“Chock full of bland mediocrity” was the original subhead for my second ride review of the 2015 Suzuki GSX-S750. It was a subhead EiC, Kevin Duke, rightly removed. I was a little harsh on the new Gixxus, and now in a group of its peers, the naked bike from Suzuki has proven itself to be quite the contender. Out of the three testers involved in this shootout, John “run-on sentence” Burns and Troy “I’ve ridden the new R1 more than you” Siahaan, it is I who is championing the GSX-S.

On my ScoreCard the Aprilia Shiver came in third behind the FZ and Gixxus by less than two points. Burns and Siahaan didn’t see things the same way. In fact, none of us managed to agree. When the results were tallied, Siahaan ranked the Suzuki third, while Burns slotted the Yamaha into last place. But once we averaged the scores and included the Objective scores for Price, Weight, etc., a winner did emerge. It’s a little surprising, and here’s why.

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For 2015, the FZ-09 is even more of a hoot because Yamaha managed to fix the bike’s EFI/Ride Mode issues (see 2015 Yamaha FZ-09: New And Improved Fuel Injection!). What Yamaha failed to address, however, is the FZ’s marshmallowy suspension. In stark contrast are two nicely suspended bikes in the GSX-S and Shiver.

“The Yamaha’s chassis and suspension is probably the least suited for aggressive twisty roads,” says Siahaan. “It doesn’t like being man-handled from corner to corner. The suspension will protest.”

Trizzle continues, “Even though Tom and Burns loved the Suzuki’s chassis, I never found myself getting quite as comfortable with it. I didn’t trust the front and didn’t have much feel from it, either.”

“The FZ’s suspension is not nearly as nice as Suzuki’s, whose ride I also preferred on the freeway,” says Burns.

For the first few corners the Shiver had us confounded. Adding some preload to its rear shock dramatically improved the Shiver’s handling, putting it on equal standing with the Gixxus. “I really liked the Shiver’s chassis,” says Siahaan. “The trellis frame is very communicative, and I felt I could push the hardest, quickest aboard the Aprilia.”

For the first few corners the Shiver had us confounded. Adding some preload to its rear shock dramatically improved the Shiver’s handling, putting it on equal standing with the Gixxus. “I really liked the Shiver’s chassis,” says Siahaan. “The trellis frame is very communicative, and I felt I could push the hardest, quickest aboard the Aprilia.”

Hot into a corner then stabbing the brakes results in the FZ’s front suspension bottoming out, disrupting what should be a smooth cornering process. Stiffer fork springs and/or heavier weight fork oil would go a long way in fixing the FZ’s suspension woes for not much money.

In the ScoreCard Suspension category, the Suzuki bested the Shiver 88.3% to 87.5% with the FZ trailing far behind with a 73.3%. The Yamaha made up ground in the Handling category with an 80%, but it was still trailing the 87.5% and 86.7% of the Shiver and Suzuki, respectively.

Yamaha addressed the fueling issues with the FZ-09, but its A mode remains twitchy, most of us preferring the Standard mode option, at least around town. The same can be said about the Shiver’s Sport mode, Siahaan and I both noting that the Sport mode is too abrupt while the Touring mode isn’t responsive enough.

Yamaha addressed the fueling issues with the FZ-09, but its A mode remains twitchy, most of us preferring the Standard mode option, at least around town. The same can be said about the Shiver’s Sport mode, Siahaan and I both noting that the Sport mode is too abrupt while the Touring mode isn’t responsive enough.

In the heavily weighted Engine category, the FZ’s three-cylinder absolutely dominated. Combined with the bike’s light weight (nearly 50 to 75 pounds lighter than the other two), the 106 rear-wheel horsepower wants to loft the front end out of first- and second-gear corners with no more provocation than simply twisting the throttle. This can’t be said about the other two bikes.

