Aug 31, 2010

7 What is a Street Fighter motorcycle?

A look at Street Fighter motorycles.. and its origins

One very common and a bit loosely used term that is heard while discussing bikes is Street Fighter. So what is a Street Fighter motorcycle?

The term Street Fighter, it paints a picture that these kinds of motorcycles are meant for Street use and has an aggressive attitude.

Spot on! I would say.

History of Street Fighter Motorcycles

A Street Fighter in its purest form is a Super Sport motorcycle with the excess body work removed..

Street Fighter motorcycles were born out of Stunting culture in Europe, during the late 70s and 80s. It is speculated that the Streetfighter was born because young stunters replaced the damaged fairings of their motorcycles after repeated crashes. Also higher handlebars (instead of aggressively positioned clip on handlebars) and minimalistic headlamps were added for a more street friendly riding stance.

So basically a Street Fighter in its purest form is a Super Sport motorcycle with the excess body work removed and by customizing the bike for a more street friendly use. Just like the CBR1000RR Street Fighter modification as posted above.

Factory produced Streetfighter motorcycles

Motorcycle manufacturers realized the potential of creating a new category and by the 1990’s they began producing factory Streetfighters (Eg. 1993 Ducati Monster).

In recent years, the term has also come to be applied to aggressively styled motorcycles manufactured without fairings and straight handlebars (also sometimes referred as Street nakeds/Super nakeds); usually based on the engine/frame combination as an equivalent Super Sports model in the manufacturer's product line-up. These motorcycles have their Super sport derived engines a little bit tweaked for more low and mid end performance. But at the same time they aren’t tuned as low as on a commuter motorcycle either.

Among the purest factory produced Street Fighters are the Aprila Touno 1000R (based on the now discontinued Aprilia SRV 1000R) and the Triumph Street Triple (based on the Triumph Daytona 675).

Examples of a few other Factory Produced Street Fighter motorcycles are the:

  • Yamaha FZ1

  • Honda CB1000R

  • Kawasaki Z1000/750

  • Ducati Street Fighter

  • What about our Indian bikes?

    The motorcycle market in India, despite being the second largest in the market isn’t yet mature enough for its models to be segmented in specialized categories.

    Here all models are basically meant for street use. Be it the current two full faired models, the Yamaha R15 and Hero Honda Karizma ZMR, the Classic Cruiser styled Bajaj Avenger or bikes like the Pulsar, Apache etc.. all these bikes are meant for Street use. The marketing imagery might be a Race Track, the Open Highway or even of chasing a raging tornado (!), but the bottom line of our desi bikes is that they are all meant for commuting in our desi traffic on our desi roads.

    But just in terms of pure styling and street presence, I would say that the Yamaha FZ-16/S and the Pulsar 220S (without the half fairing) can be called as a "Desi" Street Fighter motorcycle.

    Related Posts


    This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


    Sajal said...

    No matter how much flat out I go for the Faired versions, but I know this first hand that how much sense the Naked Street Fighters make in Indian conditions, where dust and heat are you long lasting companions, be you are blasting off at 120 or your are commuting at 20.

    The Faired bikes would serve your barbequed thigh after every ride, and that's the reason, bikes like the MT01,CB1000R,Intruder and the V-Max are so much fun to ride as compared to the R1,Fireblade and the GSX1000R, which provide the punch to speed junkies like me but at a cost!!

    Again, when you talk about the desi bikes, the ZMR is already facing heating issues which affects it's performance adversely as compared to the R15, which has a proper cooler and radiator. So, the classic Karizma still rules!! The Pulsar 220S is much more fun to ride than the 220F, thanks to 5 kg less weight (but the projector head lamp of the 220F is seriously a killer package), and owing a Pulsar 200 I know how brutally adaptive the S setup is to long rides and in heat conditions.

    Payeng said...

    I agree that naked bikes makes more sense in our Indian conditions.

    But then our bikers are still so much smitten by full faired bikes (regardless of being liquid cooled or not), that they are ready to pay a premium for it. Maybe its because they did not have an option of full fairing till now.

    Anonymous said...

    Again good food for mind!
    What about dazzler? lets call it "partial desi" streetfighter....?

    Akash said...

    the Dazzler like the Twister is a plastic mess!! far from being an agressive streetfighter

    Siddharth Soni said...

    Great post again Payeng. You do a lot of (home)work :). And the pleasure is reader's!

    Payeng said...

    Thanks Siddharth, I too become a more informed rider with every post.. and you guys keep me going.

    Thanks again

    fulcrum said...

    Hey guys it just struck me..wat do u guys think about a street fighter mod of a bullet 500...i have never seen such a thing on the net or plz share any info or gyan u guys have on this idea..p.s. plz go easy on my newbie idea :)

    Cheers :)

    Post a Comment

    Your Comments are valuable as they keep the conversation alive..

    But Please Comment Responsibly (for them to be published)