MV Agusta F4 1078 RR312 Review

Posted on 5:58 AM by My_revival

It’s black as sin and topped with white like a pint of Guinness. It looks fast, it feels fast and it is fast. The big-bore F4 is in fact one of the fastest and most potent sportbikes in the world. 190 horsepower is not for the faint hearted.

Back in 1997 MV Agusta was merely a name. Cagiva, headed by President Claudio Castiglioni, did not only buy the Ducati brand (1985-1996), it also purchased the rights to the MV Agusta name in 1991. Whilst Ducati under new ownership eventually launched the 999, MV Agusta already had the “true” 916-996-998 replacement in the F4 750. That very design lives on to this day in the F4 1078 RR312.

Even a beautifully composed picture can’t really do the F4 justice enough. You have to be there next to the bike, touch it, and watch the lines flow from one end to the other in 3D. Whilst watching the shiny perfectly polished F4 1078 RR accompanied with exquisite classical music in my head, I push the starter button and put my helmet on. I’m in a hurry to scrub in those brand new Pirelli Supercorsa Pro tyres, and the music in my head changes to a hard-rock mood.

“Come crawling faster - Obey your Master - Your life burns faster - Obey your Master - Master, Master of Puppets I'm pulling your strings” Yeah, that’s putting me in the mood whilst the growling 1078 quickly heats up under me.

The seat is positively old-school sportsbike where my backside is high up and my upper body leaning heavily on my arms to the handlebar. The saddle height is, at 810mm, proper sportbike territory, too.

The footpegs are also high for big lean angles. I feel as if the MV F4 is quite a long bike compared to modern Japanese sportbikes. The big 21-litre fuel tank is long and flat with nice cut-outs for my knees. The big tinted windscreen was an item introduced on the F4 CC in 2007 along with the 1078 motor. I can actually tuck in behind that windscreen even more comfortably than on a Suzuki GSX-R. If you’ve ever tried to stick your head out into 190 mph winds you’ll see why it’s needed on the F4 1078 RR 312.

As from 2008 you can only get the F4 1000 R312 for racing purposes. The big-bore 1078 version is not allowed either in Superstock nor Superbike racing. The F4 1078 RR 312 features a 3mm larger bore than the 1000 and it’s good for 7 extra horsepower and 9 more Nm at 2.000 rpm lower than the litre bike. That translates to a claimed 190 hp at 12,200 rpm and 124 Nm at 8,200 rpm. MV Agusta have also added a new slipper clutch to handle hard decelerations, and the new Sachs steering damper calms the front down during heavy acceleration.

Attached to the new 50mm fully adjustable Marzocchi fork sits another essential new item for deceleration. The Brembo Monoblock radial brakes are the most powerful items available outside of the racetrack. Supreme stability from the solid chassis also allows very hard usage of the front brakes. And it’s needed when a motorcycle doing 190-plus-mph needs to stop before a hairpin corner. On the roads in the hills surrounding the MV Agusta HQ in Varese, I naturally never got the chance to try the top speed. I did sample the full 190 horsepower in the first few gears, though, and the brakes really are very good. I experienced a very progressive feel and they never felt harsh or too sharp.

After what seemed like an eternity I finally reached some roads where I could use the power and precision of the F4 1078 RR. Through towns and villages on the way there, my arms and back started to ache. With 30 C degrees sunshine on the outside, a little warmer than that inside my leathers and a very hot running 1078 engine, I was sweating litres. So finally getting to these more open roads was like reaching heaven after hell. The three first gears are very high, and when the power kicks in the F4 is planted despite the massive output. Wheelies still come easy, but at silly speeds compared to the Brutale 1078RR.

The F4 1078RR 312 feels like a considerably larger motorcycle than the Brutale. The ergonomics are completely different, and suspension settings and calibration softer on the Brutale. The Brutale is also 7 kilos lighter and overall a much better road motorcycle. Stability is better on the F4, as you would expect from a 190-horsepower motorcycle. For pure fun and mischief, the Brutale wins. For serious track-day action and massive top speed, the F4 is the bike.

The extra torque of the F4 compared to any other inline-Four sportsbike makes the whole riding experience much more rewarding. Through the long midrange the F4 1078 accelerates harder and harder, and from 8,000 rpm it’s just so fast that you’re wondering whether there really is anything faster (there always is). The throttle and fuel injection responds willingly and controllably to my right hands command. MV have done a very good job smoothing out things, as I can remember that the F4 1000 I rode almost four years ago was a much more difficult motorcycle to ride. The engine capacity increase itself has helped a lot, as well as a reworked cylinder head with 10mm longer intake tracts.

The 192-kilo claimed dry-weight isn’t the lightest among sportbikes, but with almost a horsepower per kilo you stop thinking about the weight once on the move. The F4 1078 RR feels better and better the faster I go. Immense stability complements the strong engine, and into the corners I can place the front wheel exactly where I want it. Flicking the F4 from left to right you do need to use some of your own muscle, but it makes for a very involving ride on the road at least.

The instrument panel is not very easy to read whilst on the move. In sunlight the warning lights are difficult to see and it’s pretty much only the analogue rev counter that can be seen clearly. The mirrors are not much better, so this motorcycle is as impractical as we had expected. The F4 1078RR is also available in a 1+1 (pillion seat) version.


The MV Agusta F4 1078 RR 312 pretty much guarantees owner satisfaction, even if you just want to keep it for show in your garage. So that point isn’t even an issue. The F4 1078 RR is a pure enthusiast tool and must be bought with passion. If passion for this moving piece of motorcycle art isn’t there, then there’s a lighter, almost as powerful and more comfortable Japanese litre bike in the shop around the corner.

MV Agusta has managed to engineer its own inline-Four engine with class-leading performance and character. That’s no small feat, and coupled with the Tamburini design, we just have to keep bowing in the dust. The downsides are the same as on the Brutale 1078RR: a hot-running engine, heavy clutch, engine vibrations, plus it’s highly uncomfortable at slow speed.


Yamaha C3 Review

Posted on 5:56 AM by My_revival
It’s easy to have an opinion on Yamaha’s C3, but take a moment to think about the C3’s purpose. Where does the C3 fit into the world of motor scooters?

Well, I believe the Yamaha C3 is an experiment in efficiency. When you add up the specs you can really see how Yamaha has successfully squeezed the most out of the smallest package with this baby. First, Yamaha took a tiny 50cc, 4-stroke engine and added a tuned fuel injection system to achieve a reported 115 mpg. Then on its tiny frame they built a huge, side hinged storage bin with a nine gallon capacity.