“It’s impossible not to love that Triple!” enthuses Siahaan. “Now that its EFI tuning issues from 2014 have been sorted, it’s an absolute blast to ride. I’m not very good at wheelies, but the FZ-09 just begs you to air out the front wheel every chance you get. It’s definitely top choice if hooliganism is your goal.”

Suzuki claims the Gixxus produces more torque than its 750cc Gixxer counterpart. According to our 2014 Super-Middleweight Sportbike Shootout the GSX-R actually made 1.3 lb-ft. more. It's important to note that the Gixxus reaches peak power and torque much lower in the rev range. The two bikes were run on different dynes, so this could account for the discrepancy in power ratings.

Suzuki claims the Gixxus produces more torque than its 750cc Gixxer counterpart. According to our 2014 Super-Middleweight Sportbike Shootout the GSX-R actually made 1.3 lb-ft. more. It’s important to note that the Gixxus has more where it counts in the thick of the rev range, and reaches peak power and torque 2k rpm sooner than the GSX-R. The two bikes were run on different dynos, so this could account for the discrepancy in peak power ratings.

If urban commuting minus the hooliganism is your cup o’ tea, the Aprilia Shiver or Gixxus may be more suitable – not that they can’t be hooligans, they just demand a little more coaxing than does the FZ. Burns makes a case for the Shiver. “Dang, I liked the Shiver more than I thought I would, in spite of the fact it doesn’t have either the torque of the Triple or the top end of the Suzuki,” he says.

But Siahaan raises an excellent point: “Oldest and most expensive bike here? How does that work?” he asks. The price of the Shiver is problematic, especially considering Aprilia’s exotic RSV4 superbike retails for less than some comparable Japanese superbikes. First introduced in 2007, Aprilia’s had seven years to repay development costs, and if the Shiver was $700 less and 75 pounds lighter, our ScoreCard results would be markedly different.

Aprilia Shiver 750


+ Highs

  • Flexible V-Twin power
  • Great handler
  • Unlikely to see someone at bike night riding your motorcycle
– Sighs

  • Comparatively pricey
  • Heaviest of the bunch
  • Down on power

In the braking department, the GSX-S first exhibited impressively weak front brakes, but as the pads bedded in, front stopping power from the Suzuki went from a three-finger proposition to two fingers. Still, the Gixxus brakes were the only ones here that were not radially mounted, and they never matched the stopping power of the FZ or Shiver.

“Them GSX-S twin-piston brakes totally look out of place on such a nice moto, but they seem to work fine on the street, where you don’t use them so hard as you would if you took it to a trackday huh? We must’ve bedded in the pads,” says Burns.


Left to right: Aprilia, Suzuki, Yamaha. We understand this class of motorcycle demands cutting costs, but brakes circa 2001? Come on, Suzuki, you can do better than that. None of these three offer ABS, but the Shiver does boast steel braided brake lines and wavy discs.

The FZ and it’s nearly adventure-bike seating position won over Troy and I, with Burns dissenting, choosing the Suzuki instead. “The FZ felt a little buzzy on the freeway at 80-90 also, seat not so comfy as GSX-S and not quite so aero at those speeds either. Overall, it makes me appreciate the FJ-09 even more,” says Burns.

“The FZ has a broad seat, with what feels to me like the lowest set footpegs of the three,” says Siahaan. “Makes for a very comfortable cruising position. Seat is a tad on the firm side, though.”

Suzuki GSX-S750


+ Highs

  • Well-balanced chassis
  • Sneaky fast
  • Priced right
– Sighs

  • Outdated brakes
  • A tad heavy
  • Needs to be revved
More for Less Shootout Scorecard
Category Aprilia Shiver Suzuki GSX-S750 Yamaha FZ-09
Price 92.0% 100% 97.7%
Weight 84.8% 89.6% 100%
lb/hp 60.0% 81.3% 100%
lb/lb-ft 66.7% 79.6% 100%
Engine 83.8% 84.6% 92.5%
Transmission/Clutch 81.7% 91.7% 81.7%
Handling 87.5% 86.7% 80.0%
Brakes 87.5% 78.3% 86.7%
Suspension 87.5% 88.3% 73.3%
Technologies 66.7% 63.3% 70.0%
Instruments 78.3% 81.7% 81.7%
Ergonomics/Comfort 82.5% 83.3% 85.8%
Quality, Fit & Finish 86.7% 83.3% 84.2%
Cool Factor 88.3% 82.5% 84.2%
Grin Factor 83.3% 80.0% 88.3%
Overall Score 82.5% 83.9% 86.6%

