Which is the best looking super bike
Top 10: The best motorcycles of 2019 from the test participants
When the MOTORRAD testers choose their favorites of the year, there is a lot of feeling involved. Because nobody learns to love their “Bike of the Year” on the couch at home. No, these ten took us by the clutch hand and let us experience emotional moments in a fascinating world. Test editor René Correra starts off.
Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory (René Correra)
What else should you write about Aprilia in general and the Tuono in particular? To deal professionally with the bikes from Noale is a fight against windmills, despite the collective love of the testers: “How, they only build scooters?” “Aaaaach, Italians ... it doesn't last anyway!” “What is that supposed to be, a motorcycle called Tuna?"
Yes, they have been building motorcycles for a good 20 years, and with regularity they are even outstanding. And yes, they last and are obviously put together with more than just routine high-volume expertise. And no, despite all the Italian diction around the corner: "Tuono" means thunder, damned and sewn up, and the name says it all! In terms of power, in terms of sound, in terms of driving dynamics, in terms of everything. Yes, I've ridden stronger / faster / more expensive motorcycles. But this combination of sheer and yet highly cultivated engine power, razor-sharp handling, efficient but not patronizing electronics and MotoGP-compatible tubes is still unique even after many years of motorcycle testing. That goes for the first 1100 Tuono, on which I placed my rookie butt in 2015, as well as for the Factory that I raced this year. Despite a little less acoustic terror, a little more seating comfort and previously unattainable grace in the now semi-active chassis. It is still enough thick. For the heart, the nerves and the rest of the two-wheeler pack. Tuono remains Tuono no matter how sophisticated the table manners become. And for that you just have to love them. To the driving report of the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100.
Ducati 916 (Jens Möller-Töllner)
When Ducati introduced the 916 in 1993, nothing was the same as before. In the super sports segment, motorcycle history can be divided into an era before and after it. And it is precisely this status that can be a problem. I only knew the 916 from pictures and test reports. I've never driven a 916. This year it should be different. Still, I had a queasy feeling. Can the 916 even survive in this motorcycle world that has been tirelessly turning? Achievements grew, electronics dominate everything today. Isn't that good for demystifying the 916? Meeting your own old heroes can rob them of all fascination. Still, curiosity triumphed.
There she was standing in front of me, over 25 years old. And the seemingly effortless sensibility of its layout is still inspiring. No quick release fastener that doesn't sit exactly where it needs to be. With that alone, the then Duc chief developer Massimo Tamburini created something unique. The Faszinosum 916 remains intact even when driving. But not because of the engine, because it is the only component that Tamburini was not allowed to redesign. But everything else and especially the chassis pushes the corners of the mouth up even today. Feedback, driving precision, unshakable stability: these features that set the 916 apart in 1993 can still be felt today and can be experienced with every meter. Simply madness. Therefore: Thank you, Ducati 916 - you are my personal motorcycle highlight 2019!
Ducati Hypermotard 950 (Volkmar Jacob)
To go into more detail about my personal 2019 highlight, first of all a quick look back at the first issue of MOTORRAD this year: Even then, we should already name our hit of the (previous) year. I raved about an imaginary machine and put it together in my mind. A 1000 cubic V2 with a good 130 hp and around 110 Nm should serve as the drive. This would have to be in a fun bike chassis à la Husqvarna Nuda, but equipped with first-class suspension elements, killer brakes and carbon wheels. The bike should also weigh no more than 180 kilos, making it the ultimate country road burner.
The freshly revised Ducati Hypermotard 950 came in spring. We remember: Since this model series was launched in 2007, the machines have been wobbly when turning and when tilting and constantly demanded steering corrections - more or less pronounced depending on the year. And the new one? No more trace of idiosyncratic driving behavior. Suddenly she gives in super easy and whets wonderfully neutral around the corners. The upright, active sitting position has always been good for me, and the typical Ducati V2 Boller sound is mega anyway. Away from the racetrack, the “Hymo” comes pretty close to my ideal. Now all she has to do is shed a few of her 202 kilos, press significantly more power than 111 PS (measured value), swallow bumps a little more sensitively, her wheels are made of carbon ...
