Best Streetfighter/Hooligan Motorcycle of 2013

Kevin Duke
by Kevin Duke

Aprilia Tuono V4 R

While choosing this year’s MOBO selections we noticed that the Best Standard category was awash with bikes such as Aprilia’s Tuono and Triumph’s Speed Triple R – last year’s Best and Honorable Mention, respectively. This year adds models such as MV Agusta’s Brutale 675 and 800 as well as a revised Triumph Street Triple R. How is a true standard such as Honda’s new CB1100 to compete with bikes such as these high-performance nakeds? To solve this conundrum we created a new category for 2013, Best Streetfighter/Hooligan.

Aprilia’s Tuono V4 R is especially notable for not giving up much performance in its transformation from full-on sportbike to nearly naked streetfighter, unlike pretty much every other conversion from full-faired literbikes. Boasting go-fast hardware like traction control, a slipper clutch and a quick-shift transmission, the Tuono V4 R APRC is the most technologically advanced streetfighter available – its resume of competition-based technologies makes it a better track weapon than many lesser-equipped supersport bikes.

While it may resemble Bumblebee’s two-wheel transforming cousin, with 154 rear-wheel horsepower (20 more than Ducati’s Streetfighter) the Tuono simply blows away any previous naked. And because no bike has emerged to unseat the Tuono from its throne as king of the Hooligans, and Aprilia saw fit to reduce the Tuono’s MSRP to $13,999, it remains our number-one choice and earns our inaugural award for Best Streetfighter. Simply put, the thrilling and exotic Tuono V4 R is one of our favorite motorcycles of all time.

Read More:
2013 MV Agusta Brutale 1090 RR Review – Quick Ride
2013 MV Agusta Brutale 800 Review
2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R Gets ABS And Horsepower Upgrade
2012 Aprilia Tuono V4 R Review
2012 MV Agusta Brutale R 1090 Review
New 2014 Yamaha FZ-09, YZ450F & YZ250F

Best Streetfighter/Hooligan Honorable Mention: KTM 690 Duke

Naked sportbikes are some of our favorite motorcycles on the market for their thrilling performance in a relatively comfortable package much preferable to crawling through traffic on peaky and ergonomically challenging pure sportbikes. Favorites include Triumph’s Street Triple R (our 2009 Motorcycle of the Year) and its Speed Triple big brother, Kawasaki’s stout Z1000, MV Agusta’s Brutales and the aforementioned Tuono.

So it was a bit of a surprise when KTM’s 690 Duke earned runner-up votes in our new category. After all, a single-cylinder engine doesn’t often come to mind when thinking about the Streetfighter segment, but the Duke’s Thumper is superior to any stock one-lunger we’ve ridden. The 64 horses spat out to the back tire is beyond any Single we’ve ever sampled, but more striking is its torque output – a wheelie-inducing 48 ft-lb peak, with nearly 40 ft-lb available as low as 3500 rpm. For reference, a 600cc sportbike doesn’t near 40 ft-lb until about 8500 rpm.

But for street fighting, the $8,999 (with standard ABS) Duke’s greatest asset is its lightness. At about 335 pounds with its tank empty, it’s far below anything else with notable sporting credentials. Incredible agility make it perfect for cutting up traffic or canyon roads, and its responsive Single is always ready to be spurred on.

The Duke is stylistically up to date, with a distinctive and aggressive appearance pinned together by its orange trellis frame that never fails to turn heads among the cognoscenti. If you’re into the streetfighter genre and you’re not interested in traveling on one, the KTM’s 690 Duke is a highly appealing alternative to more traditional hooligan options.

Read More:
2013 KTM 690 Duke Review – Video
2013 Ducati Hypermotard 821 Review
EICMA 2012: KTM 690 Duke R Brings Out Your Inner Hooligan
The Differences Between KTM’s Duke Engines
2011 Naked Middleweights Shootout

Best of 2013

Kevin Duke
Kevin Duke

More by Kevin Duke

Join the conversation
  • BTRDAYZ BTRDAYZ on Aug 20, 2013

    Congrats Duke 690 on besting the MV Agusta Brutale 675/800 twins! I hope KTM continues to develop and refine the model for the US market!

  • Roger Harper Roger Harper on Sep 27, 2013

    My 08 B King will handle the Tuono in almost all catagories. Just ask the riders who have sold their Tuono's and bot Suzuki Kings.