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2010 Streetfighter Shootout IV

Monday, September 13, 2010

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2010 Streetfighter Shootout
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Watch as we test the latest generation of streetfighter motorcycles in Motorcycle-USA’s 2010 Streetfighter Shootout IV Video.
Sportbikes are modern marvels. Think about it: What other machine can you walk into a showroom and purchase for less than $15,000 that can accelerate from 0-to-60 in just over three seconds, and then come back to a stop in less than 140 feet. These are racebikes disguised with mirrors and turn signals, capable of diving into a corner with sniper-levels of precision and then accelerate away like a bullet discharged from a rifle.
The only really problem, however, is that the sportbike genre of motorcycles can be awkward for some to ride. With their tall, skinny seats, low-mounted clip-ons, and elevated foot controls, piloting them on the street can be downright uncomfortable. That’s why motorcycle manufactures build Streetfighters. A class of two-wheelers with more comfortable ergonomics and unique styling; these machines are engineered to synergize the best attributes from both the sport and street worlds.
Last year, now-defunct American motorcycle manufacturer, Buell surprised us by winning the 2009 Streetfighter Comparison III with its 1125CR. The CR was without question the finest motorcycle ever produced by Buell, a bike that we still miss riding.
At slow speeds the Ducati handles rather cumbersomely but add in some speed and all of a sudden it performs in its element.

The 990 Super Duke in action at the racetrack.
Welcome the competitors to Motorcycle-USA’s 2010 Streetfighter Shootout IV. The 2010 Ducati Streetfighter, 2010 Kawasaki Z1000, and 2008 KTM 990 Super Duke. Which one will come out on top?

Buell’s exit has allowed Ducati to inherit the top spot by default, which once again competes with its 2010 Streetfighter. Introduced as an early-release model last year, the Streetfighter is based off the old 1098 Superbike. To differentiate the two models, the Streetfighter wears different body panels that show off the 1099cc L-Twin engine. It also uses a different big-diameter shotgun-style exhaust and aluminum handlebar. Besides those changes, the basic architecture of the chassis, including the steel trellis frame, tunable Showa suspension parts, wheels and Brembo brakes are all similar to that used on its current 1198 Superbike.
The next bike competing in our shootout can’t exactly be deemed new, having been introduced in 2007 and unchanged since then. It is, however, new to us, having never competed in a Motorcycle-USA comparison of any kind. Enter the 2008 KTM 990 Super Duke. We’re also reviewing a ‘08 model in this test because KTM hasn’t imported any ’09 or ‘10 models into the States as no changes have been made to the platform. Similar to the Ducati, the KTM utilizes a liquid-cooled V-Twin engine that displaces 999cc. The engine is hung in a steel, tube-type frame, and is partially exposed behind sharp, angular bodywork that appears as if it could deflect radar. Adjustable suspension and Brembo braking components are used and are similar to those on its Italian competition.
After a temporary hiatus, Kawasaki returns to this category and to our contest with the all-new 2010 Kawasaki Z1000. This is the third appearance for the Zed-1, having competed in the original 2006 Streetfighter Comparo I and 2007 Streetfighter Comparo II. Since then, the current Z1000 has undergone a full redesign; peruse our 2010 Kawasaki Z1000 First Ride to learn all the individual updates. As opposed to the Ducati and KTM, Japan’s lone Streetfighter entry is powered by a liquid-cooled 1043cc Inline-Four held in an all-aluminum chassis. Bodywork styling is a cross between the KTM’s sharp lines and the Ducati’s sensuous curves, giving it a unique look all its own.
For the test, we rode the bikes on both the street and racetrack in order to discern the personality of each machine. Each aspect of the motorcycle was rated based on rider opinion and scored via our hybrid Formula One-based points scale. We also factored in objective data – including horsepower, weight, price, etc. – to further help us decipher which Streetfighter is the best on the market today and to hopefully aid you in figuring out which of these awesome machines might be for you.

