Comparison test BMW K 1200 GT, Honda Pan European, Yamaha FJR 1300 A

BMW K 1200 GT test comparison, Honda Pan European, Yamaha FJR 1300 A

Flying Dutchmen

The opportunity has never been better: three express tourers are at the door, a few days to spare, and every Dutch hardcore soccer fan is in Germany for the World Cup. So off, used the days between the performances of the German team to discover the land of mills and canals.

"But when it comes to football, I hate Holland like the plague", reads
the catchy refrain of an old-fashioned tune that is played in every German clubhouse when the cheese footballers in their orange camisoles mistreat the ball.

As is so often the case, it is deeply unjust when a single guild brings an entire country into disrepute. Who has not heard of green polder meadows, picturesque towns with canals, white bascule bridges and majestic windmills? From frikandeln, special sauce, delicious cheese. How can Ms. Antje help Frank Rijkaard once rehearsing the llama on Rudi Voller? If the kicking staff and fans are not in the country, everything could be fine in Holland. But if you want to take advantage of such an opportunity, you have to be quick, because if the football god is gracious, the whole bubble is powerfully back home.

So let’s go. Fortunately, there are hardly any motorcycles that are better suited for a quick escape from 50,000 Orangeans in Stuttgart than the three test candidates. Express-Tourer – that has been the right name since Yamaha took the sluggishness out of an entire class with the FJR 1300. Since its appearance in 2001, it has been poaching heavily in the BMW area. Honda has never followed this path consistently. Although it has increased the 90-degree V4 to 1261 cubic centimeters in the engine room of the Pan European, it is far from being the same with a nominal 127 hp
given a lot of power like Yamaha gave the four-in-line (promised 144 hp). In view of the straight-line qualities, a wise decision, because the Honda continues to commute beyond 180 km / h as terrifying as a Dutch stroller after the twentieth Heineken. It means, with a lot of trust in God, to keep the throttle under tension and to keep fear in check, if the other two should not disappear forever.

But do it anyway on German Autobahn. Especially when the BMW is accelerating at the front. K 1200 GT – that is the continuation of the FJR 1300 idea with Bavarian funds. 1200 series quad, aluminum frame, lots of large plastic and exactly the comfort that travelers in a hurry love. Plus a strong 152 hp – when this express starts rolling, there’s no stopping it. It actually has something of ICE when the GT kicks in. Sixth gear, throttle to the limit stop, after a brief run-up, the cruise control is knocked in – the driver likes to become a passenger, observed how the speedometer is fascinating in the white-red high-speed express on the rails – and is amazed because he is slightly crouched at 260 km / h behind the mighty one Disc not want to appear like 260 km / h. Actually they are not. Goal only 252 kilometers per hour, but the Bayern-Kurier rides them down with suitcases as easily as an inexpressible club from Munich rides the German championship.

BMW K 1200 GT test comparison, Honda Pan European, Yamaha FJR 1300 A

Flying Dutchmen



The BMW K 1200 GT offers a lot of comfort in sixth gear.

However: Anyone who thinks that the Japanese would surrender to this powerful Bavarian offensive without a word in it is very wrong. The Yamaha engineers are masters of targeted model updates and want to prove in the 2006 vintage that the FJR is the measure of all things. Higher disc, longer swing arm, integral braking system in which stepping on the foot brake lever simultaneously activates the two lower pistons of the right brake calliper, Euro 3, progressive throttle grip, cosmetic details – a lot has happened. And how about the clutchless shift work on the FJR? Those interested have to be content with the first driving report in MOTORRAD 11/2006. Or wait until issue 17 and for the Alpen Masters, because the German Yamaha headquarters in Neuss hadn’t moved by then "Automatic FJR" out for the test. Reasons? To be guessed by smart readers as well as by resourceful testers. But in view of the steep price, the lack of this feature is no big deal either.

Back to the autobahn, where the Holland Express has meanwhile reached the Rhineland. Even if the BMW driver tried to detach the FJR on the A3 between Frankfurt and Rhineland, it did not succeed. Just as stable and safe except for nuances, just as protected, just as ICE-wise, the Yamaha rider achieves
this region, which is so breathtaking for football fans, where such fine teams as Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen, 1. FC Cologne or the friendly first division promoted Alemannia Aachen are at home. A little further to the northeast, and we would be in the Mecca of the German soccer soul – but we are turning west.