Honda Fireblade SP (Ralf Schneider)
It happened again in the big comparison test of the super athletes in the spring: switched from another machine to the Fireblade, I rumbled over the inner curbs in one of the first corners. But what spoiled the line for me this one time comes from one of the greatest qualities of the Fireblade. It turns much more easily than the other motorcycles in its class. And once the driver gets used to it after a lap or two, he can use this ability. Let the gas stand for a longer moment, dance nimbly through alternating curves or dive into one or the other curve a tad later, in order to have steered the motorcycle so far in the right direction at the apex that it can straighten it up earlier and open the gas . So the Fireblade can catch up some horsepower that it lacks on the superior motorized competition. At the same time, she does not look wobbly, but finds the right line with impressive precision. It also lets the driver feel extremely precisely what the front and corner exit of the rear tires are doing.
On top of that. I also like to drive Fireblade off the racetrack, because apart from her weak start on cold, damp autumn and winter mornings, she is very suitable for everyday use. On routes with very tight bends, it is noticeable that your engine is not the highest torque, but that can be compensated for with the perfectly functioning shift assistant.
Indian FTR 1200 (Rolf Henniges)
Pig, because I was allowed to go to the USA for the world presentation of the FTR 1200. In the hills around Los Angeles, the FTR was able to show what it can do. Only the “Race Replica” and “S” models were used. With three driving modes and traction control. Great experience. Big surprise when the standard FTR rolled into the editorial office months later. About the annoying, absolutely miserable cold running behavior of the engine. And about the exciting mix of powerful V2, short gear ratio, lack of traction control and tires that don't even want to work in the rain. That made for a lot of adrenaline on the first exit - when it is wet you have wheelspin up to sixth gear.
The rain grip is so low that, as a precaution, you should drive ice lines instead of rain lines. You have to like that. But even in the dry, the FTR courageously drifts out of the corners if you provoke it. The mounted Dunlop DT3 tires are deceptively similar to real flat-track tires. If you squeeze out the potent motor properly, you have a lot of fun, because the FTR slides in a very controlled manner. In addition, the ergonomics are right for me ("Oh dear!", Editor's note), I like the powerful thrust of the drive and sit perfectly on the machine. It was precisely because the US boys did not use traction control in the standard version that this bike gave me an incredible amount of riding fun. Because it constantly challenges me and emphatically forces me to concentrate completely. That can be very sexy too.
Kawasaki H2 SX SE + (Thomas Schmieder)
Does 200 hp really make sense in a sports tourer? Oh yeah! Because this is not about sheer engine power, but about a system in which everything fits together, a real total work of art. This motorcycle is tame to the touch, almost pious, is extremely easy to direct, drives like telepathically controlled. From the first meter you merge with the Kawa. It integrates you perfectly, handlebar stubs and footrests are exactly where they belong. The motor, which is forcibly ventilated by a compressor, takes on gas gently, not like an attack. The semi-active spring elements spring and dampen wonderfully and respond fantastically sensitively. Brembo's latest monoblocs brake like the devil, blessed with heavenly transparency.
The high-contrast TFT display shows crystal clear, the cornering light is ingenious, extensive and well thought-out equipment including heated grips, main stand and the fastest standard suitcases of all time. The tires work well, Bridgestone S 21. Even on alpine passes, the handy Kawa finds the right line like a wishing rod. Curves, hairpin bends, Kawasaki! But on German autobahns, it becomes an animal. 140 Newton meters from "only" 1000 cubic meters. How the engine picks up in the second half of the speed, the speed spikes up, the propulsion never wants to slow down beyond a speed of 250 to almost 300, that's a great experience. Unfortunately, the much too small main headlight with its delicate front silhouette hardly reports what kind of projectile appears in the rearview mirror - the overtaking prestige is moderate. Imperturbable and precise like a laser beam, the ninja with the bulky model name holds the course. Only Kawasaki's futuristic Manga design polarizes; the high price is a deterrent. It's a shame, so few people can ride one of the best motorcycles of all time.
KTM 790 Adventure R (Karsten Schwers)
Don't laugh now, even if the word "bumps" shouldn't be missing in a text about the 790 Adventure. As a reminder: The most famous travel enduro in the world, the GS, even has cylinders growing here. That should remind us that there are also good design reasons to place the two tank extensions to the right and left of the crankshaft. The center of gravity moves down, as does the seat height. That has tangible advantages - and we're on the subject.
