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Choose from UK made organic pads or semi-sintered Vee pads for feel and control, or US made sintered copper alloy brakes that deliver massive braking power, improved wear life and reduced brake noise. These rotors are British made using German mill rolled precision stainless steel rotor blades with new VEE profile weight reducing profile which are mounted onto lightweight alloy center hubs using the EBC patented SD square drive button technology. Color hub options also available. VMD Classic rotors are available with black anodized hubs.
the track at speed as handling proved less responsive and precise. Fluid steering inputs paid dividends and made the most of available cornering clearance that saw the FZ scratching pegs and muffler a bit earlier than the rest.
The only bike here lacking IMU cornering ABS, it’s worth noting our only nit regarding the FZ’S brakes was “stoppie struck” Colton wishing the ABS could be turned off like that of the other bikes here. One other omission stood out in this fast company as summed up by the editor-in-chief. “Okay, so maybe I am getting soft, but it’s a glaring omission not to have auto-blip downshift on the Fz-10—and the R1, for that matter.”
With stock tires remounted, we hit the road the next morning for an overnight ride out to the coast and back. Drawing the lucky key for the initial freeway transit down I-5, I set the FZ-10’S cruise control at 80 mph and enjoyed the roomy ergos and soothing silky beat of its crossplane four. The Tuono is equally smooth and pleasant at highway cruise, and while the KTM’S pair of coffee-can pistons produce a distinctly coarser beat, it, too, feels remarkably relaxed even nearing 100 mph in top gear. Bar damping is a BMW update for this model year, yet the fine-pitched tingle that remains induced hand numbness for a few of us. But when the going got cold along the coast, the Beemer’s heated grips made it the key of choice. At one particular roadside stop Colton left his assigned bike and bellied up to the to BMW bar to thaw his paws.
Always the source for killer tricks, our street freestyle pro displayed a practical benefit of the KTM’S supermoto ABS mode: hacking the rear and skidding into a perfectly squared-up parking job as we lined the curb adjacent to a Calistoga coffeehouse. Even Hoyer caught the fever and was captured on film wheelying the BMW over a crest in the coastal redwoods.
Such antics are a part of naked sport appeal, and to a rider our favorite road miles came the following morning heading east on Highway 128. Picture the Star Wars forest moon of Endor, only these naked crotch rockets managed the speed slalom without incident. “Riding the Aprilia through the redwoods on that winding road was one of the single greatest 20 minutes on tarmac of my entire life,” came Hoyer’s convincing testimonial. “Third-gear crossed-up power wheelies at 85 mph with filtered sunlight and mist hanging in the air, the animal growl of the greatest streetbike predator on the market echoing through the trees… It was so good I almost didn’t believe it was real.”
I was aboard the FZ-10 through the wooded stage and enjoyed a similar experience. To my delight, even on its middle of three TC settings, the snappy Yamaha allows long clutchless floaters out of second- and third-gear corners.
Perhaps nearly as amazing was the fact we rode past a taco joint in Boonville and didn’t stop. “I’ve had nine tacos in three days,” was a personal-favorite Hoyer quip on the trip. Upon return to Willows we convened at Subway and came to a general consensus over lunch. Our BMW simply suffered too many mysterious ills, and even though this defies the Motor Works reputation for refinement, it relegated the S1000R to the bottom of each tester’s order of preference. Locked in a split decision for the runner-up slot is the Yamaha and KTM, the least and most expensive bikes here. “I thought the FZ-10 might suffer against this powerful, more expensive group of nakeds,” Hoyer noted, making a strong case for Yamaha’s $12,999 performance bargain. “It really didn’t suffer much at all. It does feel a bit wider and slightly heavier, but its right-now engine response and super-composed chassis made it a great bike at the track and an even greater bike on the street. It’s amazing, especially at its price.” One thing remains though: The KTM is King of the Mountain and will stay so until some other super naked makes the climb to raise the bar.
While the guys didn’t buy into my choice of a foot-long toasted spicy Italian at the sandwich counter, we were all in agreement that the Aprilia Tuono 1100 RR ranks right at the top both road and track. It possesses true superbike performance in every area: engine, electronics, handling, and brakes. And it does so with a degree of comfort, civility, and Italian spice and flair that inspires you physically and emotionally to desire more track time following a two-day road ride. And that is a mountain of evidence in our book.