Each new naked demands of us another shootout. The catalyst this time around is Yamaha’s R1-powered FZ-10. Introduced in July as a 2017 model, the new FZ-10 stands as the only liter-size Japanese streetfighter offering enough performance and attitude to bring the fight to the currently dominant nakeds. Add to that a rare appearance by an EBR 1190SX, and two stalwarts of the class, Aprilia Tuono V4 1100RR and Triumph Speed Triple R, and we’ve the ingredients for a spicy streetfighter omelette.

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2017 Yamaha FZ-10 First Ride Review

Speaking of engines, here’s how they compare in horsepower production. No surprise the Aprilia and EBR rule the roost, but look at the low end and take notice that Triumph’s Triple leads the way until about 7700 rpm. Now, take a look at the torque chart below, and you’ll see why the Triumph engine remains as one of our favorites.

Speaking of engines, here’s how they compare in horsepower production. No surprise the Aprilia and EBR rule the roost, but look at the low end and take notice that Triumph’s Triple leads the way until about 7700 rpm. Now, take a look at the torque chart below, and you’ll see why the Triumph engine remains one of our favorites.

The EBR 1190SX has also been a part of a previous shootout, narrowly losing to the mighty Super Duke R in our Brutish V-Twin Streetfighter Comparo from 2014. Back then, however, the SX was a $17,000 bike, now it’s a $13,000 bike ($13.5 for yellow or red).

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the 1190SX didn’t make for a very good $17,000 motorcycle, but it is a pretty sweet $13,000 motorcycle!” exclaims EBR enthusiast Troy Siahaan.

In fact, the EBR’s $13k price tag puts it on equal footing with the other most inexpensive bike in this group, the FZ-10. From there it was clean sweep of the Objective section of the Scorecard with the EBR winning the Weight, Pounds per Horsepower and Pounds per Pound-feet categories, claiming a perfect Objective score, and affecting the overall outcome of this shootout.

Triumph is the king of low-end power production but can’t match the Ape or EBR in maximum lb-ft. The Yamaha’s basement is devoid of any serious torque or horsepower, and it’s a little surprising the Tuono is about equal to the FZ for the first few thousand rpm in torque production.

Triumph is the king of low-end power production but can’t match the Ape or EBR in maximum lb-ft. The Yamaha’s basement is devoid of any serious torque or horsepower, and it’s a little surprising the Tuono is about equal to the FZ for the first few thousand rpm in torque production.

Also affecting the shootout’s outcome are my fellow editors (God bless them), none of whom agreed with me about scoring of the Triumph’s engine second; John Burns and Siahaan ranked it third, and Kevin Duke put it in last.

“That big lump of torque in the middle serves it well on twisty roads where monster top-end horsepower is really no advantage,” says JB. “Also the best fueling of the bunch lets you get back on the gas really early.”

Exactly, Burnsie, so how could you rank it third, I want to ask, but he’s away on vacation. Duke and Siahaan also had nice things to say about the Triumph’s mill, but each editor also noted a certain amount of anti-enthusiasm for the Triumph using such words as “mature,” “refined,” and “Cadillac” in their descriptions. In other words, the Speed Triple has ceased being the hooligan bike it was once considered when in the company of more edgy entrants, i.e., EBR, Tuono, FZ.

“The Speed Trip no longer feels like the nasty hooligan in this company, especially next to the Tuono,” Duke comments. “It feels almost debonair in comparison.”

Most expensive and heaviest of the group by a margin of at least nine pounds, coupled with the least amount of horsepower and torque, rocketed the Speed Triple R to last place in the Objective section of our scorecard.

Most expensive and heaviest of the group by a margin of at least nine pounds, coupled with the least amount of horsepower and torque, rocketed the Speed Triple R to last place in the Objective section of our scorecard.

The Triumph’s combination of third-longest wheelbase, second steepest rake, and least amount of trail makes up for some of its heft by gifting the Speed Triple with light, quick steering manners. “I didn’t think it would have a chance on Glendora Mountain Road, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it having not much trouble keeping up with the pack in those really tight conditions. Shorter trail than I suspected lets it turn super-quick,” says Burns.

2016 Triumph Speed Triple R Review

The R version of the Speed Triple comes equipped with a fully adjustable Öhlins NIX fork, and Öhlins TTX36 twin-tube shock, both of which help the Triumph maintain superior comfort and control, but are also crucial to elevating the R’s price tag. At $14,900 it’s the most expensive bike here, if only $100 more than the Tuono. The Speed Triple was also lauded for the stopping performance of its Brembo brakes, its handsome good looks (only bike here with a single-side swingarm), and its ability to wheelie in track mode, “Yay!” says Duke.

Alas, while the Speed Triple R finished third in Subjective scoring, its poor showing in Objective scoring relegated the Triumph to last place. Let’s not despair, though, because there appears to be a new Street Triple 800 coming soon, which, while not a liter bike, could upset the pecking order nonetheless (MV Agusta’s Brutale 800 is a wonderful balance between 600 and 1000cc).

Not sure how many times you’ve seen an EBR 1190SX, but there’s no arguing the bike marches to the beat of its own drum. For the uninitiated, there’s fuel in the frame, oil in the swingarm, and one large brake disc affixed to the front rim.

Not sure how many times you’ve seen an EBR 1190SX, but there’s no arguing the bike marches to the beat of its own drum. For the uninitiated, there’s fuel in the frame, and one large brake disc affixed to the front rim.

