Finals large motorcycle test in the Alps Part-2

motorcycle test


The Drilling it challenges almost to let him roll with idling speed to the steep curves of the Izoard, and then – without slipping clutch or fear of a load change jerk – just carefree on the gas. A feeling that one longs for in every turn again, that’s almost addictive. And the only real weak point of the Triple, to the taut rear suspension, outshone. Over transverse joints as frequent in the Alps cattle grid divides namely the triumph of neat.

Motocrosser Andrea stands before each Huckel already prophylactically in the catches. Also unfortunate: The R version of the Speed Triple (forged wheels instead of cast, monoblock calipers, Ohlins Suspension parts) comes with 15,000 euros as a naked bike in front of the price ranges of athletes and enduros. Only Thomas, Wheeliekonig and Cascadeur through and through, has entered the Speed Triple with the first kilometers in the heart. For him it is anyway the potential Alpine Masters champion. The youngster from Paris is rather the GS jilted.

motorcycle test

Still falls the Refuge Napoleon, a testament of the legendary commander decreed shelter shortly after the pass height, a clear decision. 5-1 against the noble nude – or more correctly, 1:5 for the remaining trio. The BMW R 1200 GS, the Kawasaki Versys 1000 and the Triumph Tiger Explorer as throw enduros or crossover bike now an additional subject in the balance: the universality. They offer more than just the carefree Kehrenhatz. How much more?

Furthermore can ponder on the long link up shortly before Embrun. The Col du Parpaillon will be the first answer. Bumpy and lonely, the road winds upwards. Eight kilometers from the summit of the asphalt ends.

The triumvirate bobbed continues. The ESA to “Sport” zapped, and already the BMW plowed along the rough road. The Bavarian decades of input from Globetrotter this world is to be noted. She seems more stable in this area, is 27 kg lighter and has more reserves than the suspension triumph. When Kawa out their tires (Pirelli Scorpion Trail) shows no signs of enduristische ambitions. No motor or grip pads, with 150 millimeters relatively short travel suspension, low ground clearance, cast wheels, the Versys has a low opinion of dusty element.

motorcycle test

Despite this, she succeeds brilliantly along wet ruts and even by a mountain stream (see photo above). 300 meters from the finish end snowfields off-road excursion. Not the end, of completely frozen Tunel Parpaillon you would have already impassable. However, the rise was worth. Here in the remoteness of the area, the Alps seem even more magnificent than the bustling mountain passes.

Fifteen minutes later, we’re back. Freddy, Thomas and Sergio make the choice again, even in the short ground level. The vote is clear: 5:1. Only Thomas, with the good touring bikes can not do much care about, again. Nevertheless, the Kawa is out. Pity, because the somewhat unsightly duckling has – at least on asphalt – tremendous skills.

Effortlessly moves from the 1000s up to the highest revs tours through the rev range. On one hand he whispers even in sixth gear yet meek through the villages, on the other hand he bites aggressively from 5000 rpm and makes just under 12000 EUR relatively inexpensive Versys for excellent steering precision Highway Feger. Only the under damped strut plays under extreme conditions the spoilsport.

The tension rises. First, because the detour along the Lac de Serre-Poncon, the largest artificial lake in Europe, wastes time, and second, because in the final, the two fattest fish in the enduro segment face once again: the BMW R 1200 GS and the new Triumph Tiger Explorer. In the two-part MOTORCYCLE comparison test (Issue 9 and 12/2012), the BMW had hit the triumph in the roads and the overall standings.

motorcycle test

And now? What will decide? The silky-soft and husky with 131 hp three-cylinder engine of the British? Or better handling of the lighter Bavarian? Both are not without weaknesses. The BMW chassis tends occasionally on bumpy asphalt to trampling and the weak response of the Telelever front needs some getting used to. The massive triumph lacks some ride comfort and agility.

The final crown is in a dignified atmosphere, held in the highest alpine pass, the ring road around the Cime de la Bonette at 2802 meters above sea level. It’s getting gloomy, as the two take their four-entourage in tow, the 25 miles of Jausiers out in attack.

The cyclists and campers are gone, the street deserted. Even after so many hours in the saddle of the curve unmolested Swing provides the grip asphalt for evening ecstasy. What a sprint! Also, the pass is orphaned when the two protagonists park in front of the memorial stone for the builders of the mountain pass. The last box on the ballot is filled out. Seconds later the result. 3:3 – stalemate. And now: election?

Coin toss? Not necessary. After an outstanding performance in the Alps – and not only there – both have laid. Each with their own individual strengths and (few) weaknesses. And as they say: Shared joy is double joy – even when Alpine Masters 2012th.

Finals large motorcycle test in the Alps Part-1

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