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The FZ-10, Super Duke R, S1000R, and Tuono V4 1100 RR are machines with enough undiluted Superbike DNA to be elevated into their own special class well above and beyond more pedestrian “standard” or “naked” bikes. These are the Supernaked Streetfighters!

The past 18 months have seen significant updates to three of our competitors and the funky-cool crossplane cranked Yamaha FZ-10 is a whole new model that never even existed before 2016. Motorcycle.com sent her editors to attend the various press launches for each of these machines at points throughout 2016 and early 2017, so none of these bikes is completely unknown to us. This story however, marks the first time they’ve all met head-to-head for a full-on street and track shootout.

Out of these four machines, precisely four of them are totally amazing sporting mounts. No, we really mean it this time, these are all outstanding motorcycles, there honestly isn’t an average bike, let alone a loser, in this bunch.

The weakest and slowest bike here only has about 150 crankshaft horsepower to propel its 470 pounds across the often entertaining surface of this planet. That’s an honest 150-hp motorcycle blessed not only with heaps of usable power, but also graced with a very comfortable cockpit and a full suite of the latest electronic and performance doodads much like one might expect to find on a top of the line superbike…. This positively wonderful real world sporting motorcycle is the worst bike in this group of four.

Yeah, but doesn’t MO always like everything, all the time? It’s just standard operating procedures for us to declare that all the bikes are good, right? Wrong, it ain’t even like that, see. The pointy end of the naked sportbike field is populated by quite possibly the very best real world sporting motorcycles that have ever existed on this planet, this is some serious knowledge we’re dropping today. As in: Go buy any one of these four bikes, right now ….or just maybe stick-around through the end of this shootout, and then run out and buy the absolute pinnacle, because even though #4 is amazing, #1 is even better.

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MO’s quest for the best involves long roads, literally and figuratively. Tens of thousands of road test miles have rolled under our butts while some of our bellies have expanded and rolled over our belts, ho-ho. Literal decades spent evaluating successive generations of the latest and greatest motorcycles from every major manufacturer on the planet. From Bandits and ZRX1100s, to FZ-1s and 919s, Monsters to original V-twin Tuonos… MO’s crew really has tested them all and we’ve even owned quite a few of them. We’ve been here continuously taking the pulse of progress as modern “naked” bikes have evolved to attain the heights of today’s competitors.

 

To get to the bottom of this delicious pile, MO’s staff rode them individually around the greater Los Angeles basin for a taste of traffic, lane-splitting, and Volvo dodging. Quickly growing tired of that noise, we then decided to ride them all out to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway over a meandering couple hundred miles of open country and twisty canyon roads. You know, a lot like the way a real owner might do when deciding to hit a track day with some friends.

Before heading out as a group, we needed to get them all together at the same place for a quick dick measuring contest. Meeting at Chris Redpath’s quite amazing little MotoGP Werks – a machine shop, dyno, and vintage superbike shrine in Anaheim. We used MO’s calibrated Longacre digital scales to ascertain each bike’s actual ready-to-ride “curb” weight. With no surprise whatsoever, we quickly discovered that the weight advantage goes to the (optional) forged wheel and (stock) Akrapovic exhaust equipped BMW S1000R! At 451 pounds soaking wet, the Beemer undercuts the FZ-10’s 470 lb stat by almost 20 pounds! From there the Tuono RR rolled across our scales at 473, followed 5 pounds later by the big 1290 Super Duke R at 478. It is amusing to note that KTM still reports the bad old-style “Dry” weight in its marketing materials, which results in a claimed figure closer to what might be obtained by putting a bike in a dehydrator, on Mars, compared to its actual fueled-up ready to ride weight down here on earth.

Top horsepower honors go to the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR, with 162.2 at the rear tire! The BMW 159.9 and KTM 159.5 follow not too far behind, while the FZ-10 is forced to make due with only a comparatively modest 135.7 horsepower getting through to its rear contact patch.

Putting the POWER! in this power-to-weight rodeo, our four heroes spun Redpath’s Dynojet to varying levels of awesome. In the end, Luciano Pavarotti the charismatic Tuono V4 1100 took the horsepower crown by delivering no less than 162.2 hp @ 11,800 rpm to the rear contact patch! Wow. That’s not just beautiful music folks. Also well into Wow territory, the S1000R and 1290 Super Duke R delivered very similar peak numbers, both of them nipping at the Aprilia’s heels with 159.9 hp @ 10,900 rpm and 159.5 hp @ 10,000 rpm, respectively.

The poor FZ-10 and its crossplane warbler brought up the rear with that aforementioned 135 hp figure, 135.7 @ 9,500 rpm to be exact. In the Yamaha’s defense, it should be noted that the FZ-10 may be able to produce quite a bit more power, but appears to be electronically neutered, with a glaring plateau on its dyno chart as the electro-cops rein things in above about 9000 rpm – most likely a well-intentioned attempt to game U.S. noise tests, which are conducted at a fixed percentage of the peak horsepower rpm.

The FZ-10’s crossplane inline-four engine does a couple of remarkable things. First: It sounds almost as good as the Aprilia V-4. Second: It manages to keep up with the other bikes in this test and doesn’t ever really feel like it’s struggling.

If the Yamaha stretched on to 11,000 rpm peak, then its sound test would also have to be conducted higher in the rev range. This is a tuning compromise from which the European motorcycles do not seem to suffer, and that’s a real shame because the FZ-10 is an amazing bike that does a great job of going toe-to-toe with the Aprilia, BMW and KTM anywhere outside of a dyno cell or very long straight.

You’re looking at total torque domination, pure and simple. In terms of area under the curve, the big KTM Super Duke R simply destroys the other streetfighters everywhere below 9500 rpm, but it signs-off shortly thereafter. BMW’s inline-four and Aprilia’s V-4 wrestle for second place in the mid-range with the BMW holding a clear torque advantage relative to the other four cylinder bikes below 5500 rpm, with the Tuono finally stretching past them all only at the very top of the tachometer.

The Torque picture, capital T, is unsurprisingly dominated by the big Super Duke R’s 1301cc V-twin. It delivers by far the most peak torque, all 94.7 lb-ft of the stuff at by far the lowest rpm, only 7,400. That towers above the other three bikes, with about 12 lb-ft more than the second torquiest S1000R’s perfectly reasonable 82.9 lb-ft @ 9,500 rpm. The Aprilia is next with 80.4 lb-ft also at 9,500 rpm, while the Yamaha brings 75.6 lb-ft to the party at 9,300 rpm.

Let’s get under way. Out on the road, the KTM is clearly the torque king, meanwhile the BMW, Aprilia and Yamaha all feel, somewhat surprisingly, like they offer about the same grunt as each other. Perhaps the Yamaha has shorter gearing or something. Whatever it is, the FZ-10 doesn’t really seem to let its horsepower and torque deficits get in the way of a good time. The crossplane Yamaha and V4 Aprilia both feel quite lively, while the BMW’s conventional inline-four powerplant delivers a slightly more linear and less dramatic-feeling response while still getting the job done just as well as the others. For road use, every one of these bikes delivers BIG, highly-entertaining power that is ready to use at the rider’s discretion or lack thereof. It is however worth noting that the Aprilia’s V-4 sings a tune while it flat hauls ass in a manner that none of our editors could resist. It’s the most wonderful menace to a rider’s license on this planet.

Southern California’s twisty mountain roads reveal the very best traits of practical sporting motorcycles. Here our group makes its way towards a gourmet lunch rendezvous at the Restaurant Gastrognome in Idyllwild. Great roads, bikes, people and food are the meaning of life.

All of these bikes are comfortable all day long. All of them handle better than most other motorcycles. All of them offer light and responsive steering. All of them are more than any of us deserve or will ever really need. Those things said, this story would take another 10,000 words to cover the full ride route and track day, so let’s just say the roads were twisty, the scenery was stunning and the racetrack was big fun no matter which of the four bikes we were on at the time. For the finer points of each bike’s relative merits, let’s break them down in the results of this big test:

4th Place: Yamaha FZ-10 – 90.23%

The FZ-10 has a neutral and easy to ride feel coupled with extremely comfortable ergonomics and great engine sounds. It really impressed us with how well it stood-up against the more powerful competitors in this group.

