Comparison test muscle bikes Ducati Harley-Davidson Suzuki Yamaha

Comparative test: muscle bikes 2011

Big bikes from Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Suzuki and Yamaha

The Italians are self-confident: their Ducati Diavel will put all cruiser and muscle bikes in their place. MOTORRAD wanted to know if it was true and rounded up the power bike elite for a showdown with the greatest bang.

They would like that, the Italians. Simply construct a motorcycle for a market that was previously uncharted territory and believe that it will outdo everyone. The Diavel, they claim, would accelerate faster than a Yamaha Vmax, brake harder than anything that has come before, come across as cooler and be much more manageable than all known bikes of this genre. Sounds very promising. But can that be? Without further ado, MOTORRAD invited three potential opponents to an exchange of blows: the cool Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle, representing the muscle bikes, the Suzuki Intruder M 1800 RZ for the power cruiser class and, finally, the Yamaha Vmax, whose dragster honor is too to defend: with just 2.7 seconds from a standstill to 100 km / h, it still holds the MOTORCYCLE acceleration record. And that, says Ducati Germany on its website, has it D.iavel undercut with just 2.6 seconds. Clear announcements to the rest of the world.

Comparative test: muscle bikes 2011

Big bikes from Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Suzuki and Yamaha

V-Rod Muscle perfect. Its low saddle at a height of only 700 millimeters can also be climbed with gout legs if necessary. Enter corridor, march off. Feet slightly forward, upper body pulled forward – that’s how it should be. You feel invincible, cool, like a superman who, with both fists stretched, flies into an adventure. This is ideal for short trips, but tiring in the long run. Especially at speeds above 130 km / h on the autobahn, the all-can-do attitude is annoying, because you sit like a parachute in the wind and have nowhere to support yourself.

Despite everything: The coolness factor is extremely high. The Suzuki Intruder is right behind the Harley in this regard. On the 1800 you sit just as low, but more upright, the footrests are also slightly forward. That makes them a little more comfortable in the long run and is ideal for cruising. The Intruder even manages the balancing act between long-legged and short-legged people: everyone between bonsai and guard size feels comfortable on it. For the ride on the Vmax, however, most pilots have to make compromises. The seat height of 780 millimeters is not particularly huge, but the wide saddle spreads the legs, and so the machine appears higher than it really is. Tall people hit the sweeping air scoops with their legs. Otherwise it fits: The pegs are placed slightly behind the driver, the handlebars are not too narrow, the upper body is only slightly pulled forward. So you can glide through the days without getting tired. The Vmax also gives away the feeling of inviolability. But in contrast to the Harley and Suzuki, this is not primarily the result of the casualness that generates a cool sitting posture, but the immense power that we will get to. And the Diavel?

Like no other, the pilot locks himself in a protruding seat hollow. Which has the advantage of being able to support your buttocks during brutal accelerations or on fast stretches of the motorway. The Italian embeds her drivers more sportily than the competition, her seating position is more gathered, more active. But still casual enough to be found cool. In addition, the view is unique. Nothing comes after the narrow cockpit. No annoying lamp. No shift light or elongated fenders. No nothing. As if sawn away. You can see handlebars and tire contour. That’s it. It’s Streetfighter-like. And also sets the direction for the pilot: The Italian does not want to stroll. It signals dynamism.


The posture is pretty cool on all models.

Shut up, the second: sound. Even while idling, the Italian Vau thuds as confidently as some Klitschko opponents before the fight. That turns on, promised a lot. This promise is kept during the journey. The deep suction noise from the voluminous airbox and the combustion drums from the silencers make the machine subjectively twice as potent. Don’t know what that means? Imagine a pitch dark room. And think of a little Paris Hilton puppy whistling gently. And then of the sounds made by a bull-necked Rottweiler who is about to steal his favorite bone from his mouth. Which voice do you have more respect for? With such a bass-heavy dog ​​by your side, you feel inviolable. The sound of the Diavel has the same feeling.

