The top sellers

Table of contents


The top sellers

The top sellers
Germany voted

The battle is over. Also for this rather mixed motorcycle summer. BMW and Suzuki took over the role of the major people’s parties with four seats each in the top ten, Honda and Suzuki were only able to get one candidate through. Why, explains the MOTORRAD election research.

Stefan Kaschel


Bavaria could be anywhere, Chancellor candidate Stoiber wanted to persuade us with a white and blue sense of mission. With the firm conviction that the electorate from the Alps to the Waterfront wants a nationwide Free State. It is possible that the popularity of the Bavarian motorcycles led him to this fallacy.
“This is not America ??, argued Gerhard Schroder after analyzing the registration numbers. The first Harley in 77th place ?? a clear indication that uncritical approval for everything American cannot be far off. But he did not want to go any further with his evaluation of the registration numbers in view of the dangerous proximity to Bavaria. First, fifth, eighth and tenth place to BMW: apart from the subscription to the R 1150 GS on the top podium, an astonishing result for the motorcycles from Munich, which even got the approval of the Greens with features such as ABS and G-Kat.
But not only BMW knows what the people in the country want. Four times Suzuki ?? with the same representatives who were already there in the last legislative period. Places two (Bandit 1200), three (SV 650) and four (Bandit 600) go together to Hamamatsu. And thus to motorcycles that have been offering one thing above all for years: a lot for the money. You can read on the following pages whether and how the others won their direct mandates.

1st place – BMW R 1150 GS

Unrestricted majority: BMW R 1150 GS.

The choice could not have been clearer. No wrong-headed projections, no overhang mandates, no nerve-wracking coalition negotiations, hence no diaper-soft compromises: the BMW R 1150 GS has ruled the German motorcycle market unchallenged for years. And this in an almost presidential way, which is also said of the incumbent Chancellor. The Federal Motor Transport Authority registered 5811 new registrations by the end of August, and GS fans accepted delivery times without complaint in the spring. With the current number two in the market, the Suzuki GSF 1200 Bandit, unthinkable. If the long-awaited number plate is emblazoned on the beloved cow, GS riders can become a real nuisance. You usually meet them in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Stubborn rumors even say that seasoned Superbike fans, close to tears and sad to death, ran straight to the next parking lot after being looted by a whole pack of GSs somewhere in the Alps. In order to get to the nearest BMW dealer as quickly as possible afterwards. For a clandestine test drive, which would prove that the weighty boxer unites Germany across all party lines. Initially ridiculed because of the futuristic design, the Bavarian big enduro drives everything in beautiful constancy that the competition has offered as GS alternatives in recent years: Honda Varadero 1000, Triumph Tiger, Aprilia ETV 1000 Caponord. They are all clearly superior to the BMW in terms of performance, the GS uses its unsurpassed all-round talents, including their built-in wanderlust. G-Kat, low-maintenance cardan drive, optional ABS and the good chassis with its Telelever fork will ensure that it drives everyone away again in 2003. bet that?

2nd place – Suzuki GSF 1200 Bandit

The broad center: a lot of pressure, few frills

If you want a lot of voters, you have to beware of one thing: extreme positions. On the other hand, everything that is close to the heart of many is eligible for a majority. In our days a large-capacity engine is one of them. 1157 cubic centimeters and 98 hp: That boosts propulsion like tax cuts the economy. And that is widely spread in all speed ranges, so that performance fetishists get their money’s worth as well as the broad mid-sized motorcycle sector, for whom manageable power counts more than wildly rampant increases in acceleration. Particularly praiseworthy about the in-line four-cylinder package of the big Bandit: It not only shines with its dazzling packaging, but also keeps its promise. As a rule, it delivers significantly more power than the stated 98 hp, which means that the Bandit has already gained decisive plus points. There are three more points that convince many voters of this candidate. On the one hand, a seating position with which drivers of all sizes can find their way without having to bend in one direction or the other. On the other hand, a simple but functional chassis that equally satisfies the demands for handiness and comfort in everyday life. And there is the price of 8,210 euros (8,570 euros for the disguised S variant), which is traditionally very low, which, together with its high-profile appearance, ultimately brings the bandit very high in the electorate’s favor.

