Table of contents
- Enduros for travel and rallies The law of freedom
- Rolf Henninges, 37 test editor
- Technical data: BMW F 650 GS Touratech
- Michael Schroder, 40 travel editor
- Technical data: BMW R 1150 GS Adventure
- Christian Aurnhammer, 42 bon vivant
- Technical data: HONDA XRV 750 Africa Twin
- Andreas Fricke, 32 sports physiotherapist
- Technical data: KTM LC 4 640 Adventure
- MOTORCYCLE Measurements – Performance Chart
Enduros for travel and rallies
Enduros for travel and rallies
The law of freedom
We are friends. Soldier of fortune. Daydreamer. Completely free. All we need are long suspension travel and a thick, well-filled tank.
Our mothers would put it briefly: 151 years of life experience ?? and still not smart. It’s December, it’s freezing cold, the wind is howling like hungry wolves, and we smoke the last cigarette before we leave, it doesn’t matter where. The main thing is sun. The main thing is on the way. There is only one goal: freedom. Experienced with a few good buddies. And so we stand there, at this gas station with a view of the horizon. Check the luggage and distribute a huge 147 liters of fuel in the tanks.
Chris, infected with the two-wheeled bacillus as a child, fills 50 liters in the Africa Twin. 34 in front, two eight liters each in the rear. 23 are standard. But on this example here, from the specialist African Queens, there is almost nothing in series except the tried and tested V2 engine. Head-high fairing, 96 centimeters seat height, spring travel with which one could contest any rally. Second tank king is Andi, the eternally balanced, with the BMW F 650 from Touratech. The original tank bunkers 17.3 liters, eleven each of the two additional tanks on the side. The Touratech-BMW marries practically everything that the rally and travel freak thinks makes sense. GPS navigation, road book, additional headlights, pannier rack system with aluminum cases and a chassis that has been tried and tested in various Africa rallies. Seat height here: 91 centimeters.
The standard BMW R 1150 GS Adventure from the notoriously lucky Schrodi looks almost hand-tame against these two tank trucks. The boxer giant’s steel tank swallows “only” 30 liters. There’s 104 liters of secured luggage space for this. Spread over two aluminum cases and a top case. Seat height of the adventure BMW: 90.5 centimeters. The bottom of the tank marathon is me, the explorer. The tank of my 94 centimeter high KTM 640 Adventure holds just 28 liters. So be it. It has the genes of countless Dakar rallies. And so we pepper towards the south. Surrender to the power of the vastness. Freedom in front of us, the gray of everyday life in the rearview mirror. The latter, however, only clearly shows the thick GS. Your little sister folds the mirrors backwards due to the wind pressure from 110 km / h, the small makeshift part of the Honda is more of a TuV alibi and the KTM reflects reality in a rather distorted manner. Only at 140 km / h and a corresponding 5500 rpm in fifth and last gear do the KTM’s vibrations decrease and the rear-view mirrors do their job.
The Austrians have upgraded for the 2003 vintage. Larger exhaust valves, modified valve timing and ignition promise more power and torque. The clutch is now operated hydraulically, and an ignition curve can optionally be activated in which even 80-octane gasoline is a pleasure (the R 1150 Adventure also offers this bonus: 91 octane). In terms of running smoothness, the robust single-cylinder lags mercilessly behind the other three on motorway stretches. First choice here: the sleek, but somewhat toothless V2 from the Honda. Its smoothness is fantastic, behind the high front fairing you are well protected against the tower and you feel like a king. That even applies to 1.93-meter-man Chris.
Those who love extreme comfort like Schrodi will find their happiness on the fat BMW. With a velvety bench, bed suspension and heated grips. However, it swirls violently behind the windshield, and the vibrations of the two-cylinder are anything but pleasant. The Touratech F 650 behaves inconspicuously. Vibrations and air turbulence, yes, but not unpleasant. But your sitting position takes the most getting used to. The driver sits low, the Touratechlers have set the handlebars three centimeters higher using spacers. This may be an advantage for tall people or when driving while standing. However, people below the Prussian guard are forced into a passive sitting posture.
