Ducati Multistrada 1200, Kawasaki Versys 1000 and Triumph Tiger 1050 in the test


Ducati Multistrada 1200, Kawasaki Versys 1000 and Triumph Tiger 1050 in the test

Funbikes in comparison test

Ducati Multistrada 1200, Kawasaki Versys 1000 and Triumph Tiger 1050

With bags and bags on a big tour or just an entertaining trip and cool cornering. So far, the crossover specialists who managed this balancing act were two- and three-cylinder. Now, with the Kawasaki Versys 1000, an inline four-cylinder is also involved.

Hey what’s that I’ve never seen it before, but it looks like… ”Just like a Kawasaki Versys. Only without in-line twin cylinders.

The German motorcycle fan who happens to fill his tank at the same small Spanish gas station is irritated. No wonder, the distinctive cladding with the characteristic, stacked headlights unmistakably identifies it as Versys.

The feudal seat in the BMW GS style and the fat four-cylinder engine make it clear: Here is the new, the big Versys. She wants to make the inline four-cylinder socially acceptable for the big all-rounders with a fun surcharge. And it immediately faces the two top dogs in this segment, the Ducati Multistrada S and the Triumph Tiger 1050 SE. Hard chunks.

ZAt least visually, the simply drawn Kawasaki has to give way to the classy Ducati and the lustful-looking Triumph. But on the one hand, as is well known, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and on the other hand, the following still applies: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

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Ducati Multistrada 1200, Kawasaki Versys 1000 and Triumph Tiger 1050 in the test

Funbikes in comparison test
Ducati Multistrada 1200, Kawasaki Versys 1000 and Triumph Tiger 1050


A lot of fun in curves – the Tiger 1050 SE.

Its adjustable lens keeps the head out of the wind to a large extent and offers even more protection than the Kawasaki lens, which is also very protective and behind which it is a bit quieter. The narrow windshield of the Triumph, the only one not adjustable in height, does not come close to these qualities and only protects the upper body of the pilot. The little road becomes narrower and narrower, winding through the barren, rugged landscape – a short stop. The Ducati windshield can be adjusted from the driver’s seat, with a little skill even while driving. With the Kawasaki you definitely have to descend. The route leads towards the sea, a small lane hugs the coast.

And again, the Kawasaki first sets an exclamation point. It loosely follows the course of the asphalt strip, being playfully guided from one incline to the next. None in this test swings through the corners as easily as the Kawasaki.

At the other end of the handling scale is the significantly more sluggish Tiger, which also stands up most noticeably in an inclined position when reaching for the spontaneously and finely dosed brakes.

But when it comes to sailing through the curves in casual, relaxed arcs, no one else is fooling you. Velvety, elegant asphalt surfing is her thing. The three-cylinder purrs, the spring elements cushion very comfortably and keep the load calm and on course in joints and bumps. The Ducati is more manoeuvrable, clearly crisper and more direct, but the Ducati is the only one with 190 tires in the back that is most susceptible to bumps in an inclined position.

And even the nimble, tightly tuned Kawasaki does not sharpen completely neutrally around the corners, but requires a little pressure on the handlebars at a greater angle. Stuck away edges and bumps in the asphalt when cornering.

The other side of the coin shows when the road surface becomes more pitted and begins to wrinkle properly. The insensitive, appealing fork of the Kawasaki rumbles carelessly over some asphalt edges, which doesn’t seem very comfortable. The Multistrada S has the “Enduro” mode for such cases thanks to the four-way electronically adjustable chassis. Even though it is still designed to be sporty and taut. Overall, however, the Duc masters the pockmarked asphalt quite properly and provides good contact with the road.

The tiger glides most confidently over the neglected tar belt. Their finely appealing spring elements iron scars and dents from the asphalt with great care. The tiger trainer remains largely unmolested by the faults.

The road follows the terrain up into the mountains in bold turns and tight bends. The asphalt, where the slopes lie in the sun, is pleasantly warmed and grippy. Cool in the shady passages, as if made to get a feel for the three athletic talents.


Twin fans like to look after the fiery V2 of the Ducati for its rough but warm nature.

The gas tap is now tightened more vigorously, and the attack department follows the enjoyable curve swing. Just recently praised for its comfort and the fine response, the Triumph now has to let feathers and the other two pull in the courageous corner robber.

Despite the revision, the fork still compresses quite quickly when anchoring harshly. Due to the comfort-oriented coordination, the Tiger looks doughy when it is jagged. And with increasing speed, the precision with which the tigers hiss around the corners dwindles. The Triumph receives little support from its ancient Michelin Pilot Sport.

Significantly more agile, noticeably more precise, the nimble Kawasaki waves across the road. The fork, scolded on the bumpy track, now proves to be a plus point thanks to its tight coordination. The Kawasaki unites maneuverability with good steering precision, which promotes the sporty zest for action. Only the shock absorber could use more damping reserves, and it compresses far in bumps. Although the spring base can easily be lifted using the handwheel, it does not offer any adjustment options for the pressure level.