“Holy crap! Based solely on objective scores, the EBR is the clear winner! Bam!” says Siahaan, who ranked the EBR last subjectively, as did all the other testers except Burns whose scored the EBR second.

“The SX is all simple, uncluttered, brutal wedges and triangles,” says Burns. “I love the way this thing looks, and when the performance is all this close, looks matter a lot. It’s a bit raw for sure, but that’s what I like about it. It’s an analog bike in a digital world, a nasty snarly thing that makes great sounds.”

No one’s going to argue with him because it’s all true. The EBR is also the lightest bike here with the best power-to-weight ratios of the bunch. It’s also the raciest of the four with high-set footpegs reducing legroom, a thin, hard seat providing minimal comfort, and an aggressive seating position with you up over the bars. On the plus side, the 1190SX feels smaller than a big V-Twin with 156 horsepower should feel.

With a 449-pound curb weight, the 1190SX undercut the second heaviest bike, FZ-10, by 17 pounds. The EBR is devoid of all modern electronics except traction control. Repeated clutch lever use exposes some very stiff clutch springs.

With a 449-pound curb weight, the 1190SX undercut the second heaviest bike, FZ-10, by 17 pounds. The EBR is devoid of all modern electronics except traction control. Repeated clutch lever use exposes some very stiff clutch springs.

“The EBR changes direction so much faster than the other bikes here, you have to retrain your brain to adjust your turning points,” says Siahaan. “The EBR likes going fast and it feels more at home the quicker the pace is.”

2015 EBR 1190SX First Ride Review

The EBR could be guilty of some nervousness, as I never realized complete confidence in the bike, although Burns contends that it may have been suffering from an overtightened drive chain, restricting the rear from freely compressing during corner exits “keeping the trail short and making it feel a little skittish.” (Former Buell models wore belt final drives, and utilized a tensioner. EBRs, now chain-driven, retain the tensioner.)

Braking performance was up to the task of aggressive street riding as Duke noted. “For the sport riding we did on the street, the oddball front brake setup lacks nothing. It has plenty of power, is easy to modulate, and doesn’t stand up when braking in corners..”

The EBR is the only bike of the four boasting full-color instrumentation.

The EBR is the only bike of the four boasting full-color instrumentation.

Although the EBR 1190SX finished at the bottom of the Subjective section of our Scorecard, it bumped the Speed Triple R from third to fourth when factoring in its perfect Objective scores, giving the EBR a top-three finish. I’ll let Burnsie surmise the group’s attitude regarding the EBR.

“I could ride it everyday, but it’s a better thing to own if you already have something practical. It’s the good bourbon you hide when your friends come around, that you save for just you and your dog and the fireplace. Rare, heady, conducive to deep thinking… speaking of thinking, $12,999 is the bargain of the year. If I was a rich guy who did lots of track days, this is the one.”

The upcoming version of Aprilia’s Tuono receives a host of electronic upgrades and color TFT instrumentation for 2017, elevating the desirability of the new Tuono and probably making good deals on 2016 model easier to find.

The upcoming version of Aprilia’s Tuono receives a host of electronic upgrades and color TFT instrumentation for 2017, elevating the desirability of the new Tuono and probably making good deals on 2016 model easier to find.

No one at MO is ever disappointed about having a Tuono in the garage. It’s one of those bikes you occasionally go out to the garage, fire up, and rap the throttle a few times just because. Winner of multiple MO shootouts and the only bike to give KTM’s Super Duke R a run for its money, the Tuono was somewhat hampered in this shootout because track time was not a part of the testing itinerary. Had it been, it’s highly unlikely the FZ-10 would be in first place, and probably would have come down to a dogfight between the Tuono and EBR.

“The magic combination here is the V-4 engine, excellent chassis, and stable suspension,” says Siahaan. “That V-4 is monstrous yet controllable, the chassis is lithe and assuring, and the suspension helps communicate to the rider exactly what the bike is doing underneath you. The RR model gets slightly downgraded brakes and suspension, but does it dampen the experience any? Not one bit. The lower price tag compared to the Factory version makes it very attractive, too.”

You haven’t lived until you’ve twisted the throttle of this engine in anger. The Aprilia tied the EBR in Pounds per HP, and was only 0.1 Pound per Lb.-Ft. shy of the EBR, but only because the EBR enjoys a 20-pound weight advantage.

You haven’t lived until you’ve twisted the throttle of this engine in anger. The Aprilia tied the EBR in Pounds per HP, and was only 0.1 Pound per Lb.-Ft. shy of the EBR, but only because the EBR enjoys a 20-pound weight advantage.

Because this test is street-biased, the Tuono was hurt by its more aggressive seating position, lack of legroom and omission of streetable niceties such as cruise control (coming in 2017). “You can’t not like that engine, but for everyday use for me, it verges on overkill especially if it gets what? 35 mpg? I’d like it better if I was 20 years younger,” says Burns.

At $14,799, the Tuono is the second-most expensive bike here, and an $1,800 hurdle its sound and performance just couldn’t overcome when measured against the new FZ-10. Although, after reading Duke’s comment below, the extra price may well seem easily justifiable.

“The 1077cc version of Aprilia’s V-4 is simply one of the most intoxicating engines ever bolted into a motor vehicle. It’s always chomping at the bit, and it dishes out an indignant musical symphony seemingly composed in hell,” says Duke.

For all the readers bitching about the new TFT display on the 2017 KTM Super Duke R, both the 2016 version of it and the Tuono have nice, big analog tachs. Get ’em while they last because the Tuono is getting a TFT display in 2017 as well.

