Guzzi S3: Cooler and cheaper than a new V7
F6C and CB1100EX
Egoless touring: 3000 miles on a Burgman
MSL February 2014
MOTORCYCLE SPORT & LEISURE
FOR THE FUN OF RIDING
◆ Suzuki V-Strom ◆ Kawasaki Z1000 ◆ BMW S1000R
NEW SUZUKI V-STROM RIDDEN ◆ Most advanced Suzuki yet ◆ Under £10,000 ◆ Why we’ve had to wait
Pages of touring Sweden, Dorset, Scotland, Latvia
BEST British classic bikes EVER! £300 to £1M
£10K SUPER NAKEDS TESTED CRAZY BIKES FOR GROWN UP PEOPLE All the power ◆ All the handling ◆ All the tech Kawasaki Z1000 and BMW S1000R
PLUS: Aprilia’s affordable alternative Tuono revisited
PLUS: The funkiest adventure bike EVER ◆ Indian’s plans for taking over the world ◆ Know your tourer: Honda Deauville ◆ Great Rides ◆ Buell is BACK! Scoop ride on the EBR1100RS
No. 641 February 2014
First Rides Suzuki V-Strom 1000
Suzuki’s big adventure:
PICKING UP A V-STROM
£9999 is a competitive price, no question about that, but has the all-new 1000 (the most advanced Suzuki ever and the ﬁrst with Traction Control) arrived at the party a year or two too late to be noticed by many? WORDS: Tony Carter PHOTOGRAPHY: Suzuki
wo things can tell you a lot about whether a motorcycle has hit its market square in the chops or not. And both happen on a global launch for a new model. e ﬁrst is how testers from various places get dressed for the test ride. If it’s a track test then you can’t read much into it (no choice, full leathers) but a road-riding launch is diﬀerent. Do you go full leathers or Gore-Tex? Leather jacket and jeans or Cordura? Tricky… usually, everyone wears the same kit, everyone knows the market and dresses accordingly. But not this time. e second is ‘the buzz’. e amount of excited chatter among the aforementioned riders, usually at its peak during the ﬁrst coﬀee stop scheduled into the big-mile, toughriding full day. Say... about an hour or so in. By now everyone’s bedded in with the bike, you’ve played with all the settings and found the braking limit, chucked it around a lot of bends and got up to speed. In short, you know how this two-wheeled new boy works and feels. Ahead of seeing how it responds to some heavy-handed action later on.
The S1000R’s ﬁnish is premium.
These types of bikes are all about fun. Why do I tell you this? Well, here’s the thing. I’ve ridden arguably both of the hottest motorcycles to appear for years, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R and now the BMW S1000R. And I’ve ridden them a month apart, on similarly great roads and slippery roads abroad. In short, they’ve gone for the same market, from two companies whose very lifeblood is diametrically opposed. In the orange corner is the Austrian KTM. Passionate about the riding experience, comes from a dirt-riding background, makes fun engines and amazing chassis. Madder than a bucket of mad badgers and twice as fun. In the other there’s BMW. Great motorcycles, eﬃciently brilliant and thoroughly Teutonic in the way they just work so well whatever you ask of them. So in terms of the big naked market, you can already call the winner in this can’t you? ese types of bike are all about fun, great and lively engines, the type of people who build these bikes are all about making lively things and just having a good time… And because you’re an intelligent, typical MSL reader you can see where I’m going with this too. Yep, sorry KTM but the BMW has just whupped your orangey bottom with the S1000R. e German bike really is, quite jawdroppingly, bloody brilliant. So how do I know? Well, the variety of kit was the ﬁrst indicator. On the
This can looks great and sounds even better when you’re on the gas.
KTM launch we were all in leathers (although we were riding on track aer the ﬁrst day of pure-road riding but we all agreed that we’d all have worn leathers anyway for the 180bhp 1290) but for the BMW there was as much variety among the riders as you could imagine, and then there’s that ﬁrst stop buzz. BMW’s ﬁrst stop was agog with excited chatter and noise from us lot. On the KTM we outwardly asked why we weren’t being more excited by the big orange number. Which only underlined what I’d been thinking as I bedded in on the 160bhp, heavily-tweaked naked version of the ﬁrm’s S1000RR superbike. Yes, the bars are wide and they pull you forward into a ready-foraction stance. Yes, the power is instant, glitch free and widespread from low revs, thanks to the RBW throttle, and there’s oodles of grip with wonderful response from the suspension. We rode the full-spec Dynamic DDC versions of the bike, more about that system-cleverness elsewhere in my report, and what the bike was doing
In detail: BMW S1000R
the amount in mm of travel on the 46mm upside-down forks and single shock rear
the number of spokes on the new aluminium wheels which the brake disc rings are bolted directly to
the amount of bhp less the S1000R has compared to the S1000RR superbike
The riding modes (among other things)
There’s lots to crow about in terms of the clever stuﬀ on the S1000R, not least of all the optional HP Gear Shift Assistant, which allows clutchless upshifting with minimal torque interruption. As standard the bike comes with Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Race ABS and two riding modes (Road and Rain). Optional additions include Riding mode Pro with two additional riding modes and DTC.
