Do not rush to accuse them of eccentricity. History shows: the quirks of the Gauls are the flip side of their sanity. Judge for yourself: is enduro really bad in the city? High landing, in a busy city stream you see far, over the roofs of cars - this is the time. Energy-intensive suspensions and spoke wheels, which are not afraid of either potholes or curbs - two. Ground clearance allows you to easily jump onto the sidewalk, or even wave the underground passage - these are three. A high-torque motor that does not bother with the need to change gear every two seconds - four. A narrow silhouette (at least take care of the slalom between cars) - five.
A whole bunch of virtues! Against their background, the shortcomings fade (besides they are easy to eliminate). Tires with hefty lugs don't “hold” wet paving stones? We put smooth road! Due to the large stroke of the suspensions, the handling on bends turns out to be “smeared”? Shorten the course, increase the stiffness. Does the long front fork break into a bend? We put more powerful, from a road bike. Are brakes designed for leisurely country walks dangerous for crazy street traffic? No problem - bigger drives, staples more gripy … What happened? Neither Enduro nor a dual-use motorcycle can be called this thing. Hey Paris brothers, what is it? Give the term! “Well this, bro, a cool supercar! In our opinion - supermotard. Does a word fit?”
Every thing gets a right to exist when it gets a good mark. To sound! The word "supermotard" went for a walk in the early 80s - and the fever of building such devices spread across Europe far beyond France. Someone found that it’s fun to anneal them on racetracks using a typewriter - a very special driving style, and the speeds are slightly less than on traditional roads of comparable cubic capacity.
And as it smelled of profit, a solid one fell upon the amusement of the "do-it-yourselfers". Well, at first not very solid companies. First, the tuning studio (for example, the German LSL and the French Boxer Bikes) seized on the idea, then the Italian, French firms of the second or third category (Fantic, HRD). In the 90s, when it smelled of big bucks, European grandees gnawed into the pie, let's call two such different, but stunningly bright cars - BMW F650CS and KTM LC4 Supermoto.
But what about the Japanese? Overslept? No, they reacted almost earlier than Europeans. In the stream of second-hand from Japan, a funny city enduro with Honda AX-1 openwork alloy wheels of the 1987 debut is not a rare guest. But then the time has not come yet for her … In short, this swallow did not make the weather.
And five years ago, the word “supermotard” suddenly became clear to everyone without translation. Moody fashion, playing with street fighters, desired a new toy. Then everyone rushed to make places in this sector of the market, and every cake was pies - supermotards according to their own recipe. But which ones are “super”, and which are just motorhards?..
Advocates of tough sports training profess this method: if you want adrenaline, eat it with spoons! Why be smart if there are wonderful races - supermoto? We take a sports motorcycle, we light up the direction indicators with flashlights, change the “bast shoes” to road tires - and go!
The founders and apologists of this direction are small European companies: ТМ, Gas-Gas. Their cars will not yield to a good sport bike due to the sophistication of the technical filling (and the price!): Powerful engines, sometimes with fuel injection, fully adjustable suspensions, sophisticated braking systems. On the road, they are somewhat reminiscent of 2-stroke sportbikes of the early 90s: you kick the bucket in full and in half an hour you will go dead!
Demand for such adrenaline generators is small, and small companies completely close it. Larger ones, which expect to nibble more, follow a non-radical way: their super-mards based on hard-enduro. Such is the novelty of the current season - Suzuki DR-Z400SM. Its base is the popular dual-use motorcycle DR-Z400S, which has just celebrated the fifth anniversary of its market victories. Is it a bit old? Not on your nelly! At least admire the engine: two upper camshafts, liquid cooling, forged piston with upper L-shaped ring, complex (nickel-silicon-phosphorus-carbon) composition covering the cylinder mirror … Lubrication system - with a dry crankcase (this guarantees the continuity of lubrication in any position of the motorcycle, and the crankcase is more compact), part of the frame acts as an oil tank. The rear suspension - with an aluminum alloy pendulum, adjustable monoshock and progressive performance.
The transformation of the "Endurka" into a supermotard occurred according to the standard scheme. Firstly, instead of the front “telescope” of the usual type, the Showa was more rigid in twisting. The brakes have been radically updated (the diameter of the front disc has been increased from 250 to 310 mm). The main change is radial road tires on 17-inch wheels. The result was an evil device (still 40 hp per 134 kg of dry weight), but in moderation. This one is for "advanced users."
The next hero is "not a boy, but a man with a difficult fate." It was free for Honda marketers to put an end to the excellent NX650 Dominator dual-purpose motorcycle, and then with manic persistence to mold new losers from its units! First attempt: 1996, the SLR650 model in the then fashionable scrambler style. And … an absolute failure in the market: buyers strongly rejected the "urban under-enduro." And the quality of its manufacture was lame - the device was produced by the Spanish branch. After a couple of years, the loser replaced the FX650 Vigor. For a complete change of the index, very modest cosmetic strokes (mini fairing on the steering wheel, etc.). Evolution did not cause a stir. And in the coming season - the third attempt to attach the Dominator motor in good hands (that is, the chassis): FMX650.
In one, the tradition of these urban "single-barrels" continued - in design, to put it mildly … hmm, strange. The upper part of the car is so reminiscent of Italian "Endurki" of the 80s that one gets the impression: 20 years ago, some very good designer fell into a lethargic dream, and now they woke him up, quickly filled his half-sleepy brains with the latest trends and - go ahead! Other than explaining this mishmash of styles. But if you scold yourself with a snob, and get distracted from an obsessive comparison with the 1985 Gilera Dakota, then you can admit this: outwardly, the machine is not bad, quite …
And inside? The Dominator engine needs no introduction - this offspring of the successful Honda single-barrel series with radial valve arrangement has long earned popular love. Steel frame - with a powerful ridge that serves simultaneously as an oil tank for the engine lubrication system. Rear suspension - Delta-Link Pro-Link systems, with gas-filled monoshock. Of the newfangled - an upside down front fork (unregulated), a LED taillight (from Fireblade), Renthal aluminum steering wheel.
Of course, there is no need to talk about sports ambitions of the FMX650 (compare it to 37.7 hp per 163 kg of dry weight and 40 hp per 134 kg for Suzuki DR-Z400SM). Ho is more practical for everyday urban road trips - you can not argue with that. In addition, the use of old proven units allowed to make the car not only reliable, but also relatively cheap.
Just do not throw dead ravens at me and blame me for voluntarism! Not blind, I see it myself: this motorcycle does not look like a supermotard. And listen to the end: there are three good reasons to include this instance in our review.
Firstly, this is also a novelty of the 2005 season. (An ironic exclamation from the public: "This is you to the point! Well done! More about the Bentley Flying Spur, push us back!") Secondly, it also has an off-road origin. Thirdly, and most importantly: he "plays" in the same market niche - urban "singles" of the middle price category. Well, calmed down? So meet: Aprilia Pegaso 650 Strada!
There is such a kitchen - fusion, it boldly combines the most unimaginable ingredients: well, say, pizza with swallow's nests under Olivier salad. Strange but delicious! The Pegaso 650 Strada was cooked up on the same principle: something classic, something supermotard, something street fighter.