‘You could ride it round Europe for a month without any com­plaints’

Con­tin­ued over

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test -

a ca­pa­ble con­ti­nent crusher.

By com­par­i­son, the BMW’S screen is lower, to the point of be­ing use­less. There are a few more vi­bra­tions from the par­al­lel-twin, too – and the seat is thin­ner and can’t match the plush­ness of the Suzuki. I was ex­pect­ing big things of the 798cc BMW, but I was left a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed on longer rides. The 16-litre un­der-seat tank sees the fuel light il­lu­mi­nate at around 130 miles, at which point the fuel trip re­sets to count dis­tance trav­elled, rather than giv­ing you a fuel range. The Suzuki will travel for an­other 100 miles be­fore trip­ping its fuel light.

As well as more ad­vanced electronics, the BMW’S Dy­namic pack­age has elec­tron­i­cally-ad­justable rear sus­pen­sion which can be changed on the move. The ride is cer­tainly more so­phis­ti­cated on the GS – it copes with large pot­holes and im­per­fec­tions with ease, where the softly sprung Suzuki will, in ex­treme cir­cum­stances, jolt you out of the seat. But given the choice I would still opt for the cheaper Suzuki over long dis­tances.

TEST 2 B-road blast­ing

The heav­ily off-road-bi­ased tyres fit­ted, neg­a­tively af­fect the BMW’S han­dling and sta­bil­ity. It feels like you’re rid­ing on con­ven­tional rub­ber which is un­der-in­flated. The GS tends to move around on the blocks of the tyres which trans­mit a vague feel­ing. At high speeds a small weave starts to emerge, and both the ABS and TC can eas­ily be trig­gered on wet roads. On test we were caught out in some tor­ren­tial rain in­spir­ing an im­me­di­ate flick of the TC and ABS back on, while opt­ing for the softer power de­liv­ery of Rain mode. But much of this neg­a­tiv­ity would be im­me­di­ately over­come by sim­ply choos­ing more road-bi­ased rub­ber.

The ABS brakes on the Beemer are cer­tainly sharper than the Suzuki’s, which also has much more lever travel, and less bite. In­ter­est­ingly, you can de­ac­ti­vate the TC on both bikes and even turn off the ABS on the GS – but not on the Suzuki. There are also switch­able power modes on the GS which change the de­liv­ery and char­ac­ter of the par­al­lel-twin, but the Suzuki doesn’t have this op­tion, re­ly­ing only

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