Take a break, relax. Black coffee. Sunset, glowing red. Laugh, hearty. Freedom as we love it. The awareness that the coming days will not have to be held accountable to anyone and that you will be able to shape them freely. Fooling around with friends and flirting. On the fact that the side stand of the Touratech-BMW can only be folded in and out with difficulty while seated. The incredible seat height of the Honda almost requires hill climbing skills. The suitcases of the BMW Adventure do not survive a real adventure, but would win any price as an outdoor make-up case. Or about the fact that the KTM’s exhaust bracket has vibrated halfway after just 500 kilometers. Does not matter. We are prepared for everything (see packing lists).
A morning in the south of France defeats the night. Today, as it should be, we will stand on the same slope and enjoy the gigantic view over the Maritime Alps and Provence as last year. And the years before. However, downpours have torn the paths beyond recognition. The 20 kilometer long piece of gravel with sweeping, visible curves is peppered with holes up to 30 centimeters deep. We let it fly. It’s the domain of the 750 Honda. The 285 millimeter spring travel of the 50s Marzocchi fork and the beyond doubt Ohlins spring strut with 260 millimeter spring travel conjure up a flawless salon floor from the pothole carpet. The spring elements are perfectly matched to the machine and fully adjustable. The directional stability of the Honda is perfect, the steering precise. The faster you drive, the more balanced the Africa-Twin conversion is. Targeted lateral positioning using engine power is almost impossible at speed: The 60 hp fail because of the 251 kilograms with a full tank. At least 20 horses are missing here. The gravel turns into muddy ruts, two stream crossings, then a gravel pass with very narrow hairpin bends.
Now the Conti TKC 80, mounted on all bikes, pays for itself. Compared to road-oriented enduro tires, it steers more slowly on asphalt and has more rolling resistance, but pushes the bikes through almost any mud. It’s the stable chassis that lets the Honda slide through the butter like a hot knife in the mud. Lint? Friends, forget it. Unless you are model leg length. The V2’s homogeneous throttle response is particularly pleasing. With four or five targeted thrusts of gas, the mud is crossed and the foot of the gravel pass is reached. The enormously high center of gravity and the long wheelbase take their toll here. The Honda, prepared for rally speed, struggles with the tight turns. Would like to fall in in a flash, slide over the front wheel, make a larger arc than desired. Where are the buddies?
Powersliding? No problem with the thick GS. 84 hp throw the gravel into nirvana. But be careful! The over 300 kilogram heavy BMW wants to be caught again. The underdamped cardan hindquarters are not at all impressed by the quickly successive blows of the carpet of holes and, despite their 220 millimeters of spring travel, reaches one or the other blow. The shock absorber with travel-dependent damping also helps here? it increases progressively over the spring travel ?? not much. But the fat one stays on course. No brake nod, brakes that work fantastically. The ABS can be switched off for off-road use. The GS even plows through the mud without a bath. However, not as unerringly as the Honda. Your smaller 19-inch front wheel is noticeable. And why is the steel tank not pulled further down in favor of a lower center of gravity? Now the tight turns. Fascinating how the off-road colossus dances through the radii. Balanced, precise steering, neutral. The torque mountains paired with the short first gear of the Adventure ?? should we christen the Speedtrial? If only it weren’t for the heavy weight…
The little Touratech sister carries around 60 kilograms less, with a full tank of fuel but still 240 kilograms. The 650er mobilizes a whopping 50 hp via injection, the suspension elements with 280 millimeters at the front and 250 at the rear come from the specialist WP-Suspension. And they are not impressed by the frequency of the gravel holes. However, in direct comparison to the Honda, the chassis looks more comfortable, slightly spongy. Is designed more for travel than rally. As is the sitting position, which is why the mud passage is also taken while standing. Otherwise very direct steering is not possible. There is no way of putting weight on the front wheel by shifting your weight. Light-footed and handy, but also with a slight urge to oversteer, it screws its way along the slope. We are waiting for the KTM.