The brisk tour, of course, that is the domain of Ducati. Her sporting genes come into full effect when she paces more quickly. Not quite as nimble as the Kawasaki, but more agile than the Triumph, the Multistrada delights with impeccable precision. No one hits the corners as precisely, provides such clear feedback when cornering. Even when thrown from one lean angle to the next, the undercarriage remains calm, even with two people. Because the spring elements offer the greatest damping reserves, while the Kawasaki shock absorber with pillion rides on bumps every now and then.

Thanks to the hard-hitting and finely adjustable brakes, you can apply the brakes with great precision, especially since the brakes do not resist bending much. The Triumph stoppers also deliver a good bite even with low hand strength.

But if you have chosen a braking point too late in the heat of the moment or if you cross a bump when braking hard, then the Ducati rider has the better cards. Because their ABS controls somewhat roughly, but at short intervals and hard at the blocking limit, while the Tiger’s ABS gives away important meters with longer control intervals.

The Versys brake calipers – the only ones that are not screwed radially – deliver only little deceleration when applied gently, but do not startle with a brutal bite. Strong gripping then squeezes even more considerable braking power out of them. Which is at the expense of controllability, but when in doubt, a sensitive ABS is available.


A successful debut of the economically equipped, but very comfortable and travel-ready Kawasaki.

The Versys engine is similarly easy to handle, at first it pushes unobtrusively but with vigor out of the lower rev range, implements gas commands gently, without being aggressive. Then, when properly challenged, it becomes really energetic from 6000 rpm, but without stressing the pilot with rough cracks or wild performance eruptions. Which is why it fits in well with the comfortable nature of the Kawasaki despite clear load change reactions. Incidentally, there is no demand for the alternatively selectable motor mapping for reduced power.

The Triumph-Triple is also ideally suited for leisurely curve swings. He starts work from idle without grumbling and pushes subito with impressive vehemence out of the rev lows. He runs even more cultivated and smooth than the Kawa four. In connection with his wonderful rumbling and hissing, this makes even a relaxed stroll an experience.

The three of a kind cuts an excellent figure even at accelerated speeds. Has a firm grip on the gas, reacts spontaneously and directly to the opening of the throttle valve. It is an experience how absolutely evenly and at the same time powerfully the thrust of the engine pushes up the speed ladder. Also for the ears. Hoarse hissing gives way to throaty roaring. No question about it, the engine is the icing on the cake of the Triumph. The somewhat rustic load change reactions do not change that, nor do the stiff clutch or the moderately slippery gear changes.

The Ducati gearbox is even more gnarled. But otherwise the twin is a stunner. Not as sophisticated as the competition, of course. And yet, the 11 ° -Testastretta (because its valves only work with eleven degrees of overlap for more smooth running and pulling power, 41 degrees for the Superbike 1198) offers sufficient running smoothness, a great start and a fantastic temperament. Lets drift through the city in fourth gear, shakes under load, pounding up the speed ladder. Neither of the other two can keep up with that. From 5000 rpm the twin ignites a splendid fireworks display that culminates in 147 hp and thus clearly stands out from Kawasaki and Triumph (120 hp each).


The Versys tracked by Multistrada and Tiger.

Anyone who uses the power of the Duc too carelessly, for example in the still shady, damp sections of the route, can rely on effective traction control, as with the Kawasaki. The Triumph cannot serve that purpose, but comes with cases and a main stand as standard. The latter is not even included in the Kawasaki accessories program.

Ultimately, the Versys bring tour-related things such as the low consumption, the greatest range and the high level of seating comfort in terms of long-distance qualities and with the final billing before the tigers. It’s not enough to trip up the dynamic and travel-friendly, strong but also more expensive Multistrada. In addition, the Ducati offers significantly more workmanship and equipment. Nevertheless, if you have been waiting for an in-line four-cylinder in this segment, the Versys offers a serious alternative.

MOTORCYCLE scoring / test result


In the end, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S wins the comparison test. With all the sportiness comfortable, stable and well equipped.

The natural pulling power of the silky running Triumph triplet, which is attached directly to the gas, is a stunner. But the Ducati offers the fieriest temperament. Unfortunately also the most hacky gear. The Kawasaki engine is nowhere to be seen, but it also has no serious weaknesses. The hardest clutch this time does not come from Italy.
Winner engine: Ducati, Triumph

landing gear
The Multistrada cannot hide the fact that it comes from a very sporty house. It offers the crispest, tautest and most direct suspension of all. And it can also cope with the weight of a pillion passenger best. The Tiger offers the best suspension comfort. In terms of handling, however, it also ranks a class behind the agile Kawasaki.
Chassis winner: Ducati

everyday life
Enter Kawasaki: Not only the driver enjoys excellent comfort, but also the passenger. There is also a proper wind protection, practical mirrors, an enormous payload and a generous range. This is only offset by a disappointing light and mediocre workmanship. The ergonomics of the Triumph need to be revised, but it is the last in terms of load and wind protection.
Winner everyday: Kawasaki

The Ducati stoppers are impeccable in terms of dosage and effectiveness. However, the best match is the Kawasaki ABS, which enables the Versys to decelerate very well despite the bluntly appealing brakes.
Safety winner: Ducati

The Ducati may have a mobility guarantee and low inspection costs, but it also has the greatest thirst and the highest tire costs.
Winner Cost: Triumph

The second place in the points rating brings the price-performance crown at a reasonable price.
Price-performance winner: Kawasaki

 Max points  Ducati  Kawasaki  triumph
Overall rating  1000  685  661  642 placement    1.  2.  3. Price-performance note  1.0  3.4  2.0  2.5

Test result

  • 1. Ducati Multistrada 1200 S

With all the sportiness comfortable, stable and well equipped. Twin fans like to look after the fiery V2 for its rough, but warm nature.

