Autumn exit 2007
Further to cloudy
Somewhere in the southeastern Dolomites there is supposed to be a legendary pass that overshadows everything that has been seen and driven so far ?? an ideal destination for the traditional autumn ride on the editors’ endurance test motorcycles.
Years ago, a tour guide in the editorial office spread the rumor about a fabulous Dolomite pass: “Incredibly difficult to drive, crazy combinations of turns, fantastic landscape.
There are MOTORRAD endurance test machines that should prove themselves on this year’s autumn ride: the Ducati 1098, probably currently the hottest super sports car from Italy, and the Yamaha YZF-R1, with its electronically controlled, variable intake trumpets, a technological flagship from Japan. The perfect counterpoint to the high-speed ensemble: Harley-Davidsons Road King. The 1250 bandit from Suzuki, the lively KTM 690 Supermoto and the Vespa GTS 250 scooter round off the test sextet in all directions, it couldn’t be more colorful. After all, MOTORRAD wants to thoroughly scrutinize the entire range of two-wheelers and continuously check whether the technology and workmanship not only prove themselves in everyday life, but also convince over longer distances. Low-displacement two-wheelers like that Vespa have to cover 25,000 kilometers, more powerful bikes double that, in exceptional cases even 100,000 kilometers. The faces of the six drivers reflect anticipation. Despite the adverse weather forecast, because rain is forecast for the following days. Deep Faysal is said to have pumped itself up over the Mediterranean Sea and pulling from the south over the Alps northwards. The first 200 kilometers are unwound on the motorway. The scooter sets the pace: 130 km / h. According to the tachometer, that’s 9000 tours. 145 km / h would be possible according to the speedometer. A measurement showed that it is a real 123 km / h without a windshield. However, there is an interesting entry on the topic of top speed in the Vespa logbook:
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Autumn exit 2007
Further to cloudy
Companions: Ducati 1098, KTM 690 Supermoto, Suzuki Bandit 1250 S, Harley-Davidson Road King, Yamaha YZF-R1 and Vespa GTS 250 I.E. SECTION.
»Windshield mounted ?? the scooter is now 10 km / h faster. ”That is surprising. Of course, the Wasp didn’t just cover its kilometers in full throttle. It is economical at any speed: on the motorway section it is content with just 3.2 liters per 100 kilometers ?? around two less than the rest of the troop. Pardon: The KTM Supermoto is also holding back with 4.3 liters. Four hours later:
The test team has long since left the autobahn and crossed the Fernpass, the rain is a memory. Lukas, the KTM driver, complains about the angular and extremely hard sports seat and the slight vibrations of the single cylinder. Rainer ponders the Harley’s windshield and is certain: Without a windshield, i.e. with a laminar flow of airstream, the cruiser is not only quieter, you can also see better. Thomas praises the comfort and relatively good wind protection of his Bandit S, but complains about the strong cranking of the handlebars. In “Jeff ?? s Alpengrill” the team strengthens themselves with hamburgers, the remains of which would be enough for an opulent evening meal. Rain clouds threaten, it’s getting colder, the recurring question about the ominous pass is justified: Continue driving and get wet or a ruler on the map and a beach holiday on the Mediterranean? The team decides on the curves on the mountain. The first thing to do is to cross the Timmelsjoch.
But as soon as you approach it, the Vespa draws attention to itself with strange noises from the rear of the bike. Abrasive, more precisely. They come and go. Sometimes more intense, sometimes barely audible. They do not affect performance. It’s the inclines of twelve percent, the height of around 2600 meters that demand everything from the scooter. While the rest of the group swings leisurely towards the summit, the Vespa fights its way. Thanks to the injection that has been used for a long time in connection with various electronic helpers, the bikes do not lose as much power at these heights and respond better to gas commands than was usual in carburettor times. Ultimately, the Vespa is also on the summit. Wafts of mist waft, clouds clench. It’s going down. Here, in the hairpin bends, the Ducati 1098 has a serious problem for the first time. Entries about the inharmonious suspension setup can already be found in the logbook. The Duc is too soft at the front and too hard at the back. Downhill she becomes downright stubborn. Driver Georg staggers through the bends, nothing wants to succeed for him. He neither hits the targeted line nor can he trust the front wheel. The R1 is also noticeable: its braking system looks rather dull compared to the ones on the first test machines, it requires a lot of manual force.
Clouds of mist surround the endurance test motorcycles and their pilots.