The FZ-10 delivers a very appealing package of comfort, character, and value that is hard to beat out on the street. It really shines in the real world thanks to roomy ergonomics that give even the big Super Duke R a run for its money. John Burns thinks it looks “super cool” and agrees about its comfort being in the same ballpark as the big Super Duke. It’s worth noting that John and I are very dissimilar in size… a good indication that the FZ-10s ergos will probably work well for just about anyone. In fact, John likes it so much he says, “given my finances, the FZ is the one I’d buy with my own dollars. I don’t miss the quick shifter, I don’t miss the extra power the other bikes have (in fact I barely ever felt it even on the track, and you could uncork it if you needed to). Super comfy, ergos second only to the KTM, second best exhaust sound to the Aprilia, I love the looks especially in the gray with yellow wheels, great passenger and bungee accommodations. Like I said last December, the FZ-10 is maybe the best bike Yamaha’s built in a decade.

The FZ-10’s relatively low footpeg position is great for rider comfort in the real world, but they do touch-down awful early when the going gets extra-sporty.

John wasn’t alone in his praise, even hyper-performance focused Kevin Duke says, “its crossplane mill produces a soulful symphony nearly the equal of its Italian counterpart. Wonderful motor, it’s just down 20 hp.”  Evans Brasfield continued the love with statements like: “I love the riding position. The street-reasonable peg location made it comfy in a variety of road conditions – from commuting to light-duty touring… unlike the SDR, I found the wind blast to be fine – even at supra-legal speeds on my 190+ mile ride home from Chuckwalla. When it comes to time in the saddle after dark, I think the Yamaha wins with the easiest to operate cruise control on the switch gear. Setting the speed requires much fewer contortions of the thumb than on the other models perhaps the most balanced street bike of this quartet, if I were buying one of these bikes in anything other than a lottery-induced spending spree, the FZ would be the one I’d choose.

I generally agree with Evans’ assessment of the FZ-10’s charms, but I do take some exception with that final comment only because it really isn’t much of a stretch up the price ladder to the very best bike in this bunch. But more on that later.

In tight twisties and out on the racetrack, the Yamaha does a fine job but is ultimately outperformed by the rest of the group. There were a few mild gripes about the FZ-10’s dynamics, but even down here in fourth place we needed to be deliberately picky to find much worth mentioning. Kevin felt the FZ-10 suffered from “jumpy throttle response in anything but Standard mode” and he also complained that the “brakes feel a bit dull, maybe the pads were not fully bedded.” He also didn’t like the fact the FZ-10’s “traction control is switchable, but there’s no separate wheelie control.” And finally, Kevin felt that the FZ-10s “power deficit, lack of cornering ABS, non-TFT instrumentation, and absence of a quick shifter places it in a lower category than the other machines.

But Duke was its harshest critic, meanwhile John Burns and I never noticed the FZ falling behind on Chuckwalla’s short straights, and Evans said he loved the willing performance of its engine. We did however all complain about a general lack of cornering clearance, even on standard street tires, thanks to those low footpegs that are so great for legroom on the street. They would graunch down in Chuckwalla’s fast sweepers for John, Ryan, and Evans, and they scraped in every single corner of the track for me, sometimes alarmingly so. We were all partially able to ride-around the clearance issue and we could all keep up with the pack while riding at our non-race “track day” pace, but when I tried to push the FZ-10 any faster than that, its pegs would fold all the way up and my arrogance would quickly drain away as the grinding noises got louder and visions of levering the tires off the pavement danced through my foolhardy head… at the track a little restraint was the order of the day on the FZ-10.

We’ve reached the point where we’re gonna complain the ABS isn’t lean-sensitive. Those are the hairs we much split in a field of bikes as strong as this crop.

In summary, the FZ-10 is a very easy bike to love and quite close to being the best streetbike here, but as an editorial team we all have racing backgrounds and when it’s time to really bone-down and boogie, the other three bikes in this group just do it a little bit better. If you aren’t racer-fast or someone otherwise interested in trying to drag bodyparts, the FZ-10 makes a compelling value argument in the Supernaked Streetfighter class.

3rd Place: BMW S1000R –  91.66%

The BMW S1000R and its optional lightweight forged aluminum wheels is easily the lightest on the scales and also offers noticeably lighter steering in the canyons and on the racetrack. Dynamically speaking, it gave our first place bike a run for its money.

Speaking of hot, nasty speed, the S1000R and its optional lightweight forged wheels make short work of even the very tightest roads, it’s a machine that loves to be slammed onto its side and then flicked back over the other way through a series of mountain esses. There is a linked section of S-turns leading up towards Idyllwild on Highway 74 where the S1000R felt better than any other liter class sportbike I’ve ever ridden… I just want to do that again, and again. It’s the scalpel of the bunch for sure, but it requires a calm and steady hand to perform surgery.

John says, “Its lightness and wide handlebar make it the fastest way through a set of curves.” Kevin agrees, saying “the BMW has uncanny agility thanks to the optional forged wheels that make it steer more like a 600 in a group of literbikes. This is especially useful when strafing canyon roads where quick reactions make for a more confident rider.

But back to my steady-hand comment, John also says “almost TOO quick, but that’s a condemnation of my slowness more than of the bike – though I do think its handlebar is an inch too long on either end: The faster you’re able to go, the more you’ll like its ability to change course instantly and its light weight.

All systems are go, and there are plenty of them thanks to BMW’s long list of electronic comforts and aides.

Evans had similar impressions: “The S1000R turned almost telepathically on the constantly changing pavement undulations we encountered on our day’s ride to Chuckwalla Raceway. Once at the track, that telepathy turned to flightiness in some corner entries. However, this can be chalked up to a failing on my part and not the BMW’s sexy wheels.” Meanwhile a bit farther up the performance ladder, Kevin Duke was mostly neutral about the S1000R’s quick steering on track, merely noting that it probably didn’t make much of a difference to lap times. I on the other hand loved it on the track just as much as I loved it on the street; the BMW was happy to quickly do everything the rider’s body and hands asked of it, always. This might come off as flightiness in some mindsets, but I just appreciated it and simply kept my inputs and movements to a minimum.

The S1000R encouraged rapid transitions and the pressing of its mid-corner traction, note the squeezed front brake lever and how much front suspension travel is currently being used as the BMW is trail-braked into this corner. It really does encourage and allow its rider to press it right up to the limits of adhesion.  However, not long after this photo was taken Sean would take a step too-far in a slow right-hander and learn just how forgiving the big BMW really could be as he tucked the front and then picked the bike up off his knee mid-“crash” before riding out of it. Moral of the story: take it easy at the track on stock street tires.

The BMW definitely has a character that seems to be shared by most inline-four powered sportbikes, encouraging its rider to flog it mercilessly into corners and then push the front while dipping into its linear torque spread early to accelerate away from the apex while still cranked-over on the side of the tire. Late in the day when all of the bikes’ stock street tires were well past their primes, John felt the BMW begin to push its Bridgestone S20 front tire a few times even before he was at full lean.

In a seeming need to reinforce the fact that I’m the dumbest and most foolhardy editor at MO, for the last session of the day I jumped on the BMW and tried to push its limits a bit. Of course I completely tucked the front in turn eight on only the second lap out of the pits… tire howling, bars full-lock to the right, the S1000R fell onto my right knee and did a convincing impression of actually crashing before allowing me to pick it back up and finish the corner in the nick of time. That was enough for even me, these were just street tires after all, and we had all simply been asking way too much from them all day at Chuckwalla. The benefit of our foolishness is that it allowed the ultimate rideability of the BMW to shine through as it saved our asses on shagged tires at the track. I’d race this bike without any hesitation aside from a fluid, pad and tire upgrade.

The BMW S1000R looks a bit complicated, but feels delightfully straightforward in all the best ways when ridden aggressively.

Away from the track the BMW makes a fine streetbike and not just because it offers cruise control and heated grips. It also has a comfortable seat and reasonable ergonomics. Still, Evans noticed that “although the bulk of the annoying vibration of early generations of this engine are gone, the high-frequency tingle is still present at certain rpm – which is really too bad since the S1000R has a really great, ass-kickingly fast engine.” And. “While the quick shifter and auto-blip might not have worked as seamlessly as the KTM’s on the track, in the world of street riding, where gears are changed at a wide variety of engine speeds and acceleration/deceleration rates, nothing could touch the BMW’s electronics, making it a joy to use in the commuter shuffle.”

However, both Duke and Burns had issues with the Beemer’s quickshifter. Kevin noted, “Quickshifter sometimes didn’t activate during upshifts at the track.” Burns, on the other hand, felt the downshifts were a bit lacking: “I really don’t like to stomp for downshifts because it throws off my lack of rhythm.”

