'The faster and more confident you are the more the Ducati Enduro rewards'
Ôhonda's Africa twin is in a different classõ
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."