Tag Archives: BMW Motorcycles

2021 BMW R 1250 RT Announced: Tech and Aesthetic Updates

BMW has announced several updates to its boxer-twin powered touring machine, the 2021 BMW R 1250 RT. An aesthetic refresh is the most apparent change, while several features that were once options are now standard on the 2021 R 1250 RT. Check out the press release below for more information.

From Press Release:

2021 BMW R 1250 RT

“We have given the R 1250 RT a new look, a comprehensive increase in standard equipment and numerous technical upgrades to achieve a whole new riding experience. As a dynamic tourer with the incomparable BMW ShiftCam engine, it also has the perfect power unit with impressive power across the entire speed range” 
Harald Spagl, Project Manager

2021 BMW R 1250 RT

The new BMW R 1250 RT: The benchmark among dynamic tourers is even more sophisticated and innovative for maximum motorcycle enjoyment on extended journeys. 

For more than four decades, the BMW Motorrad abbreviation “RT” has been synonymous in the world of dynamic touring motorcycles, combining comfort on long journeys with dynamic riding pleasure on country roads. More than that: a BMW RT has always sets the benchmark in this class. To ensure that this continues to be the case in the future, BMW Motorrad has made extensive changes and innovations to the new R 1250 RT – for even greater riding pleasure and touring enjoyment at the very highest level. As before, the legendary 2-cylinder boxer engine ensures comfortable travel and dynamic propulsion. It still has an engine capacity of 1 254 cc and delivers 100 kW (136 hp) in the current EU5 registration, too. Thanks to BMW ShiftCam technology for varying valve timing and valve lift on the intake side, it offers superior power across the entire speed range, extremely smooth running and refinement as well as outstanding fuel consumption and emission values.

2021 BMW R 1250 RT

Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and new “Eco” riding mode as standard. Riding Modes Pro with riding mode preselection and engine drag torque control (MSR) as options.

The standard Dynamic Traction Control DTC ensures a high level of riding safety due to excellent traction, while the new standard “Eco” riding mode helps the rider achieve the best possible fuel efficiency.

The new R 1250 RT Adventure can be fitted with the “Pro Riding Modes” as an ex works option. Another new component of Riding Modes Pro is the engine drag torque control (MSR): this can be used to safely avoid unstable riding conditions that can occur during coasting or downshifting due to excessive brake slip at the rear wheel.

2021 BMW R 1250 RT

New BMW Full Integral ABS Pro as standard.

In its latest edition, the R 1250 RT is equipped as standard with the new BMW Motorrad Full Integral ABS Pro. This is a braking system in which both the hand and foot brake levers are used to apply the front and rear brakes simultaneously. Combined with the qualities of ABS Pro with banking angle optimisation and dynamic brake force distribution, Full Integral ABS Pro is the perfect braking system for a touring bike such as the R 1250 RT.

2021 BMW R 1250 RT

New full LED headlamp with turning light and new light functions as ex works options.

The new standard full LED headlamp already illuminates the road with unrivalled brightness and clarity. The new headlamp with swivel function goes one step further: with the “Adaptive Turning Light” option, the dipped beam of the standard full LED headlamp turns into the bend according to the banking position. In this way, the bend is almost fully illuminated because the light moves to where the motorcycle is heading. Thanks to new light functions, the riding experience on the new R 1250 RT is even more intense – and there are practical benefits, too. For example, the “Welcome” function, the “Goodbye” function for taking leave and the “Follow me home” function for guidance purposes will be available as optional extras in future.

2021 BMW R 1250 RT

Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC) as standard. Active Cruise Control (ACC) – cruise control with integrated distance control for relaxed touring as an ex works option.

In connection with the standard Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC) , “dynamic” means that the preselected speed is kept at a constant level when riding downhill. If the braking effect of the engine is not sufficient for this, the fully integral brake is automatically activated so as to maintain the desired riding speed. Active Cruise Control (ACC), available as an optional extra, goes one step further. Thanks to radar sensor technology, it enables relaxed gliding with distance control – and there is no need for the rider to adapt road speed to the vehicle in front.

2021 BMW R 1250 RT

New 10.25” TFT colour screen with integrated map navigation for convenient route planning and extensive connectivity as standard.

The new R 1250 RT is fitted with a 10.25-inch TFT colour screen with integrated map navigation and connectivity. Its excellent readability, clear menu navigation and highly integrated operating concept put the new R 1250 RT at the top of the range of serial production motorcycles. For the first time on a motorcycle, the new 10.25-inch colour screen makes it possible to display a navigation map in the instrument cluster, so no additional display is needed.