The intruder beat is even more pleasing. It’s almost as robust and even duller than the Diavel tenor. Since the Suzuki-Vau is usually moved at low speed, as is typical for cruisers, its sound is not as stimulating as that of the Italian, but has a massaging, calming, almost meditative effect. That fits perfectly. When idling, you would like to record the synchronous thunderbolts of the two 112 millimeter pistons and play them as lullabies before going to bed. Due to its V4 engine concept, Yamaha’s Vmax sounds completely different from the competition, which all rely on V2 engines. When driving at low speeds, it grows wonderfully, calms and strengthens self-confidence, and is always a source of good humor. And when the gas cable is fully tensioned, the inferno in the cylinder towers sweeps out of the bags as a thundering thunderstorm, reminiscent of the gurgling of a fat American V8.

That’s what power sounds like. Poor Harley! How could that happen? 1250 cubic meters, and they sound almost as pitiful as some hardware store 250s … Honestly, on its own, the water-cooled, kindergarten and nursing home-friendly whispering 60-degree V2 in the quiet of a desert night may beguile as a sound miracle. In addition to the other three character actors, the Harley seems acoustically powerless.

Flap, the third: engine feeling. The maximum possible acceleration from zero to 100 km / h is one thing. But if you want to achieve these values ​​determined by MOTORRAD, you need immense experience. And if you try to do that more often as an untrained person, you also have one or the other clutch. That is why we leave the test course studded with light barriers and pylons and dedicate ourselves to everyday life. It is not only the statement of an acceleration value that counts here, but above all how different a brilliant dash feels. Let’s just imagine a two-lane road leading out of the city and into freedom. Our four opponents are at the last red light in front of the horizon. You have to accelerate to 140 km / h and then cruise through the landscape. Idle hobbling, tense nerves, trembling knees. Pulled clutch, engaged first gear, eyes fixed on the signal box. Yellow! Infernal roar! Here we go.


Stable, agile and extremely potent – the Diavel loves slopes and speed.

The Suzuki makes it easy for its driver to snap out of pole, high speeds are not necessary, because just above idling speed the V2 presses a powerful 120 Nm of torque to the rear wheel via its cardan. To start off, it is almost enough to engage the clutch normally and to tension the throttle cable. Accompanied by the beguiling sound, you try desperately to cling to the handlebars. Because neither feet nor buttocks can find something to support. A sprint of the heaviest machine in the comparison at 350 kilograms feels monumental, much faster than the seven seconds to 140 km / h that were ultimately determined. This requires two gearshifts, each time causing unrest in the chassis. The reason is violent load change reactions from the cardan. That squeezes out tons of adrenaline. But that’s what you live for after all. The fact is: the Intruder is objectively the slowest. Still, it feels faster than the Harley.

There are two reasons for this: The American hip flask requires high speeds to snap from a standing start. You have to engage the clutch at around 5000 rpm. This gives the impression of poor performance. The Suzuki with 121 HP and the Harley with 126 HP are closely related to one another on the test bench.

The second reason for the wrong assessment is the difficult throttle grip of the V-Rod. This is where the age-old law of proportionality comes into play: it is easier to walk on a straight line than uphill.

Such comparisons are not necessary with the Vmax. The Japanese acceleration monster only knows two driving states when it comes to spurting traffic lights: engaging the clutch above 4000 rpm – bold black line, pulse 190, lots of smoke. And engage the clutch under it, accelerate fully – whimpering tires, and the stagnant air becomes an approaching fist, because after just 4.4 seconds the speedometer shows 140 km / h. Hold tight? Absolutely. You clench your handlebars in disbelief, you are always overwhelmed by the ease with which this powerful drive turns gasoline into thrust. He hisses between his legs almost as awe-inspiring as many a tuned dragster on his 400-meter determination and kindles a storm of enthusiasm that carries you away.

