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2014 Four-Cylinder Streetfighter Shootout

Thursday, June 5, 2014

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2014 BMW S1000R Comparison Video
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Watch the 2014 BMW S1000R Comparison Video and see how BMW’s all-new Streetfighter performs against its big-bore competition.
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2014 Kawasaki Z1000 ABS Comparison Video
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In the 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 ABS Comparison Video, the Green Team’s value-priced Streetfighter faces off against more expensive European hardware.
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2014 MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR Comparison Video
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MV Agusta’s top-of-the-line naked sportbike makes its first-ever MotoUSA Shootout appearance in the 2014 MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR Comparison Video.
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2014 Aprilia Tuono V4R ABS Comparison Video
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Will Aprilia’s updated Tuono build upon its Shootout-winning legacy? Watch the 2014 Aprila Tuono V4R ABS Comparison Video to find out.
With two full re-designs, two updated models, and another entirely all-new machine, this riding season marks the year of the big-bore streetfighter… and that can only mean one thing: Shootout time! In the first part of the test, Ducati’s Monster 1200 S faced off against the KTM 1290 Super Duke R ABS in a Twins-only competition. Now, the four-bangers battle it out in the Four Cylinder Streetfighter Shootout (Ed. Note: we hoped to add Triumph’s Triple-powered Speed Triple 1050 to the mix however it was unavailable for this group test).

Headlining this year’s test is BMW’s all-new S1000R ($14,950 as tested). The single-R is based off the Motorrad department’s brilliant and two-time Superbike Smackdown shootout-winning S1000RR superbike. While it shares the RR’s 999cc Inline Four, the S1000R also sports a bevy of intelligent chassis and powertrain tweaks to make it more accommodating for pure street use. Since we didn’t publish a First Ride report, the Beemer is a bit of a wild card. However, based on our experience with the double-R, we expect it to be an immediate contender for the top spot.

Kawasaki also has something new in the form of its fresh-faced Z1000 ABS ($11,999). Year after year, the Z1 remains a perennial favorite through the combination of its short wheelbase, and punchy and very wild-sounding 1043cc Inline Four engine, making it well suited to one wheel riding. This year, it sports edgy and highly futuristic styling, along with engine and chassis enhancements to give it more zip on the road. But is it enough for the green bike to climb out of the friend zone and become a bona fide winner?

Although you may not know it, MV Agusta has long been a player in the streetfighter scene with its ever-growing line of Brutale naked sport bikes. And the 1090 RR ($18,998) represents the most prized version. This 1078cc Inline-powered Italian has the distinction of being the veteran of the group having not received any big hardware updates since its last major overhaul four years ago. Still, the 2014 Brutale does benefit from improvements in the form of updated engine and traction control programming, as well as clutch internals. That said, it’ll still have its work cut out for it in its first-ever MotoUSA Streetfighter Shootout appearance.

Aprilia’s Tuono V4R ABS ($14,499) is another newcomer having never competed in current form. Built from the Italian company’s Word Superbike championship-winning RSV4 platform, the Tuono shares much of its componentry including the rip-roaring 999cc V-Four engine and Comparison-winning Traction Control electronics. For ’14, it gets a 0.4-gallon larger fuel tank, new front brake calipers (with ABS), and some subtle engine, transmission, and electronic enhancements. Since we started doing these giant multi-bike streetfighter comparisons eight years ago, the Tuono nameplate has collected wins two out of three times. And its newest iteration looks to build that legacy.

Once again, we bounced around the streets of SoCal spending a few hours at the controls of each motorcycle in a variety of different scenarios ranging from freeway cruising and lane splitting to fast-paced mountain road sorties. We followed it up with a track excursion out in central California farm country with Let’s Ride Trackdays at Buttonwillow Raceway. There, we did our standardized collection of performance metrics which we then combine with rider feedback and dyno information to accurately rank the capabilities of each bike. Points are then tallied according to our faithful ‘street’ scorecard, giving us a winner.

