that F-111.Proper fighter-bomber.Do the USAF still use it?

      • BDan75

        Nope. I think the Australians might, though.

        • DxvxD

          We retired them in 2013. Awesome plane with those dump and burns it could do. We have F-18 Hornets now

  • Ducati Kid

    Troy,

    Better still an attractive KTM 1290 ‘Super Duke’ R with GIVI Bags –

    An Austrian ‘Sport Tourer’ in Orange …

  • BDan75

    2014 Z1000 here. No question, streetfighter is the way to go. Every once in a while I see the superbike specs and envy those extra horses…but then I remember that I’m usually grinning like an idiot and half-scared by the time I hit 8,000 rpm anyway.

    • Scott Silvers

      Indeed – the only thing more HP will get most people is extra speeding tickets (speed awards). Which is why I’ve self-limited myself to lower HP bikes for the sake of my sanity and drivers license (clean record!). I find that I get more enjoyment wringing the neck of a lower HP bike on the street than trying to sneak in speed blasts on a mega HP bike. My ego can handle it, but it’s a struggle. Glad we have choices!

  • Mad4TheCrest

    Some of us own Sportbikes for the look and feel of the things, with no concern for practicality. And some of these bikes are expensive enough not to want to risk at a track day. But most of us who own such bikes have a daily rider in the garage too.

  • CNLyda

    Not sure I entirely agree, I have an R6 for school, no it’s not an R1, but it’s a sport bike. I think it’s oppinion, I like knowing that when I want, I can twist the wrist and take corners others can’t. I like dual sports, but i love being on the bike and imagining I’m mark marquez as I go round boring city streets. It’s all about how it makes you feel

    • DaveA

      You can’t go any faster anywhere on your R6 than you could go on an FZ-09 (with a shock). You can imagine that you’re Marc Marquez and be comfortable at the same time :) True story!

      Hey, there’s nothing wrong with liking what you like, but it’s not a performance thing.

      • Stuki

        “You can’t go any faster anywhere on your R6 than you could go on an FZ-09…”

        Yes, you can. At least comfortably. At 110 the R6 is just hitting it’s stride, steady as a missile; while on the FZ, you’re either about to blow off the back of the bike or being blown off the road.

  • SRMark

    AARP needs to sponsor a Super Duke race series. Why not have comfort on the track too?

  • allworld

    I love my Triumph Street Triple and for good reason, it’s light, agile, comfy and fun. There is a lot that can be said for bikes used for their intended purpose.

  • di0genes

    I agree that new sportbikes are a poor choice for the street, but back in 1985, Yamaha’s RZ350 and FJ1100 were considered to be pretty hard core sport bikes, along with Ninjas and Interceptors. I owned both of those Yamahas, and they were all day bikes, I got my Iron butt saddlesore and and bun burner certificates on the FJ. The less radical ergos with full fairings made them that way. I wouldn’t want to do 1500 miles in 36 hours on an unfaired no windshield naked bike. Come to think of it, after I did it once, I pretty much decided I didn’t need to do it again :-) Today those bikes would be classed as sport touring I suppose, and would still be a good choice for the long ride.

    • Paragon Lost

      Yep, sports touring would be an on the nose description of the 1980s FJ1100 and 1200s. What a powerful, comfortable bike of the time. My 750 Interceptor and GSX-R 750R felt rather harsh after spending time on an FJ.

  • kenneth_moore

    Could the new ADV version of BMW’s S1000R be the best of both worlds? “All the sugar and twice the caffeine?”

    For me the FJ-09 is; 90% of the BMW’s capability and features at 50% of the price.

    • Ducati Kid

      KM,

      How’s about a BMW ‘F900RAM’ (Concept) motorcycle?

      It 900cc ROTAX ‘Testastretta’ (105 H.P. – 73 Ft. Lb. Torque), Tractive while Smooth propelled, an AM (Automatic-Manual) Clutch-Gearbox affords ‘Stall Free’ operation, Brembo Brakes with A.B.S. and Sachs Electronic Suspension.