What did the new kid think? Ryan says, “This was my first chance to test the difference in handling between forged wheels vs cast wheels back-to-back and wow, what a difference. The BMW had amazingly quick turn-in and overall flickability however, that weight savings will cost you. But overall the BMW feels like a great example of German engineering. The tight tolerances are most notable in the lack of slop in the S1000R’s gearbox.”

Ruthlessly efficient but somehow not quite as engaging on an emotional level as some others here, and not quite as comfortable on long boring rides either, with a slightly cramped cockpit and zero wind deflection thanks to its total embrace of nakedity – the S1000R is nonetheless a formidable machine.

2nd Place: KTM 1290 Super Duke R – 92.97%

Our largest editor used all of the KTM’s roomy ergonomics and acknowledges its best-in-class street comfort even if he did slightly prefer the more compact Aprilia’s ergonomic package as a whole.

The big and funky KTM looks like a party animal and has all the torque to back it up. But with the longest wheelbase by over an inch, the most rake and the longest trail in this group it actually feels like the most relaxed bike in this test. Couple that relatively sedate geometry with a tall sit-up and beg riding position and the end result feels almost like it’s halfway to being an ADV bike. This makes the Super Duke R sublime for commuting, lane-splitting and urban street use, but it does somewhat detract from its tight/twisty nimbleness compared to the other three Supernakeds.

If “stance” was a motorcycle thang, the big KTM would dominate.

It has enough power. It’s an engine that makes itself known wherever and however you may choose to ride it. At low rpm it sends giant power pulses through the drivetrain, resulting in some unseemly noises from the chain and sprockets, it’s a good idea to keep your chain length properly adjusted and to generally avoid lugging the KTM’s motor around at 1,200 rpm. Keep the revs in a more reasonable 3,000+ rpm range and the power pulses blend into a therapeutic thrum. Twist it, especially with the electronics in race mode, and a brave new world of possibilities opens before you…. Run into the back of a La Ferrari? Don’t mind if I do!  Remove a house from its foundations? Sure! Pull a semi truck out of a ditch? Why not! It has enough power.

Don’t believe me? Look at what the boys think about the KTM’s power: “If you’re riding on a tight, unfamiliar road where point-and-shoot is the operative technique, beware the KTM,” extols Evans, “the SDR is a torquegasm™ waiting for a place to happen. Add the deep exhaust note, and you’ve got a recipe for some afternoon delight…or morning…or evening…”

Burns sounds like he agrees, “No substitute for cubic inches on the street, and it has the most – and all that V-Twin rumpty-rump makes it the most visceral entertainment, too.” Saying the SDR has “a monstrously effective motor, pumping out massive torque and top-end numbers competitive with its rivals,” makes Kevin sound like the King of Understatement.

That doesn’t mean we didn’t find something to complain about. “The tallest seat height made short me feel extra short,” whined Kevin, “and seat padding isn’t exactly generous.” Evans brought his personal issues to the fore: “The only problem with the Super Duke’s sit-up-and-see-the-world riding position is that it leaves the rider vulnerable to wind blast on extended highway sessions. During the length of your typical commute this won’t be a problem (but I made sure I wasn’t on the SDR for the three-hour freeway trek home from Chuckwalla.)”

Look up “stonk” in the dictionary, then laugh as you discover it means artillery bombardment. The Super Duke R bombards just about everything with its 1301cc torque cannon.

“Now with the breakdown of Western Civilization and steady 90 mph freeway speeds, we almost need the fairing back again, but not quite,” expounds Burns, who goes on in the Oedipal style the KTM inspires: “The KTM is a high chair rubbing up against mama’s belly while being spoonfed a big bowl of torquemeal. For 5’8 me, its ergos are perfect, or would be perfect with a fly screen to both improve the looks and divert a smidgen of wind.”

Duke says: “Changes to the suspension for 2017 haven’t spoiled what is an amazingly competent set of suspenders that are controlled and compliant whether on the street or the racetrack.” Pretty sweet considering the big Duke is the only bike here whose rear suspension doesn’t involve a linkage system.

You definitely want the optional flyscreen.

Want more gripes? Too bad, aside from some low-rpm chain-slap and a slightly detached/delayed feeling in its ride-by-wire throttle response, there aren’t any. The big KTM serves up a mountain of torque, everywhere. It’s easily the best looking bike with the most street “presence” of the bunch. “I like its deconstructed postindustrial looks the best,” says Burns, “and all those exposed architectural features provide plenty of places to strap things to the back seat.” Finally, the KTM provides the most comfortable and roomy ergonomics of any naked bike.

1st Place:  Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR – 94.01%

Little by little the charismatic Italian sucks you into its web of lust. It can comfortably disappear beneath you on a 300 mile interstate ride and then suddenly reappear with an operatic bellow that transitions into a howl and then into a wail as you whack its throttle open and let the revs climb into the upper reaches of the tach.

The big Tuono is insidious, sit on one in a showroom and you could be forgiven for thinking the pegs are too high and the bars are too low for it to possibly be any good on a daily commute or a long freeway ride. But then you actually ride one, those low bars give you 95% of a superbike’s precision in high-speed sweepers, but are just as comfortable to use as any other naked bike’s bars, they keep the worst of your upper body weight off your wrists without being tall enough to let highway wind blast make you feel like a parachute… they just work, everywhere.

Little by little the charismatic Italian sucks you into its web of lust. It can comfortably disappear beneath you on a 300 mile interstate ride and then suddenly reappear with an operatic bellow that transitions into a howl and then into a wail as you whack its throttle open and let the revs climb into the upper reaches of the tach. Suddenly, you are giggling or outright laughing in your helmet as the same machine you hadn’t been thinking about all day bursts into violent acceleration while doing a downright compelling MotoGP impression. Spoon some Pirelli Supercorsa SC2s onto a Tuono V4 1100’s rims and hit any paved racetrack in the world, you’ll become spoiled for life as it quickly and comfortably shows you the absolute pinnacle of track day entertainment. If you ask me, the 2017 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR is the second best motorcycle on earth, right behind the Öhlins-equipped Tuono V4 1100 Factory.

Kevin Duke loves the upgraded 2017 Tuono so much he actually gave it – almost unheard of – perfect scores in no less than four separate categories: Engine, Brakes, Technologies, and Grin Factor! Those scores are almost too good to be true, almost that is until you realize that the Tuono’s average scores in those four categories, including the scores from all three other judges, were: Engine: 98.75%, Brakes: 96.88%, Technologies: 97.5%, and Grin Factor: 93.13%. This is the stuff of legends.

Just listen to some quotes from my fellow editors re: the Tuono’s goodness:

Kevin Duke says: “The new Euro 4 exhaust tones down some of the Tuono’s bark, but it’s still the best sounding motor here and perhaps anywhere. The Tuono’s M50 calipers are sensational! Difficult to imagine a better braking system. Love the new TFT gauges, which are comprehensive and easy to read and decipher, and the shift lights are impossible to miss.” Also, “amazingly affordable, considering its exotic lineage and bounty of state-of-the-art features. The Tuono is the easy winner in my book, based mostly on its spectacular V-4 that excites in ways no other motorcycle powerplant does. Add in independently adjustable TC, WC and ABS, plus excellent TFT instrumentation, and the Aprilia takes top marks from me. It’s simply the best street motorcycle I’ve ever had the privilege of riding on the street and a racetrack.

Whew, someone get Kevin a cigarette!

John Burns adds pearl of praise like: “Has the perfect drivetrain if not the most torque, seamless light up and downshifts at just about any speed… On day two the Tuono felt most perfect circulating Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. It’s a street fighter, but you can tell its ergos were fine-tuned on a race track. At the end of the day when all the tires were tired I could still drag knees with confidence on the Tuono; its front end never wavered, which encourages you to twist the throttle. Rock solid, and the afterburner kicks in just at the right time on the straights. Amazingly powerful brakes yet completely stable stopping hard... At my mediocre speed, I feel more comfortable on the slower-steering Aprilia than the comparatively flighty BMW. Somehow, though, its ergos don’t fit me quite as well on the street. The seat feels a bit sharp where it meets my underthighs, the grips aren’t quite at the proper angle for me. It wants you to ride like you’re in Italy, tucked in and going for the gusto constantly. Sometimes you just want to cruise to the beach.”

