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KTM 1290 Superduke R..

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It can be clearly seen that the engine of the EBR 1190 SX was taken over from its Superbike sister, the EX, without any changes.

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Ducati Monster 1200.

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Ducati Monster 1200.

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KTM 1290 Superduke R..

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KTM 1290 Superduke R..

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EBR 1190 SX.

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EBR 1190 SX.

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EBR 1190 SX.

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Ducati Monster 1200.

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Ducati Monster 1200.

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Ducati Monster 1200.

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Premiere: In the Super Duke R, KTM uses a single-sided swing arm for the first time in the company’s history.

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No frills: if you want to know what’s inside, just look at it. The display informs clearly, clearly and unaffected.

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Success model: The Great Duke R is currently in eighth place on the sales hit list and was sold out at times.

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Minimalism: Rudimentary rear frames are in vogue. Few of them are as aesthetic as the filigree version of the EWC.

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Unconventional: A shock absorber sits on the chain sprocket instead of on the rear wheel. The chain runs over a pulley.

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Individualism: brake lever (photo) and gear lever can be adjusted in elongated holes. Well done and beautifully done too.

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Better safe than sorry: Despite the extreme geometry of the chassis, the stable EBR does not actually need the steering damper.

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Clip and clear: the TFT display is modern, glare-free and colorful. However, it is operated directly, not via the handlebar switch.

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Typical Buell, eh EBR: frame profiles as a tank, brakes encompassing the inside, compact geometry.

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EBR 1190 SX: Very close: Technically, the naked bike leans
from EBR closely to its superbike sister, the RX.

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How does the naked EBR 1190 SX fare against the established competition from Ducati and KTM?

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Eye-catcher: The huge brake with an eight-piston brake caliper encompassing the inside is the eye-catcher of every EBR.

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KTM 1290 Super Duke R: On track: Precise, powerful and easy to control – the KTM sets the bar for power nakeds.

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Sound body: The Ducati sound engineers hit the sound of the monsters perfectly. Sonorous and yet socially acceptable.

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Flat screen again: like the EBR, the Ducati also offers a color TFT display – even with a display that changes in driving mode.

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Tradition: The 1200 also remains true to the typical monster look.

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Ducati Monster 1200: Funbike: No Öhlins suspension, no forged wheels – the Monster also impresses in the basic version.

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KTM 1290 Superduke R..

Ducati Monster 1200, EBR 1190 SX and KTM 1290 Super Duke R in the test

Power naked bikes in comparison

After the super sports car 1190 RX, there is now the naked bike derivative, the EBR 1190 SX. How does it fare in the test against the Ducati Monster 1200 and KTM 1290 Super Duke R.?

E.t’s nice that there are people like Erik Buell. Free spirits who do not want to come to terms with the conventional, who question the existing and who have the courage to look for solutions beyond the mainstream. Erik Buell went this way. Inner brake caliper, fuel tank in the frame profiles, underfloor exhaust, steep steering head, short wheelbase – these have always been the hallmarks of the unorthodox bikes from East Troy, Wisconsin. Theoretically, the design focused on the centralization of the masses brought advantages, in practice it was not always convincing and in the end it was no longer economical either. In the crisis year 2009, the luxury forge had to close.

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Ducati Monster 1200, EBR 1190 SX and KTM 1290 Super Duke R in the test
Power naked bikes in comparison

Ducati Monster 1200 and KTM 1290 Super Duke R in their place? This goal would have to be measured. Because the Italians and Austrians have been working on such concepts for years, they have know-how and experience. In this respect, the EWC is about creed and individualism. Basically about how much technical extravagance a motorcycle can afford without having to atone for it in everyday life. 

To find out, the EWC works its way up and down the mountain passes of the Vosges together with Ducati and KTM. No rugged alpine climbing zigzag, but sweeping curves, decent asphalt and, at least in autumn, hardly any traffic. Col de la Schlucht, Col de Markstein, Grand Ballon and whatever they are called – Naked-Bike-Land.

