- Comparative test of naked bikes
- Chassis, ergonomics, equipment
- Technical data: Other naked bikes
- MOTORCYCLE test result
- Other winners: BMW K 1300 R – You’ll be happy with this bike, if …
- MOTORCYCLE – Comment scoring
- Conclusion – group winners
BMW, Buell, KTM, Triumph
Comparative test of naked bikes
Test the rest. That really doesn’t sound positive. This is doing the American-British-German-Austrian conglomerate a bitter injustice. Because Japanese are technically hard to beat and Italians are chic, but ?? as the saying goes: Nobody is perfect. Not all can make friends with Asian mainstream or Italian-casual processing. That’s why BMW, Buell, KTM and Triumph are strongly opposed to it.
Unmistakably with the knowledge to use these weaknesses of the competition. They are confident enough for this job. Each model shows an individual concept. Technically and optically. Motorcycles that show courage and show their colors. Like Buell with the 1125 CR. A crosshead as always. Fuel supply in the frame, comprehensive front wheel brake system, toothed belt drive, ultra-short wheelbase. And: Instead of the air-cooled Harley engine of the previous XB models, a brand new water-cooled V2 engine. Or the BMW. In the R version, the cladding of the S model has been torn off, revealing the in-line four-cylinder, which has grown from 1157 to 1293 cm3 this year. The KTM: Supermoto racer in the maxi version. One liter displacement in V2 format. Space frame, edges, corners from front to back, just pure aggression. Even Triumph still looks good against them. Even in the birthday edition. For its 15th cradle celebration, the so-called Anniversary Edition of the Speed Triple received an exhaust system from Arrow, a rear wheel cover, a few minor niceties and ?? Credit where credit is due, the signature of company boss John Bloor on the tank. All together for an additional 700 euros. The cast aluminum frame, the typical compact exterior and of course the rustic 1050 three-cylinder engine have remained.
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Comparison test of naked bikes from Italy
Italo naked bikes
I do it my way: The American Buell goes its own way. Whoever wants to go along has to have a firm conviction.
What ?? with all due respect ?? does not mean that something more can still be attractive. Finally, the Vau-Zwo of the Buell with 144 hp catapults the unorthodox chassis vehemently out of the curve. Even if the good nursery is somewhat forgotten. Despite three balancer shafts, the large two-cylinder is comparatively rough, vibrates noticeably in the upper third of the speed and can also be shifted a bit hooked. By the way: Problems that were caused by a throttle valve blocked by a magnetic switch when accelerating from 50 km / h in second and third gear for homologation reasons (see MOTORRAD 24 and 25/2008) have now been solved.
The mixture of almost legendary gentleness and full punch with which the Triumph pushes is simply inspiring. Especially since the threesome only vibrates minimally, can be shifted and coupled effortlessly and this combination is backed by a hotter, wicked sound. Mister Bloor, great job. In which one misses not a single one of the almost 40 PS that separates the 136 PS strong Briton from the upper power max, the BMW. Or is it? No question about it, letting the 173 horses of the K 1300 R gallop is an experience. Especially since the Bavarian woman’s start can be dosed wonderfully, which up to 5000 / min is even a little below expectations? or fears? ?? remains to literally explode afterwards. The three percent shorter secondary ratio that disguised the R-Model from the ?? S ?? differs, reinforces the fact that the location and frequency for unrestricted exercise should of course be carefully selected. After all, the paper form of the BMW alone is authoritative. With 4.3 seconds from zero to 140 km / h, the K 1300 R even depends on well-known power icons on the beat of a Suzuki Hayabusa or the current Yamaha Vmax.
Chassis, ergonomics, equipment
Splendid inspiration: three cylinders, two wheels, one name: Speed Triple. The overall concept of the British is just awesome.
Which in turn explains that part of the appeal of the great Nakeds lies in this abundance of strength. It is the combination of the experience of nudity, the renunciation of everything superfluous and ?? especially ?? the upright, relaxed sitting position that allows for an overview, which enables said sovereignty in this dimension. From which the Buell is still a long way off, especially in terms of chassis. An acute knee angle for the driver, a front wheel that constantly wants to be prevented from folding in an inclined position by counter pressure on the handlebars and a nervous straight-line running on a bumpy road ?? it takes deep conviction for Erik Buell’s technical concept to be happy with the peculiarities of the American. Which is also true for the peculiar design, which is dominated by the air scoops for the two side-mounted coolers. Just a matter of taste.