The whole package weighs less than 200 lbs and that’s with oil and a full tank of gas. Even with all that efficiency the C3 manages to hit the 40 mph mark on her speedometer.

You might expect that an efficiency experiment so successful might have some hideous shortcomings in the aesthetics department, but I tell you what; I think the C3 is a real eye catcher.

I look at a lot of scooters and I can’t think of another modern scooter that looks anything like a C3. She’s got this old-school Cushman look about her. Boxy and slim but sturdy looking and very maneuverable, the C3 puts some much-needed fun in functionality.

So, what’s up with that name, ‘C3’? Yamaha’s model number is XF50. People commonly refer to her as the C-Three, but the name is really ‘C-Cubed’, making reference to her surprisingly large under seat cubic storage capacity. I said nine gallons, but to put that in perspective I rode mine around with a video camera, still camera, laptop and more.

In another experiment I was able to hold a dozen 12oz beverages under there, though you should note that anything cold in the storage chest won’t stay that way for long due to the close proximity to the engine.

If you need even more storage space you can add an optional rear rack. Don’t get too carried away with the C3’s carrying capacity though, as the owner’s manual states that the maximum capacity is 187 lbs.

One thing to note about the storage area is that it’s a bit shallow. You’re not going to fit a full face or even a ¾ helmet under the seat. To make up for it, the C3 has a helmet hook at the front of the seat that allows you to effectively secure your helmet using the locking seat closure.

The Ride

She may not be fast, but she’s still fun! The lightweight, short wheelbase and small but chunky 10” tires make her very maneuverable. You could even coax the C3 up a curb with her 4.5 inches of ground clearance. Like nearly all modern scooters, the C3 has a constantly variable automatic transmission (CVT). Just twist and go.

The seat is pretty wide and low at just under 29 inches from the pavement. It’s relatively comfortable for short jaunts but one owner, who has put 900 miles on his, says the seat “starts to feel like an old oak church pew after 25 miles”.

Let’s talk about the whisper quiet engine. Yamaha’s fuel injected 49cc liquid-cooled, single overhead cam, 4-stroke, 3-valve engine is built and tuned to be efficient. The speedometer stops at 40 mph and it makes it there in just less than 36 seconds. If the top speed of 40 mph doesn’t cut it for you, I hear that she can be derestricted to hit 48 mph if you don’t mind blowing your 115 mpg and potentially damaging your scooter.

The Rest

The instrumentation is very simple; one gauge for the speedometer and odometer, one for the fuel gauge and three lights to indicate high beams, engine maintenance and temperature warning.

Besides the optional rear rack, the C3 also has an optional windscreen to protect you from wind and debris while you race down the road at 40 mph.

The C3 features an electric starter with a backup kick start (very handy) and also has a standard, motorcycle style handle bar to give you some custom options (did I hear ape hangers?) and a single headlight mounted just above the front fender for a very clean and simple style. Speaking of style, the C3 takes a unique approach to the traditional scooter leg shield. Instead of a fixed shield the C3 has a narrow shield that turns along with the front forks. I’m not sure if that makes it any more functional as a leg shield, but it looks cool.

The C3 is available in Red, White and Yamaha Blue for the 2008 model year with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. You’ll be able to pick up this unique feat of Japanese engineering for just $1,999 MSRP.

If you’re looking for scooter to get you around campus, you’re not going to find a better-suited ride. The C3 has room for you and your books. She’s clean, quite, and efficient with a look that is somehow rugged and cute at the same time. As long as you’re not racing or touring, the C3 will make an excellent road companion.

Bike Personality Profile - If this scooter could have its own personality summed up in one or two words, what would it be? The Yamaha C3 is a clever machine.


Ducati Desmosedici RR Review

Posted on 5:54 AM by My_revival

It doesn’t take long to be intimidated by the outrageous Desmosedici RR. If the stratospheric $72.5K price tag doesn’t get you, the menacing mechanical cacophony upon start-up will. Observers are sucker-punched straight into the gut, and the beautiful racket portends an experience unlike any production streetbike in the world.

It’s quite incredible that a manufacturer has offered such a repli-racer to the public. The D16RR is literally a MotoGP bike built for the street. And not those scrawny 800cc prototype racers currently on the grids – we’re talking the big-gun near-liter-sized versions. As such, the RR carries a compact 989cc V-Four engine inside a version of Ducati’s trademark tubular-steel trellis frames.

The engine itself is a jewel. It features the same bore and stroke measurements (86.0mm x 42.56mm) as those on Ducati’s 2006 racebike, the D16GP6. It uses the “Twin-Pulse” firing order in which the crankpins are offset by 70 degrees (cylinders fire at 0°, 90°, 290° and 380°) to generate what Ducati terms as “soft pulse timing.”

No soft pulses are felt from the D16’s saddle – this thing snorts and sprints around a racetrack like a rampaging demon, as we found out during a few lapping sessions at Willow Springs Raceway.

Our test unit was equipped with the race ECU and exhaust system included with each Desmosedici, a no-brainer swap for the standard street exhaust. So equipped, it is said to achieve the magic 200-horsepower mark at 13,800 rpm when measured at the crankshaft. As for rear-wheel power numbers, those who have had it on a Dynojet dyno say it’s pushing nearly 180 hp. Peak crankshaft torque of 85.3 ft-lbs arrives way up at 10,500 rpm.

Moto Bling

When a motorcycle has a retail price that compares unfavorably with a rural home in Iowa, it makes one wonder why it costs so much.

Here’s a partial list of the many high-end components on the luscious Desmosedici RR.

  • Sand-cast aluminum crankcases and cylinder heads
  • One-piece forged steel crankshaft (MSRP: $11,000)
  • Sand-cast magnesium cam-drive cover and alternator casing
  • Pressure die-cast magnesium-alloy oil sump, cam covers and clutch cover
  • Titanium connecting rods
  • Titanium intake and exhaust valves with CrN (chromium nitride) coating
  • Marchesini forged and machined magnesium wheels (MSRP: $18,500)
  • Specially developed Bridgestone tires, with tread pattern, construction and profile unique to the D16RR, including the oddball (but GP-accurate) 16.0-inch rear
  • Öhlins 43mm FG353P pressurized fork with TiN-coated sliders
  • Öhlins shock with rebound, low/high speed compression adjustment and hydraulic preload adjustment
  • Brembo monoblock (one-piece) front brake calipers and 330mm rotors (same spec as used in rainy MotoGP races) with radial master cylinder and remote (left handlebar) adjuster
  • Carbon fiber subframe and bodywork


2009 Yamaha YZ250 2-Stroke Bike Test

Posted on 5:50 AM by My_revival
Professionally, the YZ250 (12) has to compete against the likes of Yamaha's YZ450F (7) and the rest of the 450 monsters. Now, with rule changes by the AMA, amateurs can race the 2-stroke in the 250F class which is much more realistic.