For all the readers bitching about the new TFT display on the 2017 KTM Super Duke R, both the 2016 version of it and the Tuono have nice, big analog tachs. Get ’em while they last because the Tuono is getting a TFT display in 2017 as well.

Who here is surprised the Yamaha FZ-10 won this comparison? I was. For reasons we’ll get to shortly, the FZ makes for a better all-around street bike than the Tuono, but its lack of low- and mid-range grunt left me unimpressed, especially considering that rev range is so important on the street.

Again, my fellow editors disagreed, with Burns and Siahaan ranking the FZ first, and Duke placing it second. But it was about as close as close can get. Like the reversal of fortune the Triumph suffered, the Tuono won the Subjective scoring over the FZ by 0.06% (90.63% vs. 90.57%), and overtook the Tuono when Objective scores were factored in. Still, it was only a 0.19% margin of victory (91.47% vs 91.28%).

With the FZ-10 Yamaha seems to have nailed the perfect combination of streetable comfort and performance for a reasonable price in a visually arresting package.

With the FZ-10 Yamaha seems to have nailed the perfect combination of streetable comfort and performance for a reasonable price in a visually arresting package.

“I had high hopes for the FZ-10 after riding it at its launch in North Carolina,” says Siahaan. “I even said it would give the almighty Tuono and KTM Super Duke a run for their money. Well, we have yet to ride it next to the KTM, but I will say that I was right about the Tuono. The FZ is every bit the Aprilia’s equal, in my opinion.”

Burns joins I-told-you-so-editor Siahaan by echoing his fanboy chorus. “Almost as comfy as the Triumph, perfect ergos, excellent, polished rider interface… and cruise control is the coup de grace. It makes the FZ not just a great naked bike but also a great sport-touring bike. The best bike Yamaha has produced in a decade. Maybe longer, but that’s as far back as I can remember.”

The FZ’s crossplane I-4 is nearly as delicious sounding as Aprilia’s V-4, some might say better. But it fails to deliver the same power production whether it be low, mid or peak.

The FZ’s crossplane I-4 is nearly as delicious sounding as Aprilia’s V-4, some might say better. But it fails to deliver the same power production whether it be low, mid or peak.

The FZ-10’s very standard seating position with lots of legroom and handlebars that come back to greet the rider certainly helped win it admirers on this street-only test. Cruise control was also a contributor, but the bike does suffer an idiocracy of Ride Mode naming conventions (B: most powerful, A: least powerful, Standard: somewhere in the middle), and A mode was overly sensitive to throttle inputs.

Handling is definitely an attribute for which the FZ has reason to crow. Fast, light steering has the FZ making quick work of any paved switchback, and delivers solid stability and rider confidence in the fast stuff.

“Not only did it handle better than I expected, it’s also eminently capable not only on tight backroads but everywhere else. Turns quick and light with great feedback,” says Burns.

It may resemble Optimus Prime’s illegitimate offspring, but we like the FZ’s transformer styling. The FZ-10 is the epitome of what a 20-year-old’s artist rendition of a motorcycle would probably look like.

It may resemble Optimus Prime’s illegitimate offspring, but we like the FZ’s transformer styling. The FZ-10 is the epitome of what a 20-year-old’s artist rendition of a motorcycle would probably look like.

Before we depart the last streetfighter shootout of 2016, I’m gonna let myself and the other editors put our choices into perspective. I chose the Speed Triple R as my second choice because it is the most refined motorcycle here with the type engine performance I desire in a street-going sportbike. However, as the most expensive bike, and being the budget-conscious person I am, I’d probably spend my money on the FZ rather than the Aprilia or Triumph, but if money were no object, one of the other two would be in my garage.

Burns: “For me it would come down to: Do you already have a practical bike in the garage to ride most of the time, or will you only be having one? If it’s A, I want the Buell. If it’s B, the FZ-10 is the one.”

Duke: “As much as I’d like the FZ to challenge the Tuono for streetfighter bad-assery, it doesn’t. But what it is is a better-rounded sport motorcycle that is equally adept at commuting to work as it is unraveling a twisty canyon road.”

Siahaan: “As much as I love the Aprilia Tuono, the FZ-10 provides equal amounts of enjoyment, in my eyes, and ties the EBR as the least expensive here. With that in mind the decision is a no-brainer. FZ-10 all the way.”

And there you have it. Until next year and yet another streetfighter shootout.

Adieu 2016.

Adieu 2016.

