Articles in the Bike Tests Category
Paul Guillien, Touratech-USA’s General Manager, shares his thoughts on BMW’s updated mid-weight adventure bike, the 2013 F800GS.
The Tiger 800 XC and Tiger Explorer 1200 are a direct attack on BMW’s F800GS Siegfried and R1200GS Roy, but the Triumphs are well capable of standing on their own merits. That raises another question, which big cat to take home? OneWheelDrive.Net puts the two Tigers to the test to find out, in our take on that standard internet meme – the cat video.
Forget what the Earth’s position around the sun says, judging by the encroachment of the snowline down the Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains, we’re facing the onset of winter on the West coast. That makes each ride a rarity, sparking in the firmament of suicidal-gray skies, a colour achieved in a tedium of dark and rainfall. The drizzle starts at Squamish, making the rocks slick under the Tiger 800 XC’s rear Heidenau K60. Shod in Pirelli MT-21s and significantly lighter, Bart’s KTM 690 Enduro R scampers ahead with the ride’s instigator astride.
OneWheelDrive.Net tests Yamaha’s Super Tenere, a bike conceived by the Japanese brand as an answer to BMW’s R1200GS, but does the Super Ten make the cut as an adventure bike? And, what is its biggest strength in going up against the BMW?
BMW’s 2012 G650GS Sertao is the reincarnation of the F650GS Dakar which was discontinued in 2007, but did the company miss its chance to improve on the original?
The GSX-R 1000 is howling like an endangered predator before stumbling and bumping against the rev limiter at 13,750RPM on the tach. In first gear the great 999cc beast is nuzzling 160kph like fresh kill. Flick up a ratio through the slick and quick six-speed transmission into second and the howl eases for a moment, before you’re back to peak with182 hp at 11,500rpm and 86 lb-ft @ 10,000rpm gale-forcing through the Bridgestone S20 190/50R17 out back. Drive through to red and you’re watching the digital speedo indecisively flicker between 202 and 203. Third? Does it really matter? Without the salve of ABS, Traction Control, Electronically Adjustable Suspension or Anti-wheelie Control, it’s negotiation time with harsh Mistress Physics as you take the imperilled beast into the turns.
BMW’s R1200GS Adventure is the gold standard in adventure touring bikes, but now it’s facing down challengers like the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring. Is the road to ruins for the BMW paved by the likes of the Ducati? Before we find out off the pavement, a little protection and preparation is in order. If we had the licensing, we’d cue the A-team montage music and cut to the folks at AltRider.com.
BMW’s R1200GS Adventure is the gold standard in adventure touring bikes, but now it’s facing down challengers like the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring. Is the road to ruins for the BMW paved by the likes of the Ducati? Join OneWheelDrive.Net as we conduct a we conduct a monumental comparison against a back drop of dead seas, dying towns, a makeshift community on an abandoned military base and 800 year-old cliff dwellings from the end of the Sinagua people, all on “The Road to Ruins”.
EDog200, an Australian YouTube acquaintance of ours, has himself a new toy. A skilled rider and a fanatic motorcycle videographer, here’s his impression of the 2012 KTM 300 EXC.
The Ducati Diavel has stormed through the curves and canyons of the Crow’s Nest Highway between Princeton and Hope, until I’ve caught a seven Harley procession riding in staggered formation… again. As an experiment I cruise with the group for a time — nearly minutes. An opening in traffic and the Diavel launches past in a gale of carbon fiber violence. I’m unsure of the Diavel’s taxonomy, but this is clear; it is not a cruiser.
Motorcycles can be a summary of a corporation’s collective psychology, and in that case BMW’s latest super-touring fraternal twins, the K1600GT and K1600GTL, can be summed up as daring. Though, as you hunt down sport-boy on the R1, he glancing in the rear view mirror and catching a glimpse of your fully bagged ultra-opulent 1649cc, 160hp, 129lb-ft of torque, weapon of choice may sum it up as, “WTF?!?”
The KTM 690 Enduro R should need no introduction; it has been around for a while hasn’t it? But, this particular Enduro R does merit a few words, because this is MY KTM 690 Enduro R, which is something entirely different. That’s because I test bikes, over 150 of them at last count, but when it came time to sign on the dotted line I chose the KTM 690 Enduro R. And it’s ruined me.
After hefting the Honda Varaderos through the Baja, I came to a conclusion – I hate big bikes in sand. Of course, taking the back way out of Slab City is what you’d expect of a desert; sand and deep sand at that. The surprise? Perhaps, we’ve been too quick in dubbing Ducati’s Multistrada 1200 S Touring “the Princess”.
72 Hours, 3 days; waiting in anticipation it can seem an eternity, but three days to ride from Vancouver to Los Angeles? That can seem all too brief. And the deadline? The will call at the Wiltern for a sold out concert of Florence and the Machine. Conspiring against me the scheduling deities are cramming the ride with a border crossing, two business meetings, and pesky biological needs; eating, sleeping and washroom all taking time from a 2,048 kilometer direct route. So, it’s Neil and the Machine, a R1200GS Adventure, versus Florence and the Machine.
A Porsche Boxter crawls by, and it’s immediately clear where the F800R got its flat-brap soundtrack; the German idea of fast. It’s not the beguiling song, sonic drama or a whining in-line four soundtrack, the BMW F800R’s rasp of sensibility grating against its Urban attack visual design. Its hard angles rendered in slight curves, truculent looks wrapped around new-rider usability and cornering expectations coupled to linear stability. The F800R is a rolling contradiction, that works in a miraculously rideable way.
In the conclusion of the Baja: Tropic of Cancer series, Kevin and Neil reach their destination in Baja, Mexico. They also reach some conclusions about their long term Honda Varaderos.
While the Yamaha’s Fazer family has been a European mainstay since 1998, it’s still relatively new in Canada. For 2011 Yamaha has delivered the FZ8, a bike that owes much to its bigger and more brutish sibling the FZ1, and surprisingly little to the defunct FZ6. That positions the bike to be novice and intermediate rider friendly, so it needs to be both frisky (or even occasionally ferocious) and friendly all at once.
In Part 1 of our two part Multistrada 1200 S review we examined the bikes Urban and Touring modes. This instalment we unleash Sport mode and take the Multistrada 1200S onto BC’s fire roads before making our conclusions.