The Big Bore Nakedbikes Head to Head: BMW S 1000 R v KTM Super Duke v Aprilia Tuono v Triumph Speed Triple R V EBR 1190SX v BMW K 1300 R v Ducati Monster 1200 v Kawasaki Z1000. Test by Paul Bailey, Photography: JPM Photographics
With plenty of new models in 2016 as well as more arriving in 2017, we take a look at our Big Bore Nakedbike comparo, including some of the last generation big bore nakedbikes.
There’s plenty of great machines here, whether you’re looking for a second hand machine, or going for a discount on a new superseded model, while other machines have only seen minor updates since our comparo.
The day was perfect, mid-twenty temperatures, clear skies, a bunch of like-minded riders present to test big bore nakedbikes and all at one of the best places on the planet to do a test, ever!
With 5.7kms and 27 corners to test the motorcycles it was always going to be a fantastic day and one you come away from thinking, “I’m so glad I’m alive and love motorcycles.”
The big bore nakedbike list was impressive, though not all manufacturers were there, at their choice, not through our or anyone’s exclusion.
We had the BMW S 1000 R, KTM Super Duke R, Kawasaki Z1000, Ducati Monster 1200 S, Triumph Speed Triple R, Aprilia Tuono V4 R, BMW K 1300 R and the EBR 1190 SX.
So the list of machinery was impressive and comprehensive, pricing was vast from $16799 to $23990, plus on roads. We had bikes from Japan, Italy, England, Austria and the USA represented in the test.
With such different cultures, beliefs and attitudes to what a motorcycle, especially a big bore nakedbike should be, there was always going to be a varied level of spec and style associated with these motorcycles.
Nakedbikes are a very personal thing, more so I believe than their brothers – superbikes. They can be the same in so many ways yet so completely different at the same time, their lineage is clear, their pedigree unquestioned but the end result can be so close or so far from their sportier siblings.
But this is what makes the nakedbike such a unique, desirable and personal motorcycle. Naked bikes of the ‘70s and ‘80s were the norm, not the unique model in the range. Nakedbikes of the ‘90s developed into a detuned stripped down version of their superbike brothers, partly because there was a culture developing around the world of building naked bikes out of wrecked superbikes.
People made these bikes their own with how they styled them and how they rode them. The last decade and a half has seen the manufacturers catch up and they have built factory nakedbikes based on their faster brothers.
Those riders that want more relaxed riding and don’t do a massive amount of track days but want the big bore animal of the superbike have always gravitated to the naked bike.
It makes sense too – have all the attributes of the superbike, even if detuned, but have the comfort as well – smart thinking. There are still a lot of riders out there that want it all though, no compromise on performance or handling but want a naked bike!
Up until very recently these riders were left out of the production bike models and they were forced to get a superbike and then convert it into a nakedbike. Some have been very well done and I have a feeling that some manufacturers were guided by these builders when designing and building the current crop of big bore nakedbikes.
Now that doesn’t mean that the bikes tested are just a stripped down superbike – far from it but some have gone very close to being very true to that original naked bike concept of just that. In contrast others have taken a more conservative approach, not necessarily based on budget but conservative all the same.
This is purely how each manufacturer sees a nakedbike however and how they feel it should be represented and built. We as individuals would take that same bike and make it ours by changing a number of things – nakedbikes just tend to do that to people.
For the five of us on this day, it was about the fun factor with these bikes, not doing direct comparisons of speed or braking or even lap times. It was about riding and enjoying these bikes and deciding which one for each of us had the best fun factor. Both the Farm and local public roads were used for the testing with all of us riding every bike in both conditions, so it was comprehensive.
Most of the manufacturers had technicians there to help make adjustments to the bikes to suit each rider’s style as well, helping to get the best out of each bike.
Comparing apples to oranges is always a hard task though, we had four-cylinder machines, triples and twins. All of which give different levels of power delivery and have different specifications as well.
All but the EBR 1190 SX had ABS, all but the Triumph and Kawasaki had Traction Control, the highest horsepower was the EBR with 185hp, while the highest torque was the KTM Super Duke with 106ft/lbs.
All except the EBR weighed over 200kg wet, while the EBR was 190.5kg wet. Fork rake varied from the EBR with 22.4° to the Aprilia Tuono with 25°.
The BMW K 1300 R was also unique both from the specifications aspect as well as including ABS and traction control, while being a massive bike that with its long wheel base and unique Motorrrad Duolever front forks. This put it in a category of its own and it was very hard to compare directly with bikes like the EBR and KTM.
The specs list is one thing but how did the bikes feel on track? Well have a read of the test rider’s impressions to see how they all felt and which bike each of them was the most fun for them.
It is interesting to see that they all had a different favourite, only Jeff and I liked the same bike most.
The test rides showed some interesting factors with a few of the bikes. The BMW which appears to be a fairing-less S 1000 RR with tube bars and a small front section was a little disappointing for me – I was expecting more from the engine, it had 2000rpm less in the rev range and felt very placid in both horsepower and torque.
It had BMW handling, although it is harder to be accurate on a naked bike by virtue of the higher tubular bars allowing too much input, so it showed a little bit of nervousness when coming out of uphill and crested section of the track.
