Fun bike comparison test
Ready, steady, go
Great look, good image, proven technology and moderate prices ?? the time is ripe for fun bikes.
Entrance to the editorial underground car park. Our target curve, the last chance. Final sprint. Full in the iron, downshift, leg out, bend, straighten up. One last tire squeal before the tinny roller shutter rattles upwards.
Karsten, Micha agreed to it
and Sven also already the kill switch
pressed on their bikes. Only the fine crackling of the hot exhaust systems and the grinding drive chains disturb the calm as we let the motorcycles roll into the basement. Not a word is spoken. Why also. Everyone seems to get lost in the same thought: what a day!
In all honesty, we had nothing else-
res expected. As well as with this look. Supermoto bikes ?? Result of genetic engineering experiments in the motorcycle species. A chromosome mix from the fun group. Lots of off-roaders, a fair bit of street fighters, a little freestyler. On top of that, a full serving of racer. And that’s exactly how they stand: with their small 17-inch front wheels as if crouched to attack, with the greedy front fenders that look like torn beaks and the broadly curved off-road handlebars that are reminiscent of brutally extended elbows.
But take it, take it? these machines are not looking for trouble. Leave the rolled up sleeves to the Husabergs, Husqvarnas or the KTM sports group. Because Supermoto also works differently. More civilized, nicer, quieter. The 17-inch models are better known as funbikes. Just like the four with whom we shared this day: Honda FMX 650 Funmoto, KTM 640 LC4 Supermoto, Suzuki DR-Z 400 SM, Yamaha XT 660 X.
Review. At seven in the morning the world is not yet prejudiced. Who on which? No matter. Sven swings on the Suzuki. Perhaps because at first glance it suits his wiry physique best. With its bright yellow outfit alone, the DR-Z suggests sportiness. The narrow bench and the aggres-
A strong sitting position that forces the upper body forward underlines this message. Micha, also more of the slim type, grabs the Honda. The slightly wider and comfortable seating matches the more subtle visual appearance of the FMX. The handlebars pulled backwards also point to relaxation.
Karsten chooses the KTM. No question, the LC4 was designed by Europeans? for Europeans. She looks bigger, more grown up. The rounded tank-seat combination, the knee joint as well as the sturdy levers. I am left with the Yamaha, which shows right away that the topic is
Fun bike is not necessarily minimalistic-
tion must mean. Seat, tank and fittings hardly differ from mid-range street bikes. The dimensions remain more touristy than sporty.
Anyway, the day beckons. A push on the button is enough. Just the Suzuki
reserves a puristic touch and demands the pull on the choke button
directly on the carburetor, while the Honda and KTM cold start devices can be conveniently activated from the handlebars.
The Yamaha is more noble. Injection and engine management take over the job in self-administration. Everyone starts chugging straight away, only the Honda is lean, their single takes the longest,
until he finds the round step.
Enter the corridor, jump two floors up, the roller door rattles up. Finally. World, we are coming. Sven presents, bustles
on the DR-Z through the line of cars in front of the next traffic light. Right, left, par-
Don. Slalom between the rear-view mirrors and the bonnet. It can be narrower than Suzi
never, faster than with her either.
The 146 kilos ?? fully fueled, of course ?? the DR-Z hold even more than they promise anyway. Only bicycle couriers sweep faster through the mobile sheet metal landscape. Micha holds the Honda on the
Connection. Although it has to weigh 30 kilograms more on the frond tour, the FMX can conceal it surprisingly well. Even Karsten on the KTM stays tuned. Above all, it uses the powerful pressure of the LC4 unit to jump from gap to gap with short bursts of gas.
On the other hand, I find it difficult to keep the rhythm. The 189 kilos of the Yamaha plus riders first want to be slowed down, accelerated or balanced back and forth. Especially since the XT 660 X with a wide knee and a fat bench confidently stands by its pounds. Still save? typical fun bike ?? the wide handlebars and the upright sitting position the situation.
We’re in the front, first row. The clarifying look out of the corner of the eye states: the situation is relaxed. Instead of grumbling jealously about the bullying troops, the people who drive cars rate the bikes with interest. As when unloading in front of the underground car park yesterday. Even a grandma stopped, interested. “Motocross?” She asked, exhausting her basic knowledge of two-wheelers, about the purpose of this type of motorcycle. Optics, this aspect dominates the topic of fun bike ?? always and everywhere. Most will class them as harmless play mobiles. As machines for nice people. The cautious shooting of the singles certainly does its part
contributes to sympathy. Because they are properly plugged up, the four. Both from the
thick double-pipe systems from the Honda and Yamaha as well as from the single pot of the Suzuki, pipes as thick as a thumb protrude. Only the KTM can do that
Melody of the Sound of Singles from its two beautifully drawn dampers
to intonate at least partially.
