Comparative test cruiser: BMW R 1200 C Montauk, Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom, Triumph Speedmaster
The way to luck
It doesn’t always have to be caviar. Wrote Johannes Mario Simmel. It doesn’t always have to be Harley. My BMW and Triumph. They try to lure cruiser fans with their idiosyncratic creations Montauk and Speedmaster.
There is no substitute for the real. The Harley fan base has been riding on this saying for 100 years. The feeling of their 45-degree V-engines is unique, no one between Leinfelden and Los Angeles can oppose the magic of their chrome mountains. A Harley is a solid foundation for countless trends. Inviolable. Immovable. Thunderous laughter flooded the factory halls in Milwaukee when the Japanese began in the mid-eighties to lace up fat V2 engines into cheap Harley copy packs and spread them among the people. The Harley myth only got new nourishment.
After all, are there more important things in life than being true to yourself? Only those who do not copy anything and
Not oriented towards anyone, is considered unique, strong in character. It is hardly surprising that BMW and Triumph did not even try to technically copy the American definition of a cool driving machine. With the R 1200 C, BMW first interpreted the Art of Bavarian Cruisin in 1997? and opted for completely new paths. Triumph went back to old traditions and gave its protégé a pinch of 60s flair in a café racer look. In their own way, all three manufacturers promise top-class driving pleasure. To uncover differences, MOTORRAD sent the new BMW R 1200 C Montauk, the Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom and the Triumph Speedmaster on one of those infinite roads, the end of which flirts with freedom.
Good vibrations ?? The magic of the engines
There she is. The last stop before the motorcycles dive into the vastness of the horizon. A red light under an azure sky ?? the ideal stage for the life pulse of the engines. This is where the long-stroke 1200 Harley twin comes across best. At the angle of
The pistons stroll 45 degrees over a
Distance of 96.8 millimeters each through their liners. The huge flywheel mass of the crankshaft buzzes at 950 rpm on its orbit. Both connecting rods sit on a crank pin, a real V-engine. Due to the cylinder angle, the engine ignites irregularly-
moderate distance of 405/315 degrees.
The result: an inimitable beat. Bass-heavy, slightly asynchronous, agricultural machinery-like. To the soft sound of the so-called shorty dual exhaust system, driver and machine dance to the rhythm of each new combustion. How does that feel? Can best be compared with the slightly dragging groove of “In Da Club” by the US rapper 50 Cent.
But also the 1200 from BMW
Montauk does one at traffic lights
good figure. They kick at just 850 rpm
two pistons through the very short-stroke boxer engine and generate a pleasant tilt with every throttle thanks to the clockwise torque of the crankshaft installed lengthways to the direction of travel. Theoretically, the boxer principle would have the greatest chance when it comes to absolutely vibration-free running of a two-cylinder. The mass forces eliminate each other with the piston and connecting rod that are meticulously balanced to the hundredth of a gram. To do this, however, they would have to run on one level, which is not meaningful to implement in practice.
And maybe not as desirable in a cruiser, as the example of Triumph shows. The heart of the Speedmaster is a 790 cm3 strong parallel twin, the existence of which is not noticed either when driving or at the traffic lights. Two balance shafts reduce the expressions of life of the short-stroke engine almost completely. What remains of the temperament of the two turning pistons is a gently bubbling staccato from the elongated, peashooter-called silencers. And a gentle pulsation that is more reminiscent of the basketball dribble of a field mouse team. The Speedmaster just doesn’t want to rock.
Rock and roll ?? the power of the free road
Casual sitting ?? when cruising that
Yellow from the egg. And the supreme discipline of the Sportster and Speedmaster. Both the feet and the arms are slightly stretched out on both models. The desired respect-here-I-come-attitude. Harley’s Sportster flatters with its narrow dragbar handlebar and high riser
as well as a puristic, hard seat. The Speedmaster with slightly wider handlebars and a saddle called Gunfighter. A
Mixture of leather sofa, riding saddle and motorcycle seat. Not uncomfortable even in the long run. What comfort is defines
in this field the BMW. This is how you rest
secure and very nonchalant on the
Montauk. Unfortunately completely uncool. From-
Absolutely upright torso, 90-degree leg angles, the handlebars like the end
a gigantic divining rod. In search of freedom?
