All Comparisons – S1000R, Monster 1200, Superduke R and Z1000: Fantastic Four! – Superheroes you can meet on a daily basis?

S1000R, Monster 1200, Superduke R and Z1000: Fantastic Four !

All Comparisons - S1000R, Monster 1200, Superduke R and Z1000: Fantastic Four! - Superheroes you can meet on a daily basis?

In 2014, the BMW S1000R, the Ducati Monster 1200 and the KTM 1290 Superduke R simultaneously attack the hegemonic and new Kawasaki Z1000! Which of these four fantastic bikes will emerge victorious from this fight ? Site counts points…

Super heroes you can meet on a daily basis ?

The Kawasaki automatically takes the lead in the fast lane. But more than the unstoppable resumptions of the Japanese 4-cylinder on the last report (read the previous episode: Roadsters attacking small roads), it is the discomfort to which his driver is exposed which naturally places him in front….

Indeed, the "Zediste" swarms with impatience at the idea of ​​leaving the highway, literally, because from 90 km / h (4000 rpm approximately) the Kawasaki sizzles on all sides. While on the road the vibrations of the saddle, the tank and the handlebars could go unnoticed, they become frankly irritating at a brisk and constant pace..

Certainly, the thresholds of resistance to this Japanese torture vary from one individual to another and some bikers will not complain about this inconvenience. Still, in comparison, the BMW is much less boring since only the micro-vibrations of the levers – and low temperatures – can end up numbing the fingertips at 120-130 km / h.

The palms of the hands stay warm whatever the conditions thanks to the optional heated grips … and the driver’s license should, in principle, stay warm in the inside pocket of the jacket thanks to the cruise control also available as an option.

Despite a saddle a little more padded than that of the Z1000 – which is not "hard" to do! -, the S1000R also ends up tiring the rear end. Too bad, because without that the "Torch" would have smoked "Mr not so Fantastic that" and her friends…

The softest seat is clearly on the Monster 1200. But overall, the most enduring roadster is the 1290 Superduke R: not only is it devoid of any vibration, but Katoche’s "Thing" offers a driving position. more … sympatoche.

What pleases above all about the KTM is the fact that it is suitable for all physiognomies. Ideal for adults, its ergonomics are not destabilizing for the little ones. Unlike its off-road cousins, this Orange – blood! – is not incompatible with the shorter legs because its saddle height is reasonable (835 mm).

The "Kiska-style" sheared tank is particularly flared, which allows the machine to be fully enclosed. Very wide in its upper part, it almost gives the impression of climbing "in" the motorcycle. Also well cut, the saddle offers good comfort and excellent "wedging". Finally, we note that the spacing of the pedals lugs is adjustable.

The Ducati, on the other hand, is much less suitable for tall people (over 1.75m): the knees hit against the tank while the right calf sticks to the pot, the protection of which perhaps prevents serious burns but does not have the power to dissipate heat !

We also regret that the beautiful Italian makes the buttocks warm, because of its rear cylinder: bearable – even welcome – in winter, this heat will quickly become heavy in summer. Finally, whatever the season and the size of the pilot, it is not certain that the position "legs folded and arms spread" pleases ….

The Z1000 rolls mechanics

The attitudes on the Z1000 and S1000R are close and much more in line than the Monster with what a majority of roadster users appreciate: the bust tilted a little forward, the handlebars not too far apart and the legs un hint removed … Of course, the knees are a little more apart on the BMW, but it’s still acceptable.

Strangely enough, with the engine off, the Superduke R seems the easiest to move. Higher than the others, we expect to have to force a little more than with the Ducati in particular, but the contained weight of the KTM (211 kg) leaves the biker everything.

Conversely, the "Zed" and its low-asphalt front end ultimately require more effort than expected. The technical sheets confirm this feeling once again: the Kawasaki (221 kg with ABS) weighs 12 kg more than the Ducati and 14 more than the BMW..

Once the engines are started, however, "Mr Fantastic" seems a lot more agile than the "Torch": the lack of a steering damper probably helps the Z1000 to appear more maneuverable than the S1000R at low speed. Adjusted less firm than on the BMW, the shock absorbers of the Monster and Superduke go unnoticed.

