'The faster and more con­fi­dent you are the more the Du­cati En­duro re­wards'

Ôhonda's Africa twin is in a dif­fer­ent classõ

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

road. It’s a bike where the faster and more con­fi­dent you are, the more it re­wards. The sus­pen­sion is amaz­ing; the front tracks well, the rear is con­trolled over bumps and jumps and it doesn’t bot­tom out. I didn’t hit the sump once. Turn­ing the TC off makes it feel more alive and the en­gine is in­cred­i­bly smooth at low rpm. I think for Du­cati’s first off-road at­tempt, it’s gen­uinely stun­ning. They must have had some very good peo­ple in­volved de­vel­op­ing it.

"I’m di­alled into the GS hav­ing just done the GS Tro­phy, but I’d never been a big fan. Now the more I ride it the more it grows on me. The Telelever front end, which I don’t nor­mally like, gives an as­sured feel. There are times when you brace your­self for a big bump and it just soaks it up. The mo­tor runs at al­most tick­over and once you get used to the big dol­lop of torque at the bot­tom end, you can use it to help you turn.

"The big­gest dis­ap­point­ment is the KTM. They’re an off-road com­pany and that DNA gen­er­ally runs through their bikes. I’m a fan of the 1190 Ad­ven­ture R – it’s an ab­so­lute weapon – but the stan­dard 1190 just doesn’t work. The han­dle­bars are too nar­row and don’t of­fer much lever­age. The front feels vague, and there’s lots of trans­mis­sion noise. The en­gine is punchy down low, but not in a nice way.

"The Tri­umph Ex­plorer can do it all and is a big im­prove­ment over the last model. The rid­ing po­si­tion is bet­ter and now al­lows you to get fur­ther for­ward over the front when you’re stand­ing up. The power is smooth, but the front is vague and there’s no real me­chan­i­cal grip. The Tri­umph went ev­ery­where the other bikes did, but it feels the most out of its com­fort zone."

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