Five mid-range travel enduros (2019) in a comparison test

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Travel enduros
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

Yamaha Ténéré 700

Yamaha Ténéré 700

Yamaha Ténéré 700

Yamaha Ténéré 700

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Travel enduros
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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We have five middle class travel enduros compete against each other.

Yamaha Ténéré 700
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Yamaha is breaking new ground with the Ténéré 700.

Yamaha Ténéré 700
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Back to basic: The simple LCD cockpit in road book style is not impressive, but delivers. The most important information at a glance.

Yamaha Ténéré 700
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Push a button, hit: that’s how it used to be, and it still feels good today to hit the turn signal switch straight away.

Yamaha Ténéré 700
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Smart in detail: the front fender can be adjusted in height depending on the terrain. Good in the mud.

Yamaha Ténéré 700
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Solid – the sturdy cases from the Yamaha range. In the Explorer package for 2,003.84 euros.

Yamaha Ténéré 700
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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The Ténéré 700 has a great engine with fine responsiveness and great power delivery.

KTM 790 Adventure R.
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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If you want to know how much Enduro travel can handle, you will find it in Mattighofen.

KTM 790 Adventure R.
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Flat, tinted glass, multicolored TFT display, button armada on the left handlebar end, massive, fully adjustable fork.

KTM 790 Adventure R.
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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First cream: The automatic gearshift of the Adventure R works smoothly and reliably in both directions.

KTM 790 Adventure R.
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Great gearshift with blipper, ABS cornering? … Where the Yamaha preaches renouncing, the KTM relies on full use of electronics.

Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twin
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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The Africa Twin weighs 237 kilograms with a full tank. This means she is in good company – at least when it comes to comfortable travel.

Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twin
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Lots of information, difficult to grasp: the Honda four-color display provides plenty of information in compressed form.

Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twin
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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How, where, what? Modern operating units have to take on a variety of tasks.

Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twin
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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It has a big name, the Africa Twin, and it is a pretty motorcycle that is particularly impressive with the tricolor paintwork.

Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twin
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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The cases from the Honda range of accessories are included in the Adventure package for 3,476 euros.

Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twin
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Adventure feeling? The massive crash bars from the accessories with additional lights push the weight up.

BMW F 850 ​​GS
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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The basic price of the BMW F 850 ​​GS is 12,000 euros, the price of the test motorcycle 16,055 euros.

BMW F 850 ​​GS
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Information on all levels: The clear TFT display (rear) sets standards, the navigation system is easy to see.

BMW F 850 ​​GS
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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The other side of the coin: rotary push-button and switch mishap, but still easy to use.

BMW F 850 ​​GS
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Modern times: A blipper should of course not be missing on the 850 GS, but it turns stiff.

BMW F 850 ​​GS
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Good from experience, but extra: BMW case system with pull-out cases and plenty of storage space. They cost another 858 euros extra.

BMW F 850 ​​GS
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Everything well thought out, everything functional: Whatever function and operation the Munich team think of, it fits.

Triumph Tiger 800 XCA
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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In its expensive XCA version (15,050 euros without case), the Triumph has practically everything on board ex works that was previously common in this class.

Triumph Tiger 800 XCA
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Almost like BMW: The informative TFT display of the Tiger 800 is clear and informative.

Triumph Tiger 800 XCA
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Everything listens to the left thumb. When he hits. The switch to the right of the horn is a joystick. A very small one.

Triumph Tiger 800 XCA
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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The fork of the Triumph Tiger 800 is adjustable in rebound and compression, the diameter is 43 millimeters.

Triumph Tiger 800 XCA
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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To the right and left: With suitcases, the not petite Triumph becomes a really wide motorcycle. 759 euros surcharge.

Triumph Tiger 800 XCA
Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

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Smooth, smooth-running engine, stable chassis: the Tiger cuts a fine figure on the road.

Middle-class travel enduro bikes in a comparison test

5 models from 2019

The Yamaha Ténéré 700, Honda Africa Twin, KTM 790 Adventure R, BMW F 850 ​​GS and Triumph TIger 800 XCA compete against each other in the comparison test of the 2019 mid-range travel enduros.

