Review Yamaha GTS 1000 A
Extravagant, future-oriented, different from others: the Yamaha GTS 1000 is still a sensational motorcycle many years after its presentation.
It was an outrageously modern concept with which Yamaha surprised the motorcycle world in 1992 in the form of the GTS 1000: A stub axle steering, ABS, electronic engine management, injection and regulated catalytic converter – a top-class bike was offered.
Right off the bat, however, the GTS impresses less with its innovative power than with its sheer physical size, which is reflected in at least 279 kilograms of live weight: a mighty motorcycle, solid metal construction instead of filigree elegance. On the one hand, the crowd is a real deterrent – especially when jacking up and down the machine – but on the other hand, it radiates confidence-inspiring solidity. This impression is reinforced as soon as the pilot picks up the comfortable bench under the buttocks and the well-positioned handlebars. You feel in good hands in the center of the GTS world – sitting upright, man or woman of the situation at any time. The instruments with double trip meter and large fuel gauge are also easy to see. Another nice feature: the glove / cigarette or card compartment in front of the fuel filler flap.
The proven five-valve inline four-cylinder reliably wakes up to a gentle life and then delights with a short cold-running phase. Sufficient power, 106 HP, and above all a full torque curve certify the test stand role. Values that have been confirmed by driving experience: thanks to injection, the cultivated engine hangs spontaneously on the gas and delivers full power even in the lower speed range. Load changes take place gracefully and gently.
Only at high speeds do fine vibrations tingle in the fingertips. Orgy of revs is only needed very rarely: You quickly get used to selecting fifth gear at a slow pace – from 50 km / h there is jerk-free acceleration. The gearbox indicates successful gear changes with the typical Yamaha clack, the function is perfect. Unusual, especially when starting up, is the clutch, which only engages the last millimeter of lever travel. But after a short period of getting used to it, it is hardly noticeable.
In contrast to its high weight, which the GTS cannot deny. Even a little lighter than a BMW K 1200 RS, it requires a lot more hand strength on the handlebars to tilt in an inclined position. Real balancing work is the order of the day, especially in fast changing bends. The extravagant front suspension is elegantly restrained: the Yamaha pulls its course like a normal motorcycle.
On the other hand, the GTS layout is not convincing on bumpy roads: the front suspension reacts relatively insensitively to waves and edges, which affects the feeling for the front wheel. Incidentally, bumps make the 1000er in terms of steering behavior to create, not least because of the wide front tire. Unfortunately, Yamaha has only learned half of its lessons from mistakes: The current model still rolls on an unruly 130/60 ZR 17 tire, but on the Dunlop D 202 recommended in MOTORRAD 11/1993. This means that the GTS is not super handy, but it does but appropriately on track and neutral. But good is different. A 120 front tire would help here.
The brakes offer a pleasing picture: Thanks to the clever geometry of the steering knuckle linkage, the driver registers a familiar brake nod, which, however, uses up as much spring travel as a conventional telescopic fork. For example, the GTS does not offer the expected suspension reserves in the event of severe deceleration. The still exemplary ABS, which regulates sensitively and with high frequency, deserves unabashed praise.
Less exemplary: the windbreak. Big drivers in particular have to fold themselves up unduly behind the fairing in order not to be slapped by turbulence at high speed. This can be remedied by a higher disc, which – something like that actually exists – is part of the standard scope of delivery.
UOn the whole, the GTS 1000 presents itself as a motorcycle with the best technical systems, which unfortunately were never fully developed in terms of chassis. Although the driving behavior was criticized from the start, this interesting machine did not experience a single facelift during its seven-year life. So she lost touch with the younger competition. What a pity.
Technology: A stub axle steering – large technical effort – low effective benefit?
Compared to the conventional telescopic fork, alternative wheel guidance systems such as the Ackermann steering or the Telelever system from BMW offer two major advantages: optimal prerequisites for good responsiveness and good braking compensation. When braking on bumps, this ensures that there is always enough remaining spring deflection. With kingpin steering, the steering is handled by a telescopic steering column that is connected to the steering knuckle via joints. It is rotatably supported by ball joints in the upper and lower trailing arm. As with the rear wheel, suspension and damping are provided by a shock absorber. In addition, a clever arrangement of the individual pivot points can be used to completely compensate for the brake buckling. Accordingly, the stub axle steering should have replaced the telescopic fork long ago. But it also has disadvantages. The construction requires a greater technical effort and higher costs. In addition, the weight of the GTS construction is comparatively high; BMW has made a successful compromise with the telelever system. The braking torque is supported together with the suspension / damping unit directly on the main frame. A good response behavior of the suspension and damping and a good stability create the large overlapping lengths of the immersion and standpipes. In order to achieve this also with the conventional telescopic fork, the technicians simply turned it over and created the upside-down fork. This allows the area between the triple clamps to be used as an additional path of overlap. Low weight and small unsprung masses are difficult to achieve with A pivot steering and upside-down fork. The arguments speak for the conventional fork. The latest example: the weight-optimized new edition of the ZX-9R from Kawasaki. The key disadvantage of introducing alternative front wheel steering systems, however, is the design. While the upside-down fork retains the conventional line and the telelever system can be elegantly covered by a cladding, the customer accepts these systems. On the GTS 1000, however, the new and unusual construction immediately catches the observer’s eye. But the acceptance of new systems should only be a matter of time, provided they are superior to the telescopic fork in their function.
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