Our quartet’s throaty rumble and whir of cam chains was constantly interrupted by the zingy sound of an expansion chamber and shorty muffler. The AMA now allows 250 2-strokes to run in the 250F division, which has opened a whole new avenue for non-professionals. Since Yamaha is the only Japanese manufacturer still producing and importing its 2-stroke line, we brought out the YZ250 to run alongside our quarter-liter Thumpers, just to see if it belongs in the mix.

Weighing the same as our KX250F, the 231-pound machine has a distinct advantage in terms of sheer horsepower. The YZ put out 41 ponies on the Mickey Cohen Motorsports dyno while the most powerful F model spun up 34 (Honda) – only 83 percent! However, the way that power is distributed across the rev range is where the differences lie.

Basically, it is all a matter of personal choice. The 2-stroke is definitely a faster machine, but it takes more skill to get the most out of it, and some riders preferred the even spread of power from the 4-stroke, despite having less available. The one thing our testers did agree on was that the YZ can be very fun to ride, especially in the right circumstances. Here’s how they describe it.

2009 Yamaha YZ250
Our novice was one of the riders who favors the 4-stroke. The YZ was just too unpredictable for him and the confidence and precise control allowed by the 250F is ultimately a better fit.

JC Hilderbrand – Novice
Man, that YZ really surprised me. I haven’t ridden a 250 2-stroke in a long time, or at least one that is mechanically sound. I thought for sure that it would be a lot more fun because that’s what you always hear about them, but honestly it wasn’t as much fun as the 250F machines. The YZ basically just wears me out. It’s definitely way faster and as soon as you snap the throttle it wants to go, but you really have to be more careful about your gear selection. I kept missing corners because I’m not used to the lack of engine braking, so I had a hard time evaluating how well it turns. Since I spend so much time worrying about the track obstacles, especially jumps, a 4-stroke’s smooth delivery is ideal. There’s nothing worse for me than trying to size up a new jump and worrying about hitting the powerband right on the face of it. I love that it’s cheap and I’m sure if I forced myself to spend more time on it I would start to think otherwise, but I really have no desire to.
Sherri Cruse – WMA Pro

By far the best bike of the test ride. Although it wasn’t actually included in the test, it was fun getting the chance to ride the 2-stroke again. It sounds like they’re letting the 250's ride in the (amateur) 250F class, and personally I think it’s a great idea! If the women get a chance to ride them in WMA I will definitely get my hands on one. I know I would ride one at Southwick, but some of the other tracks I would go back to the 4-stroke. I would jump around a little bit.

"I just shake my head and look at my new EFI bike and want to kick it. "

Alvin Zalamea – Vet Expert

2009 Yamaha YZ250
The bike is definitely capable of winning against 250F equipment in the right hands, but really this machine is the most rewarding if you would rather bring home smiles than trophies.

I should’ve bought a brand new ‘09 Yamaha 250 2-stroke. Instead I bought a new CRF450R for $8300 out the door and put 1000 bucks in suspension from Enzo. That’s stupid! Street bikes sell for less. I’m seriously thinking of selling it and buying a YZ250. I’ve just gotten so lazy on the 4-strokes that I’m starting to forget how to ride. I just recently rode with Greg Albertyn at Milestone and he’s riding a 2004 RM250 and he’s spanking all those new-school, bubba-scrubbing pro kids on 250Fs and 450s. Literally, people pull off the track and ask who that Number 7 guy is on a 2-stroke. I just shake my head and look at my new EFI bike and want to kick it. I thought it was the bike and new technology and all that crap, but it’s not the bike, it’s the rider. This is all a conspiracy to keep spending more money to have the best stuff. Well it’s working… So if you’re on a budget, do yourself a favor and buy a brand new 250 2-stroke. Guaranteed you’ll have more fun and go just as fast, if not faster, than your buddy at the track for half the price! If I were competing in the amateur Lites class it would be a no-brainer to choose the 250 2-stroke.

Colton Haaker – Expert
The 2-stroke was a nice transition from the four-bangers. The power is a torquey even feel. I am very used to a KTM 250 and the Yamaha was easy to ride and immediately comfortable. I wouldn't call it a track bike, it is not comparable to the two-fitty Fs. I could take that bike off-road though and make it extremely competitive in EnduroCross. Some different gearing, maybe a flywheel and it’s good to go. The fact of the matter is 4-strokes are still better.

2009 Yamaha YZ250
Tod - "I own a YZ250
- and love it!"
Tod Sciacqua – Vet Pro
The ‘09 YZ250 is an all-around great package I raced the whole EnduroCross series and thought I was on the best bike out there for me. There has been little changed on the newer 2-strokes in the last few years. Most of the attention from the manufacturers has been on the 4-strokes. If I were to have the choice to race the 2-stroke 250 or the 4-stroke, I would pick the 2-stroke hands down. It has amazing, usable power and lightweight feel. With the price of 2-strokes and the maintenance cost, why not have a YZ250 in the garage.


2009 Suzuki RM-Z250 Comparison

Posted on 5:49 AM by My_revival
Some changes in gearing would benefit the RM-Z, blasting out of corners with more authority. In a division where motors reign supreme, the emphasis on big numbers is exaggerated. The Suzuki is right in the mix in terms of dyno peaks, but overall the RM-Z motor seemed to disappoint on the track. Not because it stinks, but because a simple gearing change was requested by all our testers, and this really impacted our impressions. The Suzuki actually makes the most torque, almost 18 lb-ft right in the middle of its healthy midrange, and that’s exactly where our female rider wanted to find it. Sherri gave the Honda motor some extra kudos, but the Suzuki was a close second for her.

“Although it had more mid than bottom- and top-end it was my second favorite,” says Cruse, who rode a Suzuki for her 2008 WMA season. “I’m more of a mid-range rider and usually tend not to rev out the motor as much. It works well for me.”

