2014 Super Naked Street Brawl + Video

BMW S1000R vs. Ducati Monster 1200S vs. Kawasaki Z1000 vs. KTM 1290 Super Duke R

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In the track version of our Super Streetfighter Smackdown, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R won over the BMW S1000R by the narrowest of margins. Which is all well and good for the small percentage of riders who’ll actually take these bikes to the track. For the greater population, riding these motorcycles on the mean streets of America, the streetable personas of these two and the Ducati Monster 1200S and Kawasaki Z1000 ABS are far more important.

Similar to the track shootout, scoring these four (the MV Agusta was unavailable for street testing, but you can read about it here: 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 1090 RR Review – Quick Ride) was extremely close, with the two finalists separated by only 1.07% or 5.75 points (497.75 vs 492).

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Keeping with the same fashion of the first story, each editor will present the pros and cons of an individual bike, beginning with our Chief Wheelie Editor, Kevin Duke.

BMW S1000R

The BMW has rock-solid, laser-beam steering, and with its TC, you can just fire and forget and not worry about bumps or slick patches or much of anything.

The BMW has rock-solid laser-beam steering, and with its TC, you can just fire and forget and not worry about bumps or slick patches or much of anything.

BMW has been on a roll lately, debuting new models that usually end up at the top of their classes. The S1000R continues that hot streak, bringing to the naked sportbike market one of the hottest and most capable streetfighters ever. It’s essentially a riff on the all-conquering S1000RR, and it’s a better streetbike in every possible way.

Ergos are much more suitable for street use, with a handlebar set at a sporting but comfortable reach and a plusher seat with plenty of fore/aft room to vary the riding position if desired. Taller riders, however, wished for more legroom; BMW missed an opportunity to fit adjustable footpegs.

The BMW’s clear-lens LED tail lamp is one of our favorite styling elements of the S1000R.

The BMW’s clear-lens LED tail lamp is one of our favorite styling elements of the S1000R.

Of all the bikes in this test, the S1000R requires the least amount of time to feel comfortable. Everything works as you’d hope it would, feeling entirely natural and predictable from mile 1.

“The S1000R really impresses with its relative ease of pace,” Ginger Director, Sean Alexander notes. “It feels like nothing so much as a Japanese supersport, which is truly a blessing and a curse.”

The 1000R’s most obvious advantage is its hummingbird-like agility, bending into corners with just a light touch on the bars. It feels many dozens of pounds lighter than the Monster or the Zee.

“When in motion, the S1000R feels much lighter than its actual curb weight,” Content Editor, Tom Roderick opines. “Its nimbleness and agility on tight, twisty roads is without equal among these four fighters.”

No need to worry about the R’s retuned inline-Four engine feeling anemic. Although it is down a claimed 33 hp from the RR’s incredible 193 horses, it belted out 155 ponies to the rear wheel, less than a horse shy of the KTM’s dominating Twin that enjoys a 300cc advantage. For those keeping count, that’s more power than a Yamaha R1.

Not much separates peak horsepower figures of the BMW and KTM, but the Super Duke maked more power than anything else in this shootout at all engine speeds until it hits its rev limiter. You can also clearly see the Ducati makes more HP than the BMW where it counts on the street; in the mid-range.

Not much separates peak horsepower figures of the BMW and KTM, but the Super Duke makes more power than anything else in this shootout at all engine speeds until it hits its rev limiter. You can also clearly see the Ducati makes more HP than the BMW where it counts on the street; in the mid-range.

Redesigned cylinder head ducts and new cam profiles give the 1000R a bigger midrange punch than the RR, and a rev ceiling clipped by 2000 rpm allowed the use of steel valves rather than lightweight titanium poppets. But make no mistake; this is a seriously powerful motor that has more steam than almost anything under a liter of displacement.

Other changes from RR to R include: A rake stretched by 0.8 degree to 24.6 degrees; an additional 5mm of trail to 98.5mm; and a reworked swingarm that stretches wheelbase nearly an inch to 56.7 inches. It also boasts a slightly larger pillion pad than the RR, but it’s too thinly padded for anything resembling comfort.

All these things are true for the base model 1000R, which retails at $13,150 if you can find one. It includes two ride modes (Rain, Road) and ASC, BMW’s lower-end traction-control system that doesn’t use a lean-angle sensor. For an extra $845, the so-called Standard package is a nice deal, as it includes up-spec traction control (DTC), the addition of Dynamic and Dynamic Pro riding modes, a quickshifter and cruise control.

