Comparison test Tourer, BMW K 1200 LT, BMW R 1100 RT, Honda Deauville, Honda Pan European
Who has the best cards when it comes to covering long distances? Does a lot help a lot, or does fun end at some point? MOTORRAD compared four travel professionals.
Separate laws apply to touring motorcycles. Nobody here looks for the last bit of performance, nobody is upset about a few pounds more or less. Instead, frequent drivers appreciate reliability, a nerve-saving engine and chassis design, human-friendly ergonomics, good wind and weather protection and professional luggage transport. But does it take a seven-hundred-pound chunk to experience wanderlust? Or is a cleverly made 650 at half the price enough? MOTORRAD has sent four applicants from BMW and Honda who have already been ennobled by top results.
The Honda Deauville mimes David in the field, despite its comparatively shy appearance, it wants to be taken seriously as a full-fledged tourer. The other extreme is the BMW K 1200 LT ?? A worthy Goliath considering the features, weight and price. And whether the BMW R 1100 RT and Honda ST 1100 actually form the golden mean remains to be seen in the end.
Even when packing the solid, permanently installed suitcase, the LT crew is looking forward to the standard entertainment offerings of the luxury steamer: radio, cassette, on-board computer and cruise control. Frost dumplings will also appreciate the handle and optional seat heating.
After the luggage has disappeared into the standard suitcases of all competitors, which takes a little longer with the Honda due to the more complicated opening mechanisms, it starts. The autumn morning mist still lies over the country, and so the RT driver is grateful for the switchable warm air heating, which ensures an almost cozy climate behind the electrically height-adjustable windshield. Although never completely vibration-free, but robust and dynamic, the four-valve boxer drives the 285 kilo heavy trump across the country road. From 4000 tours, the 1100 really gets going. The upright seating position due to the high handlebars requires some getting used to, but then you can let the cow fly powerfully. The stable chassis with Tele and Paralever as well as the ample ground clearance make the RT a corner wetter among travel professionals.
But be careful, despite the lack of displacement and performance, the Deauville can stay in the slipstream. Here the comparatively low weight pays off, after all, the Honda weighs a hundredweight less than the RT, and even three than the LT. However, the V2 has to cheer in significantly higher tones with three valves per cylinder if the crew wants to stay tuned to the RT. Instead of pushing out of the towns in the big aisle, the 650 requires one or two steps on the gear lever. On the other hand, its compact shape and pronounced maneuverability make it easy, especially for inexperienced people, to swing briskly across the country road with a funny song on their lips.
The displacement giants look more sedate, but also much more confident. So the mighty twelve hundred of the LT pushes gently and evenly like a car engine with deep murmuring. Only around 4500 tours does it lose its composure for a moment and emit vibrations that bring the crew back down to earth. After a few kilometers of driving, she forgets in the lap of the lush, padded saddle, spoiled by the sounds of the perfect stereo system, namely time and space. No wonder, since the LT frame with the quite softly coordinated Tele and Paralever wheel guides decouples an air cushion from almost all the hardships that negligently maintained roads hold ready. Only short paragraphs are passed through to the driver and front passenger.
In passages like this, the otherwise pious ST 1100 loses its composure for a moment and lets its rear wheel jump nervously over the humps when accelerating fully. As soon as the strip of asphalt smooths, the big Honda returns to calm, and the 328 kilo ST can be shooed through tight corners with surprisingly little effort. The balanced handling – it almost comes close to the quality of the much lighter Deauville – is due, among other things, to the V4 engine, which is placed in a favorable position and exclusively reserved for the ST. With a subtle humming sound, it produces plenty of power from idle speed to beyond the red range at 8000 tours. And that with barely noticeable vibrations – perfect. Honda can also shine when it comes to transmission. Both tourers own ?? expressed acoustically ?? precisely acting click boxes, while the Bavarian sisters emphasize gear changes with a metallic »clone«.
When eating kilometers on the autobahn, the hour of the BMW strikes: The LT captain’s motto is: put in cruise control and let it roll. The opulent cladding with an electrically height-adjustable windshield and additional wind deflectors perfectly protects the passengers up to a speed of almost 200, yes, even scraps of music from the four on-board speakers can still be caught. Only in long curves, when half a ton of man and machine start to stir, does it get a little uncomfortable behind the very elastic handlebars.