Like the KTM 990 Super Duke. Their angular design has polarized for years. Your driving behavior does not. None of them brake more easily, none steers more precisely, none can be angled more precisely. A dream. What more do you want? Perhaps the combination of all these points with a sophisticated three-cylinder engine? You guessed it, there is. Because the Speed Triple simply adds something to the famous KTM overall package. The Englishwoman brakes, steers, bounces and cushions just as well as her colleague from Mattighofen and with her formidable three-of-a-kind also adds a strong dash of cream to the menu. The fine manners of the three-cylinder are also comforting about the 221 kilograms that are almost 20 additional kilograms compared to the Super Duke. Those who do not become weak with her are frigid.
The BMW driver doesn’t have to worry about a few pounds more or less. At 252 kilograms, the K 1300 R carries around 30 kilograms more than the Speedy. That is not a little. But the ballast has its reasons. With ABS, electronically adjustable chassis (ESA) and slip control (ASC), the handbag of the Bavarian naked dangles heavily on the finger. Because the cushions are also combined with the wheelbase that is at least twelve centimeters longer and a flat steering head angle, the 1300 remains in terms of handiness ?? apart from the capricious Buell? neglect. Not good, especially since this criterion is about the core competence of a naked bike. But the ?? K ?? otherwise make amends. The ESA chassis (740 euros) is one of the finest that is offered in terms of chassis technology. If the price and weight are not deterred, you can use imaginary screwdrivers and hook wrenches at the push of a button while driving. Also ingenious: the gearshift assistant (360 euros), which enables upshifting without using the clutch by interrupting the ignition. Anyway, you won’t say a word about the well-functioning ABS (1080 euros) at BMW. Preferably also about the price. At 17,400 euros, it is both a good 4,000 euros above the competition and close to or above the pain threshold. Back to the country road. There, the BMW with its wide seat and lower handlebars does not exude the familiar naked bike feeling. Nevertheless, she inspires trust, turns unexpectedly smoothly around corners and has the courage to go her own way in terms of character. And that is what is so fascinating about some motorcycles? especially when it comes to naked bikes.
Technical data: Other naked bikes
BMW K 1300 R.
Four-cylinder in-line engine, six-speed gearbox, cardan shaft. Displacement 1293 cm3, rated output 127.0 kW (173 hp) at 9250 rpm, max. Torque 140 Nm at 8250 rpm, bridge frame made of aluminum, ABS. Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17, seat height * 830 mm, weight with a full tank * 252 kg, payload * 208 kg, tank capacity / reserve 19.0 / 4.0 liters. Test motorcycle price 17210 euros, additional costs around 206 euros.
Buell 1125 CR
Two-cylinder 72-degree V-engine, six-speed gearbox, toothed belt, displacement 1125 cm3, rated output 109.0 kW (148 PS) at 10,000 rpm, max. Torque 111 Nm at 8000 rpm, bridge frame made of aluminum. Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17, seat height * 820 mm, weight with a full tank * 212 kg, payload * 174 kg, tank capacity / reserve 20.1 / 3.0 liters. Price test motorcycle 12 899 euros, additional costs around 310 euros.
KTM 990 Super Duke
Two-cylinder 75-degree V-engine, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, displacement 1000 cm3, rated output 88.0 kW (120 PS) at 9000 / min, max. Torque 100 Nm at 7000 rpm, tubular steel frame. Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17, seat height * 840 mm, weight with a full tank * 203 kg, load * 177 kg, tank capacity / reserve 18.5 / 2.5 liters. Price of test motorcycle 12,495 euros, additional costs around 250 euros.
Triumph Speed Triple
Three-cylinder in-line engine, six-speed gearbox, X-ring chain, displacement 1050 cm³, rated power 97.0 kW (132 PS) at 9250 / min, max. Torque 105 Nm at 7500 rpm, bridge frame made of aluminum. Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17, seat height * 840 mm, weight with a full tank * 221 kg, payload * 181 kg, tank capacity 18.0 liters. Price test motorcycle 12,440 euros, additional costs around 250 euros.
MOTORCYCLE test result
A Naked: Even undressed, the K 1300 R is still prudish. And yet: The combination of a lot of power and even more common sense has its charm.
1st place: BMW K 1300 R
2nd place: Triumph Speed Triple
3rd place: KTM Super Duke
4th place: Buell 1125 CR
Power naked bikes are also part of life. And the BMW masters this task best. With a lot of common sense? and even more performance. Nevertheless: The masters of pure driving pleasure are called KTM and, above all, Triumph. Every kilometer is a pleasure with both of them. Which with the Buell only applies to the hardcore fans of the brand.