This was common among the bike to different degrees though, the EBR felt more stable in this situation and the Aprilia for me was the worst – it felt as though the bars were just too wide and that bar input was too hard to control. The KTM bars were just way too high for me, I couldn’t tuck in at all without feeling as though I was folding up my arms to my shoulders, a weird feeling.
The power delivery of the Ducati was what you would expect with very strong pull from lower rpm but let down with very poor lean angle and ground clearance leaving a couple of us with worn boots on the sides. The Z1000 suffered the same issues and was hard to ride because of the lack of lean angle and its power delivery was the least impressive out of the bunch.
The KTM did it all well but just felt odd, its power delivery was very good and was very close to the EBR, which for me had the most amazing power delivery of the lot, pulling like a train from 4000rpm all the way to 11500rpm with a massive smooth push that gave me tunnel vision – it was that fast.
The EBR was by far the fasted bike down the back straight, this partly due to its fantastic handling and ability to get on the gas so early exiting the corner.
The Triumph was also good in many ways but felt a little ungainly when pushing into and through corners, again the bars being that bit wider than others hindered the rider input at times. It was precise though, once you committed to the corner and you could change direction mid-corner with no hassles. The KTM, BMW and EBR were also very good in this area.
Part of The Farm offers a series of tight lefts and rights. The only two bikes that were at home in this area were the KTM and the EBR. The EBR with its far lighter weight and dimensions was way better and more precise through that section of track.
The BMW K 1300R was hard to ride around the farm in many ways, its lengthy wheelbase made for harder cornering but it was good under brakes considering the extra weight carried. The engine was very strong with great torque but hard to take advantage of at The Farm as you always had the next corner coming up and had to give the bike that little extra distance to pull up.
Braking with the 27 corners on offer was a test for the bikes as well. All stopped very well, all had good feel, although a couple felt too strong at times. The Ducati and BMW brakes are very good no doubt but the strength of the brakes could get you caught out if you over reacted in a braking situation or mid-corner – they offered so much power for such a light grab of the lever I thought it was actually too much at times.
The only bike with a totally different brake concept was the EBR. Erik Buell has long been an advocate of the 380mm single rotor, with an eight-piston caliper and four pads to do the braking duties on his bikes. It makes sense too, a single rotor weighs less than two and a single caliper weighs less than two also.
Add to that the wheel hub is hollow because it doesn’t have to take the braking loads of a traditional wheel and you end up with a wheel and brake combination, made from aluminium, not magnesium or carbon-fibre, that is lighter than any other production wheel on the market. This of course means less unsprung weight, in turn meaning that your suspension can control the front wheel better, giving better grip and traction.
Erik has done the same with the rear wheel, with the hollow hub design and has saved a massive amount of unsprung weight – very innovative stuff and the best thing is that it all works just as well as any of the others tested.
Some of the specs on the bikes were also impressive, all had great quality brakes, some had Ohlins suspension, some had Showa, steering dampers were present on most, most had radial brakes and radial master-cylinders as well and some had hydraulic clutches.
The EBR in particular had a very heavy clutch with the engine off but, riding the bike I found it OK. I did investigate this and the EBR is the only bike that has a slipper clutch that is of a vacuum design.
It works with manifold vacuum to automatically disengage the clutch plates on closed or near closed throttle, which in turn allows the clutch to slip. Very clever idea, so when riding the bike the clutch lever becomes lighter and not an issue. I did make enquiries with Urban Moto – the importers and there is an update on the clutch that will make it lighter due to customer requests.
Styling is always a contentious issue, as everyone has their ideal style of bike and these bikes showed us that, with some being very close to their superbike brothers, like the EBR which has exactly the same specs as the EBR 1190RX, minus the fairing and with tubular bars fitted.
On the other hand the Ducati Monster is a long was away from the Panigale 1199. The BMW is very close to the S 1000 RR but detuned a lot, perhaps too much in my opinion. The Aprilia Tuono was close to the RSV4 but I’m not sure that it looked smart enough, I felt that the bars and headlight kit was a bit disjointed for my eye. The Triumph on the other hand has no real relative to compare to and for that reason stands alone very well and is a real nice bike for it.
The Z1000 is in that same vein, it has no real relative to relate to and really looks like something out of transformers and will appeal to a lot of people. The KTM was for me more like a trail bike on steroids rather than an RC8 and that’s fine – it has some very strong virtues and is a heap of fun to ride.
The BMW K 1300 R on the other hand is just big! It was very good on the open road though, where its length and weight made it very stable over the poorer roads. Where the lighter bikes got pitched around a bit, the big K 1300 R just sailed straight through it all, like an aircraft carrier compared to a 20ft speed boat.
I suppose what I’m getting at here is that as I mentioned near the start of this article, naked bikes are different and being different is what they are all about.
Riding all the bikes on the road and at The Farm gave us all a chance to feel the difference between good quality hot mix and our third rate back roads. Showing that if the bikes were set up for the conditions, that they all were very enjoyable to ride on the road and that they all performed quite well.
Limitations in ground clearance and performance were not the real issue here, it was how we felt sitting on them and how we felt riding them. I had a great time on all the bikes on the road and that was the common opinion of the other test riders on the road as well.