This is still acceptable in everyday use, but race track freaks miss the bite. However, the dosage is perfect. Suddenly it starts to drizzle. Great, because the south side of the Jaufenpass is peppered with tight hairpin bends and changing surface including excessive messing about with bitumen strips. Thomas on the bandit curses: His rear tire, driven slightly angularly through a long stretch of the motorway and now around 7000 kilometers old, thwarted the choice of line. The bandit drives very wobbly and imprecisely. In the logbook there are indications that the 1250 is sensitive to tire wear and does not particularly like the mounted Michelin anyway. Matthias on the R1 doesn’t feel comfortable either. The freshly drawn Avon AV 60 and 59 are extremely handy and neutral. But the rear wheel does not find satisfactory grip when wet? the English tires provide little feedback. It hits Rainer even harder with the Harley. The Dunlop D 402 should actually be provided with a sun symbol at the factory.
One of the parties: the KTM 690 Supermoto.
Its rubber compound already reacts to a few drops with greatly reduced grip; in heavy rain the rear wheel only slips. The KTM behaves most casually under these conditions. Surprisingly followed by the Vespa, whose Pirelli GTS 24/23 tires are impressive. But the noises get louder and a visit to the workshop is inevitable. That should be done the next morning. The team stayed in Sterzing, Tyrol. The next day the mountain tops are white.
Snow line 900 meters, they say. It’s good that you crossed the 2094 meter high Jaufenpass the evening before. Again the legitimate question: swim trunks on and off to the south or stay on the trail of the sensational pass? No question … The scooter squeaks its way through the continuous rain as far as Brixen in the workshop of master Karl Gasser. A mechanic routinely dismantled the drive and stated succinctly: drive belt at the end, wheel bearing completely defective. Due to the triple bearings of the rear wheel, this cannot be determined by jerking the rear wheel when installed. While the spare parts are being brought in from Bolzano, 50 kilometers away, the test crew briefly checks the bikes. Noticeable: the drive chains of the machines run almost unprotected, the rear wheels throw dirt and moisture directly on them. Ten years ago this was often better solved.
September in the Dolomites: snowball fight and fun on the Passo Ciampigotto.
A design problem? With the Ducati 1098 there is also: Oil can only be refilled after loosening the panel or with an 80 centimeter long funnel. Maybe practitioners and not designers should have the last word again … At around 2 p.m. the Vespa is up and running. Further east. The cloud cover tears open, 18 degrees, the sun peeks through here and there. Six machines sneak from Brixen on the E 68 towards Toblach: Bikers nightmare ?? Overtaking is less advisable, because you haven’t skimp on color here: the solid line is only very rarely interrupted. The route is the only connection to Lienz that is heavily frequented by trucks and mobile homes ?? Strolling is the order of the day, patience is required. The twitching on a super sports car is not very edifying. The fat Ducati-V2 rumbles under 3000 rpm? The smoothness is only satisfactory above 4000 rpm. At a speed of around 70 km / h, Georg constantly changes between second and third gear. And still not find the right one. R1 driver Matthias is better off, because although the 1000 series is longer than the Duc in the first gears, it is possible to drive through town without a hitch even in the sixth.
The four-cylinder does not jerk, always runs silky smooth and reacts sensitively to gas commands. Incidentally, Matthias doesn’t mind at all that the Yamaha only really starts a fire from 5000 rpm. In the logbook, however, there is an entry from a colleague on this topic who is particularly bothered by this fact: “Nothing works below 4000 rpm. Overtaking with the wrist is out of the question. You have to change gear all the time. «The KTM engine is also annoyed by the slow pace? below 3500 rpm the single cylinder chops and whips the chain. Only the Harley, Suzuki and Vespa riders sneak completely relaxed. That means it is over at the foot of the Kreuzberg Pass. Pouring rain, low hanging clouds ?? the famous “Drei Zinnen” rock formation cannot even be made out in the shadow. The test team pokes over the pass to Santo Stefano di Cadore. Tomorrow, everyone thinks, is the big day. After all, the absolute insider tip is now practically on the doorstep: Passo Lavardet. In addition, the weather report promises a brief calm. A promise that will not be kept. On the morning of the third day of driving, it rains ropes. Even the legendary pass does not want to reveal its secret: a landslide has spilled the approach, construction workers reject the test sextet.
Endurance test machine Ducati 1098 takes part in the race with a mileage of 9902 km.