      Admittedly a Concept, however, contains BMW production components.

      Imagine a motorcycle for EVERYONE from Berlin?

      • kenneth_moore

        It looks good to me. In fact, aside from the exhaust, it looks a lot like the FZ-09 the FJ is based on. I just wonder about the price; BMW means “Bring Money in big Wads.” Or something like that.

        • Ducati Kid

          KM,

          Berlin was FIRST by years!

          The 2015 BMW ‘F800R’ retails for $9,950 (U.S.).

          Including an upgraded 900cc Engine with AM (Clutch-Gearbox) costs it should be ‘nearby’ as this represents shared ‘F Series’ components and technology.

  • Reid

    The trouble with the more street-friendly super nakeds or standards or whatever is that in most cases they use last-gen engines, worse or at least down-market suspension and braking componentry, etc. instead of the latest and greatest stuff their supersports family members get. I like EBR’s approach best. Just take the fairings off the supersport and attach handlebars instead of clip-ons and you’re good to go. There are plenty of good options out there in the super standard class but many of them (I’m looking at you, Z1000) are simply too big, too heavy and (like the Super Duke 1290) too powerful and too expensive to be realistically desirable for a large portion of the motorcycling population. A naked Ninja 636 would be a done deal for me, just as a Street Triple R is an enticing proposition.

    • DaveA

      Ride a Tuono, Now,

      • Stuki

        I did. Finally. After riding an S1000R and a Superduke several times each. Then went and bought a 636. Despite a seemingly racy position, I find it far more comfortable than both the BMW (bars so wide you ride around like you’re crucified) and Tuono (equally wide bars, but in addition pegs high enough that you’re not just crucified, but crucified with your heels nailed to your rear.) The KTM is comfy despite pegs a bit too rearset but, compared to the 636, about as exciting as an agricultural appliance on roofies.

        For seemingly ever, it was considered a truism that the 600s were the Goldilocks class for the vast majority of street riders looking for a sporty bike. And while developments in the class may have been stagnant long enough to vanish from the radar of the new-new-thing mc press, that truism is still that. On Q3s or “lesser” tires, at anything even resembling a sane (not saying legal, just sane) street speeds, the 636 handles quicker, has more road feel, sounds better, is more lively, and even is more comfortable, than any of the liters, whether faired or naked.

        • Evan

          I totally agree with your comment! I just went from a 2013 Ninja 650, which I put 24,500km on in 2.5 seasons, to a 2014 ZX636. I don’t find the 636 any less comfortable than the 650 sport/touring bike, even on my regular 600-800km day rides. The 636 s lighter, much smoother on the throttle, and handles much better. The 650 had me riding to the max of its abilities (suspension, peg position) whereas the 636 now allows me to ride how I need to with some overhead (suspension is worlds better for example)

  • Theo Estarija

    Love this article, only because it wasn’t until my late 30’s that I realized how painful the race replica ergonomics felt on long ride. After 3 decadss an 3 race bikes with clip on bars, I finally got a streetfighter. Low and behold, it turned out to be the Ducati Streetfighter 848. I even got new bars to improve the ero; the stock bars were pretty agreesive and not from from clip ons. Long story short, I can ride all day without neck and wrist pains.

  • Andrew Capone

    Spot on. I read this minutes after I spent a lovely hour wandering around a multi- brand dealership in NJ. They have every brand save for BMW and Triumph, and I left with the Super Duke and Tuono at the top of the list of marriage- ender purchases. Give me a well- used Daytona 675 for the track- only garage slot.

  • Michael Mccormick

    Owned a 93 Cbr900rr, a 97 TL1000s, and a 99 Daytona 955i and won’t say they were comfy or practical but I sure enjoyed them commuting to work and short trips, and on twisty roads with good straightaways. I was under 40 then but now I’m 65 and enjoy my slow and porky Triumph Scrambler. Bought a 300 Ninja and enjoyed it immensely, last year . I’d buy a Ninja 1000, not the ZX10 if the insurance was more reasonable.

  • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

    Ah, Trizzie…when I first met you at some press event years ago, you were the FNG at Rider, fresh out of college. Now you’re writing grumpy old man columns. What does that make me?

    • TroySiahaan

      REALLY old? 😉

      • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

        What does that make Burns?

        • TroySiahaan

          Jesus?

          • James Stewart

            God is older than Jesus. That would make Burns… GOD.

          • Diesel Driver

            God is NOT older than Jesus. Read Genesis 1.1 and John 1.1.

          • James Stewart

            I defer to the experts on this – must have been all those “Son of God” references that tripped me up. No matter, I’m sure I’ve seen Jesus at Mid Ohio – he was holding the “No, really, you need to brake NOW” marker coming into Mid Ohio Turn 6.

  • Patrick

    I own a 2011 S1000rr for the past four years and guess what, it is my daily commuter and sometimes track bike! I have ridden everything from Harleys (painted farm equipment) to sport touring bike, but I wouldn’t give up the S1000RR as a day to day or track bike. Funny after learning a few tricks, I don’t experience the discomfort the article’s author speaks about, it is more about riding style and technique, then it is about the bike.

  • http://www.livecollarfree.com/ James Schipper

    What manner of blasphemy is this? I happen to know you’ve taken a lot of blows to the head over the years, but you’re still just a spry kid to me 😀 #wishingIcouldstillrideergonomicallyunpleasantsportbikesforhoursatatimetoo

    • TroySiahaan

      Troy from 10 years ago wouldn’t recognize the Troy who wrote that piece. Oh, and #nicehashtagbro

  • almazing

    Do you even lift, Bro? Do you even cardio, Bro? Do you even yoga, Bro? Do you even leg day, Bro?

    Yes, sportbikes are inherently uncomfortable. Being in decent shape(no dad-bod) and proper riding position will alleviate the pain. I have a 2014 RSV4R. Now for the common, average person, such a machine would bring some pain and aches while riding longer distances. I’m 29 years old and in pretty good shape. My workouts are varied and I focus on strengthening my core, endurance, and flexibility. I can ride my RSV4 for 2 hours non-stop, and the only reason I would stop is to get fuel and hydrate. After a 5 minute break, I’d be back on it again until I need to refuel. I experience no pain. No aches on the wrist or the lower back. No condemning my bike’s racy riding position.

    I don’t commute with my bike. Sticky tires are too expensive to relegate them to mundane tasks such as commuting. Long distance rides for me usually constitute a ride to the mountains in West NC. And it’s a good 4 hours away from where I live. My bike is a weekend and track day toy. That being said, even if I owned a Tuono V4 or any other supernaked, I’d STILL get Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa V2s for them. And it STILL would be a weekend/trackday toy.

    To me, the tires dictate how I ride my bike. And I love(LOVE) expensive, sticky tires so I only ride my bike in a sporting manner. People love sportbikes because they have a certain appeal about them. Granted, most of them can’t even ride them properly, it’s still their choice of bike. Should someone not buy a Porsche GT3 because they’re supposedly racecars for the street? Hell no. I’d buy one in a heartbeat if I can afford one. People are going to buy what they want if they can afford it. If it’s a sportbike, then it’s a sportbike. Damn comfort and practicality.

    I plan to be in great shape for the rest of my life, so I only see myself riding sportbikes. Sportbikes are only uncomfortable if your ass is out of shape and don’t know how to properly mount them. Every time a fellow sportbike rider mentions that their wrists and lower back hurts, I’d ask them, “Do you even work out, Bro?” Riding a sportbike properly is physically demanding. If your body can’t keep up with the demands, go hit the gym.

    • Will

      You forgot to include the /s tag.

      That’s a “great story bro” story, for a minute there I thought you were serious! Hahaha on me, you got me. Well played!