If you see gold-anodized fork on an S1000R, it has DDC.

If you see gold-anodized fork on an S1000R, it has DDC.

But it’s the top-line Premium package ($14,950), like our test unit, that’s most desirable. it includes all the stuff listed above and adds heated grips, a chin spoiler and Dynamic Damping Control, a semi-active suspension system. DDC adapts automatically to speeds and riding conditions, and is fine-tunable at the touch of a button – it’s like magic for a suspension.

In its Dynamic mode, the damping firms up over the Road setting, while Dynamic Pro offers tauter damping, disables the rear ABS and allows wheelies while still retaining traction control. These electronic systems might frighten luddites, but they’re all useful and surprisingly easy to navigate.

“Within minutes and without instruction,” observes Roderick, “I was able to adjust the shift light from its 7k-rpm setting to 10,500 rpm – a process on other bikes that requires reading the owners manual.”

The instrument panel offers oodles of info, including the S1000R’s track mode that displays details of the current, best or last lap time. It can even drill down to display the time per lap the brakes were applied, the throttle position in percentage per lap and the number of gear shifts per lap.

BMW won the Instrument/Controls section not only because of its easy-to-read gauge cluster, but also for its ease of operation and adjustment. We appreciate the separate buttons for heated grips and suspension modes, instead of making you scroll through a menu.

BMW won the Instrument/Controls section not only because of its easy-to-read gauge cluster, but also for its ease of operation and adjustment. We appreciate the separate buttons for heated grips and suspension modes, instead of making you scroll through a menu.

The 1000R is so well-engineered that it was surprising to find flaws, but they are there. Maneuvers in tight spaces are impeded by what is easily the most limited steering sweep of this group. Initial bite from the front brakes can be abrupt if not given extra care. Also, the engine’s lack of a counterbalancer allows more vibrations to make their way to a rider. They’re tolerable below 75 mph but become burdensome at higher speeds, a chore that’s only somewhat ameliorated by BMW’s cruise control.

The final area that received scrutiny by some editors is the S1000R’s lack of a distinctive character, mostly due to the ubiquitousness of its inline-Four powerplant.

“This BMW packs a ton of value into a technologically advanced and thoroughly engineered package that gets the job done with a minimum of drama,” Alexander says. “Perhaps too little drama, if you ask me.”

The $15k BMW comes equipped with a quick-shifter, semi-active suspension and cruise control, technologies the more expensive SDR doesn’t offer.

The $15k BMW comes equipped with a quick-shifter, semi-active suspension and cruise control, technologies the more expensive SDR doesn’t offer.

The S1000R is a scintillating sports roadster, there is no doubt. And the word value can actually apply to this Beemer – the base model is only $1,150 more than the Z1000, and the loaded version is $2k cheaper than the Super Duke R despite having active suspension, cruise control and a quickshifter, items not available on the KTM.

We love it. And we bet BMW wishes its Austrian rivals hadn’t introduced the SDR.

–Kevin Duke

Ducati Monster 1200S

The Monster doesn’t quite reach the heights of aggression of the true streetfighters in this group. That role should be filled by a new big-inch Streetfighter, which will hopefully debut next fall with a hot-rodded version of the Monster's mill.

The Monster doesn’t quite reach the heights of aggression of the true streetfighters in this group. That role should be filled by a new big-inch Streetfighter, which will hopefully debut next fall with a hot-rodded version of the Monster’s mill.

Everything the Ducati Monster 1200S gave up in terms of competitive track performance it gained back in the street-legal environment for which it was created. This should come as no surprise. The S1000R is derived from its all-conquering S1000RR, and KTM extolled the Super Duke R’s track pedigree by hosting its press launch at the Ascari Circuit in Spain. The Monster 1200S and Kawasaki Z1000 ABS, on the other hand, don’t claim the same racetrack DNA instilled in BMW and KTM. So, chastising the Duc and Kawi for not being as track-proficient as the other two is akin to berating something with gills for its inability to breath on dry land.

