Final Alpenmasters 2015

Table of contents

Final Alpenmasters 2015
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Final Alpenmasters 2015

Final Alpenmasters 2015

Final Alpenmasters 2015

Final Alpenmasters 2015

34 pictures

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In the preliminary rounds, five bikes prevailed against the competitors in their respective groups. Now they are competing against each other in the final of the Alpen Masters 2015.

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And so it’s soon time for number three, she has to get out …

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Triumph Tiger 800 XCx.

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Rainer Froberg judges:
In the Alps the world is different, here some motorcycles change their character. I noticed that with the Tiger 800, for example. A weaker, lighter motorcycle like the Tiger is enough for me up here.
It is less demanding and can be driven with less stress. That’s exactly what I want, after all, you also want to enjoy the great landscape. And the Triumph is also a real enduro, with a large front wheel and soft suspension.

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With only three bikes left in the race …

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… the test field has already halved.

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Of the original six motorcycles, two KTM and one BMW are still there.

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But this love triangle doesn’t last long, it’s about time …

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… for third place to go.

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The KTM 1290 Super Adventure has to go and trust in its little sister, who won the Alpen Masters in 2014.

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Gerry Nordstrom from MOTORRAD Sweden about the 1290:
The 1290 has power down, good equipment and is easy to drive once it starts rolling.

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… changed and tested before they have to select a candidate in a secret ballot.

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The bikes are used by the different riders …

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The four of us go on.

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The final took place in the Central Alps, which, in contrast to the Dolomites, where the preliminary round for the Alpine Masters took place, are sparsely populated. The center of the 375 km long and 12,700 meters high final round with the detour to the Iseran is the mighty Mont Blanc massif.

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In the off-season there isn’t too much going on here off the main traffic routes. However, there are not many places to stay here either, so you should plan well beforehand. Incidentally, this also applies to refueling. The road surfaces are mostly good because there is no heavy traffic here. Nevertheless, lawn is taboo here, especially since you have to be considerate of the many cyclists. And of course there is always the risk of the usual pitfalls of high mountain passes, such as animals and stones on the road, surprising bottlenecks, gravel spots or damage to the surface.
You had to go to each of the five stations …

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… one of the bikes left the group. And where six motorcycles go downhill here, only five should return later.

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Because this is where the first machine has to say goodbye, after coordination it hit the …

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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle.

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Sergio Romero from MOTOCICLISMO Spain gives a verdict:
It’s a shame that the handy Ducati Scrambler was the first to be thrown out, it drives lightly and easily on winding roads. It certainly has weaknesses, such as the aggressive throttle response, the bumpy chassis or the poisonous brakes.

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There were only five left. But it should be soon …

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… to be only four: this time she says goodbye …

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BMW F 800.

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Karsten Schwers about the F 800:
I especially like the little ones, the underdogs, in the test. Especially a wallflower like the F 800 R, because it’s so easy to drive.

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Gert Thole assesses them as follows:
A sports tourer like the BMW R 1200 RS actually has the worse cards for me than the 1290 KTM with its ingenious engine. But how the RS works is pretty damn close to brilliance.

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We congratulate.

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… In the end, the BMW R 1200 R was voted the 2015 winner with 4 to 2 votes.

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Here in the last place, …

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Andrea Toumaniantz from IN MOTO Italy:
Six good machines in the final – but three very good ones. In my opinion, the right machines made it onto the podium. But I would have bet on the 1190 Adventure as the winner. It’s not as expansive as the 1290, it looks lighter and sportier. So you are well prepared for all eventualities in the Alps.

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It lands in second place in the 2015 Alpen Masters, the KTM 1190 Adventure.

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The togetherness doesn’t last long either, the KTM gives in.

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In addition to the numerous bikes that they left behind in the preliminary round, they also make the four of them look old in the Alps that started with them in the final.

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So the two of them keep rolling, the KTM 1190 Adventure and the BMW R 1200 R..

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Winner of the Alpen Masters 2015: BMW R 1200 R.

motorcycles

Final Alpenmasters 2015

Final Alpenmasters 2015
At the highest level

At Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, the best of the year will meet for the finals. A competition of level in two respects. The winners from the five categories of the preliminary round meet last year’s winner KTM 1190 Adventure. Who will be the new king of the mountains?