  • Hugo Fonseca

    Can’t agree with this opinion piece. Here is my reasoning:

    The reason a lot of us drive motorcycles is purely emotional. We love the thrills and excitement these amazing machines give us. For most of us there is no logic or reason to riding motorcycles. Even for the ones that use the motorcycle as a daily commute for practical reasons all they really need is probably a scooter of sorts. Trying to reason that the perfect practical bike is some sort of super-naked is not any more reasonable than using a supersports type of bike for the same purpose.

    We all have our preferred bike types. We ride old oil leaking bikes, impractical “cafe racers”, arm-stretching cruisers, giant gold wings, all depending on what makes our hearts happy. Nothing to do with being “sensible”.

    During the last 5 years my (and the missus) garage held at one point a fz6-n, v7 racer, super tenere, streetfighter, mt-09, r6 and cbr1000rr. Funny enough the first 3 (sensible) ones where the ones sold.

    You might not be a fan of superbikes for all the reasons you mentioned, but don’t expect everyone else to feel the same. In the end that is the beauty of our passion and thankfully manufacturers cater to all of our tastes and needs. Hey, I can’t for the life of me understand why you would buy a trike instead of a convertible but does that mean they are not a valid option? As long as someone likes them (and is willing to buy them), they are as valid as any other vehicle in my book.

  • Bryant Neely

    You don’t have to buy a stripped weak bike. By riser clip one with higher bar and replace your pegs with adjustable. It’s not that hard to modify a bike to fit your needs. And it’s cheaper to buy the parts then a whole new bike.

  • Josh Vela

    I have my own reasons why i disagree with this article. I ride a 07′ r6 used as a daily commuter as well as a track and unfortunately ex canyon carver. No canyons in Texas.I have ridden it on 300+ mi. rides in a singular day only stopping for gas. I fortunately don’t experience the sore wrist or back you and some other riders do. Maybe due to age or physical shape I’m in not really sure. Another thing I’ve tried other style bikes and unfortunately due to a back injury sitting more upright causes problems for my back due to the pressure after 15 to 20 min. so a lot of bikes are out of the question.

  • CREGHermosa .

    I’ve owned Dozens of motorcycles and in my garage is a BMW S1000RR HP4, a 2014 BMW R1200GS, a Honda 450X, Ninja ZX10R and 250. While I love my R1200GS, keep in mind fun includes simply enjoying the bike you own. I can’t speak for your wrists hurting so quickly, but over the decades I’ve ridden my sport bikes on day trips in So. California that were 225 to 300 miles per day without a problem. Practical can get boring soon and practical is rarely a reason people buy motorcycles.

  • http://bikenode.com/ KR Tong

    couldnt be happier with my one horse stable.
    https://instagram.com/p/4-lVa5Qol8/

    • Stuki

      That thing is awesome…. One day, once they have sold an overcomplex, overly powerful and too expensive liter+ bike to all who could possibly want and afford one, the manufacturers will start hyping middleweights again. And perhaps by then, even that F4i of yours will be ready for a replacement. Or at least a stablemate.

      • http://bikenode.com/ KR Tong

        kindof a bummer the H2R isn’t selling in f4i numbers. Would REALLY love to find a crashed one of those in six years on craigslist. I don’t think many, if any, bikes are selling in f4i numbers nowadays. Maybe the KTM 390’s if I look internationally… i just dunno. The used parts listings for F4i’s is finally thinning out so I’m definitely looking for a stablemate/replacement. What do you think?

  • DaveA

    I couldn’t agree more. In 1987 I was 19, and had been riding for about 18 months. I did a few months on a 78 Hawk 400, then upgraded to a 77 CB750K (and wowowow was it fast!). I had a hankerin’ for a new bike, and thought the GSXR750 and Interceptor 700 were both super cool. Then I say on the Suzuki and said to myself “who the hell would want to ride this thing anywhere?” I bought the Honda, and the rest is history.

    Sporty bikes? Yes please. Sport Bikes? I’ll pass.

