In case you haven’t noticed, we’re big fans of naked sportbikes. Fast enough to thrill yet plenty accommodating for daily use, their do-it-all nature is highly appealing to us.
Not only did the versatile and riotously fun Triumph Street Triple R take the Motorcycle of the Year award in our Best of 2009 article, we’ve also given plenty of ink to naked bikes in comparison tests. To wit:
Ducati Streetfighter vs Benelli TnT
Air-cooled V-Twin Streetfighter Shootout: Ducati Monster vs H-D XR1200
Aprilia Shiver vs Triumph Street Triple
Kawasaki ER-6n vs Suzuki Gladius
2009 Streetfighter Shootout: Aprilia Tuono, Buell 1125CR, Triumph Speed Triple
Which brings us to Kawasaki’s new Z1000 sports roadster. American riders have been reluctant to buy naked bikes such as this, but Kawasaki believes it has a winner on its hand with its ground-up redo of the streetfighting Z1K.
We became believers, too, after testing the Zee during its December press launch. It is a huge advancement over the previous generation Z1000, offering more grunt, sure-footed handling and less vibration. It proved to be so competent that we decided to see how it would fare against the endlessly appealing Triumph Speed Triple, a true icon of the genre that has been around since 1994.
Last seen on MO a little over a year ago in our 2009 Streetfighter Shootout, the Speed Triple remains unchanged since its 2008 update.
The Triumph’s centerpiece is its wonderful 1050cc three-cylinder engine. The endearing Triple is not only fabulously musical, it also proved to out-torque its twin-cylinder competition. Adding in its attractive bare-bones styling (with twin bug-eye headlights, snake-like aluminum frame and single-sided swingarm) only sweetens the deal. And, for a semi-exotic European sportbike, its $11,299 MSRP qualifies as a veritable deal.
The Full Story : 2010 Streetfighter Shootout: Kawasaki Z1000 vs. Triumph Speed Triple on Motorcycle.com