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2014 Triple-Cylinder Street Bike Conclusion

Monday, January 6, 2014

Although not as light handling as the MV Agusta or Triumph the FZ-09 is a surprisingly nimble bike for its size.
Adam Waheed - Yamaha FZ-09 Age: 34
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 181 pounds

For my money, I would choose the Yamaha FZ-09. It’s difficult to beat the versatile and refined performance of Triumph’s Street Triple 675. For years, I’ve ridden that bike and there’s not much I dislike. Considering its engine size, it pumps out a ton of torque and I love how smooth the power comes on and the sporting character of the motor. With the addition of the R-spec suspension and brakes, Triumph offers true racetrack-grade performance. But it comes at a cost, retailing just under $10,000. On the other hand, I’m in love with the aesthetics of the Brutale. The designers in Italy absolutely nailed the styling. However, its got some glitches like its overly sensitive throttle and fragile clutch. A motorcycle that costs nearly $13,000 shouldn’t have these problems. Which leads me to the ridiculously affordable Yamaha FZ-09. Engine-wise, it is an absolute homerun. It blows me away that Yamaha could produce such a finely-tuned motor on its first try. I love its broad spread of power and guttural roar that sounds almost identical to the R1. And although it doesn’t handle as well as the Triumph, I sure do like the thought of having an extra $2000 in my pocket.

Alex Dunstan -  Triumph Street Triple 675
Age: 34
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 175 pounds

Our lady tester loved riding the MV. Though with its overly sensitive throttle it is a little tricky to ride-fast.
If I was going to plunk down some cash for one of these I'd have to go with the Triumph. The Yamaha's got a really nice motor and I can't wait to see what they do with it but the handling issues are holding the current platform back with the MV in a similar boat. The MV has a monster engine but the harsh ergos and off-putting transmission/clutch issues make it a tough sell. The Triumph handles well, looks great, has sweet brakes and a solid powerplant. I'd probably look to open the motor up a little bit as a long term goal (pipe, ECU, etc) but that's what tax returns are for right?

Melissa Perris-Hayes - MV Agusta F3 800 Brutale
Age: 30
Height: 5’5”
Weight: 120 pounds 

I would pick the MV, hands down. The Brutale exemplifies a streetfighter. To me, it’s looks stunning, especially it’s triple organ-pipe style exhaust. The engine sound is so violent, it almost screams at you when opening the throttle. If I was so inclined, It felt like I could run from the Law, make a lot of bad decisions and get in a lot of trouble on it. That’s what I think a motorcycle is all about.


2013 MV Agusta Brutale 800 Comparison
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2014 Yamaha FZ-09 Comparison
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2013 Triumph Street Triple 675 R ABS
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orangefz09owners   May 16, 2014 11:09 AM
I have owned my FZ-09 since late January. I love this bike. Once you drop in better springs in the front, replace the rear suspension and falsh the ECU, you still are well under $9,000 for a new bike that hauls ass and is so fun to rise. Replace the Exhaust and battery and you have an 847cc bike that only weighs 396 lbs. Street Triples beware.
Physics   February 13, 2014 05:19 PM
Correction on the comment made by Allworld: The 2014 Street Triple engine is the same as the 2013 engine which is the same as the 2012 and earlier engine with the exception of minor tweaks here and there each year since the start of production. The engine management system and throttle bodies were changed for 2013 to improve flow and efficiency. No noteworthy changes were made for 2014. The 2013 Daytona engine was revised, but not the Street Triple.
dipstick   January 16, 2014 07:09 PM
I agree SNSNSN. MAYBE IF SHE SPENT SOME TIME IN JAIL SHE WOULDN'T be so eager to go. Like that New York thing did't make us look bad enough.
RaptorFA   January 9, 2014 12:10 PM
It's hard not to pick the Brutale as it's easilly the baddest of the three. I just don't like the look of the Triumph, and the Japanese have done it again by skimping on the suspenders and the brakes, which just ruins that bike for me. I would gladly pay 1500 more bucks for better components and buy the Yam. as it is, I would go with the MV. As far as what M-P-H said, I totally get what she meant. AnthonyD hit it on the head. And anyway, why not have a real racer on the squad? And a lady at that? More and more ladies are riding now, so why not get a ladie's perspective? Anyway, It's the MV for me. Logically I should pick the Triumph, but it's just not gettin it for me. I can't own a bike that I cannot look at and love.
pacman52   January 8, 2014 05:13 PM
Good shootout... Personally, I would pick the Street Triple R for its better suspension/brakes combo and its sound as you revup... The FZ9 would be my pick if money was a major issue... The Brutale 800? besides its look, there is nothing else that would make me wanting it. As far as M P-H as reviewer, I really question her place... looks that all she wants to be is a ''bad ass rider''. Hmmmmmm... It may sounds sexy to some but I would rather read something more technical! lolll
AnthonyD   January 8, 2014 07:53 AM
I think MPH was commenting more on the spirit of motorcycling. Don't we all feel/want to feel a little more bad ass while riding? If the bike is inspireing, that is an achievemnt in itself. Take a second to think about who the reviewer is too. Mellisa isn't exactly your run of the mill lady. She is 5'5" and 120lbs of awesome. She was probably the most skilled rider in this test.
AM   January 7, 2014 05:04 PM
Adam, sure it's nice to have another $2,000.00 in your pocket BUT in reality, eventually, it would go away with fixing the brakes, suspension and abruptness of the throttle. You just have to unless you just cruise on the bike...
Drunkula   January 7, 2014 07:23 AM
The Brutale does look good. The Brit bike sounds like a blast, but the price? Yeah I know it has R spec components. Amongst the three I'd opt for the FZ. With the money saved it can be personalized to fit the rider (pipe, suspension, etc.). That price point I think will be hard to beat!
frostyballs   January 7, 2014 06:11 AM
Dude really? Lighten up, go do a wheelie on your "liter bike" you'll feel a lil better
Allworld   January 6, 2014 05:45 PM
This is a good comparison, but it should be noted that MV also has a Brutale 675,which would be more apples to apples with the Triumph. Triumph's 675 Daytona and Street Triple engines for 2013 and 2014 are not the same engine. I do agree, Triumph's Street Triple R is still #1, but Triumph needs to keep it fresh, perhaps reworking their 800cc triple will keep it on top for a few more years.
snsnsn   January 6, 2014 05:03 PM
On another topic, why was there no superbike comparison this year? I was looking forward to see how the HP4 might stack up against the 1199R. Keep up the good work!
snsnsn   January 6, 2014 05:01 PM
Fun comparison. But I had to sign up to comment on the last comment. "If I was so inclined, It felt like I could run from the Law, make a lot of bad decisions and get in a lot of trouble on it. That’s what I think a motorcycle is all about." Seriously? I own a liter bike and like to go as fast as the next guy, but that's a pretty poor precedent (especially from a reviewer) for motorcycle riders. Sounds like someone is trying a little too hard to fit a perceived image that we should all be trying to shed.