A different kind of comparison test with the large enduro bikes BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro and KTM 1190 Adventure R..
Queuing for a shoot-out: On loose ground, the line between too much wheelspin and the engine stalling when starting is difficult to find.
The first part of the test took place in the quarry.
Tobias Münchinger "flies" the second fastest lap time with the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure: 1: 33.04 min.
BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.
Depending on how thick the soles of the driver’s boots are and whether the driver is sitting or standing, the foot brake lever of the BMW can be operated with or without the foldable second extension arm.
Dynamic ESA: This black box is the symbol for the semi-active chassis of the BMW. Depending on the load, different spring preloads are fixed, the damping is constantly readjusted while driving. Even when jumping.
“It was clear: Uwe took the boss’s card and grabbed the KTM. But it’s not bad. The thickly armored BMW Adventure drives really well and flies even better! ”- Tobias“ Tobi ”Münchinger.
You could already tell from the PS musketeers that milling around in the terrain is not exactly part of the routine …
… And then the most experienced enduro rider was the first to be hit …
… The author, meanwhile, lost himself without a motorcycle.
Volkmar “Jacko” Jacob now manages the fastest lap in the quarry on the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro. At 1: 29.83 minutes, he was the only one to stay under one and a half minutes.
Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro.
Cool exhaust design: the silencer runs nice and narrow along the right swing arm. The cover made of stainless steel sheet keeps hot exhaust gases away from the case.
The water pump is drawn in very far compared to the wide structure of the tank and fairing. A larger stone should not be where it hits if it falls. The steel gear lever could easily be bent back after the fall.
“Huh, huh, huh, I poured the boys on the Duc in the area properly. After all, the second best time on asphalt, overall victory! it’s the man, not the machine! “- Volkmar” Jacko “Jacob
Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro (from right to left), KTM 1190 Adventure R and BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.
Volkmar Jacob (left): “Enduro riding means looking, reading the track.” …
… Today, however, it also includes choosing the right mode for ABS and traction control.
The lightest motorcycle only achieved the third fastest lap time in the quarry. Uwe needed 1: 34.65 min "Super U" Seitz on the KTM 1190 Adventure R..
KTM 1190 Adventure R..
In contrast to the 950 and 990 adventures, the reservoir for the dry sump lubrication is integrated in the front part of the housing. Its protective plastic coating therefore met the testers with some skepticism, but remained undamaged.
Down-to-earth, but comfortable to use: the rear suspension strut is pretensioned using a handwheel, while the competition offers electrically adjustable suspension elements with electronic controls.
“The well-known KTM slogan ‘Ready to Race’ even applies to this big bucket. Not necessarily my favorite in orange, but a clear statement on and off the road ”- Uwe“ Super-U ”Seitz.
After a handful of euro coins had evaporated while cleaning the motorcycles, other tires had to be fitted for the second part of the test. With Conti TKC 80 and Pirelli Scorpion Rally, as worn by BMW, KTM and Ducati, there is not much to order on asphalt.
With fresh tires on the next day, we drove north from Stuttgart on the autobahn to the Bosch test site in Boxberg. Two newly built handling courses have been in operation there since the beginning of the year, which PS was allowed to use for the second part of the shootout.
Same procedure, different route: three, two, one and go! …
The PS troop is much more experienced with asphalt and slopes than with gravel. That could change, because all three of them are attached to the terrain again.
Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro (front), BMW R 1200 GS Adventure and KTM 1190 Adventure R..
This time in third place: The BMW R 1200 GS Adventure needs 1: 02.28 min for one lap.
A little faster: The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro with 1: 01.40 min.
The KTM 1190 Adventure R is the only one with a time of 0: 59.53 min.
Volkmar Jacob has therefore been confirmed as the worthy winner of the editorial team’s internal driver rating. This result is all the more to be appreciated since he had the most difficult bike to ride.
But if you were to apply a correction factor for the terrain qualities of the KTM … No, we won’t. The three of them know exactly where they stand anyway.
BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.
Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro.