Our novice was also enamored with the engine characteristics and felt confident it would be at or near the top if the rear sprocket was enlarged. However, it didn’t work as well for some of the other riders and the fastest evaluators consistently ranked this motor last.

“I was very disappointed with the engine, actually,” says Alvin. “I felt that it lacked in the bottom-end and there were parts of the track that made me shift into a higher gear because it revved out to soon. Plus, it didn’t get me over the big step-up at Racetown, I just couldn’t get the drive.”

2009 Suzuki RM-Z250F
Hammering through the whoops was one area where the advanced riders had problems with the Showa suspension blowing too quickly through the stroke.
The soft motor is matched by the Showa suspension. It’s most similar to the Yamaha with the amount of plushness, but the blue bike has much better bottoming resistance. As you would imagine, our fast guys didn’t appreciate the harsh result of a big landing, but our slowest rider and our lightest had more positive experiences. The 47mm cartridge-style fork moves through the travel very quickly. Some extra volume or heavier oil would benefit more aggressive riders. Our fast guys are also at the rough boundary for the target weight on the springs. Combine the two and it’s no surprise that the Showas seem a little underpowered. As it was, the stock setup fits right in with the Suzuki’s so-so demeanor.

One area where the Z250 does stand out is in the ergonomics. The bike feels very similar to the Honda in respects to layout but is slightly larger. The ergos are instictive and it makes life aboard the yellow bike very comfortable. The oversized ProTaper handlebars add to the more open feel, and it’s the only bike that has the hot-start lever on the right side. Hopping from one bike to another made that strange, but if it’s your regular ride then it becomes natural right away.

With more time recently on yellow bikes than any of our crew, Cruse felt at home on the RM-Z. Her race bike was custom fit for her 5’1” frame and as the shortest of our testers, she really noticed the difference on a stock bike.

“Suzuki had the most space between the tank and pegs,” she says, “and being short that doesn’t give me the advantage I would hope for.”

2009 Suzuki RM-Z250F
Sherri Cruse looked comfortable on the same brand as her 2008 WMA race bike, but all of the machines were too tall for her diminutive frame in stock condition.
The Suzuki is also a good starter. Whether or not you’re going to be in neutral when you kick it over is debatable, because it’s really hard to find a gap between first and second gear. On the track, that close spacing was one of the reasons the RM-Z transmission and clutch received a first-place vote. All of the machines have light pulls at the lever, but the Suzuki may have the lightest. Moving through gears is quick and painless. The Zook did miss a gear once or twice, but it’s also shifted more than any other bike due to the soft power. Internal gear ratios were good for the Racetown layout, but the final gearing was a tainted interface for the transmission.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a solid performer, but when it comes to cutthroat shootout environments, every bike needs something to make it stand out. Years past have seen the Yamaha fall victim to this scenario, but the YZ-F has really developed a foundation of an unshakable chassis and buttery suspension.

“Nothing stood out to me as being really good, but nothing was really bad either,” says Tod with a shrug. “The Suzuki would have been better with different gearing, maybe two teeth up in the rear sprocket to make it easier to ride. The RM-Z was probably the most average package of all the 250Fs.”

What we like about the Suzuki is that it wouldn’t take expensive motor work or a massive suspension overhaul to really bring it alive. Experiment with some different sprockets and tune in the proper spring rates for your size and ability and the RM-Z turns into a rocket with the ability to handle higher speeds. That sounded like a winning prospect for one of our testers who chose the Suzuki as his For My Money pick. The natural ergos and quick, well-proportioned chassis are highlights he couldn’t overlook.


2009 Kawasaki KX250F Comparison

Posted on 5:47 AM by My_revival
The Kawasaki likes to be pushed hard. Our expert and pro testers found more to enjoy about the KX250F than others, especially with the stiff suspension. Second place is not the first loser. Kawasaki came to the table in 2009 with the most heavily updated model. A new chassis is supposed to be 2.2 lbs lighter with better rigidity balance. A new swingarm gets rid of another pound and the subframe drops 1.3 lbs. With all the trimming going on, we’re not sure where the extra weight came from, but our digital scales find that overall the KX-F is only one pound lighter than last year. Top off the largest-capacity fuel tank in the group (2.1 gallons) and you’re looking at a 231-pound green machine.

The Kawi engineers certainly got what they wanted in terms of added rigidity. The new chassis and Showa suspension arrangement give the stiffest feedback in our test. The 47mm air-oil separate fork with 1mm less offset gets a black titanium coating on the inner tubes for less stiction and greater protection against damage from flying roost.

Showa’s 50mm shock isn’t quite as abusive as the sticks up front, but they are definitely complementary. Finding the right setup was difficult for most testers and the scoring showed our frustration with a tie for last place in the suspension votes. Only our vet pro rider found them better than the rest, and his nickname is Big Air, go figure. In fact, the Kawi was his favorite bike overall.

“With a few clicker adjustments and fine-tuning on the highly progressive and very comfortable suspension, I got this bike working perfectly for my riding style,� he recalls. “It didn’t take long to get used to how the whole bike works, and after a good moto I really felt that I was on my own race bike. The Kawasaki is definitely my favorite 250F motocross bike.�

Bantamweight Cruse wasn’t as thrilled with the Showas, but she did find the new chassis excellent in the corners and an ergonomic package that works. Anticipating some tweaking from her favorite tuners, the WMA rider was confident enough to put the Kawi in her top For My Money spot.

2009 Kawasaki KX250F
WMA rider Sherri Cruse was able to come to terms with the aggressive Kawi, though she did win the Best Near Death Award with a massive KX-F swap.
Speaking of top spots, Mickey’s dyno wasn’t very impressed with the motor, but our riders certainly were. “The Kawasaki has great over-rev power, and feels like a 300cc bike,� says our most experienced tester, Sciacqua.

A new cylinder head and 31mm intake and 25mm exhaust valves cut weight and add durability to the 249cc mill. We found it competitive throughout the rev range, but its best attributes are from low to mid where it leaves the Honda behind and runs strong with the class-leading Suzuki. Follow the dyno curve even higher and the KX-F starts to lose ground, but it doesn’t correlate the same on the track.

Some of our testers really noted the torquey bottom, but others, mostly the expert and pro levels spent a lot of time near the rev limiter, and were completely happy. Even though it isn’t making the most output, the KX250F cuts out at 13,400 rpm which is 200-300 more than the other machines. Straights that require just another split second of throttle-stretching are doable on the Kawi.

