2006 Streetfighter Comparo I FMM

MotorcycleUSA Staff | December 1, 2006
 The bike is very compact  the seat is hard and the riding position is quite upright   observes Hutchison.
With his Twin fetish always coming into play, Kenny was torn between the Tuono and Brutale, but ended up choosing the hot-looking MV Agusta.

For My Money…

Our score sheets supply us with objective results to choose a winning bike, but riders aren’t always pragmatic when making an emotional decision to buy a motorcycle. In “For My Money.,” our test riders throw objectivity out the window and judge each bike based solely on personal preference. Comparing your size, skill level and experience to that of our testers might help you make a better decision about which bike is best for you.


Ken Hutchison
Editorial Director, MotorcycleUSA
5’8″, 190 lbs, 18 years riding streetbikes

It all came down to the Aprilia Tuono and MV Agusta Brutale. I feel most comfortable on these two bikes and easily had the most fun on these two. Flip a coin, you cannot lose. The Tuono features a bad-ass V-Twin and all of the aluminum goods a guy could hope for. Unfortunately, it has a funky-looking front end I don’t like too much. On the other hand, the Brutale is either the essence or the antithesis of the Streetfighter genre. No doubt, it looks the part of a hooligan but it comes with a high price tag and there is not much that can be done to customize the appearance. You should be caned mercilessly if you dared to anyway. The MV is easily the best looking bike in this test and that has to account for something. Raw unrefined performance of a naked Mille or refined to the hilt ultra-sexy purpose-built Brutale? What a nightmare! That being said, I guess I would opt for the MV because it won the coin toss. Maybe I should have done best of five.

Brian Chamberlain
V.P., Creative Director, MotorcycleUSA
6′-0″, 175 lbs, 15 years riding streetbikes

 The Tuono is comfortable on the highway  cuts like a knife in the twisties and it just aggressive enough for track use   praises our graphics wizard Brian Chamberlain.  It s easily my bike of choice when the road throws a curve.
It wasn’t a total For My Money sweep for the Brutale, with BC opting for the comfier ergos of the Aprilia Tuono.

I would love to own a motorcycle as beautiful as the MV, but I would have a hard time justifying that kind of money with the uncomfortable ergonomics. Maybe if I could find a cheap wrecked one somewhere it might make more sense. During the test there was one bike I had the most fun on. It works well in every situation and is just a blast to ride. It scored the highest on my scoresheet and was always my first choice when choosing what bike ride next. I would buy the Aprilia Tuono.

Kevin Duke
Editor, MotorcycleUSA
5′-8″, 140 lbs, 22 years riding streetbikes

For my money, I’d give it all up to have access to a reset button. It all started when I went out for one last Sunday ride on the Brutale before it needed to be returned. It was a last-minute decision, so when I was being pounded by expansion joints on the freeway I pulled over to try to get a more compliant ride at the rear. But without any real tools, adjusting the spring preload, which was the correct thing to do, was out of the question. With 60 more miles of freeway in front of me, I resorted to drastically backing off the shock’s compression damping, the little screw on the shock reservoir. The funny thing is the Sachs damper on the 910S doesn’t have bump damping. This, and the fact that I had just backed off the shock’s rebound damping, didn’t become fully apparent until Latigo Canyon and a corner exit with a bump in the middle. With the suspension already loaded from the cornering force, the mid-corner whoop combined to compress the bike’s springs; the bad part came when the rear spring unloaded its energy unchecked by rebound damping. I was launched over the bars and got body-slammed on my shoulder and back. The busted ribs and clavicle hurt less than seeing that gorgeous Brutale on its side. So, what do reset buttons go for these days… Oh yeah, I’d get the Tuono.

The Brutale s tight ergonomics are more suitable for smaller riders like Duke Danger shown here.
Duke was also torn over the Brutale, but not by whether to choose it as his For My Money pick, but in a literal sense when he got booted off the high-priced Italian machine and was torn internally!

Don Becklin
President, MotorcycleUSA
5’10”, 155 lbs, 21 years riding streetbikes

I think I’d buy the MV Agusta Brutale. Is my judgment clouded by the fact that Duke crashed our MV test bike recently and I most likely own the bike anyhow? Could be, I chose the Aprilia as the best stocker of the group. But the MV’s cool factor and exclusivity make its niggling issues seem like nothing more than unrealized potential. So if this test bike turns into my personal project bike, things could certainly be worse. Now where’s my local dealer? I’ve got a parts list to fill.


Return to theĀ 2006 Streetfighter Comparo I.

MotorcycleUSA Staff