Along with the introduction of standard connectivity and the navigation map shown on the screen, the new “Comfort telephony with extended smartphone connection” option is available. A smartphone can be securely accommodated in a storage compartment that is protected from splash water and ventilated by an electric fan, and its battery can be kept ready for use inductively or via USB connection. With the Audio System 2.0, the new R 1250 RT offers an even more intense sound experience than its predecessor.

2021 BMW R 1250 RT

The new R 1250 RT: enhanced travel capability and dynamic performance thanks to new fairing. Exclusive touring character in an attractive basic paint finish and refined style variants. 

Thanks to a newly developed front fairing, the new R 1250 RT now not only looks fresher and more dynamic, it also has enhanced travel and touring qualities thanks to additional aerodynamic advancements. Not only does the new front fairing enclose the new full LED headlamps, for example, but the upper section of the fairing is now reduced in height, too. This results in a wider field of vision for the rider, while at the same time making the new R 1250 RT appear lighter and more dynamic. In addition to the attractive basic version in Alpine White 3, the new R 1250 RT is also available in the refined Style variants “Elegance”, “Sport” and “Option 719”.

The highlights of the new BMW R 1250 RT:

• Authentic boxer engine with BMW ShiftCam Technology for variation of the valve timings and valve stroke on the intake side.

• Powerful response across the entire engine speed range, exemplary fuel consumption, emission levels, running smoothness and refinement.

• Output and torque: 100 kW (136 hp) at 7 750 rpm and 143 Nm at 6 250 rpm.

• Knock sensor system for optimised travel suitability.

• New BMW Motorrad Full Integral ABS Pro as standard.

• Three riding modes as standard.

• New “Eco” riding mode for particularly economical riding as standard.

• Riding Modes Pro with additional riding mode “Dynamic” and new engine drag torque control (MSR) as an ex works option.

• Dynamic Traction Control DTC as standard

• Dynamic ESA “Next Generation” electronic suspension with fully automatic load compensation as an optional extra.

• Hill Start Control Pro (HSC Pro) with extended function as an ex works option.

• Newly developed front fairing with optimised aerodynamics.

• New LED headlamp as standard and new full LED headlamp with adaptive turning light as an ex works option

• Connectivity: New multifunctional instrument cluster with 10.25-inch full-colour TFT screen and numerous other features as standard.

• New “Comfort telephony with extended smartphone connection” option.

• New Audio System 2.0 option.

• New double tone fanfare as standard.

• Intelligent Emergency Call as an ex works option.

• Attractive basic paint finish along with the three Style variants “Elegance”, “Sport” and “Option 719” as ex works options.

• Extended range of optional extras and Original BMW Motorrad Accessories.

2021 BMW R 1250 RT Photo Gallery:

Source: RiderMagazine.com

BMW Motorrad Announces Maintenance-Free M Endurance Chain

BMW Motorrad has announced the M Endurance chain, which does not need to be lubricated like conventional motorcycle chains. The M Endurance chain uses a tetrahedrally amorphous carbon coating on the rollers that reduces friction and negates the need for lubricant. Currently, the BMW S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR are the only compatible models.

BMW Motorrad M Endurance Chain

From Press Release:

For more than 90 years, the maintenance-free, environmentally friendly and comfortable shaft drive has been one of BMW Motorrad’s immovable technical cornerstones. With the M Endurance chain, BMW Motorrad now offers a maintenance-free chain with comparable characteristics for the first time.

Like previous X-ring chains, the M Endurance chain has a resident permanent lubricant filling between the rollers and pins, enclosed by X-rings. What is completely new, however, is that the previously necessary additional lubricant addition for the rollers and thus the familiar “chain lubrication” is no longer necessary, nor is any re-tensioning required from time to time due to the usual wear.

BMW Motorrad M Endurance Chain

This enormous gain in comfort was made possible by using a new coating material for the rollers: tetrahedrally amorphous carbon (ta-C), also known as industrial diamond. This coating is characterized by extreme hardness and resistance and in this respect it is placed between the well-known DLC coating (Diamond Like Carbon) and pure diamond. In contrast to the metal surfaces used so far, the coating with the ta-C industrial diamond does not wear off. At the same time, this type of coating also offers a drastically reduced friction coefficient.

Thanks to excellent dry lubrication properties and the elimination of wear, the tetrahedral amorphous carbon coated rollers of the M Endurance chain offer maintenance comfort equivalent to that of a shaft drive motorcycle. This includes all the cleaning work that is unavoidable with a conventional chain due to splashed lubricant. Accordingly, the M Endurance chain also offers maximum environmental friendliness.

The M Endurance chain in 525 pitch is now available initially for the two 4-cylinder models BMW S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR. The M Endurance chain is available as accessory or directly from the factory as an option. Further BMW Motorrad models are being prepared for this feature.

