Comparison test: fun bikes

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Comparison test: fun bikes


Comparison test: fun bikes

Comparison test: Funbikes, BMW R 1200 GS, Ducati Multistrada 1100
BMW R 1200 GS, Ducati Multistrada 1100 S, Triumph Tiger 1050

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Axel S. must be a Triumph fan. Why else would the sprightly early retiree from Frankfurt / Oder have narrow viewing slits like Tiger 1050 carved into his face in a spectacular action? After all, the blue shade is pretty good, but while the English woman walks through life with clear lines and a moderately angular outfit, the human imitation looks rather bulky, at least at the moment. That would have been better suited to the previous model 955, but Mr. S. again lacks the silver look.

Stefan luck


The new Tiger has nothing in common with its predecessor apart from the name and a transversely installed three-piece in a row, it is a completely new design. Already in the Sprint ST and the Speed ​​Triple, the almost legendary three-cylinder, which has now grown to 1,050 cubic centimeters, pulls the riders’ arms out and the corners of their mouths up towards the earlobes. For use in the Tiger, a couple of teeth were pulled out of the top for even more confident cornering, but he trained the half-distance punch all the more strongly in the mid-rev range.

With a measured 117 hp, lack of power is not an issue. The power is delivered to the rear wheel via a smooth and easy-to-dose clutch and an exact, albeit hard-to-shift, six-speed gearbox. Its diameter, like that of its front colleague, is 17 inches with the rim widths that are common today. So nothing stands in the way of using commercially available road rubbers. As standard, the Tiger rolls on the Michelin Pilot Road S, with which it harmonizes well.

In Hinckley, the birthplace of Triumph, nobody says “travel enduro” anymore, but rather a multifunctional bike for use on paved roads of any category. So that it always cuts a fine figure there, the developers gave it a fully adjustable upside-down fork at the front. Their characteristics, however, are not the last word in wisdom: the very soft basic set-up ensures a high level of driving comfort, but not only absorbs uneven road surfaces, but also the feedback from the brake. You never know exactly what is going to happen up there between the rubber and the asphalt. You only notice that you are slowing down rapidly, the effect of the radially screwed brake calipers is really formidable in and of itself.

At the rear, a spring strut with adjustable preload and rebound damping ensures road contact and driving comfort. A multi-part bridge frame made of welded cast aluminum elements instead of steel tubing acts as the load-bearing element of the new one. The bottom line is that the Tiger has become a whopping 17 kilograms lighter. This and the revised steel tank, which allows a seating position that is significantly more oriented towards the front wheel than before, allow the new Tiger to take a considerable leap forward in terms of driving dynamics.

In order to find out where the big cat can be found in the ranking, PS brought two well-known and proven representatives of the big fun bike or fun big bike category with them to the first contact. The mother of all large-caliber fun bikes awaits, the BMW R 1200 GS. It is no coincidence that the Bajuwarin has always been at the forefront of the registration statistics since the start of production: Regardless of whether it is a short jaunt on Sunday morning, a detour on gravel roads or the big vacation tour including a trip to the motorway for two with luggage, the GS is not too fine for anything . Of course, there is more suitable material for the racetrack, but with this shortcoming, the BMW is in good company in the test field.

Comparison test: fun bikes


In addition, the Ducati Multistrada 1100 S found the way to the editorial office. The S of the test machine costs an impressive 1500 euros extra compared to the standard version. This requirement could not have been justified with the sticker alone, which is why there is also a handlebar made of butted aluminum tube (it is thinner at the handles than in the middle) instead of the steel one, a carbon body for the front wheel and fine, fully adjustable ones Chassis goods from Ohlins.

The first differences become apparent as soon as you sit up. The Tiger offers a wide and comfortable shelf for the very least, your hands fall on the rubber-mounted handlebars as if by themselves. Ignition on, wait 2 to 3 seconds for the various electronic systems to report “Ready to rumble”. Start, the transmission clones the first lap, drive off.

The GS doesn’t make it that easy, especially newbies can be identified quickly: Once they have climbed the also very chest of drawers from the wide cylinders without any wounds and grabbed the handlebars that are far away, they look quite disappointed from the laundry when you – supposedly – press the starter button: Instead of the starter, the right turn signal starts working. The start button is located where other motorcycles – including BMW – have the kill switch. You just have to know, then things will also be buzzing.

Apart from the handlebar fittings, the operation of the GS-Boxer is easy and user-friendly. The on-board computer, which is subject to a surcharge, also reveals its information to non-IT specialists. The ABS, which is also only available for a separate fee, does its job inconspicuously and efficiently. It can be deactivated at the push of a button – highly recommended for off-road inserts. The multistrada is also not that easy to conquer. Your sitting position, which has been moved far forward, and the uncomfortable position of your wrists on the barely cranked handlebars are not for everyone. The Sitzbrotchen comes – in order to exhaust the language image – at least the day before, if not the previous week: Its degree of hardness does not make contacting any easier. In any case, none of the test drivers complained about insufficient fuel range. Even the morning cold start on the Duc is an experience that ensures increased adrenaline output in nervous contemporaries: a brief press on the servo starter is enough and the starter thuds away. It sets the crankshaft in rotation at a speed that you would expect in clockworks, and the noise it generates leaves no doubt that it has to work hard. Sweaty and out of breath, but ultimately successful, he brings his mission to a close.

In the new air-cooled 1100 V2, the clutch is bathed in oil for the first time. This has a positive effect on noise development, but less on the operator. Pulled with power on the left lever, engaged the first gear of the smoothest and most precise transmission in the test field, and off you go. By and large, the operation is not a mystery; this only applies to a limited extent for the multifunctional instrument in the cockpit. The responsibilities of his two buttons have not yet been fully clarified, which is irrelevant in that some of the displayed values ​​cannot be explained with mathematics and physics alone.

