Comparison test middle class BMW F 650 GS Honda Deauville Yamaha XJ 600 S Diversion Tour


Comparison test middle class
BMW F 650 GS
Honda Deauville
Yamaha XJ 600 S Diversion Tour


One-, two- and four-cylinder, all equipped for tourist projects, each in their own way, but all with one goal: the most beautiful route.

Cackling, a horde of chickens rushes apart, scurrying for life in panic between brake disks and panniers and hiding excitedly behind rotting wooden fences. “Wienerwald” shoots through your head, lined up on a spit, lulled your life for fourfold. But hooray, the organic chickens benefit from the jagged, nimble lane change of the Yamaha XJ 600. Once again, the chicken is in the middle of the Upper Swabian hinterland, whose grumpy natives, apart from snail tractors and the daily milk truck, hardly know a faster way of getting around. And certainly not their chickens.
The attempt to vaguely determine one’s position using a map fails because of the tiny streets and paths. Left goes somewhere, right goes somewhere. Left around on gravel, right around on asphalt. A look at the sky. Gravel, because the sun is shining there, but the strip of asphalt marches straight into a gloomy rain hole.
Left around is great because you can enjoy touring on gravel. Picture-perfect landscape, lush meadows in front of a snow-covered alpine panorama and a steel-blue sky. Postcard idyll. Ohhh, sorry, because of the sheer idyll, you almost forgot what it’s all about. Of course, for the comparison test between the single-cylinder BMW F 650 GS with ABS and all the piping, the two-cylinder Honda Deauville in functional touring outfit and the four-cylinder Yamaha XJ 600 S with chubby travel suitcases.
The big Boxer GS recently also had a little sister, the 650 GS. With a typical beak face, logical, but without a beefy boxer. But it doesn’t matter because the Munich single is simply awesome. Shoots out of the cellar like a prick, silky soft and supple, pulls the 211 kilograms from zero to one hundred in 5.1 seconds. Potzblitz, what a motor. One can confidently say: the best single cylinder in the world. Has to refuel as rarely as in camel water. But it hangs spontaneously and lively like shaken champagne on the gas cord. Vibrations? Appropriate, but unobtrusive, which even the thinnest filament need not fear. Just want to start ?? the stew sometimes not really. The electric starter occasionally becomes almost lame when it is overheated. Despite the injection. Or just because of that? Doesn’t matter, because in the end it still buzzes.
In terms of entertainment value, it casually overshadows the Japanese, because pure dynamics and rumbling sound find an unexpected harmony. The gear change, an acoustically clearly mechanical process with long shift travel, does not always work right away if the operator is sloppy. Instead, the F 650-Single only knows unsavory roughness in the load change process from hearsay. The bottom line is an ingenious drive for tourist activities. Simply great.
What torments travelers: the hard, uncomfortable bench in the lower version, which makes shunting technical fuss easier, but in the long run tortures the seat meat. No approval is given, even with the handlebars positioned too high in relation to the low seat height, which forces an orthopedically questionable hollow back. No question about it, the higher, more heavily upholstered standard bench is clearly the better choice.
The handbrake lever is also not an ergonomic feat. Positioned much too close to the rubber grip, you grasp the lever just behind the pivot point, wasting unnecessary manual strength and control. You can also quickly twist your thumb on the inconveniently placed indicator switch.
Swam over it. Narrow tires in Funduro format, a wide handlebar, and the BMW pulls the handling joker. Tight hairpin bends, worm-like meanderings, not an issue for the F 650. Only at speeds over 100 km / h are brisk changes in lean angle with noticeable tenacity. The 19-inch front wheel and a steering geometry trimmed for stability (steering head angle 61 degrees, caster 113 millimeters) are likely to be the causes.
To make amends, the BMW driver climbed the nooks and crannies of the mountain pass even with a pillion passenger in his back. Fork and shock absorber barely show any nakedness, even under heavy loads, especially since the BMW can be adjusted in no time at all with the hydraulic spring preload on the central shock absorber. The maximum preload is also the best solution when riding solo, because it makes the F 650 more manageable and increases the ground clearance. Complaints from the second row are not to be feared even in marathon stages, the Bavarians have set up a very comfortable place where there is nothing to complain about except for the unstable plastic handle.
In terms of accessories and special equipment, even the smallest BMW model is always up to date: a functional luggage system in which the width of the suitcase can be varied using clever telescopic technology, cozy heated grips for unexpected frosts, a main stand for the Chain maintenance in between. Well done.
