Unequal Opportunity: Harley vs Ducati vs Hyosung

The Hyosung is a bit of a mixed bag. Even on its own, the GT650N’s frame seems like shoddy drainpipe work. Standing next to the Monster, it’s an eyesore. The GT650N is a bike with handsome proportions, its body looks old-school-good and it’s quite substantial compared to the petite Ducati. However, the mass below the tank is full of wires, brackets, sockets, plumbing – it looks like a hardware store on wheels.

And that beaky face elicits more ‘What the hell...’ than the ‘Oooh, look at that...’ of the Monster. The Hyosung’s reasonably well built – just that there’s no hint of attention to detail on it. It’s a good thing, then, that it makes up when it comes time to ride.

The Hyosung’s got the smallest motor and is also the slowest, but it is by no means insipid. Yes, surprisingly enough, despite that Suzuki-sourced engine, it feels more raw and unrefined than the other two. Then again, both H-D and Ducati have had decades-long headstarts on the Koreans, so it’s only fair to cut them some slack, eh? The 650cc motor makes 73bhp and 61Nm, and is only too happy to grunt forward as you row through the gearbox, taking five seconds to hit 100kph and easily breaking the 200kph barrier. Not bad, eh?

And it doesn’t disappoint at corners either, though we wish we had time to dial in the adjustable front forks – the GT650N didn’t feel as composed into corners, though once on the throttle, it carved them up with sufficient authority. Ride quality is second only to the Monster, and miles ahead of the Harley.