Horrifying pressure from stately cubic capacities

Perfect terrain to convert the horrendous pressure from the impressive cubic capacity of the trio into feed. With 1301 cubic meters, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R tops the already considerable 1200 cc pots of the Ducati Monster 1200 and EBR 1190 SX. Only the three millimeters more bore implanted during the revival raised the displacement of the US-V2 from the 1125 cm³ predecessor engine to 1191 cm³. Speaking of the engine. With the 1125 Vau-Zwo supplied by Rotax, which fueled the then new generation of Buells for the first time in 2008, the new unit only wants to have the concept in common. All parts are now manufactured on behalf of EBR and assembled by the 155 employees in the former Buell factory.

The three of them push out of every corner with power. There is no need for high speeds in this league. After 3000 turns, the grip on the handlebars becomes tighter and the biceps tense. Hardest at KTM. After a few millimeters of throttle travel, there is already 100 Nm of torque (see performance diagram), catapulting the 1290 Super Duke R onto the next straight on this wave of power. Thanks to ride-by-wire, double ignition and meticulously programmed mappings (Rain with power reduced to 101 hp, Street and Sport with full power), it is highly cultivated and can be dosed in a first-class manner. And if the horse should go through with his euphoric rider, then a finely tuned traction control comes to a halt. Wow, what an arrangement of motor and electronics!

Naked bike


BMW S 1000 R and KTM 1290 Super Duke R in comparison test


Who pulls the fur over whose ears??


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Ducati Monster also comes with a full electronics package

Behind which the Ducati propellant, which was taken from the Multistrada and fine-tuned for the shell-free appearance in the Monster with higher compression and smaller intake cross-section, hardly has to hide. The fact that it produces 30 hp less at peak (more on that later) and hacks a little more vehemently on the chain below 3000 rpm than the KTM 1290 Super Duke R hardly matters. You will forgive him for this at the latest when, from this brand onwards, he pushes forward in a finely appealing and comforting manner, generating driving pleasure in a very confident manner. And for a quick dash – just like the KTM – still has the full electronics package on board.

The fact that the EBR engine largely dispenses with this shouldn’t be criticized. Because purism is also one of the main features of Buell’s teaching. The throttle grip actuates the throttle valve of the injection supplied by the French manufacturer Synerject via the good old throttle cable instead of a power cable and is satisfied with a single standard mapping. Whether it’s the rudimentary electronics is an open question, but the fact is: the EBR drive cannot keep up with the polished manners of the Austro-Italian duo. The 72-degree V2 goes to work more boyish and shirt-sleeved. Whether applying the gas at the apex of the curve, the sprint when overtaking or when transitioning to pushing mode, the V2 EBR 1190 SX always looks more direct, rough and mechanically rough.

Naked bike


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the top test


The strongest monster ever


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Naked bike


Ducati Monster 1200 S in the PS performance test


Handy and cornering stable with the right tires


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EBR 1190 SX with roughly regulating traction control

All of that would be acceptable if the two-cylinder model were to present itself as a vigorous outdoorsman. But it is not just a look at the performance diagram that you notice: in terms of torque, it cannot even hold a candle to the comparatively moderate Ducati Monster 1200 in the country-relevant area between 3000 and 7000 rpm. And anyone who would even forgive him for the generous power offer in this league will be irritated again above this mark. Despite three balancer shafts, the propellant vibrates noticeably, intuitively allowing the pilot to zap into the next higher gear earlier than necessary. Despite the vacuum-assisted release mechanism, he still has to pull hard on the clutch lever.

Ultimately, due to these peculiarities, the EWC driver will rarely use the potential of this engine. Even if that is huge. After all, the EBR 1190 SX crowns itself with a measured 176 HP peak performance as the most powerful of all power-naked bikes currently on offer and puts the truly not weak KTM 1290 Super Duke R (168 HP) and the Ducati Monster 1200 ( 138 HP) in place. Which is why Erik Buell doesn‘t deny electronics, at least when it comes to traction control. However: The 20-stage control only gets its information from the speed of the increase in engine and rear wheel speed and, with its rather coarse control, cannot compete with the highly developed systems of the Duc and KTM.

All articles about the EBR 1190 SX

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EBR 1190 SX, Kawasaki Z 1000 and Triumph Speed ​​Triple in the test


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High-speed curve twist with the 1290 Super Duke R.

