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Driving report Sachs Roadster V 1.6
Driving report Sachs Roadster V 1.6
Big appearance in front of a small audience: MOTORRAD rushed Sachs` brand new roadster with the robust Suzuki DR 650 single cylinder through its Franconian homeland.
“Keys, papers. For really great motorcycling, head south, there are the most beautiful corners. «Hartmut Huhn, Head of Development at the Nuremberg Sachs-Werke, winks mischievously that the former racing driver and Ducati owner would prefer to swap his jacket for a leather suit and ride along. But duty calls. Organization, planning, production and trade fair preparations for Milan and the IAA in Frankfurt are in full swing for him and his team. Because at Sachs in Nuremberg there is steam in the boiler. The announcement to build full-blown motorcycles again is now followed by action. Anyone who doubts the plan of the Franconian two-wheeler forge under the direction of the Dutch industrial manager Rob van der Linden can be convinced by the youngest offspring.
Despite all previous presentations, it is not the two-cylinder roadster with a Suzuki VX 800 engine that has been announced for years that is ready for the test drives, but an uncovered single-cylinder that skilfully combines classic elements with a smart design, model name: Roadster V 1.6. Two broad frame loops made of tubular steel encircle the tried and tested engine of the Suzuki DR 650, a slim muffler in megaphone design, beautiful wire-spoke wheels, Metzeler tires in moderate 120 and 160 size, a conventional pair of struts, practical main stand, and an elegant one on top Tank-seat combination that also takes a companion into account – the concept of the timeless utility motorcycle is ready.
And that thing is easy. 169 kilograms, with an impressive 20 liters of fuel in the tank. This actually makes the Sachs one of the flyweights in the singles scene. The heavyweights in these circles, such as BMW’s street version of the F 650, the ST, weighs 203 kilograms through the landscape. The petite Suzuki engine is also convincing. Hartmut Huhn promises a strong 50 hp for the already homologated pre-series machine.
What was that again? “Always heading south.” Out into the country, bumpy roads and mogul slopes, a curve dance between fish ponds and steaming dung heaps. Franconia is great. And the new Sachs is great. Because the groovy engine not only pushes smoothly, but also turns whatever it takes, and all of that with good taste and without annoying vibrations. The Suzuki single also shakes the chassis, but for single-cylinder conditions it is very, very discreet and quiet. So that the engine does not get too warm, an additional oil cooler on the front of the frame supports the Suzuki-typical combination of air and oil cooling.
Casually, with one hand in your trouser pocket, you turn the roadster around the corner, devour winding curves in no time, ignore bumps generously and come to a stop when the going gets tough. You could have imagined that the slim single perfectly stages the idea of the puristic, agile driving machine.
As comfortable as grandma’s wing chair, the Roadster V 1.6 driver can quickly dream in the cozy seat. Now strap on the tank bag and then just let it drift. Swing through the landscape without any annoying rushed movements. A bit of sadness already resonates there. My good old SR-X6 wasn’t bad either – just way too heavy and a little limp. Or the beloved Gilera Saturno – beautiful, but unfortunately often broken. The Sachs could succeed in interfering in the life of those who like powerful single-cylinder cylinders, like to spread their simple outfit in overpowered yogurt pots in the rear-view mirrors and smuggle through the landscape on the smallest paths with growing enthusiasm.
And what is there to complain about? The insufficient ground clearance, for example. Or the gear lever that is too short and hard to use. Fine work is also required on the strut tuning. But who do you tell this to? “We’re already on it, we’ll have things under control by the start of production in December,” said Hartmut Huhn, Head of Development, commenting on MOTORRAD’s criticisms. “Have a look,” said a famous Bavarian. Because as early as February 2000, the first of the 700 planned units will be available for sale from around 150 German Sachs dealers for 11,490 marks.
The first attempt: Hercules W 2000
The 1970s were a great moment for German two-wheeler manufacturers. The reason: the wave of mopeds and mopeds spilled over. Kreidler, Zundapp, Maico and of course Hercules, an offshoot of the Fichtel & Sachs Group, ruled the market. But the segment of large machines, at that time large meant 250 to 500 square centimeters, was occupied only hesitantly. Only dared 1975 Hercules the step to a full-fledged street motorcycle with a 27 hp Sachs rotary engine. The unusual drive of the W 2000 with the clearly visible fan cooling, it quickly lost its nickname: vacuum cleaner. Turbine-like running smoothness and a harmonious power output stood in the way of unbridled consumption and a high price. The up-and-coming Japanese competition, such as the Yamaha RD 250/350 models or Honda’s CB 250/350/450, thwarted the W 2000’s bill.
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