Handling test: concept comparison

Handling test: concept comparison
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Handling test: concept comparison

Which motorcycle concept offers the best handiness?

Content of

Who swings most elegantly across the parquet, i.e. the course? Strictly from an objective point of view, PS tried to shed light on the complex issue of handiness and launched various motorcycle concepts.

whe does not know them, the bold statements of the upright wide handlebar group: "I drive circles around you! In the serpentine ramp I drive away with one arm with my superbike handlebars." The funny thing is that road racing motorcycles all have narrow stub handlebars and no protruding tubular steel sail bars. Why is that? And what, if you please, is actually handling?

PS sat down with the independent test department of Motor Presse Stuttgart, the Motorrad TestCenter, and took care of the handling, i.e. the handiness, from the sober, analytical side.

First the test field was defined. It should be set up as broadly as possible, from entry-level bikes with narrow tires to extremists à la Supermoto to the bestselling large enduro. A fat naked bike and of course both categories of athletes had to be there – 600 and 1000. The following characters are now cavorting on the test site: Aprilia RSV4 R – 1000 cc super sports car, with compact V4 engine and wide 6.00-inch rear wheel; BMW 1200 GS – with extra wide handlebars, narrow tires and crankshaft lying lengthways to the direction of travel; Honda CBR 600 RR, the representative of the 600 burner, internationally successful in racing and a bestseller on Germany’s roads; Kawasaki Z 1000 – a mighty naked bike with macho genes, conventionally built with a big engine and big wheels; KTM 690 SMC – a light gazelle with endless suspension travel, wide handlebars and a narrow single cylinder; Suzuki Gladius – a narrow V2 embedded in a conventional chassis as a representative of the bread-and-butter bikes; and the Triumph Street Triple R. – as a hybrid between 600 super sports bikes and light naked bikes, with a three-cylinder engine and sail-bar handlebars.

In anticipation of the data objectively recorded from the 2D data recording and evaluated by the experts at the Motorrad TestCenter, the following remark: Since Aprilia was unable to provide a test motorcycle, the long-term test bike from sister magazine MOTORRAD was used. A fact that the test driver and author did not get completely out of the back of his head during the driving dynamics tests – including the pronounced ban on falls. So the tester drove with the handbrake on and left an extra safety cushion. On the Triumph Street Triple R, the original handlebar was replaced by a slightly narrower and taller one, on which strain gauges recorded the steering force. Both the Aprilia and the Triumph could have done a little better. Despite these handicaps, the test results of the two motorcycles were very good. Which undoubtedly proves how good the two are already in the handling discipline.


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You can only get the best out of the course with the right tires.

Since tires have a great influence on handiness and provide a large part of the important feedback, PS decided on a standard tire from Continental. The Road Attack 2 was already able to convince in the large tire test (see PS 7/10) and is approved for all seven test motorcycles. All candidates were driven with the standard air pressure of 2.5 bar at the front and 2.5 bar at the rear (measured when cold). In order to act uniformly with the chassis, the factory settings were used where adjustable. On the BMW with electronic ESA suspension, the modes "normal" and "Solo operation" in which the GS was delivered.

Regarding the course of the driving tests: The course consists of the approach to the slow slalom, the neutral control section "horseshoe" and the subsequent fast slalom. With each motorcycle there were three "Warm up laps" driven through the course to approach the new skins. (Kudos to the Conti guys, because the Road Attack 2 don’t actually need one "Start up", After these installation rounds, the rider began the regular test procedure with the Triumph: three introductory rounds to get used to the bike and to find the correct gears in each case. This was followed by two laps in the classic upright driving style, then two laps with hanging-off. In the end, three followed "change of direction" from 75 km / h. After the triumph the race was carried out in alphabetical order. In the end, the Triumph had to run again in order to rule out a learning effect for the driver. The best times in the table are the sum of the two best laps. Whereby the evaluation already brought the first surprising finding. In the slow slalom, the time difference between normal driving style and hanging-off was so small that it can be neglected. In the fast slalom, on the other hand, where there is hardly any inclination, but only minimal but quickly successive changes of direction, the hanging-off style was not practical and much slower. While he calmed the bike down in the slow slalom by gently transferring the weight of the pilot, the gymnastics in the fast slalom only brought unrest to the chassis.

What is handling?


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These seven bikes differ in almost everything, but on the handling course they all have to do the same job.