“The motor has amazing pull on the top end, with endless over-rev when you really pin it,� Tod insists. “There is always enough power to really pull over the biggest jumps and up hills on a motocross track.�

The Kawasaki has a great motor,� says Alvin, who also ranked the Kawi mill first, “it hits really hard from the mid to top-end leaving you with confidence to get over big jumps and coming out of turns. It’s essential to have a good motor for these little bikes and that is what I was looking for.�

2009 Kawasaki KX250F
We all liked the way the Kawasaki looks, and climbing aboard proved that the rider layout is fairly good sized. None of our riders complained about being cramped or too spread out.
Though the motor was impressive, the five-speed transmission responsible for transferring it wasn’t. Mostly it just wasn’t as smooth or precise to maneuver through which led to a few false neutrals. You definitely know when it misses a gear. If going over the handlebars wasn’t enough, the resounding belch of ear-shattering exhaust noise lets everyone at the track know about your mistake. We all noted, and disliked, the massive amount of decibels coming from the muffler. Slip-ons will be popular with this one.

How did the KX-F fare on the scorecards? Well it won the appearance category. It is a handsome devil, no question. The black plastic for the number plates is an especially nice touch. A few extra points here are what helped keep it ahead of the Yamaha once it was all tallied.

The Kawasaki’s greatest strength may be its ability to convince riders that it’s faster than it really is. It doesn’t have the most power, but because of its extra rpm range it can get the job done in a lot of situations, especially for higher-caliber riders. Just like the Honda, which it trails for another year, this machine is geared for upper-level skill and needs to be prepped for it accordingly. You hear it from every top pro on the SX/MX circuit: confidence and mental prep are just as important as your machine. Believe in the KX250F and it will match that faith with an appropriate level of mechanical performance.


Honda CRF 250 Comparasion

Posted on 5:44 AM by My_revival
It's tough to find fault with the 2009 CRF250R. Fast riders notice a bog in the motor, but it wasn't a unanimous complaint. There’s plenty of hype about the flagship motocrosser from Honda this year, but the 250R hasn’t seen the same advancements. But the fact that the little CRF didn’t get a neat fuel injection system means exactly squat in the 2009 crop of 250Fs. None of the other bikes got it either, and the Honda’s motor has been a great powerplant over the past years.

However, one of the major issues with carbureted 4-strokes is the dreaded bog, and the Honda’s 40mm Keihin is guilty as charged. Bigger carbs are typically more prone to this issue and the Honda has the biggest gas-feeder in the bunch. The rest of the machines use a 37mm Keihin, so the red bike really dumps in the fuel mixture. On a track like 395 where the jumps are good sized and there’s no shortage, the Honda got dinged by some of the faster testers.

“It was the Honda’s Number 1 complaint for me!,” says Alvin. “If I landed hard on jumps it would bog and that made it hard for me to relax or try to set-up for the next obstacle. The motor doesn’t rev out as far as some others, but has great power.”

Fortunately, the problem isn’t constant, and a couple riders never mentioned it. What everyone did feel was how potent the power output is from the Unicam engine. We squeezed 34 horsepower from the CRF at 11,000 rpm. The dyno chart reveals a significant advantage over the other bikes from around 10,500 to redline. Our testers agreed that the 250R has a good mill. Three of the five ranked the motor first. Sherri was one who couldn’t find any fault with the Honda. “Top-end to mid or through the low-end, I couldn’t find an area that didn’t produce power,” she says.

“The Honda and Kawasaki were relatively similar at 395,” adds Haaker. “On a 250F you need that extra grunt and immediate snap of the throttle to hold yourself up through the corner; that’s why you rev the piss out of them, so you don’t loose momentum. The Honda and Kawi had that extra motor to lean the bike over and rail or give it an extra blip to stand the bike up more when slightly off balance.”

2009 Honda CRF250R
The Honda loves to turn and the HPSD makes tuning the bike to track conditions easy and effective.
The Yamaha edged it out in the handling department thanks to its never -awkward approach, but where the Yamaha is unshakable, the Honda finds strengths in agility. The handling of the bike is one area where the CRF literally has something the others don’t. The Honda Progressive Steering Damper was really popular when it got introduced last year, and the nifty gizmo attached to the steering head is still one of our favorite things about the CRF.

“The Honda is quick steering and reactive as hell,” says Haaker. "It’s very refreshing and energetic. If you are an energetic rider and not stiff on the bike, it will favor you.”

As a national-caliber trials rider, Colton certainly moves around on the bike more than most, but even our other testers had success getting the bike to turn.

“The Honda chassis has a solid feel to it but there was an issue with the front end wanting to dance a little,” notes Zalamea. “I fixed that by going in three clicks on the steering damper and it helped a bunch. The bike would stay in the ruts and was really stable in the high-speed stuff.”

Having the ability to tune the amount of rider feedback is also a high mark for the Showa suspension. The really fast guys wanted a bit more rigidity and bottoming resistance, but the slowest tester had a hard time pushing the bike hard enough. In all it provides a very wide range of adjustability, but the overall package is definitely one of the more aggressive of the four bikes. The updated valving in the 47mm fork was one of the biggest improvements over the 2008 machine. Last year we complained about a spike in the upper part of the stroke, but ’09 brings a smooth action top to bottom.

2009 Honda CRF250R
What will it be like once Honda puts the EFI on the 250R? Finding faults is already hard enough on our shootout winner.
Sciacqua and Haaker were two of the speedsters who can push the bike past its limits. Tod had some issues trying to get the stock adjustments working for him, but the lighter Colton easily found his happy place.

“The newly re-valved suspension was a bit too soft for how I ride,” says Big Air Sciacqua, “but it still worked well in the turns and places where the braking bumps weren’t so big. I am sure that if I spent more time working with the Honda guys on setup I would have liked the Red bike more.”

“The Honda was exceptional,” Haaker argues. “We sped up the high-speed (compression) a tad and made the front and rear softer. I didn’t want to get off it. I was taking lap times and felt super comfortable dropping into the corners.”

When the dust settled, there was no doubt that the Honda deserves to be at the top for another year. It makes the most power, turns quickly and confidently and has an ergonomic package that could be considered a standard. Smooth, consistent shifting, renowned powerful brakes and good looks helped it finish first in four categories, and add up to nearly everyone’s top choice It's tough to predict what will happen with the 2010 model, but if Honda can successfully transition some of the technology from this year's 450R, it could be a long time before any of the other manufacturers catch up.


