On tour with five long-term test motorcycles

On tour with five long-term test motorcycles

Nobody at home

What does the MOTORRAD long-term test fleet actually do? Kilometer ?? what else. BMW F 650 GS, Cagiva Navigator, Kawasaki W 650, Suzuki GSX-R 750 and Yamaha Wild Star greet you from the Alps.

With the cough sugar over the Alps? Down to Italy, to the sea? There and back in three and a half days? The colleagues from the full throttle group pat each other on the thigh with laughter. Would I have packed a few pedals? to join in on the Grobglockner? Very funny. Really people. But rather today with the W 650 to the Edelweibspitze than tomorrow with the ZX-12R to the office. Ciao.
Highly motivated, the Kawasaki pounds towards Ulm, where our small tour group meets. We go for kilometers with five long-term test motorcycles of various colors. A test in the test, so to speak, and not out of joke, but to clarify the following explosive questions: Does a Yamaha Wild Star fit through the narrow bends in the tunnel at the Plockenpass? Is a natural Suzuki GSX-R 750 suitable for vacation? Does the BMW F 650 GS still look like it was peeled out of the egg after 10,000 kilometers? Can the Cagiva Navigator speak Italian? Will a 36,000-kilometer-old W 650 go bad at an altitude of 2,500 meters? And anyway: What is the best way to get over the Alps? Enduro, all-rounder or sports motorcycle?
Ulm Ost, shortly after half past nine. The corona has already arrived and with it the first problem: Pronounced impurities in the gait pattern of the cagiva suggest that the steering head bearing is too tight. It comes directly from the 1000 inspection. It starts off really well. So: Tool out, handlebar down, loosen the mighty Allen screw on the fork bridge, loosen the adjustment rings, put everything back together, short test lap … And? Well ?? really good is different. Still: Come on now.
Ulm, Munich, Rosenheim. Stump across the web. With a maximum of 160 things. Because the majority of machines can’t go any faster. After 50 kilometers the first signs of failure on the BMW. With nervous twitching, one of her mirrors loses its position, gives in to the oncoming wind and folds inward. Not much later it also catches the second one. Pretty stupid thing. Doesn‘t fit into the image of German workmanship at all. But comforts us about the fact that we have already lost this stupid rear cover several times over the past three months. Operating errors, explained the friendly BMW dealer, certainly not a fault in the system. Wait and see what he says about the Spiegel affair. And the lost exhaust cover.
Apart from the fact that it throws a part of itself from time to time, our electronically managed long-term test GS is a really fine motorcycle. Even if not quite as fine as the most tested, highly official BMW press machine, which was almost a bit lifted because of the sheer running smoothness and did not even allow itself any inconsistencies in the deepest depths of its speed cellar. Our GS is different. More natural, one might say. Jerks under 2500 rpm typical of a single cylinder. But then: What a dynamic when revving up.
Traunstein, Lofer, Grobglockner. Sunny weather ?? as ordered. In wide arches we swing towards the giant mountain, up to the 2571 meter high Edelweibspitze. Ride a motorcycle at it’s best. However, only the Cagiva Navigator can cope with the thin air up here. The other four have been fighting against their shortness of breath for some time using sky-high speeds. Worst of all, it’s the Kawasaki. Very classic, it literally whistles out of the last hole shortly before the summit.
The fact that the Cagiva does not cut a particularly happy figure despite its superior breathing technique is due to its strange way of going around the tightest turns. No matter how you do it: The line turns out to be completely unwilling. The front wheel turns in dough, the tire offers active resistance, no feedback. Tire pressure too low, definitely. The Metzeler ME-Z4 is known to have an allergic reaction to this.
The next day at the gas station in Heiligenblut, measurements are taken: 2.4 bar, as recommended by the manufacturer. We increase to 2.6. No improvement. Why is the Navigator sick? In no test did the 1000 make such bitches. Maybe the fork is tight. Again the tool out. Screws on the bridges loosened, the front axle as well, messing around with the fork tubes, everything closed again, and on it goes. Aaah ?? much, much better. Until the rain comes.
And that starts at the Plockenpass, of all places. The Cagiva had just reached its highest form, spoiled with its fat, omnipresent torque, pulled through the wide radii of the Molltal as if it had latched onto the asphalt. And now this: It’s buzzing like buckets, the road climbs steeply and steeply, the network of curves becomes thicker, and the sovereignty of the navigator is with the devil. Your travel speed drops to the pace of pilgrimage because that ?? do we call it by name ?? disgusting response behavior of the engine extremely unsettled. Until then, it was hardly noticeable how roughly the V2 reacts to the first few millimeters of throttle opening. But now in the underwater operation of the gear train? great disaster. It’s a jerk and jerk and slide, every curve an adventure with an uncertain outcome.
However, it is the W 650 that goes down at some point. (It wasn’t me, boss, word of honor.) But whoever it was, he was right! Austrian asphalt, ass slippery when it rains. It’s not particularly funny. One is tempted to throw away the begging at a suitable place. Thank God nothing was broken, neither on the human nor on the machine. Bend the footrest, sit up, drive on. Like back then, before the war. Ha, that’s how it has to be. Just imagine the plastic crumbs if it had been one of our three tup bowls. Or the damage to the corridor in the case of the Yamaha Wild Star.