Drive around? Sure, over the Passo Ciampigotto, which only has 1790 meters of altitude. And even narrower streets, even tighter turns than the route before. Now it’s getting hairy. The agile scooter, the KTM and the Bandit have no problems with that. Rainer grinds the running boards of the Harley even more diagonally ?? and go up ?? s. The two super athletes fight with every bend and sometimes have to be maneuvered around the corner with a slipping clutch. First gear is geared up to 107 km / h on the Ducati, and up to 143 km / h on the Yamaha. An egg dance: falling without falling. The ideal lines become real lines. Phew, made it. But there is still more to come. Or to put it more correctly: whiter. Snow is not uncommon in the Dolomites at this time of year. The long-term testers reach the pass hut in the deep driving snow. After a short stop, Josef, the young innkeeper, warns to continue driving: 30 centimeters of snow are the order of the day. The descent towards Sauris-Field turns into a slide for the first few kilometers. ABS is installed on the Vespa and the Bandit? a blessing for the drivers? Basically yes. Neither of them comes into the normal range, because they all drive as if they were piloting unsaleable individual items.
The Yamaha YZF-R1 offers easily controllable and powerful brakes.
But at the latest in the sloping tunnel between Sauris and Ampezzo, the others also want an ABS: rugged walls, apparently carved into the rock by hand and pimples, cobblestones, wetness all around, cold, no curve visible. While the ABS of the scooter regulates very roughly in the event of extremely hard braking, the bandit can cope better with these conditions. Student Lukas with the KTM and trainee Matthias with the R1, whose braking systems are not too biting, but powerful enough and easy to adjust, also have a good feeling when decelerating on such difficult terrain. Top tester Georg, however, works up a sweat: One finger is enough to block the Duc’s 330 mm washers at the front. With Rainers Harley it’s the other way around: You have to grab a lot and can’t feel the blocking limit. Five kilometers before the next gas station, the Ducati breaks down without petrol.
While the racy Italian only allowed around 5.5 liters per 100 kilometers when exercising in a species-appropriate manner, she asks 7.6 liters when she is kissing around in snowy, wet sweeps. The five liters of super from the reserve canister that was carried along? actually they were intended for the scooter? gurgling into the Duc tank. Once in the valley, the rain is thick as a wall. The team is waiting under a canopy and thinks of Tief Faysal, whose name is of Arabic origin. A joke, because it is well known that it never rains in the Orient. It’s 5:30 p.m. Too late for another push to Passo Lavardet. So tomorrow, I promise. In the evening at the hotel, we tell a local about the mysterious pass. “Yes, of course,” he enthuses, "the Lavardet is absolutely unique. Gravel from top to bottom, and right in the middle? nobody knows why? 25 switchbacks made of gourmet asphalt. Which enduros do you have with you??"
Why long-term tests?
All endurance test motorcycles must undergo the scrutiny of MOTORRAD.
Exactly 57 years ago, MOTORRAD took on a BMW R 25 and tested its reliability over a distance of 8,000 kilometers ?? the idea of the endurance test was born. Of course, the test distance has increased over the years. In the seventies to 25,000, in the eighties to 40,000, and since 1991 the bikes have covered 50,000 kilometers in all weathers and on 365 days a year. In a few exceptions (most recently the Yamaha FJR 1300), the motorcycles had to prove themselves over 100,000 kilometers. Mechanical wear and tear has improved enormously due to increasingly complex processing techniques, optimized materials and smaller tolerances, but serious engine damage still occurs now and then. Fast model changes and complex technology are mostly the reason why components collapse these days. The increasingly complex electronic components are also a source of errors.
MOTORRAD relentlessly uncovered defects through long-term tests. This happens in the shortest possible time. On average, the 50,000 kilometers are reached in 18 months. The endurance test also makes it possible, of course, to try out useful accessories and to scrutinize various tires in everyday use or on the racetrack. Especially when it comes to tire wear or grip at different temperatures and weather conditions over the year, insights can be gained that cannot be obtained in a normal test. The kilometers are unwound by the editorial staff on business trips, vacation trips and the way to work ?? under conditions that correspond to the everyday life of every biker. The long-term test fleet currently comprises eleven machines. In addition to those who took part in the autumn ride, the following five are waiting for a new driver every evening (as of October 10, 2007): BMW F 800 S (49,300 km), Kawasaki ER-6f (45,200 km), Kawasaki ZZR 1400 ( 47,600 km), Suzuki M 1800 R (30,300 km) and Triumph Daytona 675 (36,600 km).
Data Ducati 1098
Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V engine, 162 hp at 9750 rpm, 125 Nm at 8000 rpm, weight 201 kilograms, payload 189 kilograms, chain drive, price 17,195 euros.
