All three bikes look extremely stunning and come with potent powertrains, but differ dramatically when it comes to the value for money quotient.
Street-fighters motorcycles have turned out to be extremely popular in India, especially in the middle-weight performance segment with the ease of riding and manoeuvrability to their credit. While the Kawasaki Z800 has been leading the pack in recent years with impressive performance figures on offer, the Triumph Street Triple made its debut last year to challenge the Japanese and is doing pretty well despite the power reduction fiasco. Now, the Italians are all set to join the business with the new Ducati Monster 821 which promises smouldering looks and overwhelming performance. If you are in the market for a hot new middle-weight performer, make sure to read this spec comparison first.
Styling – All the three bikes are stunning in visual appeal and truth be told, you won’t go wrong with either of them. The Ducati Monster has been known for its bodacious styling with that Italian flare and the same exudes a lot of desirability over its rivals. In contrast, the Triumph Street Triple is the quirky one here with the bug-like chunky twin headlamps while the overall riding position is a lot more friendly. The Street also posts of the smallest dimensions compared to other offerings, making it agile on the tarmac. The segment best-seller Kawasaki Z800 is aggressive with its sharp lines and mean headlamp cluster. Taking cues from the Z1000, the street-fighter does make you stand out of the crowd while the four headers give away that this green monster means business. The build quality on all three motorcycles is superlative.
Features – The Triumph Street Triple gets an analog-digital instrument cluster which features two trip meters, fuel range, gear indicator, lap timer among other tell tale lights. You also get an immobiliser and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on the British bike. In comparison, the Ducati Monster 821 gets an all-digital unit which carries most features seen on the Triumph but also gets engine cooling liquid temperature, ambient temperature and clock. The Italian comes with three riding modes – Urban, Touring and Sport coupled with Ride-by-Wire (RbW) system. The Kawasaki Z800 comes with an all-digital cluster separated in three dials which show the range function, eco mode, clock and temperature among other tech. All three bikes get ABS as standard while the Monster 821 also comes equipped with Ducati Traction Control (DTC).
Engine – The Ducati Monster is the newest addition to the lineup and its 821cc twin-cylinder motor belts out 113 PS of power, on par with the Kawasaki Z800 which makes the same amount of power from its 806cc in-line four unit. Peak power though is achieved faster on the Monster 821 at 9250 RPM, against the Z800’s 10,200 RPM. The Triumph Street Triple, on the other hand, makes the lowest power output in stock guise with just 79.3 PS on tap at 11,054 RPM from its 675cc three-cylinder engine. In addition to the power output, another factor that needs to be considered is the weight of the bikes and this is where the Street Triple makes up for its lack of power with a kerb weight of 188 kgs. The Monster 821 is hefty in comparison weighing 205 kgs while the Kawasaki Z800 is the heaviest here with a significantly higher 231 kgs.
Price – The most expensive in this comparison will be the Ducati Monster 821 that is expected to carry a price tag of around Rs. 9.50 lakhs. The Triumph Street Triple is priced at Rs. 7.91 lakhs and emerges as a bit too pricey for the kind of power figures you have on offer. The Kawasaki Z800 though certainly offers the most bang for the buck at Rs. 7.50 lakhs (all prices, ex-showroom Delhi) with the impressive power output and aggressive styling. It terms of tech, the Z800 is feature packed but does miss a thing here or two when compared to the Ducati.
Verdict – At present, the Kawasaki Z800 is the most popular street-fighter in this segment with its powerful in-line 4, menacing looks and a friendly riding stance. In comparison, the Street Triple loses out on power but more than makes up with its light-weight and extremely peppy handling abilities. The loss in power is not really felt on the Street Triple, but you do feel you can do better with more power on offer. Coming to the newest bike in town, the charismatic Monster 821 is pure eye candy (especially in red) and gets you all the attention you can possibly imagine. There is ample of performance to play, along with practical ergonomics which makes the Italian extremely hard to resist. However, given the Kawasaki Z800’s price advantage, the Japanese is still hard to beat and is our pick in this comparison.