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Canyon 600, Aprilia Pegaso 650

No matter how individualistic they are: Enduro riders are herd animals when it comes to choosing their motorcycles. Tens thousands of Honda Dominator, Transalp and Africa Twin, Suzuki DR 350 to 800, Kawasaki KLR and KLX as well as Yamaha XT and XTZ gravel over German slopes, plus thousands of BMW GS and F 650.

And being different would be so easy. Because let’s be honest: How many Aprilia Pegaso 650s and Cagiva Canyon 600s have you come across on the road? Of course, being different is not enough. The equivalent of the money paid must be right. With 10,890 marks including ancillary costs for the Aprilia and their 9990 for the Cagiva, the two Italians are absolutely in the normal range of street-oriented everyday enduros. But what about their qualities? The Aprilia Pegaso 650 is produced in Noale, Veneto, in the same hall as the BMW F 650; Aprilia took over their assembly from supplier parts that are produced on behalf of BMW throughout Europe. For the most part, the same suppliers also contribute the components for Aprilia’s own Enduro. The Pegaso’s single-cylinder engine, which is manufactured by Rotax in Gunskirchen, Austria, is one of the most modern engines. Two overhead camshafts with conically ground cams operate the five radially arranged valves via bucket tappets and a rocker arm. Aprilia does not imitate the elaborately controlled gas exchange of the single cylinder, which is mounted on roller bearings and calmed by a balancer shaft. The Aprilia’s chassis is also exceptional. It consists of a combination of screwed steel and aluminum profiles. Compared to that, the technology is the VS.agiva Canyon 600 real home cooking. The air-cooled single cylinder, controlled by an overhead camshaft, two rocker arms and four valves, made its debut in 1980 as the 350 in the Cagiva T4. And the Canyon frame, welded from pressed steel profiles, looks just as rustic as the engine. Both engines reflect the blessings and the curse of technical developments over the past decade and a half. The Aprilia five-valve engine, a year ago with 48 hp and real 60 Newton meters of torque, a bear of a single cylinder, has – according to homologation – lost almost 20 percent of its output in order to comply with the strict 1996 exhaust and noise regulations. According to the test bench, however, he retained 44 instead of the stated 39 hp. The Cagiva Canyon, which was presented in the spring of 1996, is now no longer certified as 34 but as 38 HP, to which it members fairly precisely with a measured 39 horse power. The noise limit values ​​do not seem to have been a problem here, and in order to keep the emission values ​​within limits, Cagivas Canyon uses unregulated catalytic converters in contrast to the Aprilia. The Pegaso engine starts well cold and warm, runs quickly without a choke and pulls through powerfully from low speeds. At higher speeds, however, it seems tough due to the reduced power, and the vibrations increase more than with some other single-cylinder. The Cagiva single, on the other hand, has a lot of trouble starting. Whereby it is not the engine that makes a mess, but the undersized starter freewheel, which ceased to work on the MOTORRAD test machine as well as on a number of other Cagiva single-cylinder tests after a few thousand kilometers. You will look in vain for a kick starter, as it is optionally installed on the W 12 and W 16 enduros. At least the freewheel can be exchanged in a few simple steps without having to dismantle the motor. The Aprilia, however, was also not free from faults and blame. During the MOTORRAD test drive, the shock absorber rod broke. The German importer A&G in Bielefeld is currently looking for the cause. Even when it is running, the Canyon engine remains a rough-legged fellow. Less than 2000 revs it stucks and listlessly hits the gearbox, and over 5000 revolutions penetrate the frame despite the balance shaft. Because of this and the significantly lower torque, it has to be kept happy with considerably more manual work than the Aprilia engine. Tea Pegaso manages the sprint in the last gear from 60 to 120 km / h – the classic overtaking maneuver – because it is more than three seconds faster than the Canyon. The more frequent gear changes on the Cagiva are even noticeable in the fuel consumption. At a constant speed of 100 with just over four liters, the slimmer, lighter Cagiva consumes almost half a liter less at a constant 130 km / h. On the country road, however, this picture turns into the opposite in favor of the more powerful