2014 Middleweight Sport-Touring Shootout Conclusion

September 2, 2014
Adam Waheed
By Adam Waheed
Road Test Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

His insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.

Adam Waheed, 35, Road Test Editor – 6’0”, 179 pounds – Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

First off, I love the way the Interceptor handles and how silky-smooth its motor is. Problem is its ergonomics are too sporty and the engine is a big letdown. C’mon, Honda, you spend all this money making a bitching V-Four engine and it only makes 97 horsepower? Unless I could get a smoking deal on the VFR I’d pass on it for the Ninja 1000 by Kawasaki. That bike is fast as hell, plenty comfortable, and has really well designed luggage. If I was simply using the bike to commute around town on, or maybe take on an overnight getaway I’d surely do it on the Ninja. But if I wanted to really get after it and go cross-country I’d take a Mana GT. I love how much cargo room it has and the integrated power plug is pure genius. Surely it needs a larger windscreen but besides that I’d have no qualms going anywhere on it.

Bart Madson, 37, Editor – 6’1, 205 pounds – Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

The Ninja 1000 is the bike I’d spend my money on. It’s features the most potent engine and best handling of the bunch. I also found it the most comfortable bike of the lot… The VFR could tempt me away, if it had a little more punch from its V-Four, but as it stands right now I think the Ninja delivers the biggest bang of the buck.

Bryan Harley, 48, Cruiser Editor – 6’0, 225 pounds – Honda VFR800F Interceptor

After spending time on the three bikes in this test, the VFR Interceptor is my favorite when roads twist up. The bike feels lower and lighter than the other three, steering is light, and it transitions the fastest. There is a little learning curve to its powerband. At first it felt like it was a little down on power for me at 225 pounds, particularly low in the rev range. But after Bart informed me about how the VTEC functions, I consciously made an effort to keep it in its midrange happy place around 7000 rpm. I was pleased with the wide spread of power in the upper gears, gears that slip into place with usual Honda efficiency and smoothness.