The Tuono’s bright new TFT display screen remains easily readable in all lighting conditions and it’s bar-graph tachometer and sequential shift lights work very well together.

Evans Brasfield’s Tuono praises include: “It always comes down to the engine with the Tuono. Although we’re running out of superlatives with this mill, it still bears repeating: Wherever you go on the Tuono, you’re surrounded by the raw sex of the V-4’s exhaust note. Winding the engine out in the canyons or on the race track elicits something akin to a religious experience for gearheads. The quick shifter and auto-blipping downshifts means that there’s barely a pause in its mechanical song – one we were lucky enough to listen to for two straight days… and the Brembo brakes provide the perfect counterpoint to the engine’s thrust, attenuating speed like they are directly connected to your synapses. The other bikes all acquitted themselves on the track rather well, but the Aprilia felt truly at home on a closed course. I never managed to drag a peg – unlike with the three other supernakeds, and the Tuono’s slightly heavier steering turned into unflappable stability in high-speed corners. Excuse me… I’m getting a little misty-eyed just thinking about it.

New Associate Editor, Ryan Adams, picked the Tuono V4 1100 RR as his favorite on both street and track, but he might be a little biased as a current Tuono owner himself.

Finally, let’s hear from a 2015 Tuono V4 1000 owner, semi-new Motorcycle.com Associate Editor, Ryan Adams: “I try not to be a Tuono fan boy but honestly it’s difficult when Aprilia continues to produce a platform that pulls at my emotions so viscerally. The V-4 engine powering my Tuono V4R was enough to eke out the S1000R when I was considering the two for purchase. Now after having owned a 2015 Tuono V4R for a few years, the new Tuono 1100 RR seems to have all of the answers that had left me questioning my 2015 decision. The fueling is more crisp, the cornering stability and maneuverability borders on telepathic, and the damn seat actually grips no matter what type of riding gear you’re wearing (a significant personal annoyance with my 2015 model).

And in Conclusion…

Subjectively, three out of four MOrons agree the V4 Italian Stallion is numero uno, with only little Johnny picking the KTM, and me, Dirty Sean, giving the Aprilia the nod over it by just 0.2%. (At this test, young Ryan had not yet been granted suffrage.) The combined scorecard is the final judge and in this instance it does a really good job of not only reflecting our personal relative rankings for each bike, but also of illustrating just how incredibly competent all four of these bikes really are. If you like some comfort and practicality but don’t want to sacrifice much performance at all, any one of these four bikes will knock your socks off and leave you with a perma-grin in a way very few other motorcycles could hope to match. 

Johnny B says: “OVERALL an amazing crop of motorcycles. I used to be the only one silly enough to ride home after a Chuckwalla day. This time, so did my three compadres. Cruise control. Hello.”  

Every one of these bikes will be a returning model for 2018, so if you can find a good deal on any leftover 2017s at your local Aprilia, BMW, KTM, or Yamaha dealers this winter, there really is no reason not to run right out and give yourself the ultimate present, you’ll be glad you did!

With the loser scoring a 90.23% rating on the Scorecard and the winner a 94.01%, you’re going to live happily ever af-, well, really happily for as long as you want with any of these. If you’re lucky and/or smart enough to be shopping in this department, happily ever after may not be in your make-up. Because you’re on the cutting edge of motorcycle performance, my child, and when the next better thing comes along, we’ll let you know and you will want it. But if you want the most fun and excitement right now, only the Aprilia will do.

 

Super Streetfighter Shootout Specifications
Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR BMW S1000R KTM 1290 Super Duke R Yamaha FZ-10
MSRP $14,999.00 $13,795.00 $17,999.00 $12,999
Price As Tested $14,999.00 $17,220.00 $18,774.98 $12,999
Engine Type 1077cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, V-Four, four-stroke, 4-valves per cylinder 999cc liquid-cooled,DOHC, Inline-Four, four-stroke, 4-valves per cylinder 1301cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, V-Twin, four-stroke, 4-valves per cylinder 998cc liquid-cooled,DOHC, (Crossplane) Inline-Four, four-stroke, 4-valves per cylinder
Bore and Stroke 81mm x 52.3mm 80mm x 49.7mm 108mm x 71mm 79.0mm x 50.9mm
Compression Ratio 13.1:1 12.1:1 13.6:1 12.0:1
Rear Wheel Horsepower 162.2 hp @ 11,800 rpm 159.9 hp @ 10,900 rpm 159.5 hp @ 10,000 rpm 135.7 hp @ 9,500 rpm
Rear Wheel Torque 80.4 lb-ft @ 9,500 rpm 82.9 lb-ft @ 9,500 rpm 94.7 lb-ft @ 7,400 rpm 75.6 lb-ft @ 9,300 rpm
Transmission 6-speed 6-speed 6-speed with PASC Slipper Clutch 6-speed
Final Drive Chain Chain Chain Chain
Front Suspension 43mm inverted telescopic fork. Fully adjustable. 4.7 inches of travel 46mm inverted telescopic fork. Fully adjustable. 4.7 inches of travel 48mm inverted telescopic fork. Fully adjustable. 4.9 inches of travel 43mm KYB inverted telescopic fork. Fully adjustable. 4.7 inches of travel
Rear Suspension Rear Mono Shock w/ Spring Preload, Compression & Rebound Damping Adjustability, 5.1 in of travel Rear Mono Shock w/ Spring Preload, Compression & Rebound Damping Adjustability, 4.7 in of travel Rear Mono Shock w/ Spring Preload, Compression & Rebound Damping Adjustability, 6.1 in of travel KYB Rear Mono Shock w/ Spring Preload, Compression & Rebound Damping Adjustability, 4.7 in of travel
Front Brake Dual 320mm rotors. Four-piston calipers. ABS Dual 320mm rotors. Four-piston calipers. BMW Race ABS Dual 320mm rotors. Four-piston calipers. Bosch 9.1 MP ABS Dual 320mm rotors. Four-piston calipers. ABS
Rear Brake 220mm rotor. Single-piston caliper. ABS 220mm rotor. Single-piston caliper. BMW Race ABS 240mm rotor. Single-piston caliper. Bosch 9.1 MP ABS 220mm rotor. Single-piston caliper. ABS
Front Tire 120/70-ZR17 120/70-ZR17 120/70-ZR17 120/70-ZR17
Rear Tire 200/55-ZR17 190/55-ZR17 190/55-ZR17 190/55-ZR17
Rake/Trail 24.7º/3.9 in 24.8º/3.9 in 24.9º/4.21 in 24.0º/4.0 in
Wheelbase 57.1 inches 56.7 inches 58.3 inches 55.1 inches
Seat Height 32.5 inches 32.0 inches 32.9 inches 32.5 inches
Measured Curb Weight 473 lbs 451 lbs 478 lbs 470 lbs
Fuel Capacity 4.9 gal 4.6 gal 4.7 gal 4.5 gal
Measured Fuel Economy (Ridden Aggressively) 34.4 mpg 38.9 mpg 39.9 mpg 31.4 mpg

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  • My next motorcycle is a 2017 or 2018 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory.

    • Gabriel Owens

      Living the dream.

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        Wake up!

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        Wake up!

    • Barry Morton

      Great choice .

    • Chris

      You know, I’d have one already, excepting the 30 mpg debacle. I just can’t/won’t do that for a public road bike. I know most don’t care, but that just doesn’t work for me. Call it anal, OCD, cheap, twisted, whatever; it’s just so. Otherwise, I say again, I’d have one already…Well, that, and the closest Ape dealer is 5 hour away. That also sucks.

      OTOH, the 1290 SD-R in the garage certainly eases the pain.

      • Born to Ride

        If there was a way to magically carry 7 gallons of fuel without changing anything else about the bike, I wouldn’t care about it’s thirst in the slightest given it’s performance and lust factor.

        • Chris

          By all means, get what you want, for whatever reason(s) you want. That’s why they make different bikes.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        I applaud your selection of bike. The KTM had the highest mpg in the shootout too, despite having the biggest engine. The other issue you touch upon is also very important to consumers but is never touched upon by bike reviewers. The Aprilia keeps winning these shootouts but it is never considered where people can buy them and where they can get them serviced. The nearest Aprilia dealer is 50 miles from me and is a multi-line dealership that carries 10 brands so you can understand how much the sales people and mechanics know about the models carried by each brand. On the other hand the KTM dealership has been around for more than 40 years and handles only KTM and Husqvarna and is on my way to work by the freeway only 15 miles away. They know everything there is to know about KTMs and regularly attend the new model introductions around the world. They were one of only 11 dealerships around the country that got the new Freeride E-XC electric off-road bike.