Gert Thole

08/03/2015

It’s so close – and yet so far. From the hotel in Les Bessons near Chamonix, it almost looks as if the ice-covered cap of Mont Blanc, the White Mountain, is within reach. As if the glaciers push their abruptly breaking ice walls right up to the front door. And not so long ago that was actually the case: until the end of the 19th century, the Glacier des Bossons reached down into the 1050 meter high valley. At the moment, this imposing ice tongue is melting at a rapid pace and now reaches an altitude of 1,400 meters, but is still the glacier in the Alps that flows furthest down into the valley. Where flow is relative: Today the glacier only moves in slow motion with hardly more than one centimeter per day; earlier, when considerably more ice was pushing from above, he was in a much more urgent hurry. 

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But no question about it, the 4810 meter high peak of the White Mountain is further away than you might think. Almost 4,000 meters of altitude lie between the summit and Chamonix in the Arve valley, which is correctly called Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and was named “Alpine City of the Year” in 2015. If you want to overcome this height difference, you have to take plenty of time and some exertion. Even today, when there are cable cars almost to the top and every conceivable route to the summit has long been developed. But just the sight of the mythical ice dome is a fascinating experience. With which we are satisfied, because after all we don’t want to storm peaks here, but rather look for highlights of a completely different kind on motorcycles in the valleys and on the passes around the mighty, grandiose Mont Blanc massif.  

The preliminary round for this year’s Alpine Masters took place in the Dolomites (MOTORCYCLE 15 and 16/2015). A completely different environment, less high, less barren, less extensive; Nevertheless, the road network is at least as demanding, especially since the condition of the maltreated roads there is often quite miserable. Here, in the high alpine border area between France, Italy and Switzerland, there is far less traffic on the passes, the roads are better maintained and mostly in perfect condition. As usual, 20 current models originally competed, divided into five categories.  

The decision in the fight for the title must now be made at the foot of Mont Blanc. When the international test team meets on the evening before the finals, the beer at the bar is only about one topic: the machines. They quickly agreed: never before have so many good machines fought for the title at the Alpen Masters. Ducati Multistrada 1200, Yamaha MT-09 Tracer, BMW S 1000 XR, Aprilia Tuono 1100 – all inspiring and good motorcycles, but they couldn’t even qualify for the grand finale around the highest mountain in the Alps. 

Instead, the following quintet prevailed: Ducati Scrambler in the Easy Going group, BMW F 800 R in the naked bikes, BMW R 1200 RS in the mixed category athlete / tourer, Triumph Tiger 800 XCx for the small and KTM 1290 Super Adventure for the large adventure bikes. 

What is striking? Not a Japanese machine there. For the first time, a Ducati is standing in the grand finale of the Alpine Masters, where BMW, KTM and Triumph are permanent guests. As always, the defending champion joins them: Last year the KTM 1190 Adventure prevail against the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure. So after a long time there will be a final without the GS – but at least the Bayern boxer is represented in the form of the RS. 

Test procedure and route


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We have set five stations on the test track, at each of which a bike has to leave the group.

As usual, a colorful mix of the different concepts, with the focus this year on adventure bikes. But that doesn’t mean that other concepts have no chance, even naked bikes have already won before. Especially since the final is not about points, but the winner is chosen by the international testers. In addition to the objective properties and measured values, subjective preferences also play a role here. Most MOTORRAD readers are probably familiar with the process: five passes will be driven on the final round, and a vote will take place at each pass where each tester deselects a motorcycle. The motorcycle with the most votes is then outside and has to stop. Okay, in confidence: Not really, because the five test drivers have to stay mobile until the end. So the field is reduced step by step until it comes to the final duel for the title at the last pass. And this year it will take place on the highest pass in the Alps at 2,764 meters (or maybe just the second highest?), The Col de l’Iseran. 