There, just after the Dutch border, the Pan European can immediately show why it is called that. The Japanese engineers simply didn’t have Germany and the unlimited highways on their plan. With a cozy 130 plus, as is common in the rest of the continent, nothing commutes. On the contrary: Pan strikes back to strike, moves its mighty disc to the upper limit, which was almost impossible with the pendulum speed in Germany. And then? Then there is peace in the box. No whistling, no annoying turbulence. At most, the pressure from behind is a bit annoying, but the wind and weather protection from the front is formidable. Signed like this, the Honda is the only one that allows you to fold up your visor and experience your first contact with your neighbors practically up close, while the other two only allow small drivers enthroned on the low of two bench seats to open the banner.

In general, the sitting, the wind protection, the feeling: very difficult to differentiate here because the stature and sitting habits as well as the personal sensitivity of the driving staff are more pronounced than the circumstances themselves. There is therefore almost a stalemate in the assessment. And at a very high level. The first contact with the country and its people is just as positive. Pleasant, the quiet on Holland’s dead straight highways. What is striking is the serenity of the people when it is not about football. They laugh, are happy and friendly – and almost without exception speak German. If only it weren’t for the countless fan articles in squeaky orange, which annoy German football fans at the gas station, you could feel really good.



Tea Yamaha FJR 1300 A is the sportiest machine in the test field.

And there is something else that is noted with regret. The fuel prices are even higher than in Germany. Fortunately, the cars with around five liters at 130 km / h on the super-flat motorway and similar consumption on the country road hold back. This gives them theoretical ranges of 453 kilometers (BMW) to 580 kilometers (Honda). In any case, enough to explore the land behind the dykes extensively.

One thing quickly becomes clear: even off the motorways, things often go straight on in Holland for a long time. Finding two: If a bend is pending, the K 1200 GT requires more attention than expected, because the BMW-specific solution (partially integrated brake system with brake booster) again showed a downward shape fluctuation on the test motorcycle. Even in the top test (MOTORRAD 10/2006), the GT convinced with a decent dose and a brutal effect, of which only the latter applies this time. All or not – there it is again, the old mishap, at least when the handbrake lever is pulled. The mighty 294-millimeter disc on the rear wheel, on the other hand, can be grasped more sensitively.

Nevertheless: In this regard, Bayern should take a look to the east. Fully integral, without brake booster, finely adjustable, full effect – Honda and Yamaha show how to build touring brake systems. Honda also knows how to sensitively regulate an ABS, while the Yamaha goes about this almost as sleek as the BMW.

The same applies to the gearbox, by the way. Precise and sleek the Pan-European switch box, the FJR device with air upwards, and the K-solution – well, let’s leave that. Or so much: everyone around the IJsselmeer must have heard that a BMW was in the country. In the morning and in the evening there was a long roll "Kaalong" over the water. Seen in this way, it is fortunate that the GT has a relatively short gear ratio and usually swims in sixth gear on its powerful torque shaft of a maximum of 120 Nm. While on the Honda you are almost sad that you rarely have to use the transmission in view of the rich, steady thrust even from the lowest positions. And there is something else that the Honda does best. Regardless of the gear and speed, the V4 implements the marching order immediately and with jerk-free propulsion.

The Yamaha used to do that just as well. But in modern Euro 3 times, the 1300 and the BMW are struggling with a very hard throttle response. There is also another weakness that was unknown until the facelift. Modifications to the throttle control of the FJR should make the way more progressive, but above all have to a significantly higher one "Breakaway torque" led, which does not make dealing with the 133-PS-126-Nm-Protz (test bench values) easier. Just as the noticeable play in the BMW drivetrain is not a source of joy.



Tea Honda Pan European focuses more on touring than we sport.

The handling of the sweeping GT, on the other hand, can be assigned to the sunny side of touring life. Just like the small and smallest streets around the IJsselmeer. Yes, there are curves in Holland. Even a few at a time. Right, left, right, left – the BMW and the Honda swing easily and gently, with a little more driving the Yamaha along the dike, the drivers enjoy the view that is not obstructed by any tree, the friendly brick facades of the little houses , the friendly waving people. One is almost inclined to ignore the orange-colored flag decorations everywhere, to suppress what stands between them and us. And more and more often it succeeds.

