Comparison of HPN Sport-KTM 950 Adventure

Comparison of HPN Sport / KTM 950 Adventure

Avanti dilettanti!

Adventure is the order of the day with the large two-cylinder enduro bikes from HPN and KTM, so two MOTORRAD testers reached the highest heights. The story of a failure.

Monday, March 24th: ”And I want to see action in the enduro comparison. Show me what works with two-cylinder engines? and what not. ”A clear assignment that the boss formulated in the morning conference. Going for a walk in the Black Forest, here and there plowing up and down a ravine, that’s hardly what he meant. So off to the true off-road paradises. In the Pyrenees the climate could be quite pleasant. Maritime Alps? In any case, you know your way around. Colleague Koch interferes: »I say ?? you what: Ligurian Alps, your hat will fly away. There’s just too much snow now. ”Well, postponed discussion, there’s still plenty of time.
Tuesday, March 25th: The machines are here, KTM 950 Adventure and HPN Sport. Both two-cylinder, but with completely different characters. The KTM as a rally offshoot with huge tanks and bulky fairing is actually more of a machine for the fast stages, whether on the road or off. Unfortunately, there is currently only the lower version with cut spring travel, the sportier S is still a long time coming.
Sport is very much in the spirit of the HPN test machine, which is why it is simply called that. The Bavarians offer their boxer enduros in a total of six variants from the basic to the rally version, all based on the old, air-cooled BMW 80/100 GS models with two-valve boxers and double loop frames. Hardly anything remains from the origin, however, HPN reinforces the chassis, tunes the engine, and swaps the suspension elements. The Sport is the stripped-down, stripped-down off-road version for extreme use. With incredibly long suspension travel like the KTM, and with the finest suspension elements: WP strut hinged directly to the single-sided swing arm at the rear, Ohlins fork at the front. Finest workmanship down to the last detail. The knights of the tunnel among boxer fans get weak knees. Maybe also because of the completely low price.
Wednesday, March 26th: Where should you go now? Let’s just do it, as always in unstable weather conditions, let the Internet decide. Spain rain, southern France overcast, Italy quite decent, is the forecast. So Liguria after all. And who is going with you? Gerry has the most hungry eyes and urgently needs a few days off from the toddler in the defiant phase.
Thursday, March 27th: Hotel directly on the Mediterranean Sea, a dream. The day’s destination: The ridge roads on the mountain tops, which promise a great view of the Alpine panorama. Easy or difficult route, roll through the valley first or climb straight up into the mountains? Which question, after all, we’re not here for fun. The narrow strip of asphalt winds up to the first pass. The KTM is easy to handle, precise, and winds itself around the many bends up the mountain. Minimal steering forces, it couldn’t be easier, right? But, with the HPN, the steering thought is enough, and it is already in the radius of the curve. Incredible.
Over gravel roads we reach a fork where a stack of labeled wooden tablets shows the direction. Steeply up into the mountains, still two-lane forest roads, there is probably no danger of getting stuck for the time being. I like the sporty seating position on the Adventure. Once you’ve climbed the tanker, you’re almost sitting we have single-cylinder enduro sports. Optimal. The two fuel tanks, each with a capacity of 12.5 liters, are practically no problem. The classically shaped HPN tank holds 19 liters. It is slim, but still takes some getting used to. Similar to the current GS, the handlebars are far forward and high, but the footrests are far back because of the boxer. The distance between the footrests and the seat bench is also quite small, and active enduro riding with constant switching between sitting and standing affects the thighs in the long run.
A few kilometers later, the second lane gradually dissolves into coarse gravel, from now on we continue on narrow single trails. Break, cigarette for Gerry, first look at the menu. Strange, this should actually be a passable road here. It’s only a few centimeters to the wide slope. What is the scale of the map? The path winds along the steep southern slope, the rock face on the left and the slope on the right. With the sweeping boxer you just can’t circle the ledges close enough, Gerry often gets stuck on the thick Bing carburetors or cylinders even when fluffing. Unfortunately, the BMW follows lacks shin guards, which leaves plenty of bruises. Then there is the rear-heavy weight distribution. The front wheel looks pretty light, pushes over the scree. The beefy engine supports the impression. You have to lean far forward to put pressure on the front.
The KTM sticks more firmly to the ground and creates more trust. But the Adventure doesn’t exactly feel right at home in the trial terrain either. When seated, the high pane blocks the view of the first few meters directly in front of the front wheel. On well-developed gravel roads you can let this pass as an educational measure, since you shouldn’t look in front of your bike anyway. But if you juggle along stony paths along the rock face and lurk on the other side of the slope, flying blind is less fun. A few times I catch a larger stone, the front wheel jumps, nasty swings on the precipice. Uuaaaahh.
Sometimes a rope attached to the rock face for walkers helps. We laboriously work our way to the north slope. A steep, wet descent lies ahead of us, hairpin bends narrower than the turning circle, which is clearly too big on the KTM. The HPN can be circumscribed much more closely, which helps enormously. Nevertheless, it often lies on one of the protruding cylinders. Lifting them up takes power. Although with a full tank it weighs 195 kilograms less than the Adventure.
One thing is clear: there is hardly any way back, we would never get back up here. The tires slide around on the slimy stones. Amazingly, the finer Pirelli Scorpion of the KTM sticks better thanks to the soft rubber compound. The Metzeler Enduro 3 of the HPN no longer has any grip on wet, round stones. It’s good that there hasn’t been a flat tire so far, because the repair kit is down in the car.
During a short cigarette stop, Gerry spots traces of trial machines. Well, did you? I said it is passable here. It’s just funny that the tracks end under the snow, they must be from last summer. After the next bend, icy slabs block the way. Gerry pulls, pushes and leverages the HPN. The nerves are bare, the sweat is running down. Water? Forget and there is nothing to bite. First a cigarette for Gerry. We fight our way a few dozen meters further, to soon recognize the hopelessness of the situation. The small eight Ah battery of the HPN is also at the end, kicking does not work. End of work, finito. Gerry reaches for the cigarette packet and mobile phone – amazing that there is still a network here. He thinks longingly of his family and thinks about a phone call home, like a farewell conversation: "I love you, bury me with the HPN at this bend, I don’t want to anymore." as an energy donor, bridged with on-board tools as a cable replacement. It works out. Half an hour later the machines are balanced. The arduous way back can begin. Somehow we actually arrive at the hotel late in the evening, totally exhausted, starved, parched.
Friday March 28th. 7.00 a.m. Getting up is difficult, the bones are tired. The second attempt to reach the summit should take an easier route today. Down in the valley there are wide, fast corners in which you can really kick the adventure. Measured over 100 hp, that really propels you forward. Sometimes the handlebar twitches when the front wheel touches down again when changing from third to fourth. Every intermediate sprint turns into a speed orgy, the shift foot gets a lot to do. With the HPN you can largely rest, it is built for a less hectic driving style. Torque is the magic word. While the KTM disappears on the horizon, the HPN rider enjoys the beefy thrust from revs just above idle. Anyway, revving up doesn’t do anything, shifting gears early is the correct approach.
Finally a gravel road again, old military roads that are easy to drive and screw themselves up to 2000 meters. The two-cylinder units are in their element here. Second gear, and catapult from one corner to the next. The HPN is pretty nervous about the steering axis, maybe they should order a steering damper after all. At the rear, too, the suspension sometimes stutters heavily, the cardan drive is not at all comfortable with large holes with a high load at the same time. The KTM can do that much better, although the S version’s extra spring travel would be helpful. So slow down a bit, after all, the two twins are not sport enduros. Then suddenly it’s over again, deep snow makes any progress impossible. Failed again, but at least heroic. After all, a grandiose view compensates for the sudden end.
Saturday March 29th. Rest day – so to speak. The job has actually been completed, we have explored the limits. As a reward, we treat ourselves to a little more fun, Supermoto drive on great pass roads. Which brings the HPN brake to its limit after a few briskly braked turns. One pane is simply not enough for such activities, asphalt heaters should definitely order the double-equipped version. This is standard with KTM, and the rear brake calliper also bites the windshield poisonously.
M.on day, 31.3. Layout appointment. The boss casts a satisfied look at the photos: "Well, you can, wonderful pictures, great action." Gerry nods – and lights a cigarette with relish.