Start of long-term test: June 28, 2007
Mileage on October 1st, 2007: 9902 km
Data Yamaha YZF-R1
Water-cooled four-cylinder, four-stroke in-line engine, 180 hp at 12500 / min, 113 Nm at 10500 / min, weight 210 kg, payload 185 kg, chain drive, price 13,782 euros
Start of long-term test: April 30, 2007
Mileage on October 1st, 2007: 22,207 km
Data Vespa GTS 250 i.E. SECTION
Water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, 21 hp at 8500 rpm, 20.1 Nm at 6500 rpm, weight 159 kg, payload 181 kg, belt drive, price 4999 euros
Start of long-term test: 06/06/2006
Mileage on October 1st, 2007: 23,745 km
Data Suzuki Bandit 1250 S.
Suzuki Bandit 1250 S.
Water-cooled four-cylinder, four-stroke in-line engine, 98 hp at 7500 rpm, 108 Nm at 3700 rpm, weight 254 kg, payload 221 kg, chain drive, price 8590 euros
Start of long-term test: June 17, 2007
Mileage on October 1st, 2007: 16,612 km
Data Harley-Davidson Road King
Harley-Davidson Road King
Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 45-degree V-engine, 78 hp at 5450 rpm, 123 Nm at 3400 rpm, weight 349 kg, payload 221 kg, toothed belt drive, price 20,375 euros
Start of long-term test: April 10, 2007
Mileage on October 1st, 2007: 24113 km
Data KTM 690 Supermoto
KTM 690 Supermoto
Water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, 64 HP at 7500 rpm, 65 Nm at 6550 rpm, weight 163 kg, payload 187 kg, chain drive, price 8398 euros
Start of long-term test: May 30, 2007
Mileage on October 1st, 2007: 10500 km
Georg Jelicic on the Ducati 1098
The seating position is sporty, but it fits perfectly for a height of 1.73 meters. The narrow tank connection gives you very good contact with the motorcycle. What doesn’t fit: the very poisonous brake. Dosing was extremely difficult in the disastrous grip conditions. Speaking of difficult: the soft tuning of the fork means the front dips deeply. That doesn’t exactly make it easier to sound out the grip. At the rear it’s exactly the opposite: the shock absorber is taut, when you accelerate, even in the wet, you always have an exact feeling for what’s going on on the road. When driving in slush, however, the fun came to an end? that was crawl down the last groove. The reason is not just a lack of chassis feedback. Sometimes you have to help with the slipping clutch in tight turns. You hop through the bend like a hare. The only bright spot in these moments: the deep bass from the rear silencers. It allows many inadequacies to be overcome.
Rainer Froberg on the Harley-Davidson Road King
The Harley is actually only for good weather. This is primarily due to the tires. The Dunlop D 402 slips away in the wet at an incline of 20 degrees, it’s like driving on soft soap. I couldn’t build trust. If there is also the cold, then you are completely the pug. So the trip was a real adventure. But there is also good news to report: The engine runs as smooth as silk and is super responsive to the gas, bringing a lot of pressure out of the low rev range. Accelerating out of turns is a breeze. You have to be careful, otherwise you will hang your colleague with the R1 in the rear, huh. On the other hand, braking is a matter of concentration. You have to really reach in front: high hand strength and blunt brakes. The rear blocks quickly. The chapter on deceleration is only for experts with brisk driving style. Why would I buy the Road King anyway? With species-appropriate husbandry? Sun, 20 degrees ?? the sound and the engine rumble make you believe you’re on a three-week vacation even on the drive home from the office.
Lukas Behr on the KTM 690 Supermoto
My first thought: is the 690 even suitable for touring, or will it be the greatest ordeal of my life? The first contact is positive: upright sitting posture, comfortable knee angle, wide handlebars ?? so tour after all. But already after 200 kilometers of motorway the bottom hurts: The seat is narrow and rock hard. You could test a person’s ability to suffer by sending them out onto the autobahn in a single-cylinder KTM. Noticeable: the machine runs almost 180 km / h according to the speedometer. The 690 single has brutal power. No matter what speed, the Austrian pushes you up the mountain with indescribable ease? that fascinated me until the very end. In addition, it is economical, has a top suspension, great brakes and is playful to handle. The stresses and strains of the motorway are quickly forgotten in the mountains. For me, the 690 is a real fun bike, which I could well imagine as a second motorcycle. Got the funky optics? I got used to it.
Rolf Henniges on the Vespa GTS 250 i.E. SECTION
Twelve-inch wheels, chubby looks, automatic transmission. It takes seven seconds for the wasp to accelerate to 70 km / h. During this time, the R1 or 1098 have almost 200 on the clock. Tormenting myself through the mountains with the 250cc … Honestly: Before the tour, I thought I had the buck. But then: Apart from the technical problems, the Italian has proven herself as a tourer. The chassis is stiff and even gives good feedback, the mounted Pirellis offer a lot of grip and you can live very comfortably on the wide saddle. The windbreak is great, the windshield does its job well. What really convinced me, however, is the four-stroke engine with just 21 hp. Apart from hectic overtaking maneuvers or on steep climbs such as the Timmelsjoch, he mastered everything with ease. The automatic does not interfere and is ideal for touring. In addition, the wasp looks robust thanks to its pressed steel frame and is still cult on top of that.
