All Comparisons – 2015 R1200R Vs Monster 1200S Vs Speed ​​Triple: BCBG roadsters! – Dynamics: BMW and Ducati see Triple!

R1200R 2015 Vs Monster 1200S Vs Speed ​​Triple: BCBG roadsters !

All Comparisons - 2015 R1200R Vs Monster 1200S Vs Speed ​​Triple: BCBG roadsters! - Dynamics: BMW and Ducati see Triple!

By exchanging its Telelever and its classic lines against a front axle and a sporty look, the R1200R is slammed in 2015. Boosted by the Fleet-twin, the BMW roadster even intends to rub shoulders with the classy Ducati Monster 1200 and Triumph Speed ​​Triple.

Dynamics: BMW and Ducati see Triple !

Installed as an option, the heated grips of the R1200R catch the attention of the MNC boss – always quick to sniff out good deals, that’s why he’s chef, the chef! -, which seizes it quickly in the light of the morning freshness. The two testers following him curdle their hands, regretting that the Ducati and Triumph accessories catalogs do not include this precious equipment….

In these chilly conditions, the wind shift of the German asserts its protection slightly higher than that of the Triumph, surprisingly efficient despite its rikiki format. The shoulders and most of the helmet, however, remain exposed on one as on the other, but it is still better than on the Ducati, which does not preserve much! We console ourselves with the heat release of its twin, pleasant in autumn, much less in summer…

Thanks to its raised handlebars and curved ends towards the rider as well as its very comfortable saddle, the BMW offers the most relaxed position, slightly to the rear. Its smooth and progressive clutch, its remarkable mechanical availability for a twin cylinder and its short turning diameter (5.68 m measured) are all everyday assets. If it wants to be more muscular in 2015, the R1200R remains very civilized.

Less welcoming, the Ducati and the Triumph confirm their palpable sporting temperament when stationary. Without being radical, the Speed ​​Triple is the most demanding of the three. Its high perched saddle lacks padding and widens unpleasantly at the base of the tank, its footrests are the furthest back and its handlebars are the lowest, in addition to being quite narrow for a roadster (74 cm against 81 for the BMW and a whopping 94 cm for the Ducati).

Very bearable in everyday life – it’s not a Superbike, either! – its ergonomic constraints obviously do not favor the English in town, where the posture carried on the front puts more strain on the wrists. And it is not its bad turning diameter (6.26 m measured), its firm clutch lever and its lack of warning – the only one of the three – that helps matters !

However, the Speed ​​Triple remains evident thanks to its excellent overall balance, which conceals its fairly high center of gravity. Induced by its engine architecture less compact on a vertical plane than the L-twin Ducati and especially the BMW Boxer, this characteristic mainly serves it during maneuvers with the engine off, where it seems the heaviest. With 212 kg all full, against 209 kg for the Ducati and 231 kg for the BMW, this is not the case..

But the Speed ​​is also – and above all – incredibly full and tasty mechanics, moreover well supported by a pleasant selection. The gear changes are much faster and more discreet than with the BMW, but also less rough than with the Ducati. Cold, the Italian’s neutral point is also sometimes infernal to find !

Usually very pleasant to use, the optional Pro shifter mounted on the R1200R was here surprisingly devious and not very responsive, requiring a good kick to go up as to lower a gear without disengaging. So much so that MNC quickly did without his services…

Devoid of shifter, even by picking in the options (like the Ducati), the 3-cylinder Triumph does not regret this shortcoming as it combines elasticity and availability. It pushes smoothly from idle even on the last gears, when the Ducati twin bumps under 2500 rpm and the BMW "Fleet-Twin" reluctantly resumes at 2000 rpm.

Perfectly controlled by a cable accelerator with more transparent operation than the BMW and Ducati ride-by-wire, the Triumph engine is also free of vibrations. Prone to thrills in the handlebars from 5000 rpm, the R1200R cannot say the same, as does the Monster 1200S which tickles the rear end and hands..

Thanks to its accessible saddle – 785 mm in low position against 790 for the BMW and 825 for the Triumph -, the Ducati reserves a surprisingly correct reception, coupled with a comfort of seat never reached on a "Mostro". If its saddle was not cup-shaped, it would be on par in terms of amenity with that of the R1200R. Kind of compliments !

In terms of ergonomics, a narrower handlebars would be welcome – practically a meter at the end of the handles: little arms should be avoided! – just like a rearrangement of the space dedicated to the right leg. The heel rests on the mufflers and abuts in the passenger footrest, while the calf comes into contact with the perforated cover covering the exhaust of the rear cylinder. To review.

