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BMW R1250GS vs Ducati Multistrada V4S vs Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Pro vs KTM 1290 SAS vs Harley Davidson Pan America vs Honda Africa Twin AS DCT vs BMW S1000XR

What would I buy privately?

We are practically one year into testing these 7 bikes. We have done almost 140,000 km with them.

I was wondering recently which of these motorcycles I would buy for myself as the only motorcycle at home that would be used to travel around Europe.

It turned out that I do not know ... I do not have my obvious number one among these motorcycles.

However, I also have my subjective opinion about each of these motorcycles and by reading this text you can get to know them.

I decided to divide this test into two categories, the first is "best bike overall" and the second is "best bike for..." and here I will be judging these bikes in terms of different applications.


I mean some general use of the motorcycle. I assume here that we need an ADVENTURE motorcycle to travel on mainly asphalt roads, with an admixture of unpaved roads and sometimes forest paths. In my opinion, this segment of motorcycles was created for this. Of course, each of these motorcycles can also be ridden off-road, but there will be a separate category for that.



I mean some general use of the motorcycle. I assume here that we need an ADVENTURE motorcycle to travel on mainly asphalt roads, with an admixture of unpaved roads and sometimes forest paths. In my opinion, this segment of motorcycles was created for this. Of course, each of these motorcycles can also be ridden off-road, but there will be a separate category for that.



1st place

R1250GS and Multi V4S.



I didn't think GS would be here. But recently I drove it from Austria to Sardinia on wheels (632 km) mainly on side winding roads, plus about 1000 km in Sardinia and somehow it gained my sympathy again (just to be clear, I had two GS in my life, on which I did over 60,000 km ) It happened because I had a lot of fun riding it recently.

This is probably the easiest bike to ride out of the bikes we have.

It is also the least sporty. But it allows you to make very large assemblies that are somehow child's play and that you can do very confidently. It makes you ride this bike fast and confident and enjoy it.

I've been bothered by the less direct connection between the steering wheel and the tires so far.

We have a different front suspension here, based on a wishbone that changes the geometry of the front fork depending on the forces given to the bike (acceleration, braking).

When I ride the GS, I have the impression that I am driving a horse chariot with the reins in my hands, that is, I feel that this wheel is more in front. But it's a nice feeling and I liked it very much again, or again, because it didn't bother me before, then after riding many bikes with classic front suspension it started to bother me, now it's ok for me again. , I still think that it could sound better and give more emotions in the lower rev range (I'm not talking about power and torque, because there is a lot of it at low rpm, I'm talking about the smoothness of the current engine and very smooth power delivery, I miss it there some character and slight aggressiveness), but you have to admit that it gives a really good driving feeling. It has a lot of torque, it gives power quite strongly right away, which results, for example, in the fact that in 2nd and 3rd gear you can make rubber out of gas without any great effort. The way the GS accelerates is a lot of fun, the power is always there and instantly.

The convenience of traveling also speaks for the GS. It was not by chance that I chose the GS for my trip from Austria to Sardinia. I knew it would be comfortable and economical at the same time (GS burns 5.4 - 5.8 liters). In addition, a high price, but which holds strong in value, GS in good condition and sold from the first owner with really minimal loss in value.

I am a bit surprised myself that in this ranking I put the GS in the first place (ex with Multistrada V4S), but when I did an honest analysis of the choice of a motorcycle to travel for myself, it is a GS that is good at everything and at the same time really comfortable and can give fun to drive, he took the lead.


Multistrada V4S

Only that the Multistrada V4S is still in the first place ...

The Ducati is a point above the GS in practically everything.

Power and driving fun - you definitely have more of it in the Multistrada. 170 hp from the V4 does such a good job that you have to try it for yourself! In addition, the Multistrada is the best-handling motorcycle in the segment, despite the fact that the suspension could be stiffer.

Convenience - it's probably even more comfortable than on the GS ... full stop.

Appearance - 99.9% of people think the V4S is the prettiest bike out of the bunch.

Multistrada has it all. This is a motorcycle that you will not only like (even a lot), it is a motorcycle that will make you say "damn, I love you Multi" in the helmet at certain moments.

The Italians really did wonders. And to be honest, if the cost didn't play a role, I'd rather buy the Multistrada, I'd be more happy with it, the price of the Multistrada is about 10-15 thousand higher than the GS. Multi burns an average of 7-8 liters (2 liters more than GS), service costs are a bit more expensive (negligible difference really), you need to take care of the chain (ours lasted 25,000 km).

