Decision is still pending but meanwhile didn’t deter me from peeking at a variety of naked bikes in the mid-displacement: Gladius, FZ8, ER-6n, Street Triple, F800R and Shiver, Monster and out of competition the Duc Streetfighter.
While the inclined testosterone driven potential buyer would evaluate speed, torque, rpm, horsepower and the likes, I was looking for the right ergonomics, handling, and weight.
I am not the biggest fan of chain driven motorcycles (The Harley has a belt, one reason I opted for that model at time of purchase.) but I will have to make do, because there is neither a belt driven nor a shaft driven two-wheeler in that class to begin with.
The winner in the category 'most economical' would certainly be the Suzuki SFV650 Gladius, which is also the baby in that category. The Gladius was high on my list back when I lived in Calgary, and I really liked it ok, just never enough to make a purchase.
I haven't found a Yamaha FZ8 on display, but I didn't look hard either. The Kawasaki ER-6n although nice seating position and extremely well priced out, is just not my preferred brand.
I never quite liked the Monster. I like the engine sound of a Ducati though and it comes with ABS. The Ducati Streetfighter really does strike my fancy. The Italian diva doesn't really belong to that group but has that distinct sound only Ducati can produce. It does come at a cost though...
There is the highly favorable Triumph Street Triple R, the reliable BMW F800R and another interesting Italian candidate, the Aprilia Shiver SL750 fighting for pole position.
Alas, Aprilia has a very scattered dealer network, and being an Italian diva, chances are the bike will get in trouble sooner or later.
The looks, the feel and the sound put the Street Triple right on top of my list. But there is the poor fuel economy, no fuel gauge (seriously? Even my Vespa has one...), and no ABS option.
With a similar price tag ABS is available on the Beemer F800R (including heated grips & power outlet).
The Speed Triple (and the Tiger) however comes with ABS and surprise: a fuel gauge. A mighty pretty bike, but it is as heavy as an oil tanker, and the seating position doesn't work for me.