Thanks to its enormous resistance, the W 650 suffers only imperceptibly from the rigors of the endurance test. You can’t tell that she went through a winter. Incidentally, the Kawasaki collects most of its kilometers while traveling because word got around that it is a great friend. But until it was that far? that took a while. At first you had to force people to drive into the W 650.
I didn’t like her either. Felt too young for this bike, or too old, or whatever. In any case, I did not feel like upright shaft, bellows, old man ergonomics. But once you understand what the "W" means, a long friendship begins. Because it makes life so easy for you. And harder fork springs are available from WP from 139 Marks (.
As is well known, the best thing about a two-wheeler trip is the moment when it stops raining. This happiness happens to us just at the border with Italy. Winged it goes down to Tolmezzo. The ambient temperature rises with every meter of altitude loss. Fog shrouds the landscape in a mystical light. Feel, smell, taste everything … It’s a shame that you only hear half of it on the GSX-R 750. The sitting position is screwed up. Bent over and away from the world, you are completely at the machine.
And that’s exactly how it should be on a super sports car. So that you can concentrate. For example, on switching and turning work. Although the engine pulls through fabulous for a 750cc oven-cylinder, it has to be kept happy. Especially in alpine conditions. Strolling around in the big hall? no, that’s definitely not the GSX-R’s thing. She wants to burn. Of course we sign all odes that have been written to Suzuki in the past few weeks with a YES! But we say “no” to the GSX-R as a tourer. Despite the luxurious seat cushion and the really classy luggage hook.
A real, real super athlete just needs too much attention. It starts with turning and actually doesn’t stop afterwards. Anyone who comes from the BMW F 650 will be amazed at the effort required to look elegant in a tornante with the GSX-R.
The Suzuki has enriched the MOTORRAD long-term test fleet for three months. Tea only point of criticism so far: the brake. “Not nearly as good as the official test motorcycles,” says the driver’s log. Otherwise nothing but praise, praise, praise. We hardly dare to write in that in tight serpentines a little more feeling for the front wheel would be nice and the load with luggage gets wobbly from a certain angle.
Tolmezzo, Udine, Grado. It’s starting to trickle again. At the Rigolato rest stop we discuss the whereabouts of the Yamaha Wild Star windshield. We should part with him, here and now. In the rain you definitely can’t see anything through the thing. Sure, it once cost a lot, but on 20,000 kilometers it went blind under millions of scratches. And the part never really brought anything. On the contrary: it creates turbulence and increased consumption. But, after all these years, get lost on an Italian motorway? No, it’s kind of too hard. The disc stays on. From now on you can only go straight ahead. Favorite direction of the XV 1600 A Wild Star. Undoubtedly the most unpopular member of the long-term test fleet. And there‘s a good reason for that: The Wild Star is a pretty ?? let’s say ?? difficult motorcycle.
As a character actress, however, the Yamaha is great. To show up with a cathedral like that is something. By the way ?? not a single scratch on the tunnel walls on the Plockenpass. But incredibly deep in the asphalt. Of course, the Wild Star is a cruiser? but I think: Even a cruiser has the right to a little more freedom of leaning. Incidentally, not a single bad word was said about the Yamaha on the way, probably because everyone thought: the main thing is that the fat man can do it.
The most difficult part was braking downhill. Not because of the brakes themselves, which easily lock the gear train, but what good is it if the load keeps pushing unabashedly. Because 335 kilograms plus crew and luggage are a lot for two tires. Even if they are so wide.
Hey the sea. Done! And it stopped raining too. You have to be lucky. Call someone in the editorial office, order greetings and a few other tires for the Navigator so that we can convert tomorrow evening, because the Streblow from the Action Team wants to go to the Alps with them the day after tomorrow. It just doesn’t look good when the tour guide does the comedian in every serpentine. It could be that the Cagiva just isn’t into the ME-Z4. Although ?? in the tests in volumes 11 and 13 they were also on, and there were no problems. Let’s see.
W.what remains to be recorded? Aaalsooo: You really don’t drive badly with a BMW F 650 GS like this? when it finally started. Goal this bench, my goodness, it might hurt your bum. We have installed the higher one from the BMW accessories program so that you don’t sit quite so deep in the machine like a chopper. Well, wasn’t such a good idea. There is a bit more enduro feeling, but the upholstery is really for Ar … Much too soft. Something else? Yes: We won’t take the Wild Star with us next time. It sits well on it, but it just drives so bad. Tea Suzuki? Borderline case. Great as a driving machine, somehow exhausting as a travel companion. We’ll definitely manage that with the Navigator. And the W 650 gets a fresh license plate at home so that it can continue its journey undisturbed.

