2012 Motorcycle of the Year | Best Naked Bike

Triumph Speed Triple R
Still on Top

The Speed Triple took top honors last year, and this year’s R-model is a whole lot better. Like the Daytona 675R, the Speed Triple R receives top-shelf Öhlins suspension as well as lighter forged-aluminum wheels, Brembo Monobloc brakes with ABS, track-worthy Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires and a generous helping of carbon-fiber. The stellar 1050cc triple has new transmission parts but is otherwise unchanged—and absolutely perfect. Torque abounds, and oh, that sound! It speaks directly to your soul. Triumph claims this is the ultimate Speed Triple, but it might be the ultimate streetbike! Upgraded suspension and lighter wheels have a noticeable effect on handling, making what was already a powerful, nimble motorcycle even more potent in the curves. It’s easier than ever to ride, with less chassis pitch on the brakes, faster direction changes and a more stable feel at full lean. Triumph's big savage has been tamed, but don’t even think of calling the Speed Triple R civilized!

Alternative Take

Aprilia Tuono V4R
The premise of the naked bike is simple: Strip a sportbike of its clothes. When you start with a world-beating, 1000cc V4 superbike, you know you're in for a wild ride! The Tuono V4R offers the same power and electronics package as the RSV4, but in an upright, au naturel package. At $14,999 it's the most affordable and practical way to enjoy Aprilia's incredible V4.