After this extensive explanation of the test procedure now to this question. A classic distinction must be made between the subjective and the objective level. Subjectively, a motorcycle with wide handlebars that enters a curve or drives through an alternating curve with little effort is handy. The BMW R 1200 GS is known to be the corner sweeper and king of the Alps. Objectively speaking, however, handiness is nothing more than the ability of a vehicle to change direction quickly. And this ability depends on a large number of technical factors. The center of gravity of the vehicle, the geometry, the wheelbase, the setup and the handlebar height as well as its width – to name just a few, have a fundamental influence on handiness.

PS concentrated on the essential parameters and calculated the static center of gravity of all seven motorcycles (i.e. without a pilot) and measured weight, wheelbase, handlebar width and height. In order to ultimately arrive at a meaningful result, the characteristics perceptible to the driver were scored and this assessment was checked for plausibility using the incorruptible data recording recordings. In all three maneuvers, i.e. slow and fast slalom and the lane change, the following criteria were evaluated: steering force, steering precision, stability and feedback. A low steering force lets the bike lightly leave the stable central position and tip over in an inclined position. Steering precision describes the accuracy with which the motorcycle converts the steering movement into a change in line. In terms of stability, we determined whether the bike starts moving on its own during the maneuver, while the feedback describes the driving experience when executing the change in direction. All in all, a very difficult task that has obviously never been tackled in this depth and in this range of test vehicles.

Comparison of handling concepts: Part 2


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The results are calculated precisely using professional software.

Slow slalom
As a super athlete with a correspondingly bent seating position and deep handlebars, the Aprilia has slight disadvantages here. The change of direction must be initiated on it with a powerful steering impulse. Everything else, i.e. folding down in an inclined position, your directional stability and the feedback are at a very high level. During this exercise, the advantage of a tightly coordinated and compact chassis is already apparent. The short crankshaft of the V4 engine and the fairly high center of gravity are additional plus points. The BMW R 1200 GS starting after it would have to overtake it in this discipline. After all, your crankshaft is parallel to the direction of travel and therefore does not build up any disruptive gyroscopic forces. In addition, their handlebars are significantly wider and their center of gravity is almost 60 millimeters higher. In terms of steering power, the BMW also fulfills this expectation, but it is the victim of its soft suspension tuning, because it gautscht and looks that the driver is almost seasick, and also hits quite hard with the side stand and brake pedal. In total, this results in the slowest speed in this section.

The CBR 600 RR follows the GS on the test course – and does well. Similar to the Aprilia, it requires a higher steering force, but then works easily in an inclined position, gives a good feeling and drives a clean line. Even with her, the lean angle is enough to make ends meet without scratches.

Switching from the Honda to the Kawasaki Z 1000 feels like a dive. Everything that just happened lightly is now tougher and more strenuous, seems as if every movement runs against an invisible resistance. The Kawa is sluggish compared to all other test candidates. It requires by far the greatest steering force to get out of the central position – a look at the measured values ​​explains why. It has a large in-line quad with a long crankshaft, its center of gravity is the lowest at 589 millimeters above the ground, and its wheels are the heaviest. So it only seems logical that this pound will not become a racehorse on the course. At least the Z 1000 runs stably and gives decent feedback. However, it also touches down hard with a side stand and exhaust cover. On the other hand, if you bring the KTM 690 SMC down, you either drive a supermoto races or are already on your toes. The nimble single-cylinder conquers second place in the slow slalom because it turns in as quickly as possible and stays in the lane. He would have been even faster if there hadn’t been unrest in the load from the hindquarters by pumping and the feedback from the forehand had been more precise. But their spring travel is just a little too long and the tuning too soft.

The Suzuki Gladius, like the BMW, also starts with advance praise. Narrow tires and a slim V2 theoretically suggest a good basis. It is, but in practice it quickly becomes clear that the chewing-gum-soft tuning and the lack of lean angle cause frustration. While any feedback is lost in the overstrained spring elements, the underdamped swaying ensures imprecise lines. To top it off, the Suzi touches down hard, grinds hard over the asphalt with the exhaust cover and side stand mount.

The Triumph Street Triple R then ensures a conciliatory end. Its stiff chassis provides a high level of accuracy, its center of gravity is 649 millimeters above the ground at the level of the Aprilia and 18 millimeters above that of the Honda. In terms of wheel weights, she even beats the two super athletes. The little Englishwoman comes out as an absolute cornering burner and, despite the somewhat narrower handlebars, ends up in second place with the Aprilia in the slow slalom. Which would prove that handling is more than just a small amount of steering effort, otherwise BMW and KTM would have had to be at the top of the podium.

