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.
Purported to be a bike of “endless transformations” the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring aims to be the biking answer to all riders, but beyond the one-size fits all ethos does the new Multi live up to the hype? In Part 1 of our two part review we examine Urban and Touring modes to find out.