The test track

In contrast to the Dolomites, where the preliminary round for the Alpine Masters took place, the Central Alps are sprawling and sparsely populated. The center of the 375 km long and 12,700 meters high final round with the detour to the Iseran is the mighty Mont Blanc massif. If you are in a hurry, you can drive down through the tunnel underneath, which just celebrated the 50th anniversary of its opening in July. However, a single trip by motorcycle costs almost 30 euros, both directions 36 euros. Caution: After the devastating fire in 1999, the tunnel was riddled with speed cameras that trigger if you are hardly driving five km / h too fast. Of course, the passes in the middle of the barren high mountain landscape are much more fun. In the off-season there isn’t too much going on here off the main traffic routes. However, there are not many places to stay here either, so you should plan well beforehand. Incidentally, this also applies to refueling. The road surfaces are mostly good because there is no heavy traffic here. Nevertheless, lawn is taboo here, especially since you have to be considerate of the many cyclists. And of course there is always the risk of the usual pitfalls of high mountain passes, such as animals and stones on the road, surprising bottlenecks, gravel spots or damage to the surface. 

1 Col des Montets


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Col des Montets.

There should be riders who don’t even notice the unspectacular top of the pass. Stopping is still worth it. If you look back towards Chamonix, you will enjoy a wonderful view of the Mont Blanc massif. And the top of the pass is in the middle of the Aiguilles Rouge nature reserve with a botanical nature trail. What you can’t see: deep below, a railway tunnel connects France and Switzerland, which is converted into an alternating one-way car tunnel in winter when the pass is closed. 

2 Col de la Forclaz


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Col de la Forclaz.

The Col de la Forclaz is already in Switzerland, in the canton of Valais, and on the east side offers an impressive view of Martigny all the way to the Aletsch Glacier (see photo on page 36). The road is well developed on the Swiss side, beware of radar controls by the gendarmerie. Together with the Col des Montets, the Forclaz forms the main connection between France and Switzerland, so there is sometimes a lot of traffic here, including trucks, buses and mobile homes. 

3 Col du Grand St. Bernard


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Col du Grand St. Bernard.

Starting from Martigny, the 74 km long Great St. Bernhard provides the connection between Switzerland and Italy. It is one of the highest alpine passes (tenth place) and at its zenith offers a wonderful view over a small lake on a grandiose high mountain backdrop (photo on page 38). Up here is the famous hospice with the St. Bernard breeding. The Italian side of the pass all the way down into the Aosta Valley is well developed. 

4 Col du Petit St. Bernard


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Col du Petit St. Bernard.

The main route between Italy and France runs through the Aosta Valley and from Courmayeur through the Mont Blanc tunnel. Shortly before that, the 57 km long Little St. Bernhard, also leading to France, branches off. One of the most delightful passes, both in terms of driving pleasure and in terms of the panorama. Further up there is one of the few ways to see Mont Blanc (see large opening photo), if it doesn’t disappear in the clouds, as it usually does. 

5 Col de L’Iseran


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Col de L’Iseran.

Off the Mont Blanc circuit is the Iseran, which literally forms the climax of the finale. It is usually run as the second highest alpine pass, but the actually only 2715 m high Bonette is known to be tricky with its additional loop. The flat top of the Iseran is embedded in a barren, rocky high mountain landscape. The Val d’Isere winter sports center is well known. The south side is the nicer one for motorcyclists, but the test team has to turn around here. 

Round 1: Col des Montets


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The Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle says goodbye.

But let’s start at moderate heights. The 1461 meter high Col des Montets is on the direct route between Chamonix and Martigny, thus connecting France and Switzerland. Accordingly, it is also frequented diligently in front of a rougher vehicle, which does not have a positive effect on the road conditions or driving pleasure. The course of the road is not particularly selective either, but this may not be a bad thing at the beginning of a demanding two-day final round. 

Since it is only a few kilometers from the start to the top of the pass, the testers allow themselves a few comparative drives before the first round of voting in order to remove any remaining doubts. For most, the first decision is at the top of the rather unspectacular pass, which offers a great view of the Mont Blanc massif, but a clear matter. After all, you know the machines from the preliminary round in the Dolomites. 

You can already use Ducatis due to the concept Scrambler with all the sympathy hardly give any real chances of advancement. Even if Andrea and Gerry enjoy the good handling in the bends and bends and therefore even deselect the F 800 R on the first lap. Alone without luggage, the Duc is a lively canyon racer – as long as the ground is reasonably flat and the suspension is not particularly challenged. The Desmo-Twin hammers out of the hairpin bends with esprit, turns bravely and delights the driver with good manners and an Italian soundscape. Nevertheless, the Ducati has to be the first to say goodbye with four nominations, it is simply not broad enough for alpine tours: insufficient pillion suitability and luggage storage, moderate suspension comfort, little suitability for touring, no wind protection – ciao bella!

