Concept comparison: enduros

Concept comparison: enduros

Between hard enduro and motorhome

The boundaries between hard enduro and motorhome are becoming increasingly blurred. MOTORRAD researched the ultimate enduro concept in the new generation’s range. Wanted: lively handiness, a versatile appearance, economical and indestructible ?? Just enduro.

The question is justified: Why for God’s sake do motorcyclists leave the asphalt path of virtue in 2008 after the birth of Christ, to balance through deep ruts, to do pirouette on slippery clay parquet and after a daring leap to land like a kitten on its stomach? Because enduro riding demands: sweat, concentration, overcoming, courage. In short: it’s just fun. The nice thing about it: After years of meager selection, there are now plenty of top quality motorbikes for the combination of adventurous off-road riding and brisk country road rides.

With the brand new WR 250 R, Yamaha closes the gap left by the Yamaha XT 350 and Suzuki DR 350. A robust coarse scooter with a measured 32 hp and 136 kilograms, which even in paper form makes every convinced enduro rider happy to jump into the boots. He can keep it on for KTM’s new 690 Enduro. Conceived as the successor to the legendary LC4, a hefty 65 hp and 152 kilograms demand the whole man on the road and off-road. Just hardcore.

BMW is poaching with the new, two-cylinder F. 800 GS in the area of ​​the adventurous off-road group. In the sights: Transalp, Africa Twin, KTM Adventure 990 and the like. With 88 hp and 222 kilograms, the hunt could well succeed. Although the key data of 109 hp and fat 244 kilograms cannot be associated with the term Enduro at first glance, the popular R 1200 GS boxer has established itself among the fearless iron riders even off the beaten track. City, country, cross, in this order MOTORRAD examined where and how the versatile concepts prove themselves in direct comparison. Because no matter if short distance, or long distance trip, quarry or sand desert, a visit to the grandma or to Obi ?? Enduros were and are the most universal vehicles and donkeys for motorized locomotion.

Concept comparison: enduros

Between hard enduro and motorhome

Stop, traffic jam, city traffic


Over hill and dale: With the enduro quartet you can also comfortably tour through narrow streets.

Fast-paced enduro bikes unravel the tangle of traffic. Whether the gentleman in his luxury limousine will open an alley out of courtesy or rather out of fear of a hefty sheet metal damage cannot be precisely said. In any case, a nicely gestured thank you is answered with a friendly nod of the head, and the five-hundredweight chunk slips through the sheet metal avalanche. Weight or not, when the rider skilfully circles the masses of the BMW R 1200 GS through the city traffic with the best overview and broad handlebars, the dimensions of the boxer lose their horror in no time at all. The smooth engine power, the well-balanced chassis and amazing handiness with a small turning circle create the best conditions for a stress-free city tour. However, if the enduro monument comes to a standstill, the 1200s may have to be maneuvered and brought into position with the help of feet, and even seasoned men will sweat on their foreheads. With 4.9 liters per 100 kilometers in the city at an average of almost 40 km / h, the consumption of the fat boxer is quite acceptable? if it weren’t for the comparative values ​​of the three other enduro bikes.

The little sister F 800 manages the same test with half a liter, i.e. 20 percent, less consumption ?? and a whole lot more maneuverability. The more active seating position with the shorter tank and the weight advantage of a good 20 kilograms make the balancing act between bumper and curb a little more casual. The somewhat harshly gripping engine and occasional constant travel jerks alone disturb the impeccable driving behavior in city traffic. The 690 KTM engine is not really made for him. Below 3000 rpm, the 102 millimeter piston cannot quite decide whether to go forwards or backwards. So you take the clutch to help, keep the unit happy at speed and win every traffic light sprint with the muscle man with a short turn of the smooth throttle grip. Everyone. Provided you keep the front wheel reasonably on the ground and the KTM in balance. It’s crazy how this single cylinder goes off.

Talking about handling, maneuverability and maneuvering properties at city speed is unnecessary with a weight of 152 kilograms ?? if it weren’t for the considerable seat height of 933 millimeters and the shortcoming of the insufficient steering angle. At around 30 degrees it is extremely modest (KTM EXC 450 around 45 degrees) and therefore forces you to use less elegant feet when turning in the tightest of spaces in order to avoid an embarrassing fall over. In return, the agile and powerful single is content with just 4.0 liters of premium gasoline in city traffic. Nice too. But the nightmare of all oil sheiks comes from Yamaha and shakes the crude oil exchange. A mere 2.8 liters can be dripped into the small 7.6 liter plastic tank of the 250 after 100 kilometers in the city. Bargain hunters rub their hands, especially since the injection engine acts very well, does not distribute any load changes, hangs clean and hole-free on the gas and also purrs quietly and mechanically inconspicuously. Just great. So where is the rest of the test quartet? The WR 250 R cheats its way through the smallest gaps without illegal traffic maneuvers, creates the tightest U-turn on the front wheel and plays with all the other rabbits and hedgehogs even without a troubled front yard. The only problem with the agile 250: If you are looking for good ground contact while standing, you will only find what you are looking for, even with the shock absorber set as short as possible and a seat height of 940 millimeters. But that doesn’t change anything about number one in the city.

