Are you a motorcycle enthusiast? Are you planning to buy a new motorcycle? Is your budget below US $10,000? Well then this post will definitely help you shortlist some of bikes and perhaps help you decide which one is best for you. If you have such a good budget, you must be glad to know that plenty of good motorcycles fall under this price and therefore you have more than enough motorcycles to choose from.
Some of the bikes which we are considering here include Aprilia Shiver 750, BMW G650GS & G650GS Sertao, Ducati Monster 696, Hyosung GT650 naked and GT650R, Kawasaki Ninja 650, Kawasaki Ninja Versys 650, Triumph Street Triple R, Yamaha FZ8 and Yamaha FZ6R.
Aprilia Shiver 750
Aprilia is one of respected motorcycle manufacturers and has some really interesting designs in its hands. The Shiver 750 is a solid and radically designed naked bike and is very attractive. It features an all new 749 CC, 4 valve per cylinder, DOHC engine putting out 95 BHP of max power at 9000 RPM and 81 Nm of peak torque at 7000 RPM. The seating position is high yet comfortable and well balanced for a tall rider. The bike follows its elder brother Tuono and hence is aggressive on the road. Steering the motorcycle is a child’s play and it handles very well. The throttle is ultra responsive and it just conquers tight sections of road smoothly and effortlessly. It may not be the fastest naked bike but is definitely a threat to other bikes of its segment.
BMW G650GS Sertao
It is the ultimate multi purpose motorcycle designed to handle off-road conditions. The reason why BMW came up with it is the demand for a low cost ADV bike for budget buyers. The G650GS is a tall bike sporting a 652 CC, water cooled, single cylinder, 4 stroke engine that generates 50 BHP @ 5,000 rpm of max power and 60 Nm @ 5,000 rpm of peak torque. With its 21 inch front and 17 inch rear wheel it can gracefully conquer rough and uneven terrains. The bike does not have the looks but it does have the desired off-road manners. ABS is standard on all BMW motorcycles which is a great thing but unfortunately this motorcycle does not have a fuel gauge. The bike is very comfortable with plenty of leg room. It is not the best bike out there but definitely a worthy option at that price.
Ducati Monster 696
Ducati is known for its compact yet powerful bikes and the Monster 696 is the best example we have. It is a true beast on the open road and sports a 696 CC, L-Twin cylinder, 2 valve per cylinder Desmodromic air cooled engine that puts out 78 BHP @ 9000 RPM of max power and 69 Nm @ 7750 RPM of peak torque. The engine offers enhanced power, quieter operation and requires less maintenance over its predecessor. Each and every component has been so selected to make the bike as light as possible. The brakes are extremely effective and reliable and so is its headlamp light clarity. To describe the motorcycle in one line I would say it is not a just a bike but a lifestyle.
I believe the Korean manufacturer Hyosung has never liked anything compact. This shows in all its motorcycles especially the Hyosung GT650R which is significantly huge. A very dynamically styled bike with a huge tank are the key characteristics of 650R. The bike is bulky and the turning is not razor sharp. Performance wise the bike does not have the thrill of a 650 CC machine and it is not very impressive on track. If you really want to extract the real power of the bike, surely you can do so but in the mid rev range only. At higher rpms, between 7500 to 8500 rpm appreciable vibrations step in and cease only when you get past the 8500 rpm mark.
Kawasaki Ninja 650
Kawasaki has revamped the Ninja 650 both in terms of looks and comfort levels. The bike gets a new double-pipe perimeter frame which results in a slimmer profile. The seat is quite comfortable and the bike is very stable on its mid corner line. It also resists pitching while hard braking. The touring bike sports a 649 CC, liquid cooled, 4 stroke, four valve, parallel twin engine that performs really well in the low and mid rev range. Overall the motorcycle is good, however Kawasaki needs to improve the brakes a little. Previous versions of the Ninja have been good enough and the 2012 is no exception.
Kawasaki KLR650 is a dual sport bike that features a 651 CC delivering 50 Nm of peak torque at 5500 RPM. The V-Strom is quite practical and good but when it comes to long touring hours, the KLR650 beats the Suzuki machine easily. Be it handling/suspension, comfort or off-road performance the KLR is better. Low speed riding is quite nice and it handles like a charm. One of the drawbacks is its 35 inch seat which could be painful for many riders. Another disadvantage is wide handlebars which need to be taken care of while splitting lanes. However in terms of ergonomics it is way better than V-Storm.
Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS
The 2012 iteration is a significant improvement over its predecessor and comes with a number of cosmetic and technical changes. The overall body is slimmer both from the front and the rear. The seating position is a little higher but Suzuki offers adjustable seat. The engine for the V-Strom 650 ABS is now borrowed from Suzuki Gladius. Its 650 CC V-Twin offers ample power(close to 70 BHP) and more torque at low rpms. The bike is quite capable at high rpms and could touch triple digit speed when there is a need. This year the suspension and chassis has also been revised.
V-Strom 650 ABS – $8299
V-Strom 650 Adventure ABS – $9799
Triumph Street Triple
Triumph Street Triple has always been an all rounder, just like the legendary Bonneville, and the 2012 model is even better. Engineers have given the Triple a complete makeover both technically and bodily. The bike features a 675 CC, liquid cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in line 3 cylinder engine that puts out an enormous 105 BHP @ 11700 RPM of max power and 68 Nm @ 9200 RPM of peak torque. It turns extremely well and is very stable, though it is light. It suits well to short riders as well. Interestingly for buyers who opt to pay a little extra, can go for the Street Triple R which is a track specific machine. Triple R is definitely not meant for beginners but is an excellent machine for experienced riders.
Street Triple: $8899
Street Triple R:$9599
The Yamaha FZ6R is the youngest of the FZ series comprising of the FZ8 and FZ1. The bike was first launched in 2009 and since then has been one of the most loved sport bike for entry level riders. The bike features a 4 stroke, in-line 4 cylinder engine that delivers a smooth and linear performance with maximum power output being achieved at 10,000 RPM while the peak torque kicking in at 9000 RPM. Highlighting features include height adjustable (20 mm) rider seat, handlebar position adjustment etc. Overall the bike is quite smooth and is excellent for new riders.
Bridging the gap between the FZ6R and FZ1 is the FZ8. The bike comes with a 779 CC liquid cooled, 4 stroke, inline 4 cylinder engine that provides excellent low and mid range torque for daily commuting. However it is not at par with the character of the Triumph Street Triple R. The performance is praiseworthy as it is extremely smooth but unfortunately the bike feels too bulky. The brakes are again effective but not spectacular. In short the Street Triple R is a much better bike but is it, considering the price of the FZ8? The FZ8 is more than a $1000 cheaper than Street Triple R which makes it a pleasing bike.
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