The Austrian gave everyone the right of way, very gentlemanly. Because when it comes to crossing an off-road area as quickly as possible, nobody can fool you with this quartet. Your 192 kilograms with a full tank are perfectly distributed. Deeply drawn tank, a bench on which you can slide far forward. The connection from head to earth is most direct here. And the coordination between travel and lawn is the most successful. Its suspension travel of 270 millimeters at the front and the 320 at the rear wheel can handle even the toughest gait. A short throttle combined with a light pull on the handlebars ?? The front wheel is already relieved, changing direction in the sand or mud is child’s play. The revised engine distributes its extra torque and power very homogeneously, without any outbursts of temperament. Quite travel-friendly.
Despite its much lower weight, the KTM is not quite as handy as the Touratech BMW, but it is more dynamic and stable. And after the 1150 GS it shines with the best brakes. In off-road sport style, the 640 precisely pierces the last hairpin bends to the top of the pass, and we’re together again. Another light blanket of snow, then the abyss. Freedom sloshes over us like a wave. This prospect. Terrific. Above: pitch black clouds alternating with sunshine. Words superfluous. Our eyes sparkle. Our heart glows. Freedom. Still three days. A look at the map. The Camargue is calling. 36 hours, 580 kilometers and countless fantastic slopes later we are sitting on the beach of St. Maries de la Mer. The best bike to travel? A different one for everyone.
KTM is recommended for anyone who actually plans to walk around the globe on their own regardless of the road conditions and to drive their own personal rally at the same time. The luggage system is rock solid. The theoretical range of 509 kilometers is sufficient. When it comes to personal rallies, the Honda is also doing well. A range of 769 kilometers, an extremely stable and well-coordinated chassis and a fascinating appearance make the Twin the best friend of all loners. Prerequisite: all luggage fits in a pack sack. Much more dignified, because it is much more comfortable to travel on both BMWs. Those who do not want to forego performance and only use easy terrain or gravel under their wheels will not be able to ignore the 1150. Your equipment options ex works leave almost nothing to be desired for the »normal travel«. The Touratech-BMW’s luggage system, however, is more sophisticated and more stable than that of the Adventure. The 650 offers the best overall package. And not just for world travelers. With a stable, frugal engine, the lowest consumption, the greatest range ?? 795 kilometers ??, and a chassis that offers enormous comfort, but still allows a harder pace.
The last 30 kilometers. We come to a lighthouse over a shattered, two-meter-wide dike. It’s that wind again. Howl like hungry wolves. And it is our eyes again in which the law of freedom is reflected. Freedom is not North Cape or Cape Town. It’s loneliness, ideally shared by friends. It is the illusion of a self-sufficient existence. And the awareness of getting to the place of your dreams. If necessary, also with a 1978 CB 200 and a 20-liter canister on the luggage rack.
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Enduros for travel and rallies
The law of freedom
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Rolf Henninges, 37 test editor
Freedom is: never losing the hope of still being able to live all your dreams Life like a roller coaster: 39 motorcycles in 20 years, three apprenticeships, six and a half years world tour His dreamy career aspiration at 13: a cook. First trip: 18 years old with a girlfriend on a Yamaha XT 250 to Greece. Biggest dream: own house by the sea. His best-of-packing list: Opinel No. 10 knife, Tewa sandals, disinfectant, tape, superglue, waterproof hip belt, US $ 100 hidden in the shoe, LED flashlight, mosquito net, notepad, clove oil, pain pills, bandages, waterproof Backpack, small towel, sun block, hammock, Ortlieb water bag, fishing hook plus string, Chinese healing oil
Technical data: BMW F 650 GS Touratech
