Test of 48 HP motorcycles 2017 for A2 driver’s license holders

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Test of 48 HP motorcycles 2017 for A2 driver's license holders
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Test of 48 HP motorcycles 2017 for A2 driver's license holders

Test of 48 HP motorcycles 2017 for A2 driver's license holders

Test of 48 HP motorcycles 2017 for A2 driver's license holders

Test of 48 HP motorcycles 2017 for A2 driver's license holders

42 pictures

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In the comparison test, the models Honda CB 500 F, KTM 390 Duke, Ducati Monster 797, Honda Africa Twin, Yamaha MT-07 and Triumph Street Triple S A2 compete against each other.

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The twin of the Honda CB 500 F has a displacement of 471 cm³.

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More sober and businesslike than chic and beautiful: the cockpit of the Honda CB 500 F.

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Not common in this class: the preload on the fork of the 48 hp Honda can be varied.

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With a full tank, 193 kilograms remain on the scales. Not exactly easy, but easy to master. Everything is easy going with the CB 500 F.

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It doesn’t sound like a lot of emotion, but that’s not what this test is about either.

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With a tank capacity of 15.7 liters and a consumption of 3.2 liters on the country road, it covers an incredible 491 kilometers. Absolute top in the test.

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The KTM 390 Duke is more sporty. No one else around the corner was so light as a feather.

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Control me from here: practical and clear handlebar switch for all display menus.

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TFT ole, ole: Not the prettiest, plus a small font size, but the presentation is impressive.

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Without traction control, the KTM leans into the curve. All in all a crisp sports shoe.

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With the 390 Duke, life only begins at 6000 revolutions. It sticks to the asphalt below 3000 rpm.

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The smaller tank and the greater consumption compared to the Honda CB 500 F is reflected in the range. In the end there is a range of 406 kilometers with 13.4 liters.

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With 803 cm³, the Ducati Monster 797 has more than twice the capacity to offer than the KTM.

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Everything at a glance – but other instruments offer more. At least the gear indicator is missing.

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Directly hinged, easily adjustable shock absorber of the air-cooled monsters. Tight, not particularly sensitive.

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Better driving dynamics? – Yes. but…

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…definitely less than expected. The reason can be found in the throttling. Since the Euro 4 standard, motorcycles have to be throttled not only by mechanical components but also by electronics.

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In the end there is a not easy to handle Ducati Monster 797, which manages a range of 375 kilometers with a consumption of 4.4 liters. That means the lower end of the test.

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Honda Africa Twin not for the little ones among us? – Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that. No problem thanks to the height-adjustable bench.

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Lots of information in the quartered cockpit of the Africa Twin. To do this, the ABS can be deactivated at the rear using a switch.

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Gladly seen: Use the handwheel to change the preload on the shock absorber. Done in no time without bloody fingers.

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Powerful soundscape included when climbing the speed ladder.

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However, only in the lower speed ranges. The limit is quickly reached when overtaking. The Africa Twin needs a long 14.8 seconds from 100 to 140 km / h.

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The large 18.8 liter tank puts you in second place in the range comparison. In the end, there are 437 kilometers on the clock.

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The Triumph Street Tiple S A2 is anything but melancholy. Gas up and down for it.

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Suspension strut with reservoir and relatively easy to achieve adjustment for the preload.

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Classic look: The speed is whizzing up analogously, the speed is digitally lagging behind.

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48 hp are achieved at 5400 rpm. No problem, because in reality you rarely go beyond this mark.

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And the performance data is also unimpressed. Overtaking maneuvers are quickest with it, taking it from 100 to 140 km / h in just 5.7 seconds.

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With a tank capacity of 17.4 liters and a consumption of 4.2 liters, the Triumph stops after 414 kilometers.

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On the test bench, the Yamaha MT-07 achieved 51 hp. Accordingly, the two-cylinder pushes forward strongly.

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Part of the standard: a brake lever with adjustable reach can be found on all motorcycles.

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Not too big digital display, but it keeps all the necessary information including gear indicator ready.

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The difference between the throttled and open version is smallest with the Yamaha.

