This is one of the motorcycle matches of 2012: the new Honda Crosstourer 1200 confronts the BMW R 1200 GS! The boxer engine and cycle parts atypical BMW says they stand in a Honda Crosstourer bristling with electronic and driven by a powerful V4? The reign of the R 1200 GS button there to an end? Summit of the food chain of trails max!
Today, a large trail, what is it exactly? Commuting gear raised and lighter than a GT bike? A machine adventurer able to feel the rolling track in Morocco; A bike ride or travel can take a path to discover a stock unique perspective? A versatile bike, a maid, with a security arsenal at the forefront; It’s a bit all at once and in 2012, is a category of motorcycle that does not know the crisis, far from it (see annual market by 2012 motorcycle category).
Suddenly, as if the builders had planned, they redouble their efforts in this area. First Ducati Multistrada 1200 with Yamaha and with the Super Tenere XTZ 1200, Kawasaki then recently with its “hybrid” Versys 1000 and Triumph Tiger with the Explorer 1200; Finally, one of the new landmarks of 212 years is undoubtedly the new Honda Crosstourer 1200. Today we compare it to a BMW R 1200 GS, comfortably seated on his throne for years. Faced with such competition, the Queen of maxi trails can she keep her crown for a long time?
The lords of traffic
First contact with the two Max trails the day: riding the BMW, I agree with Bertrand for our control and we begin by weighing maneuver motorcycles stopped, engine off. The Honda, but actually quite impressive with its narrow V4, reveals a high weight. The 283 kg (full) on our balance is there, but the 1200proves undeniably easier to maneuver than some competitors. The BMW R1200GS, as always, positively surprised: imposing, tall, intimidating, it remains easy to park with its 242 kg (with full tanks) and its boxer engine, which lowers the center of gravity.
Start, we let heat while adjusting the mechanical gloves and helmets. Surprise: the V4 from the VFR 1200 F – but redesigned for 2012 – delivers a nice sound, much less hushed than usual at Honda. The BMW, since the adoption of cylinder heads twin cam, hums merrily and shows almost as sound as the previous model with a silencer Akrapovic. The grip of the R1200GS is a great surprise: its imposing size vanishes at once the benefit of outstanding handling. This is a bike and it shines better than the Honda, against all odds, does not defend himself so badly. Okay, the Crosstourer weighs his weight and weave through the bumper; it requires more concentration than the BMW. The Japanese, however, remains neutral and its weight distribution on the back (while the BMW flirts with the 50/50) poses no problem.
BMW encourages open the throttle to hear his silent invitation to change gear. We take this opportunity to note that the selection is only average: other shaft drive motorcycles are gentler, starting with the Crosstourer, including gearbox. In DCT box, Honda requires a manual which we will return soon, but the dual-clutch transmission has really improved: it is faster, smoother, less noise than the first VFR 1200 “automatic”.
Protects the BMW, Honda relies
Drive about 200 km highway speed quasi-legal on board two motorcycles brings a lot of information. Comfort level, first, the game is tight. The BMW protects better, with a bubble wide and deep, hand guards optional more generous than the Honda engine to warm the shins … short, we feel the cold more on the Honda.
Crosstourer but also has its advantages: it does not vibrate a muscle, causes no ant in the feet or hands and the engine purring at 4000 rev / min to 130 km / h gives the sensation of dozing here where the flat twin continues to roar. In fact, if the superior protection of the BMW invites to up the tempo, the decibels of amplification did not invite.
Conversely, the breath in a “quiet strength” of the Honda cruiser makes you want to over 150 km / h while the protection is overly fair to the bubble series. The saddle is comfortable on both bikes and it is finally the mechanical regularity of the Honda that will give a slight edge thanks to a ride-by-wire success.
Indeed, at 130 km / h in control of the BMW, we’re in the area of 4600 r / min, stack the rpm range where the engine is hollow, operates erratically and gives the impression of continuous control. Downright rude at motorway links!
Ultra stable, Crosstourer
The highway gives way to the expressways less straight and that is enough to draw smiles on our helmets. Here, the design differences are revealed, the BMW enjoying a specific chassis, while Honda uses the aluminum frame of the VFR 1200 F, logic platform requires.