KTM 1190 Adventure R..
BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro, KTM 1190 Adventure R.
Large enduro in comparison test
In this comparative test of a different kind, the large enduro bikes BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro and KTM 1190 Adventure R face each other.
Heavenly thunderous weather, go to the quarry. ”I received this request when the customs were still harsher and annoyed teachers could allow themselves to do the same with less motivated students. Today I can report execution – decades late. As an author, I was allowed to accompany my colleagues from PS, who, as in previous years, came up with a so-called “special story” for their November issue. Especially then usually means especially gaga. This year, the three travel enduros BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro and KTM 1190 Adventure R prove themselves at the extreme points of their application spectrum, off-road and on the racetrack.
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BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro, KTM 1190 Adventure R.
Large enduro in comparison test
The terrain is more difficult than it looks
At the first test, the landscape consisted of the already mentioned quarry on the Swabian Alb, and what difficulties it had in store looks more harmless than it is on the photos. Twenty percent steep driveways with deep, washed-out ruts, some of them filled with slipped coarse gravel, miniature dusty stone deserts, mud, smooth, bare limestone slabs, trial-like passages and jumping hills – for sensitive feelers of the slip limits of front tires it was the permanent stay in the disaster area.
PS boss Uwe Seitz is one of these avowed off-road skeptics, especially with machine weights of over 200 kilograms. So he assigned the motorcycles: he kept the KTM 1190 Adventure R, the lightest bike at a slim 244 kilograms, to himself, and gave his youngest tester Tobias Münchinger the 272 kilo BMW R 1200 GS Adventure to ride. The grave GS with its bearish-friendly engine characteristics should curb “Sir Tobi’s” temperament with a very short fuse. That remained the third, newest and heaviest machine at 277 kilograms, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro, for Volkmar Jacob. The long-time PS tester has the best references off-road and on-road, but freely admits that his enduro training in recent years has been limited to watching the layers of dust on his Honda XR 600 R grow thicker.
Passive seating position on the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro
But learned is learned. Jacob quickly pushed the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro to its limits. “The sitting position is quite passive due to the high handlebars that are pulled far back. I can’t get enough weight on the front wheel. In addition, the fuel in the tank sloshes violently back and forth very high up. Even maneuvering is a wobbly thing, and driving even more, ”was his characterization.
Under these circumstances it could hardly be avoided that he was the first to take a soil sample with the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro. He could have been told that he was drifting on chippings of grain 2 to 8, but as always he wanted to know exactly. The opportunity arose when a drift got a little too square for him and he had to briefly take off the gas. That was enough to bring the ground into the close-up range via the folding front wheel. The damage was kept within limits, and the PS testers now let nothing come of the steel gear lever, previously reviled for its cheap design. It could be straightened out again without any problems.
KTM 1190 Adventure R comparatively light and narrow
Sir Tobi meanwhile had different experiences. “Not bad at all,” he praised the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure. “I feel safe, the ergonomics are good and I have good traction in the rear. When going off-road with too much power and torque, then preferably on the GS. ”Shortly afterwards, he discovered a promising edge on a washed-out path that seemed to him suitable to demonstrate the balance of his machine. 150 meters run-up, almost 60 km / h, edge … The sonorous humming boxer engine seemed to hold its breath for a moment, and the BMW and its driver rose up into the air like a fairy. The landing took place exactly one second later after a flight of around 16 meters synchronously on both wheels. Clean, clean, just not quite so fairy anymore.
KTM rider Seitz explored his motorcycle in a less spectacular way. First he carefully practiced his ability to steer the machine with the throttle grip or the rear wheel breaking away and quickly gained enough confidence to cut faster corners with evenly pulled drifts. “The KTM 1190 Adventure R is comparatively light and narrow, I can move around on it easily and the traction behind is really good. The ABS in enduro mode is also great. Only in those slow hairpin bends, where you either don’t drift enough or too much and then depending on the front or rear wheel, the chunk still scares me. ”In the meantime, Jacob and Münchinger had staked an off-road course for the individual time trial. And as if they had heard the final statement from their boss, they put a 270-degree loop in the middle of the steep driveway, in which the driving line led across a lane and a sharp edge. Extremely difficult to take, a trial section rather than an enduro section. To compensate for this, they built two fast right-hand turns and a few loops that were drawn around wide for a medium-fast pace. To the left, to the right, a little of everything.