So there are also downsides. However, if costs were not a factor ... For me, Multistrada is the number 1 choice.

If they did, I'd choose the GS.

Both of these motorcycles are also the most comfortable for a passenger and are best driven with 2 people.


Place 2.


I really like this KTM. Not as friendly as GS. You have to get used to it, ride with it a bit to understand it. But once you understand each other, KTM will follow your orders in Austrian. This comparison proves the precise control of this motorcycle!

He is very tough in character. Everything works very precisely and hard, but at the same time lightly. The engine has plenty of power and torque, and almost no jerking at low revs (and that's a big V2). The suspension (quite hard, much harder than in the GS and Multi) allows for very precise and confident cornering. KTM also has the best lights of all these bikes and great cornering lights. It has a comfortable position, but with a hard seat (it is comfortable, even for longer trips), there is a little less space on the back seat than on the GS or Multi). Low fuel consumption, in terms of performance, the lowest of all - 160 KM / 140 Nm - fuel consumption as in the GS (average 5.5 liters).

It is much cheaper than GS and Multi.

It is perfect for a motorcycle to travel while really giving a lot of fun to ride.

It also has disadvantages - it is unstable at high speeds (above 180 km/h), it warms the calves a bit on warm days.

But overall it's an excellent machine for good money.


Place 3.

Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Pro

In third place we have the Tiger 1200 GT Pro.

I like that Tiger a lot. There's only one thing that annoys me about him and if it wasn't for that, who knows if he wouldn't be higher. It's about the play on the cardan shaft, or in the entire drivetrain, which makes the motorcycle jerk a little when changing the load on the engine - the worst, if it is also done when exiting a corner. Recently, I discovered that driving dynamically and immediately switching from braking to gas, it can be eliminated - because, in this case, the entire drive and suspension system is quite tense. In any case, with normal driving it is felt and annoying, takes away a lot of fun from driving.

Despite this, driving the Triger is very pleasant. It is agile, resilient, and turns well.

The engine is very positive, sounds good under load, aggressively revs up, linearly gives power.

Tiger is very comfortable and has a great standing position.

The suspension absorbs well and chooses, it could be a bit firmer, especially when driving with a passenger. As for the passenger, the rear seat is comfortable, but in my opinion it is too high in relation to the driver's seat. As a result, the center of gravity goes higher and you get the impression that the passenger weighs more. The passenger herself is also disadvantaged in terms of wind protection and backrest. The glass could better protect against the wind.

Overall, it's a very good bike that's fun to ride.


Place 4.

Honda Africa Twin and S1000XR

A bit of a strange combination, because they are completely different motorcycles, but more on that later in other judging categories, where both Africa Twin and S1000XR take first places in their categories.


Africa Twin

This is the best big expedition enduro, if we were to judge in this category, where expedition means more non-asphalt roads than in the general ranking. Africa is a little more enduro than others. It has 21 inches at the front and 18 inches at the rear, the best off-road suspension (in general, I think it's the best suspension in the field, which is also great on asphalt - it's much better than the previous Africa).

The suspension is what makes this bike so good. It is a role model for others.

An engine that lacks a bit of power (those 10 hp would make a difference). Africa needs to be revved high to accelerate efficiently. At the same time, you do not lack this power for normal applications, and the engine sounds the best, definitely the best of all on this list.

I would choose this motorcycle if I wanted to travel in 1 person more off the asphalt.



It's the fastest bike on the line. It's also the most capable as a track day bike, so it's a very versatile bike. It is closest to super-bikes, but at the same time gives you the comfort of traveling on an almost similar level as other motorcycles. Really worth considering, for people who want something more sporty. For me, it's far away, because it's less comfortable and lacks features that allow you to go off the asphalt. However, on the other hand, the ability to go fast, a great engine, precision and ease of handling mean that if someone is looking for a truly universal asphalt motorcycle - one that will cover sports liters on the track and take a long exciting journey on winding roads, it is unlikely to find nothing better. In addition, as the only one, it has an inline 4, which, dialed above 8,000 revolutions, takes you to a different class of sensations. And brakes - definitely the best of this rate.


Place 5 (last)

Harley-Davidson Pan America

The motorcycle is in many respects underdeveloped, untested, poorly designed.

