Comparison test travel enduros

Comparison test travel enduros
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Comparison test of travel enduros, BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, KTM 990 Adventure, Moto Guzzi Stelvio

Travel enduros

Their martial look promises adventure and freedom, their technology demonstrates solid groundedness. A tour through karst, scorching hot Croatia helps to understand what is possible with adventure enduros ?? and what not.

Kristijan grins, obviously not quite sure whether he should pity us or give himself a slap in the face for his invitation. The thermometer in the display of the KTM 990 Adventure reports 41.5 degrees – which means neither cooling water nor oil temperature. Croatia in August. Kristijan, last name Ticak, should have known. We actually too. No matter. Grown up in Germany as the son of Croatian parents and today editor-in-chief of the local MOTORRAD sister magazine Motorevija, he knows the area. Without a word, he swings onto the BMW and nods to us demandingly. Where? Does not matter. It can only get cooler. Our base station Sibenik – located between Zadar and Split – quickly disappears in the rear-view mirrors. With it also the annoying traffic hustle and bustle on the coastal road. Finally the wind whistles through every crack in our motocross helmets, quickly cools the upper room down to operating temperature and makes the senses receptive again. For example for the karst rocky landscape, which, with its deeply cut valleys, creates the cinematic ambience for these three motorcycles: adventure enduros.

The top dog in this category is the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure. The large 33-liter tank, crash and engine protection bars, spoked wheels, two centimeters longer spring travel, wider footrests and a higher windshield including hand wind deflectors distinguish it from the conventional GS model. She is popular, the Bavarian adventurer. After all, 29 percent of all Boxer GS were ordered in the adventure version last year. KTM does not even start the soft edition. The 990 Adventure is already starting in significantly more off-road-oriented clothing: with 21 or 18-inch wheels – instead of the 19/17 inch ensemble of the BMW and Guzzi – and with a rally look. A revised cylinder head, new camshafts, connecting rods, pistons and the silencers of the 990 supermoto give the Austrian now measured 105 hp (2008 model: 98 hp).

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Comparison test travel enduros

Comparison test travel enduros
Travel enduros

The Italians gave Stelvio the war paint with the recently presented NTX edition. Which, by the way, was mostly white and blue. Whether it is the overall visual impression or details such as crash bars, additional headlights, hand protectors, engine protection, aluminum cases and spoked wheels – the battle symbol of the BMW is unmistakably emblazoned on the ax of the hardcore Guzzi.


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41.5 degrees. August in Croatia.

But:

Adventure is also relative. In reality, very few of these motorized Crocodiles Dun-dees will get under the wheels of demanding terrain, let alone deserts. The combination of martial styling and distinctive travel qualities is more appealing. It is comfort that immediately dominates the driving experience on the trio. The wide off-road handlebars alone are comfortable to hold and allow an upright, stressed, relaxed sitting posture. Especially with BMW. The handlebars stretch the furthest towards the pilot, the knee angle is the most open, the seat is the fluffiest. Total touring feeling. And if already, then, Moto Guzzi also takes an example in this regard. Knee angles, seat cushions, handlebar position, all of this has a distinctly Bavarian touch that is enriched with a pinch of Italian sportiness. The handlebars are a little lower, the seat upholstery a little tighter, the knee joint a little narrower, the contact with the motorcycle a little closer. What you like more is a matter of taste. It is always comfortable. Just like being on the KTM. Even if the Austrian defines comfort differently. The straight handlebars with the somewhat hard corrugated rubber grips, the front windshield, the smooth side surfaces, all of this conveys a rally feeling and a decidedly active, front-wheel-oriented driving experience – mind you without being significantly uncomfortable. Only the one-piece, comparatively thinly padded bench cannot compete with the sofas of the BMW and Guzzi.

