THE ENVELOPE PLEASE …

Motorcycle.com  650 comparison photo shoot

Our hats are all off to the geniuses at Yamaha who built this thing. It’ll run right with the curve-slaying $8,999 KTM Duke up and down our favorite roads, then deliver you home with nearly the comfort of the practical-shoes Honda NC700X, for considerably less money than either of them.

We believe the Duke’s a great stable pony for the well-heeled enthusiast who has another bike or three in the garage more suited to the everyday slog. But if money is an object, and you’ve got to pick one bike to do it all, you really can’t do better than Yamaha’s new FZ-07, a motorcycle that can’t decide if it’s a sportbike, eco-commuter, naked hooligan or standard? You will not go wrong with the FZ-07 or the 690 Duke, our two favorite bikes in our favorite class. This week.

The 645cc-plus Twins (SFV, Ninja, FZ) eke out similar peak numbers, but it’s the Yamaha’s 689cc powerplant that pulls hardest, longest. Amazing that KTM’s 690cc motor pulls so strong from just one lung. Note how it spins 2000 rpm higher than the twin-cylinder 670cc NC700X. The CB500F feels far more frisky than the chart indicates.

The 645cc-plus Twins (SFV, Ninja, FZ) eke out similar peak numbers, but it’s the Yamaha’s 689cc powerplant that pulls hardest, longest. Amazing that KTM’s 690cc motor pulls so strong from just one lung. Note how it spins 2000 rpm higher than the twin-cylinder 670cc NC700X. The CB500F feels far more frisky than the chart indicates.

2014-Middleweight-shootout-torque-dyno

The FZ-07’s torque curve is the cream of this crop, with the broadest swathe of strong power. The KTM puts up a slightly bigger number, but note the curve’s jagged quality and how it wouldn’t smoothly accept throttle below 3000 rpm. The NC700X delivers immediate power but signs off disappointingly early. With just 471cc to work with, the CB500’s numbers are small, but its incredibly flat torque curve yields whatever juice it has whenever its needed.