Yet Another Streetfighter Shootout! Specifications
Aprilia Tuono V4 1100RR EBR 1190SX Triumph Speed Triple S/R Yamaha FZ-10
MSRP $14,799 $12,995 $$14,900 $12,995
Engine Type 1077cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 65° V4, 4-stroke, 16 valves 1190cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 72° V-Twin, 4-stroke, 8 valves 1050cc, liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder 998cc, liquid-cooled DOHC inline 4-cylinder; 16 valves
Bore and Stroke 81.0mm x 52.3mm 106mm x 67.5mm 79mm x 71.4mm 79.0mm x 50.9mm
Compression Ratio 13.1:1 13.4:1 12.25:1 12.0:1
HP 160.6 hp @ 11,400 rpm 156.0 @ 10,700 rpm 140 hp @ 9,500 rpm 138.5 hp @ 9900 rpm
Torque 82.8 lb.-ft. @ 9,300 83.0 lb.-ft @ 8100 rpm 82.6 lb.-ft. @ 7,850 77.1 lb.-ft @ 9300 rpm
lb/hp 2.9 2.9 3.4 3.3
lb/torque 5.6 5.4 5.8 6.0
Transmission 6-speed, wet multi-plate, assist-and-slipper 6-speed, hydraulic actuation, vacuum operated slipper 6-speed, wet multi-plate, assist-and-slipper 6-speed, wet multi-plate, assist-and-slipper
Final Drive Chain Chain Chain Chain
Front Suspension Inverted 43mm Sachs fork, fully adjustable, 4.72 in. of travel Showa, inverted big piston front fork Showa 43 mm upside down forks with adjustable rebound and compression damping, 120 mm travel/Öhlins 43mm NIX30 upside down forks with adjustable rebound and compression damping, 120mm travel 43mm KYB inverted fork, fully adjustable; 4.7-in travel
Rear Suspension Gas-charged Sachs shock absorber, three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 5.11 in. travel Showa, single linkageless shock Showa Monoshock with rebound and compression damping, 130 mm rear wheel travel/Öhlins TTX36 twin tube Monoshock with rebound and compression damping, 130mm rear wheel travel KYB single shock w/piggyback reservoir, fully adjustable; 4.7-in travel
Front Brake Dual 320mm disc with aluminum flange. Brembo M432 mono-block radial calipers and metal braid line. 386mm single perimeter rotor, 8-piston inside-out caliper Twin 320mm floating discs, Brembo 4-piston 2-pad radial mono-block calipers. Switchable ABS. Dual hydraulic disc, 320mm; ABS
Rear Brake 220mm disc, Brembo caliper. Pump with integrated tank and metal braid brake pipe 220mm disc, 2-piston Hayes Performance Brakes Caliper Single 255 mm disc, Nissin single 2-piston sliding caliper. Switchable ABS. Hydraulic disc, 220mm; ABS
Front Tire 120/70-17 120/70-17 120/70-17 120/70-17
Rear Tire 190/55-17 190/55-17 190/55-17 190/55-17
Rake/Trail 24.7 deg/3.9 in 22.4 º/3.8 in 22.9º/3.6 in 24.0º/4.0 in.
Wheelbase 57.1 in. 55.5 in. 56.5 in. 55.1 in.
Seat Height 32.5 in. 32.5 in. 32.5 in. 32.5 in.
Curb Weight 469 lbs. 448.6 lbs. 478 lbs. 466 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 4.9 gal. 4.5 gal. 4.1 gal. 4.5 gal.
Gear Position Indicator aprilia ebr triumph Yamaha
ABS aprilia triumph Yamaha
Ride modes aprilia triumph Yamaha
Cruise control Yamaha
Traction control aprilia ebr triumph Yamaha
Quick shifter aprilia

 

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  • Born to Ride

    That blue Tuono is the sexiest street fighter BY FAR. I want that bike with ohlins suspension and forged wheels. It is the perfect second bike in the garage. Soon I will park one next to my Multistrada… Soon…

  • mackja

    Really nice comparison, shows just how different this class is, and the different ways each manufacturer interprits the naked class. I love my EBR SX, just a great machine, for me it is the character, the raw nature of the EBR that I love, of course that torque monster twin has alot to do with it also. I have ridden the Tuonno and it has a great engine, just did not care for it all that much. By the way the EBR does not have oil in the swing arm anymore, that was only the HD powerd Buells. Really enjoyed the article and the video, great job guys

    • Yep, our mistake. Oil comment removed.

      • mackja

        While you are at it, the EBR does have a gear position indicator on the dash. Thanks

        • Derek Jones

          Thank god, but when will they get ABS or riding modes?

          • Jeff

            “Traction Control” acts as ride modes as well. In the higher settings the bike makes less power. Great system and easy to use.

          • mackja

            ABS will be out soon, probably by March. They have already set up a European distributor (Jens Kruper) and in order to sell in Europe they must have ABS standard. Ride modes, I really don’t get ride modes, what is the purpose? This bike has an amazing amout of mechanical grip built into the design, and with a 21 position traction control (which I never use) yu can use that to adjust to weather conditions. While I don’t get ABS either I guess riders with less experience could benefit from it.

          • Derek Jones

            The purpose of rides modes are to change the throttle response, ABS and traction control thresholds for changing conditions.

            ” While I don’t get ABS either I guess riders with less experience could benefit from it.” Because you don’t know how much grip you are going to have in an emergency braking situation until the wheel starts to slide then it could be too late. Not everyone is an expert rider and I’m willing to bet you couldn’t brake better than ABS in every situation.

          • mackja

            I will disagree, in the automotive industry a car with ABS has never been able to stop in a shorter distance than a non-ABS car, I would say the same for motorcycles. I guess I am old school, I don’t like any interference from outside sources on my bikes. My bikes have traction control, while it works great, I don’t like it and turn it off. Throttle control and proper brake modulation work just fine. I will say a novice rider who in a panic situation reaches up and grabs a handful of brake will probably lock it up and crash, but I attribute that to a lack of skill. Suffice to say those options do not enter into my decision weather to purchase a bike or not. I look at is a nice to have, not a need to have. It boils down personal preference.

          • Kevin Duke

            “a car with ABS has never been able to stop in a shorter distance than a non-ABS car, I would say the same for motorcycles.”

            First off, tests like that are done on a closed course with drivers fully prepared for maximum braking – that’s not what happens in the real world. Second, bikes fall over with a locked front wheel; cars don’t. Third, each generation of ABS gets better and better, so what we once believed to be true about ABS keeps on changing as systems become more advanced. Fourth, the recent adoption of Cornering ABS has changed the ABS game and can do things humans can’t.