Fast slalom


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PS set up the camp right at the racetrack.

When changing lanes quickly, it is important to whistle through pylons 20 meters apart as quickly as possible. Since the speeds are between 83 and 97 km / h, it is not only a question of a tight chassis setting, but also the required steering force. After all, what good is the tightest setup if the motorcycle does not want to move out of the central position? Basically, the test field can be divided into three parts here. The class "over 90 km / h": Aprilia, Honda and Triumph burn away. Once again they score with their combination of good chassis, low rotating masses and accuracy. All three convey a very good driving experience, spread confidence and with a little practice would certainly have burned through the slalom even faster.

The class "over 85 km / h" consists of the BMW and the KTM. The two long-legged friends undoubtedly benefit from their high centers of gravity, their engine concepts and the narrow tires. In addition, with a light motorcycle like the KTM, it must be noted that the rider’s weight, which is high in proportion to the weight of the motorcycle, increases the center of gravity further, which is even better for handling. However, neither of the bikes can achieve top marks. Too soft their coordination, too much restlessness in the framework. The BMW also touches down hard with the undamped up-and-down movement when changing direction, the Telelever gives no feeling for the front wheel.

In the club "less than 85 km / h" the much too soft Suzuki Gladius and the fat Kawa cavort. While the Z 1000 runs stably, but the change of direction takes a lot of strength, the Suzuki gives in, but sways at the end of the pylon lane to such an extent that a controlled drive becomes difficult.

Lane change


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You can only put enough pressure on the asphalt with enough pressure in the tire.

The peculiarities of the motorcycles from the fast slalom are further confirmed by the quick lane change, a simulated evasive maneuver at 75 km / h. In this exercise, a low steering force is very important, because the evasive action is dominated by two fast steering impulses – the evasive impulse and the counter-steering impulse to get back on your own side of the road.

The absolute measure in this exercise is the distance required between the evasive impulse and the return to the original line. Thanks to GPS-supported data recording, the results can be perfectly measured and displayed. It is hardly surprising that Aprilia, Honda, Triumph and – surprise – the BMW are ahead. In this case, the stiff Telelever helps the BMW to implement the steering impulse quickly. She takes exactly two meters from the KTM during this campaign. The Austrian needs 51.4 meters and could certainly sharpen around the corner with a tighter fork. In the standard trim, a good part of the steering impulse dissipates in the suspension. After 54.2 meters it does "Jello" Gladius back on track, hits hard and dangerous again with the hard impulses and lightning-like changes in lean angle. The Kawasaki, on the other hand, needs a full 58.4 meters, a whopping nine meters more than Triumph and BMW. Their mass and again the low center of gravity thwart better values.

Shortly before the end, the emotional side of handiness should be considered. Ultimately, this highly complex topic is reduced to one thing: the easier a motorcycle changes direction, the more fun it is. And the more fun it is, the happier the driver is. And that’s what it’s really about, or not?

Conclusion: In sober terms, the sporty, ambitious motorcycles are ahead. Victory for the Honda by one point ahead of second-placed Triumph and Aprilia. This distance KTM in fourth place by twelve points. Just behind is BMW, which in turn keeps the Kawasaki in check in sixth and the Suzuki in seventh. Knowledge of the test? Handling is driving fun!

Aprilia RSV4 R


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The fork of the Aprilia RSV4 R responds cleanly, is well damped and thus gives great feedback. That makes you quick.

Drive:
Four-cylinder 65-degree V-engine, 4 valves / cylinder, 132 kW (180 PS) at 12,500 / min *, 115 Nm at 10,000 / min *, 1000 cm³, bore / stroke: 78.0 / 52, 3 mm, compression ratio 13.0: 1, ignition / injection system, 48 mm throttle valves, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath anti-hopping clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat, chain.

Chassis:
Light alloy bridge frame, steering head angle: 65.5 degrees, caster: 106 mm, wheelbase 1420 mm, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm. Central spring strut with deflection. Suspension travel front / rear: 120/130 mm. Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17"/ 6.00 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 190/55 ZR 17, 320 mm double disc brakes with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 220 mm single disc with two-piston fixed calipers at the rear.