The lonely disc brake in the front wheel is not so convincing, which works up a sweat on a brisk descent and with a full load and demands more and more powerful grip. Serious fading problems do not occur, but turned a deep blue and accompanied by screeching squeaking noises, the extreme load leaves its mark on the 300 millimeter disc. In return, the ABS, which is subject to a surcharge, ensures lock-free emergency braking, at most disturbing due to the violently pulsating foot brake lever. If you don’t like it, the system paralyzes it at the push of a button, which is the best solution for gravel tours anyway.
Gravel tours? With the Honda Deauville? Casual. Because the 244-kilo monster is pleasantly dampened and sprung, doesn’t shrink even on furrowed ground, and doesn’t hesitate when it comes to windy corners and paths. By God not a weasel, but with a patient chauffeur, the sedate Honda joins the Bayern courier with only a slight delay. The Deauville demands more emphasis and committed physical effort in the winding terrain, but swings majestically and confidently over the country. Only the stubborn straightening up when braking in an inclined position forces the rider to keep the reins taut, otherwise the Honda glides along without complaints and quirks, is delayed by finely calculable brakes.
The steering iron at elbow height, clocks, switches, storage compartments, everything clearly arranged, the Deauville looks like a meticulously tidy desk. In addition, orthopedically perfect seating without corners and edges and on the third day of travel gladly taken over by the sore BMW buttocks. The best grades in this regard are also reported from the second row. The crew of the Deauville is only easily rocked when cornering briskly, and the chassis announces its limits.
The revised NTV 650 engine, which lifts its 56 hp with all its might against the masses, wages a fight against windmills. Subjectively a bit tough, the bare readings of the weighty Deauville attest a surprisingly quick acceleration at full throttle canter. Once in motion, the Honda mutates into a rocket on the track, because weight hardly counts anymore and the chubby casing effortlessly pushes its way through the atmosphere. The two-cylinder runs at a tight 182 km / h, and if it has to, even for a long time. Because the fairing protects properly, albeit with noisy turbulence, the V2 engine purrs inconspicuously and the driving stability only suffers from gusts of wind or massive bumps.
A real pleasure on long journeys: the inconspicuous, low-maintenance cardan drive, which itself provokes hard load changes without annoying reactions. A travel steamer for every day, not necessarily exciting, but very reliable. The stowage space of the integrated panniers, which comes as standard, is somewhat meager, but it can be increased from 18 to 27 liters if necessary by retrofitting it in the form of voluminous side flaps, which cost around 590 marks.
Such measures are superfluous with the Yamaha XJ 600 S Diversion Tour. 35 liters in size and mighty, the case system clearly protrudes over the slim body of the four-cylinder. Not only slim, but also by far the handiest vehicle in the trio, the Diversion in the tour version whets its way through the landscape like a rag on a stick. In direct comparison to the BMW F 650 and especially to the Honda Deauville, the lightness of the XJ 600 makes you almost nervous. If Yamaha had corrected the weak fork set-up that was criticized a thousand times over the years, the nimble diversion could become a celebrated cornering star.
But as it is, annoying up and down movements of the front section spark in between during the lively curve dance. The result: little feeling for the front wheel, which occasionally loses its grip when braking on bumpy asphalt. When fully loaded, the fork presses itself against the stop with beautiful regularity. The XJ chassis is also slightly embarrassed. The directly hinged shock absorber, on the other hand, is surprisingly resilient; when it is adjusted to position six, it barely punctures and keeps the XJ stable on course when whizzing around corners with a passenger. The helmsman has to endure nagging anyway. The cases are mounted too close to the pillion rests and press on the heel and fibula.
Despite the suspension-related weaknesses, the XJ is in a good mood. Because you can quickly come to terms with the shortcomings and enjoy the ease of travel. When cornering, maneuvering, strolling, somehow like a moped, the whole thing. Not much of the fat 229 kilograms can be felt. Of course, the air-cooled four-cylinder must be kept on its toes, fed with gas and speeds. But then he marches briskly forward, boasts of the best acceleration and swings up to 180 km / h despite the huge suitcase. Tingling vibrations, hooking, loud gear changes and the highest consumption in the trio are among the downsides of the Yamaha drive.
E.end of the imagination. The organic chickens have their rest again, the BMW driver a can of ointment and the hiking group the knowledge that the middle class tourers are also a great recommendation for first-class travel adventures.

