Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

2014 Triple-Cylinder Street Bike Shootout

Monday, January 6, 2014


Videos Our Sponsor
2013 Triumph Street Triple 675R ABS Comparison Video
Click to view video
Triumph has owned the Triple segment for years. Will it be a threat to the bigger displacement bikes from Italy and Japan? Find out in the 2013 Triumph Street Triple 675R ABS Comparison Video.
Until recent times there were basically two types of engine configurations to choose from in a standard street bike: Twin or Inline Four. Triumph has long provided the exception with its popular Inline Three-powered Triumph Speed Triple a top-seller for the English firm since 1994 and later supplemented with the middleweight Street Triple 675 that debuted for the ‘07 model year. Although radical for its day, the Street Triple is a highly effective mount blending the low-end power pulses of a Twin with the high rpm adrenaline of an Inline. Skip ahead eight years and the Italians at MV Agusta now build a Triple with its Brutale 800 as well as the Japanese in the form of Yamaha’s all-new and highly affordable FZ-09. But does the newer breed of sweet-sounding trios have what it takes to outshine the original? We’re going find out in this Triple-Cylinder Street Bike Shootout.

Videos Our Sponsor
2013  MV Agusta Brutale 800 Comparison Video
Click to view video
MV Agusta wants a slice of the middleweight streetfighter segment and it’s doing it with its 800cc Brutale. Learn more in the 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 800 Comparison Video.
Armed with a fresh look and carefully refined as well as more mass-centralized chassis, the 2013 Triumph Street Triple 675 R ABS ($9999) is the benchmark. It’s based off the Daytona 675 Supersport, sharing its 675cc motor that is the smallest amongst the three in this comparison. It’s packaged in an svelte aluminum frame with a low running weight and the R-spec comes outfitted with track-grade suspension and ABS-equipped braking hardware for a mere $900 over the base model, which is the form in which we tested it. Years and years of refinement have netted the Street Triple we have today and it’s not going to be easy to bump it off its lofty pedestal.

Also introduced last year is MV Agusta’s 2013 Brutale 800 ($12,498). Based on the F3 Supersport and smaller Brutale 675, the larger streetfighter earns its badge from its long-stroke 798cc motor. Like its sibling it sports a full electronics suite including traction control (more simple rate-of-change
Videos Our Sponsor
2014 Yamaha FZ-09 Comparison Video
Click to view video
Meet the new kid on the block. Will this Japanese Triple oust the competition? Tune in to the 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 Comparison Video and find out.
design), adjustable engine power and throttle sensitivity maps and an optional $500 electronic quickshifter. It also employs MV’s signature hybrid frame constructed from steel and aluminum to give it just the right amount of feel through corners. We love the way the F3’s chassis feels on the track, but will it work on in a more street-oriented environment?

Yamaha surprised the motorcycling community with the release of its 2014 FZ-09 ($7899). Sporting one heck of an attractive price, it also showcases Yamaha’s all-new 847cc Inline Three. The motor features Yamaha’s MotoGP-derived crossplane firing order that broadens the torque curve and makes the engine feel and sound sportier too. It’s hung within a twin-spar aluminum frame with a low-slung exhaust and modern yet slightly utilitarian shape designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of riders. It also offers three different throttle response maps and rough-road friendly suspension components which Yamaha thinks is ideal for urban riding. But the real question is if it can perform in a sporting environment, too?

To find out we spent a few days riding these machines around town as errand runners. We also detoured to
the hills for an afternoon rallying around corners to get a sense of their sporting pedigree. Afterwards we visited Chuckwalla Valley Raceway for a fun and affordable SoCal Trackdays weekend. While we were there we ran all of ‘em down Chuckwalla’s deserted Army-built runway to accurately measure their true straight-line performance. Lastly we rated the characteristics of each bike based on our feelings behind the handlebar, reviewed the data, crunched numbers, and tabulated the scores based on our tried-and-true street-based scorecard. So let’s find out which triple-cylinder bike you need to swing a leg over for the New Year.






2013 MV Agusta Brutale 800 Comparison
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Slideshow
2014 Yamaha FZ-09 Comparison
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Slideshow
2013 Triumph Street Triple 675 R ABS
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Slideshow




 



 
 

Login or sign up to comment.

Comments
Allworld   February 10, 2014 05:43 AM
Why not use the MV Agusta Brutale 675, which is a direct comparison to the Triumph Street Triple 675?
MCUSA Bart   February 3, 2014 02:32 PM
UPDATE: An incorrect torque chart had compressed the Yamaha's torque curve. The chart has since been updated.
Thommo675   January 12, 2014 03:00 PM
...the thing that is unique about the Yamaha's motor is that it has an offset crankshaft, i.e. the axis of rotation of the crank is offset from the the centre-line of the pistons (akin to one bank of cylinders from a volkswagen VR engine, or the Horex engine). This is not something that Yamaha have been playing up in their marketing material at all; perhaps they feel it is a bit too technical for regular punters to be interested or to understand the benefits... It certainly goes some way to explaining the lower revving, torquey nature of the engine though.
Thommo675   January 8, 2014 05:14 PM
My apologies too guys, I shouldn't have rushed straight to minor criticism - This was an excellent article, well-written, well-argued, with great descriptions of bikes that I have been hanging out to see compared against each other. Thanks for continuing to do these kind of tests, it seems that the comparo is slowly dying out in the motorcycle media, and I for one really like reading them, and particularly prefer reading about how one bike stacks up directly against another rather than just reading a rider's impressions of a single bike. Cheers!
DDR1   January 8, 2014 09:32 AM
Yamaha's first try at a triple, Adam? I guess you're too young to remember the late seventies XS750 and XS850's. Yamaha's experience with triples goes way back. BTW, I'll take the bike, and the extra cash, too.
Thommo675   January 7, 2014 04:09 PM
Correct me if I am wrong here, but I believe all of these bikes have identical firing orders... with 120 degree crank offsets. There is nothing different about the Yam's crankshaft other than marketing hype trying to link it to their R1 and M1 bikes. Somewhat paradoxically, a flat-plane crankshaft in an i3 motor (as the Laverta Jota 1000 had) gives an engine character more akin to the R1's crossplane design, with an unevenly spaced firing order. It also gives lots of vibrations.