At the end of the day...
BMW’S R ninet is the prettiest bike we’ve seen in a long time. “Absolutely,” says Lee. “If I opened the garage door, the BMW is the one I’d want staring back at me.” But those looks come with two price tags: £11,730 and a tough riding position: “The BMW is distractingly uncomfortable,” says Lee. “Everything about it is committed,” says Jimmy. “It makes me feel like a poor rider — missing gears, slow turning-in, snatchy getting on the gas — everything is clumsy and makes me feel rubbish.”
I’m less aggrieved by the Beemer; I think it’s charmingly quirky rather than wilfully malevolent. And I could live with the riding position so long as I never went out in weekend traffic.
The Kawasaki, on the other hand, is less charismatic but has an all-day, everyday position. But it isn’t a café racer, whatever it says on the tank and for that we can be grateful. For trips over 100 miles, it’s the bike of choice. “I’d choose it to ride home on,” says Lee, thinking ahead. It’s also the cheapest here, at £10,792.
Which leaves the Triumph: “It’s the most rewarding bike to ride,” says Lee. Jimmy agrees: “It’s the best compromise between practicality, performance and looks. And it has the highest spec too.” Sounds like a winner to us.