BMW Motorrad M Endurance Chain

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 BMW S 1000 XR | Tour Test Review

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review
BMW has managed to distill the RR’s agility into the XR. You’d be hard-pressed to find a bike in this class as eager to hit the canyons as this one.

California is one of those rare states where you can throw a dart at its map, and the needle’s point is very likely to land on something that two-wheeled enthusiasts will greedily rub their glove-covered hands together over. Luckily, I happen to have a few of those roads in my backyard, namely California State Routes 33 and 58, which will garner a nod of approval from any motorcycle enthusiast.

If you have the time and inclination, a rider can do a nice single-day loop covering roughly 400 miles on these roads. Beginning at the beaches of Ventura, heading through the harsh oil lands of Taft and up to the vast Carizzo Plain, you skirt along the Central California coast before arriving home.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review
Highway 58 is one of the most diverse stretches of road Central California has to offer and a perfect testing ground for the S 1000 XR.

I set off to take on these well-beaten paths aboard the new 2020 BMW S 1000 XR sport-adventure-tourer, which has a job description up to the day’s task.

This Beemer gets plenty of updates for model year 2020, with refinements aimed at making it lighter, faster, more agile and more user friendly. Although we couldn’t measure a base weight since our test bike was heavily accessorized, BMW claims wet weight is 498 pounds. Even with all of the bolt-ons our XR still tipped our scale at a commendable 511 pounds, giving it a light feeling when lifting it off the kickstand and setting off toward U.S. Route 101.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review Semi-active Suspension
Preload and compression damping is automatically adjusted, based on your suspension mode.

Views of rolling waves while traveling on scenic 101 north through Ventura will get your neurons firing, especially on a chilly morning. Once in the saddle, I was able to get my first sampling of the 999cc in-line four-cylinder powerplant adapted from the S 1000 RR superbike.

For use in the XR, BMW wanted to make this engine more streetable, so the XR’s lump features a proprietary camshaft design and exhaust manifold aimed at providing more mid-range puff while sacrificing some top-end. To that end, the rev limit is lowered from 14,500 to a more sensible 12,000. BMW stated that its Shift-Cam variable valve timing technology was unnecessary in this application, as it feels that what it gives up in the top-end is made up in the middle.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Dyno Run

Gears 3-6 have had their ratios lengthened as well to improve fuel economy, barely working the XR’s engine on the initial freeway drag up Highway 33 and into Ojai, even when you’re riding at a good clip.

This engine has a classic four-cylinder engine feel—a bit of low-end power and palpable mid-range strongly eclipsed by staggering top-end might, kicking off at 7,000 rpm and never relenting until you’re banging off the rev limiter. On the Jett Tuning dyno the XR laid down an eye-opening 158 horsepower at 11,300 rpm and 79 lb-ft of torque at  9,500 at the rear wheel.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review Seat Height
An upright, neutral riding position with ample legroom punctuates the XR’s touring potential. This year the rider’s weight is biased more forward slightly, for additional front-end feedback. However, the seat becomes uncomfortable after a few hours.

The fun bits of Highway 33 are where this engine can come into its own, staying above 7,000 rpm to lunge out of corners while winding my way up the mountain. The power delivery is smooth, predictable and completely controllable. While I might appreciate a little more midrange for the sake of street riding, once you’ve cracked the whip and gotten into the thick of the powerband, it’s quite a hoot. I had numerous opportunities to stretch the bike’s legs as I passed the Rose Valley Recreation Area, and the 33 opened up.

You’d be wise to add the optional up/down quickshifter, which works excellently in either direction at anything above 3,000 rpm. A bike of this price really should come with this as a standard feature, though. The XR features the latest Bosch IMU supported rider aids, including cornering ABS, lean angle detecting traction control, wheelie control, and hill start assist. Thanks to the throttle-by-wire, that rider aid package is seamlessly tied to three selectable ride modes; Rain, Road, and Dynamic. If you spring for the optional Dynamic Pro mode, you’ll have the privilege of tailoring or, in some cases, disabling those aids.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review
With the windscreen in the low position shown here, I noticed some buffetting. Once popped up, the windscreen deflects air well.

Save for a bit of a dead-zone in the throttle when initially releasing the clutch (I even stalled it the first few times), and when rolling on the gas while using cruise control, the throttle connection is good. What is more impressive is that each riding mode represents the level of ABS and TC intrusion that you’d associate with it, making them well suited for their intended purpose.