Let’s leave that. The road is clear, the tank is full. The last gear in its rest. Now it’s time to tension the cables. Despite their long translation? mathematically, the Montauk could
Run 216 km / h ?? it shows where the hammer hangs in terms of draft. Regardless of whether the throttle valves are opened in the last gear at 60 or 120 km / h, the BMW pulls away. Bayern seem to have copied the long translation from the Americans. The Sportster is also geared to 217 km / h, its first gear reaches 81 km / h; that of the BMW up to 84 km / h. The Speedmaster’s gearbox is better stepped: No major jumps between the individual gears, the connection always fits. In conjunction with the extremely easy-revving two-cylinder, which only develops its peak performance in the uppermost spheres, that is enough for the best acceleration values in comparison. But has nothing to do with cruising anymore.
However, the Triumph cannot help it. After all, it has a displacement shortfall of around 400 cm3 compared to the competition, and it lacks torque. The twin lifts a lean 64 Nm at 6200 rpm. With cruiser ingenious 3000 tours it is only 60 Nm. Almost too little,
to always slide in the last gear.
The Speedmaster doesn’t convey that real cruiser feeling at all in terms of engine technology. As already mentioned, the two-cylinder vibrates only very gently, also needs to be turned and on top of that, panting phlegmatically from the exhaust. Sure, loud is out. But Harley and BMW speak a different language. They sound more adult, shovel around 90 Nm backwards at 3000 rpm and let the driver participate in the combustion engine experience.
Especially the Harley. It vibrates so extremely at medium speeds that newbies almost suspect a defect. Objects in the rear-view mirrors buzz in an elliptical shape or disappear completely from the small field of vision. Not with this
enough. The V2 just doesn’t want dre-
hen. Is offended, wants his 57
Keep horses in the paddock. It is,
as if one had to open the throttle valve against the resistance of an extremely progressively wound spring. Ordinary mortals without special Harley knowledge suspect the same thing about the circuit. Gear changes are sometimes loud and cracking. The gearbox is rough and demands just as much
the clutch by force. In 1957, the Harley annals tell, the first Sportster model enriched the world market. You can’t get rid of the impression that, despite the ongoing evolution of the motorcycle, the transmission is technically at the pre-production level of the debutant from the early days.
That is not the case with the BMW Montauk. The gears of the last
Both gears received a so-called high gear, the softer gear-
change and less running noise
should effect. In fact, the gears can be shifted perfectly and lock exactly. This is all the more surprising when you look at the extremely long gear lever plus shift linkage.
The character of the Montauk engine is somewhere between the Speedmaster and Sportster. The boxer ?? now with double ignition by the way ??, vibrates a little stronger and is not as easy to turn as the Triumph-Twin, but does not shake like the Harley and turns comparatively more freely. Nevertheless, the 58 Bavarian horses are emotionally constantly wrestling with the long secondary transmission.
Catwalk ?? or the question of the chassis
The cruiser legend is old: A real bike has a long wheelbase, a small steering head angle, enormous caster, doesn’t give a damn about weight and wants to be everything, just not handy. Okay, got it. Then, of all things, the Harley Sportster falls out a bit. At 237 kilograms, the lightest machine in the comparison has the shortest wheelbase, the lowest caster and the largest steering head angle. Thank goodness it is quite unwieldy, otherwise the cliché would be shattered. The Sportster looks incredibly stiff around the steering axis. She generally drives bends further than the driver plans, although one expects exactly the opposite from the 21-inch front tire with a 90 mm cutting-off wheel. Due to a softly tuned chassis that does not offer any reserves, the Harley neither shines with straight-line stability at higher speeds, nor is it particularly stable in curves. And she shares that
unmistakably with their pilot. She is born to cruise. Doesn’t like sudden changes in lean angle or turns and wants to be moved straight ahead at speeds between 80 and 120 km / h. Ideally alone. Only then does it exist
the likelihood of slowing down the load appropriately in the event of danger using its two disc brakes.