To my eyes the new Monster is hands-down the sexiest two-wheeler of this quartet, and sex appeal when profiling on the street is important. To score the Ducati last in both the Cool Factor and Appearance categories of the ScoreCard, Neckerchief Editor, John Burns, must have been wearing his wine bottle goggles. Everyone has a bad side, and while the left profile of the Monster is certainly lacking, from every other angle the bike is simply mouth-watering.

“The Monster’s fat python exhaust headers and stout red trellis frame are very appealing, all those cooling and vent hoses … not so much,” said Alexander in the track portion of this two-part test.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, John Burns might be blind.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, John Burns might be blind.

Complaints of the bike’s limited cornering clearance and combination of awkwardly uncomfortable footpegs/passenger peg brackets faded from memory when operating the Duc at the lower aggression levels used on the street.

“Compared to the others, a rider sits further inside the cockpit on the Monster,” says Duke. “The ergonomic compromises of footroom noted on the racetrack were mostly forgotten on the street, and dragging pegs were a non-issue.”

The strength of the Ducati package, though, is its torquier-than-thou liquid-cooled, 1198cc Testastretta 11° V-Twin engine. With enough real-world, usable mid-range power to outgun the others in top gear roll-on contests and blast out of tight corners with unmatched ferocity, the Monster lives up to its namesake.

There’s no denying the KTM is the real monster when it comes to torque production, but the Duc’s 90° Twin produces a flatter, smoother flow of foot-pounds than the KTM’s 75° Twin.

There’s no denying the KTM is the real monster when it comes to torque production, but the Duc’s 90° Twin produces a flatter, smoother flow of foot-pounds than the KTM’s 75° Twin.

“The Diavel-derived 90-degree V-Twin in the new Monster 1200S continues to impress on the street,” says Alexander. “I was surfing its wave of midrange torque on the road because top-end performance remains a moot point 98% of the time.”

Announcing the Ducati’s arrival is a thunderous baritone emanating from its twin-stacked mufflers. Whether bouncing off skyscrapers or canyon walls, the Monster heralds its arrival with auditory authority.

“The Monster has the only pillion on which you'd want to place someone you really love,” says Duke. Roderick to Duke; “I love you, man.”

“The Monster has the only pillion on which you’d want to place someone you really love,” says Duke. Roderick to Duke; “I love you, man.”

The standard Monster 1200 costs $13,495 compared to the S model at $15,995. The $2,500 price increase buys you a claimed 10 additional horsepower and 5.2 ft-lbs of torque. There’s also fully adjustable Ohlins suspenders, front (48mm stanchions) and rear on the S, vs a fully adjustable 43mm Kayaba fork, and Sachs monoshock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping on the standard model.

The standard Monster 1200 costs $13,495 compared to the S model at $15,995. The $2,500 price increase buys you a claimed 10 additional horsepower and 5.2 ft-lbs of torque. There’s also fully adjustable Ohlins suspenders, front (48mm stanchions) and rear on the S, vs a fully adjustable 43mm Kayaba fork, and Sachs monoshock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping on the standard model.

The Monster also deserves high-praise for its attention to passenger accommodations, an attribute the other OEMs seem to have forgotten about on their models. “If you ride around with a passenger a lot, it’s almost the only choice here,” says Burns. “Shame on the others for barely paying any attention to passenger seating.”

At 32.5 inches the Monster has more distance between bar-ends compared to BMW’s 31.5, Kawi’s 31.1 and KTM’s 31 inches. While this provides extra leverage for bending the bike with the longest wheelbase through tight arcs, Duke said the bend felt awkward to him.

The Monster is the only bike here with an adjustable seat going from its 31.9-inch standard seat height to 30.9-inches by way of four easily removable plastic caps. It’s also the only bike with grab rails for a passenger and a seat cowl.

So, if you’re looking for an awesome GT streetfighter, the Monster 1200S is in a class by itself. However, when thrown in a class of other streetfighters, such as the Super Duke R and S1000R, the Monster isn’t going to be everyone’s first choice.

– Tom Roderick

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

    Bring-on the Aprilia!

    • Shawn McDermott

      I just traded my 2012 Tuono for a 2014 s1000r. Its the better bike. I think the editors should include FUEL RANGE AND ECONOMY. I can tell you right now that was a MAJOR factor in me ditching the Tuono. Try going back country riding and telling you friends after 45minutes you need to stop for gas soon.

      It at least should be considered for the STREET test.