About us

"You can talk to your test machines well, the companies would have to be crazy if they pulled the next best sled off the assembly line and put you in your hand!" With this sentence, the readership of "das MOTORRAD" provoked the first long-distance test 50 years ago. Victim: a BMW R 25. ”… it seemed appropriate to do it once and for all on a scale that corresponds to the actual use in the hand of the man who has bought the stool for good money and now has some of it for a long time BMW covered 8000 kilometers. Today you have to write “ought” with two “s” and the “man’s use” would no longer go straight through politically, but the long-distance test survived ?? for the same reasons. Of course, the test distance has increased over the years: in the 70s to 25,000 kilometers, in the 80s to 40,000. We have been driving 50,000 kilometers since 1991, in special cases even 100,000. By the way, the machines are "bought for good money" and anonymously. The endurance test fleet currently includes twelve machines: from cruisers to Great sports cars, from 650 to 1600 cubic meters, from Italy to England and Japan everything included. Every single trip of the test motorcycles is documented in the respective logbook, every refueling, every oiling, every flaw. If the 50,000 kilometers are full, it means: slaughter festival. In the in-house workshop, the machines are dismantled down to the last screw, then examined and measured by technicians, and finally arranged in an appetizing way ?? because guests come directly from the manufacturer who have to add their mustard. By the way, many long-term test results have prompted changes to the series. Current fleet: Aprilia RSV mille (44,217 km), BMW K 1200 RS (99,998 km), Ducati ST 4 (38,215 km), Honda CBR 600 F (49,973 km), Honda CBR 900 RR (13,209 km), Kawasaki ZX-12R (17.314 km), Suzuki SV 650 S (48.873 km), Triumph TT 600 (13.505 km).

Technical data: BMW F 650 GS

DATAMotor: water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, bore x stroke 100 x 83 mm, displacement 652 cm³, intake manifold injection, engine management, regulated catalytic converter, five-speed gearbox. Rated output 37 kW (50 PS) at 6500 rpmMax. Torque 60 Nm (6.1 kpm) at 5000 rpm Chassis: bridge frame, central spring strut, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, front disc brake, Ø 300 mm, rear disc brake Ø 240 mm, wheelbase 1479 mm, steering head angle 60.8 degrees, caster 113 mm, spring travel v / h 170/165 mm, tires 100/90 S 19; 130/80 S 17. Dimensions and weights: Seat height * 810 mm, weight with a full tank * 211 kg, load * 169 kg, tank capacity / reserve * 17.3 / 4.5 liters, one year guarantee, price including VAT and ancillary costs. 13429 MarkTEST DIARYBought on March 3rd, 2000Current mileage 10752Special equipment: ABS 980 marks, case plus holder 985 marks, heated grips 335 marks, high seat 232 marks 1000 km: inspection 435.02 marks including rear cover 10000 km: inspection 712.74 marks including rear cover. Mirror replaced under warranty Tires must be replaced soon * MOTORCYCLE measurements

Technical data: Cagiva Navigator

DATA Engine: Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke V-engine, bore x stroke 98 x 66 mm, displacement 996 cm³, intake manifold injection, engine management, secondary air system, six-speed gearbox. Rated output 71 kW (97 PS) at 8400 rpmMax. Torque 95 Nm (9.7 kpm) at 7000 rpm Chassis: bridge frame, central spring strut, adjustable spring base and rebound stage damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 296 mm, disc brake at the rear, Ø 240 mm, wheelbase 1530 mm, steering head angle 64.5 degrees, caster, spring travel v / h 150/160 mm, tires 110/80 R 18; 150/70 R 17 Dimensions and weights: Seat height * 840 mm, weight with a full tank * 239 kg, load * 191 kg, tank capacity 20 liters. Two-year guarantee Price including VAT and additional charges. 18,785 MarkTEST DIARYBought on June 15, 2000Current mileage 41,231,000 km: Inspection 296.393120 km: tires changed from Metzeler ME-Z4 to Bridgestone BT 020 due to various handling problems. Remaining profile ME-Z4 rear: 3.0 mm * MOTORCYCLE measurements