Pricing alone can also be the limiting factor or even the only factor as to what style or brand of motorcycle you buy. The pricing difference is vast with close to a $9000 difference from the cheapest to the dearest. Value for money is a very personal thing and the need to have a specific bike over anything else can dismiss value for money as a consideration.
That’s when the heart will take over from the brain and your passion for something will be your greatest influence. But is that passion for the looks? The heritage? The performance? The visual impact? Or for innovations? These are things that only you as an individual can decide.
Make sure you read all the opinions by our testers. Their views are valuable, relevant and honest. From the opinions, you will be far more enlightened as to which naked bike may be the one for you.
For me, by far the most innovative bike was the EBR 1190 SX, with the brakes, wheels, clutch and fuel in the frame technology, it is certainly pushing the envelope with the normal standards of manufacturing. But it all works brilliantly and offers a real different choice for riders.
Erik Buell reformed with EBR (Erik Buell Racing) after Harley-Davidson closed down Buell and built a world-class motorcycle right in the USA. I had hoped he would get the chance to show the world what he can do and that what he does can be accepted by the masses. It was certainly the most fun bike on the day for me.
So there you have it, five test riders with seven bikes to test and four different choices as to which bike was the best. Not a comprehensive winner, but it just goes to show how we interpret fun and how individual we all are with our choices.
MARK STENBERG’S RIDES
Here’s my take on the bikes in order of fun, with my favourite last. Starting with the BMW K 1300 R, I have ridden it on the road several times previously and it looks menacing!
Power was exceptional, you could ride this thing around The Farm in any gear and it would want to pull your arms off – my test for a perfect road bike! When I say power I really mean torque and this thing has it by the bucketful…
Nothing this heavy and long should handle the track well but this is an enigma with my scoring it nine out of 10 thanks to technology and German engineering but by necessity a slow turner. Ergos were also good and mental comfort (ease of riding) was a remarkable seven out of 10 for a machine that is one metre too long and weighs 100kg too much!
It shares with the S 1000 R the best front brake in the motorcycle kingdom and if you can muscle the weight off the side stand, the K 1300 R is best road bike here. Fun factor six out of 10, with desire to buy one with my own money low.
This was the first time I’d ridden the EBR 1190SX and while it looks OK, it does not stun like say the Super Duke… it sort of blends in with other bikes without standing out. The giant rotor meant the front brake worked very well but I found it geared too high and with low engine braking it was not very good on the track but better on the road.
Handling was good and comfort/mental comfort reasonable but the pegs a little low and steering not as good as some. The worst thing was a heavy bear trap like clutch. I didn’t get this bike – it just did nothing for me. Fun factor five out of 10, with a very low desire to buy one.
The Triumph Speed Triple R is an old favourite, which scored very highly in the past. How things change so quickly! The grunty 1050 triple that was so impressive, is now left behind by the sexy Super Duke, Monster 1200 and Aprilia Tuono.
The front Brembo brake scored nine out of 10 and the bike is a sweet handler with good comfort and is easy to ride quickly from the get go although I scraped the pegs a bit on the track.
It still looks good with the single sided swing arm and twin pipes and displays flashes of red to break up the colour scheme. On the test bike rear suspension was set very hard affecting the ride, particularly on the road. Fun factor six out of 10 and desire to buy one with my own money was low.
In all our past tests of the Kawasaki Z1000, it has always impressed with a strong engine – particularly the very healthy low to mid-range plus as a bonus, a storming top end. That has not changed!
This was the first bike I tested on the day and it had the wonderful right at home feel by the third corner! I would rate it nine out of ten for the ABS brakes, with power a seven, torque, handling, comfort and mental comfort all a very solid nine out of 10 – a very good wrap indeed.
On the road things only got better except no gear indicator and the test bike suspension again was set very hard, this time at both ends but obviously adjustable to normal compliance. Fun factor was an eight and the desire to buy one with my own money was high.
The Ducati Monster 1200 looks great and is very fiery and exotic, very Italian and very sexy – especially in red! I gave it almost full marks for everything on the track, it was awesome and mentally 10/10, so super easy to ride! The front brake lever had a bit of movement before biting but then did so very well. On the road torque and power was exceptional, with good ergonomics – amazing for an Italian bike! Suspension was also spot on. Fun factor was a nine, with a high desire to buy one with my own money.
A few years ago I was lent a Aprilia Tuono and it had issues… in comparison this 2014 bike looked OK but has very angular lines. Riding the bike was something awesome, receiving my high praise and the road ride confirmed those impressions although you had to be in the right gear to enjoy the smashing performance! Another nine for fun factor with a high desire factor to buy one with my own money.
The KTM Super Duke 1290 is just gorgeous to look at and goes like stink with that 1290cc V-twin, while power, torque, steering, handling, ergos, mental comfort and otherwise all scored top marks with 10/10! I felt completely at home on the bike and fun factor was 10, with the desire to buy one with my own money very high
BMW have done it again with the S 1000 R! How do you take a winning sports bike like the S 1000 RR and make it into a winning naked/touring bike that out grunts and out performs V-twins which have 30 per cent more engine capacity?