In the end it was the FZ that came out on top but only by the skin of its under-suspended teeth. It’s saving grace being its weight-to-power ratio – objective scores in the ScoreCard that gave it a minimal advantage over the other two. Subjectively, I had the FZ tied with the Gixxus, while Burns scored the Suzuki the highest. Troy did give his subjective win to the FZ but only by a quarter point over the Shiver.

“The FZ looks like it was beaten with the ugly stick when parked next to the Shiver, and the looks of the thing might be more important to me for this type of bike than the last few percentage points of performance,” says Burns. “All three surprisingly great bikes, tho you can tell where they saved money on each of them. Tough call. Good luck!”

Yamaha FZ-09


+ Highs

  • Stellar engine
  • EFI tuning fixed
  • Awesome Triple wail
– Sighs

  • Slushy suspension
  • JB thinks it’s ugly
  • Seat material is a little firm
More For Less Shootout Specs
Aprilia Shiver 750 Suzuki GSX-S750 Yamaha FZ-09
MSRP $8,699.00 $7,999.00 $8,190.00
Engine Type Longitudinal 90° V-Twin 749.9cc 749cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, 4-cylinder 847cc liquid-cooled inline 3-cylinder
Fuel System EFI EFI EFi
Valve Train DOHC, four valves per cylinder DOHC, four valves per cylinder DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Horsepower 76.0 hp @ 9000 rpm 96.1 hp @ 10,300 rpm 104.6 hp @ 9,800
Torque 46.7 lb-ft. @ 7,200 rpm 51.7 lb-ft. @ 8,900 59.3 lb-ft. @ 9,700 rpm
lb/hp 6.50 4.80 3.90
lb/torque 10.50 8.80 7.00
Transmission 6-Speed 6-Speed 6-Speed
Final Drive Chain Chain Chain
Front Suspension 43mm upside down fork. Wheel travel 120 mm Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped 41mm fork; adjustable preload and rebound damping; 5.4-in travel
Rear Suspension Aluminum alloy swingarm with stiffener brace. Hydraulic shock absorber, with adjustable rebound and preload. 130 mm wheel travel. Link type, coil spring, oil damped Single shock; adjustable preload and rebound damping; 5.1-in travel
Front Brake Dual 320 mm stainless steel floating wave discs. Four piston radial callipers. Metal braided brake lines. Disc brake, twin Dual hydraulic disc, 298mm
Rear Brake 240 mm stainless steel wave disc. Single piston calliper. Metal braided brake lines Disc brake Hydraulic disc, 245mm
Front Tire 120/70-17 120/70-17 120/70-17
Rear Tire 180/55-17 180/55-17 180/55-17
Wheelbase 56.7 in 57.1 in 56.7 in
Seat Height 31.6 in 32.1 in 32.1 in
Measured Weight 491 lbs 464.7 lbs 416.2 lbs
Fuel Capacity 3.9 gal 4.6 gal 3.7 gal
Tested Fuel Economy 30.4 MPG 36.9 MPG 35.9 MPG
Available Colors Red, Black Metallic Matte Black No. 2 Cadmium Yellow, Matte Silver, Matte Grey
Warranty 2-year unlimited-mileage warranty. 1 Free Year of Road Side Assistance provided by Road America. 12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty. 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)

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  • Zentradi

    Not Van Halen called. He wants his guitar solo back. Other than that, great review.

