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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. 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 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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