Comparison test BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200 S, KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R.

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BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200 S, KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test.

BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200 S, KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R in comparison.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R: Dickmann: 1301 cm³, 177 PS – the V2 of the Super Duke R doesn’t spill. He’s bulging

KTM 1290 Super Duke R: Space: Tools are stowed under the seat, the cell phone is charged and luggage is lashed

KTM 1290 Super Duke R in comparison test.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R in comparison test.

BMW S 1000 R in a comparison test.

BMW S 1000 R: Quads: Great running smoothness, lively appearance – the BMW four-in-line appeals in its own way

BMW S 1000 R: Portrait: The shift linkage is now installed vertically

BMW S 1000 R in a comparison test.

BMW S 1000 R in a comparison test.

BMW S 1000 R in a comparison test.

BMW S 1000 R in a comparison test.

BMW S 1000 R in a comparison test.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test.

Ducati Monster 1200 S: All well and good: Polished manners are the trump card of the Ducati V2

Ducati Monster 1200 S
: Clear case: The monsters are also marching with the triumphant advance of TFT displays – right at the front

Ducati Monster 1200 S: Fits: smooth damping, good comfort – suspension strut from Öhlins

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test.

Ducati Monster 1200 S in comparison test.

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in a comparison test.

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R: All good things come in threes: The 1050 three-cylinder determines the driving experience on the Speed ​​Triple

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R: Typical for Speedy: tubular frame look in cast aluminum

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in a comparison test.

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in a comparison test.

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in a comparison test.

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in a comparison test.

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in a comparison test.

Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in a comparison test.

BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200 S, KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test.

BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200 S, KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test.

BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200 S, KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison test.

BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200 S, KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R in comparison.

BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200 S, KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R.

Power naked bikes in a comparison test

Power naked bikes are considered the horrors of the country road. Strong as a bear, technically state-of-the-art and optically spectacular. MOTORRAD invaded Lake Garda with the four European highway robbers BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200 S, KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R..

I.In two months the sheet metal avalanche will roll along here, stop-and-go will become the recommended speed. It’s hard to believe when a couple of delivery vans and scattered racing cyclists generously share the promenade. Anyone who has experienced the Remmidemmi in summer will hardly recognize the region. He will enjoy how life lolls slowly from its hibernation and gradually wakes up with a calm pulse. Early spring on Lake Garda. We are in the right place at the right time.

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BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200 S, KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Triumph Speed ​​Triple R.
Power naked bikes in a comparison test

Speed ​​Triple R (differences to the basic variant: Öhlins spring elements, red rear frame, front spoiler, carbon fenders, 1700 euros surcharge) are the most reserved. In the quartet of muscle-packed Eurofighters, their measured 134 hp seem almost underpowered. But as I said: Usually it is not how much that decides, but how. Anyway, on the narrow streets carved into the vertical rock on the west bank of Lake Garda. It is precisely this how the three of a kind, which was revised for the 2016 season, traditionally answered confidently. It is impressive how the more refined three-cylinder with its reduced inlet cross-section (44 instead of 46 mm) and finer atomization of the mixture (ten-hole instead of four-hole injection nozzles) tackles the even more refined three-cylinder engine from the very lowest speeds. He accelerates as smooth as butter, whispering his typical whistle through the speed range completely without frills. The fact that its torque curve spans between 2200 rpm and the maximum speed of 9300 rpm is almost as flat as the water level of the lake can be felt at every moment, understanding that the three-cylinder concept is still as attractive as 23 years after the first Speed ​​Triple back then. Rain-mapping, which is hesitant to accelerate, is definitely never needed. You can even see that the clutch and gearshift, which was also revised last year, is now the hackiest of the quartet. No lapse, keep it. But without the shift assistant and – for example in city traffic – the slippery-hopping clutch, which acts sharply during the transition from the pushing to the pulling phase, the Speedy drive in the upgraded field falls somewhat in this respect.

If only because the Ducati Monster S (differences to the basic version: Öhlins spring elements, high-quality brakes, shift assistant, forged wheels, 2900 euros surcharge) has also retrofitted in this aspect. To anticipate: the Schaltassi (with blipper) works first class and beats that of the KTM by far. In general, the Duc revised for this year makes on Bella Figura. Whether it is the oval throttle body or the finely tuned mapping, the 1200 Desmo Vauzwo goes on the gas as cultivated as never before, has transformed from the wild Kraftmax of yore into a well-off Signora. The L-Twin pulls out of the many flowing curves of the Seestrasse in a very clean manner, and the modeled engine is also mechanically quiet and high-quality. The fact that he also stages the neat print with a quieter, but just as sonorous pounding, only makes the Italian propellant even more appealing.