Round 2: Col de la Forclaz


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The BMW F 800 says goodbye.

As a quintet it goes on towards Switzerland. Amazingly, the border station is not manned, but who still wants to smuggle money into Switzerland today? We certainly do not, even if the angular suitcases of the travel enduro bikes have plenty of space for bulging money bags. 

All five remaining machines are equipped with optional luggage systems from the manufacturer. The system of the Super Adventure, which offers a lot of space, is most convincing. The cases are latched directly to the vehicle without auxiliary brackets, which is how it should be with a modern touring motorcycle. Unfortunately, the operation is fiddly. In the case of the 1190, the aluminum boxes hang on a support frame made of tubes and are extremely wide despite their asymmetrical size. Triumph buys from the same supplier, the cases are practically identical, but not so expansive. The F 800 R has less solid softbags with a manageable load capacity. On the other hand, the good luggage system of the R 1200 RS appears to be sufficiently large, but unfortunately it cannot do without additional carrier tubes. A less beautiful sight without a suitcase. 

Luggage is an issue at the Alpine Masters, but it is more primary virtues that decide whether you win or lose, such as the quality of the engine. The two remaining 800s with less than 100 hp will certainly have a tough time against the vigorous competition. Both the Tiger and the F 800 R are convincing with their fine manners. The easy-care Bavarian parallel twin sets off from the hairpin bends evenly and in an easy-to-dose manner. He is very good at leisurely touring. However, when loaded on the mountain, it often looks strained. And some consider his steady pulse boring. 

In any case, the small naked bike definitely has tourist qualities, luggage and passenger can be stowed neatly in the F 800 R. Nevertheless, two more nominations are added to the two nominations in the first round, which means the end. The remaining two votes fall on the other 800 from Triumph. Certainly a heavy burden for the coming decision.

Round 3: Col Du Grand St. Bernard


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The Triumph Tiger 800 XCx says goodbye.

Finally real mountains, finally real, high passes. From Martigny it goes up quickly on well-laid out, well-developed roads through tunnels and galleries, with a flat incline, but continuously. Unfortunately, over long distances with speed restrictions, and the Swiss are known to have little fun there. So piano. The route only becomes selective and therefore interesting above the junction to the tunnel, which we of course leave on the left. 

The testers are diligently exchanging the machines, because the coming election rounds will certainly get tighter. With the three adventure bikes and the R 1200 RS sports tourer, there are four very good all-rounders with powerful, cleanly appealing engines and comfortable chassis, but real weak points or clear knockout criteria are not so easy to find with them. Whereby the sporty BMW is certainly anything but without a chance. Enduros may offer advantages in terms of comfort, a compact sports tourer is more manageable. In addition, of course, there is the full equipment typical of BMW along with a perfectly thought-out operating concept.

At the lake at the top of the pass, on the border between Switzerland and Italy, you can take a wonderful break, enjoy the landscape and extensively discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the machines and concepts. The result is often the same, but the two southern Europeans Andrea and Sergio approach the matter more emotionally, while the four northern Europeans are more analytical and sober. Everyone agrees that the entire quartet offers good chassis for alpine pass journeys. With a lot of comfort, all four swallow even nasty upheavals on the mountain or deep frost breaks. Electronically adjustable or semi-active spring elements help safely to react to different loads and operating conditions. 

But also the simpler, manually adjustable chassis of the Triumph Tiger can convince with fine responsiveness and very good driving comfort. However, there is always a lot of movement in the chassis, the typical enduro rocking is not for everyone. The same applies to the large, narrow 21-inch front wheel, which does not generate much set-up moment when sloping on bumps, but on the other hand tends towards wide curves in turns and causes a less direct steering feel.  


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There are only three left with them, and they have two cylinders each.

Opinions are divided on how this is to be assessed. One likes it, the other doesn’t. Since the Triumph also drops a little in terms of driving dynamics compared to the larger displacement and more powerful machines, it is in the end on a losing streak. Five votes in the decisive round sounds like a clap, but the comments are anything but negative. On the contrary, the softly appealing three-cylinder with the extremely wide speed range receives a lot of praise from all sides. Nevertheless it says at this point: Goodbye, triumph! Or does it ultimately have to do with the fact that England is too far from the Alps? BMW and KTM are at least geographically in the middle of the topic. 