  • john phyyt

    I have a FZ 09 so I guess bias is assumed: But; the motor is still awesome: I have had fun updating the suspension, seat ,exhaust and looks ; all for surprisingly little money.
    How much would you have to spend to get the others to weigh 50 to 90 lbs less ( a critical factor when enjoyment is concerned) and increase horsepower to be competitive. Tests are conducted on manufacturer’s product ; and I agree with that:
    But WOW a tricked-up FZ is really a dazzling ride:

  • Craig Hoffman

    Just because we can. Traxxion forks with cartriges installed, Penske shock, Akra exhaust, flashed ECU = stupid fun. The ’09 may just be the most fun to mod bike in recent memory :)




    • Bruce Steever

      I really really really want to ride a properly sorted FZ-09 like this.

    • Ducati Kid


      Corrected the AKRAPOVIC Exhaust ‘Treo of Tubes’ fitting a MotoGP inspired Black, Perforated Screen at it’s Outlet.

      Depicted below …

    • Ducati Kid


      Correct as depicted!

      • Craig Hoffman

        Nice photoshop work! That does look completely bad ass.

        Sick thing is, the owner of this bike just sold it for $6,395 with only 2,500 miles on it with all those goodies and a lot of setup. Owner needed the cash immediately and somebody snapped it up immediately. Used bike buy of the year. Wish I could have snagged it. IIRC, it makes around 118 hp at the rear wheel.

    • Shlomi

      With that money you could have buy Tuono V4, now seriously what do you think is more fun bike?

  • Old MOron

    With the best handling and the best brakes, almost the best suspension, the Shiver was going to get my dollars. Then I saw how much heavier it is that the other two. Oh well, guess I’ll hold out a while longer. Maybe Husqvarna will bring their Black Arrow to market next year. Maybe Dirty Sean will talk me into a Versys. Maybe I’ll find a reasonably priced R1200R. (Yeah, probably not.) Maybe the FJ09 will win me over. Maybe I’ll go hipster and get a Ducati Scrambler. Crap, maybe I’ll just hang on to what I’ve got and keep reading MOronic shootouts.

    Nice work, gentlemen. Cheers to Andy for some nice video work.

    • fastfreddie

      Maybe consider husqvarna nuda 900r if you can stand the look (and seat)…

    • 12er

      left over multi’s are on my local dealers floor for 3k off.

    • Stagehand38

      Yes…the Shiver is heavy but you don’t notice it as she’s so well balanced.
      So I like to say my Shivers build like the proverbial brick shit hose LOLOL
      Build quality is very impressive. Not at all frail( which is something I can’t say about the street triple though the ‘striple’ is a brilliant motorcycle)

  • Josh

    Love my FZ. My only regret is not getting it after my 250 straight away–I should have skipped the 500.

  • azi

    Sometimes mediocrity is good. There are riders who want their bike to be at the centre of their experience; and there are riders who approach the motorcycle as just a small contribution to a bigger experience. I understand that motorcycle reviews are “all about the bike”, but sometimes it’s “not about the bike” – it’s about what opportunities it enables with friends, travel, and so on.

    I like how the Suzuki is middle-of-the-run – it’s the one I’d buy if I was in the market. Everything works properly, even if it’s not technological cutting edge. It has all the things that just let me get on with motorcycling life out-of-the-box: decent fuelling, decent suspension, and decent ongoing dealer support. The others don’t have all three.

    • Stuki

      To add to that, very often things that are “new” and “exciting” on a test ride or for the first few weeks, over time turns out to become irritants. While on bikes that can seem bland in the beginning, more familiarity with their strengths and weaknesses, allows one to subtly change ones riding style to take advantage of the former, while minimizing the latter. As in, holding on to gears a bit longer on a revvier multi……

      Still, on any bike that is not solely about the bike, ABS really ought to be included these days. I don’t believe it’s even an option on any of these. I can understand ditching all the other electronics that are so fashionable these days for either purity or cost reasons, but for anyone not planning on doing absolutely all maintenance themselves, modern ABS is simultaneously cheap, light, and by now pretty much a pure win on a general use street bike.

