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Motorcycle Buyer's Guide: Standard bikes (up to 800cc)


by Pascal Bastien ,

Triumph Street Triple R
2012 Triumph  Street Triple R front 3/4 view
Photo: Triumph

This fiery streetfighter shares its engine and drivetrain with the Daytona 675. Kayaba suspensions with preload, compression and rebound adjustment, ultra-powerful, four-piston Nissin brakes and some pretty sticky rubber make the Street Triple R a serious upgrade over the base model. ABS would be appreciated to rein in the turbulent Triumph, which often requires more delicate touch than the average competitor. A valiant steed for seasoned riders who like to spend a few Saturdays on the track.

Yamaha FZ6R and FZ8
2011 Yamaha FZ8 front 3/4 view
2011 Yamaha FZ8 (Photo: Yamaha)

With sporty lines, a full fairing and a more road-oriented version of the R6 superbike's compact four-cylinder engine, the Yamaha FZ6R is a spirited standard bike that proves comfortable day in, day out. It's also great for solo and two-up riding, both downtown and on the highway thanks to generous wind protection. The attractive price is just icing on the cake.

The sportier, more powerful and more modern FZ8 targets veteran riders. The flexible suspension and rigid chassis ensure a nice balance between ride quality and sporty handling, while the feisty engine delivers brisk accelerations and sound effects you normally hear from a Japanese superbike. Above-average fit and finish complete the package along with an outstanding design.
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