In addition, the least fun from driving, heavy and crude. Less comfortable. It heats. Poor plastics and general ugliness everywhere.

The engine sounds ugly. There is nothing to compare it to the competition for now.

On YT Love For Ride there is an episode where HD is compared to KTM and Multi - I talk more about its mainly disadvantages there - I recommend watching for the unconvinced.

On the plus side - originality, pretty good handling. As I said on YT, I really hoped that HD would enter this most attractive market with a bike that could really compete with GS or KTM, but unfortunately it is not. Of course, you won't find many such opinions on the Internet, especially among motorcycle journalists. HD really needs to try harder and polish this bike, maybe they'll do it with the new model, maybe they won't because as far as I know Pan America is selling pretty well...

I do not recommend.



I mean the use of a motorcycle. These are my choices if I was looking for a motorcycle that I want to travel more off-road, on off-road trips. I don't mean a motorcycle that I would ride off-road, because in my opinion, none of them are really suitable for it.


1st place

Honda Africa Twin AS DCT

By far the best suspension, standing position, balance, engine character, off-road handling. Wheels - 21 / 18 inches also have a big influence on this. This is a bike that is really good and fun to ride on gravel, light sand, rocky roads, etc. The suspension is the best at absorbing bumps, the position and balance is the best, plus you have special off-road riding modes that really make a difference. With all this, the Afirca is also an excellent asphalt motorcycle. Probably, if I decided, I would buy the normal version, not the Adventure Sports, because of the weight, I would have to think about the gearbox - I really like the DCT.


Place 2.

Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Pro / KTM 1290 SAS

Tiger 1200 (I will just say right away that I would choose it in the Rally Pro version, not the GT Pro version - i.e. with 21/18 inch wheels and probably a slightly changed suspension). Above all, the Tiger has a great standing position, a very good suspension that actually dampens bumps (the same suspension was a bit too soft for me on asphalt, but it works great off it) and has a good balance. The bike is easy to maneuver on the soft. The downside may be the ease of stalling the engine at low revs (e.g. when maneuvering), but maybe it can be somehow reprogrammed - it is, I think, related to some emission standards at low revs.


KTM 1290 SAS- here I will also immediately point out that only the R version would come into play, i.e. other, more competitive suspensions and wheels in size 21 / 19 inches. KTM comes from enduro and they know how to make off-road motorcycles. KTM, however, for an untrained person, can be more difficult to drive than a Honda or Tiger. However, if you learn it, you can get the most out of the R version, apart from the hard one = you will drive the most efficiently / fastest and you will have fun with it. The version with the letter S, in my opinion, is not very suitable for asphalt descents.


Place 3. 


The GS is well-balanced, has a powerful engine and is easy to manoeuvre.

You have to be a little careful with the cylinders during tipping, on the other hand, these cylinders (necessarily with crash bars) are the easiest way to lift it from the ground, and they provide additional ankle protection during some tipping, because the GS never lies completely on its side. If I had to compare it to the KTM S version, I would definitely prefer the GS for gravel riding. Of the minuses, when driving faster off the asphalt, the suspension may not be able to cope with larger bumps. But the GS is really good at a leisurely pace off the asphalt, you can master it well and really go places you wouldn't expect. The GS is also the motorcycle that I chose for a 2-person trip through Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (90% off-road), because even laden and with a passenger, it behaved quite well on unpaved surfaces.


Place 4.

Multistrada V4S

Suitable for off-road use just like the GS1250. However, I would feel sorry for her. I'd be afraid something would break, shake it out. I rode this motorcycle about 50 km on a Corsican road with stones, pits, and with two people, and the feeling is similar to the GS. However, in my opinion, it is a motorcycle for fast touring on asphalt and light gravel, I would not choose this motorcycle for a trip.


Place 5.

Harley Davidson Pan America

I would not go off-road with this motorcycle, but in this ranking there is only the S1000XR, which is not suitable for off-roading at all. From the advantages of HD, it has a fairly long wheelbase, and it is surprisingly stable on gravel roads, it's a bit like a GS, it's a tank that you can drive almost anywhere. However, for example, the red-hot cover of the exhaust manifolds (it is easy to burn, especially near the soil), or, for example, the windshield mount, which may break off in the field (in my opinion), I do not rate this motorcycle highly in expedition applications.