Technical data: Kawasaki W 650

Engine: Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke engine, bore x stroke 72 x 83 mm, displacement 676 cm³, king-shaft driven camshaft, constant pressure carburetor, secondary air system, electric and kick starter, five-speed gearbox. Rated output 37 kW (50 HP) at 7000 / minMax. Torque 56 Nm (5.7 kpm) at 5500 rpm Chassis: double loop frame, two spring struts, adjustable spring base, front disc brake, Ø 300 mm, rear drum brake, Ø 160 mm, wheelbase 1450 mm, steering head angle 63.5 degrees, caster 105 mm, Spring travel f / h 130/85 mm, tires 100/90 H 19; 130/80 H 18. Dimensions and weights: Seat height * 800 mm, weight with a full tank * 215 kg, load * 180 kg, tank capacity / reserve 15/3 liters. Two-year guarantee, price including VAT and ancillary costs. 13190 MarkTEST DIARYBought on May 5th, 1999Current mileage: 358,791,000 km: Inspection 246.34 Mark6000 km: Inspection 251.33 Mark9907 km rear tire including assembly 307 Mark11823 km front tire including assembly 268 Mark12000 km: Inspection 565.04 Mark including brake pads forehead 18,000 km: inspection 228.40 marks including front brake pads 20,556 km: tires f / h 575 marks 24,000 km: inspection 514.96 marks 25,859 km: chain set, front brake pads 504.70 Mark 28,749 km: tires f / h incl. assembly 575 marks 30,000 km: Inspection 198.35 marks * MOTORCYCLE measurements

Technical data: Suzuki GSX-R 750

DATA Engine: water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, bore x stroke 72 x 46 mm, displacement 749 cm³, intake manifold injection, engine management, secondary air system, six-speed gearbox. Rated output 104 kW (141 hp) at 12,500 rpm Max. Torque 84 Nm (8.6 kpm) at 10,500 rpm Chassis: bridge frame, central spring strut, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, disc brake at the rear, Ø 220 mm, wheelbase 1410 mm, steering head angle 66 degrees, caster 94 mm, spring travel f / r 130/130 mm, tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17 Dimensions and weights: Seat height * 850 mm, weight with a full tank * 193 kg, load * 187 kg, tank capacity / reserve 18 / 4.5 liters. Warranty two years Price incl. VAT and Nk. 20,990 Mark * MOTORCYCLE measurements TEST DIARYBought on April 7, 2000Current mileage 152,701,000 km: Inspection 222.12 Mark6000 km: 330.21 Mark7165 km: rear tire including assembly 460 Mark12,000 km: inspection 440.50 Mark13282 km: front tire including assembly 358 marks

Technical data: Yamaha XV 1600 Wild Star

Engine: Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke V-engine, bore x stroke 95 x 113 mm, displacement 1602 cm³, constant pressure carburetor, no exhaust gas purification, five-speed gearbox. Rated output 46 kW (63 HP) at 4000 rpmMax. Torque 134 Nm (13.7 kpm) at 230 rpm Chassis: double loop frame, central spring strut, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 298 mm, disc brake at the rear, Ø 320 mm, wheelbase 1685 mm, steering head angle 58 degrees, caster 142 mm, spring travel v / h 140/110 mm, tires 130 / 90:16; 150/80 H 16. Dimensions and weights: Seat height * 720 mm, weight with a full tank * 335 kg, load * 193 kg, tank capacity 20 liters. Two-year guarantee Price including VAT and additional charges. 21500 MarkTEST DIARYBought on April 20, 1999Current mileage 35923Special equipment: Saddlebags with mounting kit 2209 Marks, luggage rack 172 Marks, windshield with mounting kit 839.75 Marks 1000 km: Inspection 211.826000 km: Inspection 591.40 Marks incl. Rear tires including assembly 320 marks, 12,000 km: inspection 356.54 marks, 15,640 km: tires v / h, including assembly, 600 marks, 18,000 km: 450.15 marks, 24,000 km: inspection, 779.21 marks, including rear brake pads. Tires v / h incl. Assembly 600 marks 30,000 km: Inspection 482.73 marks 34,300 km: rear tires including assembly 320 marks * MOTORCYCLE measurements

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