Recently, MO had a chance to sample seven "Middleweight Standards" of various weights, displacements and cost. The available bikes were the: BMW F 650CS, Harley Davidson Sportster 1200R, Honda 599, Kawasaki Ninja 500, Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom, Triumph Speed Four, and Yamaha FZ-6.
This class has garnered precious little attention, until the recent introductions of the Triumph Speed Four, Yamaha FZ-6 and Honda 599. Suddenly the world is full of middleweights without racer fairings, tourer saddlebags, or cruiser foreward foot controls. You buy these bikes; when you aren't trying to impress the Jones' or pretend you are Billy Bad Ass Biker Bully.
Middleweight Standards are motorcycles for those who want capable and practical real-world transportation, without sacrificing the ability to travel long distances or tear-up the occasional back road.
More: 2004 Middleweight Standards