        • Chris

          I am a Katoom fan, as well. They make great stuff. I would love to ride the new Tuono. I just won’t own one under the current circumstances. At 6′-01″, and w/dealers and specialty shops specializing in the KTM’s close to me, it was an easy choice. The reasonable mileage, comfort for tall guys, looks, primo components, velvety waves of torque, etc. of the SD-R are just too good. It just goes to show you gotta’ take these write-ups w/a bit of your own brain activated. I love reading them and they do a great job, but that doesn’t mean their conclusion should match yours…as they regularly state. Good stuff, all.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            All four bikes are good. After that it is up to individual preferences, needs and convenience. If you already have one KTM, it is easier to buy more from the same dealership. You get preferential treatment. They help me out by doing my servicing on the weekend since I work during the week. Also they start on my bike first thing in the morning when I get there on Saturday. I have had a very good experience with my dealership.

          • Chris

            Yes, sir. All the local dealers know me well. Advantages, it certainly has. Nice!

      • Well hell, prior to the Versys I’ve had about 30 others, including a 916 (955) SPS, mega-built Bandit 1200S, Speed Triple, lots of CBRZXGSX-R racebikes, CR500R roadracer / supermoto, ARK 605 EN/ES, SV-650S, XL350S, XR650L, XT350, XL125S, RS250, yada, yada, yada… The Tuono fits right in with my ALL_OVER_THE_MAP history of bike ownership.

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          And that time in college with the Harley. But, hey, you were young and experimenting.

        • Chris

          I am right there w/you, my brother. I’ve had over 80 bikes and 30 cars, of all kinds. I’m surely not nay-saying the Tuono, it’s an awesome ride, I have no doubt (I had an ’03 for the record.). I love the compare/contrast side of the game, and riding different stuff. Ride what you love. Onward!…And you guys have a great Christmas.

    • DickRuble

      Yeah, right.. From a Versys to the Tuono Factory.. Like going from a Makarov to a Sphinx 3000 for daily carry.. Raaaaaghh.. did I just write that? Take it down..take it down..

    • Mahatma

      Is aprilia sponsoring you now?

    • Sayyed Bashir

      It should be easy to wrangle a discount or even a press bike.

      • One would think, but Aprilia has NEVER spononsored MO, nor have they provided anything aside from press bikes, cool PR guys and good trackside support during shootouts. Never a buck exchanged business wise and never an offer to discount a used press bike for me…. believe me I’ve asked about the later.

        • Iconyms

          As someone who has seen how press bikes are ridden first hand, how much of a discount would you need to buy a press bike? 😉

    • Iconyms

      I just got a 2017 RSV4 RR. Love it. Tuono probably makes more sense but the racer in me wanted the full fairing and Clipons.

  • Gabriel Owens

    Is that fz10 sp coming soon or what?

    • spiff

      Yamaha should be ashamed. This bike should beat up on the under class man while the sp could be an affordable option in this group.

  • Alaskan18724

    Probably more than I can handle. Certainly more than I deserve.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      You deserve the best.

  • Starmag

    Just cutting up my driver’s licence with a scissors would save me $15-20k.

    Sean gets to save his list of “motorcycle crashing excuses for distributors” for later by pulling a “Marquez”.

  • DickRuble

    Big let down by Yamaha. Looking at the power and torque curves, there’s work to do. Could the bridling of the engine electronically have to do with instability at high speed. I think the FJ-09 had a similar limitation imposed to avoid some chassis issues at high speeds. Furthermore, not too long ago some manufacturers offered adjustable pegs (street, track) with a couple of brackets and bolts (hint, my bike has that). Why can’t Yamaha do that? It wouldn’t cost more than $50. And did you see the gas mileage? Anyway, disappointing effort by Yamaha.

    • mikstr

      would like to see how the Euro version of the Yamaha would fare on a dyno. Strangely, all the Japaneses literbikes are neutered (choked off at high rpm) yet the Euros are getting bikes in without the electronic nannies…..

      • James Marshall

        Euro MT09 typically tests in the 150-152 hp region out of the box. More torque too. With less restrictive exhaust , 160 hp is a common finding. I live in Europe and read all the tests, and know people with all four of these bikes. The Aprilia is the track king no question, but is much less comfortable on the street than the Yamaha for general riding in the real world.

    • Born to Ride

      The fact that it’s I4 999cc competitor in this comparison stomps it at every point in the rev range, it’s hard to make the argument that it’s “tuned for torque”. That being said, I have ridden one, and on that tight twisty road, my hand never got past half throttle and I was moving quite quick. It wasn’t my bike so I didn’t push it as hard as I could have, but I didn’t like it for other reasons.

      • Stuki Moi

        The S1000 engine is an outlier in any company. It beats the Aprilia as often as not up the trace, despite 80cc less.

        I’m assuming the measurement is off an inertial dyno, which does give some benefit to engines with lighter internals and other rotating and reciprocating masses (BMW does without balancer shafts and is over square even in this company, and has lightweight wheels), but that S1000 motor has been an overachiever since it first launched. The Yamaha is where it “should be” wrt the Tuono, CC for CC, all the way up until it’s restricted, for sound volume or whatever reason.

        • gjw1992

          Tho I’d lust after the tuono I’d plump for the s1000r with the forged wheels, and ideally a full akra. But then as an s1000r owner i’m a shade biased.

          The fz10 – it’s in a different class, more general purpose/cheaper roadster. Above the suzi gsx-s1000, speed triple and and current cb1000r.

          And on another matter – I am amazed the tuono is so well priced. Given how few v4 bikes I guess aprilia must make (and how few bikes they make at all above 125/scooter level).

    • Sayyed Bashir

      “self-imposed 186 mph top speed limit” by motorcycle manufacturers to keep government safety regulators at bay. The top speed limit on a GSX-R1000 and Hayabusa can be circumvented by a simple gear position indicator that makes the ECU think it is always in 5th gear and thus doesn’t lower the rev limit in 6th gear.

      • DickRuble

        The FZ10, and the FJ-09 are not powerful enough to be affected by the 186 limit (which manufacturers no longer respect anyway). Something else is at play here.

    • James Marshall

      I don`t see the let down you are talking about. In this test, the Yam came a close fourth when you look at the points. Very little between any of them really and for everyday riding around comfort, the Yamaha walks this test. Its a pity that the engine has had about 13 hp taken off to pass US noise requirements . Typical stock Euro bikes make about 150 rwp out of the box, and I am sure this could quite easily be sorted by some electronic fiddling. If this sample had the unrestricted engine , there would have been a different result. In Euro tests, the MT09 as its called there , comes out much better, and would be considered quite a step up from the Triumph and Suzuki, which are great bikes, but less sophisticated and with less power, espc the Triumph.

  • Mad4TheCrest

    Oh you evil, evil people. Yet another attempt to undermine my very reasonable decision of last December to downsize from a liter class streetbike. In future please include negative comments like how thirsty the Tuono is and how costly the maintenance would be for all these beasts (FZ possibly excepted). At least, throw in a positive reference to smaller, lighter, nimbler bikes. “No substitute for cubes on the street” – screw you, Burns!

  • Born to Ride

    Hey Sean, I noticed you seem to be writing more articles lately. Does this trend mean we can expect more reviews penned by your hand in the future? In the past couple years, we only seem to get reviews from you on bikes that I imagine you have personal affinity for(turismo veloce, super adventure, AT, etc). I have always felt like your sentiments and critiques regarding bikes has more closely echoed mine than power hungry Duke Danger and eclectic Johnnie B. In other words, if you’re writing more for us GREAT! If you’re not, get your ass in gear!

    Merry Christmas

    • Well, I do have a job here at VerticalScope and writing really isn’t a part of it. I try to do one or two press introductions per calendar year just to keep my head in the game and keep my fingers on the pulse of the industry. I also “volunteer” to help with the larger multi-bike shootouts mostly to take the pulse of the team here at MO and do some bonding between pissing contests. You caught me though, I rarely “volunteer” to go to intros or rides that aren’t up my personal alley, although the Monster 821 intro from October and one major intro that’s upcoming in January wouldn’t be my preference, but I lent / am lending a hand on those strictly due to staff scheduling and/or logistical issues.