The traffic light turns green. Rennfah-
rer. Who is playing? All of them, of course. Cup-
come and go. The pressure also matches the sound of the KTM. First course, second, Karsten is gone. A feat with measured 55 hp. The Yamaha can
The only ones who stay almost in the slipstream, stuttering shyly against the rev limiter when accelerating desperately. But 49 hp are enough to clarify the situation. The Suzuki and Honda shrink in the rearview mirror like lightning. Understandable at DR-Z. Around 250 cm3 displacement disadvantage excuse 38 hp peak performance, the FMX should come up with a good excuse for a meager 36 hp.
Your age, for example. But none of them are youngsters. The KTM LC4 engine? a construction that saw the light of day in 1987. The air-cooled Honda single debuted a year later
in the Funduro Dominator. The Yamaha unit was first launched in the Enduro XTZ 660 in 1991. And even the Suzuki-Benjamin, which still appears modern with two overhead camshafts, was put into the enduro chassis for the first time six years ago, for the 1999 season. Of course, scrap looks different, but stricter emissions and noise regulations have neutralized many of the quartet’s technical updates over the years.
Nevertheless, the well-hung engines also have their positive sides. Fun biking means spar biking. For less than 5625 euros (DR-Z), 5930 euros (FMX) or 6750 euros (XT), there are hardly two bikes with a powerful engine left today. Which leaves the LC4, which is significantly more expensive at 8490 euros, cold. She prefers to compare herself to her noble siblings. Because apart from the carburetor, ignition, exhaust system and chassis set-up, the Austrian leans very closely on her extremely sporty colleagues.
In the meantime everyone has caught up with Karsten again. No more thinking about model history or money. The wide arterial road turns into a winding country lane. Our terrain. Gasping, guys. Brake, fold down, straighten up, wind up … Is there actually a holiday for motorcyclists? Why not today, we would be celebrating anyway. Sure, Karsten is storming forward again. No chance against the KTM, the bike of extremes. As it accelerates, it also brakes. Brute. The only four-piston fixed caliper of the quartet plus 320 washer supplied by Brembo show what is possible. First-class effect, easy to dose. The Pirelli MT 60 rub off like soft ice cream, but are legendarily good-natured and offer good grip on any surface.
The LC4 only gets stubborn when it gets bumpy. Then the upside-down fork from White Power reacts unwillingly, lets the front wander to the outside of the curve or prances on the straight. But what is much more annoying are these vibrations. Even if the permanent tingling in the handlebar ends and footrests is a painful picture
of the supermoto drifters, fun-
biker ?? and probably not just the ?? could
like to do without it. After a very short time, the constant clatter displaces even the greatest enthusiasm for them
exciting potency of KTM.
And if the vibrating rearview mirror of the LC4 didn’t shake every picture beyond recognition, Karsten would have
already noticed that it is not the Yamaha, but the Suzuki that keeps up. One would not even trust the little engine with this 400 cubic capacity, so be-
The short-stroke turns up greedily. Instinctively
leave the DR-Z unit in maximum
Tones cheer, rejoices, like the single with
every further rotation becomes more alive. Is enthusiastic about the smooth running of the engine and is surprised that so little displacement can be so much fun. Only the softly tuned suspension rocks the chassis when the gear is forced-
kind on. The front-wheel brake, a double-piston caliper with a 276-millimeter disc, is less impressive despite the relatively soft pressure point.
The Honda and the Yamaha follow
amicably, but with respect-
was standing. On the FMX, the successful, beautifully progressive suspension tuning is consoling about the non-existent settings–
possibilities of fork and monoshock away. But the fun in the country-
straße brakes the unfavorable combination of 176 kilograms total weight and the seemingly constricted engine.
In the lower and middle speed range, the four-valve engine still advances in an acceptable manner, but beyond that, its commitment levels off over the long term. Braking issue: no issue. The pressure point, hand strength and stamina are at the same level as the Suzuki system.
The Yamaha shows up in the rub-
split the snake. On the one hand
relaxes the great seating comfort and the
Sensitive suspension, on the other hand, a wobbly handling in tight throats is annoying-
Ren. It can’t be because of the tires. The pairing Pirelli Dragon MTR 01 / MTR 02 works fine on the Honda. Of course, the XT secretly longs for faster terrain in order to be able to show its qualities. Sufficient power, smooth-running engine, large 15-liter tank ?? the Yamaha scores with reason, not emotion.
Reason? Pah, now it starts. We turn. Kart track. The playground for supermoto and fun bikes. Postage register racing. 20 euros and we can drive
until dark, says the route-
wait Coffee beforehand? Forget it. Karsten
is already in racing fever. He thinks he’s a pole setter on the KTM? Wait, boy. Sure, the KTM lies like a board, with the footrest constantly paddling over the asphalt. If anyone knows how Supermoto works, it is the guys from Mattighofen. Think. Sven and the Suzuki are faster. The combination
from the playful handling, the lively engine and the inspiring grip the Dunlop D 208 SM knows on the
winding asphalt ribbon no opponents (lap times see table above). No wonder there is a nationwide Supermoto amateur racing series for the yellow one.