It is also noticeable that only two-cylinder units are fighting for the place on top of the podium. Twins may have an advantage in this environment. A sideways glance at the overview of all previous winners of the Alpine Masters seems to confirm this: Twins have already won the title ten times (see overview of previous Alpine Masters). And this time, too, it will definitely be a two-cylinder. Only which one, boxer or V-engine? 

First, the twin trio rolls down into the Aosta Valley. Here are less pleasant but unavoidable kilometers in the valley through Aosta to Pre-Saint-Didier. Shortly before the Mont Blanc tunnel, the Little St. Bernhard branches off towards the French border. Another highlight lies ahead of us.

Round 4: Col du petit St. Bernard


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This time the KTM 1290 Super Adventure has to go.

In the first few meters, the slope climbs steeply up the mountain in winding serpentines. Interesting and entertaining, what was modeled there in the slope, there were creative masters of road construction at work. 

Ideal routes for short intermediate sprints, where the twins can play to their strengths. The two KTMs appear quite different, although technically largely identical. The 1290 is the more sophisticated machine and also delivers more thrust across the entire range. The fireworks that are ignited in the upper half of the speed range are not necessarily decisive here. Right at the bottom, the drive derived from the Super Duke develops such enormous thrust that the traction control always has its hands full. However, this does this almost imperceptibly. Only the flickering in the cockpit proves that the electronics are working at full speed. At the same time, the engine amazes, despite its huge pistons, with extremely smooth response and great smoothness. The 1190 is noticeably weaker at the bottom, runs a bit harder, but also delivers that wonderfully unyielding punch of the V-Twin. The smaller KTM engine looks more revving and sportier. Both provide more than enough power on steep inclines anyway. 

When it comes to top performance, the boxer clearly loses out with its 122 hp. But that is not necessarily decisive for the war: the possibilities of galloping more than 100 horses in the Alps are few and far between. In return, the BMW engine impresses with its unbelievable smoothness and linear torque curve. That’s pretty close to perfection. 

This typical north-south divide is also noticeable in discussions about performance: the southerners Andrea and Sergio are enthusiastic about the elemental KTM power, the northern lights Karsten and Gert rave about the boxer finesse. Only Gerry steps out of line as a Swede, he has fallen in love with the relentless thrust of the 1290 KTM. 

So three top engines, but also corresponding chassis? All are electronically adjustable, BMW and Super Adventure even have semi-active suspension elements. The suspension elements work comfortably, but have small weaknesses at a high level. With the BMW, there are occasional slight cardan reactions that cause hard edges to penetrate into the chassis when accelerating from the rear wheel. The front of the 1190 KTM does not respond as sensitively as the buttery smooth BMW telescopic fork. And on the Super Adventure, the fork can harden when you ride hard, so that the front wheel begins to jump over the bumps.

All whining at a high level. But now it’s getting exciting: How do you vote? The first real surprise comes when the ballot papers are counted. Four votes for – or rather against – the big KTM. It is outside, despite the undisputed great engine, despite the perfect equipment. The decisive factor here: their size alone. Especially for the less long colleagues, the 1290 is simply too bulky, too bulky in this tricky environment. In addition, there is the high windshield, which blocks the view of the front wheel before hairpin bends. A surprising result, but also the win of the previous year 1190 Adventure once again puts it in the right light.  

The remaining duo will be rewarded with an exciting descent down to Bourg-Saint-Maurice. The entire spectrum is on offer here, which is why motorcyclists are drawn to the Alps: upstairs, challenging hairpin bends, wonderfully carved into the rock; Fast curves below through forest areas with the best road conditions. 

Round 5: Col de L’Iseran


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Second place goes to the KTM 1190 Adventure.

Actually, the circuit around the Mont Blanc massif would now lead from Bourg-Saint-Maurice over the varied, idyllic Cormet de Roselend back to Chamonix. However, we make a detour to the Col de l’Iseran, one of the highest and most famous alpine passes. Here the decision between BMW and KTM has to be made, this year’s mountain king is to be chosen here. 