'14 Kawasaki Z1000 ABS Comparo
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'14 MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR Comparo
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'14 BMW S1000R Comparo Gallery
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'14 Aprilia Tuono V4 R ABS Comparo
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Springermad   January 6, 2015 02:26 PM
The review was worthwhile reading and I cannot agree on the comments questioning the validity. I went out and tried the S1000R and Tuono and I found the review to be spot on. I liked the S1000R, however the gearing appeared low, handled very well but did vibrate and made the mirrors practically useless. Although I liked it, it was nice! The Tuono to be blunt made me grin! The noise and handling were fantastic when pushed. The gearing was taller and more relaxed when you wanted it to be! Having tried both the BMW and Aprilia I went with the Tuono. Heart over head was the decision criteria, and if a bike makes you inanely grin then it has to be the one to go for!
inthemachine   June 30, 2014 06:38 PM
It's funny I have read just about every online and hard copy review/comparison (US and euro) of the bmw s1000r, Tuono and Super duke 1290 and they ALL have both the bmw and the duke beating the tuono as well as being faster. The bike that takes first place is usually the BMW and the odd time the KTM taking the top honor. Also every other publication was just BEAMING about the DDC on the bimmer. Don't take my word for it check it out: Fast bikes magazine, cycleworld, superbike mag, motorcycle.com, bike mag etc. Normally I am a huge fan of Motocycle USA's testing but this just seems off. Is every other reviewer in the US and europe wrong?
MCUSA Bart   June 30, 2014 08:59 AM
OutOfTheBox, I would refer you to MotoUSA's 2014 Triple-Cylinder Street Bike Shootout (http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/8/17685/Motorcycle-Article/2014-Triple-Cylinder-Street-Bike-Shootout.aspx) In it we tested the FZ-09 against the MV Agusta and Triumph. Fact of the matter is there are so many bikes in this class now that it's quite difficult logistically to get them all together. So our Road Test Editor, Adam, conducted a two-bike Twins test (KTM & Ducati), three-bike Triple test (Triumph, Yamaha & MV Agusta) and this four-bike Fours test (Kawasaki, Aprilia, BMW & MV Agusta). Hopefully, one day we can follow up with a shootout between the winners of each engine configuration... but we'll have to see about press bike availability. Thanks for your comments and feedback.
morvegil   June 27, 2014 08:14 AM
Hey guys I just did Circuit of the Americas on my s1000r. That DDC worked perfect. Check out my video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Lxx_mAcRww&list=UUFr4CrkTep1P58tfnPrc4pw You can check the rest of my vids from when I owned the Tuono.
motousa_adam   June 18, 2014 03:50 PM
@Scblacksunshine: It's not that I think the Duke can't 'hang' in terms of acceleration and speed, it's just the Tuono's electronics are far superior to that of the Duke's which allow the rider to confidently ride the Tuono harder then you could the Duke. The Duke is no doubt fast as hell and fun, too. But things can get out of hand in a hurry aboard the Orange bike because the electronics won't 'save' you as easily as the Aprilia's set-up. Now that we're talking about this, I really think it would be a good comparison between the two of em'... Adam
Scblacksunshine   June 16, 2014 10:55 PM
Thanks for the explanation Adam. It's rather surprising to hear you don't think the Super Duke R can hang with the Tuono V4R, this is very different from most other US reviewers. I can respect that though, with your vast experience, perhaps a different take and goes to show how high the Tuono has set the bar. As for DDC on HP4, it would be interesting if you guys can do a street test now that the bike has been out for a while. I have also read mix feedback on the forums in regards to HP4 DDC and a street comparison would be interesting and useful. Tough part will probably be finding an owner that's willing to let you guys borrow it for a street evaluation.
motousa_adam   June 16, 2014 07:25 PM
@Scblacksunshine – I've been waiting for this question: It is hard to compare the two systems because we tried them in vastly different environments. They are also set-up completely different (at least it feels that way). Contrary to the single-R's DDC, the HP4’s set-up worked really well at the Jerez circuit in Spain where we did that test. Though, to be fair, that circuit is relatively flat and doesn’t have a whole lot of camber or hills. Still it was all sunshine and rainbows. It’s far from race suspension but for fast track day or sport riding it functions great. Unfortunately we won’t be doing a test between the Super Duke R and the Tuono V4R. It would be a pretty good test for sure, but I don’t think the Orange bike can hang against it-- especially at the track-- the Tuono is just too dang good. Thanks for reading... Adam
Scblacksunshine   June 16, 2014 03:16 PM
@Adam. Always enjoyed your reviews. Two questions for you. How is the S1000R DDC in comparison to the HP4 DDC? Did you have the same issue with the HP4 as well? Second question, will you guys do a final shootout between the winner here (Aprilia) vs Twins shootout winner (KTM)?
Scblacksunshine   June 16, 2014 03:13 PM
Hey Adam, always enjoyed your review. Two questions for you, how is the S1000R DDC compare to the DDC in HP4. Did you have the same issue with the HP4 DDC as well? Second question, will you guys be doing a final comparison between the winner of this shootout and the winner of the twin shootout for an ultimate 2014 street figter winner?