2014 Middleweight Mash-Up Six-Way Shootout
Category Honda CB500F Honda NC700X Kawasaki Ninja 650 KTM 690 Duke Suzuki SFV650 Yamaha FZ-07
Price 100% 74.4% 76.3% 52.3% 71.2% 73.0%
Weight 86.1% 75.8% 77.4% 100% 80.2% 89.3%
lb/hp 59.7% 58.0% 80.6% 100% 86.6% 96.7%
lb/lb-ft 53.5% 67.5% 72.6% 100% 76.2% 89.2%
Engine 73.3% 60.4% 81.0% 87.5% 89.0% 93.1%
Transmission/Clutch 85.0% 85.4% 82.5% 82.1% 87.1% 91.3%
Handling 83.8% 69.6% 75.4% 94.6% 85.4% 88.3%
Brakes 74.2% 73.8% 79.6% 92.1% 80.0% 88.3%
Suspension 72.5% 79.2% 79.2% 94.2% 77.1% 81.7%
Technologies 61.3% 68.3% 66.7% 71.7% 60.0% 70.0%
Instruments 74.2% 73.8% 74.6% 70.8% 72.9% 89.6%
Ergonomics/Comfort 80.4% 85.8% 70.4% 86.7% 78.3% 87.9%
Quality 75.8% 78.3% 70.0% 89.2% 75.8% 80.8%
Cool Factor 68.3% 66.7% 68.8% 90.4% 66.7% 88.8%
Grin Factor 70.8% 62.5% 72.9% 93.3% 80.8% 88.3%
Overall Score 75.7% 71.8% 75.5% 86.2% 78.3% 86.4%
Price and weight are scored based on objective metrics. Other scores are listed as a percentage of editors’ ratings in each category. The Engine category is double-weighted, so the Overall Score is not a total of the displayed percentages but, rather, a percentage of the weighted aggregate raw score.
Honda CB500F Honda NC700X Kawasaki Ninja 650 KTM 690 Duke Suzuki SFV650 Yamaha FZ-07
MSRP $5799 (ABS: $6299) $7799 (DCT ABS: $8799) $7199 (ABS: $7599) $8999 base; ($11,097 as tested) $8,149.00 $6990 base; ($7939.41 as tested)
Type 471cc liquid-cooled parallel Twin 670cc liquid-cooled parallel Twin 649cc liquid-cooled parallel Twin 690cc liquid-cooled Single 645cc liquid-cooled 90-degree V-Twin 689cc liquid-cooled parallel Twin
Bore and
Stroke
67.0 x 66.8 mm 73.0 x 80.0mm 83.0 x 60.0mm 102.0 x 84.5mm 81.0 x 62.5mm. 80.0 x 68.6mm
Fuel System PGM-FI, two 34mm throttle bodies PGM-FI, one 36mm throttle body EFI, two 38mm throttle bodies EFI, ride by wire Fuel injection Fuel injection
Ignition Digital Digital Digital Digital, two spark plugs with individual mapping Digital Digital
Compression Ratio 10.7:1 10.7:1 10.8:1 12.6:1 11.5 : 1 11.5:1
Valve Train DOHC; 4 valves per cylinder SOHC; 4 valves per cylinder DOHC; 4 valves per cylinder SOHC; 4 valves per cylinder DOHC; 4 valves per cylinder DOHC; 4 valves per cylinder
Emissions EPA, CARB compliant EPA, CARB-compliant EPA, CARB-compliant EPA, CARB-compliant EPA, CARB-compliant EPA, CARB-compliant
Horsepower 43.04 hp @ 8400 rpm 46.59 @ 6300 rpm 64.86 @ 8900 rpm 61.78 @ 7600 rpm 67.47 @ 8300 rpm 67.11 @ 8900 rpm
Torque 29.13 @ 6800 rpm 41.78 @ 4700 rpm 43.76 @ 7100 rpm 46.87 @ 5500 rpm 44.20 @ 7900 rpm 46.7 @ 6500 rpm
lb/hp 9.71 10.20 7.17 5.83 6.65 6.00
lb/torque 14.35 11.37 10.63 7.68 10.16 8.63
Transmission 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch 6-speed, multi-plate wet clutch 6-speed, multi-plate wet clutch, positive neutral finder 6-Speed, wet, multi-plate slipper clutch 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch 6-speed, multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive Chain Chain Chain Chain Chain Chain
Front
Suspension
41mm fork; 4.3 in. travel 41mm fork; 5.4. in. travel 41mm fork; 4.9 inches travel 43mm inverted fork, fully adjustable; 5.3 in. travel 41mm fork, preload adjustable; 4.9 in. travel 41mm Telescopic fork; 5.1-in travel
Rear
Suspension
Pro-Link single shock, adjustable for spring preload; 4.7 inches travel Pro-Link single shock, preload-adjustable, 5.9 in. travel Single cantilevered shock; preload adjustable, 5.1 in. travel Single shock, linkage-mounted, fullly adjustable; 5.3 in. travel Single shock; 3.9 inches travel, preload adjustable; 5.1 in. travel Single, preload-adjustable shock; 5.1-in travel
Front Brake 320mm wave disc; 2-piston caliper 320mm disc; 2-piston caliper Dual 300mm petal discs, 2-piston calipers 320mm disc, radial-mount 4-piston caliper; ABS Dual 290 mm discs, 2-piston calipers Dual 282mm discs, 4-piston calipers
Rear Brake 240mm wave disc; single-piston caliper 240mm disc; single-piston caliper 220mm petal disc, single-piston caliper 240mm disc, 1-piston caliper; ABS 240mm disc, single-piston caliper 245mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Front Tire 120/70-17 120/70 ZR-17 120/70-17 120/70 ZR-17 120/70 ZR-17 120/70 ZR-17
Rear Tire 160/60-17 160/60 ZR-17 160/60-17 160/60 ZR-17 160/60 ZR-17 180/55 ZR-17
Rake/Trail 25.5° / 4.05 in. (103mm) 27° / 4.3 in. (110mm) 25° / 4.3 in. (110mm) 26.5° / 4.53 in. (115mm) 25° / 4.1 in. (104mm) 24° / NA
Wheelbase 55.5 in. 60.6 in. 55.5 in. 57.7 in. 56.9 in. 55.1 in.
Seat Height 30.9 in. 32.7 in. 31.7 in. 32.9 in. 30.9 in. 31.7 in.
Measured
Weight
418 lb. 475 lb. 465 lb 360 lb. 449 lb. 403 lb.
Fuel Capacity 4.1 gal. 3.7 gal. 4.2 gal. 3.7 gal. 3.8 gal. 3.7 gal.
Tested
Fuel Economy
52 mpg 58 mpg 44 mpg 47 mpg 45 mpg 49 mpg
Gauges /
Indicators
LCD panel with tachometer, fuel gauge, clock, odo, two tripmeters. High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, low fuel warning lights LCD panel with tachometer, fuel gauge, clock, gear-position indicator, odo, two tripmeters, average fuel mileage. High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, low fuel warning lights Analog tachomter, LCD panel with speedo, fuel gauge, clock, odo, two tripmeters.High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, low fuel warning lights Analog tachomter, LCD panel with speedo, fuel gauge, clock, odo, two tripmeters.High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, low fuel warning lights Analog tach, LCD digital speedo, dual tripmeters,
odometer, clock, digital gear-position indicator; High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, low fuel warning lights
LCD bar-type tachometer, gear-position indicator, digital speedo, odometer, dual tripmeters, fuel gauge, fuel reserve tripmeter, clock, instant and average fuel consumption. High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics, low fuel warning lights
Available Colors Black, Pearl White Black, Red Candy Lime Green / Metallic Flat Spark Black, Metallic Spark Black / Metallic Flat Spark Black, Pearl Flat Stardust White / Metallic Flat Spark Black White, Black Metallic Thunder Gray, Glass Sparkle Black Liquid Graphite, Rapid Red, Pearl White
Warranty One year, transferable, unlimited miles One year, transferable, unlimited miles 12 months 24 months, unlimited miles 12 month unlimited mileage One year

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