Enduro comparison – off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM

24 photos

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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With the Freeride 350, KTM is taking responsibility for the off-road scene. The competition: Yamaha WR 250 R, Honda CRF 250 L, Beta Alp 4.0.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Beta Alp 4.0 – Traditional: Almost a decade before freeride, Beta presented the first modern hiking trial in 2003.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Beta Alp 4.0 The Alp presented in 2003 is the real pioneer of the current development towards more environmentally friendly hiking enduro bikes.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Everything on it: Whether helmet lock (photo), pillion passenger grab handles or fittings – the Beta is well equipped.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Nostalgia: The air-cooled engine (with carburetor) comes from the Suzuki DR 350. Somewhat antiquated, but proven.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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“Whether beginner or professional – the beta plows everyone up. It definitely offers more being than appearance ”. Winfried Beck (42) likes motorcycles of all types.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Beta Alp 4.0, Yamaha WR 250 R, Honda CRF 250 L and KTM Freeride 350.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Honda CRF 250 L – Clear lines: The Enduro looks pleasing and modern. Workmanship and equipment are valuable – except for the spring elements.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Honda CRF 250 L 4690 euros – impressive how well equipped the small Honda celebrates its premiere with this award.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Balance: To counteract the rear-heavy suspension setup, it helps to push the bars 15 millimeters through the triple clamps.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Symbiosis: The CRF shares the water-cooled four-valve injection unit with the entry-level sports car CBR 250 R..

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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“4700 euros – it’s amazing how valuable and well-equipped the Honda is for this price.” Peter Mayer (52), MOTORRAD editor.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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And nobody is disturbed by us: small mountain village with a large backdrop.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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KTM Freeride 350 – Concentration on the essentials: the look already reveals the clear direction of freeride – fun off-road.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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KTM Freeride 350 – With its flyweight, lively engine, excellent ergonomics and high-grip and ground-friendly tires, the freeride is convincing where it was designed: off-road.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Trial instead of error: The trial tires protect the ground and offer a fascinating grip, especially on rocky ground.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Reserve: With 5.5 liters, the KTM’s tank only lasts for a good 100 kilometers. Good for those who have a spare bottle.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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“Awesome, what can be done with freeriding – a first-class fun bike”. Tanita Reinecke (22), motocrosser with racing experience.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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A dream: moderate tracks, hardly any noise – anyone who is allowed to discover such rest areas on enduros will recognize that freeride and co. Are on the right track.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Yamaha WR 250 R – Appearance: The Yamaha is strongly oriented towards the technology and appearance of its competitor sister model, the WR 250 F.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Yamaha WR 250 R – The Yamaha is certain to win: none of these enduros can cover a wider range of applications than the WR 250 R..

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Great: Both the fork and the shock absorber are not only fully adjustable, they are also perfectly coordinated.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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Open the flap: easily accessible air filter – just one aspect of the well-made, well-designed Yamaha.

Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM
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“The Yamaha is the enduro with the widest range of uses – no doubt about it”. Karsten Schwers (40), MOTORRAD top tester.

test & Technology: Enduro comparison

Enduros from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM

With the Freeride 350, KTM is taking responsibility for the off-road scene. The recipe: less noise and fewer tracks for sustainable driving pleasure. MOTORRAD went on a mountain tour with the freeride and three similarly oriented colleagues.

Enduro comparison

Too late. As if out of the ground, the tanned man in his mid-fifties suddenly stands in front of us after the pass. Wellington boots, dungarees – no doubt, the stocky gentleman must be the farmer up here on this wooded mountain pass. The man whose property this gravel road passes over. Too late to try to escape. Emergency program. Engines off, put on submissive look, prepare for verbal licorice rasping. “Mi chiamo Giuseppe, my name is Giuseppe”, the man extends his hand with a smile. We hit hard, grinning as friendly as we would to the boss at the salary negotiation. And nod eagerly. Of course we closed the pasture gates behind us again. Will do on the way back, of course. Well then, “buona vacanza, have a great vacation”. Another all-round handshake, ciao and he’s gone.

