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:
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.
- Dummies Guide to International Motorcycle Categories
- What is a "Superbike"? What is a "Super Sports" bike?
- Indians have unadventurous taste. Part 1: Dual Purpose & Supermoto Motorcycles
- Indians have unadventurous taste. Part 2: Adventure Touring and Sports Touring Motorcycles
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