Place 6.


This is a motorcycle only for asphalt, very good and fast. It is not suitable for off-asphalt descents by design and that's the end of it


1st place


Because it will give you the most emotions, and for that we need motorcycles to a large extent.

The S1000XR goes the fastest, brakes the most aggressive, accelerates in the coolest way.

It is most suitable for racetracks, track-days, etc. It can be used in the city. This is a really top machine that will give us the most if we don't go off the asphalt.


Place 2.

Ducati Multistrada V4S

Similar fun to drive as on the S1000XR, but much more towards tourism (it is much more comfortable than on the S1000XR). If someone can afford it (again assuming we don't go off the asphalt), there's also the Pikes Peak version, with suspension from Ohlins, mono wishbone and 17-inch wheels. This version then brings the Multi closer to the S1000XR in terms of applications and is actually also suitable for racing tracks. Both S1000XR and V4S bikes will give you the most fun on the asphalt and are versatile at the same time.


Place 3.

KTM 1290 SAS

The KTM also has a lot of sport to it. It has a powerful engine and very precise suspension (much harder than the Multi, GS). If I had to bet, he will be with the 3rd time on the track, after the S1000XR and Multistrada. It's a lot of fun to drive too.


Place 4.

R1250GS / Tiger 1200 GT Pro / Honda Africa Twin

Both of these bikes are better suited for everyday bikes than a typical touring road bike. So they are universal, you can go with them on a 1-day trip around the area, or commute to work (however, I recommend without side cases). I would skip track days, but training on the track is the best. And at any time, you can calm down and go on a trip around Europe. The engines and suspensions are a lot of fun to drive.


Honda Africa Twin

Asphalt only - This bike rides perfectly on asphalt, however, if you don't plan on going downhill from black, it's a bit of a no-brainer. Because it's the truest of these enduro expedition motorcycles, so it's a bit of a pity that this motorcycle is wasted like that. But if, for example, you like the Africa Twin a lot (and you won't be going off the tarmac), and you enjoy riding it, then it is also (as much as the GS / Tiger) suitable as an all-round bike, the one and only. It's great on asphalt and in the city. Disadvantage - less KM. Plus - maybe you don't plan to drive off the asphalt now, but someday it may change, then you change tires and you can do it!


Place 6.

Harley-Davidson Pan America

I'm a little attached to this HD, but unfortunately I have something. Anyway, I'm a fan of this brand and I think they build really great bikes (that look and sound beautiful). This HD doesn't look good, the engine sounds very, very bad, it gets hot, the lights don't work, it even turns right, but others do it better. So, it's here. But I hope that in Milwaukee they realize this, and the constructors will win over the accountants and the next version of this bike will be as it should be!


I was supposed to write this ranking a long time ago. But it took some time and I had to put a lot of miles on these bikes before my opinion was really formed. I had a problem myself when I was wondering what I would buy now.

I know that choosing a new motorcycle is one of the most important decisions in life (in the life of a motorcyclist)

I also know that my opinion on these motorcycles is sometimes similar to the opinions of our guests, and sometimes completely different ...

It would certainly be difficult to make such a decision only on the basis of a test drive in the showroom (by the way, I recently heard that you can't do such a test drive almost anywhere, because there are no tests).

But luckily there is a place like Love For Ride where we collected all these bikes (as far as I know, it's the only place like this in the world nowadays) and took them to the best places for motorcycling in Europe (currently we have bases in Andalusia, in Sardinia, Corsica, Montenegro, the Alps, the Canary Islands, and in the 2023 season we are also planning new places). A place where you can come, spend a great motorcycle holiday and get to know these motorcycles really well. I guarantee you that after such a trip your opinion on this segment of motorcycles will change and reshape itself. I also guarantee that after such a trip it will be easier for you to decide which motorcycle to buy.

It sounded a bit rude, but it is

We are currently in Andalusia and will be here until the end of November. We still have some vacancies in November (October is already fully booked).

If you are considering buying one of these bikes then I recommend this tour.

If not, I also recommend it, because Andalusia and the roads we know here are one of the best places in the world for moto-holidays, especially in autumn.

If you've made it this far in this long text, thank you for your time - and in return, I'm offering you a 10% discount on our holiday - please write to us on the password - "I read this whole motorcycle test in Love For Ride"

Have a good day!

Adam Love For Ride




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