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It’s a good time to be a motorcyclist. OEMs keep ratcheting up the amount of standard or optional technologies available on modern motorcycles. In just the last handful of years we’ve come to expect ABS, traction control, ride modes and slipper clutches as standard equipment. Cruise control is almost ubiquitous, and electronically adjustable suspension is gaining ground quickly. Five of the nine bikes in our Epic Sport-Adventure Shootout are equipped with semi-active suspension, one has electronically adjustable suspension, while only three are bereft of the technology.

Ultimate Sport-Touring Adventure Shootout Prologue

Spec sheets are useful for comparing and contrasting the attributes of various motorcycles but obviously fail to tell the whole story. For example, many of the bikes here are outfitted with cruise control, the Aprilia Caponord Rally being one of them, but after having ridden hundreds of miles on each bike we know that not all cruise controls are created equally. The Aprilia’s CC is, in fact, an abject failure in terms of user-friendliness but you’d never know just how bad it is until you have other bikes with much better systems to compare it to.

2015 Ultimate Sports-Adventure-Touring Shootout

So while we’re busy sorting through all the data, rider notes, images and video clips to bring you the most comprehensive sport-adventure shootout we can muster, we invite you to chew on the fat of these nine bikes by way of their specifications and available technologies. You’ll note that even the least expensive bike here, Kawasaki’s Versys 1000LT, comes equipped with ABS, TC and ride modes while the most expensive bike, Ducati’s Multistrada S, features those plus backlit switchgear, a full-color TFT display, smartphone app and Cornering-ABS. And then there’s the BMW S1000XR, the only bike in the test with a quickshifter that goes through the gears both ways, featuring auto-blipping downshifts. Yes, it is an undoubtedly good time to be a motorcyclist.

Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally BMW R1200GS BMW S1000XR Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT
MSRP $15,695 $20,769 (as tested) $19,887 (as tested) $21,094 $12,799
Engine Type 1197cc Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke, V-Twin, 4 valves per cylinder 1170cc Air/Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke, flat Twin, 4 valves per cylinder 999cc Liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline-Four, four-stroke, 4 valves per clinder 1198cc Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke, DVT V-Twin, 4 valves per cylinder 1043cc Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke, inline-Four, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 106.0mm x 67.8mm 101.0mm x 73.0mm 80.0mm x 49.7mm 106.0mm x 67.9mm 77.0mm x 56.0mm
Compression Ratio 12.0:1 12.5:1 12.0:1 12.5:1 10.3:1
Rear Wheel Horsepower 109.7 @ 8,500 rpm 109.4 @ 7,900 rpm 156.6 hp @ 11,200 rpm 137.1 hp @ 9,700 rpm 109.8 hp @ 8,700 rpm
Torque (claimed at crankshaft) 73.7 lb.-ft. @ 6,900 rpm 80.5 lb.-ft. @ 6,600 rpm 80.4 lb.-ft. @ 9,200 rpm 84.3 lb.-ft. @ 7,900 rpm 70.1 @ 7,200 rpm
lb/hp 5.5 5.4 3.5 4.1 5.2
lb/torque 8.2 7.4 6.8 6.7 8.1
Transmission 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch w/slipper function 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch w/slipper function 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch w/slipper function
Final Drive Chain Shaft Chain Chain Chain
Front Suspension Inverted 43mm fully adjustable Sachs fork. (Aprilia Dynamic Damping) Telelever, 37 mm, central spring strut Inverted 46mm fully adjustable fork 48mm fully adjustable usd fork. Electronic compression & rebound damping adjustment with Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) KYB 43mm inverted front fork with adjustable rebound and preload
Rear Suspension Aluminum swingarm, Sachs monoshock. (Aprilia Dynamic Damping) Cast aluminum single-sided swingarm with BMW EVO Paralever Monoshock with preload adjustability Fully adjustable with electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment, electronic spring pre-load adjustment with Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) Horizontal back-link shock with adjustable rebound damping and adjustable spring preload, remote preload adjuster
Front Brake Dual 320mm stainless steel floating discs, 4-piston Brembo M432 monoblock radial calipers Dual 305mm rotors. Twin 4-piston calipers. Switchable ABS Dual 320mm rotors. Twin radial-mount calipers. Dual 330mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo monobloc Evo M50 4-piston calipers, 2-pad, radial pump with cornering ABS as standard equipment Dual 310mm petal rotors with four-piston calipers and ABS
Rear Brake Single 240mm stainless steel disc, Brembo caliper 220mm rotor. Single-piston caliper 265mm rotor. Twin-piston caliper 265 mm disc, 2-piston floating calliper, with cornering ABS as standard equipment Single 250mm petal rotor with single-piston caliper and ABS
Front Tire 120/70-19 120/70-19 120/70-17 120/70-17 120/70-17
Rear Tire 170/60-17 170/60-17 190/55-17 190/55-17 180/55-17
Rake/Trail 27.4 deg/4.6 in. 25.5 deg / 3.9 in. 25.5 deg / 4.6in. 24.0 deg / 4.3 in. 25.5 deg / 4.0 in.
Wheelbase 62.0 in. 59.3 in. 61.0 in. 60.2 in. 61.2 in.
Seat Height 33.1 in. 33.1 in. 33.1 in. 32.5/33.3 in. 33.4 in.
Curb Weight 604 lbs. (with bags) 596 lbs. (with bags) 550 lbs. (with bags) 567 lbs. (with bags) 544 lbs. (with bags)
Fuel Capacity 6.3 gal. 5.3 gal. 5.2 gal. 5.3 gal. 5.3 gal.
Saddlebag Capacity 66 liters/ 17.4 gallons 68 liters/18.0 gallons 62 liters/16.4 gallons 58 liters/ 15.3 gallons 56 liters/14.8 gallons
Tested Fuel Economy (Average) 33.9 mpg 39.6 mpg 36.9 mpg 40.1 mpg 37.9 mpg
Full color instrument cluster X
Gear Position Indicator X X X X
Heated Grips X X X
Heated seat
Heated passenger seat
Hillstart control
Power accessory socket X X X X
Cornering lights X
Wheelie Control X
Backlit handlebar switches X
ABS X X X X X
Cornering ABS X
Wire-spoke wheels X
Cast-aluminum wheels X X X X
Electronic suspension adjustability X X X X
Semi-active suspension X X X X
Smartphone app X X
Tire pressure monitor X
Quickshifter X
Clutchless downshift ability X
Ride modes X X X X X
Cruise control X X X X
Traction control X X X X X