Just a timed lap – everything has to be right
Ultimately, the bend on the steep slope turned out to be a key point, but not because there was a lot of time to be gained there. You could lose a lot of time there, and that happened to BMW driver Münchinger of all people. Precisely because the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, with its large steering angle and easily controllable power input, is actually well suited for such trials. But who likes to push a 272-kilo warhorse down the slope into a tight curve? Sir Tobi dared, but unfortunately he missed the supportive thrust at the apex and the BMW lay upside-down on the steep slope. It speaks for the fitness and determination of the young rider, how quickly he had the massive GS back on the wheels and finished the lap with a lot of anger on the throttle. But the lap time was of course spoiled, which is why he was given a second try. He almost got caught in the same place again, but with a little more momentum and luck he circumnavigated the cliff and reached the second best time.
Seitz did not manage the best lap time on the KTM 1190 Adventure R, which he takes on his cap in his own honesty. “With this motorcycle I should actually drive the other two into the ground. You can tell the KTM has its off-road genes on every meter. She actually helped me through that stupid hook up there. But in the passages where she pushes downhill over the front wheel, I’m just too careful. “
Stage victory goes to the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro
The round of the terrain of the PS-Biathlon clearly went to Volkmar Jacob, who had integrated the characteristics of “his” Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro into his driving program in the course of persistent off-road boom. He was the only one who managed a lap time of less than a minute and a half. It was nice to see how he drove the bulky Multistrada Enduro around the course. Depending on the section, very soulful, driving smoothly with little speed in third gear or hard on the gas in first or second when he jiggled the Ducati’s hindquarters before the bends. He drove the wide right curve at the end of the lap in a rather unspectacular manner, but that was no boring number, but a demonstration of efficient use of engine power. A well-deserved stage win, a big compliment
The conclusion about the terrain characteristics of the three motorcycles will come as little surprise to experienced enduro riders. When things get really rough, less is more. Less horsepower and Newton meters are more, and fewer kilos are five times more. Driving aids such as the appropriately selected level of traction control or ABS on the front wheel are now also very helpful off-road. As long as the route is not too winding and blocked, they help to move even large and heavy motorcycles such as the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, Multistrada 1200 Enduro and KTM 1190 Adventure R in a sporty manner. And all of our admiration for the achievements of the Dakar riders has increased immeasurably as we slide around in the terrain. After a handful of euro coins had evaporated while cleaning the motorcycles, other tires had to be fitted for the second part of the test. With Conti TKC 80 and Pirelli Scorpion Rally, as worn by BMW, KTM and Ducati, there is not much to order on asphalt. That is why they were replaced by Michelin Anakee 3, Conti Trail Attack 2 and Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2.
The second lap: from the dirt to the cleanest asphalt
With fresh tires on the next day, we drove north from Stuttgart on the autobahn to the Bosch test site in Boxberg. Two newly built handling courses have been in operation there since the beginning of the year, which PS was allowed to use for the second part of the shootout. It was a ride on wonderful gourmet asphalt, a very pleasant contrast to the rough road conditions from the day before. The fact that the fine-grained surface doesn’t offer quite as much grip as a proper racetrack macadam suited the testers at exactly the right time. This reduced the risk of overheating the tires and increased the challenge of feeling the slip limit.
After a few practice rounds on both courses, the decision was made for variant 2. If this course were a slalom, it would be described as strongly turning. In fact, it consists mainly of curves that enclose angles of at least 120 degrees, often over 180 degrees. The whole thing leads lively uphill and downhill, in a right-hand bend the apex is exactly on a slight knoll and as a special treat the planners have built in a jagged, fast right-left lean angle change downhill at full acceleration. Splendid.
