2015 Middleweight Sport Twins Shootout Conclusion

April 7, 2015
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, 36, Road Test Editor – 6’0”, 180 pounds – Yamaha FZ-07

I’ve always loved Ducati Monsters, but the new water-cooled platform just doesn’t do it for me. The Suzuki 650 has also been a favorite of mine, but it’s a little too expensive for what you get. Which leaves the FZ-07. Wow, what a bike. Fast, fun and flexible it has one heck of an engine. It’s comfortable and looks pretty cool, too. My only real complaint is its undersprung fork, but that’s a quick and relatively inexpensive fix. I’d take the FZ-07 all-day.

Jason Abbott, 36, Cycle News Test Rider – 5’11”, 195 pounds – Yamaha FZ-07

The FZ-07 is the clear winner in my book. Not only was it comfortable, but it was fun to ride. The engine felt really lively and it hustles well around town. For sure it didn’t handle quite as good as the Suzuki or Ducati but it was close and nothing that I couldn’t fix with a few tweaks.

Aaron Colton, 23, Street Freestyle Rider – 6’2”, 178 pounds – Yamaha FZ-07

Yamaha really did its homework with the FZ-07 and it shows. It’s a great bike for newer and more experienced riders alike. The engine is just a blast to play around on and its super light, too. The Yamaha is easily the best of this group.

2015 Middleweight Sport Twins Shootout Specs
Monster 821
Engine:  645cc liquid-cooled V-Twin, 8-valve Engine: 821cc liquid-cooled L-Twin, 8-valve Engine: 689cc liquid-cooled Parallel Twin, 8-valve
Bore x Stroke: 81.0 x 62.6mm Bore x Stroke: 88.0 x 67.5mm Bore x Stroke: 80.0 x 68.6mm
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1 Compression Ratio: 12.8:1 Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Fueling: Fuel-injection Fueling: Fuel-injection  Fueling: Fuel-injection 
Transmission: Six-speed Transmission: Six-speed Transmission: Six-speed
Clutch: Wet multi-plate; Cable actuation    Clutch: Wet APTC multi-plate; Cable actuation   Clutch: Wet multi-plate; Cable actuation    
Final Drive: Chain; 15/46 gearing   Final Drive: Chain; 15/46 gearing   Final Drive: Chain; 16/43 gearing
Frame: Steel-trellis  Frame: Steel-trellis Frame: Tubular-steel
Front Suspension: 41mm Showa fork w/ spring preload adjustment;
4.9 in. travel 
Front Suspension: 43mm inverted fork; 5.1 in. travel   Front Suspension: 41mm fork; 5.1 in. travel 
Rear Suspension: Showa shock
w/ spring preload adjustment;
5.1 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Sachs shock w/ spring preload adjustment;
5.5 in. travel 
Rear Suspension: Shock w/ spring preload adjustment;
5.1 in. travel 
Front Brakes: 290mm discs, four-piston calipers   Front Brakes: 320mm discs,
radial-mount four-piston Brembo M4-32 calipers w/ ABS
Front Brakes: 282mm discs, four-piston calipers
Rear Brake: 240mm disc, single-piston caliper Rear Brake: 245mm disc,
twin-piston caliper w/ ABS
Rear Brake: 245mm disc, single-piston caliper
Tires: Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier; 120/70-17, 160/60-17 Tires: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II; 120/70-17, 180/60-17 Tires: Michelin Pilot Road 3; 120/70-17, 180/55-17
Curb Weight: 445 lbs. Curb Weight: 453 lbs. Curb Weight: 398 lbs.
Wheelbase: 56.9 in. Wheelbase: 58.3 in. Wheelbase: 55.1 in.
Rake/Trail: 25.0 deg / 4.17 in. Rake/Trail: 24.3 deg. / 3.7 in. Rake/Trail: 24.0 deg. / 3.5 in.
Seat Height: 30.9 in. Seat Height: 30.9 or 31.9 in. Seat Height: 31.7 in.
Fuel Tank: 3.8 gallon Fuel Tank: 4.6 gallon Fuel Tank: 3.7 gallon
MSRP: $7699 MSRP: $11,495 MSRP: $6990