      • Born to Ride

        Well In that case I’ll just take what I can get and be happy I got it at all. Logistics sounds a lot less fun than riding bikes and writing about the experience though. Maybe just a few more reviews a year would be cool… wink nudge

    • john burns

      Pontiferous? Really?

      • Born to Ride

        You know Burns, I actually owe you an apology. I had no idea that word had such a negative connotation. Does philosophical feel better?

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        ADJ.
        Of and, or pertaining to “ponts”, from the French root “pont”:- a bridge.
        More particularly, a ferrous bridge. When used to describe humans, a lover of iron bridges.

        • mikstr

          and who doesn’t like iron bridges? it just so happens I have one for sale… lol

      • Born to Ride

        A sad attempt to comically play on the word pontificate, but in fairness, I didn’t realize that word had such a negative connotation. My bad man.

        • Mad4TheCrest

          I don’t think JB pontificates, although he may be punctilious at times. JB can obfuscate and infuriate, with his ‘big power good’ ‘less power good’ ‘no, big power good after all’ internal dilemma getting played out in every shootout, but … he never pontificates.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Now you’re just being a pedant.

        • john burns

          No worries, I read through all the definitions before deciding on my own, “Pontiff like” – like the Pope, infallible and Holy. Thank you.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            You have no idea what your name means in Scotland, do you? lol

          • Born to Ride

            Hahaha you’ve always had a knack of turning criticism, misplaced or not, into personal victory.

      • Alaskan18724

        If you are pontiferous, then bring on pontiferous….

  • JMDGT

    I was sucked in by its Italian web of lust and I didn’t even ride the damn thing. It looks just fine. A must have bike the Tuono. It has been a long time goal. They are all fine machines.

  • FrankD51

    Excellent, well balanced comparison. Two of the things that are specific to many potential owners is proximity of authorized dealer and reliability. Where I live it is 80+ miles to a crowded city for an Aprilia or KTM dealer, BMW is closer at 50 miles, my Yamaha dealer is 22 mi over semi-rural roads with little traffic. When I throw those factors in the Yamaha percolates to the top of the list, which is why I bought an FZ-10 in Nov. 2016 and which I’ve enjoyed for over a year.

    • StripleStrom

      I hear ya! Reliability is a HUGE factor to me, and the reason that I probably won’t buy another Euro motorcycle. If I want something to work on, I’ll get a project bike. All of these models look amazing, but I can’t bring myself to lay down the cash on anything that isn’t at least in the top 5 for reliability. You know what that leaves? Japanese motorcycle, and Yamaha is at the top of that list.

      • Born to Ride

        I had very good luck with my Triumph 1050 engined bike. Nothing but oil, tires, and fork seals for right around 30k miles. Air cooled Ducati’s have been good to me too, but I know not everyone has the same track record.

      • Steve Cole

        I’ve got news for you, the 1100 Tuono has been pretty close to bulletproof to date.

        • SXV 550

          This… My 1100 Tuono has been bulletproof over the two years ive owned it, and from reading the forums daily and just the feeling of quality I get from the bike I have no worries of her leaving me stranded. Its as solid as any Japanese performance bike. Love it!

          • Born to Ride

            That’s awesome man, any word on what the major service costs? Valves, etc.

          • SXV 550

            There’s a minor service at 7500 miles and a big service at 15000 miles which involves a valve check so I’d estimate $300 and $1000 respectively, but YMMV

  • Bill

    Great reading. We are all envious of your jobs. I do wish there was more focus on the street side of the equation. For most who are able to afford these bikes (and the insurance), we are lucky if 1 out of 60 riding days could be a track day. For the overwhelming majority of times we want a bike that can do it all – full fledged sportbike, commute and weekend trips – and we keep hoping this class of bikes can give us that. Because there isnt much else out there and we are stuck having to chose between breakneck sportbike ergos or neutered bloated ‘sport tourers’ or worse.
    Unfortunately your test, similar to cycle world’s, focuses so heavily on the track aspect of performance that i dont come away more informed on how it will fill these other roles where i will spend 90% of my time on it: arent these supposed to be the modern all rounder? We get that they are a ‘hoot’ and ‘epic’. And yes, we have read a time or two now about how theyll cost us our license and likely jail time. Sounds fun. But i dont have room or $$ for a bike solely to go act like i am 17 again – its gotta work a my primary bike. A little more about wind protection, vibration, distance between fillups, rain protection, how you feel after 4 hours droning along, can i do maintenance on it etc. – you know, the boring parts of ownership that matter. If the crux of your comments focus on making these bikes even sportier you are missing the chance to focus on factors that are likely of more interest to the people buying these.
    Other than that you guys are the best. In an era when most bike ‘magazines’ have shriveled to very little content you continue to deliver. Keep it up.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      You are right. The only way those items will be considered is if they are made part of the score card, including the number and proximity of dealerships, reliability and ease of service.

    • Gruf Rude

      You will just have to put pressure on VerticalScope to force Sean to do an in-depth Long Term Ride Evaluation on the new Tuono he is buying. . .

      • Bill

        That would be great. A long term eval on life day to day with it. The tuono (or monster 1200r which didnt make the story guessing because its slightly softer?) would be a bike i would buy. But if a 4-6 hour stint on the highway is going to leave me feeling like i just got out of a wind tunnel and crying for a half fairing i am not sure its worth it. Dont understand the reluctance to design in a usable screen to these. Maybe its just my age.

        • Born to Ride

          Ducati refuses to participate in shootout reviews for their sportiest bikes. It’s really sad too because last year when I test rode all the supernakeds, I had the most fun on the Ducati. Ergos fit me like a glove, suspension was perfect, and the throttle/TC/ABS was completely seamless in Track mode so I never felt the need to dick with the settings. It let me wheelie with a flick of the wrist and balanced stability and agility better than the others IMO. This year I test rode the new S model which looks near identical to the 2016 R model on paper, and came away utterly disappointed. The 1200R absolutely belongs in this company.

          • Dave

            What didn’t you like about the 2017 1200s?

          • Born to Ride

            The same reason I didn’t like the previous M1200S. The gearbox was notchy as hell, full of false neutrals, you cannot find the actual neutral at a stop, and the throttle response felt disconnected from my inputs while being terribly abrupt. Basically, when I rode the M1200R it felt to me like they had taken everything great about the 1200S and magnified it, while simultaneously filing off the rough edges. I never gave the tranny or the throttle a second thought on the R, while it was I could think about on both iterations of the S.

    • StripleStrom

      I think everyone who rides should own, once in their lifetime, a bike like this… something totally impractical and higher performance than they could ever use, with no regard to reliability, practicality, or anything, but what gets their blood pumping.
      Once you’ve done that, it’s really easy to read reviews like this, appreciate the state of the art, and then go to the dealer and buy and enjoy something that is more vanilla and practical and useful.
      Most of us grow out of the need to impress others, or to be the fastest thing on two wheels. These bikes are great for a midlife crisis, but there is much more to enjoy once the ego trip has passed.

      • Bill

        But then whats the point of these bikes. We already have their full RR counterparts which are the impractical versions for street use. I have already owned enough of those impractical ones. These are supposed to be those bikes BUT practical enough to ride everyday. That to me is the beauty of them. But if we keep reviewing and rating them mostly on their RR and track performance they will be forced to an even narrower part of the bike spectrum.

        • StripleStrom

          Exactly! What IS the point of these bikes? I guess for those old enough to afford them, but who don’t want to be folded up too much like the full RRs require. Personally, I feel the higher bars hurt handling enough that if I were in the market I would just look at a full RR. At least that was my experience with my Speed Triple.

          • Bill

            “”I guess for those old enough to afford them, but who don’t want to be folded up too much like the full RRs require. ”

            I resemble that remark!

          • Alaskan18724

            Ditto.

          • Born to Ride

            Idk man, to me there is a big difference in the comfort level between a Tuono and a full on repli racer. Sure the seat to peg is tighter than my multistrada, but it’s not unbearable for an hour in the saddle like my buddy’s R6 was, and the bar position takes a ton of pressure off your palms when you’re droning away.

            My personal ergo scale:
            RR bike – painful for anything but sport riding, and still tiring when actually doing it.

            Supernaked – Comfortable for sport riding, Tiring after an hour in the saddle. Painful for long freeway trips.

            Standard – Comfortable for all types of riding. Tiring for long trips on the freeway

            Sport Touring/Sport ADV- “Give me miles or give me death.”