Two fundamentally different motorcycles face the final duel, a classic sports tourer competes against a highly motorized travel enduro. So it’s always about fundamental things. It starts with the sitting position; the two finalists differ greatly in terms of ergonomics. Both offer a high level of comfort for the driver and pillion passenger. The upright posture on the KTM behind the wide handlebars is certainly a little more casual and probably more comfortable in the long run. The stretched, sporty BMW is by no means uncomfortable. Crouching a little lower over the steering head also puts more pressure on the front wheel and accordingly better feedback from the front end. 

When it comes to wind protection, neither of them can fully convince. The KTM windshield creates unpleasant turbulence, the flatter BMW windshield only offers limited protection for the driver. In terms of equipment, both are at the highest level with slight advantages for the BMW. Traction control, driving modes, and electronic suspension both offer. However, if you want the complete package, you have to go a long way with both. The test BMW also has a navigation system that is perfectly integrated into the controls, an outstandingly functioning gearshift assistant and cruise control; all of this can be operated easily and logically from the handlebars. The KTM stays close with extensive on-board electronics, but is more cumbersome in terms of menu navigation.

But now the end of the discussion, cards on the table. All arguments have been exchanged, the formation of opinions is complete. Karsten distributes the ballot papers, everyone can tick his or her cross. Result: four drivers see the KTM outside, two see the BMW. The Alpen-Master 2015 is therefore the R 1200 RS, without question a worthy winner. Probably less emotional than the angular, sparkling KTM, but the bottom line is that it is functional and rational, the better motorcycle. It is surprising that a sports tourer was able to break the winning streak of travel enduro bikes. This makes the RS the sportiest winner to date at the Alpine Masters.

Placements


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And the BMW R 1200 R can be celebrated.

1st place: BMW R 1200 RS


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We congratulate.

A close victory, but a logical one: with perfect equipment, a lot of comfort and a buttery-soft drive, the boxer won the big Mont Blanc circuit

2nd place: KTM 1190 Adventure


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It lands in second place in the 2015 Alpen Masters, the KTM 1190 Adventure.

Just beaten: The previous year’s winner almost defended her title, only one vote was missing for the stalemate. The 1190 is not as high-torque and refined as its bigger sister, but it is more manageable and feels a few pounds lighter. Perhaps the combination of the two KTM would have won: the large engine in the 1190 chassis.

3rd place: KTM 1290 Super Adventure


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The KTM 1290 Super Adventure has to go and trust in its little sister, who won the Alpen Masters in 2014.

A real surprise: a favorite has to say goodbye early. Why? The size, the mass, the dimensions – that alone is what the smaller drivers in particular criticize. The great, sophisticated engine and the perfect full equipment are of no use. Too bad for KTM, now the smaller 1190 adventure has to fix it.

4th place: Triumph Tiger 800 XCx


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Triumph Tiger 800 XCx.

The “little” Tiger has ideal conditions for the Alps: high suspension and seating comfort, a super-smooth engine with an extreme speed range, high-quality equipment. Nevertheless, this is the end of the line because the top-class competition offers something similar, but also more power. But saying goodbye hurts.    

5th place: BMW F 800 R


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BMW F 800.

She kicked out high profile athletes like Aprilia Tuono and Suzuki GSX-S 1000. It is easy to drive, offers comfort and the typical BMW equipment. Why does it fail early anyway? Certainly also an emotional thing, the evenly gentle twin simply delivers little that is tingly, especially at the top. After all, Bayern have another iron in the fire.

6th place: Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle


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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle.

Short pleasure: The Ducati Scrambler represents the spirit of its Easy Going group perfectly, but unfortunately it lacks the essential prerequisites for alpine touring. For example ride and passenger comfort, wind protection or luggage storage. The Spartan Duc is the first to be eliminated – although she is a lot of fun solo on the pass.

review

Every year, hordes of motorcyclists flock to the Alps to experience the great landscape and the unique driving experience on high passes on short weekend trips or long mountain tours. Since the mountains make special demands not only on the staff but also on the motorcycles, the idea for a very special test matured eleven years ago. The basic idea: to determine the winner, the king of the mountains, out of twenty motorcycles of various categories every year. He can claim this title for one year, then he has to defend it against the new competition of the respective model year. Good all-round qualities are the basic prerequisite for this, and plenty of seating and suspension comfort on bad roads are important. A high peak performance is certainly not the only thing that makes you happy. More important is a strong and even torque curve, as well as a smooth, predictable power output. Travel enduros have slight advantages due to their concept, but other concepts have also won.

