Well, last week my Kawasaki Ninja was written off. I was rear-ended while waiting to turn right by a careless driver trying to beat the traffic turning right that thought when I moved up to get a better view of traffic that I had gone.
So I'm in the market for a new bike. I put about 3,000km on my Kawi and I feel I know what type of bike I want as well as the type of riding I really enjoy doing.
Flat out speed isn't what I'm into and with no track nearby I rarely even got to use most of the power out of my ZX-6. The most fun I've had riding is in the twisties, and powering out of corners. So light and agile with some low end torque are my main performance wants. I also don't want a full fairing bike again, nor do I want the more agressive seating position. But I do want to feel confident through the corners, so nothing straight up. However it has to be good for some long-ish rides (few hours straight, nothing crazy), lots of highway at speed is boring to me on a bike.
This leaves me with a naked sport bike as the type of bike I want to go for. I was planning on buying a new bike next season once I've figured out what I want to get out of a motorcycle.
The three top contenders are:
1. Ducati 796
2. Triumph Street Triple R
3. Yamaha FZ-09
They are all within the budget, with the Ducati being the most expensive, and the Yamaha being the cheapest. Both in initial price and maintenance costs (40,000km per valve adjustment on the yamaha). However, the Triumph has a 675cc motor, so insurance will be bit cheaper.
The Ducati and the Triumph are basically tied for looks for me with the ducati having a slight lead however the Triumph really is growing on me.... And the Yamaha looks okay to me.
Performance wise, I think the Triumph handles the best and has a great engine, however the Yamaha apparently has a really smooth powerband. I think the Ducati and Triumph are pretty close in braking performance. And all three bikes come with ABS...