One laughs at this chapter
Triumph. The Speedmaster excels with good braking performance and metering as well as with low actuation force. The 258 kilogram British woman is the handiest of the three. The seat position and handlebar width play a decisive role. Their drawback is the very soft fork. With bumps
it directs unrest into the chassis and shakes the cornering luck. The front of the Telelever-reinforced BMW, on the other hand, is absolutely stoic. No brake nod, no improper behavior. The rear shock absorber, on the other hand, could use a little more damping. The cardan drive tramples over bumps, so to speak. The braking behavior of the Montauk takes some getting used to. Integral brake system, electric brake booster, ABS, new, steel-sheathed brake hoses ?? this security mix works like the often cited anchor. In front
especially when looking abrupt and forceful
the rear brake operated? via the integral brake system, the front also comes into action at the same time ?? the effect is incredible. Almost as if a giant magnet was activated under the tar surface. However, the dosage of these stoppers could be finer. The almost neutral steering behavior of the 273 kg heavy steamer is admirable. If you see the 150 mm front tire, you hardly suspect that the Montauk is even friendly towards curves. Brief note: The rear tire of the Harley is content with a 130 format.
D.he ways to happiness are completely different. Comfort and safety-oriented on the Montauk, classic and sporty on the Speedmaster. The Harley, on the other hand, stands for itself. Solid as a rock, on which all criteria such as braking values, smoothness or power delivery are actually shattered. If you don’t like it, whisper it: there is a substitute for the real thing.
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Comparative test cruiser: BMW R 1200 C Montauk, Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom, Triumph Speedmaster
The way to luck
Technical data: BMW R 1200 C Montauk
Engine: air / oil-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke boxer engine, crankshaft lengthways, one high, chain-driven camshaft, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, bumpers, rocker arms, wet sump lubrication, electronic intake manifold injection, Ø 35 mm, engine management, double ignition, regulated catalytic converter, E. -Starter.Bore x stroke 101 x 73 mm, displacement 1170 cm3, rated power 45 kW (61 HP) at 5000 rpm, max. Torque 98 Nm (10.0 kpm) at 3000 rpm Pollutant values (homologation) CO 0.63 g / km, HC 0.08 g / km, NOx 0.03 g / km Power transmission: hydraulically operated single-disc dry clutch, five-speed gearbox, cardan. Chassis: load-bearing motor-gearbox unit, bolted rear frame, longitudinal link-guided telescopic fork, standpipe diameter 35 mm, single-joint single-sided swing arm made of tubular steel, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, floating brake discs, Ø 305 mm, four-piston calipers, rear disc brake, floating Brake disc Ø 285 mm, double-piston caliper, tires 150/80 ZR 16; 170/80 ZR 15 tires tested Bridgestone Exedra G 703 / G 702 Chassis data: steering head angle 56.5 degrees, caster 184 mm, wheelbase 1641 mm, spring travel f / r 144/100 mm. Dimensions and weights: seat height * 800 mm, weight fully fueled * 273 kg, payload * 187 kg, tank capacity / reserve 17.5 / 4 liters. Two-year guarantee with unlimited mileageColours Champagne, blue, blackPrice 13,750 eurosPrice test motorcycle ** 15,468 eurosAdditional costs 262 euros
Technical data: Harley Sportster 1200 Custom