          • StripleStrom

            I guess it depends on who you are. My lower back and rear end suffer the most, so I can put up with quite a bit of forward pressure before it becomes an issue. I think you’re right on for the most part with your definitions.

          • Born to Ride

            I’m a shorter, heavy shouldered guy so reach to the bars has a much bigger impact on my comfort than legroom or back pain.

          • StripleStrom

            I’m long-legged and long-armed, and not built super heavy (though I do carry a fair amount of weight these days). I guess it makes more sense in that light.

          • Born to Ride

            Yeah I’m a 34×30” pant and a 44” jacket. Lots of weight on my wrists with clip ons. lol

          • Alaskan18724

            36×36, 48 long. Low pegs, standard bars. I’ll take a handling hit for comfy ergos. Please. PLEASE!

          • Born to Ride

            Damn those are some straight up Ogre measurements man. You play O-line or D-line in high school?

          • Alaskan18724

            Shoot, I was a 6’4” beanpole in high school. By the time I finished college, I was big enough to be a high school linebacker. By the time I finished law school, I could have been a college tight end. Now I watch football on ESPN and act like I used to play.

          • ColoradoS14

            I have found the opposite on the street, for me the wide bars give me better leverage and when I am on the street and not hanging off the thing like a monkey it actually makes it more flickable.

        • Born to Ride

          If your everyday riding doesn’t include 2 hours on the freeway like mine did until recently, the SDR is a perfectly usable bike. Neutral sit-up ergos and very good power delivery in all riding conditions.

          Additionally, you are missing a HUGE benefit to owning one of these bikes instead of a race replica, Insurance cost. The cost of insurance on a Tuono 1100 is a third of the cost for an RSV4. The Tuono is 95% the performance bike that the RSV is if your name isn’t Rossi or Marquez, and the monthly cost of ownership is significantly reduced. As a matter of fact, if you look at the Street Triple RS vs the GSXR750, for the same money you get better suspension, brakes, electronics, ergonomics, and instrumentation on the Triumph and nearly identical power to weight ratios. The insurance cost for the gixxer is 2.5x the cost for the STRS. Care to guess which one ended up in my garage?

  • spiff

    My sdr is bone stock save a set of protaper cr mid bars, (If you change bars make sure there is room for the controls.), heated grips, and an alarm. I have to admit any other changes (they will happen pending funds) are ego induced. I won’t do tracks with it, but may buy some luggage. I love the damn thing. Look at those dyno sheets. I normally shift between 8 and 10. I think it is crap there is no front preload. If I do any road trips I may mount a screen, and remove it when I get home. Wish I could find a girl this good. Maybe the Tuono would be a better measuring stuck for the girl, but she better be “Factory”.

    • I do mostly ride it in track mode and it does fix the laggy throttle, BUT it also makes the thing hyper sensitive to finite throttle adjustment and what I’d call overly sensitive around-town.

      • spiff

        When I find myself being that guy I will put it in commute mode.

  • Tomslick

    How was handlebar vibration for each of these bikes at highway speeds? I am most interested in hearing about the BMW & KTM regarding this issue. Thanks for a great review.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      The KTM is a twin (even with counterbalancers) so there will be some vibration. The BMW is a I-4 so it should be smooth but there could be some buzz. The S1000XR was notorious for handlebar vibration. According to Cycle World: “We’re big fans of BMW’s S1000XR sport tourer around here, but the one thing you’ll hear any time someone gets off it is that the vibrations through the bars from the revs at freeway speeds get pretty unbearable pretty quickly.” Supposedly BMW came up with a fix for it in the 2017 model.

    • spiff

      The ktm will give you the option to select a diffent gear. That has always satisfied me. If kept it in the sweet spot, and I have no issues with vibes.

    • Born to Ride

      In my experience, the Tuono was the smoothest compared to the Yamaha and SDR. The KTM put my hands to sleep very quickly on top gear at 80-85mph. Shifting to 5th reduces the problem but didn’t fix it. That fact, in conjunction with the edges of the saddle not agreeing with my ass, is the reason it was passed over for a space in my garage. Had the opportunity to pick up an unsold demo 2014 model in 2015 with 300 miles on it for 13,000$ plus tax. As a second bike it would have been amazing but I was shopping for an everyday rider.

  • Buzz

    I’ve ridden the Aprilia and the BMW a few times. The local dealer knows how weak I am and hands me the keys whenever I stop by. I take a short ride and hand them back knowing full well I don’t ever want to go to jail again.

    BTW, my Moto Guzzi California 1400 gets horrible fuel mileage too. I think half the fuel in the tank goes to the engine and the other half on some secret pipeline to Italy.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      I don’t understand why. If the MG is passing emissions testing then the fuel is not going out the pipe. It must be the low state of tune of the engine which only extracts so much horsepower from the fuel. I get 42-44 mpg on my Harley, KTM 1190 and Suzuki Bandit. Did you ever go to jail for speeding?

      • Buzz

        It comes from the factory super lean which would make one think it was burning less fuel but it’s not the case.

        I’ve had the computer re-mapped and a Power Commander installed along with a cut airbox and and a slight massage to the stock mufflers.

        It runs way better than stock now and fuel mileage improved slightly but it’s still in the 30-35 range.

        I had a 1340cc Harley that regularly got 45-47. The MG engine is much higher revving than a H-D but I still think it should be better.

        • Born to Ride

          I got 36 pretty regularly from my Cali 1400 with a heavy throttle hand. Is yours the touring model?

          • Buzz

            No mine is the Custom. The computer is inaccurate. I used old fashioned math and it was a few MPG less than what the computer was saying.

          • Born to Ride

            I guess the trip meter could have been off on mine. I bust out the calculator almost every time I fill up. I’m weird that way

  • Larry Kahn

    Let’s be real here. I’m not saying don’t buy one of these and have a blast while you’re still young and dumb enough, but there’s one of three outcomes. If you ride these as intended on the street, you will end up crashing or arrested eventually. If you are capable of riding as intended but don’t so you don’t end up as above you’ll be frustrated. Be like having a mega-hot woman (or man if you like) and they say you can only stick it in a little. If you are not capable of riding as intended then you’re a poser. Like most supercar drivers. I had my share of stupid fun fast bikes, (built Bandit 1200, Speed Triple, FZ-1 etc) so get one if you lust, but be real about these as street bikes.

    • spiff

      They’re great street bikes. One could argue they are an exercise in excess, but they comfy commuters and good for all day rides.

  • Sentinel

    I simply do not see the appeal of any of these bikes, as where their strengths lie, is where they can’t really be used anyways; and their weaknesses are everything that would have made them actually “usable”. Add to that the high cost of ownership, and you have a recipe for sales failure.

    • Lewis

      While I agree with your assessment of this category of machine, they seem to sell quite well when I talk to various dealers. None of them offer the leg room I am after and the one that had me lusting (Tuono 1100) turned out to be a potential service nightmare (financially) when I dug into the subject.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        They do sell based on their potential, but their potential can only be fully realized on the track, and how frequently do most of us do track days? That’s why I am trending more towards adventure and off-road bikes because you can utilize their full capability without offending the gentle sensibilities of law enforcement.

    • ColoradoS14

      I don’t know man, for me these and adventure bikes are the ultimate in bike appeal! I live in Denver and my rides are all in the foothills and mountains of Colorado. This environment is a perfect combination of tight switch backs, rolling/flowing curves and great combos of everything in between. I have an Aprilia Shiver and I love it, but I tell ya at this altitude you sure lose a lot of power and something with alien levels of thrust, all day comfort and modern tech sure is appealing for me. My next bike will either be a Tuono 1100, Multistrada, or KTM Adventure…

  • Craig Hoffman

    Interesting how the Euros manage to give us full balls engines without limitation, while Yamaha has to neuter the FZ to meet regs. Wondering why that is, but it is also easy enough to fix, and the results reportedly are pretty dramatic. The FZ10s styling is a different problem altogether though.

    If in the market for one of these, and I do like them, the KTM would get my money. The KTM also looks more han a little strange, but with that engine’s hand of God power delivery, I don’t care. Already have a Gen 2 FZ1, which to my eye is a nice looking machine, but also a ’14 Super Tenere (aka “the pregnant guppy) in my garage, so looks are obviously not a huge priority. Yep. KTM please – gimme gimme 🙂

    • Sayyed Bashir

      The KTM 1290 Super Duke R is one crazy bike. I don’t think I could handle it. If one is exceeding the speed limit in the second or third gear, it can be quite a frustrating experience trying to explain that to a judge. I would like to keep my license for a few more years. I think canyon carving could be fun as long as the sheriff is not parked around the next bend. Favorite moto roads are also the favorite of law enforcement (ostensibly to save us from ourselves).