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From 4500 rpm, the performance drops a little, but in comparison it is still top and makes it a nimble playmobile with a fully fueled 184 kg.

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In terms of range, the MT-07 makes a precision landing on 400 kilometers with a consumption of 3.5 liters.

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The Triumph Street Triple made it to the top of the Iris Schaber hit list. The Honda Africa Twin, on the other hand, is left behind and ends up in last place.

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For Jens Moller-Tollner, the uniqueness of the Ducati Monster 797 is crucial. The triumph Street Triple lands in second place. The KTM 390 Duke brings up the rear.

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The women in the field agree on last place: Honda Africa Twin. In first place, however, Alisa Bielicke sees the Yamaha MT-07. The Triumph Street Triple makes it into second place.

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For Karsten Schwers, the Honda Africa Twin is the favorite. For novice drivers, however, it follows the judgment of the female colleagues and places the Yamaha in second place and the Triumph in third place. The Ducati lands at the very back.

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Six times A2-compatible. There should be something for every motorcycle beginner.

motorcycles

Test of 48 HP motorcycles 2017 for A2 driver’s license holders

48 hp bikes for the A2 class
Six motorcycles for beginners in the test

Should it be a pure 48 HP motorcycle to start your A2-compliant two-wheel career – or a more powerful motorcycle with a throttle set? Six motorcycles from KTM, Yamaha, Ducati, Honda and Triumph and their tangible differences.

Jens Moller-Tollner

October 12, 2017

Deadline April 1, 1986: Until then, anyone who obtained a motorcycle license was allowed to start the unrestricted two-wheeler experience. So up to the hottest bucks of the year such as Suzuki’s GSX-R 750, Yamaha’s FJ 1200 or Honda’s VFR 750 F. For all those who then called the company freedom on two wheels as their goal, the restriction was: step driving license. At least if you have not yet completed your 25 years of age (since 2013: 24 years). From this age you could start straight away with the open cardboard. Everyone below had and must complete the first two years of driving license time restricted. Only with 27 HP, later with 34 HP and currently 48 HP are allowed – the limit for the A2 driving license. It’s now about motorcycles that fall into this category.

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Test of 48 HP motorcycles 2017 for A2 driver's license holders

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There are plenty of used 48 hp motorcycles

Gaining experience and the practical ascent test, which has been necessary since 2013, requires practice and thus the right motorcycle. But what is the selection based on? The talers in the account play a role. Much more important, however, is the question: What should we start with? There are plenty of used 48 hp motorcycles. And if one thing is missing, specialists like Alpha Technik (www.alphatechnik.de) or flour (www.motorrad-mehls.de) the necessary conversion kits for power castration. But another question presses much more strongly against the cerebral cortex. Does it even have to be a throttled motorcycle? After all, there is now a large selection of motorcycles in the 48 hp class. So open with a maximum of 48 hp or throttled to the same 48 hp and later open up to 95 horsepower – that is the most important of all questions. To find the answer from the ranks of 48 hp representatives gather: Ducati Monster 797, Honda CB 500 F, Honda Africa Twin, KTM 390 Duke, Triumph Street Triple S A2 and Yamaha MT-07.


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Six times A2-compatible. There should be something for every motorcycle beginner.

This time it’s not about points, but about personal feelings. Which is why neither the opinion of the author nor of top tester Karsten Schwers alone decides on weal and woe. Also on board are Alisa Bielicke, a MOTORRAD graphics trainee who has been on the road for a year and a half with a throttled Suzuki GSX-R 600, as well as Iris Schaber, the good soul of the editorial team, who privately drives a Kawasaki ZX-6R to the racetracks in Europe . A wide range in terms of experience and driving practice, as well as in terms of length. Alisa measures 165 centimeters, 200 of which the author. The purely subjective ranking shows how this is noticeable in individual cases.

Honda CB 500 F.

Now to the real main characters, the motorcycles. The beginning is marked by the representatives with a maximum of 48 hp. One of them is the Honda CB 500 F. Your two-in-one row was specially designed for this power, this engine can work without restrictions. Whereby it doesn’t work. With a lot of fine tuning, the 471 cm³ twin pulses up the speed ladder. Not overly powerful at the bottom, but growing with linear evenness. Regardless of whether it’s 3,000 or 8,000 tours on the small rev counter, the Honda always acts like a good friend. Reliable, understandable, easy.