Make way for sport !

Incredibly vigorous at low revs, the R1200R’s flat twin dictates its law with each boost in sixth gear between 80 and 110 km / h. The performance is all the more admirable since around twenty kilos separate the BMW from the Ducati and the Triumph! There is the "Flat à papa" !

Preceded by its characteristic roar – much more melodious than before – the Boxer has a very pleasant reserve of torque. Until mid-revs, neither the Ducati twin, nor the Triumph 3-legged make it hunker down: the Monster 1200S and the Speed ​​Triple remain in contact, but neither goes past. The punch enjoyed by the "R12R" between 3500 and 7000 rpm is simply bluffing !

In the laps, however, his breath gradually weakens as his rivals let go of the bridle of their last horses. And they are not the most lazy! Thanks to their extension and their additional explosiveness, the Ducati and the Triumph start a mano a mano, of which the Monster comes out winner by a short head. Expressive as hell, the revving of the "red mill" works in stages, at the origin of its strong character..

The Testastretta pulls hard between 3500 and 6000 rpm, then pulls its arms out with staggering energy. The appetite of this twin with double ignition – two spark plugs per cylinder – for high revs is as surprising as it is exhilarating! And what a sound: rumbling, almost intimidating, it tears the air as surely as the eardrums of your neighbors. It’s strong, very strong! Sometimes too much, especially in the city center…

With a soundtrack as rocky as a blues singer worn on whiskey, the Speed ​​Triple crackles deliciously with every gas cut. Of the three motorcycles, the English has the most seductive of sounds, close to that of an old faked sports car. What a pity that the whistling coming from its cast spoils the fun a little…

Despite its displacement deficit of some 120 cc on the BMW and 148.4 cc on the Ducati (the equivalent of a small motorcycle!), The "Triple" easily bears comparison. Full as an egg, it provides stimuli that are as lively as they are muscular, whose strength and intensity hardly weaken until the ignition is broken..

Her downsides ? A certain form of linearity in its taking of revs, the reverse of its optimized filling from idle to 10,000 rpm. It lacks that additional touch of "pep", present at mid-speed on the BMW and in the turns on the Ducati. The addition of a "Sport" injection map would be appropriate for us to boost the charisma of this exceptional engine….

In the winding, on the other hand, the Englishwoman has no lessons to receive from either the German or the Italian! Excellent braking machine, from the front as from the rear, the Speed ​​is the most obvious to place and its dynamic behavior does not suffer from any defect. Intuitive and precise, it displays rigor and precision far superior to its rivals of the day..

The Speed ​​ferrule like a joke

Admittedly, its suspension setting is the firmest of the three, but it is also the best balanced: its trim movements are perfectly controlled and it maintains its line in the bumpy, which is not always the case with the BMW and Ducati … It is up to the pilot to put up with a fatally drier absorption in the wrinkled parts !

We just regret the lack of traction control, not superfluous in these autumn conditions despite its excellent traction. This is because with all this torque available very early, a "comma" quickly arrived on fat-wet! Equipped as standard with this "electronic crutch", the R1200R and the Monster 1200S immediately provide more serenity when going around – big – gas.

The action of the Ducati anti-skating is reactive and ultra-progressive, ideal for tackling soggy or leaf-strewn virolos without stressing or dragging yourself. The BMW’s traction control (standard ASC, DTC with optional tilt sensors) is not as fine in its entry into action, and regulates the arrival of power in a smoother way.

In the winding, the R1200R requires a higher effort to release as to hold its trajectory: it is the most clumsy of the trio. Its extra pounds are not unrelated to it, as are its generous 27.7 ° caster angle and its wheelbase of 1515 mm (24.3 ° and 1511 mm for the Ducati and 22.8 ° and 1435 for the Triumph ). Thanks to their "sport" type ergonomics, its opponents also offer a more direct link with their front axle, a guarantee of additional precision..

But it is especially the suspensions of the "Behème" which fish in fast driving, in particular its fork which plunges much too strongly. And since it is not adjustable as standard … The rear offers much better support, but could offer more sensitivity on small shocks for the benefit of comfort. In short, the front-to-rear cohesion could be improved and the compromise unsatisfactory..

Despite its radial calipers at the front, the braking of the BMW does not have an exceptional bite, a feeling reinforced by the inconsistency of the lever on the first third of its stroke. We are far from the immediate respondent of the stylish Ducati calipers, the most incisive and precise of this comparison! The power then flows with a satisfactory force, coupled with a sensitive action on the rear. Almost too much, by the way…

Equipped with coupled braking (standard: yes, yes!), The R1200R activates its rear caliper each time the front is pressed. Usually transparent – or almost – this device dear to BMW has the advantage of distributing the braking forces, while "seating" the rear to contain the inevitable tilting of the attitude towards the front..