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

        We consider it in every street test. It was recorded and reported in this one as well.

        • Shawn McDermott

          Where?

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

            Bottom of the spec chart. (I just added it a minute ago, appears the chart cut-off in the version originally posted.)

  • Rob Lore

    On the spec charts all 4 bike are listed as 148HP at varying RPM with some above the published Redlines, also the TQ number don’t seem quite right.

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

      This has been repaired.

  • David Gasser

    When taking cost into consideration, It is much more likely to score a deal with the Z1K than the European motorcycles. I got my 2011 Z for $3000 under MSRP.

    • Craig Hoffman

      Agree. I bought my ’06 FZ1 new in ’06 for 7.9K OTD. The real cheapskate way to go is to get a used Z or FZ1 and spend about 2K on mods. For around 6.5K you have a ripping bike that can still use some suspension attention. Or you could just buy a used liter class sport bike and comfort mod it. Despite the disadvantages, I simply like the bikini faring no plastic look and ease of maintenance of the naked bikes. Oil changes take about 10 minutes on my FZ.

      Big advantage of the converted sport bike (aside from ludicrous power) is their better suspension. Good to see Kaw put the good big piston forks on this latest naked bike. That is a new development!

    • Shawn McDermott

      Yea true, but the whole time you’lkl be wishing you saved a few more pennies for a BMW. Patience.

      • David Gasser

        If you truly want the BMW, I agree, wait, save and buy what you want. Motorcycling is a passion! I just happen to be a fan of Japanese motorcycles.

  • Ser Samsquamsh

    Your job kicks ass. Also, kick ass job! Love these big shootout videos. All those vrooming bikes on open, sunny roads: enough to keep me sane. It’s just above freezing with about 3 inches of gravel on the roads where I live:)

  • Inirida Rangel

    my wife and dog pic here…
    nice write up. had a 2012 speed triple, but wanted wind protection on a sport bike. ended up buying a new 2012 left over zx10r. put helibars, zero gravity sport touring windscreen. $11600. not too bad on comfort and mega hp. also have a 2013 ktm300xc. if the 1290 had wind protection, it would be THE bike to have. – Alan

  • Mark D

    A 1,000cc naked bike is, by definition, a completely ridiculous motorcycle. I love that the Kawasaki acknowledges this and just runs with it. I think it looks great, and having seen a few on the street, it has undeniable “presence.” For my money, and skill level, its tough to beat.

    • gjw1992

      Ridiculous yes. But enormous fun as well. I love my s1000r and with a rucksack and tail pack, am planning to tour it. Which might also be ridiculous, but WTH!

  • john burns

    Neckerchief Editor? I have never had my fashion sense questioned by a Village Person before.

    • http://motorcycle.com/ Tom Roderick

      Fortune favors the bold!

    • http://motorcycle.com/ Tom Roderick

      Fortune favors the bold!

  • Craig Hoffman

    That Kawi has another 20 hp in it from the middle through the top end with a full exhaust and Power Commander with a good map in it by the way. 124 ponies is far from the end of the line for the Kawi. Adding that stuff may not make it a winner, but the Kawi, like seemingly every non front like Japanese sport bike, is pretty stuffed up as delivered from the factory.

    My ’06 FZ1 was seriously like that. It had a rag shoved down it’s throat and two corks shoved up it’s ass. Amazing what a little uncorking work via ECU hacking and a full exhaust can do on that now old design. It would be fun for you guys to ride a full house 150 hp FZ1 with Traxxion fettled forks and a Penkse shock, you know, for research purposes. :)

    The Euro bikes sound so good right out of the box. Very cool for non front line sport bikes. They are serious as heart attacks, no full plastic or roll your own mods as required by the Japanese bikes to reach their potential. That is truly impressive. I wish Japan would get a clue and just give it to us straight up in this segment.

    • Shawn McDermott

      20hp? Doubt it…mayber 5-10 TOPS. You could saw the same with teh s1000r with that logic

      • Craig Hoffman

        I have seen dyno charts over at Ivans and experienced it myself on my ’06 FZ1, with an 18 hp gain from 5,000 to the rev limiter. A full exhaust really transforms the Japanese liter class standards – like night and day. The Japanese put so little effort into tuning (or is it detuning) them. The Euro makers actually seem to get it and they ship their bike optimized much better.