With smarts and engineering, that is how. They already had a great chassis and dynamic suspension, the best brakes and up to date electronics. All they did was to improve the comfort by ergonomics allowing a more upright seating position and increasing torque and bringing it lower in the power band. The result is a nimble, comfortable, well-suspended, torquey motorcycle that wants to rip your arms off! Fun factor was a 10 – my winner – and I would buy one in a heartbeat.
MARK WEAVER’S RIDES
With a super clean engine mapping and massive torque the KTM Super Duke 1290 is a real hoot to ride. The suspension was balanced and stable but a little on the softer side and was a pleasure to ride over the bumpy roads. The short wheelbase made for quick changes of direction.
The gearing felt shorter and with the heavy throttle the front wheel aimed skyward on many occasions. Over all the KTM did everything exceptionally well but felt a bit more simple than some of the other bikes with a less is more kind of approach. KTMs dirt bike background was present and the feel was similar.
What a clever idea using the base BMW S 1000 RR and opening it up to a whole range of people who the RR just wouldn’t suit. Throw in HP4 suspension which you can feel working through the corners, gear it down a little and reduce the horse power to something more realistic for the road and it is one awesome bike.
As you would expect from a BMW, the brakes are amazing. This took a little getting used to – at first I was taking too much speed off before the corners. The speed shifter works precisely and is a really nice feature. The ergonomics were okay and l liked that there is the ability to adjust your seating position, unlike some of the other bikes in this category where the seating position is more of a fixed position.
Instant grunt and massive torque make the EBR 1190SX’s personality unique. The riding position was great, the wide bars made for easy control and the handle bar to seat relation was good. I have a big smile on my face just thinking about riding the EBR. Fourth gear roll on had front wheel in air – it was amazing. The idler wheel on the chain made a little noise, which was a bit unnerving at first until I worked out what it was.
The big piston front end forks worked very well on the track and okay for the road overall. The brakes were strong, helping pull the big weapon up. My only regret was that we didn’t have more time to really get a great feeling for all these bikes.
The Aprilia Tuono V4 – what a beautiful machine. The speed shifter works unreal, the electronics have fine tune adjustability, the suspension works great for track or road and the brakes offered great feel but are not quite as strong as the BMW. I loved the amazing note coming from the V4, which has great torque down low and strong mid to top end power.
It did everything exceptionally well and I felt the fasted on this bike of all the bikes I tested. The ergonomics were perfect for me and I found it extremely comfortable. I loved the look of the Aprilia, the build quality and everything put into this bike is quality.
I felt a little cramped on the Kawasaki Z1000, possibly because the seat held me too far forward on the bike. The bars felt tighter in relationship to the seat and the front felt a little soft on preload and the rebound was fast. The front end wasn’t the most confidence inspiring on the track but on the bumpy roads, it was much better.
The Z1000 felt a little slower coming into the corners and going through the middle of the corner but came off the corner OK, the wheelbase felt short as it changed direction quickly. A fantastic road bike more suited to the road than the track.
With a strong bottom end and very clean engine mapping the Ducati Monster 1200 S is a pleasurable and very fun bike to ride. The suspension felt a lot better than I remembered and was really nicely balanced with adequate ground clearance. The brakes performed very well on the track and the change of direction was precise and accurate.
Coming over the crest on the back straight I encountered slight headshake but nothing too out of the ordinary, although it did feel very light in the bars. Overall a very comfortable and capable bike.
I loved riding the Triumph Speed Triple R last year as it stood out, but this year, with more European bikes to test, it has lost some of its shine. With a great Ohlins suspension package and set a little firmer on compression and with the rebound a little slower, the Trumpy suited track riding. Hard braking was effortless, fast and predictable.
The seat was firm and gave a good feel of what the chassis was doing at the track but road riding long distance may be another story as it would become uncomfortable. The seat held you forward in a neutral position so getting off and around the bike was a little harder. The triple has a great bottom end and the midrange builds nicely to a predictable top end power.
I love riding any type of bike and feel privileged to have had an opportunity to ride all these beautiful bikes on one of Australia’s best stretches of tarmac – the Farm. There was not a single bad bike amongst those tested and once again it is up to personal taste, application and budget. My favorite bike of the lot and the one I had the most fun on was the Aprilia. I felt the most comfortable, jelled with it rather quickly and it suited my riding style.
HEATH GRIFFIN’S RIDES
As a practical and cost effective daily ride the Kawasaki Z1000 makes perfect sense. Riding the bike on our test loop, the feeling of carrying a fair amount of un-centralised mass, combined with soft suspension and a lack of ground clearance made the Kawasaki hard work to hustle with confidence. Power and torque would be more than enough if stepping up from a middleweight, however engine performance lags behind the more focused machines in this class.
Triumph’s Speed Triple R is one of the better looking machines in this group – especially in black with the Ohlins and Brembo bling factor. On track the engine still has that lovely triple character which combines the torque of a twin with the top end of a four, not to mention a beautifully musical note, however the relative lack of engine performance is noticeable. I found the suspension a little on the soft side for my weight at track pace, however feel from the Ohlin’s legs and Pirelli boots was exceptional and braking performance excellent.