We have to recalibrate ourselves emotionally. No argument, no warning. We are confused. Because one thing is clear: trips into the countryside are – contrary to popular opinion – just as prohibited here in the Italian Alps as in Germany. Point. What remains is a gray area, the limit of which is drawn by the tolerance of fellow human beings. Or to put it another way: where there is no plaintiff, there is no judge.

M.Often this is one of the reasons why Signore Giuseppe reacted so accommodatingly because of the unobtrusive appearance of our four enduros. After all, the quartet has one thing in common: their socially acceptable component, i.e. moderate volume and moderately coarse tires.

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Enduro comparison - off-road bikes from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM

test & Technology: Enduro comparison
Enduros from Beta, Honda, Yamaha and KTM

Yamaha WR 250 R. Elaborate aluminum frame, fully adjustable spring elements, aluminum swing arm and the dohc single with titanium inlet valves, which is based on the engine of the Yamaha competition enduro, organize the model, which has been offered since 2008, technically and also in terms of price (7020 euros) clearly to the sports department. From the other corner of the enduro warehouse, the brand new Honda CRF 250 L, which was introduced just a few weeks ago, is involved. One of the currently most important development goals at Honda (see also the NC 700 series), the low price, is also reflected in the CRF. The red one costs over 2000 euros less than the Yamaha, namely 4690 euros. The modern dohc engine comes from the entry-level CBR 250 R; The aluminum swingarm, fittings and instruments are valuable, even the steel frame is fine. Ultimately, only the non-adjustable spring elements document the monetary constraints. The Beta Alp 4.0 reflects the influence of the company’s history based on trial sports. From the air-cooled single of the Suzuki DR 350 soft enduro and a simple tubular steel frame, the technicians from near Florence have been combining this 5,679 euro hiking trial since 2003. But this trio is currently sucking the slipstream of a single new colleague into the center of interest, that of the KTM Freeride 350.Composite frame from the Freeride E electric study, the motor, which is strongly damped on the inlet and outlet side, from the Sport-Enduro 350 EXC-F, trial tires – With this mixture, the Austrians are taking their very own path to responsible off-roading.


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And nobody is disturbed by us: small mountain village in a large setting.

However, also at the higher tariff: the Spielmobil costs 7,245 euros. In the meantime, Giuseppe’s cows are starting to sniff us curiously. Sorry ladies, we want to move on. Press on the button. It’s cool, but the Honda and Yamaha start immediately. With the KTM, the index finger has to laboriously fumble through to raise the idle gas, which is hidden behind hoses and cables. The choke button of the good old Mikuni constant pressure carburetor on the beta, sorry, Suzuki engine suddenly no longer seems so antiquated. The path winds tightly downwards and after a few hundred meters already looks as if Ourea, the god of mountains, wanted to sow a stone field here. Gravel, pebbles and boulders of all sizes and shapes make up the lane. We’re going at a moderate pace. Lifting the front wheel over the chunks at the right moment with a throttle, not letting the rear wheel tear through uncontrollably, that’s what matters now. The Honda and Yamaha do not have an easy time of it here. Because both of them lack punch from the low revs. You step on the gas as smoothly as butter, but to lift the front you need a helping grip on the clutch. Honda has a slight advantage: With a slightly longer stroke (Honda: 55 mm, Yamaha: 53.6 mm) and lower peak power (Honda: 23 HP, Yamaha: 30 HP), the Honda propellant rate is below 6000 rpm (see diagram on page 63 ) slightly better in the feed, making it a bit more spontaneous than the Yamaha unit. Still no comparison to the beta. Powerful and easy to dose, the air-cooled single-cylinder uses its displacement advantage, plowing its way through the confused stone mosaic.

With the relatively large centrifugal mass, you don’t necessarily need a smooth clutch insert and a finely dosed throttle. This is an advantage that should not be underestimated, especially for beginners or those less experienced in demanding terrain. The KTM chooses a different path. The short-stroke 350 responds lively and wide awake to even the smallest throttle, lifts the front to the centimeter over every edge even without using the clutch, and can – not least thanks to the astonishingly flat torque plateau in the practice-relevant range between 3500 rpm and 7000 rpm – be dosed with pinpoint accuracy . Also important for beginners: Because the overall ratio was chosen to be at least ten percent shorter than the rest of the trio, even in tricky situations and at slow speeds you rarely need to use the clutch.