        No doubt a fully tweaked BMW or KTM would be a fearsome thing indeed. I have not idea what gains they may have locked away. I suspect they would gain less, as they start off so much better.

  • Noah S

    Great piece. Curious why the Speed Triple wasn’t part of the test?

    • Kevin Duke

      The Speed is still a wonderful bike, but it got beat by the Tuono last time ’round, so it didn’t make the cut this time. Yet, if I had one parked in my garage, it would be difficult to make a strong financial case for trading it in on a new SF.

  • Holy Kaw!

    Thanks Guys for the article, it was entertaining and informative. All these bikes sound like fun, I can’t wait for the three way shootout.

  • Sentinel

    I’m really curious about engine vibes getting through the chassis and
    into the rider. The only one of these bikes I’ve gotten a chance to test
    ride so far is the Z1000, and the engine vibes permeating through
    every part of the bike and into my body had me ready to get right back
    off the bike within about 15-20 minutes. I just couldn’t stand that
    grating and uncomfortable buzz going into my body like that. I realize
    that some people are more sensitive to this than others, but an
    uncomfortable level of engine vibes getting to the rider on the Z1000 is
    a very common complaint, so it’s definitely not “just” me.

    Are
    any of these other bikes like Z1000 in that regard? The bike I’m most
    personally interested in is the BMW and that was the one that you actually mentioned as being buzzy due to it having no counterbalancer in the engine.. How is S1000R when compared to the Z1000 in that regard? Is it more buzzy or less?

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

      The BMW a little more buzzy in the pegs and bars to me personally. The Kawasaki’s typical inline-four wasn’t as noticeable and I know from experience that the upgraded 2014 Z1000 is quite a bit more smooth than previous model year Z1000s. Vibration is a funny and elusive thing though, different riders change everything. (mass, harmonics, gear selection/rpm, personal sensitivity, etc.)

      • Sentinel

        OK, so that’s one response (from you) saying that the BMW is more buzzy than the Kawasaki, and Shawn McDermott here saying just the opposite! lol

        Of course if it comes right down to it I’ll be test driving one for myself anyways, but thanks for the review and thanks for sharing your opinion on this, and yes, it’s all pretty subjective either way.

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

          With all due respect to Mr. McDermott, he just bought a new S1000R and has several posts here talking it up. (It is a great bike) however, my one comment on the Z1000 ought to be considered as three, because at least three of us testers claimed the BMW was more buzzy than the other bikes in the test, I’m just the only one who replied here.

          • Shawn McDermott

            Well maybe the frequency of the buzz is different. That being said the buzz didnt stop me riding the bike. SO far I love the s1000r more then my Tuono or SPeedy R

        • Kevin Duke

          Yes, definitely test ride anything you’re serious about. I’d say the Z buzzes like most inline-Fours displacing a liter or more. It didn’t bother me. The BMW is vibing more than the Kaw at speeds above 80 mph.

          • Sentinel

            My primary concern is freeway cruising speed and below of course. So if it’s not really bothersome in that range that’s great. As long as it’s not distractingly buzzy above that I wouldn’t have a problem it.

    • Shawn McDermott

      Less buzzy when I rode them

      • Sentinel

        OK, so that’s one response of the BMW being less buzzy than the Kawasaki, and one saying just the opposite! lol

        • http://motorcycle.com/ Tom Roderick

          I’m with Shawn on this one. The Kawi is the buzzier inline-Four, especially around 7000rpm.

          • Sentinel

            Thanks Tom, I really appreciate you guys taking the time to help me out here, and of course I’m a huge fan of the reviews you do. You have a great mix of personalities and tallent there, and no one, at least not in the US that I’m aware of really rivals your online publication for reviews. As for the engine buzz issue, I just happen to be one of those people that are very sensitive to a relatively high level of transmitted engine buzz and vibes. I’ve been on the hunt for a new bike for a long time now, and this is one of the things that has to be seriously considered before any purchase can be made. Reviews and comments like yours really help identity this as a potential issue with bikes and helps me to hone in and weed through my list of potential purchase candidates.

          • Shawn McDermott

            I would suggest a test ride.

