View Full Version : Comparison test in Motorcycle Consumer News
08-08-2002, 10:15 AM
I just finished reading the adventure-tourer comparison in the latest issue of MCN (Sept 02). Our beloved Capo finished in FOURTH PLACE, after the Suzuki V-Strom (1st), BMW R1150GS Adventure (2nd) and Triumph Tiger (3rd). Sheesh! But what do they know anyway?!? :-)
Actually, the Capo finished a close second or third in a number of categories, and fourth in a few others. The finishing order in most categories seemed so close as to be nearly irrelevant. The biggest complaints were the seat and the styling.
Yep, the seat is too soft, and it doesn't allow you much fore/aft movement. After a long day (400+ miles for me) it will feel wonderful to get off the bike. I recently did 1800 in four days attending the AMA Crossroads Rally in Ohio, and the seat was definitely distracting me at the end of each day.
As for the styling, well, that's not even worth discussing, as what's strikingly beautiful to you may be shockingly ugly to me!
It's also clear that the testers are still in love with the BMW GS, and justifiably so. It's a great bike with all the right features and it looks every bit like they expect an adventure-tourer to look. However, even though it has a clunky transmission and was the slowest and heaviest, they still use it as the benchmark for all the others.
Anyway, below are the finishers in each category. You'll have to get a copy of the Sept issue of MCN to read all details.
Viva la Caponord!
Marty (02 Capo, Jet Silver)
MCN Test Results by Category
Engine - 1.V-Strom, 2.Caponord, 3.Tiger, 4.GS
Transmission - 1.V-Strom, 2.Caponord, 3.GS, 4.Tiger
Suspension - 1.GS, 2.Tiger, 3.Capo, 4.V-Strom
Brakes - 1.Tiger, 2.V-Strom, 3.Caponord, 4.GS
Handling - 1.V-Strom, 2.GS, 3.Caponord, 4.Tiger
Styling - 1.GS, 2.V-Strom, 3.Tiger, 4.Caponord
Riding - 1.GS, 2.Tiger, 3.V-Strom, 4.Caponord
Controls - 1.GS, 2.Caponord, 3.Tiger, 4.V-Strom
Details - 1.GS, 2.Tiger, 3.V-Strom, 4.Caponord
Value - 1.V-Strom, 2.GS, 3.Tiger, 4.Caponord
OVERALL - 1.V-Strom, 2.GS, 3.Tiger, 4.Caponord
08-10-2002, 07:08 AM
After owning the bike I would say they are right on.
08-12-2002, 08:24 AM
I still believe I made a good choice in the Capo. All of these bikes take an *expert only* to operate them as designed. Lets face it, we are a rare breed of enthusiast and I like it that way. I rarely see any of these bikes in my area and I dont think that is going to change any time soon. I think the Capo did well where it counts and even bested the mighty GS in some areas. I agree with the seat issue, I am still unsure about the throttle response and I don't like the exhaust note. With that said, I *am* pleased with almost everything else. It took me some time to get the feel of my Caponord. If the bike runs problem free , I think it's a winner. Styling. How could there possibly be a winner. I think My Nero-Ash Capo is hands down, the best looking of the bunch. What do you think of them apples.
08-14-2002, 03:50 PM
You Go, Greg! :) I'm glad you're happy
Thanks for typing all that in, Marty. I just had my first rain ride with the Capo bags, and I was surprised to find that MCN is right, they did leak.
I know some posters have claimed that they don't. I did notice that one corner (rear top) wasn't tightly closing...instead of a less than 1/8 inch gap between left and right, it was about 1/4 inch, probably because I had too much stuff in the bag, which may explain why mine leaked, and others' didn't. I wonder if MCN had the same problem...hope so.
Anyway, for all my mooing, I do like the bike. It's such a different bike from the only other bike I've ever owned that I may be just complaining about differences, rather than problems.
Great post. I'm in the market for an ADV Tourer and I subscribe to MCN (Excellent content in the mag) and have read that test more times than I care to admit. :o After reading the Test I was all set to buy a BMW. Then, just for kicks, I went and looked at the other bikes. I'm glad I did.
I feel they did a typical bike test for street bikes and not ADV tourers in general and I'll tell you why.
They rank the Suzuki's motor #1 because of what it did at the dragstrip! An ADV tourer isn't designed for a dragstrip! Then they said, it wouldn't run below 4000 rpm due to the abrupt FI.
:eek: Then they added it wasn't nearly as flexible as the Aprilia when pulling from 65mph highway speeds. WTH? So, with the ADV Tourer in mind, I'm changing these results. IMHO of course.
IMHO Test Results when considering the bikes as ADV Tourers
Engine - 1.Capo 2.GS (torque is good off road!) 3. Tiger 4. V-Strom
Transmission - 1.V-Strom, 2.Caponord, 3.Tiger 4. GS (unchanged)
Suspension scores based on comfort! No tweaking? The Capo has a 50mm Marz fork (Tiger 43mm) and Sachs shock (Tiger?) It is much easier for most people to add oil, a preload spacer, or change springs than spend an extra $6,000 for the BMW or to raise the V-Strom (not possible). Still the Telelever and Paralever rock. The Strom is too short.
