||BMW F 800 R
||Ducati Monster 1100 EVO
||Triumph Street Triple R
||$9950 ($11,395 as tested with premium package)
||Liquid-cooled parallel-twin DOHC four-stroke, 4 valves/cyl.
||Air-cooled L-twin SOHC four-stroke, 2 valves/cyl.
||Liquid-cooled inline three-cylinder DOHC four-stroke, 4 valves/cyl.
||Liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder DOHC four-stroke, 4 valves/cyl
|Bore x Stroke
||82.0 x 75.6mm
||98.0 x 71.5mm
||74.0 x 52.3mm
||78.0 x 53.6mm
||BMW BMS-KP electronic fuel injection, single injector/cyl.
||Siemens EFI, 45mm throttle bodies, single injector/cyl.
||Keihin multi-point sequential fuel injection, 44mm throttle bodies, single injector/cyl.
||Mikuni EFI w/motor drive sub—throttle, 35mm throttle bodies, single injector/cyl.
||43mm telescopic fork,
4.9 in. travel
||43mm inverted cartridge fork,
5.1 in. travel
||41mm inverted cartridge fork,
5.1 in. travel
||43mm inverted fork,
5.1 in. travel
||Single shock, 4.9 in. travel
||Single progressive shock,
5.8 in. travel
||Single shock, 5.1 in. travel
||Single shock, 5.1 in. travel
||120/70ZR-17 Metzler Sportech M3
||120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
||120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa
||120/70ZR-17 Bridgestone BT-021F BB
||180/55ZR-17 Metzler Sportech M3
||180/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
||180/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa
||180/55ZR-17 Bridgestone BT-021F BB
||25 deg. / 3.6 in. (91mm)
||24 deg. / 3.8 in. (97mm)
||23.9 deg. / 3.6 in. (92mm)
||25 deg. / 4.3 in. (109mm)
||59.8 in. (1519mm)
||57.1 in. (1450mm)
||55.5 in. (1410mm)
||57.5 in. (1460mm)
||455 lb. (206 kg) wet;
430 lb. (195 kg) dry
||418 lb. (190 kg) wet;
397 lb. (180 kg) dry
||422 lb. (191 kg) wet;
395 lb. (179 kg) dry
||463 lb. (210 kg) wet;
436 lb. (198 kg) dry
||45 to 47 mpg, 46 mpg average
||32 to 48 mpg, 40 mpg average
||34 to 47 mpg, 42 mpg average
||36 to 44 mpg, 41 mpg average
While the 1100 EVO benefits from healthier torque figures, power is hard to come by up top, and only the BMW offers less horsepower. While the Street Triple R has the least amount of torque, the three-cylinder has a horsepower figure on par with the FZ8 and the smoothest power curve.
It’s A Little Like Tee Ball
The 1100 EVO's 20mm higher...
The 1100 EVO's 20mm higher bar risers and reshaped seat significantly alter the new Monster's ergos, but it still features the sportiest riding position of the group. Outfitted with BMW's low seat option, our F 800 R has the most cramped ergos, while the Yamaha conversely boasts the most comfortable.
Of course, because each of these bikes vary so drastically in engine configuration, displacement and even price, we were forced to restrain from scoring them based on performance against each other. Saying we won’t keep a tally though, is a lot like parents saying they aren’t keeping score at their kid’s tee ball game. We’re not buying it. Neither are you, we’re sure. With that, we will say that there was obviously one standout in the group, and that is made clear in our accompanying SROs. But let’s not lose sight of the big picture here: how strong the naked bike segment is right now. And to think, we almost completely overlooked the category.
While I had a blast riding all these bikes, I wouldn’t have guessed at the end of it I would be picking the Triumph as my favorite. Looking at the lineup on paper, the Ducati Monster 1100 EVO, the BMW F 800 R, the Yamaha FZ8 and the Triumph Street Triple 675R, I would have thought the BMW would have been the one with the target on her back. But as it turns out, the Triumph (the smallest displacement of the bunch) was the bike that did everything right and then some. With the 1100 EVO in second I have a new love for the Monster line. And with a great engine, I chose the FZ8 to round out the podium in third.
Every time I try to compare a couple of motorcycles I ask myself, what am I looking for? Depending on your lifestyle and/or budget there are a variety of options. In the low budget department is the Yamaha FZ8; its soft seat and plush suspension made it a very comfortable performer, but wide tank had me thrown off. If your taste is more exotic, then you might consider the Ducati Monster 1100 EVO. I enjoyed the style and performance of the Ducati, plus the Ducati Safety Package is a nice touch, since you can turn the ABS on or off and adjust the intensity of the traction control. High on the scale in both the performance and fun category is the Triumph Street Triple R. The power and agility of the Street Triple is inspiring, and overall it is a great package.
It was love at first ride. For me, the Triumph Street Triple R just did everything so well. Not only does the bike have the absolute most crisp throttle response of any bike I have yet ridden, but it has plenty of power and is completely free of vibrations—something the other bikes can’t lay claim to. Still, a big surprise to me was how well the Yamaha FZ8 works. For being the budget bike of the group, the thing handles extremely well, plus has plenty of midrange and peak power to make things interesting. Not too far behind, in my opinion, is the Monster 1100 EVO, with the price tag being the only thing that really holds me back. Of course that leaves the BMW bringing up the rear. I grew to accept the bike, but I won’t say I like it.
This comparison really boils down to two protagonists in the middleweight naked category, divided neatly down both price and intended riding venue lines. On one hand there’s the Yamaha FZ8; economically priced, and comfortable enough to handle long commutes or all-day rides without complaint. On the other, the Triumph Street Triple R, with the type of performance that can slay much larger prey on a tight and twisty road…and also very reasonably priced. Which to choose?
If you’re on a budget and aren’t looking for squiggly lines every time you look at a map, then the Yamaha is for you. But if you’re willing to pay a little more for backroad performance and a stirring exhaust note, you simply can’t go wrong with the Triumph.