Once off the mountain, we barreled through a sparse area known as Ventucopa, offering a perfect opportunity to assess the XR’s accommodations. The two-position windscreen creates some buffeting in the lower position, but my 5-foot 10-inch frame gets along with it when raised. The rider triangle is moved up slightly, moving the handlebar position forward 20mm and down another 10mm, along with a new mounting bracket that’s successfully quelled much of the XR’s vibratory tendencies. At high rpm, it’s still felt, but you’ll be entirely too focused on riding. That rider position update also distributes more weight over the front end for better feedback.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review
The 2020 BMW S 1000 XR has some serious sporting DNA baked in, although BMW hasn’t forgotten the XR’s touring purpose. Wise options such as hand guards, 3-level heated grips, and centerstand will benefit those racking up the miles.

With a lofty 33-inch seat height, a bike like the XR is welcoming to taller riders, and the narrowed chassis helps my 32-inch inseam get the balls of my feet on the ground a little more securely. However, the thinly padded seat is designed for the narrowest of derrieres. It always feels as if I’m sliding into the 5.3-gallon fuel tank, creating serious pressure points and making the first pit-stop at the Santa Barbara Pistachio Company a mandatory one.

Feeling refreshed and with a backpack full of pistachios, it’s time to connect to Highway 166 momentarily before rejoining the 33 and ripping through the sleepy western town of Maricopa and the oil-derrick spotted landscape of Taft. Be sure to top off in Taft, as the 58 has no service stations.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review
The Santa Barbara Pistachio Company is a staple stop on any ride along Highway 33.

The 58 is as equally diverse as the 33, with tight hairpin corners, fast sweepers and everything in-between. The same can be said of the road quality, which makes it a keen place to discuss the bike’s new chassis and semi-active suspension.

BMW redesigned the XR’s chassis and swingarm, not only lightening but also tightening up its geometry. The wheelbase is a stability enhancing 61 inches while the rake is steepened to 24.9 degrees, and the trail shortened to 4.5 inches, allowing the XR to showcase its impressive agility and greatest strength. It requires virtually no effort to get onto the edge of the tires, at any speed, and transitions just as effortlessly, making the first well-paved dozen miles of the 58 a treat.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review
With a 33.1-inch seat height, the XR is leggy. BMW does offer tall and low seat options at no additional cost. A suspension lowering kit is available, too.

Suspenders come in the form of an electronically adjustable 45mm Marzocchi fork and Marzocchi single shock. Our test unit boasts the Dynamic ESA Pro upgrade, which gives us the choice of two suspension modes, Road and Dynamic. It also automatically adjusts preload to compensate for the load on start up and can be set in a minimum preload mode as well.

Road mode is the softer damped of the two modes, and is particularly adept for casual riding or long slogs near the Carizzo Plain National Monument but can become bouncy once the pace picks up. Dynamic mode cranks the damping up high, turning the XR into a taught, pointed weapon—at the cost of outright comfort. The more abused sections of the 58 will become taxing.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review Specs

Another gripe is that there isn’t a manual mode for the suspension. When compared to Ohlins or Showa semi-active systems, we’re often given a manual option that will let riders dial in settings as they see fit, which could have given me a happy medium between Road and Dynamic.

Of course, it’s important to remember that the spring rates are designed to compensate for luggage and passengers (which we didn’t have), and the uncomfortable seat is playing a role in my feelings toward the suspension.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review Two Position Windscreen
New styling and a two-position windscreen have improved aerodynamics, as well as comfort of the XR. Taller riders may need to opt for the accessory touring windscreen.

After 71 miles on blissful Highway 58, it was time to roll through the quaint town of Santa Margarita and head south on 101 toward Santa Maria. Here you have the choice of slogging two hours down the freeway back to Ventura or breaking off and heading through some choice roads in Central California wine country. To do the latter, get off at Betteravia Road and split off to Foxen Canyon Road.

Darting through the farmland and abrupt 90-degree turns, I relied on the dual BMW-branded Hayes 4-piston calipers and 320mm rotors up front, as well as the matching single-piston caliper and 220mm rotor out back. Feel at the lever is superb, giving me the ability to trail brake deep into the tree-shaded corners of Foxen Canyon Road with confidence. This should come as no surprise, since the XR has always had commendable firepower at the brake lever.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review
A sportbike in adventure-touring clothing—the 2020 BMW S 1000 XR borrows from the popular RR superbike in more ways than one while retaining its touring chops.

I also made sure to check out the old Sisquoc Store, which is no longer open these days. A staple stop in Sisquoc, the 100-year-old building was long a convenience store, then converted into an antique shop before it closed its doors not long ago. From there, I hooked up with State Route 154 and railed past Lake Cachuma, a stone’s throw away from Santa Barbara and the 101, which would take me back to Ventura.