The pilots on the Vosges roads should not rely on higher assistance anyway. The aim is to hit the line with a good grip in a concentrated and clean manner. Because there is often enough loose split lurking between the flattened car lanes. One more reason to be enthusiastic about the nude trio especially here. The upright seating position guarantees an overview, the wide handlebars control and the slightly front-wheel-oriented chassis design ensures a lot of confidence in the leadership qualities of the front sections. The KTM turns like clockwork. No rolling, no correcting – flip it and the line fits. In this regard, the Austrian is no fool. All the more because the KTM 1290 Super Duke R offers the pilot an easy game for this formidable appearance. With an open knee angle, comfortably cranked handlebars, sporty but not too hard suspension setup and excellent ABS, the KTM trainer stays mentally in easy rider mode even during high-speed curve twist.

What the Ducati driver can also understand on the Monster. Fortunately, the tested basic variant (fork and strut from Kayaba and Sachs instead of Öhlins, cheaper brake system, cast instead of forged wheels, price difference 2800 euros) shows that this does not even require the S version. The comfortably tuned suspension easily filters out the frost breakouts, the Duc can be casually tossed back and forth in alternating curves, and on top of that it sits snugly and comfortably on the well-padded bench. The noticeable differences to the S edition tested by MOTORRAD (issue 8/2014) are minimal. Even the power difference of 9 hp declared by the factory shrinks considerably on the test bench. With measured 138 PS, the standard monster trumps its paper form (nominal output: 128 PS) by far and is almost on par with the real 143 PS strong S version (nominal output: 140 PS). In addition, the Ducati technicians have obviously taken care of the extremely wobbly steering behavior of the 1200 monster during the first tests. As at this year’s Alpine Masters (MOTORRAD 15/2014), the Duc is also refined in the Vosges, despite unchanged tires (Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2, front with special specification D). It arrows precisely through the curve radius, steers itself much more neutrally and hardly stands up when braking in an inclined position. The fact that she can’t quite hold a candle to the KTM when riding on some narrow streets with the soft fork, less lean angle and more movement in the chassis, so the Duc’s very sympathetic appearance can be lived very well.

EWC rear hops ungalant across the track

In the continuous slalom on these gently sloping mountain slopes, however, the EWC is the focus of interest. Because where, if not here, could US construction benefit from its eccentric concept? With 67.6 degrees steep steering head (Duc: 65.7 degrees, KTM: 65.1 degrees), 1409 millimeters short wheelbase (Duc: 1511 mm, KTM: 1482 mm) and with 204 kilograms around ten kilograms less ballast on the ribs (Duc: 215 kg , KTM: 213 kg) the Yankee bike should pull past the Euro-Duo on the inside lane. Before it gets that far, the SX pilot blinks a bit envious of the competition. Because apart from the missing fairing, the triple clamp with wide handlebars and the slightly softer suspension strut, the naked bike does not differ technically from its Superbike sister, the 1190 RX. And so the EWC rider has to adapt to the peculiar ergonomic mixture of athletes and naked bikes. Although the wide handlebars mounted on 30 millimeter high risers stretches comfortably towards the driver, the knee angle is quite acute due to the at least 40 millimeters smaller distance between footrests and seat compared to the Ducati Monster 1200 and KTM 1290 Super Duke R. Then there is the sporty suspension set-up. While the Big Piston Fork from Showa still responds properly and works, the directly hinged shock absorber, also from Showa, still thinks it is in a super sports ambience. Despite the said softer spring and subsequently opened rebound damping one turn, the rear hops ungalant over the course. The bumpier the mountain road, the less relaxed the EBR 1190 SX can be.

Strange: If the EBR 1190 SX still keeps the line clean on the long curves, such as on the ridge road Route des Crêtes, it looks indifferent and wobbly in tight serpentines – i.e. precisely where it should really shine with its extreme geometry. Even more puzzling: Later, when the speed boom on German autobahns, the short American woman will run stoically calmly even at top speed – and this is a measured 266 km / h after all. In any case, the EWC seems to enjoy the role of constantly surprising the pilot’s emotional world. A high-speed whirring when taking the gas off? Don’t worry, the pulley for the drive chain is responsible for that. The fans that run almost permanently when the vehicle is stationary (even when the ignition is switched off) and at a moderate speed? Keep calm. Perhaps the cylinders squeezed between the mighty frame profiles require such thermal aftercare despite the water cooling. The phenomenon is definitely a nostalgic reminiscence of history. Fans of the brand already know the wind band from the times of the Buells with air-cooled Harley engines. Huge turning circle? Not changeable.