Where the city ends, the fun begins


These four have gone a long way off the road: BMW F 800 GS, Yamaha WR 250 R, KTM 690 Enduro and BMW R 1200 GS.

Curves and bends as a reward after work. When others arrange to meet for a beer after work, the new German afterwork party, the eaten windy faces fill the tank with fuel and off you go. After all, between the time clock and sunset there is something else to experience than small talk and caipirinha. Especially when the curve area extends in all directions right outside the front door. Where should it go around today? On the Swabian Alb? In the black Forest? Over the Swabian-Franconian range of hills or rather through the Heilbronn vineyards? We in Stuttgart just got it off? gold? Ene, mene, muh, the cow goes south. When the R 1200 GS doesn’t have to wait. Missing after ten kilometers of expressway ?? logical ?? the 250cc Yamaha. Even lying flat, the top is 141 km / h, while the F 800 and the KTM take the left lane. With the throttle at the stop, the F 800 goes one line over 200, the 690 KTM a remarkable 170 km / h, with the wind from the cars in front giving it a slight, enduro-typical oscillation.

The WR 250 R holds up well on the narrow, bumpy bend in the direction of the Danube, albeit only at the bottom of the test field. On the one hand, 32 HP does not tear up trees even with the most strenuous switching work, on the other hand, the handling qualities noticeably decrease at higher speeds due to the gyroscopic forces of the large wheels and the long spring travel. And in jagged curve radii, the roughly carved tire tread of the narrow Bridgestone Trail Wing 301 bends away good-naturedly and prevents the connection with the pack despite committed rides. That is led by the KTM, which arrows through the landscape that it has washed itself. What the 690 Enduro demands in terms of noticeably high steering force in fast alternating bends, it pays back with unshakable cornering stability. With full damping, the 250 millimeter long spring travel prevents them from interfering with the enjoyment of curves when braking hard or changing lean angles quickly.

Appropriately, the Metzeler Enduro 3 rubbers do not crumple even on sharp inclines. The bottom line is that the new KTM is in the limelight in all kinds of corners and underpins the feeling of driving pleasure on the country road with impressive, objective measured values ​​on the MOTORRAD handling course. The vigorous injection engine provides active support during the hot curve dance, whose revving, power and characteristics actually correspond more to a sporty two-cylinder than a single-cylinder. Only the tingling vibrations that pour over the handlebars and notches are a reminder that the 65 hp is processed by a single piston. In contrast, the 800 BMW Twin purrs gently like a kitten through the rev range and adjusts its performance so linearly and evenly available that you find the 88 hp almost boring. In reality, however, this inconspicuous force ensures that the F 800 does not burst out of the slipstream in the winding terrain, but rather sniffs up the meters lost in alternating bends with full draft.


KTM 690 Enduro: smooth acceleration and a stable chassis make it fast – and fun.

Only courageous gripping forces the 800 GS from one lean angle to the other, the tight curve line needs to be consistently developed. Anyone who slacks off goes the big curve and shouldn’t be surprised when the 1200 boxer appears in the rearview mirror in full format and is washed by on a fat torque wave at the first opportunity. Behind the rather tough cornering behavior of the F 800 lies a steering and frame geometry that has been clearly trimmed towards stability and less towards maneuverability. Which is not entirely wrong with an adventure enduro with a top speed of over 200 km / h, especially since worn-out tires, fluttering clothing or an inconveniently placed load can quickly turn the stable bike into a nervous wobbly candidate.

This is not the box with the 1200 GS, even if the five-hundredweight chunk picks up the trail of the KTM 690 in a decidedly sporty pace. It’s always surprising how light this colossus feels. Of course, there is movement in the comfortable seating when the boxer is slapped from one lean angle to the other or the 1200s clamber along the tire grip limit. Nevertheless, this sovereign feeling remains, which is based, among other things, on the physical fact that large masses, moved dynamically, create a stabilizing effect. Although Tele and Paralever suspension occasionally trample over patches and the feedback is sometimes lost, an intimate bond develops between horse and rider with every kilometer that cannot be explained by measured values ​​or other scientific surveys.

When metal sparks on rocks


The 85 hp engine of the BMW F 800 GS is quite lively and cultivated on country roads, but bites aggressively in off-road use.