With the Pacific Ocean on my right, it was time to ponder pricing. At $17,645, the S 1000 XR plays in the luxury-end of the market. That point becomes underlined when we consider that our optioned test unit ballooned to $23,090. Costly, yes, but not out of the norm for bikes in this class. What we get is a sport-adventure-touring motorcycle that’s distilled the lightning-quick agility of the S 1000 RR and translated that to the XR, accompanied by an impressive electronics package, and an engine with silly amounts of top-end power (although, I would happily trade some of it for more midrange.) Seat comfort is the Achilles heel of this otherwise impressive bike. 

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Review
The Sisquoc Store is more than a century old. Its doors are no longer open, but it’s always worth a look.

Nic’s Gear:
Helmet: Fly Sentinel
Jacket: Fly Strata
Pants: Fly Terra Trek
Boots: TCX Roadster 2
Gloves: Racer mickey

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Specs:

Base Price: $17,645
Price as Tested: $23,090 (numerous accessories)
Warranty: 3 yrs., 36,000 miles
Website: BMW Motorrad USA

Engine
Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line 4
Displacement: 999cc
Bore x Stroke: 80.0 x 49.7
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Valve Adj. Interval: 18,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: BMS-O EFI
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.2-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated multi-plate anti-hopping wet clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Electrical
Ignition: BMS-O
Charging Output: 493 watts max 
Battery: 12V 9AH

Chassis
Frame: Aluminum composite bridge frame, self-supporting engine, aluminum double-sided swingarm
Wheelbase: 61.0 in.
Rake/Trail: 24.9 degrees / 4.5 in.
Seat Height: 33.1 in.
Suspension, Front: USD 45mm telescopic fork, Dynamic ESA & electronically adjustable damping, 5.9 in. travel
Rear: Single shock w/ Dynamic ESA, electronically adjustable damping & 5.9 in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm floating discs w/ opposed 4-piston radial calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 220mm disc w/ 1-piston floating caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.5 x 17 in.
Rear: Cast, 6.0 x 17 in. 
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 190/55-ZR17
Wet Weight: 511 lbs. (as tested)
Load Capacity: 481 lbs. (as tested)
GVWR: 992 lbs.

Performance
Horsepower: 158.63 horsepower @ 11,3000 rpm (as tested)
Torque: 79.68 ft-lbs @ 9,500 rpm (as tested)
Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gals, last 1.1 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 PON Min (low/avg/high) 31.4/35.0/42.3
Estimated Range: 223 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 4,000

Photography by Kevin Wing

2020 BMW S 1000 XR Photo Gallery:

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 GT Comparison Test

2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
Ready for some fun riding? The Yamaha Tracer 900 GT and BMW F 900 XR combine the useful power of table-flat torque curves with mostly upright, comfortable seating and good wind protection, suspension, brakes and handling. Photo Credit: Kevin Wing.

The 2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 GT Comparison Test was originally published in the June 2020 issue of Rider Magazine.

Motorcycles that start out as naked or standard models often inspire their manufacturers to build a complementary touring, sport-touring or sport-adventure version before very long. The Honda Gold Wing’s lineage is probably the most familiar example, but I could cite countless others from the mid-1970s to the present day. Attracting more and new customers is the objective of every motorcycle design, so whether going the touring route with a standard bike is to aim a not-so-successful model in a potentially better direction, or it’s to simply expand the fan base for a successful bike to include long-distance riders, the goal is the same.

Such is the case with the two motorcycles we’re comparing here, the new BMW F 900 XR and recently updated Yamaha Tracer 900 GT. Both are based on naked bikes, one also new—the BMW F 900 R—and one that has been a top seller in Yamaha’s lineup since 2013, the MT-09, formerly known as the FZ-09. Although BMW calls the F 900 XR a sport-adventure machine and Yamaha parks the Tracer 900 GT in its sport-touring category, their prices, displacements, semi-fairings, windscreens and mostly upright seating positions make these two bikes quite comparable. In fact, BMW considers the Tracer 900 base model a core competitor for its F 900 XR; we’re pitting it against the fully equipped 2020 Tracer 900 GT because the Tracer 900 hasn’t yet returned as a 2020 model.

2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Specs
Although the base model F 900 XR is priced well below the Tracer 900 GT, much of the Yamaha’s standard equipment—heated grips, centerstand, saddlebags and more—is optional on the BMW.

You can find in-depth tech details on both the BMW and Yamaha in their individual road tests—the Tracer 900 GT was revamped for 2019, and there’s a full review of it in the October 2019 issue and on our website. You can also find my review of the new F 900 R and XR online and in the May 2020 issue. Like their F 800 R predecessor, these new 900s fill the need for lower-cost twins in the BMW lineup, now with more power from a larger transverse, parallel cylinder 895cc engine and better feel and sound thanks to a new 90-degree offset crank, 270/450-degree firing interval and more effective counterbalancer. The $8,995 F 900 R is the naked/sport roadster, and for an additional $2,700 the F 900 XR adds a semi-fairing with a windscreen and lowers, a taller, wider handlebar, more suspension travel and ground clearance, and lower footpegs. It also has more fuel capacity than the R for sport-adventure riding. Traction control, ABS and two ride modes—Road and Rain—are standard, and you can plug in an optional Ride Modes Pro dongle that enables two more as well as cornering ABS, Dynamic Traction Control and more.