Weight:
212 kg, of which front / rear: 50.4 / 49.6%

Mileage:
Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h: 3.2 / 5.3 / 8.0 s
Pulling 50-100 / 100-150 km / h: 4.6 / 4.6 s

Test machine price: 15 364 euros (plus additional costs)

BMW R 1200 GS


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Because of its soft cushioning, there is a lot of movement in the GS, it rocks through the slalom.

Drive:
Two-cylinder boxer engine, 4 valves / cylinder, 81 kW (110 PS) at 7750 / min *, 120 Nm at 6000 / min *, 1170 cm³, bore / stroke: 101.0 / 73.0 mm, compression ratio 12.0: 1, ignition / injection system, 50 mm throttle valves, hydraulically operated single-disc dry clutch, six-speed gearbox

Chassis:
Load-bearing motor-gearbox assembly with steel tubular space frame, steering head angle: 64.3 degrees, caster: 101 mm, wheelbase 1507 mm, Telelever, Ø 46 mm. Central spring strut without deflection. Suspension travel front / rear: 190/200 mm. Light alloy cast wheels, 2.50 x 19"/4.00 x 17", Front tires: 110/80 R 19, rear: 150/70 R 17, 305 mm double disc brakes with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 265 mm single disc with two-piston floating caliper at the rear.

Weight:
245.5 kg, of which front / rear: 49.5 / 50.5%

Mileage:
Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h: 3.7 / 7.0 / 16.3 s
Pulling 50-100 / 100-150 km / h: 4.6 / 5.2 s

Test machine price: 15 845 euros (plus additional costs)

Honda CBR 600 RR


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Good compromise for the racetrack and everyday life: comfort and feedback on the back of the Honda CBR 600 RR.

Drive:
Four-cylinder in-line engine, 4 valves / cylinder, 88 kW (120 PS) at 13,500 / min *, 66 Nm at 11250 / min *, 599 cm³, bore / stroke: 67.0 / 42.5 mm, compression ratio 12.2 : 1, ignition / injection system, 40 mm throttle valves, mechanically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat, chain.

Chassis:
Light alloy bridge frame, steering head angle: 66.5 degrees, caster: 98 mm, wheelbase 1375 mm, upside-down fork, Ø 41 mm. Central spring strut with deflection. Suspension travel front / rear: 120/135 mm. Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17"/ 5.50 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 180/55 ZR 17, 310 mm double disc brakes with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 220 mm single disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear.

Weight:

187 kg, of which front / rear: 51.3 / 48.7%

Mileage:
Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h: 3.2 / 5.7 / 9.9 s
Pulling speed 50-100 / 100-150 km / h: 5.7 / 6.1 s

Test machine price: 11,790 euros (plus additional costs)

Kawasaki Z 1000


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A wide crankshaft across the direction of travel and a low center of gravity, here on the Kawa, are poison for handling.

Drive:
Four-cylinder in-line engine, 4 valves / cylinder, 101 kW (138 HP) at 9600 rpm *, 110 Nm at 7800 rpm *, 1043 cm³, bore / stroke: 77.0 / 56.0 mm, compression ratio 11.8: 1, ignition / injection system, 38 mm throttle valves, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat, chain.

Chassis:
Light alloy central tube frame, steering head angle: 65.5 degrees, caster: 103 mm, wheelbase 1440 mm, upside-down fork, Ø 41 mm. Central spring strut with deflection. Suspension travel front / rear: 120/138 mm. Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17"/ 6.00 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 190/50 ZR 17, 300 mm double disc brakes with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 250 mm single disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear.

Weight:
222 kg, of which front / rear: 50.0 / 50.0%

Mileage:
Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h: 3.3 / 5.2 / 9.9 s
Pulling speed 50-100 / 100-150 km / h: 4.2 / 4.1 s

Test machine price: 11 295 euros (plus additional costs)

KTM 690 SMC


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Long suspension travel dilutes the feedback and brings a lot of movement when driving fast. At the expense of precision.

Drive:
Single-cylinder four-stroke engine, 4 valves / cylinder, 48 kW (65 HP) at 7500 / min *, 67 Nm at 5500 / min *, 654 cm³, bore / stroke: 102.0 / 80.0 mm, compression ratio 11.8: 1, ignition / injection system, 46 mm throttle valves, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath anti-hopping clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat, chain.