motousa_adam   June 13, 2014 12:10 PM
@Momo1970: 1. As far, as credibility goes, just because a rider is wearing full leathers doesn’t mean they know how to ride a motorcycle, or provide any accurate feedback on its performance. I hope the quality of our tests helps authenticate our credibility. I prefer riding in jeans on the street. If I was riding on the track, or racing, obviously a one-piece suit is the only way I roll, but for sport road riding I prefer the look, comfort, and practicality of denim. A number of companies now make motorcycling-specific jeans, including the Rev’it Campo Jean I am wearing in this test. The pants are of much thicker construction and have clever inserts for its flexible body armor in the knees. I like the general fit of them, too, although they are a little baggy especially at the ankles. They also run a little big so if you are a true 34-inch waste, you should go down on size. 2. As I alluded to in the response for ‘morvegil’, our tests are biased to performance first—and in all honesty, we probably rode the S1000R a bit harder than it was engineered for. No doubt the DDC, can work well. We tested it on the HP4 with excellent results – find out more here >>> http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/65/14222/Motorcycle-Article/2013-BMW-S1000RR-HP4-First-Ride.aspx ...Adam
motousa_adam   June 13, 2014 11:42 AM
@OutOfTheBox: The FZ-09 wasn’t in this test because it isn’t in this category due to its price (much lower) and engine displacement/power. If you want to see how the FZ-09 compares against its proper competition check out this link >>> http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/270/17688/Motorcycle-Article/2014-Yamaha-FZ-09-Comparison.aspx … Adam
motousa_adam   June 13, 2014 11:38 AM
@morvegil: you know what? I’ve been giving this some serious thought and you make some pretty valid points. And I can appreciate why the S1000R could be a better fit for you. It’s a great bike, and if you ride it at a moderate pace, it works well, with LOT’s of comfort, no doubt. Here’s the deal: There’s many different ways you can evaluate these motorcycles as a whole, whether it be comfort, practicality, performance, etc, etc. But in my reviews, I evaluate everything by performance first, regardless if it’s an 800-pound cruiser, a 400-pound sportbike, or a 150cc scooter. Obviously, other factors including comfort, fuel economy, etc. are important to consider on a road bike—that’s why there are separate scoring categories for that on our standardized ‘street’ scorecard. i.e., if you don’t care about what bike has the best quarter-mile time then just forget about it and focus on what really matters to you, like Engine Character or Mileage Range. By viewing the scorecard as such, I hope it helps you with your decision making process. That’s what I am trying to do. But at the end of the day, it’s the outright performance of these machines that really counts and the ultimate fundamental baseline of these tests. Thanks for reading and your stimulating thoughts. Adam
Momo1970   June 9, 2014 07:58 PM
couple of comments: 1) I don't get why professional motorcycle jurnalist test 160 BHP motorcycles wearing jeans, compared with other sites/ publications this reduce some creditability. 2) You are the first to complain about BMW electronic dumping, seems quite odd when the entire industry just praise the BMW suspension system, and don't tell me the others didn't push the system to its limits. I don't care much for the winner, all bikes in this category are just great its just weird.
morvegil   June 9, 2014 01:02 PM
@adam. I understand, but my whole thing is these are super nakeds. On the track? Maybe the Tuono is better. My laptimes have gone up on the s1000...so go figure. But lets say its a naked made for the street and not the track. The gas mileage on a Tuono is pretty bad...25-29mpg. I think thats a general consensus around the web. Personal experience with RACE ECU i got 25. So for a bike which is more of a hooligan do everything bile..i.e. touring, bar hopping and occasional track day. I saw the s1000...heated grips, cruise control. Suspension adjustment for 2-up and/or luggage. It starts to make the whole picture bigger. Then you take dealer network plus reliability (Italian..we know :D)...then it really paints a different picture. So i guess my rating is more of a "what bike you have to live with" versus "we took these out for a day of fun" review. That is why I choose to go to the s1000r.
motousa_adam   June 6, 2014 01:10 PM
@morvegil - I disagree with you. The Aprilia is the superior motorcycle to ride. Reliability-wise, that is another story... Yes, we used the Dynamic and Dynamic Pro modes on the street and track. I noticed no difference in terms of handling or overall suspension action. If you ride slow the DDC works great, if you haul ass it's ineffective.
Grozny   June 6, 2014 10:49 AM
Nice review Waheed! Morvegil has been trying to justify his purchase from day one. Case in point: http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/showthread.php?289562-Traded-in-the-Tuono-for-a-s1000R I have no idea why BMW will not add a counterbalancer to their engine to reduce the vibrations?
morvegil   June 5, 2014 09:20 PM
Funny. I just traded my Tuono for a s1000R. Its a better bike. The tuono had shit gas mileage and the stator has issues STILL. I love the sound. Also, the BMW has so much more stuff, and the DDS system worked good for me...these guys must of been in the wrong modes? I wonder if they turned on Dynamic PRO mode even?