Suspension - 1.GS 2.Capo 3.Tiger 4.V-Strom
How about testing the bikes with appropriate rubber. Let's face it, the BMW knobbie/brake combo were bad on the dragstrip (greasy), but how were all the bikes OFF ROAD? Hmmmm, no mention of it. Also, the Triumphs brake levers (an old design) are non-adjustable. What good are the best brakes when the levers are too big for your hands? The Brembo brakes and steel/freudeberg brake lines are a nice touch over jap stuff too.
Brakes - 1. GS (ABS) 2.Tiger 3.Caponord 4. V-Strom
This is odd because the magazine calls the Tiger the sportbike of the group and then rates it last in handling?! :confused: They also never differentiate between handling on the road vs. off the road. Very different (and important) facts for an ADV tourer.
Road Handling - 1.V-Strom 2.GS, 3.Caponord, 4.Tiger
Off-Road (seat height) - 1. Capo 2. Tiger 3. V-Strom (low clearance) 4.GS
Are the MCN guys getting old? It's funny because everyone of these bikes looks like a fossil to me except the Aprilia Caponord. The BMW is a very cool fossil though!
Styling - 1.GS, 2.Caponord 3.Tiger 4.V-Strom (hideous bags too)
Riding - 1.GS 2.Tiger 3.V-Strom 4.Caponord
Controls - 1.GS, 2.Caponord, 3.Tiger, 4.V-Strom
MCN stated only the BMW had electrical outlets. Imagine my surprise when I looked at a stock Capo! The Suzuki has a dismal stator output, combined with some of the cheapest looking metal I've seen. Cast wheels?
Details - 1.GS 2.Caponord 3.Tiger 5.V-Strom
MSRP doesn't matter much to me...what I end up paying does. That said, I can get a Tiger ($7,500) and Capo ($8,500) for less than I can a Suzuki! Actually, I can get 2 of them for the price my local dealer wants for an Adventure with bags. :rolleyes: I'm not a tightwad, but that is just amazing to me. Used GS Adv?
Value (real world) - 1.Tiger 2.Caponord 3.V-Strom 4. GS Adv
OVERALL - 1.GS 2.Caponord 3.Tiger 4.V-Strom
Now, if I could just cash in my 401k I could afford a GS. Nah, I think I'll "just" get a Capo and add a good seat, bars, center stand, euro sidestand, crash bars, firm up the fork, get a top box to go with my bags, and ride off into the sunset with an extra 6k in my pocket. Thanks Aprilia! :D
07-22-2003, 08:49 PM
I'd have to agree with Ergo's well thought out synapsis of the article, except that he misses a couple of points; The first being, the V-strom (which I rode before buying the Capo) is fun to ride, has "flick" in the handling, but looks and feels CHEAP. Stamped out parts and big, ugly gaps all over this poor bike. I love Suzukis, owned a couple of them, and am very disapointed in their fit and finish of this bike. The second point is, it's a good thing they didn't test these bikes off road (except the knobby-equipped GS), as someone surely would have been hurt trying to navigate a bike shod with Metzler Tourances off-pavement! Great tires on the road, suck miserably off road.
07-23-2003, 08:26 AM
I agree with Ergo; I just didn't understand many of the rankings. The seat issue is an interesting one because it can easily be "fixed" by spending a few hundred dollars to have a custom seat (I got a Rich's). I realize that they have to rate things based on the bike they get from the factory, but I think "value" should take into account which things are easily fixable (e.g., seat, handlebars, etc.) vs. those that are not (engine, transmission, etc.). I'll take the Capo and its smooth ride and transmission over the jerky response of the GS anyday (and I'm not anti-BMW by a long shot).
'02 psycho red Caponord
'00 BMW K1200LT
07-23-2003, 08:58 AM
Another big complaint they had is the kickstand and the lack of a centerstand (final verdict section). The kickstand is an easy fix and some dealers will replace it for free. The optional centerstand is around $120 and frankly only the GS has one as standard equipment. The centerstand for the Tiger and the V-Strom is available as an option for more money then the Capo. I think MCN smoked too much crack during their evaluation "trip".
07-23-2003, 09:36 AM
Me thinks all the ducks weren't in a row during testing. Things like off-idle stumbling needed to be addressed before any true testing could be done. I found after a re-map was done that the Capo was much better all around. The V-Strom had this difficulty early on as well. I wonder if the first year BMW was flawless? I have to agree on the "plastic look of the V-Strom. I sat on one with their luggage at the AMA race and couldn't believe how ugly IMO the side cases are. I was near impossible for my passeger to mount while I was on the back without kicking the luggage. I know I made the right choice.
07-24-2003, 09:04 AM
If anyone cares to look at: www.trooper.com you can see some of the troubles people are having with their VStroms.
I watched this site for a long time while I was thinking of changeing bikes. I didn't know about this site before I owned my Caponord. Maybe I would have had reservations if I had. I have been watching for several weeks now. I haven't had any problems with my 02 Caponord. I am going to have the seat rebuilt though. I have more than 20,000 miles this year. That is too many miles for the stock seat.
I am enjoying all the comments, thank all of you.
07-24-2003, 09:24 AM
www.trooper.com takes you to a website for some Canadian band. I didn't see anything apparent on their site about V-Stroms. Perhaps you were momentarily confused ?
07-24-2003, 09:38 AM
Perhaps it should be:
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