Sure thing! This is the perfect bike....for me....right now
For me, the Speedy was more power than I was looking for and more weight. It's an excellent motorcycle, but I was riding faster than I wanted - opening the throttle is more than I need on the street. Also, I felt the handling was fine, but not as precise as what I wanted. I would have purchased a Street Triple if I could have found a good example at a right price, but the baby Hyper came along instead and I'm thrilled that it did.My criteria for my 'city' bike is
: low weight, moderate power, overall handling (including turn-in and suspension), character, and the x factor (also known as shit-eating grin). I also factor in maintenance costs, reliability, initial cost and resale cost into all
my motorcycle purchases.Triumph Speed Triple
: higher weight than I prefer, more power than I need, which led to handling concerns. The suspension was fine, but overall I wanted something more nimble. There are people that will shake their heads at that comment, but ride a Street Triple back to back against a Speedy. There's a very noticeable difference in handling, and that's what I'm after. The Speedy will give you a lot of fun factor and has great character. The transmission was great, and the engine has a very interesting mechanical whir. The exhaust was excellent as well (everyone who owns a Triumph triple talks about the 'howl' of the exhaust) - I had the Arrow 3-into-1 race exhaust and it was a little too loud for me. It sounded like a diesel truck at idle, and then made an undescribably loud noise under hard acceleration. If you've ever been to a professional motorcycle race, it sounds exactly like what you would expect from a race exhaust (if you know what a normal exhaust sounds like on an inline-4 vs. their race exhausts, the Arrow exhaust did the same thing for the Speedy. It's unbelievable). There's a nice little video here of somebody else with the same exhaust - it's the closest thing I've seen on YouTube that helps demonstrate the noise (videos are hard to capture everything, but this one does a good job): http://youtu.be/kvMZVqQs7Jk
Long story short: good on character. The upfront costs and associated maintenance were also low. Oil every 6k, valves every 12k. I never had any mechanical or electrical problems either. The bike was rock solid. Ultimately my only reasons for selling were that I didn't have enough time to ride (which is perpetual for me and therefore not a valid reason
), more power than I was looking for, and handling. I likely wouldn't have sold the vehicle, but somebody who was equally infatuated with my bike wanted to pay me more than it was worth....so it was hard to say no. So ultimately I would probably still have this bike were it not for that fact (I don't think the handling concerns were enough for me to warrant selling the bike and seeking out something new).Triumph Street Triple
: similar to the Speedy, but with less weight and power. The handling is telepathic, and the engine and exhaust are both very stimulating. It's a joy to operate one of these bikes. More than adequate power, easy to maneuver, low cost of ownership and the same beautiful styling of the Streety. One thing to consider between the two models is that the Speedy now has optional ABS (which I believe the streety does not - but I'll let somebody correct me if I'm wrong). I hope they add ABS to this bike (if they haven't already!) because then it would be even better. Otherwise, there's nothing not to love about this motorcycle. Probably one of the best executed bikes I've ever ridden. I will own one eventually, as it ticks all the boxes.Ducati Monster/Hypermotard series
: I'm lumping these together because they're extremely similar in terms of overall rider experience. One of these is likely better for you than the other (I wouldn't just flip a coin and pick one), but the differences aren't wide enough for me to write up two different reviews. Compared to the Triumphs, the Ducati offerings are less powerful, have roughly the same weight and cost more to purchase and maintain (7500 mi valve intervals). Sounds like a no brainer for the Triumph, right? Wrong. Ride one. Both the character and 'x-factor' are higher on these than the Streety. The motor is such a delight. The exhaust sound is throaty and visceral - even with the stock option. The engine whirs in a different way than the Triumph's and the torque curve is predictable and perfect for street riding. There's a fantastic shudder below 3800 rpm that some people dislike, but I adore. The engine is honest and raw, whereas the Triumph is well-behaved and buttoned-up. Both are incredible mills, but there's somebody about the rawness that holds my attention. Like the Triumph; the brakes are great, the gears snick into place and it's easy to create perfect lines in a curve. With less power, I'm able to be a bit more juvenile with the throttle.....all the time. With the combination of being able to float easily in between cars in traffic as I quickly shift between gears with the engine burbling and popping on deceleration, the whole experience is thoroughly more entertaining than the Triumph.
differences between the Hyper and the Monster are seating position and style. The Hyper styling and ergonomics are what I prefer; however I think that most folks would find the Monster's seat a little more comfortable.
As you can probably tell, I love all of these models. I think they're all fantastic choices, and I don't have much bad to say about any of them. It's more about personal preference, and there are plenty of folks here who will say that they far prefer the Triumph because of the engine's smooth nature (whereas I prefer more harshness). You'd be well-served with any of these, and I think you'll be thrilled with any.