          • mackja

            I get it, I remember how ABS was not received well in the automotive industry, consumers did not want to pay the extra money (perceived value). It took the option to be made standard equipment for the consumers to accept it. Guess I might be some what the same way, been riding a long time on a lot of bikes, even restored a 62 HD XLCH with no brakes, I mean drumb brakes. Never feeling the need for ABS has derected my thinking. With I wider view in mind I can see a benefit to ABS. I just can’t help but feel like some of these options hinder the development of rider skills, why worry about brake or throttle control if you have a computer to catch your mistakes, on the other hand if it can keep riders safe, and prevent mishaps it is a good thing.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Word on the FZ10 is that US bikes have sanitized for our protection ECU programming, and that a good flash does wonders. Same story with the older Gen 2 FZ1. It is like Yamaha is afraid of American product liability lawyers? Have no fear, KTM and Aprilia are taking point on that one 😉

    Would be a good follow up story though, as the 10 is the affordable leader and a cool bike that quite a few seem to actually be buying.

    • john phyyt

      Yes!. Also there are many excellent tuners who are decoding the ECU . with various flashes to suit mods as well. Because FZ will sell thousands rather than hundreds . Aftermarket is much more competitive, with a range of pipes not just Akra which give you options. ..
      Face it.! If you buy this sort of bike 130 vs 150 hp matters. Why? because being blasted by the KTM/BMW/Aprilia will irritate.
      Nothing was said about brakes. But steel lines are now out there.

      • Steve Cole

        The top level have M50 calipers, steel braided lines. And a piped + tuned 1100RR will put down 170hp to the tire.

        • Farmer Channing Kraemer

          Piped and tuned ebr will put 180 down as well

          • Steve Cole

            I have seen no proof of that. Interesting, if so.

          • mackja

            Several EBR owners have managed to get DynoJet results of 175HP and well over 100 ft lbs of torque. Custom exhaust and a programmable ECM tune. Slip on exhaust and a plug and play ECM and you are knocking on the 170hp door.

          • Farmer Channing Kraemer

            Just go talk to Dean Adams. He builds exhausts for the ebr and has a dyno sheet from his bike and another members bike that was used to create a tune file for the bike. Both put down 179whp roughly and 95ft lbs.

    • Born to Ride

      It’s just so ugly. From nearly every angle. Yamaha has completely lost me on their stylistic direction. Erik would get my 13 grand every damn time and I don’t even really care for the SX aesthetics either. By all accounts, their 850 Triple is a nearly flawless gem of an engine, but the XSR is a cluttered mess from the factory and the FZ09 is just… ugh. I’ll stick to Italian. Or maybe a new triumph.

  • spiff

    None of these bikes do it for me. Not that they are bad, just not for me. I want the baddest, coolest, trickest, etc. These are bargin premium bikes. Who buys a Ferrari with cloth seats.

    The EBR is an electronic package and some odds and ends away from top tier. The Street Triple just needs it’s next generation (will be first seen with the 800). The Tuono already has the Factory, and the FZ-10 should be getting the SP option.

    I buy bikes that bring out the passion. For me that is the SDR. Problem is that KTM thinks it is cool to adopt Ducati pricing. I think I might hold out to see the FZ-10SP.

    • Born to Ride

      KTM pricing has always been a thing in the dirt world. No adoption necessary.

    • TheMarvelous1310

      Pfft, the KTM barely beat the EBR when they cost the same price, it’s definitely NOT worth 5 grand more!

      • spiff

        Not sure I agree, but this is what makes me go back and forth. If I buy a new bike I will ride it for at least 10 years. Quite possibly much longer. If I can’t go out in the garage in ten years and think “fuck yeah” then why do it. Take that extra money and spread it out over ten years… well not quite as bad. I went to a Ducati dealership a bit ago. A guy there had a 900ss with white trim and all the nice period correct upgrades. Owned it since it was new, and had no intention of buying a new bike.

  • JMDonald

    The Tuono or the Speed Triple for me please. Not necessarily in that order. What could possibly make these two hot nakeds any better? Only I f they were ridden by two hot naked supermodels. In my opinion of course.

    • DickRuble

      A fairing… and better ergos, that’s what would make them better.

      • JMDonald

        It wouldn’t be a naked bike then. They would be partially clad or semi naked. The ergos look OK to me.

      • Born to Ride

        Get a tall windscreen for the Tuono, a higher bar, and a custom saddle for your sensitive heiny. It has just the right amount of fairing for a street going motorcycle.

        • DickRuble

          A higher bar generally doesn’t solve the ergonomics problem. It’s the whole rider triangle that needs adjusted.. KTM has figured that out.

          • Born to Ride

            Have you ridden both? Sure the Tuono is more committed but it’s smoother and not uncomfortable by any means. Although, I seem to remember you making a comment about being over 6’2″. In that case, go for that seat to peg ratio all the way.

      • mackja

        EBR Black Lightning has improved seat, lower pegs and higher handlebars, and an accessory windscreen is in the works, might be the bike your looking for.

        • DickRuble

          It also has a lower seat and probably less ground clearance. This cancels that..

          • mackja

            Not so fast! Ground clearence is no problem, 48 degrees of lean on the Lightning vs 51 on the stock sx. Another option is to get a 2015 SX for around 9-10k, install peg lowering kit, Corbin comfort seat, windscreen and possibly handlebars.