The BMW K 1300 R is definitely targeted at the fast sports touring end of the market and would be the most comfortable bike on test. Heaviest by a fair margin and sporting the longest wheelbase, combined with a lack of ground clearance, the K 1300 R was the hardest work.
Suspension was compliant and well supported, although it couldn’t really be pushed to any great degree due to the lack of lean angle available. The engine is turbine smooth and has seamless power and torque through the range.
Ducati’s Monster 1200 S is possibly the prettiest bike in the group and this latest version is all about the retuned 1198cc motor. From the moment you crack the throttle the wave of torque from the bottom-end is tsunami-like. Gearbox, hand controls and brakes were all faultless.
For track use the suspension is soft, dived under hard braking and a lack of ground clearance prevented any attempt to corner at pace. Ultra low pegs and exhaust system routing makes it impossible to get your toe up onto the peg to avoid dragging a toe at even moderate levels of lean. Limited for track riding but for the road a truly special, involving and incredibly fun machine.
Sitting on the EBR 1190SX the first impression is one of an extremely light machine. Without any qualification I can say this is one of the most capable cornering production bikes ever made. Mid turn nothing came close and the ability to add more lean angle seemed endless.
The EBR’s V-twin engine is an absolute monster. It feels as though it’s quite slow revving and relaxed in its character, however you then look up to find yourself being hurled at the horizon at an alarming rate. It’s deceptive, but very, very fast and enormous fun. Lack of ride by wire and a quickshifter, excessive engine braking, and a ridiculously heavy clutch lever made the 1190 SX harder to get the most out of, but if you put the effort in it’s well capable of trading lap times with the best.
Stepping onto the BMW S 1000 R the immediate thing that strikes me is the impression of increased size and weight. Rock steady and stable once on its side, the BMW requires a fair bit of muscle to initiate a quick change of direction and was a lot harder work than the V-twins and Tuono through the flip-flop sections of our test loop.
Brakes are amongst the most powerful stoppers I’ve experienced on a production bike and a single finger will have the BMW standing on its nose. Bottom-end torque is not the strong point of this engine, however once the tacho climbs into the upper mid-range and beyond the BMW is insanely fast. Traction control, anti wheelie and a quickshifter all work faultlessly and the S 1000 R is well capable of setting competitive lap times.
The Aprilia RSV4 Tuono V4 R is one of the prettiest bikes on earth from the head stem back, but I’m no fan of the headlight and front cowl. Sitting on the Tuono feels as though you are up over the bike, rather than in it and there is plenty of legroom. Well-sorted suspension and a taught and agile chassis make the Tuono a willing partner in the corners, with the most aggressive turn speed of all but the EBR.
Light and flickable, the Aprilia can change line mid-corner at will but feels well planted with fantastic feel. The highlight of the Tuono is that beautiful 65° V4 motor. Forceful linear drive from anywhere in the rev range, along with an induction note to die for and a sweet crackle from the exhaust on downshifts, make this one of my favourite engines of all time. The Tuono has massively high levels of all round performance and is an enthralling and sensationally fun ride on road or track.
The KTM 1290 Super Duke is one of the most confidence inspiring bikes I have ever ridden. Rock solid stability in faster turns, an ability to alter your line at will and enormous grip and feedback at both ends, the 1290 is a very complete handling package. Low range torque and drive destroys every other bike on test, with the possible exception of the Ducati. This intense bottom end acceleration transitions smoothly through a buoyant midrange, before breaking into a vivid top end rush.
With the electronics turned on the Superduke is composed and controlled, while being thrilling and super quick. Turn them off and it is brutal, scary fast, and stunts like a boss. The best outright performance on road or track, wonderful tractability, character and exhaust note from that epic V-twin engine and an equipment list second to none, the KTM was my favourite bike on test by a fair margin. I want one. Bad.
The Kawasaki Z1000 is the streetfighting King of the group. It’s incredibly grunty with silky smooth power delivery and lots of it. The Z is ultra predictable and confidence inspiring from the first turn.
In fact, next issue we’ll show just how easy the Z1000 is to ride. Of all the bikes we recorded data on with Trackmotion, the Z was the one that was instantly on line and on the pace within three turns and the most consistent in cornering.
The front-end is incredibly planted and the brakes are fantastic. You sit forward and in the Z1000, giving it that streetfighter feel and making the bike feel short and wide, due to the fuel tank width. The gearbox is fantastic but a slipper clutch would be nice. Overall finish is 10/10 and on the road the Z1000 is brilliant, while being a handy track day tool that would surprise a few.
The other fantastic road bike and surprisingly good track day tool here is the mighty fast and furious BMW K 1300 R, always a hoon favourite that is often overlooked by hardcore nakedbike riders giving it the BMW sensibility tag. If there is one thing this bike is not – it’s sensible! The K 1300 R is insane.
It’s a nakedbike on steroids in every way. Not only is it the fastest accelerating bike here, it’s also one of the best handling! Once you learn to tame the weight and put the effort into riding the bike fast the K 13 turns like a much smaller bike, fires off turns like nothing else and stops better than any bike here despite being heavier.