A sign points towards Sveti Rok. Kristijan sets the indicator. A few hundred meters later we know why. A few serpentines wind their way up almost alpine. But sensitivity is the order of the day. As almost everywhere in Croatia, the asphalt is shiny and greasy and offers little grip. The front brake pads of the BMW bite aggressively into the double disc. Only after a little getting used to, the unwanted brute braking turns into properly dosed braking maneuvers. The KTM is completely different. Their stoppers can be dosed well, but require a strong pull on the brake lever. The golden mean meet the Guzzi brakes. Little hand strength, great dosability, that fits. Later, on the MOTORRAD braking section, facts underpin this impression. If the KTM is from 100 km / h after 43.3 meters and the BMW after 41.9 meters, the Guzzi not only outshines the duo at 39 meters, but also sets a new record in the travel enduro segment. Chapeau.
The asphalt ends abruptly, changing seamlessly to gravel. Yes, it fits, adventure terrain. And it’s damn fun to pull on the cable here. The fun and the plume of dust are enormous – and so is the shock in the first bend. The inside leg tries desperately to save what can hardly be saved. With the weight of their 285 and 274 kilograms respectively, the Guzzi and BMW push their front outwards. Gas out, it means for the coming kilometers. If only because the relatively short spring travel of 170 and 155 millimeters, respectively, allows the Guzzi to break through at the rear of every transverse channel. With the BMW, all you have to do is press the ESA button (Electronic Suspension Adjustment, 680 euros) and one of the 15 tuning options will definitely fit. Nevertheless, one thing is certain: these two have little to do with speed off the beaten track. The cultivated excursion into the countryside, enjoyable enduro hiking, that’s what they are designed for off-road. Unless you jump on the KTM.


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Croatia’s streets

The aforementioned active sitting position, the slim waist and the weight that is a hundredweight lower make the Austrian the boss in rough terrain. Only the biting engine needs a bit of getting used to, requires sensitive handling of the throttle grip in order not to let the 18 incher on the rear wheel spin uncontrollably. Those who control themselves will be rewarded with irrepressible propulsion. And because the large and narrow front wheel keeps its lane even in the tightest bends, the appearance remains flawless and the competition has no chance.
On the way, memorial plaques dampen our euphoria: memories of the dead in the Yugoslav civil war between 1991 and 1995. It is less than 15 years since Serbs and Croats fought bitterly here. What was a mere news item for us at that time is taking shape here. We stop at the top of the pass. Kristijan explains the circumstances to us, confirms that the area along the gravel road is still mined. He knows, he was there. Back then when I was 18. As a motorcycle reporter on Tomos’ own 50 cm³ moped, in a camouflage suit that he bought himself. To us, his experiences sound like something out of a film script. We cannot imagine the reality. Perhaps not like those unknown compatriots who painted the slogan “German technology that inspires” on a landmark. Is this sarcasm related to the origins of those mines? We do not know it. Except that today Germany is still the sixth largest arms exporter in the world.


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What a view.

The grandiose view of the sea deep down brings us to other thoughts. The hardships of the journey are forgotten. 1100 kilometers, excluding the motorway. A core discipline of these big bikes. Especially those of BMW. The combination of the high windshield, the two small wind deflectors, the hand guards and the tank that protrudes towards the front creates excellent weather protection. Refuel and not stop for at least 500 kilometers? No problem with the GS. Its 33-liter tank volume marks the current record in series motorcycle construction. In addition, it runs straight ahead like a line, thanks to the aforementioned ESA, it can be fine-tuned on the suspension side by finger pressure, and the boxer engine remains within tolerable limits in terms of vibrations even at high speeds. On top of that, their aluminum cases hold the most despite their moderate overall width (BMW: 1.0 meters, Moto Guzzi: 1.05 meters, KTM: 1.08 meters), and passengers rave about the cozy rear seat anyway. Direct hit. The Adventure has almost everything in its pocket on the slopes. Your two competitors anyway.

But they honestly defend their skin. Because even the KTM doesn’t spoil it on the track, can do everything almost as well as the BMW. But only almost. Fuel tank capacity, smooth running, suitability for pillion or suitcase – everything is a tad smaller, rougher, uncomfortable or smaller. Hardly worth mentioning and yet noticeable. Only the windshield that is too low and too narrow is really worthy of criticism. The spring base on the Monoshock can be easily adjusted to the load using a handwheel, the 12 V socket for mobile phone or navigation system is located – in contrast to the clumsy connection sockets of the BMW and Moto Guzzi, which are attached in the rear or on the side – directly in the cockpit, and the small storage compartment between the tank halves increases with each toll payment point.

