Comparison test of naked bikes

Comparison test naked bikes, BMW R 850 R, Honda CB Seven Fifty, Suzuki GSX 750, Triumph Thunderbird 900

Two-class society

Four undisguised motorcycles with almost identical performance. Still, there is one huge difference: the price. Drive the Honda Seven Fifty and the Suzuki GSX 750, both of which are comparatively cheap to buy, hence the BMW R 850 R and the Triumph Thunderbird Sport in the ground?

You don’t talk about money, you have it. This principle also seems to be widespread among motorcyclists. After all, a motorcycle is about beloved hobby, about emotions. And there is apparently no place for the rational, especially not for counting peas. Just imagine: maintenance costs, depreciation, purchase price, price-performance ratio would be topics for passionate gasoline discussions. Where are we going??
And yet, who of us would deny that, before buying a brand new motorcycle, he did not calculate and weigh exactly what he would get for his money. There is a difference of over 7,000 marks between the expensive BMW R 850 R and the Suzuki GSX 750 at the lower end of the price range, over 4,000 marks between the Triumph Thunderbird Sport and the Honda CB Seven Fifty. A lot of money, no question about it. What, please, can European women do so much better then, how do they justify this price difference? Please don’t come now and tell the old tale of German workmanship that has its price. Because quality and reliability are points that the Japanese have been very familiar with for a long time. That leaves the convincing argument about the character of the Japanese motorcycles, which is supposed to be missing, because it is difficult to refute. An accusation that the two four-cylinder Honda Seven Fifty and Suzuki GSX 750 have to put up with. Alright Compared to the BMW and especially the Triumph, the design of the duo from the Far East looks somewhat uniform and, in the case of the Suzuki, copied, albeit extremely skillfully.
But it’s hard to argue about taste, especially not with Helmut "Heli" Faidt, who has been a MOTORRAD test driver for years. Aside from the racetrack, Heli wants one thing above all else: to travel comfortably but quickly on country roads. He casually irons mocking remarks by comic artist Holger Aue about the unconventional appearance of the BMW R 850 R. "First ride it, boy, and then we’ll talk more." If the helicopter says something like that, then something must be true of the BMW, because at least on paper the most expensive motorcycle in the test shines with unique technical details: intake manifold injection with regulated Three-way catalytic converter, Telelever front suspension, rear wheel guidance through a Paralever single-sided swing arm. Extra charge: ABS and the perfectly functioning heated grips. And last but not least, the icing on the cake, the small four-valve boxer engine. There is no doubt that Bayern’s secret star is the R 850 R..
The same applies to the Triumph Thunderbird Sport, because the British model also has what it takes to be a hit. In Hinkley, they skilfully pack a tried and tested, roaring three-cylinder in-line cylinder in a classic garment, without foregoing modern components such as stable brakes, an unregulated catalytic converter or a telescopic fork with all adjustment options. Without a doubt an eye-catcher, and therefore not just Holger Aue’s favorite. The tried and tested Honda CB Seven Fifty is a little more inconspicuous, almost unchanged and successful on the market since 1992. MOTORRAD employee Franco Santorro, only recently in possession of the unlimited driving license, closed it in his big Italian heart immediately after the first trip.
This is exactly what Suzuki wants with the new GSX 750: into the hearts of as many buyers as possible. The chances are good, because the mixture seems to fit: In addition to its pleasing design, the GSX 750 convinces with two things above all – its very low price of 11590 marks and the mature, beautiful four-cylinder.
This engine, agile and easy-revving, in the tradition of the sporty ancestor GSX-R 750, inspires the compact Suzuki to achieve the best driving performance in comparison. Top speed? Okay, with undisguised motorcycles only a topic for the regulars’ table. Much more important: the draft, in which the GSX 750 only barely has to admit defeat to the larger-displacement Triumph. Their engine shines with the lowest fuel consumption, excellent punch and the most beautiful sound. But unfortunately the triplet only accepts the throttle every now and then with a slight delay? as if the operating temperature had not yet been reached.
The Honda falls slightly behind in this illustrious gang of four, also because its engine fits into the overall picture of the Seven Fifty: always behave nicely and inconspicuously. The two-cylinder BMW, nominally the weakest drive in comparison, does surprisingly well. Mainly because the engine revs up very willingly, runs surprisingly with little vibration and has absolutely flawless cold running properties: all of this is very cultivated.
And because the boxer engine goes so well with highway robbers (and that is exactly what these motorcycles are designed for): There is always enough pressure in the middle speed range. While the two four-cylinder drivers have to shift gears diligently to stay tuned, the BMW takes care of the annoying straights between the corners with two gears. Which, on the other hand, is also a good thing, because shifting is much more fun, especially with the dignified Suzuki transmission.
Well, all rejoicing about the BMW engine would only be worth half – there is also this chassis. Sure, the Suzuki is more manageable, impresses with its perfect seating position and looks almost like a toy compared to the other three. The magic word of BMW is Telelever. It is fantastic what this front suspension, invented by the Englishman Hugh Nicol, can do. No matter how lousy the country road may be (in the test area of ​​southern France they are mostly), the BMW glides calmly over it, undeterred on its way. Closely followed by the venerable Honda CB Seven Fifty, whose telescopic fork also does an excellent job? Lo and behold, it can also be done conventionally. Only when it comes to initial tires you should rethink Honda as soon as possible, because the Dunlop D 202 spoils the clean line of the Seven Fifty, and the motorcycle positions itself improperly when braking on lean angles. Otherwise the Honda can be certified as having impeccable handling.
But the Triumph initially had some problems in tight turns, but only in right-hand corners. Because when braking quickly in lean positions, the Sport hit the ground too early and violently with its manifold, even before the footrests could make warning noises. But after a short stop and a grip on the tool kit, the rear is slightly increased with the help of the adjustable spring base and the compression damping? and removed the causes of all evil. Nevertheless, the Triumph takes the most getting used to in comparison, as it looks a bit unwieldy. A less experienced driver will find it easier on the other machines: especially on the BMW. At 244 kilograms, the Triumph is not the heaviest motorcycle in the test, but its center of gravity is higher than that of the competition and the steering angle was a little too small. Tea Thunderbird needs a little more emphasis in order to get into an inclined position, but then of course it pulls its course, conveys sovereignty.
This is exactly what the Suzuki does if your driver wants to slow down more sharply, especially in two-person operation. When braking, there is not enough negative spring travel left, your front fork locks too quickly. A problem that could easily be remedied with a progressively wound spring, but which the manufacturer does not seem to know as such.
On the other hand, the braking systems of the test motorcycles are above all criticism. It has to be easy to dose well with little force and stable. In unison, an excellent standard that has since been achieved? and after which one would have licked one’s fingers ten years ago. after such motorcycles in general. The best result of this test: Fortunately, there is no two-tier society with these bikes. That’s why it’s not easy to choose a test winner. In the unofficial driving fun and sympathy rating, the Triumph was ahead, the Honda is still a great all-rounder without any serious weaknesses. And everyone in the test team now knows why Helmut Faidt was eating a fool of the BMW. But when it comes to getting the most motorcycle bang for your buck, the winner can clearly only be Suzuki GSX 750. If you find more brand new motorcycles for less money, please contact us. And with savings of over 7,000 marks compared to the BMW, you could pay a hell of a lot. For example, insurance for several years, a new leather suit, gasoline, tires, inspections for thousands of eventful kilometers and, and, and…