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Honda CB 500 F..

Experienced two-wheeler experts may turn up their noses because that doesn’t sound like great emotion. It’s correct. But first of all, this is not about them. And secondly, beginners will appreciate such a motor configuration. Because it does not require great concentration, because it simplifies handling, because it promotes learning success. Let’s be honest: In the driving school there is the basis, you learn to drive properly afterwards, every further, every new kilometer counts. And the Honda CB 500 F is perfect for this process. Just over 8,000 rpm, with a measured 47 hp, it scrapes just past the performance limit, giving away no potential. And otherwise everything is easy going. With a full tank of 193 kilograms, it’s not exactly easy, but easy to control. Like the engine, the chassis and driving behavior are not a mystery. Beginner’s heart, what more could you want?

More articles about the Honda CB 500 F

KTM 390 Duke

Maybe a little more sportsmanship? Pure ease when stroking every curve. For that, offers KTM the ideal device. The KTM weighs just 165 kilograms 390 Duke on the scales. Full tank! In addition, the 44 hp single cylinder – the grin seems programmed. And indeed: Nobody tears around the corner as light as a feather, finds lines, inside, outside, everywhere. The spring elements, which were more tightly coordinated for 2017, have sharpened their temperament again. The fact that only one piston whizzes up and down in the 373 cm³ KTM unit gives a feeling of full power when the throttle valve is opened, but only in selected speed ranges. Downstairs, when the two-man Honda is quietly in gear five or six, the stew still shakes in gear three.


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KTM 390 Duke.

Nothing runs below 3,000 rpm, above this a gentle breath of air follows up to around 5,000 rpm, before real life begins beyond 6,000 rpm. That can be savored up to just over 10,000 / min if necessary. An equally sporty and fun as well as exhausting and demanding experience. In combination with the great, almost nervous handiness and the stability that doesn’t come close to the Honda, which, on the other hand, lies more solidly on the road, but is a bit sluggish, is that KTM 390 Duke a crisp sports shoe. Made for the fast-paced A2 experience, but not always the first choice for anything beyond it.

More articles about the KTM 390 Duke

Ducati Monster 797

With which now the throttled motorcycles like that Ducati Monster 797 are your turn. They all add a big plus: their displacement. Honda CB 500 F and KTM 390 Duke are made for the 48 hp limit, which is why their units are relatively small in comparison. With 803 cm³ the packs Ducati a whole lump on it, the KTM more than doubles in displacement. Surely that should be reflected in the driving dynamics? This is true, albeit a lot less than expected. A critical look at the driving performance reveals this directly. When sprinting up to 100 km / h, the air-cooled Italian is behind Honda’s CB and the little duke from Austria. The reason is quickly found: the throttling. Since the introduction of the Euro 4 standard, motorcycles are no longer allowed to be throttled using mechanical components such as throttle or gas stops, which is why the power is now reduced by electronics. However, the framework directive 168/2013 for EU homologation also stipulates that the throttle systems must be redundant in order to rule out manipulation, for example. In other words: Not only the electronics ensure the maximum permitted 35 kW (48 PS), but another mechanical throttle component, which is why there is a throttle panel in the intake tract or a gas stop on all power-reduced motorcycles of this class.


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Ducati Monster 797.

Ducati has chosen the latter. When it comes to driving, the Ducati knows Monster 797 just full throttle. The throttle can be opened a maximum of 30 degrees, contrary to the usual 90 degrees. The dynamism with the slim two-cylinder noticeably limits this, although with less than 200 kilograms it would actually be predestined for brisk 48-hp fun. Added to this are the clutch, which is difficult to dose at least when cold, and the strongly front-wheel-oriented seating position.

The fact that the Ducati Monster 797 does not roll neutrally through radii, and always wants to stand up a little, does not make handling easier. At least that’s how the test girls see it. And Karsten also waves it away. Others can do that better. It’s correct. But the author likes exactly this imperfect – just like the beguiling style-defining language of form. A monster is unique. Just right for watching and driving. But here and now nobody else shares this opinion.