  • Paragon Lost

    Yup, I reached that same frame of mind twenty years ago. I love sports bikes and if I was a very wealthy man I’d have a few in a large garage that I could take out to a track and just have a great time. Sadly I am not so I tend to own one bike at a time, which has been the cruiser class of bikes. Again, I wish I could go all Jay Leno and own multiple bikes but I am not a very rich man.

  • Classax

    Trizzie I would invite you to take a romp aboard the 1190 RX, while it is a track focused superbike, its ergos and seat allow a very comfortable rider triangle with very little weight on the wrist.

    • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

      Troy wrote our First Ride review of the (then new) 1190RX. http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/buell/2014-ebr-1190rx-review-first-ride.html

      • TroySiahaan
        • Classax

          To your point, testing on a race track is not the same as commuting on the freeway. Part of Supersport riding requires correct body position. With the right position supersports are quite comfy and not taxing at all. It soon becomes a matter of the shape and comfort of the seat of which the EBR has a very good one.

          • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

            This is a revolutionary statement Classax. Perhaps you should inform the rest of the motorcycle industry of this discovery. Imagine all the resources saved by converting all those street bikes into supersports. One product line + optional luggage for everything from daily commutes to trans continental tours. I wonder why they ever bothered to make those other bikes, seems like such a waste. 😉

          • Classax

            Well Sean I’m not sure if you are intentionally being obtuse or genuinely missing the point. In response to the former I would jestingly retort ” All them California guys are wusses with bad body postion despite your nice roads getting all achy after just 2 miles.”

            To the latter, I was making the point that the EBR RX tends to buck the race bike torture rack trend which comes through on the street unlike the new R1. Either way I’m glad different people prefer different styles of machines, some more than others.

          • Stuki

            “One product line + optional luggage for everything from daily commutes to trans continental tours”

            VFR, ZX14……+ others

            A good amount of forward lean, combined with pegs not too rearset, allows the posterior chain to keep weight off the wrists. While keeping the back far enough from vertical to not have every bump hammer the disks like a more upright bike can do….

            For a bicyclist in good shape, a beach cruiser is hardly the most comfortable bike to ride around on.

          • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

            Believe it or not, the VFR isn’t so comfortable anymore. I just rode one 400 miles to Laguna Seca coupled with a Super Adventure 1290 and a BMW S1000 XR. The VFR was the worst handling bike of the three and so much less comfortable that every time one of us rotated onto it we swore in our helmets. It’s not a torture rack by any means, but isn’t even close when it comes to the comfort and control of a neutral riding position on a long ride.

  • Faceplant

    “it played havoc on my wrists”

    This I never understood. Aren’t your wrists flat and neutral and unweighted, regardless of what style of motorcycle you’re riding?

    The only people I hear complaining about their wrists on a sportbike are people with no muscles, who have to lean on their wrists to keep their face off the speedometer.

    • Stuki

      Finish a hard day of riding in the Santa Monicas with a romp down Tuna Canyon, and you’ll understand…..

      You make a good point, though. Lots and lots of sportbike discomfort can be mitigated by bicycling and deadlifting.

  • Bruce Steever

    Finally, a voice of reason speaks!

  • Meis3b

    I call these “mistress” bikes. Good for an occasional fling but you just can’t live with them. So what is to be done? I have found my “wife” in a 955 Triumph Sprint ST. Same great triple engine but much more ridable. In fact I just got back from 2500 miles in the Canadian Maritimes including the Cabot Trial. What a hoot!!

    • Jack Meoph

      I still have my Triumph Sprint RS that I bought new in 2001. A set of risers was added and it’s been dead reliable and comfortable for 50K miles. Other bikes have come and gone, and there are still a couple others out in the garage, but the Sprint RS will probably stay for as long as it’s running. The 955 engine is a sweet lump.

    • Fawkesdiplomacy

      for me, it’s an ’06 Triumph Tiger and a recent ’02 BMW 1150 RT. The Tiger is much sportier, faster and lighter than the BMW, but the BMW has a larger carrying capacity for when my better half wants to pack a steamer trunk of clothes for a long weekend.

      Both are very comfortable and fun despite having very different characteristics.

