Four-Thirds Shootout

2013 Triples Shootout

By Evans Brasfield, Associate Editor

My best motorcycling moment for 2013 came from MO’s recent Four-Thirds Shootout. My reasons for this choice are two-fold. First, I love Triples. I can still remember – way back in the last century – the first time I brought a Speed Triple home from work. My wife walked out of the house to ask what the cool-looking bike was. I foolishly said, “That’s the bike I’m going to get arrested on.”

For someone who started riding on parallel-Twins before moving on to inline-Fours, a Triple feels like coming home – only better. With much of the throaty growl and torque of a Twin and the minimal vibration of a multi, I believe Triples combine to make the ideal engine configuration. Throwing a leg over the latest generation of the first Triple I ever rode was a simultaneous blast-from-the-past and revelation of the current state of motorcycle technology. Everything I loved about the Speed Triple was there – only better. (Are you noticing a theme here?) Switching to the other bikes in the comparison only heightened this experience.

Imagine, four Triples vying for your dollars in a class of motorcycle that for so long was, essentially, a class of one. Then there’s the breadth of pricing and technology available. And it’s Yamaha’s release of the FZ-09 that, I think, is the best indication of how important Triples will be in the near future. Getting newer, less experienced riders hooked on relatively inexpensive Triples should increase the demand for them.

But the main reason why the Triples shootout held such great importance to me was more personal. After working for 12 years as a freelancer and being a one-person operation, I am part of a team again. Rather than riding, writing and shooting (with a hired rider) a road test by myself, I’m working with people I enjoy and respect. I’m back in an environment where the casual discussion of motorcycles is part of the daily routine. The cross-pollination that occurs in these conversations can’t be overemphasized.

The team at MO is a group of hard-core motorcyclists that strives to bring their very best efforts to our readers – all while having a good time. Riding with the MO gang during the Triples comparo, I felt like I’d come home – only better.