More articles about the Ducati Monster 797

Honda Africa Twin

So quickly to the next candidate, the Honda Africa Twin. Worry lines appear on Alisa’s forehead. Sure, everyone has to ride every motorcycle. And for you as a little contemporary, the mountain of travel enduro looks big and mighty. That should be suitable for beginners? As clearly the most expensive model of the comparison (12,595 euros), the Honda offers a few features that make it easier for novices to use. So the height-adjustable bench quickly clicked into place in the lowest step and the pre-tensioning was completely removed using the handwheel. Alisa is already sitting securely on the 998 cm³ two-cylinder. The clutch engages fine, downright good-natured, and the engine hangs on the gas in a civilized manner. With a mighty soundscape, the twin strives up the speed ladder. As if by itself, the 236 kilogram Honda scurries through hairpin bends and arcs. Sitting upright behind the wide handlebars, even beginners can easily handle the Africa Twin. Until the first overtaking maneuver is due. The gas tap is fully turned on – and nothing happens. Alright, almost nothing. Because: As the performance curves show, the Honda’s vigor waning very quickly, with a measured 42 HP it remains far below the possibilities of the A2 restriction. Downshifting and turning up doesn’t help much because not much happens beyond the 4,000 mark on the tachometer. With a footballer you would say: You run so slowly, you could be tied your shoelaces while sprinting.


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Honda Africa Twin.

It’s not that dramatic after all, but the pulling speed of the Honda Africa Twin from 100 to 140 km / h, i.e. the range relevant for overtaking maneuvers, shows that not much is possible here. 14.8 seconds – this puts the travel enduro way behind all others. Even the little Duke manages this test much faster with 8.4 seconds. Why is it? At the throttling.

Manfred Meikis, alongside Daniel Ternik Managing Director of Mehls GmbH, which developed the throttle set for the Honda Africa Twin, explains: “For us, the focus of a throttled vehicle is on good drivability, less on achieving the possible A2 peak performance, if below, for example the response behavior – due to the gas column tearing off – would suffer. ”Apparently, it is not easy to achieve the perfect interplay of electronic throttling and additional mechanical throttling, here an aperture in the intake manifold.

More articles about the Honda Africa Twin

Triumph Street Triple S A2

Or is it? At least the Triumph Street Triple S A2 steps up so energetically from the spot that the restrained presentation of the Africa Twin is forgotten. Gas up and down for it – the Streety lets the tachometer needle dance quickly upwards. Up to 5,400 rpm. Then it has reached the permitted 48 hp and remains at this mark up to the limiter. What seems strange in the performance curve turns out to be perfect in reality from the point of view of A2 suitability. Because: Up to those 5,400 revolutions there is a lot of motorcycling in reality. Often you don’t turn any higher. And if it does, the 48 horses available in the 660 cm³ stable are definitely sufficient.


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Triumph Street Triple S A2.

I beg your pardon, 660 cm³? Exactly, the throttle triple is a special case. The unbridled 2017 Street Triple models all come with 765 cubic capacity (78 mm bore, 53 mm stroke). The predecessors with 675 cm³ had a 74 mm bore with a 52 mm stroke. And the 660 triple of the Triumph Street Triple S A2 has a 76 mm bore and 48.5 mm stroke. So the English really tackled the Streety to make them A2-compatible. The result proves you are right. But what triple fans could be worried about: after two years, their three-cylinder can only be uncorked to 95 hp, whereas the open Street Triple RS has 123 hp.

More articles on the Triumph Street Triple

Yamaha MT-07

This is the problem Yamaha MT-07 far cry. With her it will openly be a maximum of 75 horsepower. And it is throttled according to test bench 51. Alpha Technik, who developed the kit, meant well with the A2 newbies. Just as self-confident as the Triumph, the Yamaha competes, pushing its two-cylinder forward forcefully. There is no noticeable difference to the open version. At least up to around 4,500 rpm. From then on, according to the diagram, the power drops a little. But if you look closely, you will see that the performance curve of the throttled MT-07 still rises much more steeply than with the Africa Twin or the Ducati. Together with the lowest weight (184 kg with a full tank) of the throttle motorcycles, this makes the Yamaha a very nimble playmobile. The differences between open and throttled are the smallest with her, her driving performance is already A2-compliant, more than decent. Together with Triumph, it shares first place under this aspect.