  • Bruce Almighty

    Another article with a click-bait title, stating the obvious. I just bought a new Aprilia RF. It’s an awesome bike. Powerful, agile and I love it. And it will never roll a tire on the street. Track only, where it’s meant to be. Just as I don’t ride my dirt bike on the highway..there’s no point. My Ducati Multistrada S is my street bike. Fast, comfortable and practical.

  • Jason Phung

    I like commuting on my sportbikes, their narrow profile and clipon bars makes lane splitting much easier.

    • Fawkesdiplomacy

      wish we had Lane Sharing/Splitting in Utah, loved it in So.Cal. My Rep introduced a bill in the 2014 session but it got shot down. He wouldn’t submit it again because he didn’t want to lose again.

      Utah is progressive the way cast iron motorcycles are progressive.

  • Sentinel

    Another “agree” here.

  • hasty hughie

    Troy this kind of polarizing writing sure provokes the opinions, but it is cheap journalism for sure. Why not just say folks who ride sport bikes on the street are immature overcompensating adrenaline wannabees and then later write that yard built hipsters do not need good bikes because they are posers who can’t ride very well anyway and that the practical riders and commuter crew are only one step up the evolutionary chain from scooter girls who have traded in their pink bowl helmets, polka dot tights and tutus for panniers and Hi viz vests and don’t even get me started on what might be said about cruisers, or gold wingers etc..Yeesh. I am 65 and ride everywhere, and I mean everywhere on my R1. Is it practical? No. Is it comfortable? Not really? Does it perform worse in many situations than many other bikes. Yes! But it is my bike and when I get on it,then that is the me of my imagination and this is my bike and I don’t care or think about what other people ride. So be honest, stop the cheap journalistic tricks unless that is who you are, because right now I am picturing you on a beat up ’57 Jawa 353 in your goggles and button fly levis, gasolina boots with a chrome bag full of left over tuna fish sandwiches on your way to get your word processor fixed. After all, that stuff is good enough for a moto journo who knows he is being provocative but writes this clap trap anyway. C’mon man put some real lead back in your pencil.

    • Ian Parkes

      Touchy!

  • hasty hughie

    PS let me add to my previous comment. A Jawa 353 is a cool bike, I very much endorse button fly levis and gasolina boots are truly great. Tuna fish sandwiches I can do without unless they are grilled with cheese from Clark Dairy on Whitney Ave with fries . So good! And word processors? well that was a cheap shot ‘cuz it is easy to be provocative and make good stuff look questionable which kind of goes to my point about being less polarizing.

  • 2chilled4u

    Thats why I sold my last sport bike and bought a Triumph Speed Triple R. Never been happier, found my biking niche at last! Can scratch a mountain pass when I want to, cruise down to the beach or tootle off to work. With the flyscreen on its good for hours at sane speeds. Sounds epic too, hoists the front on demand and gets attention everywere I go.

  • Vern Terwilliger

    so, living in west texas our rides are far and we frequently go over 350 to 500 miles on single day early morning rides. met a new friend and he rides an s1000rr, i have a vmax and a ninja 1000. my cousin rides a z1000. we all have good jobs so speeding tickets of 170 mph are just not in the days plans. anyway, the guy with the bmw keeps telling us how it’s really comfy and all that. 300 miles into our first ride together he keeps raising his butt in the air to stretch his legs. he felt like he’d been in a torture rack 800 miles in. we, of course, were quite happy. everytime we’d pass he either 1) shifted to 3rd gear or 2) noticed we just pulled away in top gear until the pass was complete. he, quite frankly, couldn’t pull my cousin till they hit about 120. and was uncomfortable to boot over the long haul. great bike if the rides don’t go over 60 miles or so but i agree, supernakeds are a much better single bike!

  • Jack Meoph

    I sold my 2009 ZX-6R because my shoulder got injured and it hurt to push through the corners at speed. I miss that bike, a lot. It was plenty comfortable for the 100+ mile loop that is my normal ride. What I don’t understand more than the ergos of superbikes is the need for that much power and speed on the streets. Call me crazy, but doing triple digit speeds on the streets is crazy. The Pace people, that’s what you should be doing, and I can do that on my Ninjette 250r.