Technical specifications

Opinions


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MOTORCYCLE

You have all voted, now you have to justify your choice.

“BMW RS – damn close to brilliance”


Final Alpenmasters 2015


markus-jahn.com

Gert Thole, MOTORRAD, Germany

As an off-road freak, I generally like adventure bikes. You sit comfortably, feel safe behind the wide handlebars and ride comfortably over poor slopes with long suspension travel. So I had actually assumed that only an even better enduro could knock last year’s winner KTM 1190 Adventure from the throne. The 1290 could have done that, the engine is really awesome. But it is already a huge feat. A sports tourer like the BMW R 1200 RS actually has the worse cards for me. But how the RS works is pretty damn close to brilliance.

“BMW F 800 – the little one is completely easy to drive”


Final Alpenmasters 2015


markus-jahn.com

Karsten Schwers, MOTORRAD, Germany

After the preliminary round in the Dolomites, I wasn’t so surprised that the 1190 KTM ironed its big sister. The high pane of the 1290s bothers me, and it also looks much more clumsy. I don’t need more power anyway. For me, however, the BMW R 1200 RS is ahead of the two KTMs. Mainly because of its soft and powerful boxer drive, plus a sporty seating position with sufficient wind protection. On the other hand, I also like the little ones, the underdogs. Especially a wallflower like the F 800 R, because it’s so easy to drive.

“Tiger 800 – this is still a real Enduro”


Final Alpenmasters 2015


markus-jahn.com

Rainer Froberg, MOTORRAD, Germany

In the Alps the world is different, here some motorcycles change their character. That struck me, for example, with Super Adventure and the Tiger 800 on. The colossal KTM, which I still loved at home, turns out to be too strong, too powerful, too heavy in the mountains. A weaker, lighter motorcycle like the Tiger is enough for me up here. 

It is less demanding and can be driven with less stress. That’s exactly what I want, after all, you also want to enjoy the great landscape. And the Triumph is also a real enduro, with a large front wheel and soft suspension.

“Ducati Scrambler – drives light and easy”


Final Alpenmasters 2015


markus-jahn.com

Sergio Romero, MOTOCICLISMO, Spain

Too bad the handy Ducati scrambler was the first to be thrown out, it drives light and easy on winding roads. It certainly has weaknesses, such as the aggressive throttle response, the bumpy chassis or the poisonous brakes. I don’t like the spongy handling of the Tiger 800, so I would have let the F 800 R go one more lap. Then it would be the turn of the huge Super Adventure. With the sporty RS, the only thing that bothers me is the seating position, the handlebars are too far away. Therefore, I see last year’s winner again, even if the 1190 below does not offer as much power and smoothness as the 1290.

“1190 Adventure – equipped for all eventualities”


Final Alpenmasters 2015


markus-jahn.com

Andrea Toumaniantz, IN MOTO, Italy

Six good machines in the final – but three very good ones. In my opinion, the right machines made it onto the podium. I only disagree with the winner, I would have preferred the 1190 Adventure. It’s not as expansive as the 1290, it looks lighter and sportier. So you are well prepared for all eventualities in the Alps. I also had the sporty RS on the slip, it gives you a good feeling for the front wheel and has a very good drive. But for me the sitting position is too stretched out. The Super Adventure could of course also be at the top if it weren’t so huge. 

“1290 Adventure – easy once it starts rolling”


Final Alpenmasters 2015


markus-jahn.com

Gerry Nordstrom, MOTORCYCLE, Sweden

There are solid arguments against the Ducati Scrambler, so it had to be kicked out on the first lap. The F 800 R has many qualities, but the engine is too sluggish for me. 

So far it was easy, then the decision becomes more difficult. Little Tiger has a hard time with the powerful machines, and there is always a lot of life of its own in the chassis. And then, in my opinion, the 1190 Adventure should come. The 1290 has more power below, better features and is easy to drive once it starts rolling. The RS is a well-deserved overall winner, I like sporty bikes, especially those that are perfect. 

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