In addition, the Multistrada has a pronounced tendency to slope. That tendency, namely, to hang the front wheel in the sky simply by boldly accelerating in the first two gears. A source of joy for fans of high-profile driving dynamics, more down-to-earth contemporaries should be warned. So the three surfed on the waves of their torque waves towards the sunset, and if they weren’t knocked out. have gone … no. We are not that far yet.

Comparison test: fun bikes


Although the BMW boxer shakes below 3000 revs in the upper gears like a wet dog. However, there is no cause for complaint about this running culture and power output. The chassis is also not a headache, there are hardly any adjustment options. Only the spring preload is variable at the front, and the rebound damping of the shock absorber at the rear. Opened by half a turn, it gave the best driving characteristics in the test.

With the Multistrada, on the other hand, there are hardly any limits to the experiments on the chassis. In the delivery state, the lean angle is severely limited to the right – so the rear is raised by means of an adjustable push rod. Results: there is ground clearance, driving stability is gone, the Duc is around the corner and can no longer hold a line. Then let out the fork, which has been pushed through, by the same amount in order to restore balance – and drive the seat height to a proud 870 millimeters. The following settings have proven to be a good compromise between stability and comfort: Open the front rebound 20, the compression 23 clicks. Pretension the spring as little as possible at the rear, open the rebound stage 21 and the compression stage 14 clicks.

The Duc also needs to be operated precisely when it comes to revs: it doesn’t really go below 3000 revs, in the upper gears there should be at least 4000 so that the chain does not saw on the rocker. With the Tiger, from a horsepower point of view, the best results are achieved if the fork springs are pretensioned so that two rings remain visible. The compression stage in the right fork leg is opened one turn, the rebound stage in the left leg 1.25 turns. The rebound stage of the shock absorber must be completely closed, otherwise it will be rocky. Prepared in this way, it goes hush-hush, no, not into the basket, but rather to what cartographers prefer to use white and yellow for. If you don’t have an atlas at hand: A commercially available low or high mountain range will do the job. There the Duc is in top form, hungry on the accelerator and, thanks to a successful combination of torque curve and overall gear ratio, it clearly makes the fastest progress, waking up the super motorist in the driver. The harder it drives it, the more jagged it reacts and the more precisely it circles around the radii. The gears slide like Calippo and rest like Ed von Schleck, the Multistrada remains absolutely neutral on the brakes. In addition, when overrun, there was this wonderful exhaust that was almost forgotten in Euro 3 times. Simply wonderful, who offers more?

For example the tigers. With her, it’s the growling sound in the burst that is addicting. The frequency is freely selectable, because regardless of the gear engaged, the triple does not pull the chain like Cerberus in its best days.

In addition to these extroverted character actors, the GS only remains third in the show rating. Objectively she is full of music, subjectively it is only enough for her to spare. The boxer gives its undoubtedly abundant power very linearly, so unspectacularly from the six-speed gearbox. The softly tuned chassis suggests, through constant movements, higher speed than is actually available. If something does slip, the anti-lock braking system installed on the test machine for a slim 1050 euros surcharge helps to save what can still be saved.

Speaking of surcharges: The Tiger will be optionally available with ABS from February 2007, and a gel bench seat (highly recommended!), Luggage system, main stand, heated grips, a higher windshield and more sound-intensive exhausts are on the surcharge list. The Multistrada “S” is already Top of the Pops.

Comparison test: fun bikes


That leaves the BMW. The basic price of 12,050 euros already scratches the limit of what is bearable, but it’s just the basic price. The dealer wants to see a whopping 14,100 euros in the equipment of the test motorcycle. ABS, on-board computer, hand protectors, heated grips, case holders, wire-spoke wheels, white indicator glasses and the chrome-plated exhaust manifold are available as chargeable extras. In terms of finish, the Triumph hardly gives cause for complaint: clean workmanship and a good fit wherever you look. Heavens knows why many screws are one centimeter longer than necessary. He, in turn, seems to have closed his locks during the testing phase of the Tiger, otherwise a test driver would have noticed that the dirt thrown up by the rear wheel finds its way to the pillion seat.

In the Ducati joy and sorrow lie close together. The steel tubular space frame shines with beautiful weld seams and lovely details, such as the eccentric adjustable pins on the shift and brake lever. Adjustable hand levers are a matter of course in this trio. On the other hand, one or the other plastic part of the Italian leaves a lot to be desired in the disciplines of stability and fit. The BMW is Teutonically robust and straightforward. Thoroughbred technicians were at work here, not fine spirits. Should larger transport tasks arise, the pillion seat of the BMW can be removed with one hand movement and provides a large loading area. On the Ducati you can open the right side of the fairing, but with the best will in the world, more than a pair of gloves won’t fit. And the triumph? A tiny compartment under the bench seat, there would be plenty of room for a balaclava. When you don’t have to wear it because you let yourself be beaten up. Isn’t that right, Axel?


Comparison test: fun bikes


The tiger manages to march through straight away. The reason for this is the extensive absence of real weaknesses and the formidable drive. A little more fine-tuning on the fork and brake, then it will be almost perfect.
Ergonomics is already there today.

The Multistrada is a bike for italophiles or passionate contemporaries, preferably both. The seating position takes getting used to, the driving characteristics react sensitively to changes in the setup. Those who are willing to get involved can be happy with it. Perfectionists should distance themselves or the GS: With the charm, but also the efficiency of a clerk, they take the ups and downs of a motorcycle existence under the wheels. Except for the extremely soft chassis, you can hardly blame it on anything.

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