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William C -No Triumph Speed Triple?  September 29, 2010 07:53 AM
What's the deal.. I have been in love with the new ducati since it came out but wanted to see it compared to the speed triple, my all time grunt favorite.
Mark -Uh What you Say  September 17, 2010 12:05 PM
CZZ says "Uh, I think Ducati made this segment back in the early 90's when they decided to greenlight the Monster concept...there's no doubt the Speed Tripple is an excellent bike (and should have been included here), but it did not create this segment...."

Umm, I beg to differ. The Speed Triple, which was introduced at almost the same time as the Monster, had far more power than the Monster's and was the first true hooligan bike.
MikeD -No Sense...  September 16, 2010 07:46 PM
Why the "TORTURE RACK" won when the other 2 are FAR superior as STREETFIGHTERS?

Who cares about the stinkin track performance? these are STREET BIKES!
Hutch -No Speed Triple...no problemo  September 15, 2010 09:21 AM
Guys, guys...relax. Sheesh. We included the Speed Triple in every shootout prior to this and the '09 comparos. It never won, never came close to winning. Sure, some of us liked it and it always was a great bike - but we didn't include it this time...we will next time though! When the new one comes out, we'll toss it in the mix. This test started as a 2-bike and then the Super-Duke fell in our lap so we tossed it in the mix for good measure.
CZZ -Uh, what?  September 15, 2010 08:20 AM
Mark says "How can you have a streetfighter comparison without the bike that basically created the segment? No Speed Triple in this comparison is kind of stupid."

Uh, I think Ducati made this segment back in the early 90's when they decided to greenlight the Monster concept...there's no doubt the Speed Tripple is an excellent bike (and should have been included here), but it did not create this segment....
Mark -No Speed Triple?  September 15, 2010 07:16 AM
How can you have a streetfighter comparison without the bike that basically created the segment? No Speed Triple in this comparison is kind of stupid.
David -You got to be kidding?  September 15, 2010 01:15 AM
Ever ridden a Tuono??? Spanks them all except for the MV. The KTM doesn't have enough motor and take nothing to bottom the pegs before you really get going. Again, try the Tuono
46 -Sr.  September 14, 2010 09:32 PM
Streetfighter S or die!
Shelby -Botched article.  September 14, 2010 01:33 PM
The Speed Triple will always be the street fighting champ of the world. The Duc, Kawi, and KTM are just sport bikes with bits of fairing removed. To be a true street fighter it must be fairingless, have a more upright riding position, and be mild mannered for street riding until you cut her loose. Don't get me wrong, all three of these bikes are great, but no one has perfected the formula like Triumph and their triple IMO.
Greg -Trumpeter  September 14, 2010 10:10 AM
Fail to include the best naked's and then admit that the winner is the worst. This article is 100% useless fluff.
Gritboy -Missing some candidates  September 13, 2010 11:06 PM
Definitely missing the Speed Triple and MV Agusta Brutale in the comparo. I've ridden and loved the KTM SuperDuke -- that's badass bike for street use, and the hard angular lines are still the coolest IMHO. Brakes are awesome, as is the v-twin engine (especially for street use), but the one I rode was a bit touchy on throttle response even when adjusted. If you balls to the wall ANY streetfighter will do just fine, but I like the though of some extra cash to bling or aftermarket it up a bit.
aretheregods -what?  September 13, 2010 08:48 PM
How is it possible that you give the title of "best streetfighter" to a bike that you admit up front is the worst of the three on the street? I'm not sure I follow your logic at all. Utlimate tiring, annoying, jittery, somewhat frightening and too high bike to ride on the street are all things that apply to the Ducati. But, and especially in the company of these other two, "ultimate streetfighter" is not one of it's many monikers.
Bob -Of course  September 13, 2010 10:39 AM
There are others missing.

BMW K1300R
MV Augusta Brutale
Bob -Because it's outdated  September 13, 2010 10:36 AM
Severely. Still a fantastic bike though. Looking forward to it's redesign...someday.
scott -speed triple  September 13, 2010 09:06 AM
why wasnt the speed triple in this shootout?