      • artist_formally_known_as_cWj

        Perhaps you can find Suzuki rep to ask why the US is the only place that doesn’t get the ABS option.

        If only there were a motorcycle journalism outfit that might have such connections…

        • Kevin Duke

          Suz obviously believes the additional cost of ABS to the bike’s MSRP would hurt sales. I don’t see any other possible explanation.

          • artist_formally_known_as_cWj

            No one at the weekend introduction barbecue and puddle splash in March thought to ask?

    • http://statesofmotion.blogspot.com/ FastPatrick

      “Mediocrity” is a bit harsh. Nothing about any of these is mediocre. Something like “plain competence” might be what you’re thinking, which by all reports is what defines the Suzuki. It’s not the fastest or the most emotionally involving, but it might be the one that does the most while asking the least – which is a deeply underrated trait in an industry and market that overpromotes peak experiences.

      • Kevin Duke

        Well said!

    • artist_formally_known_as_cWj

      As well as good MPG. GSR/GSX-S riders report the 50s on fuelly. I’ve heard as much as the 60s claimed.

      • Bruce Steever

        Are you sure that number is in US MPG? Easy mistake to make…

    • Dana King

      Life is too short to ride a boring bike.

  • romangetman

    Um. I own a Shiver, and your version is, um, detuned? The euro spec Shiver is 70kW = 95bhp. Also ABS is an option (which I also do have).

    • Bruce Steever

      95 hp at the crank. Actual rear wheel horsepower is what matters.

      • Stagehand38

        …and just about every manufacturer list HP at the crank so…moot point.

        • Kevin Duke

          Crank hp can be almost anything an OEM dares to list. RWHP can be measured independently and back to back.

          • ColoradoS14

            Would be nice if we could get the motorcycle manufacturers to agree to an SAE standard like they do with cars. That would sure clean things up a bit.

    • SteveSweetz

      ABS not offered in US. Much like Yamaha with the FZ-07 (which also has ABS in Europe but not US), I guess they figure they won’t sell enough here to make it worth bringing two different versions over, so we sadly only get the cheap one.

  • Auphliam

    How did Aprilla manage to de-nut a V-Twin so badly that it finished 3rd in the Torque department behind two inlines?

    • Stuki

      The same way KTM managed to de-nut the V-Twin Superduker to produce less torque than a run-off-the-mill inline Cummins: By giving it smaller displacement :)

  • Chad H

    I own a Aprilia Dorsoduro, which is the sister bike to the Shiver. The Aprilia V-twin isn’t a powerhouse by any stretch, but it’s an extremely fun, eager little motor that from my research seems to be stone axe reliable. It can chug down at low RPM for cruising or wail up to it’s 10,000rpm redline singing a lovely Italian v-twin song. I have a set of Akra cans on my Dorso and the engine makes beautiful sounds.

    Before buying my Dorsoduro, I looked hard at the FZ-09. The Aprilia’s components were much higher quality. Everything from the switchgear to the brakes had a higher quality feel. The suspension, while still hitting a pricepoint, is light years better.

    I’ve learned in years of riding that horsepower and torque don’t always tell the story. It’s how useable that power is. And yes, there is a such thing as too much power (which I don’t believe is the case for any of the three bikes here). The Aprilia isn’t “slow” at all. it’s not going to have the top end rush of the inlines.

    The biggest strike against the Aprilia is it’s dealer network. The nearest Aprilia dealer to me is about an hour and a half away. I have several HondaKawaYamaSuki shops near me.

    • Ducati Kid

      To ALL,

      Per commentary to Piaggio Group North America –

      “Abandon the maligned APRILIA label, revising and re-naming select products – GILERA!”

      A GILERA ‘Citta’ (City) depicted including novel ‘Side Pods’ Storage with an Emission ‘Can’ Exhaust Outlet emulating Iwata’s …

      Yamaha’s ‘FZ-07’ should have been in the above review as it works!