The quickshifter is perfect and overall the K 1300 R is one of the most exhilarating motorcycles available. Hit the road, set the suspension to the softest settings at the flick of a switch and you have a safe, comfy sports tourer. It really does it all and is fun!
While on the BMWs, the S 1000 R is a bike that took the nakedbike world by storm in 2014. With the handling of the S 1000 RR – actually I think it handles better on the road – the most advanced and dialed in electronics in the test, sensational brakes, a great quickshifter and incredible horsepower the S 1000 R has it all, not to mention a very sharp price that is amazing value.
The BMW does absolutely nothing wrong at all and is the most sensible purchase here. I could ride the bike all day and the power never gets boring. A fantastic job as expected from BMW these days. Stunning in Race mode on the proving ground and sensational in Sport on the streets… It needs more torque though to give that nakedbike grin!
The KTM was released around the same time as the S 1000 R, in fact, earlier I tested the bikes back-to-back and they are two very different machines. With the TC off the KTM is a wild, wild ride! That 1290cc V-twin has more punch than any twin I’ve ever sampled and with 106ft-lbs of torque it is no wonder! The dash and controls on the KTM are the easiest to use and best in the test and fun factor is very high on this machine.
I found the bike much more suited to the street than the proving ground, that off road DNA is still evident and with soft suspension and loads of travel keeping the bike balanced was not really possible. I also felt it wanted to stand up when the throttle was cracked. Still major fun and as Phil Lovett proved – once the KTM is set up it can be a stunning racebike.
The Aprilia Tuono APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control). What can I say? It’s no secret I’m an Aprilia fan and have a few. I’ve always loved the Tuono and the updated version is fantastic. The quickshifter is brilliant, the V4 engine very strong and the chassis package amazing.
The electronics package is, like the S 1000 R, extremely comprehensive and the running gear all top quality. Like the BMW also, the price point is very competitive for the specification so this is one bike that you must consider.
This bike has sportsbike roots and bones and it is immediately clear as soon as you tip into the first turn. The Italian is on rails and a seriously capable package that the more experienced racers in the test appreciated.
The engine is adrenaline charged and the bike loves to fire off turns with explosive excitement. The bike is taller than others in the test and you feel this in the direction changes, however, out on the road the riding position is fantastic and with a variety of riding modes to choose from the Tuono is a genuine all-rounder and lots of fun. Big grin factor!
The Ducati Monster 1200 S is one sweet handling bike. I click with the Ducati set-up and particularly like the confidence-inspiring feeling I get from the front-end, which let’s face it, is the most important feeling for any rider.
The Ducati feels super quick on the street and has a linear and useable torque and power curve, compliant suspension, sensational brakes, comfort and styling. On the proving ground the M12 more than made up for its lack of outright engine output with eye-opening, thrilling corner speeds, particularly into turns.
A real rider’s bike, for those that like to push into the corners and reap the rewards. Love it!
The Speed Triple R is due for an upgrade in 2016 but truthfully there is not a lot to improve, as this bike is stunning and the original performance nakedbike here. That big bore triple evokes hoonism in even the most sensible riders and if you want to own a balls-out, true streetfighter styled nakedbike the Speed Triple is the bike.
With great suspension, brakes and a capable chassis that is more road going than track day, the Speed Triple is a hoot to ride. It is also comfy and a great sports tourer. My wish is that is loses a bit of weight but aside from that I can’t fault the original hooning machine!
I rode the EBR 1190SX at the end of the day and within 10-corners of The Farm I was well and truly grinning like an idiot and completely addicted. Not only does the EBR have 20hp more than most bikes here and huge amounts of torque, it also handles with incredible accuracy and feels like a real racebike. With wide flat ‘bars the steering in so fast it’s amazing.
The bike holds a line like it is on rails and when you open that throttle to exit, you’d better hang on! I’m not a fan of the feel from the BTL brake but love everything else about the bike – particularly the addictive power wheelies and fast corner entries. Wow! The EBR is definitely the most fun bike I’ve ridden around The Farm and a great road bike too. So, my winner for the shootout is the EBR 1190SX!