Weird is faster
Unlike off-road, this track showed that the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure is actually as wide as it looks. Whereby it was not the outstanding cylinder heads of the boxer or the surrounding cane that limited the lean angle, but the ergonomics. You can’t get the inside foot out of the scratch area. It is true that only the left footrest has retained slight traces of oblique driving, but continued contact with the ground of the boots that were already fully back drove with them as a constant warning to lower the GS. What the tires would have allowed. The extreme hanging-off of BMW driver Münchinger should therefore not be misunderstood as pure posing; it arose from pure necessity and is an expression of his unconditional willingness to give everything.
The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro and especially the KTM 1190 Adventure R allow a few degrees more lean angle, which their riders knew how to use. In the time hunt, which was carried out according to the same procedure as in the field, Jacob drove the Multistrada a good nine-tenths on the BMW. Nevertheless, he was not entirely satisfied. “The front wheel is the critical area here too. I just can’t get it to lead as safely as I need it to. I am missing the feedback. Besides, I don’t understand the engine and it doesn’t understand me either, ”he said soberly on record.
“Look at that”
The latter describes the reaction of the ride-by-wire to the throttle commands and the performance characteristics of the Ducati engine. The V2 of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro only pulls energetically from 5000 rpm, in order to really start firing from 7000 rpm. The question must be allowed whether you really need variable timing for this? Mind you: The traction control couldn’t help it, because it was on the second sharpest level.
You actually didn’t need a stopwatch to evaluate Uwe Seitz’s lap. Just from the precision and sharpness with which he circled the wide arches you could tell that the fastest symbiosis of driver and machine was at work here. “Take a look at it,” said Münchinger involuntarily, who is used to seeing a lot of action thanks to his season in the Yamaha Cup. Almost two seconds faster than Jacob on a Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro, Seitz lapped the course on a KTM and then gave his machine a pat on the tank like a loyal horse after a faultless obstacle ride. They were the only ones who stayed below the minute limit. “At first I had doubts whether the large, narrow front tire would stick properly. But it feels great. I don’t really care that I need more strength to turn. In addition, the KTM 1190 Adventure R has plenty of lean angle and this fabulous engine. Spontaneous on the gas, a lot of pressure down below and all the more up above. Great.”
Victory goes to Volkmar Jacob and the Ducati
Volkmar Jacob has therefore been confirmed as the worthy winner of the editorial team‘s internal driver rating. This result is all the more to be appreciated as he had the most difficult bike to ride. If it comes down to the addition of the place numbers, Seitz and Münchinger share second place; in the sum of the lap times, Seitz experiences a wafer-thin lead over Münchinger thanks to his Boxberg time. But if you were to apply a correction factor for the terrain qualities of the KTM 1190 Adventure R … No, we won’t. The three of them know exactly where they stand anyway.
Fortunately, anyone who had thought up to this point that this story would grow into an organized break was mistaken. Apart from the straight bent gear lever of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro, the only damage to complain about was a broken hand protector and a dent in the front wheel of the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure. Where does it come from? All those involved were spared from personal injury. The question that remains is which “special story” the PS guys are coming up with for next year’s November issue. In an initial brainstorming session, roller long jump was considered. Not bad, but I have another idea. How about a race track tour through Germany? On electric motorcycles. I would join the stream. For weeks.
Here you can see an extract of the technical data. If you would like the complete measurement values determined by us, including all consumption, torque and acceleration values, you can buy the article as a PDF for download.
The best off-road motorcycle is also the fastest on asphalt. The slim and straightforward KTM 1190 Adventure R therefore rightly wins this special comparison, which amounts to a wide balancing act. The BMW R 1200 GS Adventure deserves second place as a stringent implementation of a concept geared more towards suitability for everyday use and long-distance travel. Its engine shines with a rested, powerful power delivery, its chassis is easy to handle despite its high weight. The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro is not that easy to drive because of its heavy weight and high center of gravity. The engine also requires getting used to in the dynamic operating conditions.
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