1st place: Suzuki

With the GSX 750, Suzuki hit the bull’s eye straight away, which the new one impressively proves in this test quartet, which is only very thinly apart. The only real point of criticism: the too softly tuned telescopic fork. But the compact Suzuki shines with the best gearbox, a lively, powerful engine and its playful handiness. And their low price, ultimately decisive for their narrow test victory.

2nd place: BMW

Whether the BMW likes the idiosyncratic design or not is a matter of debate. There is no doubt about the qualities of the R 850 R: On narrow and bumpy country roads, its impeccable chassis is in the premier league. Just as convincing: the relaxed, tour-friendly seating position and the surprisingly lively, but quietly working two-cylinder engine. Only the high price remains as a big drawback, which is why the BMW lands in second place.

3rd place: Triumph

The Thunderbird Sport lives mainly from its powerful, economical three-cylinder and its extravagant design, which, by the way, does not look anything like imitation. No, this motorcycle has a thoroughly honest character. Sure, the lighter Suzuki is more manageable, the BMW is easier to drive, and the Honda is more suitable for everyday use. So what? But the Triumph gives you the feeling of owning a special, unmistakable motorcycle.

4th place: Honda

No shame to come in fourth in a high-class field. The CB Seven Fifty is still a rock-solid motorcycle and does not make a major blunder in any discipline. It shines with good brakes, solid chassis and a cultivated four-cylinder engine. In addition, it offers by far the best pillion suitability in the test field. And now she really can’t do anything for her first Dunlop D 202 tires. Honda has some catching up to do.

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