    • James Marshall

      I am from Europe, and MT10`s looks are polarising, but then no one forces you to buy them, and lots of people love the funky transformer looks. They sell like hotcakes in this huge market. They make in the 150-2 hp region out of the box, and they have a restrictive exhaust with 160 hp easily available with a quality aftermarket system.

  • kenneth_moore

    So Mr. Duke lameneted the lack of a separate wheelie control, did he? Is that why all the riding photos show both wheels on the ground, or has MO entered a more responsible and mature phase in its reporting? If so, I don’t like it. There’s really no better way to see the underside of a bike than a nice wheelstand shot.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Or the bike on its side.

    • Guess you didn’t watch the video… 🙂

      • kenneth_moore

        I did not. I watch some of the videos, but usually I prefer reading the material.

        • Mr. Duke wheelies everything, everywhere. It can be ASSumed that he wheelied his Dad’s pickup truck while home for the holidays.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            No. Too busy at Boxing Day sales.

          • kenneth_moore

            He blew everyone away with that photo of the BMW 1600 standing on end when it first came out. And if anyone can get a Yamaha Niken on it’s rear-wheel, it’s going to be Mr. Duke!

  • Old MOron

    I suppose that’s the kind of enthusiasm is part of what makes a WERA champion.
    Well done, Sean. As for the bikes, I’m lucky to have one. In fact I got out for a few hours in the Santa Monica Mountains today. It was gorgeous. Hooray for awesome bikes!

    • Sayyed Bashir

      And Hooray for awesome weather! Can’t believe it is end of December and it is not raining. Mild overcast days, perfect for riding.

  • Allan Briskin

    Great review of the Supernakeds. I am biased as the owner of an Aprilia 1100RR. However, here in Canada, the KTM and BMW are ridiculously expensive and the Tuono and FZ10 are almost identical in price. It really was a no-brainer.

  • Rocky Stonepebble

    Merry Christmas To You All!

    https://youtu.be/j9jbdgZidu8

  • Tomslick

    The rear tyre size in the spec table for the Tuono looks like it needs to be revised.

    • Thanks, love the name and the avatar! I fixed the spec chart, good eyes, sir.

  • John Tuvell

    I really enjoyed your review of four great bikes. I can attest to the allure of a sexy Italian. I walked into the Las Vegas Aprilia dealership last month and there was a red/black, 2017 Tuono RR on the floor. I played a fast mental game of “you-deserve-this” versus “you-gotta-sell-this-to-the-wife” and after a short visit to the finance manager’s office, it was on it’s way to my garage. Even my wife took one look at it and said, “I see why you like it.”

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Good thing it wasn’t a sexy Italian.

    • spiff

      You want to go for a ride? I’m in vegas.

      • Born to Ride

        You still haven’t made it down to SoCal to ride with me bruh.

        • spiff

          I’d tell you to visit Vegas, but your roads are better.

  • AM

    Measured Curb Weight 473 lbs 451 lbs 478 lbs 470 lbs
    And none of the judges complained about the weight??? You got to be kidding. 451 lbs on the BMW is not toooooooo bad, but anything over 455 lbs is a pig anywhere and that alone is a BIG downside especially in the canyons. And none complained…. hmmm…. could not be riding fast for sure, because if you were you all would be complaining about the weight.

    • If you’re in SoCal, maybe you can come along on the next shootout ride and show us how fast we should go? (please sign this waiver) 🙂

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        Send him up to Mosport. I live near …

      • James Marshall

        LOL. Some of the keyboard experts on here make me laugh allright !!!

      • AM

        Well, well, well!!! Next time you guys are here in the mountains of Asheville, NC please give me a call. I would be glad to lead the way. Oh, I’m sorry, I cannot lead the way because you guys will get lost.
        I’ll be waiting.

      • Iconyms

        Can I come?! I’m a former WSMC / USGPRU racer in SoCal. I will sign. 🙂

      • Born to Ride

        God dammit I’m in SoCal and I never get these invites! Must I disparage your skill sets to get some love around here?

      • Lewis

        Maybe you all need to check the egos and watch some Isle of Man footage. Yes, all of you are slow.

    • James Marshall

      HUH ??? Have you ridden any of these bikes ??? You know not about what you speak.

      • AM

        Yeah, you think so? Next time you are in Asheville, NC give me a call and we’ll do some mountain riding together and you’ll know right away if I do not know what I am speaking. Come on.

    • Iconyms

      Not sure what riding fast has to do with noticing weight. All the heavy bikes I’ve ever ridden I notice the weight a lot more at low speeds, like when pulling into the pits or in parking lots. Once I’m riding the weight isn’t as noticeable. It becomes harder to tell for example if slow steering is from the rake and trail or weight of the front wheel etc. This is from someone who loves light motorcycles too.. my race 125 gp bike is only 156 lbs, my streetbikes are 340 lbs and 420. But I’ve ridden some 550 lbs bikes.

    • Born to Ride

      Lol aren’t you that ridiculous Rossi hating Marquez fanboi that we all love to laugh at in Bruce’s comment sections? Now you tell ex-racers that ride motorcycles for a living that they are too slow to notice if a bike is too heavy to be pointed down a twisty road? Will the comedy never end?

  • TronSheridan

    The FZ10 should not be that anemic. They neutered that engine to death. Yamaha should be embarrassed for many reasons.

    • James Marshall

      Its not Yamaha`s fault. Blame US laws. Euro bikes make 150 hp plus out of the box.

      • spiff

        And, the Yamaha is cheap enough that poking through the cat and shadetree intake work you can afford a power commander and custom tune. It amazes me how much time poeple spend on reseaching the right map for their bike instead of making a map for their bike.

  • Chris

    The Tuono pegs are ridiculously high. 100 hp was plenty for me on my VFR. Just the torque was lacking. There are FEW dealers. Parts take forever to get. Repairs can take a month or more. I like the Yamaha because it is a great street bike. Naked bikes are ridiculous on flat state highways like FL, the South and the Midwest where there are no trees to break the wind. On twisty backroads I need torque, not HP, which these bikes have. I ride. I want to be comfortable. Hands up? Feet down. Hands down? Feet up. Parallelogram seat to peg relationship. Yamaha please. And who has $$$ for Euro bikes these days?

    • StripleStrom

      Totally agree. If I lived where it was only straight and flat, give me a ‘Busa or a ZX14. Both of those bikes are pretty comfortable and great in a straight line.

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      2-Live Crew! Hands down, feet up. Er …

      • spiff

        That jingle went through my head as well.

  • Alaskan18724

    Speaking of supernaked streetfighters—when are we getting the Monkey?

  • TriumphRider87

    Great article! Thank you for doing this comparison and for the great write-up. You guys rock.

  • Yummy looks…..well…yummy! 🙂

  • spiff

    I have a question. The ktm has a longer wheelbase, but a 190 rear. The Aprilia has a shorter wheelbase, but a 200 rear. Does the the Aprilia benefit from the 200 rear forcing more input from the bars? Seems that twitchy can be overcome by a wider tire. The extra needed input through the bars can be easily compensated for by making your intentions more blatant. I see this only becoming a hinderance on a very tight set of curves, most likely only on the track at full boogie.

  • Texarkana

    FZ-10 doesn’t really compete with these bikes. You guys should have used a Ducati Monster 1200 or Triumph Speed Triple for the 4th bike in this comparison. FZ-10 competes with the likes of Suzuki GSX-S 1000; CB1000R; Z1000/z900.

    • None of those bikes, Monster 1200 or 1200S included, would see which way the FZ-10 went on-track. This wasn’t a naked bike comparo, it was a Supernaked Streetfighter test involving street and track performance. (basically naked superbikes) At this time, the only other bike that could compete at this level would be the MV Brutale 1090RR, but we couldn’t get one in time for this test.

  • Vrooom

    One of the rare times I’d pick the winner for my own, if naked bikes worked where I lived. Rode in at 33° today, and a naked bike is bloody cold at that temperature, at least my sporting bikes offer a bit of protection. Still some sweet rides, and an excellent review.

    • Kevin Duke

      FWIW, some readers like to piss in our Cheerios when we refer to the Tuono as a naked bike…