  • 2. Kawasaki Versys 1000

A successful debut of the economically equipped, but very comfortable and travel-ready Kawasaki, which shows that an in-line four-cylinder also fits well into this class.

  • 3. Triumph Tiger 1050 SE

This magnificent three-cylinder guy rocks the show and offers sound and driving dynamics. But it is more fun than touring bike. Ergonomics, chassis and wind protection need a revision.

Technical specifications


The Kawasaki behind Ducati and Triumph.

Ducati engine
engine Two cylinder four stroke 90 degree V engine
injection Ø 64 mm
coupling Multi-disc oil bath clutch (anti-hopping)
Bore x stroke 106.0 x 67.9 mm
Displacement 1198 cm3
compression 11.5: 1
power 108.8 kW (148 hp) at 9250 rpm
Torque 119 Nm at 7500 rpm
landing gear
frame Steel tubular frame
fork Upside-down fork, Ø 48 mm
Brakes v / h Ø 320/245 mm
Assistance systems SECTION
bikes 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17
Tires Pirelli Scorpion Trail
mass and weight
wheelbase 1530 mm 
Steering head angle 65.0 degrees
trailing 104 mm
Suspension travel v / h 170/170 mm
Seat height ** 840 mm
Weight with full tank ** 234 kg
Payload ** 196 kg
Tank capacity / reserve 20.0 / 4.0 liters
Service intervals 12,000 km
price 18 490 euros
Price test motorcycle 18 693 euros ***
Additional costs around 345 euros
Top speed * 245 km / h
0-100 km / h 3.3 sec
0-140 km / h 5.2 sec
0-200 km / h 10.1 sec
60-100 km / h 4.1 sec
100-140 km / h 4.3 sec
140-180 km / h 4.9 sec
Consumption highway 5.9 liters / super
Reach country road 339 km
Kawasaki engine
engine Four-cylinder, four-stroke in-line engine
injection Ø 38 mm
coupling Multi-disc oil bath clutch
Bore x stroke 77.0 x 56.0 mm
Displacement 1043 cm3
compression 10.3: 1
power 86.8 kW (118 hp) at 9000 rpm
Torque 102 Nm at 7700 rpm
landing gear
frame Tubular frame made of aluminum
fork Upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm
Brakes v / h Ø 300/250 mm
Assistance systems SECTION
bikes 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Tires Pirelli Scorpion Trail rear “K”
mass and weight
wheelbase 1520 mm 
Steering head angle 63.0 degrees
trailing 107 mm
Suspension travel v / h 150/150 mm
Seat height ** 830 mm
Weight with full tank ** 241 kg
Payload ** 218 kg
Tank capacity / reserve 21.0 liters
Service intervals 6000 km
price 11,995 euros
Price test motorcycle
Additional costs around 180 euros
Top speed * 226 km / h
0-100 km / h 3.5 sec
0-140 km / h 5.5 sec
0-200 km / h 12.4 sec
60-100 km / h 3.7 sec
100-140 km / h 4.0 sec
140-180 km / h 5.6 sec
Consumption highway 5.2 liters / super
Reach country road 404 km
triumph engine
engine Three-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine
injection Ø 46 mm
coupling Multi-disc oil bath clutch 
Bore x stroke 79.0 x 71.4 mm
Displacement 1050 cm3
compression 12:01 pm
power 85.0 kW (116 hp) at 9400 rpm
Torque 100 Nm at 6250 rpm
landing gear
frame Bridge frame made of aluminum
fork Upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm
Brakes v / h Ø 320/255 mm
Assistance systems SECTION
bikes 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Tires Michelin Pilot Road “S”
mass and weight
wheelbase 1510 mm 
Steering head angle 66.8 degrees
trailing 88 mm
Suspension travel v / h 150/150 mm
Seat height ** 850 mm
Weight with full tank ** 241 kg
Payload ** 187 kg
Tank capacity / reserve 20.0 / 4.5 liters
Service intervals 10,000 km
price 12 790 euros
Price test motorcycle
Additional costs around 350 euros
Top speed * 220 km / h
0-100 km / h 3.4 sec
0-140 km / h 5.5 sec
0-200 km / h 12.1 sec
60-100 km / h 3.5 sec
100-140 km / h 3.9 sec
140-180 km / h 5.6 sec
Consumption highway 5.3 liters / super
Reach country road 377 km

* Manufacturer information, ** MOTORCYCLE measurements, *** including main stand (203 €)

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