The terrain becomes more moderate, the path winds quickly to the next hill. Washouts repeatedly give out powerful blows. The relatively strongly cranked handlebars de Honda, a high front and low rear force the pilot into an unbalanced, rear-heavy position even when standing. It is hardly possible to put weight on the front wheel in the bends, so the CRF has it pushed outwards on the gravel. A more preloaded shock absorber spring (sag with driver 95 instead of 105 mm) and fork legs pushed in by 15 millimeters balanced the chassis a little better, but the said transverse channels continue to push the fork and especially the shock absorber to their limits early on. But the single purrs at higher speeds like an electric motor and hardly vibrates. Even the beta cannot really get used to the faster pace. The Alp positions its pilot nicely in the middle, giving him enough freedom of movement, but the relatively stiff suspension strut and the buttery soft front don’t really harmonize. Even smaller edges cause the conventional Paioli fork to hit hard with metal, and even let the weakly dampened part audibly hit the end stop during rebound. For this, the engine toggles unspectacularly through the speed range. The air-cooled single, which has not been further developed since 1999, certainly does not exude the direct and mechanically low-friction feeling of its opponents in good plowing, but shows itself to be powerful and effective on the bottom line.

The KTM is carved as slim as a mountain goat. The narrow bench, which extends up to just in front of the steering head, places the Freireiter in a highly flexible manner, making it easy to put weight on the front and rear as required, while standing and sitting. Especially since the directly hinged shock absorber and the fork, both manufactured by the company’s own suspension specialist WP Suspension, have an easy job with a total weight of just 105 kilograms. The front and rear only react relatively insensitively to smaller waves, which is surprising, especially for this concept. That the KTM single-cylinder is extremely direct and wonderfully adjustable on the gas, even at medium and high speeds – who’s any surprise? The fact that he is mechanically relatively rough is more noticeable in freeride than in sport enduro.


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KTM Freeride 350 – With its flyweight, lively engine, excellent ergonomics and high-grip and ground-friendly tires, the freeride is convincing where it was designed: off-road.

The faster the terrain, the more the Yamaha comes alive. From the middle of the rev range, the engine is transformed into a lively and cultivated fun device, which harmoniously complements the chassis. Well-balanced and equipped with plenty of reserves, the Kayaba suspension elements keep the WR in perfect balance, giving the driver a familiar and safe feeling at all times. Top.

Karsten, a curious character, has seen a small church high up. A stony path winds its way up into the sky in tight serpentines. Thereon? If not with these bikes, then with what? That’s actually true. For better traction on scree, we lowered the air pressure on all machines to 1.5 bar at the front and rear before the trip. Exception: the KTM. Their Dunlop trial tires are significantly lower at 0.8 bar. In competitions, these tires are even used with only 0.3 bar. Here we go.

The rugged rock steps literally hit the machines. Clutch, gas, the search for traction, the steep path, the tight bends – the scramble tour requires full concentration. After just a few minutes, we really screwed ourselves up. Now tip over to the side facing away from the slope? Just not. Again, the high front of the Honda makes the bike unwieldy and the tame engine often requires a slipping clutch. The enduro tires from IRC seek support with little success. As a consolation: In such situations, you value every – non-existent – centimeter of seat height. At 88 centimeters, the CRF is still acceptable. In contrast to the Yamaha. With the record height of 94 centimeters even tall and experienced pilots fight.

With the moderately adhesive Bridgestone TW 301/302 tires too. After all: As one of the very few off-road bikes, the WR can reduce the seat height by around three centimeters using a length-adjustable spring strut.

It is understandable that the high-torque and low (850 mm) Beta climbs away from the Japanese duo in its unexcited way – and yet has lost contact with the KTM. The freeride sprints up the slope like a capricorn, finds traction with its buttery trial tires where the rest doesn’t even dare to look, turns with a short wheelbase almost on the spot and also benefits from the weight advantage of at least 30 kilograms. The 90 centimeter seat height? Given this background. The Austrians also offer a lowering kit (minus 25 mm) for retrofitting.

