Fast Bikes - - CORE TEST -

The four Eu­ro­pean bikes, all hav­ing very dif­fer­ent di­men­sions and very dif­fer­ent en­gine con­fig­u­ra­tions, were all… well, very dif­fer­ent. With its run-of-the-mill 1,000cc in­line four, the BMW S1000R’s 114Nm torque fig­ure was un­der­stand­ably the most mod­est of the bunch, but it made for an easy, calm and col­lected bike to ride slowly while still be­ing able to pack a punch when made to re­ally sing. At £12,965 it’s the most rea­son­ably priced steed from this side of the world – for the money, I can’t imag­ine any­one would be dis­ap­pointed if they bought one, but as Bruce found out, if you want to take one on track, you’ll need to be pre­pared to put your big boy pants on and hold on tight – he found it a bit too much of a hand­ful to post a par­tic­u­larly sen­si­ble lap-time.

On the sub­ject of lap-times, the Tri­umph Speed Triple RS, the least pow­er­ful and slow­est in Frodo’s flat out speed run, impressed us all with its pole-set­ting lap-time. Its sublime han­dling made up for its lack of ponies round the test track so much so that Bruce was able to push it harder than any­thing else in the search for the best lap-time… which he found on the Trum­pet. And it mightn’t have been the men­tal­ist most ex­cit­ing bike on the street, but its road man­ners cer­tainly made it a splen­did bike to ride on the road.

If ASBOs rather than man­ners are your thing then KTM’s big 1290 Su­per Duke R might be right up your street. De­spite a bunch of ex­tra ccs and a load more power, the 1290 wasn’t as at home on the track as the Tri­umph; its long sus­pen­sion travel and its slightly lumpy en­gine took some get­ting used to, but it didn’t em­bar­rass it­self. On the road the KTM was the per­fect hooli­gan. Its tem­per­a­men­tal quick­shifter might have put paid to mile long wheelies, but you could still do plenty on it that you ought not to, and we all had a scream aboard the big KTM .

But for all the grins that are an in­evitabil­ity on the Beemer, the Trum­pet and the KTM, it was dif­fi­cult to ig­nore the near per­fec­tion of the Aprilia Tuono V4. I say near per­fec­tion, it wasn’t the fastest round our test track… but it made up for that in sheer ex­cite­ment. In­sa­tiable power, in­cred­i­ble brakes, all the tech and great road hold­ing made the Aprilia the full pack­age. And not only was it the full pack­age, it was a premium pack­age – but you pay through the nose for it. Whether it’s worth the ex­tra money, though is a tricky ques­tion – and I sup­pose that de­pends on ex­actly what you want from your bike.

But don’t make a de­ci­sion just yet, dear read­ers, oh no. We still have four more big, fast su­per sexy su­per naked bikes to show­case. Wait­ing in the wings are the very best Ja­pan has to of­fer the su­per naked sec­tor. The mon­strous Yamaha MT-10, the retro Honda CB1000R+, the scream­ing Suzuki GSX-S1000 and the lean, green Kawasaki Z1000 are ready and wait­ing to kamikaze the Euro bikes bat­tle­ship… will there be a huge bang or a big splash? Grab a copy of next month’s mag to find out.

So­cial smok­ers.

once again, as we It will be all out war­fare, East Next Month: the Beast from the su­per naked. Can next crown the top Ja­panese to grab a copy has to of­fer? Be sure bet­ter the best Europe month to find out...

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