In any case, polished manners are obviously the order of the day. Because KTM also had the distinguished appearance for the Super Duke R, which was also revised for the 2017 model year, at the top of the specifications. Although the Austrians do without a noble version of the Super Duke, they only reveal the entire electronic potential (extended traction control, quickshifter, engine drag torque control, 875 euros surcharge) for a second look. Regardless of this, the sporty V2 of the present with the largest displacement with 1301 cm³ shines brighter than the spring sun of northern Italy. The Big Vault, smoothed with resonator chambers on the intake tract, can be lowered without rattling until just over 2000 tours, only to start shortly above with a vehement force. After a few bends, the pure enthusiasm displaces the respect for the frighteningly strong power plant with 177 hp. You click your way through the mappings lively, expect the uncontrollable kick and instead get omnipresent, but always good-natured power. Driving so fast has seldom been so fun. Against this background, the fact that the new Schaltassi has a bit of difficulty harmonizing the rotating masses at low speeds almost seems like a deliberate grounding.

The BMW plays in a completely different world of emotions. Although the Bavarians also refrain from a pepped up special model, they still create a considerable price difference (3200 euros) compared to the basic edition with lots of accessories (shift assistant, forged wheels, semi-active chassis, ABS cornering). Lots of cylinders, lots of speed, lots of power – this equation is quickly drawn from the leather suit when it comes to in-line four-cylinder engines. And basically this calculation example also fits the Bayern four. The four-of-a-kind has to be demonstrated by the rest of the trio up to 7000 rpm, only then takes another breath. But what turns out to be a barrel organ on the dynamometer mutates into a carefree engine between the lake and the rock face. The propellant hangs on the gas and runs wonderfully easily. He does not have to demand speeds. They are given to him voluntarily. The shift assistant alone – from 2017 also with blipper function – encourages you to stir in the transmission and experience the virtually seamless transition when changing gear. The fact that the linkage with the pressurized can is now mounted vertically instead of horizontally as it was before and also a bit obtrusive makes it easier to convert the shift pattern (first gear up, the rest down) for use on the racetrack. With which the zigzag around the lake has precious little to do here. Nonetheless: The short-stroke kicks in, snaps up the speed ladder in a flash, appears fresh and lively. Even the snotty babbling that echoes from the wall when it is pushing fits into the image of the wiry streetfighter who – like all his colleagues – has preserved his character himself under the yoke of Euro 4.

But the strictter limit values ​​that came into force this year have not passed the Kraft quartet without a trace. A sober comparison between the Euro 3 homologated predecessors and the current Euro 4 models shows it. In a nutshell: The BMW loses up to eight hp from 6000 rpm, but at the very top it reaches its nominal output increased by five hp (165 hp). The weight remains unchanged at 207 kg – despite the 2.4 kg lighter forged wheels. The Ducati loses around five horsepower across the entire rev range, but its peak output (145 hp) is somewhat above the previous year’s level. The weight increases by three to 216 kilos. The KTM lost around five horsepower between 4000 and 8000 rpm, but then gained nine horses (177 hp). She put on five kilos (218 kg). Only the Triumph remains unchanged in terms of performance. With 134 PS, however, it cannot redeem the performance increase to 140 PS announced for the 2017 model. She lost one kilo (220 kg) – also because the tank capacity was reduced by two liters..

The thoughts wander back to the lake. But that is already behind us. Christian on the BMW knows his way around this area very well after many holiday tours, and turns in Riva del Garda to the southeast. Half an hour later we shoot up the serpentines of the Monti Lessini. An insider tip within sight of the motorway. The power quartet has found its calling. Accelerate, brake, flip and accelerate every second. Wedge like on the ski slope, only in the opposite direction. What an experience! Christian sets the pace as an ex-long-distance world championship racer. Perhaps because BMW is the only one of the gang of four to have a semi-active chassis. Hardly likely. Or is it? Because before each of the tight bends, the front of the BMW deflects noticeably little, so it stays on course more precisely than any other. It takes just five hundredths of a second for the electric motors to adapt the damping of the Sachs spring elements to the current driving situation. In most cases, the electrified suspension elements may not be superior to other well-coordinated chassis, but when braking, they are clearly. Especially since the BMW Brembo stoppers are still a bit higher than the competition. Tap the lever with the tip of your index finger, and the S 1000 stands. Effortless and easy to dose. Great. But even more impressive is how lively the only Superbike derivative in the test field can be swiveled through the bends. With light forged wheels and the neutral Bridgestone S 20 Evo tires, the light Bavarian snaps from lean to lean more playfully than anyone else. Everything is wonderfully easy.

Even the Ducati has to hurry. The Bolognese technicians compressed the big monster once more for this season with a shorter wheelbase (minus 26 mm), caster (minus 6 mm) and a steeper steering angle (plus 1 degree). The Italian slips through the corners with even more agility than before, and with the most comfortably coordinated spring elements in this quartet – and her comfortable seat cushion – loosely sucks away many a frost breakout. In any case, the Duc cuts an excellent figure, also thanks to its electronics that have been upgraded for this year (with inclined position sensors). Whether the over-motivated turn on the electric throttle or the involuntary dangling on the gravel split off the ideal line – if you take it, the freely configurable multi-level traction and wheelie control or the cornering ABS will cool your overheated hat.