Introduced for 2015 as the FJ-09, the Yamaha Tracer brought sport-touring amenities to the bare-knuckled FZ-09, such as a more upright seating position, a more comfortable, adjustable seat, a semi-fairing with adjustable windscreen and hand guards. Its transverse, in-line 847cc Crossplane triple (CP3) has been a ripper from the start, with a 120-degree crank and counterbalancer that tames much of the vibes. As on the BMW, throttle-by-wire enables electronic features like three riding modes and dual-mode traction control, and the Yamaha’s TBW has been refined several times over the years to smoothen throttle response. For an extra $2,300 over the $10,699 (2019) Tracer 900, the 2020 Tracer 900 GT adds hard locking saddlebags, cruise control, a quickshifter for upshifts, heated grips and a full-color TFT display. The GT received an extensive makeover for 2019, including new bodywork, upgraded suspension, a taller windscreen, comfier seats and a longer swingarm.

2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Price
Extra-long footpeg feelers on the Yamaha touch down in corners well before any hard parts like the centerstand or exhaust.

Aft of their functional semi-fairings and adjustable windscreens, the BMW twin and Yamaha triple also share 17-inch cast wheel and tire sizes, triple disc brakes with opposed 4-piston radial-mount calipers up front, chain final drive and 6-speed transmissions with slipper clutches (the Yamaha’s also has an assist function). Both have full-color TFT instrument displays, and even though navigating the BMW’s is harder to figure out, it’s much larger and is like watching 4K TV compared to the Yamaha’s small blocky screen. While the F 900 XR is priced substantially lower than the Tracer 900 GT, many of the Yamaha’s standard features like saddlebags, cruise control, heated grips, centerstand and more are optional on the BMW.

Although both bikes have relatively upright seating positions that are comfortable for extended hours in the saddle, the BMW’s wide handlebar is lower and its footpegs higher than the Yamaha’s, cramping the rider a bit more, particularly if you’re taller. The shape of the BMW’s non-adjustable seat also locks you into one position rather than letting you move around, and therefore feels higher than the Yamaha’s in its low position, despite their claimed seat heights. We installed the optional taller windscreen on the F 900 XR to even it up with the Tracer 900 GT, and as a result wind protection is pretty good on both due to their effective screens and fairing lowers. While the F 900 XR feels sportier and more aggressive, overall the Tracer 900 GT is the more comfortable of the two for sport touring, with roomier seating, a taller handlebar and more comfortable seat. Passengers also liked it better for two-up riding, since the seat is softer and roomier than the BMW’s and its grab rails are an easier reach.

2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Price
Swooping bodywork and swingarm, longish suspension travel and 17-inch wheels give the Tracer 900 GT a beautifully aggressive look that belies its sport-touring comfort.

The BMW earns the adventure part of its sport-adventure description because it has nearly 7 inches of suspension travel front and rear and ample ground clearance, but with 17-inch wheels at each end I’d keep it well away from the dirt and just enjoy the extra travel on bumpy roads. Its additional ground clearance comes in handy when riding over ruts, low curbs and such, where we bashed the Yamaha’s low-slung underbelly more than once. Good suspension calibration on both bikes matches them up quite closely in corners. The BMW’s non-adjustable 43mm USD fork is stouter overall and more stiffly sprung compared to the Yamaha’s 41mm unit, though the latter is fully adjustable and can be stiffened up for sport riding quite well if that’s your preference. Remote spring preload and rebound damping adjustment are common to both in back, and aside from the BMW’s remote knob being difficult to use, rear suspension is comparably good. Although the Yamaha’s brakes are more than up to the task, its front brake lever needs more bite, while the BMW has good linear feel and a solid bite at the lever combined with an easily modulated pedal. Its stock Michelin Road 5 tires also offer better feel overall than the Dunlop Sportmax D222 OE
rubber on the Tracer 900 GT, which we would replace right out of the gate with Dunlop’s premium Roadsmart IIIs.

2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
Both bikes have top-notch suspension that helps them dance through bumpy corners, including USD forks and single shocks with adjustable rebound damping and remote preload adjusters.