But on this new generation of "R12R", this transfer towards the rear appears over-dosed, as if the Munich engineers had forced the line to compensate for the absence of the Telelever and its formidable anti-dive effect … On the other hand, offers an ABS with flawless operation, on par with the very powerful system of the Ducati.

Easy to place and responsive to the slightest request, the Monster 1200S reveals enormous potential, driven by excellent agility and imperial stability … on smooth asphalt. But before enjoying it, you must first take the measure of its front axle: falling at very low speed, it is above all quite nervous, especially on bumpy..

Tightening the thighs, moving the bust and staying light on the steering are all imperatives specific to the Ducati. Especially since the 20 kg (!) Taken compared to the old one involves an inertia which must be taken into account. Mobility and coordination are essential to achieve pure efficiency, to the detriment of ease and improvisation. The naturalness of the Triumph makes a big difference at this point…

In the successions of curves, the Italian "Monster" thus proves to be demanding, even uncompromising. In return, being able to tame him is particularly rewarding, especially as his big voice reinforces the immersion in a sporting environment! But obviously, dawdling in the wind on the secondary is – still – not his thing. Quite the opposite of the BMW in short, never temperamental and always accommodating, even when the asphalt crumbles.

On this S version of the Monster 1200, the Ohlins suspensions nevertheless benefit from greater progressivity than that of the Kayaba (at the front) and Sachs (at the rear) elements installed on the "Mostro 1200". But the comfort gained – especially at the rear, very correct – is not enough to smooth its dry reactions, sources of movements sometimes quite lively that amplify its excessively rigid frame..

It is as if this frame made up of two separate parts – connected in the center by the carrier engine – was devoid of any flexibility. However, without a minimum of deformation, especially in curves, the rest of the chassis cannot work correctly. As efficient and prestigious as the suspensions installed on the motorcycle are…

Verdict: the Speed ​​is the most complete of the BCBG !

In the end, the Speed ​​Triple wins – quite easily – the title of best "BCBG" roadsters thanks to a flattering presentation, in line with its excellent dynamic behavior. The Triumph keeps all the promises made by its look and sporty peripherals, with a touch of "So British" class in addition.

Certainly, the weight of the years is felt, especially in terms of ergonomics and "High tech" equipment. A few kg less, a little better distributed, would surely make it younger. And an additional ladle of character would sublimate its brilliant engine: configurable maps, including a "Sport" oriented, and voila! Equipment to be integrated into the next version, expected soon.

Another excellent point to the advantage of the Triumph: its extremely well placed price of € 11,790 (ABS included) in standard version as for this anniversary model "94". Priced at € 17,250, the Monster 1200S Stripe asks for some € 5,460 extra to get back to its – very wide – handlebars !

A difference that is difficult to justify (that’s almost the price of an ER-6n or an MT-07!), Even taking into account its superb parts and more recent design. Still, the Italian gives off an indisputable aura, that its engine runs hell and that its very high-end peripherals give it a sacred "road feel" on a nickel asphalt. When this is not the case, however…

Third and last of this MNC comparison, the new BMW R1200R brings up the rear without demerit … But without really shining, either. The fault, among other things, in its positioning difficult to define: less versatile than before, the BMW is however not as dynamic as expected with regard to its toned lines and its sporting peripherals..

His penchant for sportiness is in fact more suggested than really developed, especially in this white and red color that is all in all quite deceptive about his real temperament. Especially since if the "Twin Fleet" badly boosts its performance, it leads to a significant increase in volumes (+ 8 kg and + 20 mm wheelbase). Not easy, under these conditions, to sharpen its sporting pretensions…

Add to that rather disappointing original suspensions without their "expensive" option of electronic ESA adjustments – especially at the level of the non-adjustable fork – and you get a motorcycle between two kinds, with a little blurred sights despite proven road qualities..

Finally, at 13,550 € the base price (15,350 € on this "Sport" model with options used here: read box at the top right), the BMW roadster is also exposed to tough "internal" competition, materialized by a less consensual and more fun R nineT (€ 15,400) and an ultra-high-performance S1000R at the cutting edge of technology (€ 13,500). One wonders if, ultimately, the abandonment of the Telelever was a good idea: keeping it would have distinguished this quasi-institutional motorcycle from the propeller brand….

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