Can the Diavel keep up? Objectively not, because the Vmax is always ahead. Subjectively, however, yes, because the Italian beguiles all the senses. Your tire builds up so much grip that the machine hits the rear wheel when accelerating hard. Amazon. You take the gas back. New trial. The 153 hp have an easy job with the 241 kilograms. Thank goodness the Diavel has traction control that works well and is linked to three driving modes: Urban (limited to 100 hp) and Touring and Sport. The difference here: In sport mode, gas commands are implemented more directly and harder. So: Accelerating with the Diavel is just as electrifying as with the Vmax. Ultimately, she misses the Yamaha only half a second up to 140 km / h. The blink of an eye. No more.

Other power bikes in the test: BMW S 1000 RR, Kawasaki ZZR 1400 and Yamaha Vmax


The Indian bike – a quick twist of the throttle, and it’s smoking! No one has any more smoke.

Flap, the fourth: driving experience. Get on the M 1800 RZ. Chugging away just above idle, relaxed seating position, great sound – cruising par excellence. The 1800 engine is as strong as an ox and is elastic, as is the chassis.

As soon as you roll over grooves in the ground, the machine begins to tip over – the moment the 240 mm rear tire pulls up, says hello. And as soon as you drive faster, the chassis is in trouble, the underdamped spring elements pump and the footpegs hit the ground quickly. The thick Intruder is extremely unwieldy, but made for easy gliding and hates one thing like the plague: sportiness and speed. She is the epitome of a power cruiser.

It’s just a shame that their power cannot be implemented effectively. Switch to the Harley: Sound of silence, the coolest sitting and a motor that always seems strained and comparatively powerless due to its pointed character and the sluggish throttle grip. The Rod also receives no praise for its outstanding handiness. She rolls on a 240 that wants to push her off the ideal line when driving over bumps. And the Yamaha? Despite its weight of 314 kilograms, the mighty Max is a surprise in terms of driving dynamics. It offers decent lean angle, steers relatively neutrally and offers a puncture-proof chassis with reserves and comfort. In contrast to the Suzuki, your cardan works relatively poorly. No machine conveys the dragster feeling better than this Japanese cult bike thanks to its powerful motor.

Let’s get to the core question: where is the Diavel?? It rolls much more neutrally on its 240 mm rear tire than the competition with wide tires. Its firm, stable chassis can even handle fast, sporty rides: take aim, bend in, turn in – it fits! The Diavel is not a cruiser in the traditional sense. It’s not as cool on it as it is on the Harley. She also lacks the low-speed punch and the nonchalance of the Suzuki. And it cannot ignore the power of the Yamaha drive. But that doesn’t matter. Rather, this Ducati is the intersection of the other three. And almost as sporty as a naked bike.



The Italians are confident: Their Ducati Diavel will put all cruiser and muscle bikes in their place.

Unrestricted ruler: the Vmax engine dominates everything! And if it were not limited to 220 km / h, it would raise the bar even higher. The V4 does not have a weakness in any speed range, is always potent. You can drive it at low revs like the Suzuki, but it also turns off just as happily as the Harley or Ducati V2. No drive in the quartet switches more easily and precisely. Its only blunder: Sometimes it starts reluctantly when it is hot. The competition is struggling with completely different problems: the Diavel, for example, with its wobbly gearshift or the M 1800 RZ with enormously disruptive load change reactions. And V-Rod Muscle pilots exercise their left forearm with their rather stiff clutch.
Winner engine: Yamaha

landing gear
Dominant newcomer: You can tell the Diavel has its sporting genes: it is by far the lightest, has the greatest freedom of banking, is easiest to steer and gives its pilot the most precise feedback. The sporty chassis has only one disadvantage: it offers little comfort. Yamaha achieved the best fork set-up with the Vmax. With a super-sensitive response and great damping properties, it is ultimately puncture-proof and is the absolute reference in this field. The worst faux pas is the Suzuki, whose suspension elements are completely underdamped and thus generate several problems at the same time: The M 1800 RZ is restless at top speed and in corners, it steers indifferently and any feedback is diffuse.
Chassis winner: Ducati

