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


by Pascal Bastien ,

Kawasaki Z1000
With superbike-like performance plus surprising comfort and a versatility, the Z1000 is seriously seductive, for sports outings or leisurely city cruising. Featuring a twin-tube aluminum frame, 138 hp, 81 lb-ft of torque, quality suspension and brakes, this siren seems to be made for the track.

On the road, the Z1000 gives you the type of sensation that few other means of transportation can equal, while still remaining general-purpose and affordable for most potential buyers. Best of all, its quality/performance/price mix is way up there on the plus side compared to the average for the street bike segment.

2010 Kawasaki Z1000 front 3/4 view
Photo: Dustin Woods

Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 8V
Thanks to its generous wheelbase, its muscular bullish styling, cardan transmission, big longitudinal crank, V-twin engine and sweeping exhaust, Griso is somewhat exceptional in the street bike category. A bit on the brutal side, the V-twin certainly doesn’t lack character, although it could do with a little less roughness and a little friendlier clutch.

On the road, you really appreciate the power and especially the torque of this beast which has the strength of a locomotive, the whole experience accompanied by a top end kick and delightfully satisfying roar.

2012 Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 8V front 3/4 view
Photo: Moto Guzzi

MV Agusta Brutale RR
Its unique design, high-end components and insanely powerful engine make the Brutal RR part of an exotic breed. And fortunately - thanks to extensive work on the layout, suspension, shock absorbers and a slipper clutch - the Brutal is now even more advanced.

A little heavy on the handling, it still stands out with its cornering stability and the sheer power of that big Italian block, a 158-hp, 1,078-cc 4-cylinder engine, which literally achieves near record power levels between between 6,000 and 11,900 rpm.

2012 MV Agusta Brutale RR right side view
Photo: MV Augusta
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