Concept comparison sports tourer

Concept comparison sports tourer

Sports tourers: 7,000 to 17,000 euros

A question that everyone asks himself who climbs from the proper BMW to the petite Kawasaki and vice versa. Because the two worlds lie between them. This applies not only to the dimensions, but also to the price. Which brings us to the topic: Is 7,000 enough or do you actually have to spend 17,000 euros to experience full sports touring enjoyment? Or the Honda VFR and Triumph Sprint ST offer the ideal compromise?

How blatant the price difference is between the BMW test machine K 1300 S and the Kawasaki ER-6f is made clear by the following calculation: Instead of the K 1300 S, a pair could buy two ER-6f, for the remaining 3510 euros it would get at a petrol price from 1.30 euros per liter of 2700 liters of fuel, which would be enough for around 27,000 kilometers per Kawa. But the BMW owner can just register his Bavarian stunner. The question arises, how many sports tourers do people need? Right in the middle of the two extremes are Honda with the evergreen VFR ABS, which costs 13,290 euros, and Triumph with the Sprint ST for 12,915 euros. Are they the best compromise?

Concept comparison sports tourer

Sports tourers: 7,000 to 17,000 euros

ER-6f an early limit with its loading capacity of only 176 kilograms. Two eighty-kilo people dressed in motorcycle clothing, the toiletry bag and a bar of chocolate ?? thus the capacities of the Kawa are exhausted.

Honda and Triumph offer a little more options with 191 and 193 kilograms, respectively, and small camping luggage fits on them. At BMW it’s 202 kilograms. Where … where to put the utensils? Without the case and luggage systems from most manufacturers, which are subject to a surcharge, only the luggage roll remains on the passenger seat. Only with the Sprint ST are proper suitcases and a luggage rack included in the price. The Honda has the best hooks, eyes and slots in which luggage rubbers or straps can be held.

Travel comfort and drive


Dear technicians, for my 24th birthday I would like to have a new engine with at least 1000 cubic capacity. VFR’s wish to their creators.

Autobahn, glide, sit still and feel good while scrubbing for kilometers. When it comes to travel comfort, BMW sets the tone: the fairing provides excellent protection, the leg fit is good, and even people with long legs find the knee angle comfortable. Both the Honda and the Triumph imposes a more forward-leaning posture on their driver, the seating position is much sportier with more weight on the wrists. The Kawasaki driver can only smile about that, because he is sitting almost upright. In return, however, he has to deal with the tightest knee angle. When it comes to the noise of the airstream, it is like this: While a 1.75-meter driver on the Triumph and the Honda complains of strong turbulence and the associated roar, the windows of the Kawa and BMW guide the wind around the driver with little noise.

Travel speeds between 130 and 160 km / h can be kept with all four of them. The enormous spread in performance does not matter. The in-line four-cylinder BMW marks the lonely top with 175 hp, Triumph’s three-cylinder develops 127 hp, Honda’s V4 develops 109 and the Kawasaki twin 72 hp. The difference is made by overtaking maneuvers that you shake off your wrist with the BMW and the Triumph. Even more: the BMW big block produces its output so calmly and flexibly that you click in the sixth in the courtyard entrance in the morning and only take it out again in the garage in the evening. Well, at least you could. The 1050 cubic capacity Triumph also pushes its passengers forward in the left lane without major gear changes. Kawasaki and Honda sometimes call for a downshift to fifth when overtaking. At 150 km / h in sixth, the completely different engines all turn very moderately between 5600 / min (Triumph) and 7300 / min (Kawasaki). Vibrations are kept within limits and none of the drives seem underpowered at this speed.

What is by no means the same is how 150 km / h feels. With the BMW four-cylinder: wellness, complete balance. The grunt has just gone. Honda’s V4, on the other hand, is particularly annoying in the speed range in which the variable valve control (VTEC) wants to switch on sporadically. The result: annoying jerking. VTEC is supposed to give high-revving sports engines in the lower and middle speed range more power. The three-cylinder of the Triumph, however, exudes something like adventure flair. It runs smoothly mechanically with an ear-mousy exhaust sound. And the kawa? 150 km / h is okay in the long run. The Twin feels like a marathon runner at kilometer 21 and still has reserves, but in terms of engine technology, the most relaxing way to travel is with the BMW and Triumph.

Touch and cruise instead of rushing and chasing


Oh look, it works! On the green it sits upright and effortlessly except for the tight knee angle. Your orientation? More touring than sport.

Turn into hilly Alsace with its curves. Short stop along the way. Something to complain about? "Where only with my legs?" the Kawa driver muses. "If only I had brought earplugs", the Triumph pilot is annoyed and also complains that the shins "grilled" will ?? the exhaust air from the cooler is routed directly to the legs via the cladding. The Honda driver already has the solution to his problems ready and announces 200 km / h for the return journey, because then the wind carries the upper body and the pressure on the wrists is less. The BMW employee listened with a smile and meanwhile opened the map for the onward journey.

It continues over narrow streets with blind curves. Motto: Touch and cruise instead of rushing and chasing. In addition to handiness and steering precision, what counts here is a motor that responds gently to the slightest turn and has power in the lower range. Stretches that are easiest to drive with the little Kawa with no ifs and buts. Sitting upright makes it easy to look to the side, and the fully fueled machine, which weighs only 208 kilograms, can be steered playfully using the wide touring handlebars. The ER-6f gives you a safe driving experience even in tricky situations. And the large steering angle, the narrow seat, the moderate seat height and the associated secure stance make everyday use easier.

The only drawback: The twin does not like speeds below 3000 rpm and then shakes badly. Nevertheless: The Kawa is the counterpart to the BMW, which, with its huge wheelbase and a good five hundred pounds, demands some experience from its driver on narrow courses. Anyone who underestimates the turning circle of the K 1300 S has to reverse in very tight turns. Even the sporty Honda, whose high-tech engine should theoretically pull a wild card out of the cylinder head under these conditions, does only mediocre. The front wheel-oriented seating position on small streets is also more strenuous. It belongs to Triumph drivers too "Palpation" an unknown, narrow route is not one of the most popular exercises, although the engine is super dependent on the gas and, with a powerful torque plateau of over 100 Newton meters between 3200 and 9300 rpm, provides the very best conditions for such excursions. But you sit quite high on the sprint, more or less on instead of in the motorcycle, the center of gravity is also quite high and the steering angle is low.

Driving experience


Thank you, dear designers! This engine is adrenaline pumping and addicting. That it is also economical – great!

What is most astonishing, however, is how quickly the Kawasaki is catapulted out of the corners by its 72 horsepower. At speeds between 50 and 100 km / h, which are usually driven in third or fourth gear, you have to turn the agitator on the much more powerful bikes in order to keep up with the lively green. The successful translation in connection with the low weight makes it possible. Wide streets, wide arches. Sporty and dynamic should go on. This is where the BMW plays its trump card. Is stable as if on rails. And steers as well. Even if your driver hardly receives any feedback from the stiff fork construction at the front and the cardan hardens slightly when accelerating? this chassis is beyond all doubt. You always hit the targeted line and stay on it. The Brocken steers in with great precision, almost magically rolling over the front wheel. Very functional: the ESA system. While driving, the chassis can be made softer or harder at the push of a button. And the shift assistant?

The BMW four-cylinder is so elastic that this kind of gimmick actually only makes sense on the racetrack. Or, of course, when driving with a passenger: By reducing load changes when accelerating hard, the passenger does not rock back and forth so badly. The familiar helmet-to-helmet hitting is drastically reduced. The VFR is more lively and just a little less stable than the K, and with its high-revving engine is finally in its element. Of all four chassis, yours delivers the best feedback with a full feel for the front wheel and is also convincing when braking. With the dual CBS, the front and rear are always braked at the same time. The effect is enormous even if you only delay behind. With the support of a very sensitive ABS, extremely short braking distances are possible. The steering behavior of the VFR is not quite as neutral as that of the BMW. While the K easy is leaning over the front tire, the Honda offers a slight resistance up to a certain leaning position, only to tip over.

Who is now offering the best package?


The whole range in price and performance: BMW K 1300 S, Honda VFR, Kawasaki ER-6f and Triumph Sprint ST.

The Sprint ST is also a lot of fun when it comes to snapping corners quickly. Powerful engine, rich sound. However, her tail pumps even in solo operation on slight bumps. With a pillion passenger or with a lot of luggage, the shock absorber reaches its limit and no go along offers any reserves. The brake metering is also not optimal, because the lever has a long idle travel, and the brake has a weaker effect than the competition from Honda or BMW. But if you don’t always want to be on the last groove, you can live with it and will find a companion in the Triumph who is hardly naked. Little Kawa always stays close on the heels of the more powerful trio. It is not as stable in fast corners and on bumps, but it does not get frighteningly restless either. And that although the chassis, unlike the competition, offers hardly any adjustment options. There is no doubt that the Kawasaki offers a surprisingly large amount of motorcycle for relatively little money.

Sunset. 800 kilometers have been unwound. Smoking break at the service area and summary. You can’t go wrong with the ER-6f. Anyone who is not into high performance and technical gimmicks or who often travels in pairs will be happy with it. The BMW is as solid as a rock, above everything else, but not for beginners. The golden mean with the Honda relates exclusively to the price, while its focus is clearly towards sports. In contrast, the Triumph actually offers the best compromise between performance, character, touring and sports suitability and equipment.

Technical data: BMW K 1300 S – BMW K 1300 S


Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two balance shafts, two overhead, gear / chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, rocker arm, dry sump lubrication, injection, Ø 46 mm, regulated catalytic converter, alternator 580 W, battery 12 V / 14 Ah, hydraulic actuated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, cardan shaft, secondary ratio 2.82.

Bore x stroke 80.0 x 64.3 mm
Cubic capacity 1293 cm3
Compression ratio 13: 1
Rated output 129.0 kW (175 hp) at 9250 rpm
Max. Torque 140 Nm at 8250 rpm

landing gear
Bridge frame made of aluminum, double longitudinal control arm made of aluminum, steering damper, adjustable rebound damping, two-joint 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, double piston – Floating saddle, composite brake with ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17
Tires in the test Bridgestone BT 015 ?? E ??

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1585 mm, steering head angle 60.4 degrees, caster 104 mm, spring travel f / r 115/135 mm, seat height * 830 mm, weight with a full tank * 258 kg, payload * 202 kg, tank capacity / reserve 19.0 / 4.0 liters.

Warranty: two years
Service intervals: 10,000 km
Colors: gray-black, orange, metallic silver
Price: 15,750 euros
Price test motorcycle: 17,700 euros
Additional costs: around 206 euros

Technical data: Honda VFR – Honda VFR

Water-cooled four-cylinder, four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 36 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system , 497 W alternator, 12 V / 10 battery Ah, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 43:16.

Bore x stroke 72.0 x 48.0 mm
Cubic capacity 782 cm3
Compression ratio 11.6: 1
Rated output 80.0 kW (109 hp) at 10500 rpm
Max. Torque 80 Nm at 8750 rpm

landing gear
Bridge frame made of aluminum, telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base, 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 296 mm , three-piston floating calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 256 mm, three-piston floating caliper.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Tires in the test Bridgestone BT 020 ?? BB ??

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1460 mm, steering head angle 64.5 degrees, caster 95 mm, spring travel f / r 109/120 mm, seat height * 795 mm, weight with a full tank * 253 kg, payload * 191 kg, tank capacity / reserve 22.0 / 2.0 liters.

Guarantee: two years
Service intervals: 6000 km
Colors: red, silver, black, white
Price: 12,340 euros
Price test motorcycle: 13,290 euros
Additional costs: around 170 euros

Technical data: Kawasaki ER-6f – Kawasaki ER-6f


Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, gear-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, fork rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, injection, Ø 38 mm, regulated catalytic converter, alternator 336 W, battery 12 V / 14 Ah, mechanically operated multiple discs – Oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 46:15.

Bore x stroke 83.0 x 60.0 mm
Cubic capacity 649 cm3
Compression ratio 11.2: 1
Rated output 53.0 kW (72 hp) at 8500 rpm
Max. Torque 66 Nm at 7000 rpm

landing gear
Steel tubular frame, load-bearing motor, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 300 mm, double-piston floating calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 220 mm, single-piston floating caliper, ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 4.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 160/60 ZR 17
Tires in the test Bridgestone BT 021 ?? J ??

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1410 mm, steering head angle 65.0 degrees, caster 106 mm, spring travel f / h 120/125 mm, seat height * 800 mm, weight with a full tank * 208 kg, payload * 176 kg, tank capacity 15.5 liters.

Guarantee: two years
Service intervals: 6000 km
Colors: black, green, blue
Price: 7095 euros
Additional costs: around 180 euros

Technical data: Triumph Sprint ST – Triumph Sprint ST

Water-cooled three-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, a balancer shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 46 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system, 420 W alternator, 12 V / 12 Ah battery, mechanically operated Multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, X-ring chain, secondary ratio 42:19.

Bore x stroke 79.0 x 71.4 mm
Displacement 1050 cm3
Compression ratio 12.0: 1
Rated output 93.0 kW (127 hp) at 9250 rpm
Max. Torque 105 Nm at 7500 rpm

landing gear
Bridge frame, telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base, 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 255 mm, two-piston fixed caliper, ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Tires in the test Bridgestone BT 020, rear "U"

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1457 mm, steering head angle 66.0 degrees, caster 90 mm, spring travel v / h 127/120 mm, seat height * 820 mm, weight with a full tank * 263 kg, payload * 193 kg, tank capacity 20.0 liters.

Guarantee: two years
Service intervals: 10,000 km
Colors: blue, gray, black
Price: 12,740 euros
Price test motorcycle: 12,915 euros
Additional costs: around 240 euros

MOTORCYCLE test result

1st place: BMW K 1300 S
Who wonders at this price? Seriously: Your four-cylinder is in a class of its own, the chassis is great, and the technical refinements are a great icing on the cake.

2nd place: Triumph Sprint ST
It has a few weaknesses in the details, that’s it. Otherwise: a lot of motorcycle for the money, a three-cylinder engine with pepper and high entertainment value? just great!

3rd place: Honda VFR
Top processed, neat shell, super ABS. But the engine lacks power underneath. For those who focus on sport rather than touring, the Honda is the first choice.

4th place: Kawasaki ER-6f
Undemanding. Honest. Reasonable. Robust. Cheap. Many suitable terms come to mind for the Kawasaki. Fourth place? No matter. There is no good reason not to buy this motorcycle.

MOTORCYCLE – How to scoring

As expected: Not only because of its immense power, the K 1300 S gets the most points here. Your cardan works with little reaction, the clutch is precise and smooth. The response behavior to gas commands could, however, be gentler. Above all, the Triumph hangs better on the throttle and acts more directly and spontaneously than the competition. Honda’s VTEC system is disappointing across the board, as it offers no advantages in normal driving conditions and thus stamps the V4 into a high-performance engine that only really shows life in the last third of the speed. Good for sporty driving, bad for country road use. The cold-running behavior of the Honda engine also leaves a lot to be desired: It revs relatively high and only hesitantly accelerates for the first few hundred meters.
Winner engine: BMW

landing gear
No surprise here either: BMW has given the K 1300 S an extremely good chassis with a lot of effort. The machine drives exactly where the driver wants and is above all driving conditions, even in pillion mode. The advantages of the adjustable chassis (ESA) at the push of a button are enormous. One wonders why other manufacturers aren’t offering this candy yet. The rear suspension of the Triumph tends to be too soft, the Kawasaki a bit too hard. The chassis components of the Honda provide the best feedback. In line with the V4, which literally screams for high revs, the VFR can and wants to be moved in the most sporty way from this comparison field. Remarkable: The significantly cheaper ER-6f can keep up very well.
Chassis winner: BMW

everyday life
Better living: the most relaxed knee angle, the best upholstery, good ergonomics ?? The Bavarian also scores points when it comes to comfort, tire pressure monitoring and the automatic gearshift ensure her further advantage. However, due to its weight and long wheelbase, it is more difficult to maneuver. When turning maneuvers on narrow roads, the Triumph is naked with its very limited steering angle. In addition, not optimal: co-drivers sit very high. But it is the only one with a standard luggage system. The Kawasaki’s fairing provides only limited protection against the elements. The ER could also use more payload. Honda’s VFR impresses with excellent visibility in the rear-view mirrors, the best light and the greatest range.
Winner everyday life: BMW

Dual-CBS-ABS have an advantage: In terms of deceleration, the Honda sets the bar pretty high. Your composite brake is not only child’s play to operate and easy to adjust, it also realizes the shortest possible braking distances. The anti-lock braking systems from Honda and BMW shine with sensitive control behavior. They work flawlessly even on rough bumps and on wet roads, where the Kawasaki and Triumph systems are noticeable for their somewhat coarser control behavior.
Safety winner: Honda

The settlement comes at the end: less used, less worn, less insurance costs ?? now the Kawa is in the limelight. And outclasses the BMW. The Honda must ?? like the Kawa too? more often to service.
Winner cost: Kawasaki

Price-performance winner: Kawasaki
A good value for relatively little money: If you like motorcycles that are easy to operate and drive and can do without luxury and gimmicks, the ER-6f is a great motorcycle for every day.

MOTORCYCLE measurements


Calculation example: a K 1300 S = two ER-6f and 2700 liters of gasoline or a VFR and 368 cases of beer.

Practice shows that the 74 hp of the Kawasaki are great to live on on the country road. The only drawback of the twin: Under 3000 rpm it chops when the gas is drawn up. The contrast to the Kawa is marked by the Honda, which constantly demands high revs if it is to go ahead. Triumph’s three-cylinder engine has significantly less power than the BMW, but it has a short, sporty translation. That makes them very agile in everyday life. It’s great that the BMW power really never tempts you to heat.

The acceleration was calculated taking into account the tractive force on the rear wheel and the total vehicle weight minus the driving resistance forces (rolling friction, air resistance). This shows that the ER-6f, as the weakest machine in the comparison, is making up a lot of ground thanks to its low weight, especially compared to the VFR. Compared to the Honda, the Kawasaki weighs 45 kilograms less. In addition, the gear ratio of the ER is optimally matched to the application, while the VFR is the least suitable. In addition, the Honda V4 only for fuel on the fire from 6500 tours.

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