2009 Yamaha YZ250F Comparison

Posted on 5:40 AM by My_revival
Yamaha comes flying into 2009 with a few changes that we know make it better than the '08 version.It still retains the Yamaha characteristics that we've come to expect, whether good or bad. When we tested the 2009 YZ250F during our First Ride, a noticeable boost in the motor was something that gave us hope for the shootout. The Yamaha has been one of our favorite bikes, but every year it’s unjustly demoted because another bike offers an attention-grabbing feature. We’ve always wanted to give the Yamaha more credit but if anything was going to keep it back, the motor was always more anemic than the others. This year is a little different.

“For me, the Yamaha is super easy to ride with its usable, strong power and tons of extra over-rev,” says Sciacqua. “The YZ250F didn’t change much from 2008, but what little changes were made add up to a significant difference.”

Though not as buff off the bottom, even with a 2.4-inch extension on the header, Yamaha has found a meaty midrange and shows less waver than the other bikes as redline nears. This translates to deceivingly fast acceleration, a very user-friendly conduct and a rev limiter that seems higher than it is. With the highest compression ratio of the group (13.5:1), the DOHC motor sings along to its own mild tune. The muffler does a good job of keeping noise down, though anything’s quiet when the KX-F is around.

The YZ-F was the only bike that could give the Honda a run on the scorecards. Three narrow category victories for suspension, handling and ergonomics kept it in the game, but ultimately it couldn’t woo our testers enough to get a first-place overall vote. The Kawasaki is the only bike to break up the Honda sweep in overall scoring, but it just barely nicked the Yamaha. Only eight points out of a possible 420 relegated the YZ-F to third. So what was it that held the Yamaha down? Last place scores for its brakes and appearance created sizeable dings, but keep in mind that these are two of the more volatile categories.

All of the bikes have stellar brakes. Trying to differentiate between them is very difficult. Cruse thought the YZ-F’s binders were grabby, and Colton blames his low ranking on the sluggish handling which he thinks makes the brakes feel less impressive. As for the looks, Yamaha is fairly understated with its graphics, and everyone knows the blue plastic and black side cases are going to look haggard within a few rides.

2009 Yamaha YZ250F
Cruse was happy to try out Yamaha after having a year hiatus from the brand. She grew up riding Blue and it took a season away to realize some of the benefits Yamaha provides.
We love the suspension though. The Kayabas are downright astounding across the board. It didn’t matter what size or how fast the test riders were, Yamaha has been refining and improving the front and rear KYB suspension components to near perfection. You couldn’t walk past the truck without hearing someone talking about how plush it is. Where the blue bike differs from others is that it can still hold its own when bottomed out, and the compression damping is manageable, progressive and safe. Very rarely will the YZ-F get bucked and the result is an ability to worry less about hitting bumps and more about finding fast lines.

Sherri had ridden Yamahas for practically her entire life until last season, and she didn’t even realize how good she had it.

“Everyone always uses the word 'Cadillac' for the Yamaha’s suspension,” she says, “and since I rode one my whole life I never really grasped the concept of what it meant until after being on the other brands for a year. Getting the chance to ride one again in the test was really great. I really like the setup.”

“Yamaha’s suspension was very solid, I think that they have that bike exactly where they want it and aren’t changing,” Colton offers. “Its suspension front and rear was predictable and smooth which is always how it is with Yamahas. They give you the confidence to charge with this combo.”

We had both ends of the spectrum when it comes to the Yamaha’s handling. Everyone can agree that it’s virtually unflappable anywhere on the track with stability that you can count on. Some, like Haaker, found the blue bike a little “lethargic” in the turns. However, his buddy Sciacqua thought it was fine and raved about his confidence in ruts. Cruse also liked it in the ruts, but her appreciation stemmed from the YZ-F’s ability to absorb acceleration chop and not bounce out of the groove.

2009 Yamaha YZ250F
Some like the stable, predictable handling while others want the YZ-F to be more nimble. It seemed to work well here.
Another notable characteristic is that Yamaha is very good at remembering the little things. The tapered wheel spacers, gold chain, 55mm footpegs and dual triple clamp handlebar mounts make living with the Yamaha on a daily basis easier than with your significant other.

“I own a Yamaha, so for me it was most comfortable,” admits Tod. “I love how this bike handles, and if the motor was a little stronger I think it would be my shootout winner. The Yamaha gives me tons of confidence, and that’s what I need to win!”

Everything about the YZ-F speaks to an overriding theme of confidence and reliability. For some that’s invaluable, but for others it still leaves them wanting for more. Either way, races can, and will be won on the 2009 YZ250F, and it’s a better bike than it was in ‘08. The fact that the Tuning Fork gang is chipping away at the Honda in our shootout standings is impressive enough, but we really like that Yamaha is doing it by sticking to its guns rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.


2009 Yamaha YZF-R6 Comparison

Posted on 9:41 PM by My_revival
Razor-sharp. Knife-edged. Precise. All words commonly associated with the 2009 Yamaha YZF-R6. While Yamaha only did a few minor changes for this year – customary BNG plus a re-tuning of the engine for slightly more mid-range – it’s hard to argue that they really needed to change it much. At least on the racetrack.

Because of its radical chassis, the Yamaha has always been one of the tougher bikes to get set-up in stock trim. This was again the case both at Big Willow and Streets of Willow. By far taking the most time to set-up, it wasn’t an easy task, but the Yamaha team worked their tails off and got it right. Once we were able to get it dialed, it worked extremely well. So well that in outright Superpole Supremacy it only missed the top spot by a mere tenth of a second to the Kawasaki, posting a 1:20.34 to the Kawasaki’s 1:20.23. But, when both Sorenson’s (1:22.70) and my times (1:20.23) were averaged it leaped to the front of the pack, taking top honors with a blistering 1:21.52 average. Goes to show, once it's set up, you can ride the Yamaha really, really fast and it yearns to be pushed to its limits.

“Without a doubt the R6 is a scalpel on the track,” says VP Hutchy. “It feels like a bicycle out there; it’s simply awesome. The problem comes in the fact that the ease of which it turns-in and can be flicked side-to-side gives it a less stable feeling than the CBR or ZX. But that sacrifice mid-corner pays dividends in the transitions.”

The new Red White color scheme was a hit. It s like the  98 R1 was reborn in smaller  and better  from...

