Honda VTR 1000 F (VT: Japan versus Europe)
Japan versus Europe: two-cylinder
Where character counts twice: sporty two-cylinder. Aprilia SL 1000 Falco versus Honda VTR 1000 F.
Respect, respect ?? the second round went quite clearly to Japan. There is simply no European herb against the big, fat, exhibitionistic four-cylinder from the Far East. With three or four exceptions, the old world stuck to the two-cylinder engine. Not because of love, of course, but rather out of necessity. In the decisive years, the companies simply lacked the cash to drive other developments. Under these unfortunate circumstances, however, a special know-how matured that is causing the Japanese sleepless nights today, as large-volume twins are the trend.
Just think of Yamaha’s hapless number with the TRX 850 blessed. Great motorcycle ?? actually. But the sworn two-cylinder faction cried out with outrage, because the Asians had bought the Holy of Holies and copied the Ducati 900 SS, which was framed by a lattice tube. Blasphemy! The TRX was put on the stake. Suzuki tried it with plenty of power and a completely independent concept. Not a bad plan. But it didn’t work one hundred percent. At first the 125 HP strong TL 1000 S could not hold the gasoline and discharged it into the oil. To this day she stumbles over various chassis weaknesses.
Honda went to the safe side. With the VTR 1000 F. The epitome of Japanese high-volume production: not particularly bold, but good. Aluminum bridge frame, powerful V2 engine, home-style outfit. The only boldness: the side-mounted coolers. After that, it’s time to end with clever details. The further the gaze wanders to the rear, the more the VTR looks like “two rooms, kitchen, bathroom”. The heck ?? Aha. Just had to do one. Tail light and silencer too. Completely interchangeable story, told to death by generations of Asian designers.
Europe has a completely different bang, represented by the very young Aprilia SL 1000 Falco. An extremely dedicated bike with a three-part headlight, angular instruments and completely irritating lines. As soon as the garage door thunders into the lock, you don’t know what the Falco looks like. Your character, however, will be memorized on the hard drive for the next 700 years. And erases almost any memory of the ?? um, what was her name? Oh yes: VTR 1000 F.
The Honda is a really fine, comfortable motorcycle. Without glaring weaknesses and side effects. Cushions, dampens, brakes and sprints as it should be for a sports tourer. Everything is perfectly defined ?? the driving behavior is an equation with no unknowns. Handling and ergonomics are on the pleasant side and only raise one question: which Smurf has cranked the handlebars so strangely? Otherwise there is no theater between man and machine. The VTR is one of those motorcycles that you can recommend to your postman, dentist or hairdresser without batting an eyelid. Because the unproblematic driving behavior is joined by this completely unproblematic engine, which expresses its 110 hp with care. Rough enough not to be labeled a bore, but free of foul vibrations. A powerful torque supports the enjoyable use of the throttle.
But all that pales in view of the Aprilia SL 1000 Falco. This motorcycle is alive! Whips the chain below 3500 rpm, rattles, vibrates, roars its greed for free travel into the world and from 6500 revolutions flares off a performance fireworks that dilate your pupils to the size of a melon. At first the ?? let’s say ?? Ordinary manner of the Italian alienating. But two or three trips are enough to get addicted. Addicted to that all pervasive presence. After the spontaneity with which the Falco hangs on the gas. After the pithy interaction between engine, chassis and sound. Behind the well-protective cover you become part of a larger whole. The seating position, steering precision, stability and handiness convey an incredibly confident driving experience. The Falco darts through the area as if sucked onto the asphalt. Driving pleasure that appeals to all the senses.
On a pragmatic level, the Aprilia isn’t quite as convincing. The side stand, for example, is completely wrong: too long, too steep. You need a swab and tongs to fill in the oil. Exhaust gas cleaning is not, despite injection and engine management. The carburettor-equipped Honda has at least one unregulated catalytic converter. Both of them need an indecent amount of fuel. The VTR is aggravated by the measly tank volume: 16 liters are definitely too little for a sports tourer. And 4.7 grams of wind protection too.
E.europe or japan? Huiuiui ?? now it’s getting really tight. Italian hot-bloodedness on the one hand, Far Eastern striving for perfection on the other. Almost like in a picture book. But there the southern girl would have some abysses. Not here. The Falco’s idiosyncratic performance comes under the heading of personality. And ultimately a two-cylinder cannot have enough of that. So: two to one for Europe.
Technical data: Honda VTR 1000 F
Engine: water-cooled two-cylinder, four-stroke, 90-degree V-engine, two overhead camshafts, four valves, constant pressure carburetor, displacement 996 ccm, rated output 81 kW (110 hp) at 9,000 rpm, max. Torque 96 Nm (9.8 kpm) at 7,000 rpm, six-speed gearbox. Chassis: bridge frame made of aluminum profiles, tires 120/70 x 17; 180/55 x 17. Wheelbase 1430 mm, spring travel v / h 109/124 mm. Dimensions and weights: Seat height * 790 mm, weight with a full tank * 216 kg, load * 186 kg, tank capacity / reserve 16 / 2.5 liters. Price VAT included. and ancillary costs 18,500 marks + easy handling, powerful, sophisticated engine, unregulated catalytic converter, comfortable seating position ?? high fuel consumption, small tank, poor wind protection, uneventful design
Technical data: Aprilia SL 1000 Falco
Engine: Water-cooled two-cylinder, four-stroke, 60-degree V-engine, two overhead camshafts, four valves, intake manifold injection, displacement 998 ccm, rated output 87 kW (118 hp) at 9,300 rpm, max. Torque 96 Nm (9.8 kpm) at 7,000 rpm, six-speed gearbox. Chassis: bridge frame made of aluminum profiles, tires 120/70 x 17; 180/55 x 17. Wheelbase 1415 mm, spring travel f / h 120/130 mm. Dimensions and weights: Seat height * 800 mm, weight with a full tank * 222 kg, load * 180 kg, tank capacity / reserve 21/4 liters. Price incl. VAT and ancillary costs 19,980 marks + confident driving behavior, entertaining engine, integrated seating position, completely independent design ?? high fuel consumption, engine underneath uncultivated, impractical detail solutions
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