Chassis:
Steel tubular space frame, steering head angle: 63.5 degrees, caster: 115 mm, wheelbase 1472 mm, upside-down fork, Ø 48 mm. Central spring strut with deflection. Suspension travel front / rear: 275/265 mm. Spoked wheels with aluminum rims, 3.50 x 17"/ 5.00 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 160/60 ZR 17, 320 mm single disc brakes with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 240 mm single disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear.

Weight:
153 kg, of which front / rear: 46.0 / 54.0%

Mileage:
Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h: 4.4 / 8.2 /-
Pulling 50-100 / 100-150 km / h: 7.1 / 7.5 s

Test machine price: 8895 euros (plus utilities)

Suzuki Gladius


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The Gladius hits hard when changing lanes and in the slaloms. It’s just underdamped.

Drive:
Two-cylinder 90-degree V-engine, 4 valves / cylinder, 53 kW (72 HP) at 8400 / min *, 64 Nm at 6400 / min *, 645 cm³, bore / stroke: 81.0 / 62.6 mm , Compression ratio 11.5: 1, ignition / injection system, 39 mm throttle valves, mechanically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat, chain.

Chassis:
Steel tubular space frame, steering head angle: 65.0 degrees, caster: 104 mm, wheelbase 1445 mm, upside-down fork, Ø 41 mm. Central spring strut with deflection. Suspension travel front / rear: 125/130 mm. Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17"/ 5.00 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 160/60 ZR 17, 290 mm double disc brakes with two-piston fixed calipers at the front, 240 mm single disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear.

Weight:
206 kg, of which front / rear: 47.8 / 52.2%

Mileage:
Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h: 3.9 / 8.2 /-
Pulling speed 50-100 / 100-150 km / h: 5.7 / 6.2 s

Test machine price: 6290 euros (plus utilities)

Triumph Street Triple R.


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With a taut chassis and low center of gravity, the Englishwoman comes out as an absolute cornering burner.

Drive:
Three-cylinder in-line engine, 4 valves / cylinder, 78 kW (106 HP) at 11,700 rpm *, 68 Nm at 9200 rpm *, 675 cm³, bore / stroke: 74.0 / 52.3 mm, compression ratio 12.7 : 1, ignition / injection system, 44 mm throttle valves, mechanically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat, chain.

Chassis:
Light alloy bridge frame, steering head angle: 66.1 degrees, caster: 93 mm, wheelbase 1390 mm, upside-down fork, Ø 41 mm. Central spring strut with deflection. Suspension travel front / rear: 120/130 mm. Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17"/ 5.50 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 180/50 ZR 17, 308 mm double disc brakes with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 220 mm single disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear.

Weight:
190 kg, of which front / rear: 49.1 / 50.9%

Mileage:

Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h: 3.3 / 7.0 / 13.8 s
Pulling 50-100 / 100-150 km / h: 4.1 / 4.7 s

Test machine price: 8990 euros (plus utilities)

PS rating

   Points  Honda  Aprilia  triumph Slow slalom
Steering force  10  7th  7th  9
Steering precision  10  10  10  10
stability
 10  10  10  9
feedback  10  9  9  8th
Fast slalom 
Steering force  10  8th  8th  9
Steering precision  10  10  10  8th
stability  10  10  9  8th
feedback  10  9  9  9 Lane change Steering force  5  5  4th  5
Steering precision  5  5  5  5
stability  5  5  5  5
feedback  5  4th  4th  4th
 
Total  100  91  90  89
placement  1.  2.  3.
PS judgment 1st place for the compact CBR 600 RR. The combination of a good setup, good feedback and high steering precision just barely secures the crown. A sign of their qualities: second place for the Aprilia. Despite its wide and heavy rear wheel rim, the RSV4 R only loses one point to the 600cc Honda. Good surprise: The Triumph is the perfect symbiosis of tight coordination, lightweight construction and wide handlebars. And thus next to the Aprilia earned second in the test.
   KTM  BMW  Kawasaki  Suzuki Slow slalom Steering force  10  10  5  7th
Steering precision  8th  8th  8th  7th
stability  7th  6th  7th  6th
feedback  7th  7th  7th  6th
Fast slalom
Steering force  10  10  6th  7th
Steering precision  7th  6th  8th  7th
stability  7th  7th  8th  6th
feedback  7th  7th  8th  6th Lane change Steering force  5  5  2  4th
Steering precision  4th  4th  4th  3
stability  3  4th  4th  3
feedback  3  3  3  2
 