Bike Review Big Bore Nakedbike Comparo Result:
Paul Bailey: EBR 1190SX
Mark Stenberg: BMW S 1000 R
Mark Weaver: Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC
Heath Griffin: KTM 1290 Super Duke R
Jeff Ware: EBR 1190SX
Winner: EBR 1190SX
2014 BMW S 1000 R
Warranty: Two-year/unlimited kilometre
Colours: Racing Red, Frozen Dark Blue metallic, Light White
Claimed power: 118kW[160hp]@11000rpm
Claimed torque: 112Nm[82.6ft-lbs]@9250rpm
Claimed wet weight: 207kg
Engine: Liquid-cooled, four-stroke, in-line four-cylinder, DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, 80 x 49.7mm bore x stroke, 999cc, 12:1 compression, DTC, QS, Riding Mode Pro
Chassis: Aluminium composite bridge frame, partially self-supporting engine, aluminium two-sided swingarm, Rake: 24.6°, Trail: 98.5mm
Suspension: Sachs, SA DDC – electronically adjustable damping, USD 46mm telescopic forks, compression and rebound adjustable, rebound adjustable monoshock
Brakes: BMW Motorrad Race ABS, dual floating 320mm front rotors, Brembo four-piston radial mount calipers, 220mm rear rotor, Brembo single-piston floating caliper
Wheels & Tyres: Cast aluminium wheels, 3.50 x 17in, 6.00 x 17in, Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa 120/70 ZR17, 190/55 ZR17
Dimensions: Seat height: 814mm, Overall height: 1228mm, Overall length: 2057mm, Width: 845mm, Wheelbase: 1439mm
Instruments: Analogue tachometer, digital display and speedometer
2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R
Warranty: Two year/unlimited kilometre
Colours: Black or Orange
Claimed power: 132kw[180hp]@8870rpm
Claimed torque: 144Nm[106lb-ft]@6500rpm
Claimed weight: 189kg dry, 202kg wet
Fuel capacity: 18L
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 75-degree V-twin four-stroke, 108 x 71mm bore x stroke, 1301cc, 13.2:1 compression, Keihin 56mm throttle-bodies, Keihin EMS with ride-by-wire throttle, ABS, TC, mode selector, two-into-one system, single muffler
Gearbox: Six speed
Clutch: Multiplate, hydraulic actuation, PASC slipper clutch
Chassis: Tubular trellis frame, chromium-molybdenum single-sided swingarm, Rake: 24.9º, Trail: 107mm
Suspension: Front: WP 48mm forks, 125mm travel, WP hydraulic steering damper
Rear: Fully adjustable WP unit, 156mm travel
Brakes: Switchable Bosch 9ME Combined-ABS, Dual 320mm front rotors, radial-mounted Brembo Monobloc four-piston calipers, 240mm rear rotor, two-piston Brembo caliper
Wheels & Tyres: 10-spoke cast-aluminium, 3.5 x 17in, 6 x 17in, Dunlop SportSmart2 120/70ZR17, 190/55ZR17
Dimensions: Seat height: 835mm,
Overall height: 1247mm
Overall Length: 2168mm
Instruments: Digital central instrument cluster, analogue tacho, secondary LCD display
2014 Kawasaki Z1000
Warranty: Two year/unlimited kilometre
Colours: Gold Blazed Green with Metallic Graphite Grey
Claimed power: 104.5kw[140hp]@10000rpm
Claimed torque: 111Nm[82ft-lbs]@7300rpm
Dry weight: 221kg
Fuel capacity: 17L
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 16-valve, in-line four-cylinder, 1043cc, 77 x 56mm bore x stroke, 11.8:1 compression, EFI, four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies with oval sub-throttles, four-into-one-into-two system, dual twin mufflers
Clutch: Wet clutch
Chassis: Aluminium twin-tube, die-cast aluminium sub-frame, Rake: 24.5°, Trail: 101mm
Suspension: Showa 41mm BP-SF forks, rebound damping and spring preload adjustable, horizontal back-link shock, stepless rebound damping and preload adjustable
Brakes: ABS, Dual semi-floating 310mm petal rotors, Tokico four-piston radial monobloc calipers, single 250mm rear petal rotor, Tokico single-piston pin-slide caliper
Wheels & Tyres: Six-spoke alloy wheels, 120/70 ZR-17, 190/50 ZR-17, Dunlop Sportmax D214
Dimensions: Seat height: 815mm,
Overall height: 1055mm
Overall length: 2045
Instruments: Digital speedo and display
2015 EBR 1190SX
WARRANTY: Two year/unlimited kilometre, two-year roadside assist
COLOURS: Frost Bite White, Galactic Black, Racing Red
CLAIMED POWER: 138Kw[185hp]@10600rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE: 137.8Nm[101.6ft-lbs]@8200rpm
CLAIMED WEIGHT: 190.5kg wet
FUEL CAPACITY: 17L
ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 72° V-Twin, four-stroke, four-valve, 106 x 67.5mm bore x stroke, 1191cc, 13.4:1 compression, titanium valves, twin 61mm Dell’Orto throttle bodies, EFI – two port, two showerhead injectors, K&N airfilter, TC, two-into-one stainless steel headers, aluminium muffler
GEARBOX: Six speed
CLUTCH: Multiplate, hydraulic, slipper clutch
CHASSIS: Aluminium Twin-Spar with integral fuel reservoir, optimised stiffness aluminium swingarm, Rake: 22.4°, Trail: 96.5mm
SUSPENSION: Showa Big Piston Forks, preload, rebound and compression damping adjustable, Showa single shock without linkage, preload, rebound and compression damping adjustable