  • Fawkesdiplomacy

    years ago when I sold motorcycles in the 70’s-to mid 80’s. most people that came into look at bikes wanted the fastest, winningest and hottest bike on the market. This was before bikes really got to be track ready superbikes.

    Most couldn’t afford what they “wanted” and many were novices looking to be cool.

    I’d ask them what they intended to use the bike for and most wanted a street bike on which they could ride for a couple of hours.

    To show them the difference I’d suggest that they just sit on the bike of their choice for about 10-15 minutes to see if it “FIT” them.

    Then, I’d suggest they sit on something that fit their “needs.” Most saw the importance of picking the right ride, rather than the hot ride. If they were insistent on buying whatever it was they came in for, I didn’t turn away their business.

    It’s how I’ve always chosen the bikes that I ride. I may not look cool on something comfortable, but I’m comfortable when I get where I’m going.

  • GuyLaFarge

    Ditto. After getting my first street bike, a Triumph Speed 4, and not hurting myself, I got a 749 “Duck”. But the most I can stand to ride it is about 2 hours…less, if the temp. is over 90-F. Now that it’s a “moto-dinosaur”, I’m thinking of something a wee bit more practical and ergo-friendly; e.g., FZ-09, Ducati Scrambler, etc. Then again, the local Triumph dealer made their own customer Bonneville “Newchurch” with blacked-out bottom pipes, which made it look like a flat-tracker. Hmmm…first bike I ever rode was my uncle’s “Bonnie”. Maybe history SHOULD repeat itself in this case.

  • Diesel Driver

    I couldn’t care less about the “newest greatest” sportbikes. I’ve watched so many riders twisted to one side so they can keep one hand on the throttle and the other on their left hip, obviously uncomfortable. I’m kind of short so most of the cruisers are simply to big, to heavy etc. What I’d like to have is a 650 to 750 with the same ergonomics as a 1970 Honda SL350, and with good torque, capable of spinning to 9,000 and pulling from 3,000. Put a big tank on it and good suspension and a belt drive. I’d be a happy rider. Oh, my current ride? A 1967 Yamaha 80cc Trailmaster… LOL

  • K Paul Cook

    10 years ago I would have disagreed. But with all the great super naked bikes available now as you said and the fact that sport bikes have gotten so track focused since my first bike a 2001 zx6r, I totally agree. I love my 2007 zx6r but I miss my 2001. I rode it 250 miles on one day once. No way I could do that on my 07. But nowadays I only ride on weekends on twisty roads in the cascades so no need for new bike. Just new tires and oil change and I’m good to go. But if I still commuted by bike to Seattle I’d have a street fighter.

  • Michael

    Agreed – 100%.
    I’ve ridden all of the current high end naked bikes and the SuperDuke is my pick too. Nearly perfect.

  • toni796

    well to ride a sportbike you need to be in a good shape, they’re not ment for fat lazy good for nothing dudes
    i’m a cyclist and long distance runner, this summer trying some triatlhons so really doing 100+ miles on a bicycle where your saddles is actually higher than handlebars getting on my beloved r6 really feels comfy and just recently i’ve done 400 miles in a day on a r6 didn’t feel tired at all did another 200 miles the next day
    so guys if you want to ride sportbieks get in shape, go to gym do some stretching loosen up those joints…

    • Konkrete215

      yup

    • Daimyo

      I believe what the author of this article was pointing out was that the intended environment for modern day sportbikes is the track – compared with 10 or 20 years ago, most race replicas are much more committed in regards to the rider triangle.

      They are not called race-replicas for nothing – the combination of tight ergonomics, clip on bars and a generally unnatural seating position does not bode well for comfort- unless you are a smaller stature person – for tall people or larger people there is really nothing more uncomfortable than a modern day fully faired sportbike.