      Better in appearance and function after revision – a ‘FZ-07S’ (Sport) model …

      Lastly a suitably colored SUZUKI ‘Factory’ homage model featuring appearance, signaling and reflector revisions – titled ‘GSX-S750F’.

      Enjoy …

    • Gootch

      I snagged a ride on a Dorsoduro a few weeks ago at bike show. I couldn’t believe how much fun it was — good low end acceleration, turned on a rail, and sounded great. it’s just too tall for me and the tank range is too small. Went to the dealer and rode a Shiver – slightly less exciting than the Dorsoduro but more practical and still a lot of fun. Since the dealer is selling them for $6999, I think I’m going to be replacing my CBR600 and Thruxton with one. I had ridden the Street Triple but believe I am going to get the Shiver — good overall bike and it feels like I could ride the wheels off of it.

  • Vrooom

    What’s great about bikes like these is that they can be used for almost anything. Track day, touring, commuting, even a dirt road. And if you drop them, well, it’s not like dropping your new Panigale.

  • Austin Stevens

    Where’s the Ducati Monster 821?

    • Bruce Steever

      About $3000 above this segment. (And not $3k better, IMHO.)

  • http://www.glassrestorationinc.com Stanton Barbas

    Back when Yamaha first got the FZ-09 to the states, I test rode it. Unfortunately I was massively disappointed by the machine. The light-switch power was jarring. It threw you backwards with very little throttle twist, and tossed you forwards when it was let out a tad. The front suspension was trash too, making the bike want to just dive forward. It inspired no confidence. Now that I hear Yamaha has fixed the EFI, I might be interested in trying the bike again. Suspensions can be tweaked semi-easily. Too bad Yamaha couldn’t fix all the IN YOUR FACE issues this bike has.

    Basically, fix the suspension on the bike and I can’t see a better naked triple out on the market, competing in my mind with only the Triumph Speed Triple.

  • Shlomi

    No not again! Last year you tested the FZ against other Triples and it came on top with the Street Triple. After the test we learnt that the suspension is marginal if not dangerous and the fueling is broken.
    I don’t know how many people bought the FZ because it won the test only to find out that the fueling is not fixable (improved but not fixed), and the suspension needs complete rebuild (simple revalue/ springs will not do it ask Ari H from motorcyclist) which means $2K investmemt.
    I know you like the FZ engine, but engine is just one component of motorcycle. For me chassis and suspension is everything (which is why I bought the other winner of that test) and I can’t stand it that you pick the FZ yet again.

    • Craig Hoffman

      An $80 flash fixes the ’09 ECU. Search for Vcyclenut.

      • Shlomi

        acceptable for less than 2K which brings the price of the bike to almost $10k. you will never get that extra 2K in after market parts back when you sell the bike. Now tell me that the FZ is still a bargain.

        • Craig Hoffman

          Heavier fork oil and proper springs bring the forks up to decent function for about $110 and an afternoon for a competent home mechanic.

          The Penske shock is money (around $1,100 new but I scored a used one for $600 for my FZ1) and there are other shock alternatives that are cheaper. Enterprising types are even fitting R1 shocks with home grown adaptors to their FZ1s for cheap. Gotta love the Internet and garage born ingenuity! No doubt the same will happen for the ’09 if it has not already.

          The little ’09 is not perfect, but it’s engine is a sweetheart. It is not a bad deal for what your 8K gets. Still wish I could have snagged the bike shown in my photos. That thing is sweet and was a steal at 6.4K.

    • Ducati Kid


      The SCARY part? YAMAHA owns MULTIPLE Suspension companies!

      As of 2013, 34% of Kayaba (moved operation’s to India) and SOQI in 2005.

      Thus near all Iwata products, unless advertised, employ COMPANY suspension components.

      That low price for YAMAHA’S FZ-09 supports limited, low-cost hardware.