3rd place – Suzuki SV 650

Worth more than the sum of its parts

“The engine is great, it pulls through hard. And has so much performance that I’m always good at it. «Corinna Ehmann, typesetter at MOTORRAD and SV 650 driver from the very beginning, knows exactly what is going on with Suzuki’s successful model. A remarkable 72 PS and a power development that finds exactly the right path between even and spirited, the 90-degree V2 has already earned great praise in many tests and from many drivers. Which is justified not only subjectively, but also in terms of measurement. After all, the acceleration values ​​are consistently superior to those of the large, powerful and best-selling BMW R 1150 GS, in some areas even miles superior. But the SV 650 wouldn’t be half as good if it couldn’t offer its drivers that extra bang. The lightness and light-heartedness with which your engine power can be converted into driving fun with practically no loss. Corinna describes it like this: »She drives as if she had no limit. I can do anything I want. ”The low weight of 191 kilograms with a full tank certainly plays a role. The rest of the chassis data, the seat position and all the other parameters that are usually used to explain this are by no means outstanding. And that’s precisely why they point to the secret of the SV 650: a combination of nothing but inconspicuous, sometimes not even particularly valuable components, which has worked so well in this motorcycle as rarely. Getting this almost magical combination at a reasonable price has the success the SV 650 even stronger. Nevertheless, she is not a downright all-rounder. “I can always look forward to her,” says Corinna. Last season, 3,688 bikers indulged in this joy. A quarter of them are women.

4th place – Suzuki GSF 600 / S

The referendum: just drive

It’s not all gold that glitters with silver on the little bandit. And yet she stands out brilliantly year after year, only swapping one place with her sister SV in the electoral favor. And this with an engine that is very old in its foundations, which can neither serve with excessive power nor with a full torque curve, but wants to be kept happy with plenty of speed. How come Because the finely ribbed air / oil-cooled bandit propellant, in contrast to the water-cooled competition, still looks like a real engine, which the older people in particular like to remember – and because many young voters, but also the veteran grassroots democrats, don’t want anything more than going fast in the morning Coming to work and enjoying the evening carefree – the range of services is definitely sufficient. Especially when, as with the Bandit, the other everyday worries of the clientele are taken into account. It is down-to-earth with its low seat height and easy-going with its neutral handling. But the most important thing: At 6,200 euros, it spares the wallet of its followers like no other, even the disguised and therefore more travel-friendly sister is still one of the special offers at 6540 euros in a market that is clearly rising in price and hardly cares about the feelings of the buyers seems to shear. This is exactly where the little bandit sends out a signal for what “people really care about”. Affordable fun on two wheels, away from high-tech and performance fetishism: a recipe for success that works year after year – and should give everyone else something to think about.

5th place – BMW F 650 GS

Always successful: tradition and modernity

the Yamaha XT 500 has shown it, BMW is copying it with a keen sense for the mood in the country. The people have been waiting for an enduro bike that is suitable for everyday use and enriched with modern technology. At least since the Japanese have criminally neglected their former domain: a durable, robust single cylinder in a simple and effective chassis? The GS takes up the XT recipe for success and supplements it with a number of contemporary ingredients. Four-valve technology, injection, G-Kat ?? it no longer has much to do with the tractor character of yore. The single starts lively in the lower rev range, then easily turns into the 7000 range and at least on the country road and in city traffic nips the desire for more power in the bud. The F 650 GS is extremely economical with fuel and keeps the running costs ?? quite in contrast to the purchase price, which is solid at 7195 euros ?? very low. With the optional ABS and plenty of practical accessories, features are available that are not even two classes higher from other parties, just like the independent and harmonious lines with a tank under the seat and the typical duck’s bill. Here, too, BMW is pursuing its own successful path. But never without forgetting what really matters. On what people experience in everyday life. And the F 650 GS and its trendy sister F 650 GS Dakar undoubtedly make this a little less commonplace.

6th place – Yamaha FZS 600 Fazer

It can do everything except Crossen: Not buying a Fazer 600 is almost impossible

BMW is world champion in model updates? Ha, Yamaha can only laugh and refers to a number of models that have been able to improve their high starting level through both determined and dedicated care. For example the small XV 535, the big XJR or the fast R1. The best way to make provision for old age was certainly the Fazer 600, a motorcycle that, as a dynamic all-rounder, opened up a new segment and whose actually ancient sports engine matured into a classic in the new periphery. So good at the bottom and as willing to perform at the top as only four-cylinder can be, in between with everything that makes you confident in everyday life. Including low vibrations. The chassis does not get in the way of ambitious projects, regardless of whether it is a fast lap on the home route or a holiday lasting several weeks. And since the pillion seat ?? thanks to the facelift? deserved the title decent since the tank ?? thanks to the facelift? has a stately 22 liter capacity since the fairing ?? thanks, well, you already know ?? Since the cladding protects even better from the wind, Yamaha’s little lighter is increasingly finding its way into ever more distant places. Everything together forms a trademark here: Driving a Fazer shows healthy price awareness, but is never a sign of foregoing. Rather, the rational and pleasure-oriented attempt to experience all-rounds in its most demanding form. Even if you look critically, you can’t think of much that could increase your desire for the Fazer. Reason could be flattered with a G-Kat. But that would almost be the end of all model upgrade options..