Total  78  76  70  64
placement  4th.  5.  6th.  7th.
PS judgment The flea in the test field took a good 4th place. The long-legged KTM 690 lacks a bit of feedback and stability to be able to ride right at the front.
to be able to drive. 
The "Winner" the steering force rating does not live up to expectations. Their very soft chassis dilutes the feedback and ensures a lot of proper movement. The Z 1000 wants to be a big motorcycle and steers accordingly sluggishly. High masses on the wheels and a low center of gravity require high steering forces. Bad surprise – the gladius in last place. A soft landing gear, early touchdown and too little feedback throw it back.

PS measurements

   Aprilia  BMW  Honda  Kawasaki
Steering head angle *  65.5 degrees  64.3 degrees  66.5 degrees  65.5 degrees
Trailing*  106 mm  101 mm  98 mm  103 mm
wheelbase  1434 mm  1515 mm  1377 mm  1447 mm
Handlebar width  660 mm  815 mm  635 mm  700 mm
Handlebar height  855 mm  1145 mm  855 mm  1025 mm
Weight with a full tank  213.8 kg  245.0 kg  199.4 kg  222.8 kg
Weight wheels **   v: 11.7 kg  v: 14.6 kg  v: 10.8 kg  v: 12.2 kg
front back %  h: 17.2 kg  h: 12.4 kg  h: 14.7 kg  h: 17.4 kg
Rim size v./h.  v: 3.50 x 17 “  v: 2.50 x 19 “  v: 3.50 x 17 “  v: 3.50 x 17 “
   h: 6.00 x 17 “  h: 4.00 x 17 “  h: 5.50 x 17 “  h: 6.00 x 17 “
Tire size v./h.  v: 120 / 70-17  v: 110 / 80-19  v: 120 / 70-17  v: 120 / 70-17
   h: 190 / 55-17  h: 150 / 70-17  h: 180 / 55-17  h: 190 / 50-17
Weight distribution  v: 50.1%  v: 49.6%  v: 50.9%  v: 50.3%
static without a driver  h: 49.9%  h: 50.4%  h: 49.1%  h: 49.7%
Center of gravity without driver from the ground (B),from front wheel axle (VR)  W: 648 mm
 VA: 763 mm  
 W: 707 mm
 VA: 839 mm
 W: 631 mm
 VA: 752 mm
 W: 589 mm
 VA: 788 mm
 KTM  Suzuki triumph
Steering head angle *
 63.5 degrees  65.0 degrees  66.1 degrees
Trailing*  115 mm  104 mm  93 mm
wheelbase  1491 mm  1448 mm  1407 mm
Handlebar width  800 mm  670 mm  665 mm
Handlebar height  1120 mm  1040 mm  1170 mm
Weight with a full tank  153.1 kg  206.1 kg  192.2 kg
Weight wheels **   v: 10.6 kg  v: 12.3 kg  v: 10.6 kg
front back %  h: 14.4 kg  h: 15.6 kg  h: 14.6 kg
Rim size v./h.  v: 3.50 x 17 “  v: 3.50 x 17 “  v: 3.50 x 17 “
 h: 5.00 x 17 “  h: 5.00 x 17 “  h: 5.50 x 17 “
Tire size v./h.  v: 120 / 70-17  v: 120 / 70-17  v: 120 / 70-17
 h: 160 / 60-17  h: 160 / 60-17  h: 180 / 55-17
Weight distribution  v: 46.0%  v: 47.8%  v: 49.4%
static without a driver  h: 54.0%  h: 52.2%  h: 50.6%
Center of gravity without driver from the ground (B),from front wheel axle (VR)  W: 788 mm
 VA: 824 mm
 W: 630 mm
 VA: 819 mm
 W: 649 mm
 VA: 779 mm

* Factory specification, ** Ready to drive with tires, sprocket carriers, sleeves


Drawing: archive

The slalom course

Approaching the slow course at around 60 km / h. This is followed by the neutral horseshoe section, which compensates for differences in engine power and pulling power. After her, you accelerate into the fast slalom. The whole thing seven times per motorcycle.


Drawing: archive

The lane change

The lane change: A jagged, hard evasive maneuver initiated via the handlebars. The approach takes place at 75 km / h, lane change to the left over a lane width of six meters and back to the original line.