With the hot exhaust air from the cylinder banks, which heats up the driver‘s legs on the Honda, this doesn’t work so easily. At high outside temperatures it is just as omnipresent as the typical, grumpy V4 sound. And the extremely precise feedback for a tourer in this category about everything that the Pan takes under the wheels. Despite its famous electronically adjustable suspension ESA (together with on-board computer, heated grips, seat heating for driver and front passenger, cruise control and xenon light included in the 1600 Euro Premium Touring Package), the BMW cannot serve this. Rather, the Duolever system decouples the front wheel and handlebars. However, if you have got used to it, you can adjust the suspension settings to the road conditions and your personal well-being while driving. The K 1200 keeps every option open between sporty and comfortable.

The manual adjustment option has to do it on the Honda and Yamaha, although the Honda in full touring regalia in particular does not achieve the full stability of the BMW and the FJR. In terms of lean angles, however, the FJR is the loser. Early in the morning, the notches scratch the asphalt, while on the pan, the driver’s feet usually report contact with the ground. In this respect, BMW is sustainably cultivating its Bavarian Alpine legacy, only starting very late and therefore practically never in Holland.

It also offers more than the Japanese in another respect. In addition to the information that is also mandatory for the competition, such as outside and cooling water temperature and fuel level, your on-board computer provides a reliable range display in kilometers, the BMW heated grips and seat heating provide cozy warmth for cold days . In addition, the cruise control makes it possible to use the right hand to clearly express one’s attitude when overtaking Oranje fans. If you still want to. Because after a few days in Holland it is really difficult to hold anything against this nice people. Especially since the Oranje kickers had an understanding and said goodbye to Portugal. So it is time for us, too "dead ziens" accept. And to go to the finals in Berlin very quickly. Hopefully together with the German team. And quite
safe without Holland.

Conclusion and individual disciplines


Three power tourers – three characters.

1st place:
BMW K 1200 GT

Mission accomplished! The K 1200 GT takes up the FJR idea – and takes it further with even more steam. So despite the weaknesses in detail, it is enough to win the overall race.

2nd place:
Yamaha FJR 1300 A

The serial winner of the past few days has to be content with second place, but is still a first-class motorcycle. And the tourer with the sportiest touch.

3rd place:
Honda Pan European

The Pan is a first-class tourer, but not an exemplary racer. Those who like to drive fast on the autobahn should keep their hands off it. Everyone else has access.


The time has come: for years no one could hold a candle to the FJR engine in this class – but now it has been pushed from the throne. Not with momentum, however, because the powerful BMW four-cylinder also has weaknesses. The response / load change behavior is particularly to be criticized, while the V4 of the Honda shows how to do it better. In general, the Pan-European unit: it cannot keep up in terms of performance, but it impresses with its good manners and is also an excellent touring engine with its exemplary power delivery.

landing gear

The K 1200 GT is powerful and still the most handy in the field. And the Pan European by far the most unstable. This is less of a concern for leisurely tours, but it is very important on Germany’s autobahns. The BMW impresses with its electronically adjustable ESA chassis, which is subject to a surcharge; all three can be moved quickly and safely, even when accompanied.


Ounce again, brake metering is the dark chapter of the brake-assisted BMW stoppers. We had that much better, albeit never as good as with the Honda and Yamaha systems, which not only shine with fine controllability, but also with fully integrated braking systems. However, there is little to criticize about the sheer delay. The rough control intervals of the BMW ABS do. In this regard, the Honda sets the standards, while the BMW shines when it comes to freedom from lean angles. The xenon light, however, is not all that brilliant. And the Honda mirrors are too low.

everyday life

Well-equipped, and with a main stand and cardan shaft, it is very easy to maintain: everyday life is a pleasant touring chapter, especially since express tourers also get maximum points in terms of range. When it comes to loading the Honda clearly loses ground, and handling is not really easy with any of the cars.


And another showcase chapter. If there is no comfort here – where then? The accompaniment is always in good hands even on long stretches, the wind protection is designed differently, but also effective for everyone. Only when it comes to its smoothness does the rough BMW engine fall a little out of the ordinary.

Costs / environment

Driving such a potent touring bike is not a cheap pleasure. Above all, the maintenance costs and the mighty purchase price between 15,500 euros (Yamaha) and almost 19,000 euros (BMW in the tested version) hit the budget. So it’s no wonder that the trio doesn’t cut a good figure in terms of price-performance ratio. In addition, Honda strikes powerfully with the inspection costs, but shines with the best exhaust gas values.