GP-style exhaust centralizes mass. Didn t Buell do that 10 years ago
Mass centralization GP-exhaust (bottom)and hot new Red and White graphics (top) are a big hit among our test riders.

“Turn-in on the Yamaha is effortless. Almost to a fault,” Sorensen explains. “I like how aggressive the chassis is for the racetrack, it is the most hyperactive of all the bikes. You just think about flicking the bike into the corner and it is there. But mid-corner stability is a tradeoff for the Yamaha. Because the chassis is so aggressive, this bike moves around a little more mid corner.”

After you finish reading about how much we dig this bike, make sure to watch the Yamaha R6 video review so you can experience the sound of that screaming engine for yourself. We can’t put you behind the bars in reality so this is as close as you can get.

Despite being at the back of the pack in terms of horsepower and torque on the dyno, it was praised by many for having ample real-world racetrack power. Yamaha claims to have tuned the bike for more mid-range and unfortunately somewhere in the process it lost some peak power, going from the highest horsepower Japanese bike of the bunch last year to the second-lowest this time around, producing only 100.00 hp @ 14,100rpm for 2009. But you would never guess that was the case after top-speed test data was revealed.

Strangely enough, when it came time to putting it to the test at HPCC, it walked away with the second-highest top speed, 164.49 mph, only slightly behind the much more powerful Ducati (165.41mph), yet edging out the higher horsepower Kawasaki, which recorded a 164.25 mph pass. This just goes to show outright horsepower on the dyno isn’t everything, and at 409.1 pounds its low weight and effective aerodynamics made it a missile. It was also one of the most stable at that speed, feeling as if you could relax and watch a movie while going 165 mph. On the other hand, their claimed “added mid-range” just wasn’t quite enough to produce improved performance in the quarter-mile. It had to be revved to 12,000 rpm and has a numb-feeling clutch which really hurt its launches. The best it could put down was an 11.24 @ 134.11 mph. That's still right there with the other bikes but it takes a lot more work to get it to produce those times.

The harder you push the R6 the more at home it is. Waheed says this is like sitting on the couch and watching a movie it s so easy
The new-and-improved Waheed shows off his fine form while at the controls of the razor-sharp 2009 Yamaha R6.
While on the track, about as low as anyone ever goes at speed is roughly 11,000 rpm for the most part, so when our faster testers refer to “mid-range,” it’s more akin to top-end on the streets. Either way, once you get the R6 revving she screams to life nearly effortlessly. The throttle twists with complete ease, response is excellent and power builds extremely fast.

“When this bike was released last year it blew us away with how much power it had on the low end and yet still pulls all the way through the top,” adds AMA champion Chuckie. “This technology has set a new standard for power delivery in the 600 class.”

“The Yamaha felt almost as fast as the Kawasaki,” confirms fast-photog JC Dhien. “It has plenty of go and revved up the same way: very quickly.”

Not everyone came to grips with the R6 power though; it ended up ranking right in the middle of the pack for engine scoring on the track.

“Yamaha went backwards this year with their motor package in my opinion,” points out Garcia. “I have no idea what they did with their top end? The R6 was great coming out of hot-pit and good in the tight stuff, but never really got moving. I was really surprised with the difference between the ‘08 and ’09.”

Brakes, brakes, brakes. They are always an area of mystery. Everyone has their own idea of how they should work, how many pistons they need, how big of rotors are required. What this boils down to though is personal preference. It was yet another area the Yamaha got mixed reviews – some loving the binders and some putting them further down the list, much of this due to their unique braking feel. They are not your typical Nissin or Brembo units as found on most machines either. They are Sumitomo four-piston monobloc calipers. Monobloc? Doesn't that mean the brakes have to be awesome? Usually they are - think Brembo 1198 brakes - but without aggressive enough compound pads the outcome can be less than amazing.

“The Yamaha brakes were good, just in this group they need to be great to stand out,” Waheed says. “It still doesn’t have as aggressive of pads as I think it needs. That initial bite isn't there and on several occasions I had to use all four fingers to get it stopped which is very rare these days.”

Dhien didn't quite see eye-to-eye with Waheed: “Yamaha had good brakes," he said. "It was a bit harsher than the Honda and unsettled the bike under heavy stopping power.”

“The Yamaha’s brakes worked well, medium initial bite, smooth progressive power, but for the track I would want a harder bite,” sums up Sorensen.

But what really put the nail in the coffin and moved the Yamaha back in the pack were once again quite unfavorable street scores across the board. Its aggressive ergonomics and racetrack-built engine made for a tough machine to get along with in the real-world.

Hang on and take a ride with Atlas on the R6!
Atlas threw down on the Yamaha, putting it in the Number 2 spot in the Superpole session with a 1:20.34, only a tenth of a second off the top spot.
“Least favorite by far,” says Kennedy of his Yamaha street experience. “Maybe it's because I'm tall but the seat ramps up towards the back so it's constantly pushing your family jewels into the tank, which is not my style. The bike is pretty dead in the low rpm's but shows a totally different face in the higher rpms, which means at that point you're probably going way too fast on the street. A good thing about it not being jumpy at lower rpms, though, is that it's really friendly getting around town. No threat of sneezing then accidently twisting the throttle and the bike jumping into oncoming traffic.”

Simon agrees, saying, “The Yamaha was definitely my least favorite bike of the day. Talk about not being comfortable on a bike. The whole time I was riding I felt as if I was going to fly over the front. Especially braking coming into corners before I would lean over. The rear end of the motorcycle sat so much higher than the rest, causing me to transfer the majority of my body weight too far forward. And at over six feet tall that’s a lot!”

When all roads lead to the racetrack, the Yamaha R6 is a clear-cut amazing machine. But when those roads are on the street, it scored at or near the back of the pack in nearly every catagory. The only saving grace of the R6 on the roads? Everyone was a fan of the new colors and sharp styling. But its appearance wasn’t enough to make up for the Yamaha’s street scores, holding it back greatly and coming home fourth overall in this Shootout.


2009 Triumph Daytona 675 Comparison

Posted on 9:39 PM by My_revival
No doubt a host of small changes can make a big difference. While the naked eye would have a
hard time seeing the difference between last year and this year’s 675, on the track and street they are miles apart. And in a good way. Check out the Triumph Daytona 675 First Ride for information on the technical updates on this year's model so we can focus on how it stacks up against the competition here in the shootout.