   Aprilia  BMW  Honda Kawasaki
Best time *  1.18.8 min  1.21.5 min  1.19.9 min 1.21.4 min
Speed ​​** horseshoe  46.9 km / h  47.3 km / h  47.3 km / h 47.5 km / h
Slalom fast ***  95.4 km / h  86.0 km / h  97.2 km / h 83.8 km / h
Speed ​​slalom slow ***  56.4 km7h  54.5 km / h  57.1 km / h 55.3 km / h
maximum inclination   41.3 degrees  39.4 degrees  42.2 degrees 42.1 degrees
Lane change at 75 km / h ****  49.2 m  49.4 m  49.6 m 58.4 m
   KTM  Suzuki  triumph
Best time *
 1.19.1 min  1.22.1 min  1.18.8 min
Speed ​​** horseshoe  47.9 km / h  47.8 km / h  47.3 km / h
Slalom fast ***  86.0 km / h  84.7 km / h  91.2 km / h
Speed ​​slalom slow ***  57.4 km / h  55.6 km / h  58.1 km / h
maximum inclination   40.2 degrees  41.6 degrees  41.9 degrees
Lane change at 75 km / h ****  51.4 m  54.2 m  49.4 m

* Time for 2 laps (702 meters each) with a flying start.
** Neutral section. The constant speed in this section shows the constancy of the test driver.
*** Average speed measured over a distance of 150 meters.
**** Lane change left / right / left over a lane width of 6 meters.

Standard tire: Continental Road Attack 2


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The Continental Road Attack 2.

Since tires have a major impact on the handling characteristics of a motorcycle, all seven test motorcycles were equipped with the new Continental Road Attack 2. The standard socks have a large share in the transparent, comparable test result and are also approved for all motorcycles.

PS particularly liked the uncritical handling of the Contis when new. Instead of the skins first time consuming "approach" To have to, three short test laps through the course were enough before the full chapel could be started for the test laps. In addition to the agile handling and the very good feedback of the Conti, the grip was also convincing. Even on the racetrack, where he had to serve on the Triumph Street Triple R for the second part of the handling story (see PS 10/2010), there was nothing to complain about despite the high temperatures.

The ABC of handling

The steering torque:
It is calculated from the forces in the middle of the grip that the driver applies to the handlebars. It ensures that the rotating front wheel is brought out of the stable central position (straight ahead) and tilts to the left or right. Depending on the handlebar width (see technical data), these forces generate a torque on the steering axle (steering tube of the fork). This turns the steering out of the straight-ahead position (steering angle pulse). The actual force with which the driver pulls or pushes the handlebars is about three times as high as the measurable steering torque, which always relates to a lever arm one meter long (Newtons per meter).

Handling and steering force:
Subjectively, they are very closely related. However, smooth steering can also simulate good handling. The bottom line is that it is always the result that counts, i.e. the shortest possible change of direction. And this can also be achieved with motorcycles, which require a high steering force, but convert it very efficiently when changing direction. Especially supersport motorcycles with low-torsion telescopic forks, stiff chassis and tires as well as a compact center of gravity can best implement the steering commands despite the relatively narrow handlebar stubs.

Wide handlebars make it easier to change direction in any case, as the driver’s steering force generates a high steering torque on the axis of rotation via the long lever arm. However, as long as the driver of a super sports car has the necessary steering force, he does not have to fear any disadvantages in cornering speed and lap times in fast chicanes and lean changes.

Steering impulse and steering angle:
The steering impulse is the force that the driver applies to the front wheel via the handlebars in order to bring it out of the central position. This impulse pushes the motorcycle into an inclined position. The larger the steering angle (steering angle), the faster the machine tips over into the curve, always in the opposite direction, of course. To initiate a left turn, the steering impulse is directed to the right and vice versa. Hence the important tenet: press right, drive right – press left, drive left! When cornering, the steering is turned inwards at around one to three degrees (steering angle). The lower the speed and the lean angle, the greater the steering angle.

The lean angle can be corrected during cornering using the steering angle. If the driver turns the handlebars to the inside of the curve, the motorcycle straightens up and increases the curve radius. If the driver steers against the direction of the curve, the machine folds more into an inclined position and the curve radius is reduced.