In Road mode, Race ABS and ASC are set up for dry road conditions and you get the sharp throttle response. In Rain mode, the throttle response is softer and Race ABS and ASC intervene sooner, in line with the conditions. Maximum power is limited to 136bhp at 9500rpm and torque to 77lb-ft at 9000rpm. The Riding mode Pro option adds two further riding modes, Dynamic and Dynamic Pro, on top
of the standard spec. Riding mode Pro is included in the DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) option and also in the optional Sports Package. The standard ASC is replaced by DTC with integrated banking angle sensor and the engine is set up for direct throttle response and the Race ABS thresholds are higher. Rear-wheel lift-oﬀ detection is disabled as well, while the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) thresholds
are higher for a more dynamic riding style. The Dynamic Pro mode (activated by a coding plug) is intended for extra-sporty riding
on dry roads. In this mode, Race ABS operates without rear wheel lift-oﬀ detection and does not intervene in rear-wheel braking.
NEW The engine In 2009 BMW made the S1000RR and it was good. But kicking out 193bhp and being what you’d class as an earth-spinning, honest-to-goodness world superbike on the road meant that this was the kind of BMW that the rest of the world outside of speed-addicted loons tended to largely ignore. To turn that genuine beast into something a bit more manageable for the masses, the factory pared the weight down to 160hp and kitted the naked bike out with Race
ABS, ASC and a choice of two riding modes as standard. In this version the inline-four engine develops maximum power at 11,000rpm and maximum torque of 152lb-ft at 9250rpm. Torque has been increased for added impetus on the road. Up to 7500rpm, the S1000Rs engine oﬀers up 7lb-ft more torque than the S1000RR. The 999cc fourcylinder engine, which has a bore/stroke of 49.7 x 80mm, uses a valvetrain with small, lightweight single
rocker arms. In combination with a short, toothed, sprocket-driven camshaft timing chain, this provides maximum rpm stability and precise valve timing. For even better low and midrange eﬃciency, the cylinder head ducts have been redesigned and the valve lift curves have been modiﬁed. Maximum rpm is around 2000rpm lower than on the S1000RR. The bike also uses the new BMS-X engine management system – a full E-Gas throttle-bywire system.
Agility and excitement is plentiful. Comfort and wind protection is not.
First Rides EBR 1100RS
SCOOP! THE EBR1100RS
(USED TO BE BUELL)
This is quite something. Think Buell as it was but made a bit sharper, funkier and more interesting than its rivals. In short, Erik B and his awesome-handling bikes are back. WORDS: Alan Cathcart PHOTOGRAPHY: Kel Edge
ancy a bit of an anoraky-stat to start things oﬀ with? Okay, how about this? ... besides marking Buell’s long awaited arrival on the world stage, the 2014 racing season will see the ﬁrst all-American motorcycle to compete in WSBK. e bike is Erik Buell Racing’s (EBR) water-cooled dohc 72º V-twin. e engine was originally designed by Rotax in Austria for use in the now defunct Buell 1125R sportbike, but is now built in evolved guise in EBR’s factory in East Troy, Wisconsin, mainly (but not exclusively) from components supplied by Rotax, then ﬁtted in a Chicago-made monocoque chassis bristling with examples of the innovation Erik Buell is known for. But that’s not the only signiﬁcant landmark that the EBR’s arrival will represent – for adorning the sides of its sleek fairing will be the name of one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers, India’s Hero MotoCorp, which produced 6.2 million powered two-wheelers in 2012, and in July this year purchased a 49.2% share of EBR’s equity as part of its strategic realignment in the wake of its divorce from Honda. Okay, better to come clean and own up to the fact that the last time I rode a motorcycle built in East Troy was when I became the last person ever to ride a factory Buell road racer under Harley-Davidson ownership – and the last to crash one, too… Back in October 2009, aer completing a 30 lap test at Barber Speedway aboard Danny Eslick’s AMA title-winning Buell 1125R, I crashed the prototype Buell 1125RR factory Superbike I’d also been invited to sample, and wound up in the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham. Five days later, Buell was out of business – and no, the two things weren’t connected…
Rim mounted discs look great and perform well.