And the Moto Guzzi? Obviously not only oriented towards Bavaria, but also towards Austria. Easy spring base adjustment by handwheel (from KTM) and storage compartment (from KTM) combine with a height-adjustable disc (from BMW) or bench (from BMW). And – you hear and be amazed – the pillion seat turned out to be the most successful of the three with great ergonomics and massive handles. Because the engine vibrations are also kept within limits and the wind only tugs at the top of the helmet, the lady from Lake Como also cuts a fine figure at high speed. What’s missing? For example, a more comfortable suspension set-up, which is sorely missed on motorway transverse joints. And a tank volume (18 liters) that is more suitable for tours. And in performance. No, not absolutely. The measured 98 hp of the four-valve engine are sufficient for the big trip as well as for the joyride. But the fact is: A technically identical Stelvio recently measured by MOTORRAD (issue 17/2009) with 104 hp was only just next to the peak power of 105 hp promised in the homologation. As I said, not a broken leg, but new food for the critical attitude towards Italian quality control.

Back to the here and now. Saddle up. After a quarter of an hour the gravel pass is behind us. We are heading for Srb, right on the Bosnian border. The traces of the war are still present everywhere. Wall to wall, modern cafés contrast with houses that have been shot or burned down. Trees barely as thick as an upper arm grow out of the ruins, a reminder that this past was only a few years ago the incomprehensible present.

Enough of dark thoughts. We don’t even stop, we like to let a couple of sweeping hairpin bends near Kupirovo catapult us towards Knin. Only now are the motorcycles taking over the main roles in our consciousness again. And each of them throws themselves into the stuff. The 1170 boxer of the BMW pulls velvety soft from the lowest revs, thinks about a little more up to the 3500 mark in order to gain power afterwards. Clack, clack, clack, the six-speed gearbox can be shifted effortlessly and almost silently. And once you get used to the indifferent, decoupled driving experience that the elaborate Paralever rear wheel swing arm and the Telelever at the front bring with it, an unexpected, almost limitless trust in the capabilities of the GS emerges. The fact that the front does not dip when braking due to the pitch compensation saves the pilot a good deal of stress.

Which he should interpret as a wonderful kick on the KTM. Because this agility, which runs through all two-cylinder models from Mattighofen, has something animating about it and suddenly makes you wide awake. Every pluck on the gas makes the Adventure jump forward, without hesitation wins the acceleration and almost all pulling measurements. Clutch, gearshift, everything slips easily. And because the narrow tires support the already agile handling and adhere surprisingly well, the 990, which is actually a 1000, mutates into a supermoto. But which – if horse and rider want – can also be on tour for tourists. Because the engine modifications and the new silencers did the KTM good. The changes reduce the well-known chopping of the drive train below 3000 rpm to a minimum and certainly enable the Adventure to have the largest range of this trio in the balancing act between all-round, fun and touring bikes.

The Guzzi impatiently shakes its handlebars at idle, thanks a short throttle with a nod to the right, consciously acknowledges tradition and the lifestyle of this brand. A feeling that is immediately transferred to the driver. Just the double-declutching when downshifting. You get really addicted to the full blow of the longitudinally installed V2 when the dry clutch – which always smells a bit burnt – interrupts the flow of power for a moment. But then the historical sentimentalism is over. The modern age has also reached Moto Guzzi. Completely neutral, almost sporty, the NTX turns corners, the 1151 pushes cleanly, skilfully ignores the torque bump at 4000 rpm, revs up willingly and can be stepped through the gearbox properly. Because the Guzzi also meets the competition on an equal footing in all other aspects and all extras are included in the price apart from the top case and heated grips, you will firstly forgive that it only measured 197 km with seven hp less instead of the promised 220 km / h runs. Second, that it is 1500 euros more expensive with equipment comparable to the KTM.

We have now reached the Krka Valley. The waterfalls at Roski Slap are world famous. In the 1960s, the film adaptations of the Karl May novels were made in this area. Pierre Brice as Winnetou and Lex Barker as Old Shatterhand fascinated a whole generation back then. In a pub we discover an old movie poster, in German. Exactly where we paused a few minutes ago, red skins and pale faces rode out of the valley of the dead 40 years ago. Not again. We leave Winnetou, Old Shatterhand and Nscho-chi their eternal hunting grounds, drive back to the hill. One last look down into the valley. The hatchets are not only buried here long ago. Thank God.

Equipment, prices


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Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 Ntx


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Great: The brake system creates a new standard in the travel enduro segment. Hardly anyone brakes more sensitively, none better.

KTM 990 Adventure


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KTM 990 Adventure

Funbike: No one connects the subject of travel with so much riding fun
and off-road affinity like the 990s. Instead of the small plastic cases, KTM also offers larger aluminum boxes – incidentally for the same price.