In town, the L-twin (therefore Italian) is more flexible than the 75 ° V-twin (Austrian). Too bad the Ducati’s clutch control is so stiff that it becomes weary over time, and even quite quickly in traffic jams. Must we necessarily suffer to be beautiful ?!

We also fight on the handlebars of the BMW Streetfighter, but this time against the turning radius far too large to maneuver effectively. Because of him, we park in 20 times, 30 movements and we find ourselves more quickly stuck between the cars. We border on "burn-out" even before arriving at the office! On this point, the Superduke R is unbeatable (see the turning diameters in our Practical aspects and equipment sheet).

Like any good self-respecting 4-cylinder, however, that of the S1000R offers remarkable driving pleasure, far superior to that of the twin cylinders at very low speed. But the Z1000 offers the same smoothness, with the added bonus of a smoother gearbox !

If the shifter (optional) does its little effect in front of friends and even simplifies the life of the pilot during his urban trips, it can not reduce the harshness of its selector. This may irritate Behemian drivers on a daily basis…

Fortunately, on the KTM, gear changes are done quickly and effortlessly. This good point is important because it makes it possible to counterbalance a worse one: the need to continuously play the box in agglomeration.

Indeed, the LC8 agrees to roll peacefully at 50 km / h on third gear at 2750 rpm, but its pilot must not rush it, otherwise the mill will stop running smoothly. On the three upper gears, the minimum speed is 3000 rpm: three times higher than on the 4-legged !

The Testastretta 11 ° is more civilized since its Monster 1200 is capable of cruising on the Paris ring road (at 70 km / h and not 80!) In sixth gear. An exercise that the Superduke R categorically refuses, which required two reports.

The Monster 1200 catches the eye and the ears

More "urban", the Ducati is not, however, free from flaws. It is rough at the level of the controls – levers and pedals – and its throttle is the least obvious to use: the engine does not react on the very first degrees of opening and then suddenly roars..

The Italian also gave us the jitters by falling several times on false dead spots. Touching the selector with the tip of the boot is not enough on this bike, it is necessary to amplify the movement at the level of the left ankle !

In addition to the surprise of the driver suddenly deprived of traction, the gas blasts in the vacuum made some passers-by jump and certainly frightened the surrounding motorists … In the city, moreover, we prefer to parade at the controls of the Z1000.

Less polluting in terms of noise, "Mr Fantastic" has a muffled tone which allows it to blend in with the traffic and, if necessary, to impress without frightening … As for the BMW "Torch", it spits a little too much decibels and hardly go unnoticed.

Ditto for the "Thing" of KTM, whose pots slam as loud as that of the Behème, a little less therefore than those of the Ducat ‘. We observe that the Superduke R may worry some bikers by its small mechanical noises. Others will adapt to it perfectly, claiming that "it’s his little side" Ready to Race ".

No worries about fuel consumption either, since the mechanics of the Orange are the most sober: on all of our driving, the Katoche and its "fat thirteen-cents" have not burned. on average only 5.9 l / 100km, which in these conditions brings the maximum range to 293 km.

Paradoxically still, it is the voluble Ducati which then pumped the least: 6.1 l / 100 km, i.e. a range of 287 km identical to that of the Kawasaki (286 km, according to the calculations of MNC engineers) which has the largest tank (18 liters) and consumes an average of 6.3 l / 100km.

Last of this ranking, the BMW and its 4-cylinder Superbike have soared on average on this test 6.6 liters per 100 kilometers, thus limiting their theoretical maximum autonomy to 265 km. Twin cylinders that pull long are finally good !

Last round

On the other hand, the S1000R imposes itself on a practical level: all that is missing in the information shown on its dashboard, for example, is the air temperature. The commodos, small but well placed – except for the warning, hard to fit everything! – give a nasty look to those of the Z1000.

Big and of a faded color – on a new yet stiff model – the controls on the handlebars of the Kawasaki do not allow you to scroll through the information on the board. To do this, you have to resort to the two tiny buttons next to the LCD screen, which is a little too original for MNC taste … and without a gear indicator..

Essential, the speed is fortunately perfectly readable on the Kawa. However, this is not always the case on the magnificent slab of the Monster 1200: when the sun beats down on your back, you simply cannot see anything anymore, information that varies according to the driving mode adopted..