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Yamaha MT-07.

That goes down well, also with the testers. Almost always it is Yamaha MT-07 to be found far ahead in the conclusion. If you now take into account its cost price of 6,695 euros, it is not far to the buy tip. Monster (8,990 euros) and Street Triple (8,500 euros) are more expensive, and the Africa Twin even more. That would be your biggest shopping hurdle in addition to the seat height. The 390 Duke and CB 500 F round off the bottom line in terms of price. The KTM costs 5,395 euros, the Honda not much more at 5,805 euros.

And now? Seen objectively, there can only be one winner, and that would be the Yamaha MT-07. Driving performance, fun, costs – it would objectively be ahead. But do you choose a motorcycle for purely factual reasons? More has to come together. Heart and mind, the look, the feel-good factor, all of this has to be brought under one roof. Which is why this time testers came to very different results. The very personal hit list of the conclusion reveals it.

More articles about the Yamaha MT-07

Conclusion and ranking – Iris Schaber

The Yamaha MT-07 drives great. It would be my first choice if it weren’t for the drag clutch. My favorite has to be able to do more.


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Iris scraper.

Triumph convinced me. Everything is going very smoothly and smoothly. However, I would choose other tires. At first the handling is difficult – then it is wobbly. The Honda CB 500 F drives relaxed, as if by itself. The KTM 390 Duke can only do it all or not at all. I don’t like the Ducati seating position at all. The Honda Africa Twin, on the other hand, inspires as long as you drive. But when I am standing, the risk of tipping over is far too great for me.

My hit list:

  1. Triumph Street Triple
  2. Yamaha MT-07
  3. Honda CB 500 F.
  4. KTM 390 Duke
  5. Ducati Monster 797
  6. Honda Africa Twin

Conclusion and ranking – Jens Moller-Tollner

My heart beats faster with the Ducati Monster 797. I find their lines enchantingly beautiful, simply a classic.


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Jens Moller-Tollner.

Plus the no-frills, air-cooled twin: My first choice is the Ducati Monster 797. It’s not the best, but that’s not my point. In second place: the Triumph Street Triple. Fast, cheeky and also objectively really good. The Honda Africa Twin, the universal talent for everything and everyone, follows in third place. The Yamaha MT-07 inspires with its engine, but I am a little too lousy, the Honda CB 500 F too bloodless and the KTM 390 Duke too fidgety. That’s how it looks.

My hit list:

  1. Ducati Monster 797
  2. Triumph Street Triple
  3. Honda Africa Twin
  4. Yamaha MT-07
  5. Honda CB 500 F.
  6. KTM 390 Duke

Conclusion and ranking – Alisa Bielicke

My winner is the Yamaha MT-07! It drives crisp, is light and has great cornering. I had the most joy with her!


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Alisa Bielicke.

The Triumph Street Triple were also great, as sleek and direct, and the small, cheeky KTM 390 Duke! A great fun mobile, but a bit bumpy in low gears. The Ducati Monster 797 was too rough for me, you accelerate, but you can feel the power! The Honda CB 500 F convinces with its ease of movement, is comfortable, but boring. The Honda Africa Twin is really enthroned, but it’s too tall and unsporting for me.

My hit list:

  1. Yamaha MT-07
  2. Triumph Street Triple
  3. KTM 390 Duke
  4. Ducati Monster 797
  5. Honda CB 500 F.
  6. Honda Africa Twin

Conclusion and ranking – Karsten Schwers

My favorite? The Honda Africa Twin. A travel-ready adventure motorcycle. The lowest performance after throttling is disappointing.


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Karsten Schwers.

I would recommend the Yamaha MT-07 to the typical novice driver, it is light and lively. The Triumph Street Triple is even sportier and impresses with perfect throttling. The lightweight KTM 390 Duke is particularly suitable for small riders. The following applies to the Honda CB 500 F: Sit on it and feel good. The Ducati Monster 797 does not drive completely neutral, its restrained power delivery spoils the overall impression.