  • You guys disgust me. Except Kevin. Your taste is exemplary. Troy… Burnsie… Tom… ugh.

    I quit!

    I’ll be in the garage revving my 1100RR.

  • So the Speed3 has torque everywhere, the best suspension-brakes-transmission-fit/finish and 2nd ergos, but finishes Last because of Technology and “cool factor?”

    Putting numerical calculations on streetfighters is silly. These bikes need more than a canyon run to prove their worth. They need a ride through town. That’s what they are for and that is where the (wonderful) Tuono will fall short. And the FZ-10 won “cool factor?”

    Hey, I’m biased. But I call for a re-match on the summer city streets. Commute (hooligan style) on these bikes for a week and the scores will be turned around.

    • Born to Ride

      Yeah the FZ10 is dead last in cool factor for me, but that’s why they call it “subjective scoring”. Of these bikes, I would take the speedie for one-bike duty, and Tuono for second bike duty. Balls for the buck winner is obviously the EBR, and if I was a regular track day attendee, I’d probably throw down my 13 gees on one.

    • Kevin Duke

      You make a good case for the S3, but you neglect to mention it’s the heaviest, steers slowest and costs the most. Just because the video doesn’t show us riding the bikes around town doesn’t mean we didn’t turn a lot of miles on typical streets.

      • randy the great

        “Just because the video doesn’t show us riding the bikes around town doesn’t mean we didn’t turn a lot of miles on typical streets.”

        ^ This would be worth mentioning in your videos. How do the bikes behave during more mundane tasks than blasting canyons?

        Also, there’s one other thing that few reviews/comparisons manage to capture, and that’s how some bikes add up to more than the sum of their parts. Character is a word that’s thrown around a lot, and it adds to the description, but there are bikes that despite being heavier, steering slower, don’t have the top end rush (insert other “faults”) definitely make for a nicer package than appears on paper. It also goes the other way where some bikes do everything right on the spec sheets but fail to deliver any emotion while riding them. I don’t think “character” sums that up. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer to what it is.. But, I think you know what I’m talking about, Kevin, and I understand it’s hard to convey. Sometimes one just needs to throw a leg over the bike in order to truly understand what it feels like. I feel like the S3, specifically, is one of those bikes that is generally hindered because of paper stats, but once ridden tends to impress in other ways. But, how can that be measured? Especially when everyone reacts differently to the same stimulus.

        Maybe I’m too much of a romantic, but numbers don’t mean everything. Until you’re signing the dotted line on the sale papers, of course.

        • Kevin Duke

          You’re right, numbers don’t mean everything. For subjective bits, I encourage you to see our Grin Factor and Cool Factor scores which gives each editor latitude to back away a bit from our normal quest for objectivity.

          • randy the great

            Those two categories are of course subjective. Could you provide how you guys define Grin Factor and Cool Factor? “Grin” and “Cool” are pretty open for interpretation so perhaps knowing how those scores are achieved on your end will help provide some additional clarity.

          • Kevin Duke

            Purely subjective. The Grin Factor relates how much fun it is for that tester to ride each bike, simple as that. So, for me in this test, there is no bike that makes me smile as much as the Tuono, even though I may not think it to be the best overall bike. The Cool Factor is also subjective to each judge but also takes into account the level of desirability among the general populace.

          • randy the great

            Thank you for providing insight!

  • Alexander Pityuk

    Awesome video quality, guys. Great job!

  • Jim Logan

    I have a Speed Triple 955I (the older hooligan bike) and Super Duke R in my garage. My son has an Aprillia Tuono. I guess we need to add either the Yamaha or the EBR to our collection. For me the Triumph and Aprillia are a little cramped in the leg room department. The KTM is really comfortable and gives up little to the Aprillia in performance. Of course Suzuki, Kawasaki, Honda, BMW and Ducati are all making terrific “naked” bikes. Add that to all of the great adventure bikes, dual sport bikes, “retro bikes” , cruisers, and off road bikes, could it be that we are entering a new golden age of motorcycling?

  • Steve Cole

    For me it would be the Tuono for sure. Followed by the Speed Triple. I could make a do-anything bike out of the Tuono with no real work, so I don’t really buy the FZ10 argument, since you can’t add 30hp to that bike to make the muster or change the chassis for track duty.

    I say followed by the Trip because they’re a really refined bike at this point and need no real fettling to ride quickly in comfort. Also, they wheelie like mad.

    The FZ10 as I have said too often, just leaves me cold. It has the worst traction control in any sportbike made today, doesn’t come with a quickshifter, takes a fair bit of work to sort fuel and make full power (pipe, dyno, tune put it above Tuono pricing here in Canada for a lesser bike)… it’s atrociously ugly… it doesn’t have the pedigree of its peers in terms of brakes or sophistication. Nope!

    The surprise is the EBR. But I would struggle hard to buy anything from them. If the bike was say $8500 and spare motors were $2500 each it’d perk my ears up but even at its reduced price I would be too concerned that the company would dry up and blow away, leaving me with an expensive boat anchor.

    • mackja

      Contact EBR, and buy a 2015 sx direct for 9-10k, engine is the last thing to worry about, they are bullet proof. EBR is on solid financial ground, no issue with a partner (Hero) not paying there bill. Parts are plentiful and will be for years to come. I have both, sx for street and rx for track duty, love my bikes, Amazing machines. As you can tell I am a bit bias. In reality everyone of these bikes is a great piece of machinery, can’t go wrong with any of them.