    • Josh Saiz Matterz

      Does it vibrate your vagina as well??? Sheesh how much are you going to whine about a problem that will continue to plague a motorcycle until they build them with four-wheels…

      • Eric S

        Gee, fuckstain. Are you really so much more a man than everyone else here? I’d doubt it. I’m calling you out, you little bitch. I’d love to see you say all that shit to these people’s faces, but I’m guessing you wouldn’t. Typical fucking coward. Berating people as “vaginas” and “morons”, when you are hiding behind your keyboard. You are a fucking joke.

    • Kevin Duke

      Vibration has been reduced on each new generation of Z1000. It wasn’t an issue for us on the new 2014 edition.

      • Kevin Duke

        Unless you ask Tom (below)…

  • Carl Shelton

    Where is Triumph Speed Triple R?

    • Shawn McDermott

      Probably outdated? IU have one myself actually.

  • Reid

    Here’s how I see it:
    Z1000 – naked sport touring bike that really doesn’t live up to the awesomeness of its Z1 forbears. Also, the looks are way too polarizing and avant garde for my taste. This could have been a cool, more modern take on the ZRX formula if it had evolutionary (or even slightly retro) styling rather than…whatever they did to this over the last generation.

    Monster 1200 – for bankers and lawyers only. The Monster is supposed to be a fairly lightweight, lairy, hairy, brutish performance naked machine (at least as far as looks go) with a rorty engine to back up the styling. Instead it’s heavier and has bad corning clearance.

    BMWS1000R – subtract 30 horsepower from the RR version and call it a day. Even if you don’t need it, why not have it? Nobody with this kind of coin to throw at a bike is a newb rider (or they won’t be alive long). Too many gizmos for me. However, it should be noted this is the only real “streetfighter” of the bunch. The rest are what I call “super standards” or old-school performance bikes (from the time before fully faired repli-racers). This bike probably shouldn’t be included in this test.

    KTM 1290 Super Duke – crazy in every way, even in the price tag department. It’s heavy, sure, but it’s not a stripped-down sportbike either. It’s a Duke, which, like the Monster line, is just a standard with some oomph. It’s my pick of the lot, but I’m partial to KTMs. I would surely be killed if I rode it.

    • Shawn McDermott

      Sound about right

    • Craig Hoffman

      In the engine bay, the Duke is the one, no doubt. It is the dyno king but the dyno can’t measure character and feel. A twin just feels good. It appeals on a primal level. Twins generally do not make as much horsepower as reasonably comparable I4s. The Duke has a little extra displacement and evidently is very well tuned. As a result, the KTM lets you eat your horsepower cake and have the character too! That is a win.

  • Eric S

    Methinks Ducati doesn’t pander to you testers enough, or something. I have the Monster 1200-S, and you guys are high! Not only is it the most beautiful (the others are all dogs by comparison), it is also the most well built. BMW uses cheap Chinese crap parts. The KTM may be sturdy, but it is as ugly as a female Austrian wrestler, and its cowlings look like they were made by Mattel. The Kawasaki? I’ve never been much for cheap-o Jap crap, so it doesn’t even register. You cannot even compare the inline four to a twin in this category, so drop the Beemer and the Kawa. Who gives a rat’s ass about high-end power in this segment? If you want a track bike, get a fully-faired superbike. I am highly disappointed in your views of the Monster. Ducati makes the prettiest, and gives them the most character. That is what is important in this segment, not race-derived B.S. The only other bike here with character is that fuuuuugly KTM. And none of these other bikes comes close to the braking setup. What’s that? Your rotors are less than 330mm? NEXT! You don’t have Ohlins suspension? CHEAP CRAP!
    Get a life, you posers!

    • Shlomi

      I own a Ducati Multistrda 2013, and if I were you I wouldn’t talk about build quality of the Ducati.

      • Eric S

        A 2013 Ducati Multistrada is rock solid. I’ve owned 4 Ducs, all rock solid except the 2002 Monster S4. Anything 2009 and later, Bologna got its shit together. I have no idea what you are talking about dude.
        Look man. If you’re not a Ducatisti, don’t buy a Ducati. If you are a Ducatisti, don’t talk shit because you made the wrong choice for yourself. Sell the bike and get what is right for you. If that happens to be cheap Chinese crap with a whiny inline four and a BMW stamp on it, then go for it.
        So I’ll talk about the build quality of the Ducati all I want, thank you. Ducati N.A. has stood behind their products more than American Honda would, and that makes me a lifer with them. Pure Ducatisti to the core.
        But anyone who states the build quality of a 2013 Multi in a negative manner is out of his f-ing mind.

