So it’s not a domineering cruiser firing down the road and guzzling gas. It’s also not a beginner bike that can barely keep up on stretches of highway where riders could use more aggression. Middleweight motorcycles provide versatility for riders who want some sport performance as well as the ability to show off when taking a break. Inside this class of bikes is a considerable amount of range from high-power performance to low-rev cruising pull.
Bikes from fabled European manufacturers and Japanese stalwarts tend to deliver most often in the middleweight category, but there are a fair share of U.S. bikes showing up in the segment. Here are six new bikes that provide versatility in a middleweight ride and style to go along with it.
1. 2014 Honda Interceptor ($12,499)
This 2014 sport-cum-touring bike from Honda has enough style to make pedestrians give it a long look in passing. In other words, there’s no Accord in the Interceptor. Featuring a 782cc VTEC engine, the Interceptor delivers the low-end torque riders in this segment love. Another appealing element in the package is the high-rev capabilities when in four-cylinder mode.
ABS in the Deluxe model ($13,499) and 5.2 gallons of space in the fuel tank mean should prepare for long journeys on the bike that’s been called one of the ten best on countless motorcycle mag lists. Any rider who’s waited more than four years to see the return of the VFR800 has the chance to snatch a new and improved Interceptor. Peak horsepower is 105 hp.
2. BMW F800GT ($11,890)
Starting at $11,890 with ABS included, the BMW F800 GT needs little introduction in the middleweight class of bikes. Reviewers love the handling and day-to-day effects the bike has on both one’s psyche and road reputation. Technically speaking, BMW has a leg up on many other bike makers with the F800 GT’s tire pressure monitoring system. Instead of taxing tires excessively and forcing owners to find early replacements, the system provides longevity while enhancing fuel economy.
Riders can get nearly 55 mpg riding the F800 GT, but the 4.0 gallon tank capacity will limit trips to about 220 miles. Nonetheless, touring in this new BMW with a 798cc two-cylinder engine (90 hp, 63 lb-ft of torque) should provide plenty of thrills between fill-ups.
3. Triump Daytona 675R ($13,499)
The name of this Triumph may read Daytona, but the bike has far more supersport than cruiser in its DNA. Triumph brought in the 2014 Daytona at a lighter weight while shortening the stroke and widening the bore. As a result, riders get more acceleration and a cylinder block that can handle the pressure of the added power. Twin fuel injectors make it easier for cylinders to privide that punch, while titanium valves make handling the juice better on the rider. Brembo brakes and Ohlins suspension are part of the package.
Designers deliver the advanced technology of the 2014 Daytona 675R in a pretty package as well. Access to the 128 hp engine will be as attractive as the bike is sitting parked by the curb.
4. Ducati 848 Streetfighter ($13,495)
Ducati has an answer for aggression in any bike class. Its middleweight Streetfighter packs the Tetrastretta 11-degree engine of 848 EVO fame. While offering just 71 hp and 69 lb-ft of torque, the infusion of superbike technology makes every horse count. The new Trellis frame in the latest model, along with the traction control system from Ducati, have brought this bike a great deal of acclaim since its release. Top Speed went so far as to call it Ducati’s greatest overall achievement in terms of stance, control, aggression, and enjoyment. Others simply call it the best middleweight bike, hands down.
To gaze at the Streetfighter’s industrial style is to be transported to the hardened back alleys of European capitals. It’s the black leather jacket of middleweight motorcycles.
5. MV Agusta F3 675 ($13,999)
Meccanica Verghera Agusta has a lot to say in the middleweight category. In the F3 675 the bike maker delivers a 675cc three-cylinder engine with twelve titanium valve-heads. Capable of 126 hp and 52 lb-ft of torque, it’s a quick launch bike that has no equal in the sub-four-cylinder category. MV Agusta’s inclusion of a counter-rotating crankshaft made all that power manageable.
Style-wise, you can’t top the gold triple exhaust you find by the F3 675′s back wheel. Combined with the flat grey (“pearl white” coloring) and red piping, lovers of Italian modernity get everything they could wish for in this middleweight gem. MV Agusta boasts it has been called “the most beautiful 600 in the world.” It’s hard to find fault with that assessment.
6. Yamaha FZ-09 ($7,990)
Leave it to Yamaha to do the middleweight trick well under five figures. The FZ-09 is not the flashiest bike ever made, but it offers plenty more style than the FZ8 it replaced in the bike maker’s lineup. Featuring an all-new 847cc liquid-cooled three-cylinder engine, the FZ-09 offers enough torque in the lower ranges to satisfy riders on the open roads. Impressive throttle response and fuel-injection system provide access to the horsepower at any rpm.
Maximum figures come in at 113 hp and 63 lb-ft of torque. Yamaha upped the ante in power and also dropped over 50 pounds in wet weight (to 414 pounds) from the FZ8 to the 2014 FZ-09. Combining that resume with style that makes riders think first of Euro fashions, there’s a great deal to love about this affordable middleweight.