    • Born to Ride

      8500$? Cmon man. The thing gives the Tuono a run for its money in the performance department, and it’s built in the US of A while simultaneously undercutting the competition on price. Yeah, it better cost the same as an FZ09 or I won’t touch it…

      • Steve Cole

        EBR gives MV a run for its money for running out of money, however. And that’s my concern.

        • Farmer Channing Kraemer

          Interesting. Ebr only had money issues once and everyone freaks. Out Ducati and MV have had way more money issues in their past than Erik Buell has.

    • Farmer Channing Kraemer

      You can buy a leftover sx for 8500. There are a few take out motors from crashed bikes selling for 2k. I haven’t heard of any engine failures on the RX/SX yet.

  • Vrooom

    Once I repainted those yellow rims it would be the Yamaha or Aprilia for me.

  • roma258

    I realize you guys can’t factor this into the scorecard, but Aprilias for whatever reason, always end up discounted…always! You can get a 2016 Tuono 1100RR for $12k right now. At that price, it’s kind of a no-brainer out of this bunch.

    • spiff

      Not just the Ape.

      • Born to Ride

        Aprilia sales are particularly atrocious according to the local BMW/Guzzi/Ape dealer. Leftover RSV4 and Tuonos galore. Had a grey 2016 marked down to 12.9k a month ago when my dad picked up his new Thunderbird. I told the salesman if it was blue I might have traded some stuff in to buy it.

        • roma258

          It has always been thus. Aprilia really should invest in some marketing, because they make a superior product in a couple different segments.

    • Farmer Channing Kraemer

      I can go get an EBR leftover brand new for 8500…..

      • mackja

        Call EBR direct, just might get lucky!

        • Farmer Channing Kraemer

          I’ll just keep building my mutant up for now 😉

      • roma258

        Yeah, it’s a pretty epic deal. But those are the unsupported pre-liquidation EBR’s right? Still might be worth a go.

  • D H

    I guest short people does not count anymore…..no seat height under 32.5. Why? Count this short guy out, if I want to tippy toes on the street I’ll get a street legal XR650r

    • Kevin Duke

      Three of the testers in this comparison are just 5-foot-8, and we were able to manage just fine.

      • D H

        Well I would manage too as I am wearing 31″ pants, but it’s so annoying with the trend for high seat height. There is no reason for ground clearance concerns to have such high seat height unless we ride motogp for work. The motorcycle industry also need to cater more to women demographic (middle age men motorcyclist is getting to be smaller pie)

        • John Dickinson

          of note, EBR is making the black lighting. A bit shorter, a bit more comfy. otherwise It’s basically the SX

  • Vagelis Fragos

    Great for EBR ! BUT This test was not very “fair”.. I am talking tires…. The SX was fitted with Pireli Rosso Corsa, while the Tuono&Triumph were fitted with Pireli Supercorsa….. The FZ10 was fitted with Bridgestones S20 …..Supercorsas are a much better tire, so the test has many “issues” ….. If the SX and FZ10 were fitted with Supercorsas , their handling would have been even better …. Tires are the Alpa & Omega for sportbikes !

    • Born to Ride

      When MO reviewed the current crop of superbikes when the new R1 came out, they fitted all the bikes with the same (pirelli?) tires and romped around Laguna Seca. I seem to remember many people crying foul when the R1 wasn’t sitting on the top step of the podium because they ran it on “a different tire than it was designed for”. Bah, humbug. Damned if you do, damned if ya don’t.

      • mackja

        Tires do make a difference, I really did not like the stock Rosso Corsa tires, but I fell in love with my SX all over again whein I spooned on a set of Q3’s.

        • Vagelis Fragos

          I find the Michelin DOT race tires work the best with the Buell-EBRs…. Michelin Power race, Power One, Power Cup, etc….. Pirelis Supercorsas are great too,,,, I was never happy with Dunlop tires, I found them more like a stop-go tire ….

          • mackja

            I do not like the Michelin DOT tires at all, especially the front, I have not tried the new EVO tires yet, but I love the Dunlop N-Tec slicks, absolutly fantastic tire, combind with the stiff chassis of the EBR I get great feel and feedback and have total confidence in the front. I can carry all the corner speed and then some, tire have never let me down. It is what gives you the best feel, and confidence, personal preference and riding style has alot to do with tire choice.

      • Vagelis Fragos

        I think fitting “control” tires on Superbike tests makes for a better test… Of course people will find any reason to complain…At least fit the tires from different brands but from the same “ability”…eg. DOT race or Sport…. Comparing a motorcycle fitted with a DOT race tire like the Michelin Power One Cup to a motorcycle fitted with a Sport tire like the Michelin Power One is not very relevent.. I have fitted both tires to my bike (1125R) and there is a big step in performance…..

  • Old MOron

    Dear MOrons,
    We are not getting bored with these comparos, and we are always thrilled to have “Yet Another Streetfighter Shootout!”
    Great job on the video. I guess since it’s about as cold as SoCal gets, you’re all neckerchief editors now.

  • spiff

    Below it was brought up about left over pricing. I have a Cycletrader app that lets me know when bikes in my search are added. Just got an update, a 2016 SDR for $14,299. No clue what out the door would be. There is a dealer around here that had (may still be there) a Buell for $11000 OTD. There are deals to be had.

    Below I stated how I want the lastest and greatest, but big discounts can not be ignored.

    • randy the great

      And don’t forget about used, trade-ins or private party. I’ve seen SDR’s with under 5K miles for under $13K around me. 2016 Speed Triples for $13K, Tuonos for under $13K… If you don’t have to have brand new, it really levels the playing field on pricing, which really shakes things up on the scorecard.