2nd place – BMW F 650 GS

Fascinating that the BMW single-cylinder burns so much. Pulling, sprinting, consumption ?? everything top notch. Whether adventurous touring or a brisk ride on Sunday morning, the F 650 has it all. Equipped with all sorts of luxury for a surcharge, the only thing missing is a more powerful braking system and a sophisticated, ideally individually adjustable seat position. The function of the regulated catalytic converter in question (see page XX) also requires a reliable solution.

1st place – Honda Deauville

Typically Honda. Without a big assassin, but rather reserved in appearance, the Deauville hums ahead. Certainly not after the first five corners, but after a thousand and one kilometers at the latest, you can no longer ignore the well thought-out, foolproof Honda travel concept. Because everything is conclusive, people feel at home and, last but not least, the low-maintenance cardan drive makes the trip even more vacation. And after all, you deserve it.

3rd place – Yamaha XY 600 S Diversion Tour

Lost? In terms of points, yes. But the low-cost all-rounder with a flanged luggage system will certainly do justice to all those tourists who take their journey a bit more comfortably. Playful in handling and maneuvering, manageable in technology and function, the XJ 600 S lacks superior chassis qualities and pulling power. Nevertheless: The Yamaha is just fun. Maybe because the little quirks and flaws can not only be annoying, but also entertaining.

Feather plant

Finally holidays. The sandwiches are still nicely lubricated, a sack full of apples for a snack in between, and then let’s go. And before things really start, the first question mark. Why does the box now all of a sudden roll and roll as if drunk? Mostly because the luggage and the passenger completely redefine the center of gravity and the suspension setup. Sure, heavy luggage or tools are stowed as deeply as possible in the suitcase, light utensils can be stored in the top of the tank bag. And yet the load is shifted enormously to the rear wheel. MOTORRAD measured it with the BMW F 650 GS, where in touring trim almost 70 percent of the total weight is on the rear axle, in solo mode it is just 58 percent. The logical way to do justice to such driving conditions would be to replace the rear spring with a much harder one. In practice, however, this is too complicated, too time-consuming. So the spring is pretensioned more strongly via an adjustment, either mechanically as with the Yamaha or hydraulically with BMW and Honda. This does not make it harder, but it does raise the starting position of the rear of the machine. The consequences: the negative spring travel is less, the positive spring travel is greater (see sketch). Due to the positive spring deflection gained, the spring must be compressed by the corresponding distance until it reaches the shock absorber, which leads to a higher spring force. This is now big enough to absorb bumps and potholes without the spring system going into block. Another advantage of the adjusted spring preload: the steering head angle and caster do not change quite as drastically with a high load, the machine loses less handiness with more preload at the rear. A change in the steering head angle of almost two degrees (61 to 59 degrees) between the maximum and minimum pre-tensioned spring was measured on the BMW. A more strongly preloaded spring has no effect whatsoever on driving comfort and responsiveness, since, as already mentioned, the spring stiffness remains the same. What is changed, however, is the seat height and the center of gravity. In the case of the Yamaha, the progressively wound fork springs also had to struggle with the high payload, because when the load is hard, almost 100 percent of the total load is shifted to the front axle. Since there are no adjustment options on the Yamaha XJ 600, the fork plugs were dismantled, the springs were pretensioned more by means of two 15 millimeter long, additional sleeves and the progressive spring effect of the air cushion by increasing the fork oil level to 115 millimeters (measured with the fork completely submerged without spring) reinforced. Result: The Yamaha is much more stable on the brakes, the fork seldom hits. The slightly more unwieldy turning in due to the higher front section is to be tolerated. The air pressure should also be increased on touring machines with maximum payload in order to improve the stability of the tire casing. Up to 2.6 bar at the front and 3.1 bar at the rear wheel in most cases increase driving stability and reduce tire wear. Don’t forget: Adjust the air pressure down again in solo mode. Another tip: Before the trip, the fully packed machine should be moved a few kilometers on the home route so that you can clearly see the changes in driving behavior and make any further changes to the chassis. Overtaking maneuvers and acceleration maneuvers take a long time with full weight, handling and lean angle often deteriorate significantly. And: the suitcases are wider than you think, a fender is dented in a jiffy while winding through the columns of cars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *