Driving report Cagiva Navigator


Driving report Cagiva Navigator

Captain Bluebear

No seaman’s thread: Cagiva builds great motorcycles? with the kind support of Suzuki. Now also a travel enduro called Navigator. The launch, exclusively in MOTORRAD.

At Cagiva, things are going very quickly. After the two Raptor models, there is now chapter three of the popular sequel “What your Suzuki dealer would have always liked to sell you”: the Navigator, a travel enduro. Driven by that V2, which made its debut in the Suzuki TL 1000 S in 1997 and which now functions as one would have wished for when it was first introduced: flawlessly. It is gratifying that, thanks to the cooperation with Suzuki, this elemental engine now also powers the travel enduro from Cagiva. With a nominal 97 instead of 106 hp, it is not so much trimmed for top performance as in the Raptor series, but, as a Cagiva engineer assures, designed for even more torque, in line with her profession.
At ten in the morning in front of the Cagiva factory, a pre-series machine is ready for the first test drive with a full tank of fuel. Have fun, and please be back around half past five. Almost eight hours, time enough, enough and informative first kilometers to unwind and to check whether the Navigator is suitable for long distances.
There is one thing the Navigator cannot and does not want to do on the side stand: to conceal its relationship with the Gran Canyon 900, which is still available. Yes, exactly, the one with the two-valve V-Twin from Ducati, once part of the Cagiva Group, today a competitor. The Navigator has the same, playful-looking double filler neck, a similar front section and a nice, but very slippery luggage compartment at the rear. And about the same excellent, almost perfect driver’s seat: You don’t sit up, but rather in the motorcycle.
Cagiva promises 210 kilograms dry weight, only two more than its smaller sister Gran Canyon. With a full tank of fuel and with oil and cooling water on board, the Navigator should weigh around 235 kilograms. That would make it clearly the lightest among the competitors BMW R 1150 GS, Honda Varadero and Triumph Tiger. But not only because of this the chances of the Cagiva are good, but with its proclaimed 97 hp, it will deliver a tough duel with the Varadero in terms of performance. BMW and Triumph have to line up behind there.
And this is by no means just about top performance, that much can be said after a good six hours of driving. Because the Japanese heart of the Navigator not only has a lot of smoothness, a moderate thirst (on average a good six liters), but also a huge punch: almost irresistible, as the engine accelerates after a short warm-up phase even from low revs, spontaneous and reacts to the slightest pluck on the throttle grip without dropping out, accompanied by the cheerful, V2-typical staccato from the two Lafranconi rear silencers. Once, on the Autostrada to Milan, illegally accelerating the clean and easily shiftable six gears ?? and whoosh, the speedometer needle easily goes over the 200 mark. The windshield also pleases at speeds of 160 km / h and more, but the background noise behind the high windshield is not made of cardboard.
The V2, however, is good for far more than speeding bolts on well-developed roads. If you like, you can also glide comfortably in sixth gear with the Navigator. Gladly with company, the seat in the back is nice and wide and well padded. However, this Cagiva finds its very own territory on country roads. Since she strips off all travel enduro conventions? and can finally be what it actually wants to be: a fun bike.
Because no other of these popular species has such a sporty chassis, the Navigator always surprises with its tight, direct nature. This has less to do with enduro than with a skilfully tuned street motorcycle. Even from hard braking maneuvers? and the Cagiva brakes well, very well even ?? the non-adjustable fork is unimpressed. No sudden dive into nirvana, no metallic walking on the block.
The tight hindquarters harmonize well with the front section, but without overly straining the pilot. Due to its stability, the Navigator inspires confidence, whether in tight radii or on fast sections. Changes in inclined position do not require any emphasis, even if the Cagiva does not exactly deserve the predicate overhanded. The BMW R 1150 GS will probably continue to be the benchmark in this discipline. Slow, bumpy passages, which it encircles almost neutrally, cause few problems for the Navigator, only disturbed by a noticeable righting moment when braking into the curve, for which the original Metzeler ME Z4 tires are otherwise not known. Yes, that’s right, the Italians go their own way here too, foregoing more or less off-road enduro tires from the outset, instead relying on touring tires with good mileage, only 18 inches in diameter at the front.
D.hat fits the Italian interpretation of the topic of »travel enduro«. Everything a little sportier. The Navigator is definitely an asset to this popular motorcycle division. Where it stands in comparison to the competition, clarifies the comparison test with the big three of the scene in issue 11/2000.

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