Tanita, after all a racing motocrosser, has long been waiting for us with freeride. Break? O. K. Organizational talent Karsten pulls mortadella and white bread out of his backpack. Brilliant. After the mountain snack, we chug down to the valley. Only now does it become apparent how carefully the profiles – with the exception of the Pirelli MT 21 of the Beta, which is unnecessarily rough in this environment – handled the ground on the climb. The prints of the KTM trial tire can only be guessed at in most places. The moderate noise (see below) of the quartet should hardly have bothered anyone anyway. We feel good.


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Beta Alp 4.0 The Alp presented in 2003 is the real pioneer of the current development towards more environmentally friendly hiking enduro bikes.

A little later the asphalt belt has us back. We tackle the next pass on the road, want to explore the universality of these four nature boys. But the KTM’s reserve lamp lights up even before the ascent. The 5.5-liter tank with a stately 5.3-liter consumption in mixed asphalt / off-road operation is barely more than 100 kilometers. A real problem in the mostly thin network of petrol stations in the mountain regions. In addition, this consumption compared to the Honda (3.6 liters), the Yamaha (3.7 liters) and even the carburettor-equipped Beta (4.5 liters) is no longer up-to-date – as are the inspection intervals with 20 operating hours and the inspection intervals with three Months of poor guarantee from the Austrian.

So be it. A gradient of at least ten percent and a maximum of 30 hp do not go together? Think. We let the engines purr – and are surprised. Above all, the Yamaha is a mess, scurrying up the serpentines in a perfectly balanced, directionally stable way and with the roadworthy Bridgestone tires ultra-handy. All attention. It is not surprising that the Honda has to tear down early with a maximum output of just 23 hp. But that the CRF, despite its gummy suspension and woody IRC tires, draws a brisk line on the bumpy asphalt with its easy-revving engine. And even keeps the beta, which is slowed down by the coarse Pirellis and quite sluggish in handling, in check. It makes sense that the KTM, which is so clearly geared towards off-road use, is losing out on the road. In terms of seating comfort, equipment, running culture and suitability for everyday use, there are worlds between the Spartan freeride and the rest of the trio.

Who cares? Probably few. Because one thing is clear: Yamaha is by far the most universal concept on wheels. Despite its competitive price, the Honda is ultimately only weak in the suspension set-up – and for some tastes also in the engine power. The beta can still hold its own in a modern environment with somewhat grayed-out, but proven technology. And with its innovative and contemporary freeride idea, KTM will not only conquer the single trails of this world, but has also given the off-road segment extremely important food for thought. Or as the Americans say: Less sound equals more ground – those who are less disturbing have more space to drive. One need only ask Signor Giuseppe.

MOTORCYCLE test results


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Yamaha WR 250 R – The Yamaha is certain to win: none of these enduros can cover a wider range of applications than the WR 250 R..

Honda CRF 250 L
4690 euros – impressive how well equipped the small Honda celebrates its premiere with this price. The need to save is only to be noted for the spring elements. What the CRF lacks in liveliness and agility off-road, it makes up for on the road. An enduro to get bread and the moderate off-road trip.

Beta Alp 4.0
The alp, presented in 2003, is the real pioneer of the current development towards more environmentally friendly hiking enduro bikes. Although the technology of the Italian with the air-cooled carburetor engine from the Suzuki DR 350 is now a bit gray, the lady from Florence is doing well, especially off-road.

Yamaha WR 250 R
The Yamaha is certain to win: none of these enduros can cover a wider range of applications than the WR 250 R. Whether the ambitious ride into the terrain or the lively appearance on asphalt, the noble manufactured speedster shines on every terrain. Only extremists will be bothered by the fact that the WR concept leaves the extremes out.

KTM Freeride 350
With its flyweight, lively engine, excellent ergonomics and high-grip and ground-friendly tires, the freeride is convincing where it is designed: off-road. The fact that they are of little interest in everyday life, asphalt – and reason (guarantee, service) – fits the image of the enthusiastic Austrian motorcycle manufacturer.