        • Shlomi

          let me see: rear break that does not work (check on forums no rear break on all models 2010-2014), fuel tank which expands there was a class auction and Ducati replaces every expanded fuel tank up to 5 years for Monsters, Multistarada, Sport Classic, 848, and more… with the same fuel tank (i wish that was a joke), front fork seals leaking (yes that Ohlins high quality stuff), stutter engine in 2010-2012 models only after market ECU solve the problem, the list goes on, fuel gauge that stops working. I like my Multistrada but this is despite the build quality…I’m not a “Ducatisti”, I’m a motorcyclist whore who replace brands when I feel like.

          • Eric S

            Yeah, had the tank expansion issue on my ’10 Streetfighter S, and had it replaced once. Stutter engine idea is subjective. It’s an Italian bitch man, what do you expect? Never had any problem with the Ohlins, on the Streetfighter or this bike. Cannot fork seals leak on any bike for a multitude of reasons? I didn’t see the tank issue as bad quality as much as incompatibilities with our shitty, ethanol-laden gas here in the US. I get it, and sorry to hear it. My dealer has always taken care of me on the warranty end, with not much hassle (Yay Pro Italia!), and Ducati N.A. replaced a radiator a couple weeks outside of the warranty period just because I could not get it in for service due to the shop being booked, and I asked them nicely if they could help me out. I went through the same deal with Honda on a bad ABS unit on a 2009 CBR1000RR and got nothing but runaround and denial.
            Well, I can tell you the engine stutter issue is non-existent on the Monster 1200-S, and they went back to an aluminum fuel tank. People bitch that this Monster gained weight, but they don’t want an expanding fuel tank. I prefer the aluminum and no expansion. Is your dealer Pro Italia, or other, because PI would never have let these things go on as you have explained.

          • Shlomi

            Agreed, having good dealership makes a different. Happy that you found one, I have no complain about my local dealer. Still my time worth $$$$ and I rather not spend it at dealership fixing bugs under warranty.

          • Shawn McDermott

            Ive had 2 ducatis. A multistrada..which had the same issues you described and a Streetfighter. The build on both werent as good as the price you paid.

          • Josh Saiz Matterz

            Amen

          • Josh Saiz Matterz

            So you paid overpaid for a bike because it says Ducati on it??? what a moron…Ducati’s are not the bikes they claim to be…you must get off on looking at Ducati pics

          • Eric S

            What do you know about it? I didn’t buy it for the label, asshole (since you decided to start the name calling). How many Ducatis have you owned? Anyone who uses a “z” instead of an “s” in a word is just a ghetto punk. Project much, “Moron”? You must be in your 20s. Good luck making it to 30 with that attitude.

          • Shawn McDermott

            Well this escalated.

          • Eric S

            Of course it did. You claimed there is nothing special about Ducatis. Did I get on your case? No. Why? Because you’ve owned two (so should have a basis for an opinion), and you didn’t name call. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. This little cum stain, on the other hand, has no basis for his statement, and pulled the name-calling. Probably a jealous hater who couldn’t scrape together enough from his fast food job to even buy a 5 year old jap bike. Look, I took responsibility for my B.S., and I have no space for his kind of shit. He’s been an asshole to others on here as well. So, Josh can go jump on his ’02 Gixxer, and fuck off with the rest of his pussy-ass “bike club” full of 20-somethings who couldn’t get laid at a whorehouse. He’d likely get his ass handed to him if he were riding alone.

          • Shawn McDermott

            It gained weight because it went liquid cooled…

          • Eric S

            Yes, I wasn’t meaning to blame it all on the tank.

    • Old MOron

      Ha ha ha ha ha!
      No, wait. I’m still laughing.
      Ha ha ha ha ha!
      EricS, meet KPaulCook.
      Paul, Eric.
      Ha ha ha ha ha!

      • Eric S

        ???

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

          KPaulCook, later known as KSpike, was the original MO troll. He was epic in the absurdity and self-centered righteousness of his posts. His conspiracy theories and face-palm inducing moments were frequent and large. (just answering your question marks)

          • Eric S

            Thank you Sean. OK, so maybe I deserved that. I came on pretty strong. It’s obviously no secret that I am an avid Ducatisti by now, and I defend Ducati rabidly. This is because I’ve had the best experience with them. So it’s all down to personal preference, I suppose.

