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Motorcycle buyer's guide: Street bikes (900 cc and up)


by Pascal Bastien ,

BMW K1300R
BMW offers the K1300R, the no-fairing version of the famous K1300GT, S and R trio that we’ve been enjoying since 2009. The 4-cylinder "K" engine generates 173 hp at 9,250 rpm and 103 lb-ft of torque at 8,250 rpm – all heavy artillery managed by the anti-slip control (ASC) system. Changing gears is a breeze too, with just a little pressure on the quick shifter needed for precision shifting, as on the Grand Prix superbike.

Front Duolever suspension (an industry standard), a stiff frame and an anti-lock braking system all ensure a safe and predictable ride. As for ergonomics, the K1300R requires you to adopt a sports position while riding, with rather high footrests that are set back.

2011 BMW K1300R front 3/4 view
Photo: BMW

Ducati Monster 1100 EVO and Streetfighter S
The Monster trilogy’s biggest model bursts on the scene, all decked out and ready to impress: 100 hp thanks to the air-cooled 1,078-cc Desmodromic Evoluzione inline twin-cylinder, Brembo braking with antilocking, traction control, 10-spoke light alloy wheels equipped with Pirelli Diablo tires, data analysis system (DDA) and a dryweight of only 169 kg. This Bella Donna has everything to please.

To a seasoned rider, the StreetFighter S delivers practically the same performance as her Grand Prix sister. Nothing surprising here, when you consider the Streetfighter borrows most of the Monster’s top-of-the-range components, including frame and engine which cranks out 155 hp. As an added bonus, it offers a relaxing ride on the road. For the purists, the S model also includes the data analysis (DDA) and Ducati Traction Control (DTC) systems. This is one monster of a machine ever so slightly tamed for everyday riding.

2012 Ducati Monster 1100 EVO rear 3/4 view
2012 Ducati Monster 1100 EVO (Photo: Ducati)
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