BMW F 650 GS TouratechMotorWater-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, four valves, dry sump lubrication, electronic intake manifold injection, Ø 46 mm, engine management, electric starter.Bore x stroke 100 x 83 mmHub volume 652 cm³Nominal output 37 kW (50 HP) at 6500 rpmMax. Torque 60 Nm (6.1 kpm) at 5000 rpm Power transmission Mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, O-ring chain. Chassis Bridge frame made of steel profiles, load-bearing motor, USD fork, Ø 43 mm, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of steel profiles, Central spring strut, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, front disc brake, Ø 300 mm, double-piston caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 240 mm, single-piston caliper. Tires 90/90 S 21; 140/80 S 18 Chassis data Steering head angle 60.8 degrees, caster 123 mm, wheelbase 1535 mm, suspension travel f / h 280/250 mm. Dimensions and weights Seat height * 910 mm, weight with a full tank ** 240 kg, payload 140 kg, tank capacity / reserve 39 / 7 liters. Conversion parts: lockable oil plug, aluminum handlebar, on-board power socket, brake cylinder cover, cockpit conversion, DE double headlights, stainless steel spokes, Exel rims, suspension kit (fork and strut), remote control for speedometer and road book, GPS navigation system including holder, hand protectors, luggage rack extension, License plate reinforcement, chain guard, pannier rack system with inner pockets, fender cover, handlebar riser, mini indicators, motorcycle computer IMO 300 R, engine protection, fog lights, wheel sensor cover, rally footrest system, Rizel cover, Sebring double exhaust, side tanks of 11 liters each, steel braided brake lines, xenon brake lines, tank bag, water cooler protection HeadlightsMOTORCYCLE measurementsConsumption on tour 4.9 litersRange 795 kmBase motorcycle price i incl. VAT 7,450 euros additional costs 245 euros price test motorcycle incl. painting on request 16350 euros Info: Telephone 07728 92790 or www.touratech.de * motorcycle measurement; ** weighed with all conversion parts
Michael Schroder, 40 travel editor
Freedom means enough time for the family and on top of that having enough fuel in the tank. Traveling as a job. Schroder has achieved his goal in life. The road was tough and adventurous. Led three times for half a year each to South America and to places that were marked as motorcycle-free places on the map. His biggest adventure at the moment: Luka, 6 months old. His packing list: Swiss knife, Leatherman, overview map, detailed maps, a good book, a good travel guide, power plug adapter for all countries, address book, rain suit, notepad, camera, enough films, voice recorder, gummy bears, second passport, flip-flops, binoculars, watch with alarm clock , Altimeter and compass, various credit cards, ear plugs, damp hand towels
Technical data: BMW R 1150 GS Adventure
BMW R 1150 GS Adventure engine Air / oil-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke boxer engine, four valves per cylinder, wet sump lubrication, electronic intake manifold injection, Ø 45 mm, engine management, regulated catalytic converter, electric starter. Bore x stroke 101 x 70.5 mm, displacement 1130 cm³, rated output 62 kW (84 HP) at 6800 rpm Max. Torque 98 Nm (10 kpm) at 5300 rpm Power transmission Hydraulically operated single-disc dry clutch, six-speed gearbox, cardan shaft. Chassis Load-bearing motor / gearbox unit, Telelever front wheel control, telescopic fork, Ø 35 mm, adjustable spring base, single-sided swing arm central spring strut, adjustable spring base and front tension stage damping , Ø 305 mm, four-piston calipers, floating brake discs, rear disc brake, Ø 276 mm, double-piston caliper. Tires 110/80 R 19; 150/70 R 17 Chassis data Steering head angle 64 degrees, caster 115 mm, wheelbase 1509 mm, spring travel f / h 210/220 mm. Dimensions and weights Seat height * 905 mm, weight with a full tank *** 301 kg, payload * 174 kg, tank capacity / reserve 30 / 4 liter.MOTORCYCLE measurementsConsumption on tour 5.9 litersRange 508 kmPrice incl. VAT 11,500 eurosPrice test motorcycle 14,641 eurosAdditional costs 245 euros * MOTORCYCLE measurements ** Price test motorcycle incl. Heated grips short 1st gear, driver information display, large tank (30 l), cylinder protection bar, aluminum case with inner pocket and carrier system, topcase and carrier system, additional socket, standardized locking cylinder, *** weighed with case system, topcase and inner case pockets
Christian Aurnhammer, 42 bon vivant
Freedom is: not being accountable to anyone and not having to take responsibility for anyone. Christian’s life remains a mystery to many. He polishes rocker arms during school lessons and files footrests after school ends. There are seven engines in his basement and five bikes are waiting in the garage. All logged in. Everything single cylinder. “Got from the vibrations of a multi-cylinder ?? I’m constipated. ”His packing list: dental floss, Q-tips, Laguiolle knife with corkscrew, sleeping bag, insulation mat, superglue, Ortlieb bag, tension belts, aspirin, cigarettes, lighter, sunglasses, clutch and brake levers, fleece towel (quartered), fresh money (no card), condoms, open helmet, headlamp, aspirin, small camera