Technical specifications


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A dream: moderate tracks, hardly any noise – anyone who is allowed to discover such rest areas on enduros will recognize that freeride and co. Are on the right track.

beta Honda engine 
design type Single cylinder four-stroke engine Single cylinder four-stroke engine
Mixture preparation Constant pressure carburettor, Ø 33 mm Injection, Ø 36 mm
coupling Multi-disc oil bath clutch Multi-disc oil bath clutch
Bore x stroke 79.0 x 71.2 mm 76.0 x 55.0 mm
Displacement 349 cm3 250 cm3
compression 9.5: 1 10.7: 1
power 20.1 kW (27 hp) at 6500 rpm 17.0 kW (23 hp) at 8500 rpm
Torque 28.6 Nm at 6250 rpm 22 Nm at 7000 rpm
landing gear
frame Double loop frame made of steel Bridge frame made of steel
fork Telescopic fork, Ø 46 mm Upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm
Brakes front / rear Ø 260/220 mm Ø 256/220 mm
bikes 1.85 x 21; 3.00 x 18 1.60 x 21; 2.15 x 18
tires 90/90 21; 130/90 18 3.00 21; 120/80 18
Tires Pirelli MT 21 IRC GP-21/22
Dimensions + weights
wheelbase 1444 mm  1445 mm 
Steering head angle 65.5 degrees 62.4 degrees
trailing 120 mm 113 mm
Front / rear suspension travel 220/220 mm 250/240 mm
Seat height ** 850 mm 880 mm
Weight with full tank ** 144 kg 145 kg
Payload ** 205 kg 159 kg
Tank capacity 10.5 liters 7.7 liters
Service intervals 5000 km 6000 km
price 5550 euros 4490 euros
Additional costs 129 euros 200 euros
guarantee two years two years
MOTORCYCLE readings
Top speed * 136 km / h 124 km / h
acceleration
0-100 km / h 7.9 sec 10.6 sec
Draft
60-100 km / h 7.8 sec 13.1 sec
Consumption*** 4.5 l / 100 km 3.6 l / 100 km
Reach country road 233 km 214 km
* Manufacturer information; 1MOTOR WHEEL measurements; *** Mix country road / terrain
KTM Yamaha engine 
design type Single cylinder four-stroke engine Single cylinder four-stroke engine
Mixture preparation Injection, Ø 42 mm  Injection, Ø 38 mm
coupling Multi-disc oil bath clutch Multi-disc oil bath clutch
Bore x stroke 88.0 x 57.5 mm 77.0 x 53.6 mm
Displacement 350 cm3 250 cm3
compression 12.3: 1 11.8: 1
power 17.0 kW (23 hp) at 7500 rpm 22.6 kW (31 hp) at 10,000 rpm
Torque 22 Nm at 4000 rpm 24 Nm at 8000 rpm
landing gear
frame Composite frame made of steel and aluminum Double loop frame made of aluminum
fork Upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm Upside-down fork, Ø 46 mm
Brakes front / rear Ø 260/220 mm Ø 250/230 mm
bikes 1.60 x 21; 2.15 x 18 1.60 x 21; 2.15 x 18
tires 80/100 21; 110/100 18 80 / 100R 21; 120 / 80R 18
Tires Dunlop D803 Bridgestone TW 301/302
Dimensions + weights
wheelbase 1418 mm  1420 mm 
Steering head angle 67.0 degrees 64.0 degrees
trailing 100 mm 111 mm
Front / rear suspension travel 250/260 mm 270/270 mm
Seat height ** 900 mm 940 mm
Weight with full tank ** 105 kg 136 kg
Payload ** 175 kg 183 kg
Tank capacity 5.5 liters 7.6 liters
Service intervals 20 hours 10,000 km
price 6,995 euros 6850 euros
Additional costs 250 euro 170 euros
guarantee three months two years
MOTORCYCLE readings
Top speed * 118 km / h 135 km / h
acceleration
0-100 km / h 9.3 sec 7.2 sec
Draft
60-100 km / h 5.5 sec 10.5 sec
Consumption*** 5.3 l / 100 km 3.7 l / 100 km
Reach country road 104 km 205 km
* Manufacturer information; 1MOTOR WHEEL measurements; *** Mix country road / terrain

Used enduros in price comparison


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The acquisition costs for used enduro bikes are usually low.

Enduros with small cubic capacity not only have the advantage of low weight and low operating costs, the acquisition costs are also low, especially for used enduros. The selection is diverse, so there should be something for every taste. Here’s the price comparison: used enduro bikes in Germany.

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