      Caveat Emptor, the APRILIA come with better suspension as it’s SACHS ZF!

      Clearly not Ohlin’s product but superior to competitors for this market.

      The sad part? Iwata’s ‘FZ-09 is a fantastic cycle lacking prompt refinement!

      My Take?

      Give desiring Global customers your BEST while charging a FAIR price!

  • Biker Bob

    I own an FZ09 and I wonder how you diss it! Ugly? Definitely not. Poor suspension? Maybe some of us ride to enjoy not strafe the canyons. Buzzy? I enjoy the ride, the sound, and any buzz is minimal. Quick? you bet. This bike is awesome. Let’s get some new blood on the editorial staff. Writers who are bikers first with some experience. I think you should post the resume of the author so we can judge for ourselves. Tommy boy doesn’t seem to have a clue!

    • Andre Capitao Melo
    • dinoSnake

      Well, yes. Ugly.

      I’d like to thank JB for saying that; I’m glad that I am not the only one who thought “ugly”. If you hate the word “ugly” then substitute: “Cheap”.

      The majority of the moto world has been throwing roses at the thing for the past year but cheap, or ugly, works for me. You are free to choose which one hurts less :p

  • SteveSweetz

    This is tangential to the actual review, but I have to say the Motorcycle.com scorecard baffles me. For the ratings based on performance stats (HP, weight, etc) they’re obviously straightforward math. But for the many categories that are subjective, how the heck can you have a 100 point (or actually 1000 point with the decimal values) scale?

    I mean, what is a 1.7% difference in “cool factor”. What does an even more ridiculous 0.8% difference in comfort mean? I picture a guy with a top hat and monocle saying, “Oh yes, sitting on this Suzuki I can clearly tell it’s zero-point-eight percent more comfortable than the Aprilia.”

    We all know raw performance numbers don’t tell the whole tale (perhaps not even *half* the tale), so I presume you guys just BS all the subjective numbers to offset the stat based ratings to arrive at what your “gut” tells you is best.

    There’s no such thing as an objective review, so why not just do away with the ridiculous charade and just declare 1st/2nd/3rd without the pretense of 100 point ratings?

    • Stagehand38

      your absolutely right but throw them a bone …..they do this for a living after all.
      and I bet they know just as well as you and I that in the end…..it’s a personal and very subjective choice. Reviewers are just trying to give all of us a baseline to start from.
      I rode many bike from Ducati’s to Kawi’s to Triumphs and Yamahas……but in the end it was the aprilia Shiver that rung my bell.
      and 12,000 miles later my ‘Shiver’s’ still the only bike for me.
      Is she the best bike ‘ on paper’? doesn’t matter!
      She’s the best ever bike for me.

    • Kevin Duke

      The subjective categories are scored out of 10 by each editor, all of which have years of experience aboard hundreds of different motorcycle and are sized differently. Then it’s simple match to add up the scores and divide by the number of riders. If this isn’t adequate for you, please share your suggestions about how to do it better.

      • SteveSweetz

        The numbers make a lot more sense now that I know you’re individually scoring on a 10 point scale and averaging between editors. Though I personally think even a 10 point scale is too granular for subjective things. I mean, can you put words to what the difference is between a 7 and an 8 in comfort? Trying to quantify a subjective assessment is always imprecise, so why given the precise numbers?

        Like I said I would just get rid of the scorecard and choose your 1st/2nd/3rd. Your video discussion are review text are enough to justify your choices. Plenty of review sites I read these days have done away with numeric ratings – but really I watch videos more than anything now. Personality infused reviews are the future and you guys are already like 85% of the way there. Keep up the good work with the videos.