Dorset’s not all about the Jurassic coast. Here’s a half-day ride criss-crossing chalk ridges on a mix of A, B and minor roads WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: Peter Henshaw
© 2013 Google From the top of Batcombe Hill.
eymouth is still basking in the glory of hosting the Olympic sailing events last year. It’s also known as the Naples of England, which is down to the curved shape of its bay rather than any ice cream prowess or maﬁa shenanigans. e Georgian seafront is worth a stroll, though bike parking is limited – follow your nose all the way south along the seafront, and parking is on the right, behind M&S. If it’s the right time of day, a wrapper of chips in one of the Victorian promenade shelters should set the scene. is is our starting point. On the bike, follow signs out of town for the B3157 to Chickerell and Abbotsbury. On the way out you’ll pass either Radipole Lake bird reserve or the marina. Right at a mini roundabout (still on the B3157) and you’re ﬁnally out of 30mph limits, the road opening out to a long dipping straight. I once cracked 65mph here on an old CZ (they say on a clear day you can still see the blue haze) but now it’s 50 limited all the way to Bridport. Still a lovely piece of road though, with glimpses of the sea and Chesil Beach to the west. At Portesham, turn right (signed Winterbourne Abbas) where the B-road turns sharp le and follow this minor road up through the village. Beware of ducks crossing the road at one point, because if you don’t it’s canard à l’orange for tea. Out of Portesham, climb a nice steep third gear hill on to one of Dorset’s chalky ridges. At the top, turn right for a quick diversion to Hardy’s Monument, a 22m stone tower that looks out over the sea. Nothing to do with writer omas Hardy, it was built to commemorate ‘Kiss Me’ Hardy of Nelson fame, who was also a omas.
Hardy’s Monument has nothing to do with Hardy’s Wessex.
ABOVE: Well worn A352 is small and twisty for an A-road. BELOW: Red is far too garish, don’t you think?
Back to the road and swoop downhill to Winterbourne Steepleton. At the T-junction turn right then immediately le, and on a couple of hundred metres to the busy A35. Again, it’s right and almost immediately fork le on to a minor road, which climbs over more chalky hills giving great views to east and west. Watch for the Roman road crossing, ancient burial mounds and one muddy farm yard. At the T-junction with the A37 turn le for a change of mood. is major A-road climbs back up on to the chalk and oﬀers a fast route north with magniﬁcent views on both directions as it follows the top of a ridge. For those interested in military history, the road used to twist its way up through the village of Maiden Newton, the site of a US Army camp in the run up to D-Day. Trouble was, Mack trucks hauling Shermans couldn’t manage the narrow twisty descent, so army engineers bypassed the whole thing. e three lane stretches of A37 climbing up on to the hill are their legacy. About ﬁve miles on, you’ll see what looks like a giant golf ball on stilts, just oﬀ the road. is marks the Clay Pigeon, a cafe that has a Wednesday bike night through the summer. It also features a go-kart track, and don’t be alarmed by people strolling around with riﬂes perched on their shoulders – they’ve come here for the shooting range. Out of Clay Pigeon, turn right on to a minor road (signed for a vehicle recycling centre) and follow for half a mile to the next T-junction, then right again. Now we’re running along the top of Batcombe Hill, with superb views to the north, but aer a couple of miles we drop sharply (watch for washed out gravel) to the A352. Turn le and head downhill again, with views of Blackmore Vale on the horizon, through Middlemarsh (Hunters Moon is a nice pub) before turning right on to the B3146 for Glanvilles Wootton, which twists uphill aer passing through the village. Turn le on to the B3143, through the villages of Pulham and Kings Stag. At the A3030, turn right and pillions can keep an eye out for deer at Stock Gaylard park on the le. Right
B-road west out of Weymouth is a corker.