All oven concepts in the merciless endurance test. George "Schorschi" Jelicic is a MOTORCYCLE test driver, burns like crazy on the racetrack, wags through the top test course so that it only sparks, but only sporadically has anything to do with enduro bikes. And so, Schorschi is our man. Or better: our first man. The second man has been riding Enduro since he was able to walk ?? or a little longer. So Schorschi is the beginner who has to work his way around the track as well and as quickly as possible with every concept. It criss-crosses the Enduropark in the Franconian town of Hechlingen near Donauworth. Steep up, even steeper down, around tight bends and through fast bends on slippery gravel or over unstable granite rocks. So that Schorschi doesn’t cheat and shorten his lap times, every meter is monitored and recorded with GPS data recording. The poor guy can’t even pee without being followed by the satellite. Let’s go, Schorschi grabs the 250cc Yamaha ?? and is whistled back. "We’ll start at the top, with the big 1200!" Schorschi buckles, but only mentally. In fact, after three laps without falling, he crossed the finish line with a spinning rear wheel and a drift that is worth seeing. Applause from the team, Schorschi is happy: It couldn’t get worse today.

Whereby the name bad for the thick 1200 GS just doesn’t fit. Because if you maneuver the boxer upright and with a firm knee, elegantly tilt it in tricky passages and let the rear wheel slide gently out of the track with the wonderfully soft engine thrust, you have understood how to use the mass for yourself. We’ve done it before: Moving mass stabilized. Even off-road, especially in the long bends, where fat gravel lurks to kick the front wheel off the track. Not so with the 1200 GS, which drifts around the curve in this fast, delicate section 2 as if pulled on a string. Imagination? Illusion? The data recording spits it out: The enduro novice is only 1.7 seconds slower than with the Yamaha and even 1.8 seconds faster than with the 800 GS. Sure, when things get very tight or very fast, the hummingbird falls behind. But nobody else expected that either. Whereby Schorschi only lost 3.2 seconds with the 1200 over the entire lap compared to the 800. "I’m faster with the 800, have? but to fight with her more", says the sweaty test driver on record. Why? Because the F 800 has clear advantages in terms of handiness and suspension reserves, but due to a far too aggressive use of power and little flywheel mass when accelerating, the engine moves the box sideways, builds up too little traction and ultimately the driving effort is not rewarded. Despite the already mentioned more active driving position of the little BMW, the big GS waggles between the slalom hats, which are tightly draped on slippery gravel, faster than the 20 kg lighter 800.


The cow and the rest of the herd go south. A wide area of ​​bends extends from Stuttgart.

The test team is eagerly awaiting the appearance of the new KTM Enduro 690. After two laps, the 690 is back in the pits. Schorschi is ready to go on the drip or apple juice spritzer. "The thing pulls your arms sooooo long." If you turn the injection engine to full throttle, you either dig deep gullies in the ground or you are mercilessly catapulted through the terrain. Grab it and move forward – that’s what the hard enduro can do. Stubborn in the suspension, the 690 also requires a firm hand in curves and bends, nothing works by itself. So, elbows up, bent forward, dictating the direction with force and emphasis, then the KTM sprints. "Hey, why can’t riding Enduro always be as easy as with the Yamaha WR 250 R.?" Schorschi is indignant. Simply because the little Yamaha has finally been implanted again with the virtues that no one wanted for many years. Instead power, power, power ?? the hardcore faction mobilized, and the manufacturers followed suit. 450, 500, 650, pressure without end ?? and the fun was gone.

So thanks to Yamaha, because the WR 250 R not only delights the Schorschi, it also delights hardened enduro riders. Because you can finally open the gas again without getting the handlebars on your nose or turning around in a senseless pirouette. So Schorschi stamped his best time into the loose ground with the 250cc. And the second man too. Before the hardcore faction demands: You have to go to the cross piste? was we. In Reutlingen. Yamaha in front of KTM, on the table as well as on the steep descent and in the narrow infield. Only when it really presses, the 690 powers over. But you can really savor the short training time with the WR 250. Ten laps in a row ?? no problem. It wasn’t five with the KTM. Hard arms, weak knees. Just hardcore. Oh, the two BMWs? We left them at home: we wanted to have fun and not total write-offs.

Handling test

The magic word handling, especially with enduro riders, a good reason to lecture enthusiastically and enthusiastically about the advantages of wide handlebars, narrow tires and low weight. However, subjective lightness can only be translated into jagged cornering if the center of gravity, steering geometry and, last but not least, the coordination of suspension and damping convert the steering command into efficient changes of direction and stable cornering. For this reason, the KTM waves the fastest through the wide Salom and also keeps exactly on track in the circular path, while both BMWs sometimes violently dance off the track when driving over the parting lines.

How performance chart

Even if the performance curve of the BMW R 1200 GS is a bit wavy, the boxer pushes confidently from all positions when driving. The F 800 and the KTM Single unfold their power very homogeneously. Amazing: The 690 single cylinder turns almost as high as the BMW twin. The 250cc Yamaha engine with Exup exhaust control spans a wide range of usable power between 8000 / min and 12000 / min. Which is great for driving around on and off the road.