Engine: air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 45-degree V-engine, transverse crankshaft, four underlying, gear-driven camshafts, two valves per cylinder, hydraulic valve lifters, bumpers, rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, constant pressure carburetor, Ø 40 mm, transistor double ignition, no exhaust gas cleaning, E-starter. Bore x stroke 88.8 x 96.8 mm, displacement 1199 cm3, rated output 43 kW (58 PS) at 5200 rpm, max. Torque 87 Nm (8.9 kpm) at 3900 rpm Pollutant values (homologation) CO 7.51 g / km, HC 2.11 g / km, NOx 0.21 g / km Power transmission: mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, toothed belt. Chassis: double loop frame made of tubular steel, telescopic fork, stanchion diameter 39 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel profiles, two spring struts, adjustable spring base, front disc brake, floating brake discs, Ø 292 mm, four-piston caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 292 mm, four-piston caliper, tires MH / 90-H21 ; 130/90 HB 16 tires tested Dunlop D 402 / D 401 chassis data: steering head angle 60 degrees, caster 119 mm, wheelbase 1510 mm, spring travel f / h 155/64 mm. Dimensions and weights: seat height * 710 mm, weight with a full tank * 237 kg, Payload * 193 kg, tank capacity / reserve 12.5 / 1.9 liters. Two-year guarantee with unlimited mileageColors blue, gray, red, black, silver / black, whitePrice depending on the color from 10,555 euros, additional costs around 250 euros
Technical data: Triumph Speedmaster
Engine: air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke engine, transverse crankshaft, two balance shafts, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, Keihin constant pressure carburetor, Ø 36 mm, transistor ignition, uncontrolled catalytic converter with secondary air system, electric starter. Bore x stroke 86 x 68 mm, displacement 790 cm3, rated output 45 kW (61 hp) at 7400 rpm, max. Torque 62 Nm (6.3 kpm) at 3500 rpm Pollutant values (homologation) CO 1.04 g / km, HC 0.11 g / km, NOx 0.10 g / km Power transmission: mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, X- Ring chain. Chassis: double loop frame made of tubular steel, telescopic fork, stanchion diameter 41 mm, two-arm swing arm made of tubular steel, two spring struts, adjustable spring base, front disc brake, Ø 310 mm, double piston caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 285 mm, double piston caliper, 110/80 R 18 tires ; 170/80 R 15 tires tested Metzeler ME 33 / ME 880 chassis data: steering head angle 56.7 degrees, caster 153 mm, wheelbase 1655 mm, spring travel f / r 120/105 mm. Dimensions and weights: seat height * 730 mm, weight with a full tank * 258 kg, payload * 192 kg, tank capacity 16.6 liters. Two-year warranty with unlimited mileageColors black / red, black / yellowPrice 9050 euros, additional costs 240 euros
BMW and Harley are designed to drive at low and medium speeds. Speeds above 5000 rpm do not bring much. The lower displacement Triumph engine has a very homogeneous torque curve, but it only feels really lively from 5500 rpm.
1st place – BMW R 1200 C Montauk
The way of dignified comfort. The Montauk collects a lot of points in the areas of safety, comfort and inspection costs. Its chassis is also convincing and sets the bar highest in this motorcycle category. When driving, it hides its heavy weight perfectly, even the fat front tire behaves neutrally. The long gear ratio robs the 58 hp boxer of a lot of agility. The driving feeling is meditative and relaxed. Almost perfect in cruiser terms.
2nd place – Triumph Speedmaster
The way of the samurai. The Speedmaster accelerates best, has the lowest consumption, the greatest range, the smoothest-running engine and is the easiest to handle. Despite these atypical cruiser characteristics and the smaller displacement, there is a real driving feeling. This is much less due to the engine than to the very successful seating position. With ABS brakes and better wind protection, it would dethrone the BMW. In terms of price, it is a successful alternative.
3rd place – H.-D. Sportster 1200 Custom
The road is rocky. A lot of things shouldn’t matter to anyone who rides a Harley-Davidson. The American is a character actress who breaks wimps. It does not brake adequately, vibrates like an earthquake and has the comfort of a boulder. But precisely because you have to get involved with them, learn to forgive their mistakes, many customers seem to succumb to their charm. Nevertheless. Character or not, 1200 cm3 should simply appear more powerful.
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