The reactions after the first test drive are always the same. Shining eyes, great enthusiasm. Clearly this one Yamaha is a big hit, everyone agrees. Such a motorcycle has not been around for a long time. And that’s exactly the problem. Where is it to be classified – and how? If less of almost everything (i.e. less weight, less performance and even less price) leads to more driving pleasure, the MOTORRAD 1000-point evaluation gets a gasp. The attempt to determine one’s position.

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The new size: Yamaha Ténéré 700

The occasion is at least as pleasant as the problem is delicate. Yes, let’s say it openly. If we treat the new Yamaha Ténéré 700, which we’ve been waiting so longingly for, like everyone else, it’ll go for a swim. MOTORRAD 1000 points evaluation, penultimate place, done. At least if we compare them with what the travel enduro market has to offer. The Ténéré just got us on the wrong foot for two reasons. On the one hand, the so-called puffed up "Middle class enduro bikes" in the end with strict consistency to heavy full dressers with all the pipapo, on the other hand, given this overkill of equipment and assistance options, the focus was lost on the essentials.


Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

Yamaha is breaking new ground with the Ténéré 700.

Because something goes wrong when middle class enduros march tightly to a quarter tonne weight and meanwhile also to 20,000 euros. Two brands that have long since torn their big sisters. And so the new Ténéré is much more than an attempt to bring the on- and off-road world back under one roof. It is a statement, an homage to renunciation. She wants to teach us that less can be more – if we let her. So: 1,000 points at the very end, with a request to the readers for selective perception. Is a top speed of 210 km / h really important – or does it do 186 things like the Yamaha? In this way everyone can create their own personal ranking. Then it seems reasonable to assume that the new Ténéré will not fail despite or perhaps because of its reduction to the essentials.

Because what exactly are we doing without on the Yamaha? On displacement and performance, that is obvious. She is missing 110 cubic centimeters for the KTM, 300 for the Africa Twin. And exactly 22 HP rated power. Because the Yamaha is limited with the almost unchanged MT-07 in-line two-cylinder to 73 hp, while everyone else has zeroed in on 95 hp. In return, Yamaha reaps the rewards of this reluctance elsewhere. Only 207 kilograms full of fuel – that’s a pound that it can grow with. On the street, on the dirt road, in the city and when maneuvering in the driveway. It is this unexpected ease of being that surprises everyone. With its maneuverability (despite the large 21-inch front wheel) and its ergonomics. Only the tubular handlebars are wide here, while the line of tank and seat is extremely narrow compared to the competition. This creates freedom of movement and is still not uncomfortable on long journeys, not even in the second row. Despite its suspension travel of around 200 millimeters, its chassis is also perfectly tuned for the road, and the coarse-tread Pirelli Scorpion Rally play well on asphalt. But that’s enough for the established competition?

Per: This space is not enough to describe the talents of the new Ténéré. An overview of the game thanks to the high seating position is part of it, pronounced handiness, fine feedback, confident straight-line stability. And this great engine with fine responsiveness and great power delivery.

Cons: It comes too late for many – and is still practically sold out.

The enduro: KTM 790 Adventure R.

If you want to know how much enduro travel can take, you will find it in Mattighofen. The Adventure R is even more radically off-road than the Ténéré, which is why we don’t care about the suitcase fuss here. MOTORRAD will soon check whether and how the exchange of blows will end in the field.


Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

If you want to know how much Enduro travel can handle, you will find it in Mattighofen.

In any case, on civilian terrain, the KTM is a long way off the ease with which the Yamaha scurries through the thicket of bends. It is neither the weight (even only 215 kilograms with a full tank) nor the longer-legged spring elements that make life more difficult. It is mainly the tire. Metzeler Karoo 3 – this is a tire that playfully hurls meter-high fountains of dirt into the sky off-road, but has no chance on asphalt against the grip, the feedback from the front wheel and the accuracy of the Pirelli Scorpion Rally. In all honesty: on the KTM you are happy about the perfectly functioning assistance armada of the Adventure R, whose finely regulating traction control is in action at every corner exit. At a pace, mind you, that the Yamaha can easily keep up without electronic aids. The consequence: if a 790 adventure, then the standard version.

Pro: Great automatic gearshift with blipper, ABS cornering … Where the Yamaha preaches renunciation, the KTM relies on full use of electronics. In addition, the lively engine and a massive off-road chassis – that’s a complete off-road package.

Cons: Small windshield, hard off-road seat: there are better ones for traveling and everyday life. The civil sister, for example.

