Ver­dict

BIKE (UK) - - SPORTS TOURERS -

You’d ex­pect a launch con­trol func­tion on a mo­tor­bike made by MV. Even on a tourer like the Turismo Ve­loce. But its smart clutch de­liv­ers per­fect launches from ev­ery traf­fic light. And the lux­ury of clutch­less rid­ing. It’s all-day pleas­ant as well, with a well-padded seat (for the rider at least), and com­fort­able er­gonomics. Add in pan­niers that stow a full­face hel­met plus a huge fuel tank, and you have a soft, big trip-ready MV. Shame about the strato­spheric ask­ing price, and the last-gen­er­a­tion elec­tronic in­te­gra­tion. In com­par­i­son, rid­ing Du­cati’s Mul­tistrada 950 feels like great value. It pips the MV on build qual­ity, and turns tour­ing into a less per­for­mance-cen­tric af­fair. In­stead, bed down in the comfy seat, be­hind the bril­liant screen, and tug at laid-back V-twin thrust. When the crank gets round to it, peak torque is ac­tu­ally the strong­est here. Just make sure to stay alert for slow-speed ma­noeu­vring and be ready to spend an­other £1000 on es­sen­tial tour­ing kit. Cen­tre­stand, pan­niers, heated grips? They’re all ex­tra. And af­ter you’ve spent £12,606 you’ll still be miss­ing cruise con­trol and LED head­lights. Both find their way onto Yamaha’s new­est great-value tourer. This se­duc­tive blue GT takes the new 2018 Tracer 900 – high-speed sta­bil­ity, ef­fec­tive elec­tron­ics, sledge­ham­mer en­gine – and adds a long list of ex­tras. It lacks the Du­cati’s un­flus­tered charm and the MV’S lux­u­ri­ous ex­cess, and high-speed han­dling should be more re­spon­sive. But the ad­dic­tive en­gine and bulging bag of ex­tras make its low sticker price al­most un­be­liev­able.

‘The ad­dic­tive en­gine and bulging bag of ex­tras make its low sticker price al­most un­be­liev­able’

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