            In an attempt to be more objective, I really disagree with the comments on braking. The Monster has killer brakes, and truly the best when it comes to the specifications. Again, down to personal preference.

            What really set me off was the fact this article gave examples of all the instrument panels, except the Monster’s. I am surprised that the Monster’s TFT panel, which changes with the selected riding mode, and is just plain awesome, is not even represented. It has little touches like a yellow area on the tach from 7000 RPM, until it warms up, then the yellow area shrinks to the normal zone starting at 10000. At night, the background is black, but turns to white in daylight. I’m an I.T. guy (not a banker or lawyer), so this kind of thing is a huge plus to me. I wonder why this wasn’t represented.

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

            The Monster’s new TFT display is absolutely gorgeous 75% of the time. Then it completely disappears in direct-sunlight. It was dinged heavily for that fact in the individual score cards. I mean looks like the screen is simply turned-off when riding with the sun overhead but slightly at your back.

          • Piglet2010

            If you believe the test results from KD’s former employer MotoUSA to be representative, the Ducati 1200S is the first bike to stop faster on clean, dry pavement with ABS *ON* – the importance of being able to leave ABS on for the intermittent slippery spots without paying a penalty is a game changer.

            http://images.motorcycle-usa.com/14_nakedtwinso60-0%20Braking.jpg

          • Kevin

            You quote mushroom cultivators USA? Incredible!

    • Shawn McDermott

      I’ve owned 2 Ducatis. Theres nothing special about them.

  • John B.

    There is not a single base model S1000R ($13,150) for sale in America (prove me wrong). As such, it’s misleading to say the bike costs a little over $1,000 more than the Kawasaki ($11,999). $14,950 is the minimum real price for the S1000R, which makes it 24.6% more expensive than the Kawasaki. As writers, surely you realize that, among other things, it takes more time and better materials to make a higher quality product. Only in motorcycling do we compare products with a price difference of 25 or even 50 percent, and hold them to the same standards.

    I enjoyed this two-part series, however, the venues for the shootout could not have been less relevant to the riding I, and likely many of your readers, do. I live in Dallas, Texas and do not ride at the track. That is to say, I ride long distances through urban sprawl on mostly flat and straight roads. Rather than watching expert riders ride these bikes on tracks and on twisty canyon roads that do not exist in most urban population centers, I would rather see average weekend riders test these machines while riding near where they live.

    Human nature being what it is, we should expect the most senior editors to take the most sought after assignments. Nevertheless, it would not hurt to bring along one non-expert just for grins.

    • Shawn McDermott

      I live in Houston so I have a similar experience. The long stretches with the Cruise control help on i10 and i45!

    • Shawn McDermott

      24.6% isnt that much….3k more basically. Worth it for all the upgrades.

  • Shlomi

    Great review, I can’t wait for the final round with the Aprilia. I went to look at the BMW (no demo bikes at the moment as they are all sold out) and it look the business. My only complain was long stretch to the handlebars. I owned couple of KTM before and they all felt like off road bikes with built quality of off road bike. Does the Duke feels like 20 K bike? Another test of reality if you buy the BMW today and sell it next year, I’m sure it’s value would be higher than year old super Duke. The KTM/ Aprilia just do not hold value like the BMW.

  • BTRDAYZ

    Honda should have made this bike.

  • wolzybk

    All of these are great bikes, and I could be happy with any of them. Which one is for you depends on what you want and how you ride. For me, a nakedbike/streetfighter needs to be versatile; I don’t want a laser-focused sportbike that just lacks wind protection.

    I testrode, a few weeks ago, a Monster 1200S and a V4 Tuono back to back, and much preferred the Monster. The Tuono is a great sportbike, but it’s too much a sportbike. If that’s what I’m buying, I could just get the RSV4 and be done with it.

    The Monster was more comfortable, had the adjustable seat and a functioning passenger perch, and was plenty fast enough and fun enough. With the aluminum tank, that takes care of the major flaw of many recent Ducatis, and should be a durable and reliable machine, if maintained reasonably well.

    I ride every day — work, errands, basic transport — that’s why I don’t have a full sportbike in the first place. (What I do have is the original 1993 M900 Monster, which I bought new, and now have 227,000 miles on. It has served me well.)