On the dynamometer the Tracer 900 GT’s triple bests the F 900 XR’s twin in horsepower output, and the XR’s 20-pound weight advantage isn’t enough to give it an edge in a top-speed contest. But the two bikes are pretty closely matched in the torque department where it really matters for day-in, day-out sport touring and commuting. Both offer impressive grunt for slicing through corners without much shifting, accelerating hard from a stop or picking off a slow-moving car or truck with a quick pass. The BMW twin-cylinder’s rumble and the Yamaha triple’s velvet growl give each plenty of character and great sound, though neither has completely tamed some high-frequency vibration that buzzes through the grips enough to be noticeable much of the time, particularly on the Yamaha. Both require premium fuel and return similar fuel economy, though the Yamaha has more range thanks to its larger 4.8-gallon tank versus the BMW’s 4.1. Given their similarity elsewhere we’d pick the Yamaha’s engine simply for its extra power and longer valve inspection intervals.

Once you start bolting accessories onto the BMW that are standard on the Yamaha, the F 900 XR’s price and weight advantage quickly melts away, which leaves us with the Tracer 900 GT as the winner of this comparo. In addition to offering more power, comfort, fuel capacity and lower maintenance costs, with the exception of its tiny TFT display the Yamaha is the better bike and value for sport riding, touring and everything in between. 

2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
Both of these bikes are terrific sport-touring and sport-adventure machines. If you don’t need the additional touring amenities on the Tracer 900 GT, the F 900 XR is cheaper, lighter and handles well. If you do want bags, heated grips, a centerstand, etc., the Yamaha is a better value and handles just as well.

Jenny’s Gear:
Helmet: Xlite X-803 Ultra Carbon
Jacket: AGV Sport Helen
Pants: Joe Rocket Alter Ego 2.0
Boots: Sidi Gavia Gore-Tex

2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
The BMW’s additional suspension travel contributes to its greater ground clearance, which helps prevent the undercarriage from scraping on low curbs, ruts, pavement edges, etc.

Mark’s Gear:
Helmet: HJC i70
Jacket: Scorpion Yosemite
Pants: Olympia X-Moto 2
Boots: Sidi Performer Gore

2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
Extra-long footpeg feelers on the Yamaha touch down in corners well before any hard parts like the centerstand or exhaust.

2020 BMW F 900 XR Specs

Base Price: $11,695
Price as Tested: $11,945 (color)
Warranty: 3 yrs., 36,000 miles
Website: BMW Motorrad

Engine
Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel twin
Displacement: 895cc
Bore x Stroke: 86.0 x 77.0mm
Compression Ratio: 13.1:1
Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Adj. Interval: 12,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: BMS-M EFI
Lubrication System: Dry sump, 3.2-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet slipper clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain

Electrical
Ignition: BMS-M
Charging Output: 416 watts max.
Battery: 12V 12AH

Chassis
Frame: Steel bridge monocoque, load-bearing engine, cast-aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 59.9
Rake/Trail: 29.5 degrees/4.1 in.
Seat Height: 32.5 in.
Suspension, Front: 43mm USD telescopic, no adj., 
6.7-in. travel
Rear: Single shock w/ adj. spring preload (remote) & rebound damping, 6.8-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm floating discs w/ opposed 4-piston radial calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 264mm disc w/ 1-piston floating caliper 
& ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 17 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.50 x 17 in.
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 180/55-ZR17
Wet Weight: 486 lbs.
Load Capacity: 479 lbs.
GVWR: 965 lbs.

Performance
Fuel Capacity: 4.1 gals, last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 PON Min (low/avg/high) 43.1/45.2/48.7
Estimated Range: 185 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 3,500

2020 Yamaha Tracer 900 GT Specs

Base Price: $12,999
Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
Website: Yamaha Motorsports

Engine
Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line triple
Displacement: 847cc
Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 59.1mm
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: 26,600 miles
Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ YCC-T & 41mm throttle bodies x 3
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 2.85-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet assist-and-slipper clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain

Electrical
Ignition: TCI/32-bit ECU
Charging Output: 415 watts max.
Battery: 12V 8.6AH

Chassis
Frame: Aluminum controlled-fill die-cast perimeter w/ tubular-steel subframe & cast aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 59.1 in.
Rake/Trail: 24 degrees/3.9 in.
Seat Height: 33.5/34.1 in.
Suspension, Front: 41mm USD fork, fully adj., 5.4-in. travel
Rear: Linked shock, adj. for rebound damping & spring preload (remote), 5.6-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 298mm discs w/ opposed 4-piston radial calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 245mm disc w/ 1-piston pin-slide 
caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 17 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.50 x 17 in.
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 180/55-ZR17
Wet Weight: 506 lbs.
Load Capacity: 363 lbs.
GVWR: 869 lbs.