My hit list:

  1. Honda Africa Twin
  2. Yamaha MT-07
  3. Triumph Street Triple
  4. Honda CB 500 F.
  5. KTM 390 Duke
  6. Ducati Monster 797

Interview with Frank Seiler from Alpha Technik

Throttling then and now. Regardless of whether it is a combination of 25 kW (34 PS) or 35 kW (48 PS) – the power has to go down on open motorcycles. Frank Seiler from Alpha Technik explains how this works.

MOTORCYCLE: Mr. Seiler, Alpha Technik is one of the largest suppliers of throttle sets for motorcycles. How many sets per model do you sell per year?

Frank Seiler: That depends on the throttle rate. Since we try to cover the full range of vehicles, the numbers fluctuate a lot. Everything is possible from one to 100 per throttle set.

MOTORCYCLE: Alpha Technik offers throttle sets for how many models?

Frank Seiler: If you add up all the variants and versions of individual vehicles, we come up with well over 2,500 different throttle sets on 25 and 35 kW.

MOTORCYCLE: Does the range only cover modern types or older models?

Frank Seiler: With the 25 and 35 kW throttle sets, we cover years of construction from 1970 to 2017. The oldest vehicle is a BMW R60 / 5, for which we offer a 25 kW choke! We offer 35 kW for vehicles from the beginning of the 90s.

MOTORCYCLE: What does the throttling look like on motorcycles that were first registered under Euro 3 or earlier?

Frank Seiler: Here we choose a very inexpensive but efficient way of mechanical throttling via throttle stop. Throttle orifices are also occasionally used in the intake tract. In any case, the focus is on drivability and operational safety as well as simple and inexpensive retrofitting.

MOTORCYCLE: What has changed with the introduction of Euro 4?

Frank Seiler: The legal framework in Europe has changed completely. The framework directive 168/2013, according to which all Euro 4 vehicles are homologated, stipulates that the throttling may no longer be purely mechanical by limiting the throttle valve angle. Alpha Technik has launched an electronic throttle for this purpose: MCR (Micro Controlled Restriction). It picks up the signal on the throttle grip and processes it in such a way that a maximum of 35 kW of power is output in all driving states. There is another special feature for the driver: if the throttle path was very limited with the mechanical throttles, the change in MCR output to 35 kW retains the full angle of rotation of the throttle.

MOTORCYCLE: Are Euro 4 motorcycles only throttled by the electronics – or are mechanical throttle components still used?

Frank Seiler: The MCR choke complies 100 percent with the requirements of the homologation guideline 168/2013. The redundancy described therein, which is required by providers of the aftermarket, must represent an independent system that maintains 35 kW in all driving conditions in the event of failure or manipulation of the electronic throttle. We solve this by combining the electronics with a mechanical component such as a throttle orifice.

MOTORCYCLE: How long does it take to develop a new throttle set for a Euro 4 motorcycle, and what is the biggest hurdle??

Frank Seiler: Development takes about two to eight weeks. In addition, there is the time that the testing organization needs to check the throttle, to release it and to prepare the report. The biggest hurdle is the perfect coordination of the interaction between the permitted 35 kW output and the redundancy.

MOTORCYCLE: When throttling Euro 4 motorcycles, we recommend that you first register the motorcycle in the open version and only then have the throttling entered. why?

Frank Seiler: This is related to the recoding of the vehicle class of the motorcycle from high performance L3e-A3 to medium performance L3e-A2. A change to this master data before the first registration can lead to the important descriptions such as key numbers and EC vehicle classes no longer matching the modified vehicle data.

The six irons for novice drivers in price comparison


Test of 48 HP motorcycles 2017 for A2 driver's license holders

Used A2 motorcycles in Germany

Due to the driving characteristics described, one or the other may already be a favorite. But especially with young people, like many A2 license holders, not only handling, performance and comfort are a factor. In the early stages of life, money is not so easy to find. To find the ideal motorcycle for body, mind and bank balance, it is worth taking a look at the used motorcycle exchange. Here you can find the six A2 bikes in direct price comparison: Used A2 motorcycles in Germany

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