everyday life
The secret sensation: a Ducati wins the everyday classification. Why? It collects a lot of points, especially when it comes to the equipment with its traction control and the various mappings. In addition, it doesn’t sit so badly on the machine in comparison. Which even applies to the pillion passenger. The Italians are making a joke about the chassis when it comes to the payload, which is extremely modest at 159 kilograms. According to Suzuki, you can load the most on their 1800s with 215 kilograms. In return, however, it has the most sparse equipment, you won’t even look for luggage eyelets, and the light output is relatively poor. Due to its extreme thirst, the Vmax loses valuable points in terms of range, but offers the most comfortable pillion seat of all.
Everyday winners: Ducati

Here, too, the Ducati sets standards with its very well-coordinated ABS and its wonderfully adjustable brakes. Above all, the Suzuki leaves feathers in this regard. When cold, the brakes are super dull, so they are difficult to control and there is no ABS. The Suzuki and Harley present themselves with absolutely no tendency to hit the handlebars, while the Diavel handlebars twitch slightly when you open the gas fully when driving over bumps.
Safety winner: Ducati

Power comes from fuel, the old wisdom meets the 200 hp monster
from Yamaha too, which already has around seven liters on country roads
100 kilometers drinks.
Winner cost: Ducati

 Maximum number of points  Ducati  Harley-davidson  Suzuki   Yamaha
Overall rating  1000  663  512  444  627
placement  1.  3.  4th.  2.
price-Performancegrade  1.0  3.2  4.0  4.0  4.0

Price-performance winner: Ducati
The Diavel is not only an excellent motorcycle from a muscle bike or cruiser aspect. And, viewed in the segment, even comparatively cheap.


The Ducati wins the race.

Ducati Diavel
She came, saw and won. Outstanding chassis properties, great engine, great brakes, surprising handling, fascinating design. bingo!

Yamaha Vmax
A world-class engine ensnared by a brutal look. Unfortunately, it is much slower and slower than the new Italian high-flyer. Sorry Max, the better is the enemy of the good.

Harley v-rod
Real, cool dragster feeling, but to keep this promise, the rod is missing a few horsepower. The Harley is quite unwieldy due to its seating position and wide tires.

Suzuki intruder
Great sound, great engine performance at low revs – but that’s about it. The chassis is poor, there is no ABS, and the steering behavior is anything but neutral.

Technical data: Ducati Diavel


The Ducati Diavel.


Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, two overhead, toothed belt-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, rocker arm and rocker arm, operated desmodromically, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 56 mm, alternator 430 W, battery 12 V / 10 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, (anti-hopping), six-speed gearbox, chain, secondary ratio 43:15. Bore x stroke 106.0 x 67.9 mm, displacement 1198 cm³, compression ratio 11.5: 1.
rated capacity 112.7 kW (153 PS) at 9500 rpm Max
Torque 128 Nm at 8000 rpm

landing gear

Steel tubular frame, upside-down fork, Ø 50 mm, adjustable spring base, pull-
and compression damping, single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 265 mm, two-piston fixed caliper, ABS. Spoked wheels with aluminum rims: 3.50 x 17; 8.00 x 17, tires: 120/70 ZR 17; 240/45 ZR 17, tires tested: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II.

Dimensions + weights

Wheelbase 1590 mm, steering head angle 62.0 degrees, caster 130 mm, spring travel f / h 120/120 mm, seat height * 770 mm, weight with a full tank * 241 kg, load * 159 kg, tank capacity / reserve 17.0 / 4.0 liters.

Guarantee: two years
Mobility guarantee: a year
Service intervals: 12,000 km
Colors: Black, black-red
Price: 16,990 euros
Additional costs: around 250 euros

Technical data: Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle


The Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle.


