Friday, June 6, 2008

smart fortwo VS. Triumph Street Triple

I've started seeing a few smart fortwos out on the road recently. I applaud their drivers for getting a cheap vehicle that suits their needs. Really, I do.

All the same, they are inferior vehicles. I mean, we can see that in the first sentence of this post. Not only does their name not require capital letters (always suspect), but it's impossible to talk about them in the plural.

But let's get down to hard facts. The smart fortwo seats two people. It's got 7.8 cubic feet of storage space (12 if you cram it to the roof). It weighs 1808 pounds and has a 3 cylinder, 70 horsepower motor that makes 68 ft. lb. of torque. Air conditioning, power steering and any stereo system are all options you have to pay extra for. The base model is $11,590. It does 0 - 60 in 12.8 seconds, or, about enough time to hard boil an egg. Gas mileage is around 30 - 40 miles per gallon. Top speed is 90 mph.

It has a lot of safety features, including a "tridion safety cell" to "ensure crash compatibility with larger passenger cars."

Crash compatibility!? Great interrobang! Also, "safety cell?" Cell?? Good Lord, they aren't even bothering to pretend cages are something else...

Also, what's "tridion"? Sounds like unobtanium to me.

Moving on, let's talk about the Triumph Street Triple. It also has a 3 cylinder motor. However, this motor is only 675cc, makes 107 horsepower and 51 ft. lb. of torque. It weighs 367 pounds, costs only $8,299 and comes stock with air conditioning in winter and heat in the summer. Stereo not required. Storage space is whatever you can figure out between various pieces of luggage, but I'm betting a rider could get 7.8 cubic feet of storage on there. Gas mileage is about the same as the fortwo. Zero to 60 MPH is 3 - 4 seconds, or, about enough time to realize you can't stop smiling. Top speed is high enough that it's kind of irrelevant, in terms of commuting.

The fortwo doesn't take up much parking space, but a motorcycle takes up even less. Plus, motorcycles get to use the HOV lane. The fortwo does not.

Both are able to carry two passengers in relative comfort. Your chances of scoring with your date (regardless of your gender) is a lot higher if you show up on a Triumph, however. See, a motorcycle says "Mystery and a hint of danger," where a smart car says "cheap and no style."

So, I'd say, get the Triumph.*

Incidentally, Lady Luck's Vespa GTS gets better gas mileage and has a better 0 - 60 time than the forwto as well. Storage is at a premium, but the style-o-meter is off the scale.

*Learn to ride before you actually get the Triumph.