In the half-light of his garage, on the other hand, the Ducatiste can show off by scrolling through the multitude of information, displayed in color. per favore ! With a little luck, his friends will not even notice that the gear indicator is missing, as on the Kawa…

In contrast to Ducati’s "sometimes invisible" high-tech dashboard tablet, the KTM digital analogue handset is basic, just like its associated keypad which is on the left stalk. Too bad, because with a slightly more stylish set – as stylish as its headlight! -, the Katoche could have equaled the Behème.

The Austrian should also make an effort in terms of finishing: her engine, above all, is too "rough stripped" and is like a gas plant … or rather cables and hoses! At the same time, we appreciate the attention paid to the pilot.

It should be noted that small transparent rubber patches ensure better holding of the tank, that angled valves prevent the gloves from getting dirty and that a storage space under the passenger seat can accommodate a disc lock. It’s not huge, but it’s better than nothing … so better than the three competitors !

Finally, some will criticize KTM for offering the 1290 Superduke R in a single color: orange and "flashy" white, harder to wear than the color, also unique, of Ducati (red, what else?). For their part, BMW and Kawasaki offer more.

Note that if Kawa offers a choice of black or orange, it also offers a special gray and green version, adorned with green rim edging and matching passenger seat, fork and golden calipers. The bill then goes up by 200 euros.

Akashi’s firm has worked better than that of Mattighofen in terms of finish: engine casings worked, injection camouflaged on the left – but not on the right, too bad! -, polished pot outlet, eccentric to adjust the chain tension, smoked liquid jars, "Kawasaki" logos on the calipers and small "Z" on the saddle.

Small hiccups with the mirrors – with nice split brackets: the rubber covers are a bit short and the field of vision is not optimal. With the mirrors in abutment downwards, we would have liked to pivot the fixing of the mirrors, but that would have raised the (dependent) levers already a little high….

The S1000R may present itself as a "decarenated" S1000RR, there are still quite a few plastic parts on it, not always perfectly arranged. As long as we do, and to underline the sports DNA – very sensitive in dynamics! -, the BMW could have benefited from some carbon or "imitation" touches, no ?

Finally, the one that we never tire of admiring is the Monster 1200 whose quality is remarkable, especially compared to its closest rival in technical terms, the KTM. The integration of the big L-Twin in the tiny tubular steel trellis, in particular, is much better.

There are a few wires lying around, behind the brake pedal in particular, and rubber covers whose position could have been optimized, but these have the merit of covering most of the connections and pipes present on the Testastretta. Special mention to the brushed aluminum scoops of the upper radiator … but red card for the lower, very exposed to shocks !

Verdict: the "Thing" is essential

As sturdy as it is agile, as impressive as it is benevolent, the 1290 Superduke R wins this MNC maxi roadster comparison! The most lively member of the "Fantastic Four", it is also the most livable, on the sole condition of not turning its big engine too slowly..

The price of the KTM "Thing" is the highest of all, but its level of equipment allows to legitimize it in large part. As for the pleasure experienced on the handlebars, it will easily justify the rest. Two regrets only, which concern its engine: its finish is passable and the restraint in France castrates it too much…

Difficult then for Site to decide between "Mr Fantastic" Kawasaki and the Torch "BMW" … Thanks to their 4-cylinders, these machines lend themselves quite well to the daily grind and allow to put – very big – gas the weekend.

MNC readers will decide more easily, according to their tastes and their budget! On the one hand, the Z1000 with the look "have you seen and respected me", its impressive times, its deep sound and its mini price in the category, but its saddle and its dry suspensions, its vibrations at mid-speed, its optional ABS and uncontrolled traction.

On the other hand, the S1000R with a fiery temperament, its sporty cycle part and its ultra-complete accessory packs, but its heavier front axle, its sporty turning radius (also, suddenly!), Its price extensions. and its louder exhaust.

Very good last, the "Visible" Ducati wins all the votes in the beauty contest. It also seduces thanks to its advanced electronics and its voluntary engine, less handicapped by the law of "without horses". However, his nervous front end, his rather disappointing brakes, his singular driving position and the din of his pots cost him the podium..

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