Matthias Motzek on the Yamaha YZF-R1
With the R1 into the snowy Dolomites ?? that sounds like a suicide mission. But a real athlete feels comfortable wherever there is asphalt. It is easy to deal with wide bends, the roar of the underseat exhaust system when accelerating at the exit of the bend makes my bumps sprout. Sharp contrast: the exhaust heats up the bottom. You could use the heated seats on the exit. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really build trust in the rear tire. My point of criticism: the gear ratio. For such stretches, the first gear would have to be reduced. The fact that the R1 adds a large briquette at 5000 rpm and is a little more restrained beforehand is what? I never really bothered. Top notch is the chassis. This feedback ?? wonderful. Despite their intended use on the racetrack, the suspension elements offer very good comfort. Apart from the fact that my wrists ached on the first day, the R1 would always be my first choice again.
Thomas Schmieder on the Suzuki Bandit 1250 S
What do I love about the bandit? Quite simply: this casual, unexcited kind. The high-torque motor that easily shakes its power out of its sleeve and has enough steam ready in all situations. It is elastic around the bottom, but also turns up willingly? if it has to be. Because 100 things on the ugly digital speedometer are not even 3500 tours in the sixth. The absolutely quiet exhaust sound matches this. She drives almost by herself, clears her head for other things, the bandit. Sitting almost upright, you can enjoy the best overview and a very relaxed knee angle. However, the handlebars were cranked a little too much, and the knee grip was not very successful either. But you can endure it for hours and days in the height-adjustable saddle. The finely regulating ABS gives you a good feeling even on rainy or even snowy slopes. Just a little more grace and sensuality, the bestseller could do with that. It’s a little too slippery for me. And by that I don’t just mean the missing cooling fins.
From the logbook: Ducati 1098
Input measurement only 152 instead of the stated 162 hp (km 3721). Difficult starting in cold weather – after every turn the starter puts a second to think about (km 4227), tank capacity is exactly 14.8 liters and not as specified 15.5 liters (involuntarily gauged at km 8826)
From the logbook: KTM 690 Supermoto
After a cold start, the engine turns extremely high up to 4000 / min (km 2320), cockpit mounting loose (km 3059), clutch sometimes engages suddenly and hard (km 3938), front brake squeaks (km 6461), cockpit torn (km 6925) Brake rubbing (km 7036), cockpit renewed (km 7887)
From the logbook: Harley-Davidson Road King
Fuel gauge fogged up from the inside after driving in the rain (km 9157), handlebars: short arms + turning = disaster (km 9973), case still dry inside even after driving in heavy rain (km 10389), tires replaced: Dunlop D 402 (km 12514)
From the logbook: Suzuki Bandit 1250 S
New tires: Metzeler Sportec M1 (km 3869), crash – a BMW R 1200 GS opens at the rear of the traffic lights (km 4635), accident damage repaired, handlebars, exhaust, tank, mirror, brake lever etc. replaced (km 5393) , New tires: Michelin Pilot Road 2 (km reading 8535), left rubber grip loose (km 12375)
From the logbook: Yamaha YZF-R1
The clutch lever is extremely far out (km 1352), brake flutter (km 3430), tires renewed: Pirelli Diablo Strada (km 3485), gearbox hooked (km 5443), new tires: Michelin Pilot Power (km 7109), rear tires renewed: Pilot Power (km 13331), front tires renewed: Pilot Power (18583), tires renewed: Avon AV 60/59 (km 20904)
From the logbook: Vespa GTS 250 i.E. SECTION
Exhaust gasket renewed (mileage 4087 and 5385), new tires: Bridgestone Hoop (km 5557), trip reset device hangs (km 8020), tires renewed: Michelin Bopper (mileage 9252), tires renewed: Pirelli GTS 24/23 (km 12584), speedometer failed (km 14259), speedometer cable renewed (km 14310), side stand arm broken off (km 15818), topcase lock defective (km 16704), low beam defective (km 17437), new rear tire: Pirelli GTS 24 (km 18100), speedometer cable renewed (km 20115), tires renewed: Pirelli GTS 24/23 (km 22466), broken ignition key handle (km 22688), wheel bearings and drive belt renewed (23137), spring fastening on the main stand torn (km 23478)
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