The dynamic qualities of the GS are known architects, and are often credited with excellent road holding whatever the playground In the fast corners, we indeed appreciate its fluidity and easy changes in direction. It still moves a little, sometimes floating during acceleration in a great curve, where the Honda unveils an impressive directional stability, finally very close to the road reference. The Japanese had the design for high speed … Crosstourer proves the imperial stability, does not flinch one bit if you go reporting high-speed cornering and is stiffer than the BMW Surprising.
Next step: to get closer to pillars of the Normandy Bridge, we skirt the edge of the Seine on particularly bad roads paved. The chassis BMW reasserts itself. It is more flexible, better able to digest large holes through the Telemeter and Para lever.
For photographic needs a break, Bertrand decided to take another road, and then cross a railroad track. The multiple passages revealed that the fate Crosstourer is much better year than expected clearance at least equal to that of the BMW, finally easy to mix the DCT box, it bends to the exercise. Later developments in the gravel, U-turns to the key, will present the record straight: the weight content and the low center of gravity of the BMW colors resume anyway.
The BMW is a reference frame, but…
Direction the hollow needle of Entreat, by the most tortuous roads; As always in this type of terrain, where one leads to improvisation, BMW proves formidable. Agile, with a wheelbase shorter than 88 mm, the R1200GS spins in the sinuous and plays with bleeding on the pavement. However, the Honda is still glued to the tires. Admittedly, it does not offer the same ease and the same reactivity trajectory correction, but still, Honda has managed to make his heavy Crosstourer very neutral and intuitive. It does not get up when braking on the corner and agrees to return to turn on the swing without restraint: not bad really!
Open highways are ideal for use engines, and there is something for everyone. Unquestionably, the V4 offers the Crosstourer 1200 profile as complete: more flexible, he reveals unusual strength over a wide speed range. It can be used from 2 000 to 6 000 r / min to extract all situations, with an effective thrust, full of strength and much more palpable than usual at Honda. We know very quickly that this V4 full of torque, the point behind the BMW when testing times despite being overweight and the Honda! The VFR 1200 F deserved to have this engine from the start!
Since the adoption of twin cam cylinder heads, the flat BMW has a sportier, sharper too. Of course, it provides enough force to roll at low and midrange, but it unveils its full potential if we use the right handle mode on / off, either by passing all the relationships between 2 500 r / min and 5000 r / min to benefit the couple down, either by lengthening the stride toward high speeds because the flat does not mind climbing up. The boxer does not distilled under real atmosphere mechanical vibrations that fill the bike under 3000 r / min in recovery and the roar of the exhaust are really unusual and it is understandable that some attach to them.
Conclusion: Honda heckled the reference GS
The unbeatable BMW R1200GS is to talk with the Honda Crosstourer 1200. The interpretation of the trail max VFR 1200 F finally takes its full meaning: more intuitive thanks to its ergonomics, more relaxed with its upright position, it retains the strengths of the GT sports, including the stability of the angle or high speed. The balance is amazing, the mechanical performance and not fade, the audience effective are standard: apart from a just protection, the Crosstourer combines the qualities and has a sacred package.
The BMW R1200GS is a tool, a must indisputable. Above all, it stands on some issues that have always been its strength as the agility and handling on all types of roads: it is a tool. Today, its engine has a real singularity. Although hollow midrange, he is alive and atypical that, for many, is a quality. BMW remains that the singularity is paying dearly.
3 year warranty, the Honda Crosstourer 1200 is proposed to € 13 990 in gearboxes (ABS and traction control as standard and € 14 990 DCT versions. The BMW R1200GS is offered at € 14 400, but you must choose the pack and GS2 safe to dispose of the ABS, traction control, heated grips, hand guards, trip computer, control of tire pressure and LED indicators. Addition then climbs to € 17 600. With new competitors as bright as the new Honda, BMW reference – which should no longer delay to evolve – has much to be done.
BMW R 1200 GS
Honda Crosstourer 1200 DCT
Tags: 2012 Honda Crosstourer, bikes, bmw, BMW R 1200, BMW R 1200 GS, bmw r1200gs, BMW R1200GS vs Honda Crosstourer 1200, BMW vs Honda, Crosstourer 1200, honda, honda 1200, Honda Crosstourer 1200, Honda Crosstourer 1200 2012