Technical data: HONDA XRV 750 Africa Twin
HONDA XRV 750 Africa TwinMotorWater-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 52-degree V-engine, three valves per cylinder, wet sump lubrication, Keihin constant pressure carburetor, Ø 36 mm, transistor ignition, electric starter. Bore x stroke 81.0 x 72.0 mm displacement 742 cm³ Rated output 44 kW (60 PS) at 7500 rpm Max. Torque 62 Nm (6.3 kpm) at 6000 rpm Power transmission Mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, O-ring chain. Chassis Single-loop frame made of square steel profiles, telescopic fork, Ø 50 mm, adjustable rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum profiles, central spring strut, hydraulically adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 276 mm, double-piston calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 256 mm, single-piston caliper. Tires 90/90 – 21 H; 140/80 HR 17 Chassis data Steering head angle 62.5 degrees, caster 108 mm, wheelbase 1590 mm, spring travel f / h 285/260 mm. Dimensions and weights Seat height * 960 mm, weight with a full tank * 251 kg, payload 178 kg, tank capacity / reserve * 50 / 5.1 liters. Conversion parts: aluminum handlebars, maintenance-free battery, fuel pump set, shock absorber, front tank 34 liters, front fairing “Rallye”, fork, hand protectors, rear, rear tanks 2 x 8 liters, halogen headlights, carbon fiber front fenders, folding mirrors, radiator protection bars , Handlebar riser, air filter box cover, mini indicator, engine protection with storage compartments, multifunctional instrument, silencer, headlight protection, side stand on the right, seat bench, braided steel brake lines, tank ventilation valves, windscreen 08441/18442 or www.AfricanQueens.de * motorcycle measurement; ** weighed with all conversion parts
Andreas Fricke, 32 sports physiotherapist
Freedom is: having the opportunity to change something in life every second. He has been on two-wheelers since he was 16. Survived some hair-raising trips with theft and robbery single-handedly, built ecological houses on the side and is self-sufficient. In his garage: XT 500, CBR 600, F 650 Dakar. His packing list: bulging tool bag, flashlight, Swiss knife, maps, tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, US $ 500 to bribe corrupt border guards, lighter, clutch cable and lever, small roll of wire, aspirin, ballpoint pen and paper, camera, copies of all important papers , a really thick book, condoms, cookware, German-English dictionary, thermos flask
Technical data: KTM LC 4 640 Adventure
KTM LC 4 640 AdventureMotorWater-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, a balance shaft, four valves, wet sump lubrication, Mikuni constant pressure carburetor, Ø 40 mm, condenser ignition (CDI), electric and kick starter. Bore x stroke 101.0 x 78.0 mm, displacement 625 cm³, rated output 40 kW (55 HP) at 7000 rpm Max. Torque 55Nm (5.3 kpm) at 5500 / min Power transmission Mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, ratio 16:42 Chassis Single-loop frame made of tubular steel, telescopic fork, Ø 48 mm, adjustable rebound and compression damping, aluminum twin-arm central spring strut, adjustable Spring base, rebound and compression damping, front disc brake, Ø 320 mm, double-piston caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 220 mm, single-piston caliper. Tires 90/90 – 21; 140/80 – 18 Chassis data, steering head angle 62.5 degrees, caster 124 mm, wheelbase 1510 mm, suspension travel f / h 270/320 mm. Dimensions and weights Seat height * 940 mm, weight with a full tank ** 192 kg, payload * 188 kg, tank capacity / reserve 28 / 3.5 liters.MOTORCYCLE measurements Consumption on tour 5.5 liters Range 509 km Price test motorcycle 8951 euros Additional costs 200 euros * MOTORCYCLE measurements, ** weighed with case system, inner case pockets and tank bag
MOTORCYCLE Measurements – Performance Chart
Except for the all-powerful BMW, the candidates conjure up beautiful, even curves on paper. The single-cylinder KTM stands out particularly well compared to the two-cylinder Honda. And outperforms them in terms of driving dynamics because of their lower weight. The new engine set-up was a great success for the KTM riders.
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