Other winners: BMW K 1300 R – You’ll be happy with this bike, if …
Your friends whispered it to you: ship golfing off Dubai is all the rage. But your ears are deaf to something like that. You pull your cream-colored Boss jacket casually over your blue jeans, take a deep drag of Erdinger alcohol-free to be able to pilot the 530 D Touring home, and to relax in front of the fireplace read a few pages from multi-valve engines by Gert Hack. By the way, the song ?? Breather 2000 ?? Afterlife from the speakers of your iMac G5. The last movie you recommended to your secretary is ?? workingmansdeath ?? by the Austrian cult director Michael Glawogger. You respect the StVO, but still like to live in the left lane and are a family man with a weakness for art: In the coming year, the posters from National Geographic in your office will be exchanged for paintings by Udo Lindenberg.
MOTORCYCLE – Comment scoring
If you have a power naked bike, then do it right. The BMW dominates the test field with sheer performance. The only weakness of the four-cylinder remains the ?? mainly due to the cardan drive ?? quite tough load change reactions. Just beaten: the Triumph three-cylinder, which outshines the competition with its great response and smooth running. The fact that KTM foregoes top performance in favor of drivability is good for the V2 engine, which tends to be rough in the lower speeds. The Buell’s Rotax unit is prone to vibrations in the higher speed range despite three balancer shafts. Nevertheless: With 144 hp, the mighty two-cylinder delivers impressive top performance to the test bench role.
Winner engine: BMW
The battle for the top is only narrowly decided. Ultimately, the suspension, which can be adjusted at the push of a button (ESA), gives BMW the decisive advantage. In addition, the long wheelbase helps the Bavarian to have very good straight-line stability and impeccable handling with a pillion passenger. Agile handling with acceptable stability and well-coordinated spring elements ?? the KTM convinces. Like the chassis of the Triumph, by the way. Great handiness, great feedback, accurate steering behavior? there is trust. In contrast to the Buell. The American is doing herself a disservice with her extreme chassis data. The 1125 CR cannot keep up with the competition due to nervousness on straights, stubborn turning in and moderate comfort.
Chassis winner: BMW
Everyday life, the domain of BMW. The K 1300 R is no exception. Helpful wind protection, bright light, high payload and the seating position, which is atypical for a naked bike but ultimately very comfortable, make the K 1300 R a sensible power max. Triumph follows a long way off. No broken leg. No naked bike fan worries about rudimentary wind protection, moderate luggage storage or limited payload. More like the passenger comfort, which is moderate despite the lower passenger footrests. Small consolation: Exactly the same points of criticism apply to the KTM. Especially since things can get worse. With a narrow knee angle, even less suitability for a passenger and moderate light, the Buell carries the red lantern here.
Winner everyday life: BMW
Three letters for the key to success: ABS. But the BMW also shines beyond this with its smooth handling and excellent braking values. The outstanding Brembo brakes impress on both the KTM and the Triumph. The advantage of KTM: Their hand pump, which is easier to dose, provides more feedback. Their nervous chassis and the technically spectacular, but only average functioning brakes degrade the Buell to the rear.
Safety winner: BMW
Moderate consumption and inexpensive inspections give the Triumph victory. The maintenance costs add to the BMW, the high consumption of the Buell and the short inspection intervals (7500 kilometers) of the KTM.
Winner Cost: Triumph
Price-performance winner: Triumph
It is unexpected that the BMW, which costs over 17,000 euros, and the approximately 5,000 euros cheaper Triumph meet here at eye level ?? and ultimately justifies Bavaria’s often scolded pricing policy.
Conclusion – group winners
Three out of twelve ?? the group winners on points have been determined. And they also shine with very individual attributes. Because a powerful engine or a stable chassis alone does not make the difference between victory and defeat…
Other countries other manners. Twelve power naked bikes had to prove themselves in a comparison test.
The three winning bikes represent their own philosophy: BMW’s K 1300 R impresses not only with its powerful drive but also with its suitability for everyday use and equipment, while the powerful B-King pushes itself into the limelight thanks to its problem-free rideability. Honestly: Apart from the huge dimensions, could Suzuki advertise the King as an exemplary driving school machine? quasi the sheep in wolf’s clothing. The wolf in the wolf’s skin comes from Italy: The Ducati, a stripped super sports car, which is very stubborn and idiosyncratic to pilot, implements the original street fighter idea most consistently and typically Italian ?? uncompromising, tough, polarizing.
The latter seems to be the key stimulus that Europeans and Japanese are finally including in well-dosed form when planning their bikes. The Italian function-follows-form principle, according to which pragmatic technicians subordinate themselves to apparently detail-loving designers, is now also taking hold in the hoards of reason. How else can it be explained that a design study (B-King) is going into series production or that the white-and-blue 173 racehorses are sent outside without weather protection? All manufacturers have looked outside the box and, in times of greater demand for individuality, offer not only more performance but also more character. The bike is a figurehead and ultimately like a shoe: It should not only fit well, it should also look good. Whether BMW will ever offer stiletto-style hiking boots or Ducati comfortable pumps is questionable.
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