Not too long ago 600 Supersports were the rage, introducing riders to the thrilling world of sportbikes. With peaky, frantic revving engines hidden within bold racy-looking plastics these bikes are the most affordable ways for riders to mimic racing heroes on TV. While popularity has waned due to buyers wanting more than just a punchy top-end and turn-on-a-dime handling, considering how much performance bang you get for your dollar a modern middleweight certainly fits the bill.

This year the buying decision becomes tougher due to an influx of machines that ignore Japan’s classic 600cc inline four recipes. In addition to the three 600cc stalwarts, Honda’s CBR600RR, Suzuki ‘s GSX-R600 and Yamaha’s R6, there is the return of the 636-powered Kawasaki Ninja, two 675cc triples from Triumph and MV Agusta and Ducati’s top-shelf and V-twin powered 848 EVO SE. Also joining the test is Suzuki’s true middleweight, the GSX-R750, carrying a cost of only $600 more than its little brother!

But is more displacement better? We found out by spending a day riding the twists and turns of Southern California’s Palomar Mountain. Joining us was the Motorcycle-USA testing squad including Managing Editor Bart Madson and Road Test Editor Adam Waheed. Also lending a hand on the twist grips is long-time Cycle News off-road test rider Jason Abbott, wheelie master Brian Steeves, lover of all things two wheels Nathon Verdugo from Troy Lee Designs, and YouTube personality Adey Bennett. We also recruited our friend Josh Powers from Two Brothers and Massimo Bruzzi, secretary for our local Orange County Ducati Club. So sit back and let’s find out what middleweight you need to spend your dollars on for 2013.

By Cycle News Staff

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