The top dog: Honda Africa Twin

Ténéré vs. Africa Twin: What a duel of names! In light of this, it could be that one or the other Honda marketing person is now looking wistfully at the new Yamaha. And looking at the large, mighty Africa Twin wonders whether it wouldn’t have done a little less. In any case, MOTORRAD editor-in-chief Michael Pfeiffer found after his test drive on the Yamaha: "One of the best motorcycles in the world. For me the real successor to the Africa Twin 650." It’s tough now, but there could be something to it. On the one hand, the wiry Yamaha undoubtedly comes much closer to the sporty role model in terms of appearance alone than the current Africa Twin of the desert legend of the past, the NXR. And secondly, the Yamaha clearly seems technically better equipped to survive in the sea of ​​dunes. The weight difference of exactly 30 kilograms alone speaks volumes.


Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

The Africa Twin weighs 237 kilograms with a full tank. This means she is in good company – at least when it comes to comfortable travel.

The Africa Twin weighs 237 kilograms with a full tank. This means she finds herself in good company – at least when it comes to comfortable travel. The equally not petite Triumph Tiger 800 XCA comes to exactly the same value, while the BMW F 850 ​​GS even manages to be even heavier at 241 kilograms. The difference to the Honda: These two do not emphasize their desolate past at every opportunity and do not claim any hardcore off-road use, but instead – with the exception of the 21-inch front wheel – clearly admit to their tourist destination . It’s different with the Africa Twin. It has to be measured by the standards with which it once started, especially wanted to shift the standards off-road. She only partially succeeded and is almost forgotten today. Now the new Ténéré will do this job, and you can be sure that it will have the slim fairing with the steeply positioned window in front in off-road tests of all stripes.

Meanwhile, the Africa Twin experiences from its own equipment profile that more and more does not necessarily mean better. The adventure package is the name of the 3,476 euro option, which not only includes a case, topcase, main stand and powerful crash bars plus additional headlights, but also a higher window. However, this causes more turbulence than the narrow Yamaha disc. And while we’re at it: The first tires in the form of the aged and asphalt-oriented Dunlop Trailmax D 610 cannot keep up with the performance of the Yamaha Pirellis even on the most perfect road surface, and also tip over suddenly on a certain lean angle. The engine with its power and capacity advantage is of course a force, but under these circumstances the Yamaha drive away? At most on the highway.

Per: It has a big name, the Africa Twin, and it is a pretty motorcycle that is particularly impressive with the tricolor paintwork. It is top-quality and solid, comfortable and stable in value.

Cons: It is a powerful motorcycle, the Africa Twin. However, agility is not their primary virtue. And in terms of price, there is at least one trip around the world between it and the Ténéré 700.

The package solution: BMW F 850 ​​GS

The contrasts couldn’t be more diametrical: basic price BMW F 850 ​​GS 12,000 euros, price test motorcycle 16,055 euros. In comparison, the Yamaha Ténéré 700: base price 9,599 euros, price of the test motorcycle 9,599 euros. Admittedly, this is without the case, which is part of the touring package (plus luggage rack, crash bar, main stand, engine protection, etc.) and costs € 2,004. Compared to the BMW Options Rally (prices for the accessory packages were reduced in August), this is still an afternoon excursion at best. In detail: Comfort package for 650 euros including center stand, heated grips, keyless ride (that’s when you just take out the key to open your suitcase and then leave it at the gas tank) and tire pressure control. In addition, there is the dynamic package with cornering ABS, traction control, driving modes Pro and Shift Assistant Pro for 640 euros. The whole thing is complemented by the light package (250 euros) with white LED indicators, LED headlights and daytime running lights. Of course, the tour package (730 euros) with cruise control, luggage rack and the famous Dynamic ESA, which automatically adjusts the strut setting to the charge level, should not be missing.


Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

The basic price of the BMW F 850 ​​GS is 12,000 euros, the price of the test motorcycle 16,055 euros.