Water-cooled two-cylinder, four-stroke, 60-degree V engine, a balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 53 mm, uncontrolled catalytic converter , 439 W alternator, 12 V / 19 battery Ah, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, toothed belt, secondary ratio 72: 28.Bore x stroke 105.0 x 72.0 mm, displacement 1247 cm³, compression ratio 11.5 : 1.
rated capacity 89.0 kW (121 hp) at 8250 rpm
Max. Torque 115 Nm at 6500 rpm

landing gear

Double loop frame made of steel, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, two spring struts, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 300 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 300 mm, four-piston fixed caliper, ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels: 3.00 x 19; 8.00 x 18, tires: 120/70 ZR 19; 240/40 VR 18, tires tested: Michelin Scorcher 11.

Dimensions + weights

Wheelbase 1700 mm, steering head angle 56.0 degrees, caster 141 mm, spring travel f / r 102/74 mm, seat height * 700 mm, weight with a full tank * 307 kg, load * 181 kg, tank capacity / reserve 18.9 / 1.9 liters.

Guarantee: two years
Service intervals: 8000 km
Colors: Silver, yellow, black, white
Price: 19,145 euros
Additional costs: around 350 euros

Technical data: Suzuki Intruder M 1800 RZ


The Suzuki Intruder M 1800 RZ.


Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, injection, Ø 56 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system, 400 W alternator, 12 V / 18 Ah battery, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, cardan shaft, Secondary transmission, 2.82 bore x stroke 112.0 x 90.5 mm. Displacement 1783 cm³, compression ratio 10.5: 1.
rated capacity 92.0 kW (125 PS) at 6200 rpm
Max. Torque 160 Nm at 3200 rpm

landing gear

Double loop frame made of steel, upside-down fork, Ø 46 mm, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 310 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 275 mm, double-piston floating caliper. Cast aluminum wheels: 3.50 x 18; 8.50 x 18, tires: 130/70 R 18; 240/40 R 18, tires tested: Dunlop Sportmax D221.

Dimensions + weights

Wheelbase 1710 mm, steering head angle 58.8 degrees, caster 124 mm, spring travel f / r 130/118 mm, seat height * 700 mm, weight with a full tank * 350 kg, load * 215 kg, tank capacity / reserve 19.5 / 4.0 liters.

Guarantee: two years
Service intervals: 6000 km
Color: black
Price: 14,790 euros
Additional costs: around 230 euros

Technical data: Yamaha Vmax


The Yamaha Vmax.


Water-cooled four-cylinder, four-stroke 65-degree V engine, two overhead, gear / chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, regulated catalytic converter, 420 W alternator, 12 V / 11 Ah battery, hydraulically operated Multi-disc oil bath clutch, (anti-hopping), five-speed gearbox, cardan, secondary gear ratio 3.082. Bore x stroke 90.0 x 66.0 mm, displacement 1680 cm³, compression ratio 11.3: 1.
rated capacity 147.2 kW (200 PS) at 9000 rpm
Max. Torque 167 Nm at 6500 rpm

landing gear

Bridge frame made of cast aluminum, telescopic fork, Ø 52 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, six-piston fixed caliper, disc brake at the rear, Ø 298 mm, single-piston floating caliper, ABS, cast aluminum wheels: 3.5 x 18; 6.0 x 18, tires: 120 / 70R 18; 200 / 50R 18, tires tested: Bridgestone BT 028 "G".

Dimensions + weights

Wheelbase 1700 mm, steering head angle 59.0 degrees, caster 148 mm, spring travel f / r 120/110 mm, seat height * 780 mm, weight with a full tank * 314 kg, payload * 186 kg, tank capacity / 15.0 liters.

Guarantee: two years
Service intervals: 10,000 km
Color: black
Price: 22,500 euros
Additional costs: around 205 euros

MOTORCYCLE measurements


Performance diagram of the four muscle bikes.