No ABS for the EWC yet

The short wheelbase forces the bulbous frame profiles required for a 17 liter fuel supply directly behind the steering head into the width and thus limits the impact of the 55 millimeter fork tubes. The internal brake? Absolutely the trademark of EBR and Buell. Theoretically, the single disc with a proud 386 millimeter diameter mounted far to the outside of the rim ring cools down faster during the braking process, should be easier to dose due to the higher circumferential speed, save weight compared to a double disc system and thus ensure lower gyroscopic forces, ie easier handling. The internally cooled disc with the imposing eight-piston brake calliper from Nissin definitely leaves a spectacular visual impression. Only the fact that the Americans have not yet applied ABS will resent even the most liberal spirits.

On this side of the emergency braking, however, the system does well and requires more manual force only with very sharp braking maneuvers. Only then do the braking forces acting on one side become noticeable by gently pulling the handlebars to the left. Is the system more thermally stable than a conventional brake? At least on the country road, the traditional territory of a naked bike, this question does not arise. Even with a forced pace downhill, the unconventional stopper was thermally unimpressed. And the improved handling? At best one can guess, it is overlaid by the wobbly steering behavior.

No doubt who is the boss in the ring

And so the final hardcore visit on the Supermoto slope in Villars-sous-Écot near Montbéliard can only confirm the impressions gathered so far. The KTM 1290 Super Duke R masters the highly compressed demands of the tightly entwined asphalt strip on the chassis, easily manages the brisk line on the mini racetrack and leaves no doubt as to who is the boss in the ring in this trio. She should too, because at 15,695 euros, the Austrian is an impressive 2000 euros above the tariff of her colleagues. The Ducati Monster 1200 feels more uncomfortable with the extreme lean angles and the aggressive stop-and-go staccato. For the rounds the suspension – especially the fork – got too soft and the lean angle too limited. You can still live with that – as long as you stay on the country road. And the EBR 1190 SX? The established duo doesn’t sweep them off the slopes either here or in the Vosges. The little polished manners of the engine and the nervous steering behavior, especially in the extremely tight bends, spoils the line and the mood, completely diluting the –etically theor possible – advantages in handling. Ultimately, the conviction of the creed of the centralization of the masses will be severely tested. This experience is nothing new at Buell. But in the days of Harley-powered Buells, the myth of the exotic brand also benefited from the pleasure potential of the velvety pulsating engines from Milwaukee. With the EWC, however, the concept is moving out of its niche and, in the case of the SX, has to counter the strong headwind of highly developed power naked. But they leave little room for maneuver to believe in the freedom of the design spirit. What a pity. Honest.

Data and measured values

43 Pictures

Pictures: Ducati Monster 1200, EBR 1190 SX and KTM 1290 Super Duke R in the test

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Performance measurement


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Performance measurement.

It can be clearly seen that the engine of the EBR 1190 SX was taken over from its Superbike sister, the EX, without any changes. However: The record level of 176 hp in terms of top performance in the naked bike segment and the high revving power (almost 11,000 rpm maximum speed) are put into perspective in practice. In the lower speed range, which is much more important in this category, the European duo is clearly superior to the American. While the KTM 1290 Super Duke R offers a lot of power in all speed ranges, the Ducati Monster 1200 impresses with a very homogeneous torque curve. In practice, this is reflected in the form of confident, easily manageable pressure.

Diagram: power on the crankshaft. Measurements on the Dynojet roller test stand 250, corrected according to 95/1 / EG, maximum possible deviation ± 5%.

MOTORCYCLE scoring

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Pictures: Ducati Monster 1200, EBR 1190 SX and KTM 1290 Super Duke R in the test

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MOTORCYCLE test result

43 Pictures

Pictures: Ducati Monster 1200, EBR 1190 SX and KTM 1290 Super Duke R in the test

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