 

KTM 1190 Adventure KTM 1290 Super Adventure Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS Triumph Explorer XC ABS
MSRP $17,899 (as tested) $20,499 $14509 (as tested) $18,494
Engine Type 1195cc Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke, 75° V-Twin, 4 valves per cylinder 1301cc Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke, 75° V-Twin, 4 valves per cylinder 1037cc Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke, 90° V-Twin, 4 valves per cylinder 1251cc Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke, Triple, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 105.0mm x 69.0mm 108.0mm x 71.0mm 100.0mm x 66.0mm 85.0mm x 71.4mm
Compression Ratio 12.5:1 13.1:1 11.3:1 NA
Rear Wheel Horsepower 123.6 hp @ 9,500 rpm 132.5 hp @ 8,400 rpm 91.6 hp @ 8,000 rpm 113.6 hp @ 8,700 rpm
Torque 77.3 lb.-ft. @ 8,000 rpm 86.8 lb.-ft. @ 6,800 rpm 69.1 lb.-ft. @ 9,300 rpm 74.1 lb.-ft. @ 6,400 rpm
lb/hp 4.5 4.2 5.9 5.3
lb/torque 7.2 6.5 7.9 8.1
Transmission 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch w/slipper function 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch w/slipper function 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch 6-speed; multi-plate wet clutch
Final Drive Chain Chain Chain Shaft
Front Suspension 48mm, WP inverted fork, electronically adjustable WP Semi-active suspension USD 48 mm Invetered telescopic, coil spring, oil damped Kayaba 46 mm upside down forks, adjustable preload
Rear Suspension WP monoshock, electronically adjustable WP Semi-active Suspension PDS Monoshock “Link type, coil spring, oil damped “ Kayaba monoshock with remote oil reservoir, hydraulically adjustable preload, rebound damping adjustment
Front Brake 4-piston Brembo calipers, 320mm discs, ABS/C-ABS 4-piston Brembo calipers, 320mm discs, ABS/C-ABS Dual 310mm rotors, 4-piston Tokico calipers, ABS Twin 305 mm floating discs, Nissin four-piston calipers, Switchable ABS
Rear Brake 2-piston Brembo caliper, 268mm disc, ABS/C-ABS 2-piston Brembo caliper, 268mm disc, ABS/C-ABS 260mm rotor, ABS Single 282 mm disc, Nissin two-piston sliding caliper, Switchable ABS
Front Tire 120/70-19 120/70-19 110/80-19 110/80-19
Rear Tire 170/60-17 170/60-17 150/70-17 150/70-17
Rake/Trail 26.0 deg / 4.7 in. 26 deg / 4.7 in. 25.5 deg / 4.3 in. 23.9 deg / 4.2 in.
Wheelbase 61.4 in. 61.4 in. 61.2 in. 60.2 in.
Seat Height 33.8/34.4 in. 33.9/34.4 in. 33.4 in. 32.9/33.7 in.
Curb Weight 554 lbs. (with bags) 562 lbs. (with bags) 544 lbs. (with bags) 606 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 6.1 gal. 7.9 gal. 5.3 gal. 5.3 gal.
Saddlebag Capacity 73 liters/19.3 gallons 73 liters/19.3 gallons 55 liters/14.4 gallons 62 liters/16.4 gallons
Tested Fuel Economy (Average) 36.4mpg 36.8 mpg 37.5 mpg 35.2 mpg
Full color instrument cluster
Gear Position Indicator X X X
Heated Grips X
Heated seat X
Heated passenger seat X
Hillstart control X
Power accessory socket X X X
Cornering lights X
Wheelie Control
Backlit handlebar switches
ABS X X X X
Cornering ABS X X
Wire-spoke wheels X X X
Cast-aluminum wheels X
Electronic suspension adjustability X X
Semi-active suspension X X
Smartphone app
Tire pressure monitor X
Quickshifter
Clutchless downshift ability
Ride modes X X X X
Cruise control X X
Traction control X X X X

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