Technical data: BMW K 1200 GT

Engine: water-cooled four-cylinder four-
stroke in-line engine, two overhead, gear / chain-driven camshafts, four ven-
tile per cylinder, bucket tappet, injection, Ø 46 mm, regulated catalytic converter, alternator 945 W, battery 12 V / 19 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, gimbal.

Bore x stroke 79.0 x 59.0 mm

Cubic capacity 1157 cm3

Compression ratio 13.0: 1

rated capacity
112.0 kW (152 hp) at 9500 rpm

Max. Torque 130 Nm at 7750 rpm
Pollutant values ​​(homologation) in g / km
Euro 3 CO 1.095 / HC 0.156 / NOx 0.079

Chassis: Bridge frame made of aluminum, double longitudinal control arm made of aluminum, double-jointed single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, Dop-
pel disc brake front, Ø 320 mm, oven-
Fixed piston calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 294 mm, double-piston floating caliper, partially integral brake system with ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Tires in the test Bridgestone BT 020 »UU«
Dimensions and weights: wheelbase 1571 mm, steering head angle 60.6 degrees, caster 112
mm, suspension travel f / h 115/135 mm, seat height * 820 – 840 mm, weight with a full tank * 305 kg, load * 215 kg, tank capacity 24.0 liters.

Warranty two years
One year mobility guarantee
Service intervals every 10,000 km
Colors graphite, blue, gray metallic
Price 17,000 euros
Price test motorcycle ** 18,658 euros
Additional costs 262 euros

Technical data: Honda Pan European

Engine: water-cooled four-cylinder four-
90-degree V-engine, two balancer shafts-
len, two chain-driven ones at the top
Camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 36 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system, 742 W alternator, 12 V / 12 Ah battery, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox , gimbal.

Bore x stroke 78.0 x 66.0 mm

Cubic capacity 1261 cm3

Compression ratio 10.8: 1

rated capacity
93.0 kW (127 hp) at 8000 rpm

Max. Torque 125 Nm at 6000 rpm
Pollutant values ​​(homologation) in g / km
Euro 2 CO 0.143 / HC 0.163 / NOx 0.088

Chassis: Bridge frame made of aluminum, load-bearing motor, telescopic fork, Ø 45 mm, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 310 mm, three-piston floating calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 316 mm, three-piston floating caliper, Full-
integral braking system with ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 18; 5.00 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 18; 170/60 ZR 17
Tires in the test Bridgestone BT 020 »F«
Dimensions and weights: wheelbase 1490 mm, steering head angle 64.0 degrees, caster 98
mm, spring travel f / h 117/120 mm, seat height * 775 805 mm, weight with a full tank * 330 kg, load * 192 kg, tank capacity / reserve 29.0 /
3.0 liters.

Two year guarantee
Service intervals every 6000 km
Colors red, blue, silver metallic
Price 15990 euros
Additional costs 205 euros

Technical data: Yamaha FJR 1300 A

Engine: water-cooled four-cylinder four
stroke in-line engine, two balance shafts, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 42 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system, 490 W alternator, 12 V battery /
12 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, cardan.
Bore x stroke 79.0 x 66.2 mm
Cubic capacity 1298 cm3
Compression ratio 10.8: 1

rated capacity
105.5 kW (144 PS) at 8000 rpm

Max. Torque 134 Nm at 7000 rpm
Pollutant values ​​(homologation) in g / km
Euro 3 CO 0.550 / HC 0.256 / NOx 0.098

Chassis: Bridge frame made of aluminum, telescopic fork, Ø 48 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disk-
Beneath rear brake, Ø 282 mm, double-piston floating caliper, fully integral brake system with ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17

Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Tires in the test
Bridgestone BT 020 "CC" and "N"

Dimensions and weights: wheelbase 1515 mm, steering head angle 64.0 degrees, caster 109 mm, suspension travel f / r 135/125 mm, seat height * 790 mm, weight with a full tank * 292 kg, payload * 211 kg, tank capacity 25.0 liters.

Two year guarantee
Service intervals every 10000 km
Colors blue / white,
Silver, gray metallic
Price 15,290 euros
Additional costs 205 euros

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