Great article -- but you were off by one. After much research I bought the DL650 and put a Givi 3-bag set up on it two days ago. Only have a couple hundred commuting miles on it, but I'm very pleased. I did consider the other bikes here:
BMW - single cylinder? you're kidding, right?
Harley - too expensive, too heavy, tiny tank
Honda - that god-aweful seam on the tank, carbs, and grossly overpriced
Kaw - not even a contender
Triumph - buzzy, looks like an insect
Yamaha - stupid tach, buzzy
Yeah, I know the DL is bit (ok, a lot) cosmetically challenged, but it's just a plain great bike! Fuel injection, huge tank, good wind protection, nimble, blah, blah, blah. And I LIKE the height of this bike -- I have no problem seeing thru traffic and the cages can't miss those Givi bags from the rear. Yes, I'm one of the tall guys that adores this bike....
Well I think, the YZF600R he is referring to is the Thundercat in Europe. The Fazer 600 has the same mill (detuned a little) as the YZF600R. I own one as well. No doubt, it is a better all around bike than any of these reviewed here. The YZF600R has a full fairing - I like to think of it as a middle-weight VFR (without all the unnecessary technology). It will be a shame if Yamaha removes it from the lineup.
Buz is killin me. I don't think there is one day this year I have ridden when it was above 55. Most commutes have been in the 25 to 30 range, and that was on the VMax. I do have a Widder vest, but use it mostly for long days in cold weather. You can dress up for a commuteand not be too cold, but a 200 or 300 mile day in very cold weather is nasty. I'm sure Buz made that 100 mile ride in that freezing 60 degree weather seem like nothin'! LOL
I read your FZ6 review and I don't remember too much being said about vibration or buzzyness. Now I read the comparo and everyone all of a sudden hates the tingly engine. All this leaves me wondering if you got a bad test bike?
Judgin by recent review of the bigger kawi standard, it would've stomped these bikes. They really dug it. Probly came down to deciding which kawi to test, and they just went with the 500. They usually have thier reasons.
Yeah, that air cooled 2 valve motor in the Kawi is tried 'n true. I have an '81 KZ with a big bore kit (875cc), it's a sleeper. Too bad I wasn't going up the Crest the day of the shootout. Nothing like getting passed by someone wearing a Bell Moto 3, and a Full Bore jacket. Heh heh...