MOTORCYCLE conclusion

Yamaha WR 250 R
Anyone who is ready to come to terms with 32 hp can enjoy the full tidy of the new Enduro. Cross route on Saturday, coffee trip on Sunday, economical and quick to work on Monday.


City: 1st place
Landstrasse: 4th place
Offroad: 1st place

KTM 690 Enduro
The currently most powerful single-cylinder enduro whistles like a dowel over the country road, can easily handle the roughest terrain, but requires commitment and driving skills. A hard enduro in the best sense of the word.


City: 3rd place
Landstrasse: 2nd place
Offroad: 2nd place

BMW F 800 GS
Too heavy for the very rough, with an overly aggressive engine, the F 800 tends to focus on the traveling group rather than the knights of the tunnel. However, it can happen that she poaches in the in-house boxing area.


City: 2nd place
Landstrasse: 3rd place
Offroad: 3rd place

BMW R 1200 GS
Even the bestseller cannot be denied a certain off-road capability? if the driver dares. If not, he can gondola through the countryside with one of the best travel machines.


City: 4th place
Landstrasse: 1st place
Offroad: 4th place

Data BMW F 800 GS


BMW F 800 GS

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder.

Bore x stroke 82.0 x 75.6 mm
Stroke-to-bore ratio 0.68
Displacement 798 cm3
Nominal output 62.5 kW (85 PS) at 7500 rpm
Measured output * 64.5 kW (88 PS) at 8200 rpm
Output per liter * 80.9 kW (110 PS)
Power-to-weight ratio 13.5 kg / hp
Max. Torque 83 Nm at 5750 rpm

landing gear
Steel tubular frame, upside-down fork, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, directly hinged.

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1578 mm, steering head angle 64.0 degrees, caster 117 mm, suspension travel f / h 230/215 mm, seat height * 880 mm, weight with a full tank * 222 kg, tank capacity 16.0 liters. Price without ancillary costs 9,640 euros
Price test motorcycle 10,990 euros

Data BMW R 1200 GS

BMW R 1200 GS

Air / oil-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke boxer engine, one high camshaft each, four valves per cylinder.

Bore x stroke 101.0 x 73.0 mm
Stroke-to-bore ratio 0.72
Cubic capacity 1170 cm3
Rated output 77.0 kW (105 PS) at 7000 rpm
Measured output * 80.1 kW (109 PS) at 7800 rpm
Output per liter * 68.5 kW (93 PS)
Power-to-weight ratio 12.8 kg / hp
Max. Torque 115 Nm at 5750 rpm

landing gear
Load-bearing engine-gearbox combination, telescopic fork guided by trailing arm, two-jointed single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, directly hinged.

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1507 mm, steering head angle 64.3 degrees, caster 101 mm, spring travel f / r 190/200 mm, seat height * 870 mm, weight with a full tank * 244 kg, tank capacity 20.0 liters.

Price without Nk. 12,500 euros
Price test motorcycle 13 735 euros

Data KTM 690 Enduro


KTM 690 Enduro

Water-cooled, single cylinder four-stroke engine, one overhead camshaft, four valves.

Bore x stroke 102.0 x 80.0 mm
Stroke-bore ratio 0.78
Cubic capacity 654 cm3
Rated output 46.3 kW (63 hp) at 7500 rpm
Measured output * 47.5 kW (65 PS) at 7300 rpm
Output per liter * 73.8 kW (99 PS)
Power-to-weight ratio 13.6 kg / hp
Max. Torque 64 Nm at 6000 rpm

landing gear
Steel tubular frame, upside-down fork, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system.

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1498 mm, steering head angle 63.0 degrees, caster 115 mm, suspension travel f / r 250/250 mm, seat height * 933 mm, weight with a full tank * 152 kg, tank capacity 12.0 liters Price without Nk. 8395 euros

Data Yamaha WR 250 R


Yamaha WR 250 R

Water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, two overhead camshafts, four valves.

Bore x stroke 77.0 x 53.6 mm
Stroke-to-bore ratio 0.68
Cubic capacity 250cm3
Rated output 22.6 kW (31 hp) at 10,000 rpm
Measured output * 23.8 kW (32 PS) at 10,000 rpm
Output per liter * 95.2 kW (129 PS)
Power-to-weight ratio 16.9 kg / hp
Max. Torque 24 Nm at 8000 rpm

landing gear
Double loop frame made of aluminum, upside-down fork, double swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system.

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1420 mm, steering head angle 64.0 degrees, caster 111 mm, suspension travel f / r 270/270 mm, seat height * 940 mm, weight with a full tank * 136 kg, tank capacity 7.6 liters.

Price without Nk. 5.795 euros

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