Was that it? No, navigation system (706 euros), intelligent emergency call (265 euros), adjustable windshield (187 euros) and connectivity (150 euros) are also included. And the guarantee that, given this excess of equipment, you will spend the first voyages of discovery in your garage at home to fathom all functions. And we will register that the famous Vario cases are not yet included in the scope of delivery and cost another 477 euros. But joking aside: there is also a basic F-850-GS. It is actually supposed to drive, but has never been seen in the wild. That is quite astonishing, because what the BMW is free of charge "Primary Virtues" is not from bad parents. The in-line two-cylinder with the V2 sound (270 degree crank pin offset, also used by the Ténéré and there "Crossplane" called) is a fine machine with a pleasant power development, but suffered from a clearly noticeable weakness when starting. And who do you guys show how to do it better? The Yamaha dwarf, of all things, which shows from the first turn of the crankshaft where the Bartel gets the must.

This is not relevant on the autobahn, but it is in urban traffic light chaos and on country roads. On the chassis side, on the other hand, the BMW is really well positioned in civilian life, does everything and everything well. Just like – you guessed it – the Yamaha, whose playful handling, of course, the Munich-based woman cannot match. Just as little as its off-road properties. The lighter predecessor could do that better.

Per: Everything well thought out, everything functional: Whatever function and operation the Munich team think of, it fits. And ergonomics and chassis set-up are also on a high level with the new F 850 ​​GS. A real multitool – almost like the Yamaha.

Cons: High weight, high price: the BMW fails, especially in the top disciplines of the Yamaha.

The other way: Triumph Tiger 800 XCA

Please read on: In these turbulent times when it comes to British issues, you don’t even dare to do a big one "B." to begin. In the fear that everyone will think of Brexit and Boris again and turn the page because the number is hanging on their necks. Promised. Not a word more about the British B disaster. This is all about the four big ones "T" go, so Triumph, Tiger, Triple and Touring. And about how it was possible in Hinckley to build a travel enduro with mighty suspension travel (220/215 millimeters), a motor with even pressure in all positions, precise throttle response and a large 21-inch front wheel that no one can get right away thinks of possible off-road investments. Especially because that is one of the first thoughts with the Ténéré with very similar conditioning.


Tyson Jopson, Stefan Kaschel, Arturo Rivas

In its expensive XCA version (15,050 euros without case), the Triumph has practically everything on board ex works that was previously common in this class.

No question about it, in addition to the clearly road-oriented tires (Bridgestone BW 501), this must primarily be due to the engine. And especially because of its well-groomed manners, while the Yamaha twin, like the other three, is more earthy. The triple, on the other hand, exudes a dignified serenity, but still tackles decisively in every situation – and is therefore the first choice when it comes to covering long distances at a higher speed. Also because the British interpreted the environment accordingly. The seating position is a bit more gathered, the windshield is expansive, the turbulence is low, the seat height (850 to 870 millimeters) is still within the majority range. Everything is prepared for the extended holiday tour, which can go ahead quickly because the spring elements are among the tighter in terms of cushioning.

What the Triumph is missing compared to the Yamaha is this bustling, playful ease with which the Ténéré navigates its way through everyday motorcycle life. No wonder, because her 237 kilograms cannot be denied, just like the expansive appearance of the British woman. But you also have to say that in the expensive XCA version (15,050 euros without case) it has practically everything on board ex works that was previously common in this class. Whether all this is needed – the British will of course have to ask themselves this question in the face of new competition. After all: The first Erlkönig pictures of the new Tiger (MOTORRAD 18/2019) show that you can also get the new Tiger on the island "Less is more"-Is quite open to thoughts. The successor looks much slimmer and more wiry. It’s as if Hinckley had also taken a close look at what Yamaha was unleashing its customers. Until then, however, the Tiger will have to live with being clearly more of a travel vehicle than an enduro. Or at least to convey that feeling.

Per: Smooth, smooth-running engine, stable chassis: the Tiger cuts a fine figure on the road. On no other route can long asphalt stretches be covered more relaxed and more comfortably. And quickly around the corners – that works too.

Cons: Heavy, powerful, polished: the Triumph is as far removed from the off-road spirit of the Ténéré as the British are from the orderly Brexit.

Conclusion

If we only count the points, the Ténéré has no chance against the much more expensive and larger-capacity competition. Qualitatively, on the other hand, things look different. Because what is so fun on the Yamaha can only be represented to a limited extent in points. It’s the intimate connection between driver and vehicle, the ease and exuberance with which they both romp around, the blind trust. This is most clearly reflected in the chassis rating. And in the price-performance rating, because it is outstanding.

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