There is always a risk that the KTM rider will knock from behind. Because one thing is clear: if the man pulls orange on the cable, the rest of the trio has to duck. Catapulted out of every bend by the mighty V2, the Super Duker automatically switches to attack mode. Secured by the electronics with incline sensors, which have been significantly further developed compared to the previous year’s model, you involuntarily let it crash. If you switch off the wheelie control, you will find that none of these power bikes can be placed on the rear wheel as effortlessly and risk-free as the KTM. But also little things like the handlebars, which are less cranked for this year and are mounted further forward, change a lot, add additional load and more feedback from the front end. Nevertheless, the Austrian is not under full steam in all aspects. The most upright sitting position, the slimmest waist and the most relaxed knee angle form the opposite pole to the aggro attitude. They relax body and mind, let you enjoy the curve swing on the 1290 without the very last groove mania, the beast mutate into beautiful and brave. Only one thing stands out: When it comes to suspension, the WP Suspension combo lacks the very last touch. Even in the environment of the basically tightly coordinated power squad, the hindquarters in particular still hops over the asphalt frostbite.

This is exactly where the Triumph comes in. Like a seismograph, the Öhlins ensemble sensitively follows the ground and – with the rebound and compression damping slightly turned up compared to the standard version – easily handles every pothole. Is the Englishwoman already planning ahead? Perhaps. Because while the remaining gang of three rushes up the mountain in an astonishingly narrow corridor of the highest level, the Speedy is more defensive. At 220 kilos, it may not be heavier than the Duc and KTM, but it feels like the massive three-cylinder is significantly more bulky and generates a very independent, front-oriented driving experience. Instead of applying slight pressure on the thighs, the Briton is deliberately tugging on the handlebars. After all: the heavy front wheel literally sucks into the asphalt and builds up enormous grip. This may convey security, but the ease of power biking noticeably diminishes this focus. In general, the great mother of all street fighters is mild in age. Whether the super-soft acceleration of the three-cylinder in all three driving modes, the restrained bite of the brakes, the low handlebars or the comparatively wide knee joint – the lady appears less pointed and more conservative than the competition even after the revision. In terms of electronics, too, it remains below the class average without any lean angle sensors. Bad? For those who value their strengths – first and foremost the so magnificently running three-cylinder – certainly not. For those who calculate coolly, yes.

Because as upscale as the furnishings, the prices were also stately. Around 17,000 euros have to be put on the table for each of the pimped up Eurofighters. Single-sided swing arms, Öhlins suspension, high-performance motors and the most modern and meticulously coordinated assistance systems require a great deal of development effort. The picture fits. We have reached the top – technically, in terms of price and also geographically. Two weeks earlier, skiers made their turns on the Passo delle Fitanze, which is 1400 meters high. Even now the meltwater still flows in small streams over the narrow street. We drive carefully down to the valley. The rudimentary rear sections surrender to the splashing dirt. In a matter of seconds, a brown patina covers the bench and the back of the leather suits. Fair weather machines? Might be. Still fascinating, polarizing, but above all euphoric concepts. Each with an individual being. Less pointed and with its very own character dominated by the three-cylinder engine: the Triumph. Sociable, gentle and with a heart for everyday life: the Ducati, which is even more agile and domesticated for this season. Aggressive, sporty and with the racing spirit of a superbike: the BMW. And finally the KTM, which at the end of the day probably offers the best combination of irrepressible strength and good controllability, decent manners and wild power, suitability for everyday use and sportsmanship and wins this comparison.

And the same applies to all four: We were in the right place at the right time – on the right bikes anyway.

MOTORCYCLE test result

1. KTM 1290 Super Duke R

The beast wins. But not only because of the highest performance and the powerful acceleration. The Super Duke R wins triumph because it combines its impressive power with excellent running smoothness, highly developed electronic assistance systems, great brakes and good workmanship.

2. BMW S 1000 R

It was close. The sleek four-cylinder, the stable chassis and the best brakes in the field pave the way for the BMW to the top. Ultimately, she only has to line up behind the KTM due to weaknesses in the pillion operation. Solo pilots won’t mind the blemish.

3. Ducati Monster 1200 S.

It’s just like this: With power nakeds, power counts. The fact that you can be happy even with 145 hp applies in general and with the Duc in particular. The Italian pleases with nimble handling and an emotionally charged engine. The relatively comfortable suspension adds a big point of sympathy to the whole.

4. Triumph Speed ​​Triple R

Last but not least. The Speed ​​Triple looks a bit pale in a highly competitive environment. The legendary three-cylinder gives it a special character. Anyone who can do without excessive performance and electronic overkill will be happy with the British. Only the handling should be a bit more agile.

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