It’s all downhill for about ﬁve miles. again on to the A357, and we’re into ﬂatter, more featureless countryside than we’ve seen so far. ere’s another snippet of military trivia at Lydlinch, where the road crosses the River Lydden on Two Fords Bridge. Here again, the old bridge was too narrow for tank transporters so army engineers (Canadian this time) built a steel one, which eastbound traﬃc still uses. We bypass the small town of Sturminster Newton, but you’ll almost certainly get a good look at the 17th century bridge over the River Stour, as the traﬃc lights are invariably red. It’s spectacular here when the river’s high and lapping the top of the bridge arches – I’ve seen wind surfers scudding over the meadows. A couple of miles on, turn right on to a minor road (signed Okeford Fitzpaine) though if you fancy a cuppa and like old railways, carry on into Shillingstone and follow brown tourist signs for the station. Once part of the old Somerset and Dorset, the station buildings are nicely restored and the railway’s a long-distance cycle path, though the cafe isn’t always open. rough Okeford Fitzpaine, and just the other side of the village, fork le (signed Winterbourne Stickland) and climb on to the high chalk. Stop at the top for more views, this time of the Stour valley and of the hill forts at Hod Hill and Hambledon Hill. Now it’s all downhill for about ﬁve miles, following a valley down through yet more Winterbourne villages, coming to an end at the A354. Turn right and head for Dorchester, joining the A35. At Dorch, either take the ring road or ride into town to look round the county’s capital, strong on Roman heritage and a busy high street. From here, follow signs back on the A354, which takes you over a ﬁnal chalk ridge, giving views of the Naples of England. mslmagazine.co.uk 59
TRIUMPH TRIDENT/ BSA THREE
Some will say it should be much higher, and its performance was impressive, but it’s the fact it came far too late which counts against it. In 1962 it could have been a real world beater, a future changer, and perhaps persuaded the likes of Honda to leave ‘big bikes’ alone. But in 1969 it was too little, too late. £12K
BROUGH SUPERIOR SS80
ough the SS100 was the ﬂagship model, the SS80 was the more practical proposition, even to the extent of being supplied to
the police in the Nottingham area (where Brough Superiors were made). Engines came from JAP and Matchless and the last one was made in 1940. £60K
In 1928 speedway came to the UK and the Australians who brought it used Douglases. In 1929, Douglas sold over 1200 DT (Dirt Track) models for the burgeoning new sport, though the Douglas was soon replaced as the machine of choice. The SW5 was the ‘road-
going’ (or racing) version of the DT model. £25K
There were too distinct A7s – a ﬁrst semi-unit construction model then one derived from the 650cc A10. During the 1950s A7s proved strong, durable motorcycling to many,
with the machine’s toughness exampled by the 1952 Maudes Trophy attempt, when three standard models were taken oﬀ the production line and used in the ISDT, having been ridden there. All three won ‘gold’. £5K
BSA ROUND TANK
BSA used to boast that ‘one in four was a BSA’ – and that meant one in four motorcycles worldwide was a BSA. It was models like the 1920s 250cc two-speed Round Tank which sold all around the globe in huge numbers which meant the men from Small Heath, Birmingham, could make such a claim. £4K
DOUGLAS 2¾ HP
ousands upon thousands of Douglases seemingly delicate little 350cc fore-and-a side valve twins were supplied to the military during the First World War, where they served alongside Model Hs as dispatch riders’ mounts. What’s oen forgotten though is that many of the Bristol-built machines sold pre and postwar too. £15K
Launched in 1933, Velocette was going to make a 350cc side valve but performance of the prototype was dismal, so a 250cc ohv was conceived and drawn up
instead. What resulted was arguably the best British 250 of the 1930s, a lively little machine which was developed and enlarged, eventually becoming the 500cc Venom and Thruxton. £5K
ROYAL ENFIELD CONTI GT
NEW IMPERIAL UNIT MINOR
e small, independent company ploughed its own furrow – and
enjoyed much success too, including winning the 1936 250cc TT (the last all-British lightweight win) while its sublime Unit Minor, with gear driven primary
drive, was the best of the 150cc model of the early 1930s prompted by a tax law. £3K
Much like New Imperial of the 1930s, James was ﬁercely independent from the Pioneer period to the 1920s, making everything in-house.
Its best model was the longrunning 500cc V-twin, available in side valve and ohv conﬁgurations, while there was even a speedway version too. £10K
Underated by many, the Red Panther was a much better machine than it is given credit for, being possessed of performance which would overshadow most of its rivals. It suﬀered its bad press for its remarkably low price. £3.5K
In a rare example of a British maker listening to what the customer wanted, Royal Enﬁeld bosses asked their apprentices what sort of machine they’d like and came up with the Continental GT, stunningly pretty with its racy seat, clip-on bars, ﬂyscreen and big, bright red tank.
MATCHLESS SILVER HAWK
For sheer bravado of intent, the 500cc narrow-angle V-four, with a ‘monoshock’ type frame, launched in 1930, is deserving of mention, even though it was far from an overwhelming success. It stayed in the range for a few years, before quietly disappearing... £40K