The gyroscopic forces:
The gyroscopic forces of the rotating masses, especially in the case of the wheels, resist a change of direction and only break out of their plane of rotation with a correspondingly high force. Since the front and rear wheels have to change their plane of rotation from a vertical position to an inclined position when cornering, both contribute to inertia. The rear wheel, due to the significantly larger proportion of rotating masses (tire, chainring and rim ring), accordingly offers a little more resistance than the lighter front wheel. This has to initiate the steering impulse through a rotary movement, but this is so slow that the rotating masses play a rather subordinate role. In the fast chicanes of the Rheinring, for example, the steering is moved at an angular speed of 3.7 degrees / second for abrupt changes in lean angle. A Triumph Street Triple R with driver and the rotating masses of wheels and engine components (crankshaft, transmission, etc.), on the other hand, covers a much faster movement. In one second, the entire mass of around 270 kilograms swivels 54 degrees from left to right leaning position. If the engine masses rotate in the longitudinal direction of the motorcycle (for example Guzzi-V2, BMW boxer engines), they have a significantly lower influence on handling, since only the reverse torque affects a change in the lean angle.

The incline:
The inclination is calculated from the curve radius recorded by the GPS and the speed. This so-called "neutral incline" does not exist "actual inclination" the machine again. Depending on the tire width and the height of the center of gravity, the "actual inclination". Example: tire width, on average from front and rear tires: 150 millimeters (off-center contact area). Center of gravity height, with driver: 650 millimeters. This constellation results at 45 degrees "neutral incline" a "actual inclination" of 51.6 degrees. So over six degrees more.

Rule of thumb: the wider the tires and the lower the center of gravity, the higher the "actual inclination". If only 100 millimeters narrow tires were fitted in this example, the driver would only need 49.3 degrees at the same cornering speed "actual inclination" drive.

If the center of gravity for the 150 mm tire width were not 650 but 750 millimeters, the necessary lean angle would be only 50.7 degrees.

The feedback:
The feedback is a very decisive subjective point in the handling test. If the motorcycle feels spongy or cumbersome, the driver can achieve almost the same speed with great effort, but hardly feels the limit area. With too little air pressure, for example, he remains well below the possible steering force, because he is not sure whether the maneuver will go well.

The basics of frame geometry:
Wheelbase:

The longer, the more unwieldy and vice versa. The reason for this is that a vehicle with a long wheelbase has to turn corners with a larger steering angle.

This larger steering angle costs more power on the motorcycle and influences agility in alternating curves. Too short a wheelbase makes the motorcycle susceptible to interference and increases the tendency for wheelies and stoppies.

Steering head angle:
A steeply welded steering head converts the steering movement relatively directly into cornering. A steering head angle that is too shallow causes more of a change in the steering wheel "Fall", So the inclination of the front wheel from the vertical plane as a steering movement and requires a high counter-steering force.

Trailing:
If you continue the imaginary line through the steering head to the ground, it will hit the ground in front of the wheel contact area. The wheel therefore follows the axis of rotation of the steering, which is called caster. As a result of this, when the steering is turned, the contact point of the tire is displaced from the central axis of the motorcycle. Due to the rolling resistance of the tire and the resulting lever arm, the front wheel is returned to the straight-ahead position with a certain force, the so-called restoring force. It ensures that the steering automatically moves into the straight-ahead position when driving and stabilizes the motorcycle. This restoring force must be overcome for the steering impulse for cornering.

Main emphasis:
The center of all vehicle mass forms the focus. In contrast to cars, the center of gravity on a motorcycle must not be as low as possible, because then the motorcycle reacts slowly to steering impulses and, with wide tires, needs too much of a lean to corner. If the center of gravity is too high, the motorcycle becomes unstable, wobbly and prone to wheelies and stoppies. The height of the center of gravity and the wheelbase should always be coordinated, as both factors determine the dynamic axle load distribution. Most racing machines have a center of gravity well above that of a series machine.

Mass concentration:
In order to achieve the best possible handling, the heavy components of sports machines are concentrated as close as possible to the center of gravity.

Rotating engine masses:
Like the wheels, these make it difficult to change direction. The crankshaft, in particular, builds up enormous gyroscopic forces with increasing speed, which make the motorcycle sluggish. However, all components that rotate in opposite directions, such as the clutch, transmission and balance shafts, counteract the rotating inertia forces of the crankshaft. Little trick: drive through fast chicanes and alternating curves with the lowest possible crankshaft speed.

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