BRAKES: 386mm single perimeter front rotor, Nissin eight-piston inside-out caliper, 208mm rear rotor, two-piston Hayes Performance Brakes caliper
WHEELS & TYRES: Cast aluminium alloy, 17 x 3.5, 17 x 6.0, Pirelli Rosso Corsa, 120/70–ZR17, 190/55–ZR17
DIMENSIONS: Seat height: 826mm,
Overall height: 1110mm,
Overall length: 2040mm
INSTRUMENTS: Central LCD display
2015 BMW K 1300 R
Warranty: Two year/unlimited kilometre
Claimed power: 127kW[173hp]@9250rpm
Claimed torque: 140Nm[103.3ft-lbs]@8250rpm
Dry Weight: 243kg
Fuel capacity: 19L
Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, in-line four-cylinder, four-stroke, 80 x 64.3mm bore x stroke, 1293cc, 13.0:1 compression, shaft final drive
Gearbox: Constant mesh, six-speed
Clutch: Wet, multiple-disc
Chassis: Bridge-type cast aluminium frame, cast aluminium single-sided swingarm
Wheelbase: 1585mm, Rake: 29.6°, Trail: 104mm
Suspension: Front: BMW Motorrad Duolever with central suspension strut, 115mm travel Rear: BMW Motorrad Paralever, 135mm travel
Brakes: Front: Dual 320mm rotors, four-piston calipers Rear: Single 265mm rotor, twin-piston caliper
Wheels: 10-spoke cast aluminium, 3.50 x 17in & 5.50 x 17in, 120/70 – 17, 180/55 –17
Dimensions: Seat height: 820mm,
Overall width: 856mm,
Overall length: 2288mm
Instruments: Digital display
2014 TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE R
Warranty: Two years/unlimited kilometres
Colours: White, Black
Claimed power: 99kW[133hp]@9400rpm
Claimed torque: 111Nm[82ft-lbs]@7750rpm
Wet weight: 212kg
Fuel capacity: 17.5L
Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 12-valve, in-line three-cylinder, 79.0 x 71.4mm bore x stroke, 12:1 compression, 1050cc, stainless steel three-into-one-into-two system, twin high level stainless steel mufflers
Clutch: Wet multi-plate clutch
Chassis: Aluminium beam twin-spar, single-sided aluminium alloy swingarm, Rake: 22.8°, Trail: 90.9mm
Suspension: Ohlins 43mm NIX30 USD forks, rebound and compression damping adjustable, TTX36 twin-tube Monoshock, rebound and compression damping adjustable
Brakes: Switchable ABS, Dual 320mm front rotors, with Brembo four-piston radial monobloc calipers, 255mm rear rotor, Nissin twin-piston caliper
Wheels: Cast aluminium alloy 10-spoke, 3.50 x 17in, 6.00 x 17in, 120/70 ZR-17 190/55 ZR-17
Dimensions: Seat height: 825mm,
Overall height: 1110mm,
Overall length: 2100mm
Instruments: LCD Multi-function display
2014 DUCATI MONSTER 1200S
Warranty: Two-year/unlimited kilometre
Colours: Red, White
Claimed power: 106.6kW[145hp]@8750rpm
Claimed torque: 124.5Nm[91.8ft-lbs]@7250rpm
Claimed wet weight: 209kg
Fuel capacity: 17.5L
Engine: Liquid-cooled, Testrastretta L-twin, Desmodromically driven four-valves per-cylinder, 106 x 67.9mm bore x stroke, 1198.4cc, 12.5:1 compression, 53mm throttle-bodies, RbW, DTC, Power modes, Riding modes, lightweight two-into-one-into-two system, twin aluminium mufflers
Clutch: Wet clutch with progressive self-servo mechanism and slipper action
Chassis: Tubular steel trellis frontal section using engine as main stressed member, single-sided swingarm, Rake: 24.3°, Trail: 93.2mm
Suspension: 48mm Ohlins USD forks, fully adjustable, Ohlins monoshock, full adjustable
Brakes: ABS, dual 330mm front rotors, Brembo M50 radial monobloc calipers, single 240mm rear rotor, Brembo single-piston caliper
Wheels & Tyres: Y-shaped three-spoke light alloy, 3.5 x 17in, 6.0 x 17in, Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 120/70-17, 190/55-17
Dimensions: Seat height: 785/810mm,
Overall height: N/A,
Overall length: N/A,
Instruments: Full colour multi-mode TFT display with customisable screen options.
2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC
Warranty: Two years/unlimited kilometres
Colours: White, Black
Claimed power: 122kw[167hp]@11500rpm
Claimed torque: 111.5Nm[82.2ft-lbs]@9500rpm
Dry weight: 183kg
Fuel capacity: 18.5L
Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke, longitudinal 65° V-4, 78 x 52.3mm bore x stroke, 999.6cc, 13:1 compression, four Weber-Marelli 48mm throttlebodies, RbW, TC, wheel control, launch control, three-way engine mapping, four-into-two-into-one exhaust system, single muffler
Clutch: Wet multi-plate clutch, mechanical slipper
Chassis: Aluminium dual beam chassis with cast and pressed sheet elements, Rake: 25°, Trail: 108mm
Suspension: Sachs 43mm USD forks, fully adjustable, Sachs piggy-back monoshock, fully adjustable
Brakes: Dynamic Race ABS, dual 320mm front rotors,Brembo four-piston radial monobloc calipers, 220mm rear rotor, Brembo twin-piston caliper
Wheels: Cast aluminium three-split-spoke design, 3.50 x 17in, 6.00 x 17in, 120/70 ZR-17 190/55 ZR-17
Dimensions: Seat height: 835mm,
Overall height: 1090mm,
Overall length: 2065mm,
Instruments: Digital Multi-function display, analogue tachometer