After all: Micha and the FMX are holding their own. Typically Honda. Sees
restrained and unspectacular, but
the Funmoto almost stays with the KTM.
Granted, Pirelli is partly to blame. The MT 60 on the KTM can
do not compete at racing speed with the Dragon on the Honda. Which doesn’t interest me at all on the Yamaha. The kart track shifts the dimensions. Offer the fun bikes in free
Wilderness limitless lean angle, it’s getting tight now. Much too early and too hard, the XT touches down with the footrests and the side stand, lurching dangerously through the few long curves. No thanks, it won’t work with her
XT and racing.
In contrast to Karsten and Co. The shiny eyes in the sweaty faces reveal without a word why funbikes are called funbikes. A little later, the wind dries the sweat. The city swallows us again. We are exhausted. Just let it roll out. Or a little final spurt? Up to the underground car park? With pleasure.
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Fun bike comparison test
Ready, steady, go
Technical data: HONDA FMX 650
Air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, a balance shaft, an overhead, chain-driven camshaft, four valves, constant pressure carburettor, Ø 40 mm, uncontrolled catalytic converter, five-speed gearbox.
Bore x stroke 100.0 x 82.0 mm
Cubic capacity 644 cm3
Compression ratio 8.3: 1
Rated output 28 kW (38 hp) at 5750 rpm
Max. Torque 52 Nm at 4500 rpm
Single-loop frame made of steel, upside-down fork, Ø 45 mm, front disc brake, Ø 296 mm, double-piston floating caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 220 mm, single-piston floating caliper.
Tires 120/70 R 17; 150/60 R 17
Pirelli Dragon tires tested
MTR 01 / MTR 02
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1490 mm, steering head angle 61 degrees, caster 97 mm, suspension travel f / r 218/218 mm, seat height * 875 mm, weight with a full tank * 176 kg, payload * 179 kg, tank capacity / reserve 11 / 3.8 liters.
Colors black, red, yellow
Price 5790 euros
Additional costs 140 euros
Technical data: KTM 640 LC4 Supermoto
Water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, a balance shaft, an overhead, chain-driven camshaft, four valves, constant pressure carburetor, Ø 40 mm, five-speed gearbox.
Bore x stroke 101.0 x 78.0 mm
Cubic capacity 625 cm3
Compression ratio 11.5: 1
Rated output 40 kW (54 PS) at 7000 rpm
Max. Torque 55 Nm at 5500 rpm
Single-loop steel frame, split beams, bolted rear frame, upside-down fork, Ø 48 mm, front disc brake, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 220 mm, single-piston floating caliper.
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 160/60 ZR 17
Pirelli MT 60 R / RS tires tested
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1510 mm, steering head angle 63 degrees, caster 99 mm, suspension travel f / r 265/300 mm, seat height * 910 mm, weight with a full tank * 160 kg, load * 190 kg, tank capacity / reserve 12 / 2.5 liters.
Orange, black colors
Price 8290 euros
Additional costs 200 euros
Technical data: SUZUKI DR-Z 400 SM
Water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, a balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves, constant pressure carburetor, Ø 36 mm, five-speed gearbox.
Bore x stroke 90.0 x 62.6 mm
Displacement 398 cm3
Compression ratio 11.3: 1
29.4 kW (40 hp) at 7600 rpm
Max. Torque 39 Nm at 6600 rpm
Steel single-loop frame, upside-down fork, Ø 49 mm, front disc brake, Ø 276 mm, double-piston floating caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 240 mm, two-piston fixed caliper.
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 140/70 ZR 17
Dunlop D 208 SM tires tested
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1460 mm, steering head angle 63.7 degrees, caster 94 mm, spring travel f / r 260/276 mm, seat height * 880 mm, weight with a full tank * 146 kg, payload * 194 kg, tank capacity 10 liters.
Colors yellow, black
Price 5490 euros
Additional costs around 135 euros
Technical data: YAMAHA XT 660 X
Water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, an overhead, chain-driven camshaft, four valves, injection, Ø 44 mm, five-speed gearbox.
Bore x stroke 100.0 x 84.0 mm
Cubic capacity 660 cm3
Compression ratio 10.0: 1
35 kW (48 PS) at 6000 rpm
Max. Torque 58 Nm at 5250 rpm
Single-loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm, front disc brake, Ø
320 mm, double-piston floating caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 245 mm, single-piston floating caliper.
Tires 120/70-ZR 17; 160/60-ZR 17
Pirelli Dragon tires tested
MTR 01 / MTR 02
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1485 mm, steering head angle 65 degrees, caster 90 mm, suspension travel f / r 200/191 mm, seat height * 885 mm, weight with a full tank * 189 kg, load * 185 kg, tank capacity / reserve 15 / 3.5 liters
Colors blue, black
Price 6610 euros
Additional costs 140 euros
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