      Being in shape definitely helps, you can transfer some weight off your wrists and onto your core but it certainly does not mean that they are the best option for most peoples daily use.

  • Grumpy Goat

    Good post and I feel the exact same way. I have gotten back into motorcycling recently after a 36 year break so super sport is not in the future. At the same time cruisers are not in my future either, being lower down the rung than super sports. The sport adventure type bike is my next and maybe final (?) upgrade; something like the BMW S1000XR.

  • vastickel@gmail.com

    Welcome to the real world! When people ask me why I ride my BMW GS, many of those same thoughts flow thru my brain…..but as Harley used to say-If I had to explain, you wouldn’t understand…………

  • Chris Gravina

    My 2007 R1 was the best bike I ever had. My 2012 Z1000 was the worst but I did like my Zrex before that. Ill take a sportbike over a naked any day.

  • Konkrete215

    “im old now and dont like sportbikes, therefore they suck for riding unless your on a track wahhhh wahhhh wahhhh”

  • Hugo

    Exactly the realization I had when I moved from a CBR, to my Street Triple. Sport bikes are awesome for the track or the small percentage of the time you find yourself with nothing but twisties and open road ahead. The rest of the time when you folded up like a pretzel, not so much!

  • Mark Sandman

    Too each his own.

    02 Hayabusa with over 109,000 miles. All back roads, no road trips. The suspension is fierce! It’s after market as well as other goodies.

    That is All!

  • SteveSweetz

    I just attended a Ducati demo event where I rode an 899 Panigale. My motorcycle ownership history is a Honda CBR500R and a Suzuki GS500F before that – so it was quite the jump to get on the Panigale.

    …Or so I thought. In the tame riding conditions of the demo group, the Panigale didn’t seem special at all. It was just hot, incredibly vibey, and uncomfortable. I’d much rather have been on my smooth little Honda. Were I not in the group, I barely could have exploited it much more with the traffic and rough northeast roads anyway.

    I can not fathom why anyone who doesn’t live within 20 minutes of a track or a well maintained mountain road that’s not policed would ever buy a bike like that. I’m 33, but even if I was 10 years younger, I still can’t see it being something I’d want to ride outside of a track.

  • randomous

    I think if you are in good shape or at least have a decent amount of upper body / core strength, sport bikes aren’t that bad. I have a GSXR 750 and can go 300 or more miles in a day without too much suffering. For me the biggest issue is circulation in my hands & wrists. I like having fairings to protect me from the wind and I think the streetfighter / naked style bikes look ugly.

  • DCGULL01

    Truer words have never been spoken. I had permission to acquire a Ducati Panigale 899 from the wife- and, was shocked at the 2 weeks of hospitalization required post test ride? Not only did I suffer burns and dehydration, I was in traction for over 7 days, trying to re-align my bones and release knotted muscles & tendons.

    However, I did not know the code when I got on it- it ws only after being discharged that I went back and re-read all of the glowing praise, where I found the notes about heat, rider triangle, etc…

    I wish that you could post the above as a sidebar for EVERY sportbike review, first ride, impressions and long term update- for those of us who might not know the code! It needs to be clear & direct, so, newbies and the uninitiated can understand why you shouldn’t own one as a primary daily driver.

    Thanks for the honesty, it’s about time. And, I didn’t sense any grumbling, just genuine reflection.

  • QuestionMark

    For most people the author is correct but the whole category of Naked/Streetfighter bikes is a fairly slowing moving sales item.
    The Monster [I owned a 95 900cc new] and then the Speed Triple for Triumph invented the genre and they were hot items back then, both have slowed a lot in consumer interest. I’m buying a new bike soon and getting rid of my 09 BMW RT and my 14 yo Kawi ZRX1200R and I think the new BMW RS is the answer or the new XR. Not even looking at the super sports.
    I traded my Monster in 97 for a 916 and that was a bad idea. I rode the Monster from Santa Cruz to LA and back several times, no problem. I tried that just once on the 916 and I brought it home in a truck.