Power and torque were all determined in fourth gear, as Yamaha, Ducati and Suzuki usually electronically limit their bikes in last gear because of their top speed. A novelty: Although the M 1800 RZ provides its full power in fourth, it only serves the maximum torque of 150 Nm in fifth gear. Easy to see: On low tours, the pulling power of the Suzuki is hardly inferior to a Yamaha Vmax. Since the engine runs jerkily underneath, the measurement of the Diavel only begins from 2800 rpm.


Pulling power in 4th gear.

Top speed: (Manufacturer information)
Ducati: 251 *
Harley-Davidson: 230
Suzuki: 203 *
Yamaha: 220

Fuel consumption: (Country road (liters / 100km))
Ducati: Super 5.9
Harley-Davidson: Super 5.9
Suzuki: Super 6.8
Yamaha: Super 7.5

Theoretical range: (km)
Ducati: 288
Harley-Davidson: 320
Suzuki: 287
Yamaha: 200

From zero to 100 km / h – record chase


The acceleration from zero to 100 km / h is remarkable.

In most cases, optimal acceleration is made more difficult by two factors: light motorcycles climb uncontrollably at the front, while heavy motorcycles with a lot of power spin the rear wheel. MOTORRAD achieved the best value from zero to 100 km / h with a Yamaha Vmax. Under optimal conditions, the V4 monster with its 200 hp is able to shoot itself from the stand to 100 km / h in just 2.7 seconds. Even a Hayabusa tuned to over 400 hp was no faster than 3.0 seconds to 100 km / h due to strong slip and extreme wheelie tendency. A full-bodied promise from the Italians: With 2.6 seconds, the Diavel will set a new record compared to the Vmax despite performance handicaps of 48 hp. Why? With an approximately power-to-weight ratio of around 2 kg / hp (with a 75 kg driver), it has better grip thanks to the tire compound and tire contact area – while the Yamaha starts with a 200 Bridgestone touring tire, Ducati relies we have 240 Pirelli -Sport tires.

Before the superlative exchange of blows, however, the V-Rod Muscle and the M 1800 RZ will be launched. Both bikes flirt with dragster and muscle bike attitudes, but due to their comparatively low performance (Harley measured 126 PS, Suzuki 121 PS) they have no chance of winning the acceleration. Noticeable with the Harley: In order to get off to a full tank, the V2 requires relatively high speeds and needs to be turned. Test driver Georg Jelicic only engages at around 6000 rpm in order to achieve the best value of 3.6 seconds. It accelerates the M 1800 RZ to 100 km / h in four seconds, and it takes around 3000 revs to engage. Differences here: The cardan drive (Harley: toothed belt) hardens the rear of the Suzuki and makes the work of the strut difficult – in case of doubt, the rear wheel does not have optimal ground contact and therefore a lot of slip. The measurement of the Diavel is eagerly awaited. Georg carries out various acceleration attempts both in touring and in sport mode, each linked to different levels of traction control DTC (Ducati Traction Control). Nevertheless, the Diavel always needs around four seconds for the sprint up to 100 km / h.

Only when Georg renounces the traction control does he achieve the best value with 3.0 seconds. Surprising: The Pirelli Diablo Rosso II mounted on the Diavel builds up so much grip even under these conditions that the Ducati is always brutal on the rear wheel, which makes repeated attempts necessary. Reasons for this: With a full tank of 241 kilograms, the Italian is 73 kilograms lighter than the Vmax, but it also has the shortest wheelbase at 1590 millimeters – the competition has at least 1700 millimeters. The real handicap of the Italian compared to the Vmax, however, is its comparatively short translation. The first ends at 90 km / h. As with the Harley and Suzuki, a gear shift is necessary to crack 100. That costs valuable tenths of a second. The clutch would certainly not be able to cope with accelerating in second gear.