Because this KTM and I - we must have had the same project manager. Or at least an identical specification sheet. Priority one: offroad, priority two: also. And third: we both want to travel to and from the country on the move, not on a trailer. After all, we are travelers, not freight forwarders. And we still want to be fit for the exams that are waiting for us. As with our first joint assignment this year at the big travel enduro comparison in the Italian-French border area near Turin. Suddenly she was standing in front of me, up this wall to the Jafferau fortress at 2,815 meters above sea level. In winter a ski slope, now a sea of rocks and rubble. “The only thing that helps is gas,” I thought. “Don't flinch now. Once you stand, you can't go any further. ”In such a situation there is no room for self-doubt. And no one for doubts about the material. Neither came up on the Adventure R. Why also, with this chassis, this engine and this ergonomics? She had ridden along on the street, and up here she blossomed. Soon we were on the summit. I was proud, and probably so was she. It crackled with satisfaction.
Triumph Speed Twin (Andreas Bildl)
First of all: For me, a motorcycle first and foremost needs a good chassis so that it can inspire me, because I like corner robbers and dynamics. And you can't do that without a proper chassis. I can come to terms with a moderate engine, but not with a weak chassis. Point. That would actually mean the chapter on Speed Twin. Because the Speed Twin can do a lot of things really well, but not sporty suspension. Too soft, not binding, at best satisfactory, also considering the price. That could be done with little effort. Why is the Speed Twin anyway? Because the direction it is taking is just fine with me. A cuddly twin that comes along on velvet paws.
With meaty torque, grabs pretty powerfully, sounds wonderful, not stressed and still stimulates the adrenaline output. Everything packed in a remarkably delicate street garment. Not overly ambitious, without excess equipment, styling or electronics, it shines with the virtue of moderation. Enough of everything, especially pressure, sound, and feel-good atmosphere. Garnished with a relaxed sitting position. More than 600 infected people saw it at least similarly and made the Speed Twin just about a bestseller in the Triumph program this year. I don't need the retro look, but it doesn't bother me either. If the spring elements were to act at eye level with the rest, then it would be a real cream pie.
Yamaha Ténéré 700 (Stefan Kaschel)
Don't you want to hear that? Nobody wants to hear that. It hits us all sooner or later. What exactly? Well, this phase in life that has so many questions and hardly any answers ready for us. For example, whether it really has to be 200 hp? And if not, what to do with all the electronic hocus-pocus, when the show curve used to be with wooden tires and without assistance systems on the knee - and today it is no longer about perishing. If a man gets on the wrong motorcycle at this critical time in his life, a lot can go wrong very quickly. In the worst case scenario, he'll only drive his car from now on. Or bike. Everything has already been there.
I, on the other hand, was lucky and climbed onto the new Ténéré with my backpack full of questions. And came back with an actually banal answer from the trip to the Alps with her. It read: Keep it simple! The most beautiful things in life are wonderfully simple. Like on this motorcycle. Braking, turning, bending, accelerating, straightening up, accelerating: This didn't require a complex algorithm or a six-axis bearing - and no special turning mapping either. Everything it needed was inside of me, the Yamaha pulls it out. It was so easy because she made it easy for me. And so, towards evening, after wonderful gravel paths and meters in altitude, I sat in front of a hut in the mountains that I would never have found on another motorcycle. I looked down into the valley, life was raging down there. It was quiet up here. And I had my answer.
Zero SR / F (Peter Mayer)
Rarely have we had more violent reader reactions than in the top test of the Zero SR / F. For as omnipresent as electromobility and the benevolent discussion about it in the automotive segment, it is currently not penetrating the motorcyclist community any deeper. And the arguments of the electric opponents cannot refute the Zero either. Too expensive! 24,000 euros - this figure is otherwise at best under a sales contract for a six-cylinder BMW. Short range! 140 kilometers on the country road and 65 kilometers on the autobahn are sobering. Too long loading time! Four hours at the household socket, two hours at the fast charging station. Okay for bikers who read Tolstoy during the compulsory break. No sound! Right.
The bottom line is actually not much in favor of the Zero. At least not reason. But motorcycling is emotion - which is only defined differently by Zero. Because emotion is also when you don't disturb anyone while gliding silently. Emotion is when you experience passers-by showing thumbs up to whisper-quiet e-bikers. Emotion is when people ask in a friendly manner about the technology of Zero. And emotion is also when the rest of the mobile world doesn't stand a chance at the traffic light sprint against the clutchless and gearless Stromer. By the way: With electric bikes, the term route closure would be unknown. So it's high time someone invented cheaper, lighter and more powerful batteries. Then not only will I like the unloved Zero.
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