        • azi

          Google ‘Likert Scale’

          • ColoradoS14

            Kevin, I think that the numbers are fine but what I miss, and feel like you guys used to have, is a little blurb from each tester that said if it were there money which bike they would buy. I always really liked those, it was interesting to see when you would have a bike that on paper was the winner but then see 2 out of the 3 choosing another bike as their favorite. At the end of the day having the most power or the best quarter mile time may help a bike win the numbers game but the engine may be a bit boring compared to some of the others. In this test it seemed that most of the testers in the video enjoyed the character of the Shiver engine to the Suzuki but on paper the Shiver loses out due to lower power, especially when there are two categories for power/weight and only one for the engine overall. The superbike tests often show this where the S1000 may have the best power but most of the testers prefer the character or the RSV4 V-4 for example. I do agree with the other commenters that forcing the reviewers to pick their favorite in the video is more entertaining.

        • Kevin Duke

          Some people love numbers, so we do our best to serve them. Hopefully you’re finding our comparison tests useful even if ignoring the scorecard!

  • SRMark

    The Shiver is an expensive Gladius. Yamaha for me thanks. And it looks good through these eyes.

    • Stagehand38

      If you haven’t ridden a aprilia….give her a shot! you maybe be surprised though I understand you do pay a premium for it being Italian.

  • Stagehand38

    It doesn’t surprise me that the aprilia is still a contender.
    I’m a extremely satisfied owner of a 2012 Shiver so yes, I am a little biased.
    But for me…..The Shiver is the entire package!
    On the surface, I still think it is by far the prettiest naked bike you can buy in the US.
    Well balanced, plenty quick, 134 mph fast!, even after nine hours in the saddle I could go another couple more, did I mention she is Beautiful to look upon!
    Proper analog Tach!, self-canceling turn indicators! torque on line only a V-twin can make, it sounds like heaven,
    Holds a line as if it were reading my mind!
    A bit on the heavy side….yup! but doesn’t feel…frail, like a street triple.
    and IF I stay within the legal limit, I see over 50 mpg .

    • Craig Hoffman

      Awesome to read love stories like this, real people with their real bikes, making them their own, and thoroughly enjoying them! The older I get, the more I realize special this sort of thing is.

  • SactoDan

    I like the FZ-09, but the video didn’t really tell me much.

  • gg

    The real fact is you can buy a Shiver for under 8000.00. the local dealer here has a new 2013 model on the floor for 7299.00. So at that price the Shiver is the clear winner.

  • Chris Gayle

    I was just wondering if anyone knows why the GSXS did not come with ABS in the States as it comes stock in Canada. just doesn’t
    make sense to me.

  • Icarus

    Does anybody know what jacket is the navy blue one that Tom Roderick is wearing in the video?

  • Dana King

    Suspension upgrades are relatively inexpensive and easy. The Yamaha is by far the best of this group.

  • Ian Carr

    Curious where you got the torque figures for the Aprilia, as their website list the torque figure at 59.6 lb-ft..

    • denchung

      We measured it. Those figures you cite were measured at the crank which doesn’t account for drivetrain losses.

      • Ian Carr

        Makes sense, thanks!

  • DCGULL01

    So, now there’s a $2,000.00 Aprilia incentive to consider a Shiver 750 (if, you’ll consider a new, 1 year old Shiver?) Suddenly, that price variation is reversed, and, price becomes a driving force. Different looking, very robust components, and,-who doesn’t love a V-twin at the end of the day? Urban commuter, weekend warrior, and, tro sum bags on dat beast and you’ve got an adventure bike on your hands. I know that I’ll spin up the pre-load adjusters prior to riding anyways, so, I won’t be fighting with heavy turn in… It’s no Triumph Street Triple R, but, at $6,700.00 brand new, it’s $3,300.00 less expensive. Certainly NOT $3,300 less bike.

  • Shahriar Rahman

    Not sure if anyone pointed this out yet, but note for Editors: In the second spec sheet in the article, “More For Less Shootout Specs,” it says FZ-07 instead of FZ-09. Typo, but threw me off for a millisecond.

    • http://motorcycle.com/ Tom Roderick

      Thanks. Typo corrected.

  • http://www.petescycle.com John Petes

    I love all the generation of motorcycle now a days. expect more for the years to come.