Table of contents
Everything done right, “says tester Karsten Schwers, relieved to say, when things are going well at the Alpine Masters. For the tenth time, MOTORRAD is working with several European partner magazines to determine the King of the Alps from 20 models.
Karsten Schwers (42), chief tester.
Gert Thole (58), inventor of the Alpine Masters and test chief. (Ver) doubts only when he twisted his knee properly in motocross.
Thomas Schmieder (47), test editor. Frequent travelers and women who understand women, even if they are quietly doubtful. Leaning towards tourers, because a passenger likes to climb on them.
Sven Loll (40), test driver, photo model, instructor, always on the go. Only doubts his career choice if the internet connection doesn’t work.
Rainer Froberg (50), fleet manager and test driver. Keeps calm, overview and humor even if the situation in the test operation seems desperate.
Sebastian Schmidt (33), test driver and always ready for anything. As the youngest of the test crew, he is largely immune to any kind of doubt.
From the Italian partner magazine “INMOTO”: Andrea Toumaniantz (50), IT expert and motorcycle tester. When in doubt, always opt for the lighter bike.
From the Croatian “MOTOREVIJA”: Kristijan Tičak (40), editor-in-chief. As a car and motorcycle tester, I will at some point despair of time management.
From the Spanish “MOTOCICLISMO”: Oscar Pena (41), test editor, ex-Supersport driver. Only for the second time in the Alps, she continues to look at it with slight doubt.
The 20 motorcycles compete against each other in five groups that are as homogeneous as possible; the first-placed move into the final. There, for once, the test crew throws their objectivity overboard: The experienced testers from home and abroad are allowed to create their own personal ranking lists. The motorbike that receives the most votes will be the Alpenkonig – and it will also do everything right.
And here our MOTORRAD test crew. Eva Breutel (53), Italy correspondent. Every now and then doubts whether mature women are still allowed to ride motorcycles. But then do it with enthusiasm.
The Pordoi is one of the most spectacular alpine passes ever. In a flowing curve dance, 60 hairpin bends are lined up on the east and west ramps – uncompromising, demanding and simply ingenious.
Every year, it is the tricky task of test boss Gert Thole and his crew, the 20 motorcycles
put together for the Alpine Masters. This is tricky because the testers cannot choose according to their mood, because only brand new and revised models and motorcycles that have never had to prove themselves in this mega comparison are eligible to compete.
In the category “Beginner” the Honda NC 750 X, Moto Guzzi V7 Special, Yamaha MT-07 and the Yamaha XV 950 compete against each other.
Up and down, gladly again and again – and particularly gladly on the Pordoi: altitude profile of the test track.
Instead of the well-known Sella circuit, there is an even more varied Ladin circuit: for exactly 100 kilometers, the test route leads largely through the Ladin area, a small ethnic minority in the Dolomites. The starting point is the hotel “La Cacciatora” in Canazei in Trentino.
The gentle curves up to the Fedaia pass are used for entering. The lake of the same name looks breathtaking together with the Marmolada glacier; But you shouldn’t be too distracted, because after the top of the pass it goes steeply downhill in often slippery hairpin bends.
Behind this meander is the first measuring section with a 15 percent incline (draft) or incline (braking).
After a short stretch of valley behind Sottoguda, a narrow lane with unlit tunnels winds towards the Falzarego Pass.
At the subsequent Passo di Valparola with its grandiose, the measuring point for the passage is at an altitude of 2000 meters.
The varied descent ends in a long straight in the San Cassiano valley and then rushes via La Villa to Corvara, where a wintry mudslide had severely damaged the surface.
The rather inconspicuous Passo di Campolongo is mainly used to get to the Pordoi.
The Moto Guzzi V7 Special landed in 3rd place. The Italian has a powerful engine with an inimitable sound. Unfortunately it is without ABS.
4th place is occupied by the Yamaha XV 950. It has a large-volume engine and good responsiveness. However, it touches down very early on the right.
Here are the performance curves of the individual bikes.
The Honda NC 750 X is simply completely suitable for everyday use and was able to convince in the Alpine Masters.
The 2nd place goes to the Yamaha MT-07. It is strong in torque and acceleration, but its chassis is not at the same level as the engine.
The Honda NC 750 X took first place and was therefore further ahead. It impressed with its decent chassis and scored points with the lowest consumption in the entire Alpine Masters. The mixed pull rates were a disadvantage.
The Honda NC 750 X, Moto Guzzi V7 Special, Yamaha MT-07 and the Yamaha XV 950 compete against each other. It was an exciting alpine competition with surprising results.
Finally a real mountain goat: Tester Karsten Schwers tries all the tricks to elicit her chassis secrets.
Map study at the impressive Fedaia reservoir under the Marmolada glacier.
Behind the scenes of the alpine competition: coffee break with heart and key collection.
category “Beginner”: The Alps are calling, and the twins hurry up: four two-cylinder units with very different concepts are vying for the crown in the smallest class, from cruisers to classic and naked bikes to all-rounders.
The Honda NC 750 X wins with more comfort and better chassis.
Sports & scene
Alpen-Masters 2014 This is how MOTORRAD tests
Alpine Masters 2014
This is how MOTORRAD tests
Special conditions require special measures: In the context of the Alpine Master, MOTORRAD determines data and measured values that are adapted to the conditions in the Alpine environment. And this is how we test:
Gert Thole, Eva Breutel
Even experienced testers are often surprised: It’s just something different to ride a motorcycle in the Alps. Some machines behave completely unexpectedly there: some better, others worse than in normal tests. The Alps act like a filter that pinpoints every weak point. With power alone, weaknesses cannot be concealed here, because in the mountains it’s not about speed. Instead, around bends and bends, inclines and declines, tourist driving with a passenger and high payload. For this reason, MOTORRAD has developed a number of measuring methods that meet these difficult conditions.
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Alpine Masters 2014
This is how MOTORRAD tests
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For example, pulling through a hairpin on an incline in second gear with a full load is simulated. And there is a draft measurement in the last gear at high altitude to include the influence of thin air. Before heading to the Alps, however, there is a long test day on the MOTORRAD test site in Neuhausen ob Eck. There all machines in the pillion rider have to master a slalom course.
The additional load places particularly high demands on engines and chassis. The suspension reserves play a special role here. A few laps in the circular path provide further information about steering behavior, cornering stability and lean angle.
The direct data comparison in the table.
When comparing the data in the table, it is noticeable that the strong power bikes are generally faster than the beginner machines. As expected, the Yamaha XV 950 sports cruiser brings up the rear, especially since the frame touches down in an inclined position. The entry-level bikes should generally have more lean angle, when loaded they hang low on the ropes because of their soft suspension settings. The Yamaha MT-07 comes with the best values of this group, the casual driving Honda NC 750 X remains on its heels.
In contrast, the razor-sharp, steerable BMW S 1000 R sets the standard on the course. A small handicap with the sporty nakeds from Aprilia, BMW and KTM is that the pillion has a strong influence on the driving dynamics due to the high seating position. Aprilia and BMW can compensate for this with firm suspension, the KTM Super Duke R is a little more impressed, does wheelies quickly between the pylons and wants to be forced around them with more steering force. The passenger sits most comfortably on the Ducati Monster 1200, but the soft rear spring allows a lot of movement at the rear.
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