Shootouts have long been the bread and butter of Motorcycle.com’s reviews. Some of this is because the expandable nature of web pages makes long-form content much easier than back in the print media days. Another reason is that the MO motto has always been “more is more.” So naturally, we changed things for 2022. Instead of more bikes, we decided to focus on more shootouts for the year. We think the experiment was largely a success (although you can feel free to give us your opinion in the comments), and for 2023, we are considering a hybrid of shootout models to see if that is the magic combination. However, before we ride into 2023, we need to look at what made the previous year such a good one. So, here are the shootouts that you readers decided with your clicks were the best 2022 had to offer.
It’s all relative. How good or bad a thing is all depends on the competition, doesn’t it – a thing that’s kept us employed and entertained for more than a few years now. Competition is good for business; MO comparison tests usually always draw in more eyeballs than single-bike reviews. In a perfect world, we’d gather up all five or six contenders in a given class for a week-long flog over hill and dale and racetrack. But in the real world of today, well shoot – it looks like our Top Five most-read comparisons of 2020 are only two bikes each.
Motorcycle shootouts are a relentless procession of putting the screws to a couple or numerous models selected for similarities in performance, style, purpose, price and, of course, engine displacement. Two of our most recent shootouts, the Gentleman’s Hooligan Comparo and Japanese Mega Standards Shootout, pit four excruciatingly similar models from Kawasaki and Suzuki against one another in two separate competitions. At 999cc and 1043cc the GSX-S1000 ABS and Kawasaki Z1000 ABS were the Goliaths, while the 749cc and 806cc displacements of the Suzuki GSX-S750 and Kawasaki Z800 ABS were the Davids. Is it possible for David to defeat Goliath? Which motorcycle is the true king of Israel?
It’s a hard and dangerous business passing judgment on all these new motorcycles. Not so much physically dangerous (though there is that), but more like dangerous we’ll get it wrong. One of my favorite parts of being a MOron is going out with the other kids to do comparison tests over the span of a few days, when we have the chance to stop and smell the lattes, comparing notes and impressions on each bike every time we stop, and reach a consensus. Most of the time.