Conclusion: HPN Sport

A machine for a few: Well-heeled individualists, boxer fans with off-road ambitions who are not happy with the current, overweight BMW material that can only be used in off-road conditions, are the target group of HPN Sport. It couldn’t be easier with the Boxer and it couldn’t be more robust. In contrast to the current GS chassis, the reinforced chassis knows almost no limits. The compromise is limited, the sport is fully roadworthy, quiet and complies with the rules of the STVO. It is ultra-handy on the road and whizzes around corners with incredible ease. However, compared to the current 100-hp travel enduro bikes, almost 70 hp doesn’t tear any trees up. In return, the beefy engine pushes forward from the lowest speeds in an incomparable way. You shouldn’t think about the price-performance ratio, the acquisition costs are truly exclusive.

Conclusion: KTM 950 Adventure

A machine for many: whether street heaters, off-road freaks or long-distance tourists, the KTM Adventure will cast a spell on the various bikers, with the engine and chassis equally inspiring. The two-cylinder because of its sheer power and liveliness, which constantly tempts you to squeeze out the offered potential. The chassis because of its precision in curves and stability on straights, nothing wobbles even in the upper speed range. In terms of suspension, the Adventure is equipped for everything that normal mortals take under their wheels. Only with extreme, trial-like insoles does the seat height, the lush dimensions and the weight interfere. Aesthetes may complain that the technology has to hide under the huge tanks and the sweeping cladding. But that quickly forgets who has sat on the high seat.

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