BMW R 1200 GS


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BMW R 1200 GS

Quiet space: With the BMW, sovereignty runs through the entire vehicle. Even the cockpit exudes calm. And with these suitcases, you can even rethink family planning

BMW R 1200 GS


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BMW R 1200 GS

engine:
Air / oil-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke boxer-
engine, one balance shaft, one high each-
Horizontal, chain-driven camshaft, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, bumpers, rocker arms, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 47 mm, regulated catalyst-
generator, alternator 720 W, battery 12 V / 14 Ah, hydraulically operated single-plate dry clutch, six-speed gearbox, cardan, secondary ratio 2.82.
Bore x stroke 101.0 x 73.0 mm
Displacement: 1170 cm³
Compression ratio: 12.0: 1
Rated output: 77.0 kW (105 PS) at 7500 rpm
Max. Torque: 115 Nm at 5750 rpm

Landing gear:
Load-bearing motor-gear unit, telescopic fork guided by longitudinal control arm, Ø 41 mm, adjustable spring base, two-joint single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 305 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 265 mm , Double piston floating caliper.
Spoked wheels with aluminum rims    
2.50 x 19; 4.00 x 17
Tire: 110 / 80R 19; 150 / 70R 17
Tire tested: Continental Trail Wing

Dimensions + weights:
Wheelbase 1511 mm, steering head angle 62.9 degrees, caster 98 mm, spring travel f / r 210/220 mm, seat height * 880–900 mm full weight-
fueled * 274 kg, payload * 201 kg, tank-
content / reserve 33.0 / 4.0 liters.
Warranty: two years
Service intervals: every 10000 km
Colors: gray / black, red / black
Price: 14 350 euros
Price test motorcycle **: 18,245 euros
Additional costs: around 269 euros

KTM 990 Adventure


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KTM 990 Adventure

Engine:
Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 75-degree V engine, a balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves, bucket tappets, dry sump lubrication, injection, Ø 48 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system, 450 W alternator, 12 V battery / 11 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 16:42.
Bore x stroke 101.0 x 62.4 mm
Displacement: 1000 cm³
Compression ratio: 11.5: 1
Rated capacity:
78.0 kW (106 hp) at 8250 rpm
Max. Torque: 100 Nm at 6750 rpm

Landing gear:
Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 48 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 300 mm, double piston -Swimming calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 240 mm, double-piston floating caliper, ABS.
Spoked wheels with aluminum rims
2.15 x 21; 4.25 x 18
Tires: 90/90 21; 150/70 18
Tires tested: Pirelli Scorpion MT 90

Dimensions + weights:
Wheelbase 1570 mm, steering head angle 63.4 degrees, caster 119 mm, spring travel f / r 210/210 mm, seat height * 870 mm, weight with a full tank * 233 kg, payload * 197 kg, tank capacity 22.0 liters.
Guarantee: two years
Service intervals: every 7500 km
Colors: orange, white
Price: 13295 euros
Price test motorcycle **: 14037 euros
Additional costs: around 250 euros

Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX


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Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX

Engine:
Air / oil-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-
Degree V engine, crankshaft lying lengthways,
one overhead, chain-driven
Camshaft, four valves per cylinder, rocker arm, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 50 mm, regulated catalytic converter, light-
machine 550 W, battery 12 V / 18 Ah, hydraulically operated single-disc dry clutch, six-speed gearbox, cardan shaft, secondary ratio 3.667.
Bore x stroke 95.0 x 81.2 mm
Displacement: 1151 cm³
Compression ratio: 11: 1
Rated capacity:
77.0 kW (105 PS) at 7250 rpm
Max. Torque: 113 Nm at 5800 rpm

Landing gear:
Bridge frame made of steel, upside-down fork, Ø 50 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-joint single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear , Ø 282 mm, double-piston floating caliper, ABS.
Spoked wheels with aluminum rims
2.50 x 19; 4.25 x 17
Tire: 110 / 80R 19; 150 / 70R 17
Tires in the test: Metzeler Tourance

Dimensions + weights:
Wheelbase 1535 mm, steering head angle 63.0 degrees, caster 125 mm, suspension travel f / h 170/155 mm, seat height * 840–860 mm, weight with a full tank * 285 kg, payload * 190 kg, tank capacity / reserve 18.0 / 4, 5 liters.
Guarantee: two years
Service intervals: every 10000 km
Colors: brown
Price including additional costs: 15 790 euros

Motorcycle: measurements


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Motorcycle: scoring


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