7th place – Honda Fireblade

Your recipe for success: be sporty and still be able to do a lot

In the 2002 season, the Honda Fireblade spearheaded the super sports group. No other serial racer came so far in the favor of buyers. A proud achievement for a radically light and fast motorcycle that is not cheap. And that caused problems with high-speed handlebar knocking up to the conversion of the triple clamp and steering head bearing. Apart from that, the thorough overhaul of the Fireblade brought great results that also came across as convincing. Above all, the further development of the engine, which brought the now 952 cm³ four-cylinder with exemplary exhaust gas cleaning by regulated catalytic converter and a hefty pull-through, is immediately understandable during the first test drive. The driving characteristics are no less memorable. The Fireblade is not only light, it steers that way. On winding stretches, even in the tightest of bends, she follows the line anticipated by the driver as spontaneously as if her ambition were to dance out a KTM Duke. Which doesn’t quite work, although the Fireblade does pretty well for a supersport motorcycle with narrow handlebar stubs. And always when things get really serious ?? yes, we’re also talking about the racetrack now? it demonstrates what a thick upside-down fork, a light and torsion-resistant frame or a stable swing arm are good for. For a high degree of steering precision and directional stability. Even the braking system manages the balancing act between easy to dose and super biting. It was the best system in the brake test in a motorcycle. Let’s recapitulate: a lot of power and clean exhaust, superb handling and stability in equal measure, sportiness that does not seem aloof in everyday life. You could almost call the Fireblade an all-rounder.

8th place – BMW R 1150 RT

Long-distance travel in a highly dynamic way

She radiates it and you can believe her. Not unseen, but at first sight. It is a super touring motorcycle, the R 1150 RT. Like all BMWs with the abbreviation RT in front of her, she wears a large panel as excellent wind and weather protection, takes care of comfort issues and takes care of luggage transport as standard. But what makes their very special added value sits under the plastic: technology that is practically identical to that of the sportier models. This means that the RT can drive much bolder and more nimble than it looks. Thanks to its handiness and steering precision, not least thanks to its sporty lean angle, it succeeds in highly dynamic alpine pass sprints just as well as long journey to and from the journey, on which the crew again takes off Comfort offer can pamper you. Not even the engine, which is somewhat weak compared to the Japanese competition, and which is prone to vibrations, does the job. Flawless concentricity even at the lowest speeds and smooth transitions during load changes are more important than performance for RT fans, sometimes even more important than sheer pulling power. For many RT fans. After all, it is the most expensive among the top sellers with a price of over 14,000 euros and thus ranks well ahead of its direct competitors, which is certainly due to the standard fully integrated composite brake system with ABS. Such a brake system is simply part of such a motorcycle concept and adorns the BMW as additional proof of competence in travel and touring. As already mentioned: She radiates it. Convincing.

9th place – Suzuki GSX-R 1000

Aren’t we all little heroes?

The whole range of motorcycle sensitivities shows nothing more clearly than the placement of the Suzuki GSX-R 1000 among the ten best-selling motorcycles. If reason, economy and a sense of proportion are often cited as arguments here, only one thing applies in this case: sheer power. Nominal 160 hp ?? this value raises the GSX-R above all others from the sports faction ?? and, in addition to countless adrenaline rushes, also gives it a place at the very front on the boulevard of vanities, because given the feather-light 201 kilograms including fuel, the result is a power-to-weight ratio that only mature drivers can tame. Fortunately, Suzuki has taken precautions to make things easier . The ultra-stable chassis is one of them, neutral but not overly manageable, so that it has a calming effect on the driver and protects him from unintentional maneuvers. And a braking system that is happy to forgive the sudden braking in the face of unexpectedly early bends and only reveals its true performance with sustained brake pressure. Equipped in this way, the large GSX-R also cuts a good figure in everyday use without the luster of the racetrack fading. On the contrary: It always radiates on your driver.

10th place – BMW R 1150 R.

The boxer: value conservative in its most beautiful form

BMW for the fourth, Boxer for the third: After GS and RT, the R also managed to place in the top ten. A fact that throws a significant light on the state of mind of the German motorcyclist soul. Despite the already traditional pricing, it beats at a 180-degree angle. the R 1150 R but also sheds light on BMW’s model policy. Instead of presenting the most classic of all BMWs as a pure retro bike to boxer fans, the Munich-based company has also recently been concerned about a no-frills, yet modern appearance and contemporary technical achievements such as injection, G-Kat, ABS and integral braking system even with a brake booster. In this way, not only veteran regular voters are served, but also new BMW enthusiasts. The ever further developed engine, which in the R delivers its 85 hp and generates full thrust from the lower engine speed, has its share in this. On the other hand, it is even more the chassis that is convincing. The Roadster can be shooed through even the most tricky combinations of curves with extreme agility, ironing bumps flat with BMW’s own Telelever at the front and Paralever at the rear, and cuts a fine figure even with two people, suitcases and luggage.

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