Aprilia, with 5.1 to 5.7 liters of super unleaded. The Aprilia also wins the sprint from zero to 100 km / h by a good second. In terms of top speed, both opponents are then almost on by again around the 160 km / h mark. Although the chassis of the two differ from each other by only a fraction of the steering head angle, a few millimeters of caster and wheelbase and a good handful of kilograms, the driving impressions differ like day and night. Obviously, the almost cross-like aggressive, far advanced driver’s posture on the Canyon makes the difference. The Pegaso driver is moved significantly further back by his longer – albeit six liters smaller – tank. For this, his footrests are mounted a little too far forward, which in the long term leads to an uncomfortable leaning back posture. After all, the pillion rider sits far better on the Aprilia than on the Cagiva. The sporty, tightly tuned Cagiva sharpens corners as handy and accurate as a Super Moto machine, while the certainly not unwieldy Aprilia prefers the classic, round touring style. This is reinforced by their overall softer and more spongy suspension setup. The brakes of the Cagiva are a bit more direct and snappy than those of the Aprilia. The Funduro rating therefore clearly goes to the Cagiva, while the everyday touring rating – except for its significantly lower range – is in favor of the Aprilia. The Japanese competition, BMW and the voles from KTM set a high processing standard for enduros today. At Pegaso, switches and instruments, plastic and metal parts, paintwork and fit stand up to any comparison with international competition. The competition for the Cagiva Canyon, on the other hand, seems to come from within the company: the workmanship and fit of its plastic parts and the unattractive instrument panel are what a 125cc Cagiva scooter would face. A motorcycle costing almost 10,000 marks, however, must have enormous, secret advantages to justify such an outfit. The glove box on the cockpit, maybe? The idea has something. But while driving, the motorcyclist would like to put on his gloves and perhaps put a card, wallet or pack of cigarettes in the flap. But if the card gets wet in the rain because the compartment is not airtight, the wallet makes new friends because the lid cannot be closed and the cigarette packet is crushed under the lid or lees on the street when opening because the compartment is too much The Cagiva’s projector headlight does not cast a very wide, but brighter and longer-reaching dipped beam than the Aprilia. The side stand folds in easily every time the load is removed; However, it has a significantly larger base plate than that of the Aprilia Pegaso, which sags on any floor that is not as hard as a board. The installation of the Canyon oil cooler behind the front wheel, which is at risk of falling rocks, may not please you any more than the plastic engine guard. But for a motorcycle that will be driven almost exclusively on the road, that’s probably still okay. The Aprilia Pegaso’s engine impact protection is also made of plastic; and their handle shells are sure to keep far more flies or raindrops away from the driver’s hands than knocking branches or flying stones. And that closes the circle in the end. Exactly there, on the asphalt in town and country and only very rarely on a dirt road, in the end the vast majority of enduro riders of all brands and countries find themselves again. Because being an individualist is nice. But individuality is best in a group of like-minded people.

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Canyon 600, Aprilia Pegaso 650

Cagiva Canyon 600, Aprilia Pegaso 650 (VT) (archive version) – 1st place: Aprilia Pegaso 650

It’s a damn good everyday enduro, the Aprilia Pegaso. The engine is a piece of cream that has not lost its character due to the reduced performance. The chassis is designed to be softer than usual today – which does not have to be a disadvantage. However, the 14 liter tank could have been inflated a little. But in the concert of her competition, the Pegaso is the misunderstood diva.

Cagiva Canyon 600, Aprilia Pegaso 650 (VT) (archive version) – 2nd place: Cagiva Canyon 600

Safe: Between city slickers and hardcore bikers, there are customers who need a fast-paced wild horse in the city, an athlete’s shock on the country road and still acceptable characteristics in the field. But a good chassis and good ideas are no longer enough today. Without top workmanship and a modern, powerful engine, even the chicest fashion motorcycle remains a tiger showcase.

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