    • Farmer Channing Kraemer

      You can find a new leftover EBR for less than 9k…..

  • Josh DeMarco

    So this started off as a streetfighter shootout, and you guys ended up picking the best commuter/practical bike. Not the same thing. It sounds like you guys clearly pointed out that the Tuono and the EBR were the best at being hooligan bikes, and even though you guys clearly have an(understandable) soft spot for the Aprilia motor, it sounds like the EBR was definitely the best at being a streetfighter, not to mention all the credit it deserves for coming from East Troy…

    • DickRuble

      Read the article carefully and you’ll pick bits of information that will tell you these guys are not that young anymore.. They are pushing the age where a Silvershadow begins to look like a hooligan bike.. Hence their lust for all things Indian.. Yup, the EBR is the best American bike out there but patriotism (or is it jingoism) shouldn’t cloud our judgement. Go pick one for less than 10K.. but what will you do about the drive train tension ? I have to admit that’s something I had missed on first lecture…

  • John Dickinson

    I’m glad the EBR gets a bit of love. 😀 Here’s hoping they keep producing stuff and take the world by storm!

  • Craig Hoffman

    Being the lazy and expedient sort, if I was in charge of Yamaha’s product planning, I would have taken an R1S, slapped a bikini fairing and some higher bars on it and called it the FZ10. Aprilia/KTM problem solved, thank you 🙂

    • Gruf Rude

      On a related note, I have been wondering why the moto-journos have not been doing their usual sneering about the FZ10 being ‘neutered’ by the infamous ‘tuned for torque’ meme . . .

      • Craig Hoffman

        It is not even like they are “tuning for torque” anymore, An engine that is capable of producing significantly more power is being electronically limited by the ECU, which controls the ride by wire butterflies in the throttle bodies. This is what I call “sanitized for our protection ass gasket tuning”.

        My 2nd Gen FZ1 suffered from this too. Post ECU unlocking and with external full exhaust and Power Commander mods, the old girl is throwing down 148 hp at the wheel with around 15 hp all through the mid range. I wonder what the new FZ10 can do. in the 150s with a lot more down low I bet, easy…

        • Steve Cole

          A FZ10 is in the 155whp range on a Dynojet dyno with exhaust, filter, tuning and de-restriction. About 5hp off the stock Tuono, BMW and 1290R. But that’s its limit, the other bikes have room to improve as well and will put down 170whp+ with mods.

          The original carbeurated FZ1 was a great bike. A little heavy but far more of an every-day bike and the build quality trumps the hell out of the FZ10.

        • spiff

          I think most bikes respond well to an uncorked exhaust, free flowing intake, and dyno tune.

          I agree about the FZ-10. Looks don’t excite me. Not repulsed, but not loving them. I hope the SP version has the R1 caliber electronics.

      • Kevin Duke

        Because the motor is pretty damn awesome! Much better streetbike power than the R1. A dyno comparison of the two can be found here: http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/yamaha/yamaha-fz-10-dyno-tested.html

  • TheMarvelous1310

    Enjoy your Yammies, I’ll be the guy ripping past on the EBR! You guys had me sold at ‘analog’.

  • vincent

    The more naked bikes shootouts, the better ! My favorite is the Tuono
    for the engine note ! Would be great a shootout of the middle class asap
    ’17 Street triple RS and ’17 Kawasaki Z900 ! French guy watching your
    videos from north of France and enjoying them !

  • Auphliam

    I’m glad EBR made it to the party. I was worried you wouldn’t be able to get an SX before the New Year.

    It seems the segment has so much variety any more it’s hard to focus (as Josh DeMarco commented earlier). Are you looking for commuter comfort with speed or pure, red-lights-in-the-mirror fun? Reading through the article, the bikes seemed to pick their sides pretty clearly on their own merits. It sure is a good time to be an “enthusiast” 🙂

    As always, great shootout guys. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all you MO’s

  • Jack Obi

    I paid $9300 otd for my gsx-s 1000 naked. Would love to have seen it here. It is a hard to beat bike for the money. Would have also liked to have seen the z1000 here in this comparo.

  • Jack Obi

    I paid $9300 otd for my gsx-s 1000 naked. Would love to have seen it here. It is a hard to beat bike for the money. Would have also liked to have seen the z1000 here in this comparo.

  • Vagelis Fragos

    What about fuel consumption ???

    Which bike uses less fuel ?

  • Fed

    None of those bikes are equipped with Cornering ABS how would that weight in the balance compared to the SDR, I am looking to buy a new bike probably tuono or SDR and that Conering ABS makes me wonder.

    • Kevin Duke

      That’s the kind of calculation you’d best make for yourself. After fully testing C-ABS last year on the Skidbike, we’re confident in saying that it’s a valuable safety feature. But whether it’s worth the extra money is a subjective decision – there’s still some riders out there who complain that ABS isn’t worth extra money.

      • Fed

        Where i live for 2016 and new the SDR is cheaper than the tuono RR, thats what makes me really wonder, but i get your point its more of a personnal choice not a must have, i tried the SDR which is fantastic unfortunatly couldnt ride the tuono just sat on it and god that v4 sound….

  • Tinwoods

    What was it, only about a dozen years ago there were no street fighter comparos at all because there were practically no street fighters built by the manufacturers available for comparisons. The Street Triple and… what? I’ve been tearing off the crashed plastics from my sport bikes for decades, and I’m so grateful that these kinds of rides have been embraced by more and more riders.