Street fighters – also known as ‘naked’ bikes – are sports bikes with no fairings, wider handlebars and usually an engine retuned for less peak power and more midrange. Aggressively styled, they are faster than a basic street bike and have higher-spec suspension, chassis and brakes.
Fast, aggressive riding without the backaches and crazy speeds of a sports bike. They are good in town too because of the extra comfort and visibility from the high bars. Sports bike cool without the hassles and threat to your licence.
Not so good for:
Long distances at motorway speeds, keeping you dry when it rains, relaxing rides waving at the daisies. Streetfighters are best at quick blasts either through town while commuting or blowing the cobwebs away on a Sunday.
Triumph’s 675cc Street triple is the current number one, but at 100bhp, some might argue it’s a little powerful for a first big bike. Honda’s 600cc Hornet is a popular choice as is Kawasaki’s Z750 and Yamaha’s Fazer 600, although none of the last three are based directly on sports bikes. The bigger boys are though. Most of the best are Italian, notably Aprilia’s Tuono and Ducati’s Streetfighter, but the king of the street fighters has always been Triumph’s Speed Triple. Now in its 17th year of development. Fast, cool, easy to ride and good value too.