The same very capable Inline-Triple engine sits between those aluminum frame spars and now features three more horsepower and a two more lb-ft of torque. Also changed is a taller first gear, for improved shifting, while suspension tweaks and slightly modified styling round out the major changes. To us this hardly sounds like enough to make much of a difference, but after riding the Triumph, our minds quickly changed. We went the extra mile to bring you the sights and sweet sound of the Triple in our Triumph 675 video review so don't miss it.

It really is a shame a lack of trackside support held the 675 from performing at its full potential at the racetrack. Triumph was unable to send a technician to turn wrenches for us and unfortunately the mechanic we hired to fill the void backed out the day before the test. That left the MotoUSA crew responsible for tending to the Trumpet the best we could between the madness of conducting an event of this magnitude. Luckily we have an extremely capable group of riders with plenty of racing and set-up experience, which allowed us to get it close. And once in the ballpark the Triumph managed to impress a few of our test riders both at the track and on the street.

I must say, the “several small updates” Triumph made do equate to a much better overall package. The taller first gear is a godsend in the slower turns at Streets and additional horsepower and torque are kind of like having too much money - it never really hurts.

Even without much set-up time Atlas still put the Triumph in the 1:21s come Superpole time
Aggressive geometry made for a quick-handling 675. Here's Atlas warming the tires in preparation for his Superpole run. The Triumph did surprisingly well.

“The Triumph motor is one my favorites, it truly combines the rev of an Inline-Four with the torque of a Twin,” says shootout veteran Chuck Sorensen. “Lots of low-end grunt and then a sweet spot of useable power between 8,000 to 13,000 rpm. Someone coming off a Twin will adapt to this bike quickly, while a four-cylinder rider will figure out that they can be in a taller gear through a given corner and use the grunt to their advantage. This motor does not feel as if it has the sheer horsepower as some of the Japanese bikes, but the question is – do you need all that power to go fast on a given course?”

“Triumph has the torque, a great sound and pulls nicely,” adds Dhien. “For sure the motor is the strong point of the Triumph.”

Though it boasts the second-highest horsepower (108.5 hp) and torque (49.3 lb-ft) as well as tipping the scales at under 410 lbs full of fuel, our trip to HPCC out in the Mojave desert produced some surprising results. When the dust settled at the end of our performance testing the 675 didn't fare as well as we expected. Its weak and numb-feeling clutch made launches difficult during drag strip runs and as a result, quarter-mile times suffered a bit. It recorded a best run of 11.30 @ 133.25 mph, compared to the class-leading Ducati, which tore off an 11.09 @ 134.37 mph. And even though that doesn't seem like much, in this extremely close group it put it dead last. When it came time to put it to the top-speed test, the British Bomber was quite a ride. WIth the upper fairing shaking and the least wind protection of the group the best it could muster was 159.45 mph, once again the slowest of the group and was the only truly unstable bike at those speeds - downright scary even.

Those Euros love under-seat exhausts
One of the least complicated cockpits  in top-speed runs the speedo  bottom center square on the tach  proved hard to read. Though how much to you really want to know you re going 165 mph
If the Triumph rear end was a painting it would be a Minimalist Abstract piece
The 2009 Triumph Daytona 675 is very clean by design and although it lacked a bit of attention to details in some areas it still is a good looking motorcycle.
Says kid-racer Frankie Garcia: “The bike has a solid motor. It’s strong off the bottom with a ton of torque, but it doesn't have much top end. It comes off of slow corners good, but in the faster corners it seems like I had to shift way too early.”

While nearly all praised the easy-to-use power and rideability of the three-cylinder engine, the chassis received mixed opinions, some of this due to its set up. The shock was stiff and would pump on corner-exit while the front was overly soft, giving an unequal balance. For those who didn’t push quite as hard, as well as for street riding, this wasn’t too far off. It was when the pace picked up that the lack of set-up time showed through.

“I really was into the Triumph, I dig its chassis and fickability a lot,” comments newly-appointed Road Test Editor Adam Waheed. “At the tight and twisty Streets of Willow it did great as it’s effortless to throw from side to side. The engine is awesome and has plenty of torque; it's easy to wheelie – it really is best suited for technical racetracks.”

Sorensen adds that while it feels pretty good, the 675 suspension still could use a few tweaks in stock trim: “The rear shock seems to be set up a little stiffer compared to the front. It kept the bike on its nose going into and through the corner. It absorbs most bumps and tracks true on the gas at the exit of the corners though.”

Despite that the Triumph's set-up never was perfect, we were able to get it good enough to lay down a 1:21.77 during Superpole. That bested even the mighty Honda and is a very respectable time at the technical Streets of Willow circuit.

Overall the 675 was praised for its stability once leaned on its side almost as much as it was for the engine – solid and great feedback made for a machine that yearned to be pushed, and pushed hard. But when it came to the brakes, the Brit fell short. Being it is one of only two of the bikes with steel-braided brake lines, this proves that it's a sum of all parts, not just one particular item, which makes a good set-up.

As I m sure you ve noticed  Waheed hates doing wheelies. He s always been the conservative type
Waheed claimed the Triumph forced him to do wheelies and ride like a hooligan. We're not sure if we believe him...
“The Triumph brakes are good enough for its total package, but do they have the bite and progressiveness as some of the other bikes? Maybe not,” says Sorensen. “If I owned this bike I would upgrade the master cylinder, pads and go from there.”

On the street the 675 made up some ground that it lost at the track thanks to its meaty mid-range and ability to draw the inner-hooligan out of even the most civilized street riders. It received universal praise when it came to quick jaunts through the canyons on the Triple. The engine is one of the most versatile of the group – tons of torque and easy to use – as is the chassis. Do you want to know our main complaints with the Triumph on the street? The seating position is still awkward and makes for fast discomfort, as does the hot underseat exhaust.

“From the moment you climb on the Triumph it feels similar to the Ducati in that they are thin in the middle and have high, flat seats and low bars,” says Hutchison “This made the riding position more track-oriented than accommodating for commuter or daily-driver duty, though it's less aggressive than the Ducati. And both the 675 and 848 employ underseat exhausts which look the business but are not always the greatest arrangement for street riding comfort.”

Overall, if you dare to be different, look no further than the Daytona 675. In no way, shape or form does it look, feel or act like anything else out there, which gives the well-qualified machine character in spades. But when it comes to this wickedly-close group, in the overall rankings the Triumph 675 brought up the back of the pack.