In the end the question remains whether the Vmax can repeat its fabulous value established in December 2009. During an exchange of blows with a brutally tuned VW Beetle (MOTORRAD 14/2009), only 2.9 seconds were realized, which was perhaps due to the asphalt . In the recent measurements, the rear wheel spins brutally, but the Vmax reproduces its best value: 2.7 seconds. So the old record holder is also the new one.


 0-100 km / h  0-140 km / h  0-200 km / h Ducati  3.0  4.9  9.5
Harley-d.  3.6  6.1  15.3
Suzuki  4.0  7.0  17.6
Yamaha  2.7  4.4  8.3


 60-100 km / h  100-140 km / h  140-180 km / h Ducati  3.3  3.6  3.9
Harley-d.  4.1  4.8  6.4
Suzuki  4.7  5.0  7.4
Yamaha  3.1  3.3  3.2

Brake test – against the wall


Brake diagrams are incorruptible and show the ABS control behavior. The Diavel’s deceleration is exemplary and effective even under difficult conditions.

When braking bikes with a long wheelbase, you should always brake at the rear. Because unlike sports motorcycles, enduros and many naked bikes, which tend to stoppies when slowing down hard, both wheels of cruisers always maintain contact with the ground. In previous MOTORRAD tests, some models were able to achieve a deceleration of a respectable 4 m / s² by only braking with the rear wheel brake. Except for the Suzuki, all have an ABS. The present braking measurements with the four bikes were carried out on the Neuhausen airfield near Tuttlingen. After the winter, the asphalt didn’t offer optimal grip here. That is why the deceleration of the Diavel (best value 10.3 m / s²) from the top test in MOTORRAD 7/2011 differs from the maximum values ​​achieved here. Nevertheless, it is precisely under these difficult conditions that the Ducati technicians have succeeded in voting. With an emergency stop from 100 km / h, the Diavel comes to a standstill after only 40.2 meters, which corresponds to a deceleration of 9.6 m / s². The Ducati is extremely stable, the sporty, tightly tuned fork offers large reserves and provides the rider with very good feedback. Exactly the opposite is the case with the Suzuki, whose fork is comfortably tuned and completely underdamped. The fact that test driver Georg Jelicic still decelerates the 1800 with 9.4 m / s² is due to his great experience and courage. This value can only be achieved if there is a risk of falling, and in the case of emergency braking, which, as is well known, one cannot adapt to in real life, it can hardly be reproduced. However, it shows what the Suzuki’s stoppers are for "Laboratory conditions" are able to. In addition, the M 1800 RZ has another problem: Adaptive braking is difficult to dose because the brake is very dull when cold and only decelerates optimally with increasing operating temperature, i.e. when driving down passes or repeatedly attempting to brake.

In third place and with a maximum deceleration of 8.9 m / s² is the V-Rod Muscle, which is 100 km / h after a braking distance of 43.4 meters. The hardware with the built-in Brembo calipers and Hayes discs would allow better values, but the V-Rod struggles with two shortcomings: the handbrake lever is not particularly ergonomic and the gear ratio of the brake pump is not optimal – in direct comparison to the competition, the Harley requires -Brake very high manual force and is therefore not as perfectly controllable as that of the Ducati, for example. In addition, the fork is tuned to be too soft; if you brake hard, it locks and the wheel punches. As a result, the ABS opens and the braking distance becomes longer. The last of the bunch is the Yamaha Vmax with a maximum deceleration of 8.3 m / s². But what does that mean in practice? Compared to the Diavel, the Yamaha would only come to a stop 6.30 meters later in the event of a forced braking from 100 km / h.

The system seems to have room for improvement, the ABS control intervals could be finer. In contrast to the other machines in the quartet, one has the feeling that the brake system cannot cope with the machine’s weight under the toughest loads: the built-in six-piston fixed calipers from the Yamaha were the only ones to show significant fading after several braking attempts. When it comes to braking, the Vmax stoppers are just behind those of the Diavel. They are extremely easy to dose, but the pressure point is not as clear as with the Italian.

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