But it’s only a shorts distance that fast, after all, the Deauville crew shouldn’t fall too far behind. 56 HP is the end of the journey at 170 km / h, which is not inconvenient for the driver, as the tight fairing with the small windshield soon turns him into a wind face. So the same applies here: less speed is more, up to a speed of 140 even long distances behind the flat handlebars can be covered in a relaxed manner. Even the passenger is well accommodated on the softly padded bench with the low-positioned footrests.
Not only adorable teenagers are happy about a storm-free booth, but also the pilots of RT and ST. Even at Topspeed 210 there is still astonishing calm behind the cladding of the RT and ST, with the BMW diverting the oncoming forces of nature a bit more elegantly than the Honda, which leaves the driver more space for it. Claustrophobics sometimes feel a little cramped on the Munich.
If the drive is suddenly slowed down by a traffic jam around the next bend, none of the four drivers can be frightened. Equipped with ABS as standard, the stoppers of both BMWs always reliably decelerate the large masses, and that ?? Thanks to Telelever ?? with minimal fork diving. Unfortunately, both require a strong hand on the lever, which affects the controllability somewhat.
Honda relies on the CBS combined brake and anti-lock braking system for the ST. With little effort on the hand or foot lever, the travel steamer can be brought to a safe stop even at high speeds, with the front and rear wheels being automatically decelerated together. Since the ST puts enough weight on the hindquarters when braking, the CBS always works perfectly.
The three-disc system at Deauville works without any tools. So the driver has to distribute the braking force himself on a wet road or during panic braking, which is not a problem because of the low weight and the good controllability. Even in two-person operation with a full load, the small tourer can be braked with a light grip.
Suddenly the Deauville engine starts to splutter. Broken? No, there is no fuel. No warning lamp or fuel gauge warned of impending low tide. So I grabbed the fuel tap for a moment and the load continued to run on reserve. A little later, the ST and RT also express the wish to have a refueling stop by means of a fuel gauge and warning light. The LT captain can only smile tiredly at such information sources, since the on-board computer keeps him informed about the remaining range. As with the other three, it’s over after a good 350 kilometers. The biggest difference in consumption is when it comes to express speed on the motorway? between Deauville and LT are then more than three liters. The fact that our travel company stops at the gas pump together is due to the different tank volumes.
W.The bottom line is somewhat unanimous: the BMW R 1100 RT finds the best compromise between long-distance comfort and driving dynamics, while the Honda ST 1100 benefits from its all-round qualities and easy handling. The Deauville can partly make up for the lost ground in terms of engine power and equipment on the chassis and especially the cost side. The K 1200 LT, on the other hand, sets new comfort standards, but has to accept compromises in other areas due to the inherent high weight. It is also 20,000 marks more expensive than the Deauville. And so it comes that David can triumph over Goliath, albeit narrowly.
4th place – BMW K 1200 LT
There is one thing that cannot be accused of the Bayern Goliath: inconsistency. On the contrary, the LT is the personified commitment to techno full dressers. Well-heeled people can enjoy the well thought-out, perfectly functioning equipment and the unconditional comfort. In addition, the convertible on two wheels has a really big trump card in its luggage: the best pillion seat of all time. Where else can you let your back and back be comfortably warmed and get involved in the music program while driving?
1st place – conclusion BMW R 1100 RT
A winner with character. Admittedly, the initially somewhat rude looking boxer engine and the unusual chassis as well as the upright sitting position require a short familiarization. But once you have got used to the agile RT, you can move it very actively and almost athletically. This applies equally to the Sunday morning tour on the home route as well as the big vacation trip for two. At this point at the latest, the RT can show off its perfect equipment from the cladding to the suitcases.
2nd place – Honda ST 1100
Almost ten years on the market and still good for a podium. The Pan European should imitate that first. The big Honda can do everything without standing out in particular. Therefore, especially perfectionists are happy in the saddle of the ST, who appreciate the balanced handling despite the high weight and the quiet, evenly gripping V4 engine. Lush equipment and the long overdue exhaust gas cleaning are not (yet?) Included in the delivery of the long seller.
3rd place – Honda Deauville
At first glance, the Deauville appears to be inferior to its overwhelming competitors. But in practice, the cleverly made 650 is the first choice for pragmatists. Anyone who prefers stress-free travel pleasure with problem-free handling in everyday life to luxurious comfort and fat motor punch can reach for the inexpensive underdog. Instead of being showered by the stereo and heated seats to warm your bum, you have to whistle a song yourself and think about warm thoughts? A difference of 20,000 marks to the LT helps.
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