Performance
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gals., last 0.7 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 PON min. (low/avg/high) 41.8/44.0/46.3
Estimated Range: 211 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 4,000

2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 GT Comparison Test Gallery:

2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
Ready for some fun riding? The Yamaha Tracer 900 GT and BMW F 900 XR combine the useful power of table-flat torque curves with mostly upright, comfortable seating and good wind protection, suspension, brakes and handling.
2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Review
2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
LED headlights and taillights give both bikes excellent conspicuity and nighttime vision. Surmise all you want as to why the Yamaha’s low beam is on the left and the BMW’s is on the right….
2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
Both of these bikes are terrific sport-touring and sport-adventure machines. If you don’t need the additional touring amenities on the Tracer 900 GT, the F 900 XR is cheaper, lighter and handles well. If you do want bags, heated grips, a centerstand, etc., the Yamaha is a better value and handles just as well.
2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
Both bikes have top-notch suspension that helps them dance through bumpy corners, including USD forks and single shocks with adjustable rebound damping and remote preload adjusters.
2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
Extra-long footpeg feelers on the Yamaha touch down in corners well before any hard parts like the centerstand or exhaust.
2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
The BMW’s additional suspension travel contributes to its greater ground clearance, which helps prevent the undercarriage from scraping on low curbs, ruts, pavement edges, etc.
2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Comparison Test
2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Specs
Although the base model F 900 XR is priced well below the Tracer 900 GT, much of the Yamaha’s standard equipment—heated grips, centerstand, saddlebags and more—is optional on the BMW.
2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Price
Long-travel suspension and 17-inch wheels front and rear contribute to the BMW F 900 XR’s sport-adventure look, but we’d keep it firmly on the road.
2020 BMW F 900 XR vs. Yamaha Tracer 900 Price
Swooping bodywork and swingarm, longish suspension travel and 17-inch wheels give the Tracer 900 GT a beautifully aggressive look that belies its sport-touring comfort.
2020 BMW F 900 XR Dash
BMW’s large TFT display is clear and bright and is controlled with a menu button and Multi-Controller wheel by the left grip.
2020 Yamaha Tracer 900 GT Dash
Yamaha’s TFT display is smallish but still fairly easy to read.
2020 Yamaha Tracer 900 GT Triple Cylinder Engine
Yamaha’s CP3 Crossplane triple make more horsepower but roughly the same amount of torque as the BMW
2020 BMW F 900 XR Engine
Based on the F 850 GS mill, the F 900 XR’s new twin has a lumpier firing interval and more functional counterbalancer.
2020 Yamaha Tracer 900 GT Dyno Run
2020 Yamaha Tracer 900 GT Dyno Run
2020 BMW F 900 XR Dyno Run
2020 BMW F 900 XR Dyno Run

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 BMW R 18 | First Look Review

2021 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
2021 BMW R 18 First Edition. Images courtesy BMW Motorrad.

It’s here, and for the most part it looks exactly how we hoped it would: like a classic BMW. The 2021 BMW R 18 “Big Boxer” cruiser has finally been unveiled in complete production form, with a look reminiscent of the R 5 model of the 1930s.

Powered by a massive 1,802cc OHV air/oil-cooled 4-valve opposed twin, the largest “boxer” engine BMW has ever produced for a motorcycle, that generates a claimed 91 horsepower at 4,750 rpm and 116 lb-ft of torque at 3,000, the new R 18 certainly seems to talk the talk, ready to go toe to toe with the established cruiser brands. It sports modern rider aids like partially integrated braking (the hand lever activates both front and rear brakes, the foot pedal only the rear) with ABS, a six-speed transmission with anti-hop (slipper) dry clutch, standard ASC (stability control) and MSR (engine drag torque control), and three ride modes: Rain, Roll (for regular riding) and Rock (for sportier riding). Hill Hold Control and Reverse Assist are optional.

2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
The 2021 R 18 with its styling inspiration, the classic R 5.

The R 18’s classic lines come courtesy of a double loop tubular steel frame with easily removable rear subframe for easy customization, a double-sided swingarm with exposed driveshaft on the right side, a telescopic 49mm fork with 4.7 inches of travel and a hidden, preload-adjustable cantilever rear shock with 3.5 inches of travel for a hardtail look. Three brake discs, two up front and one in the rear, are 300mm in diameter and are squeezed by 4-piston calipers.

Spoked wheels are 19 inches up front, 16 at the rear, and appear to be tube-type, although that is not specified in the information we’ve received. Lighting is all-LED, and the R 18 can be fitted with an optional Adaptive Headlight (lean-angle sensitive cornering lights). Keyless Ride is standard.

The 2021 R 18 will be available worldwide in a special First Edition model, which includes the signature black paint with white pin striping, chrome details, “First Edition” badging and more. A base model will also be available in the U.S. and other select markets. Pricing starts at $17,495 for the base model and $19,870 for the First Edition.

This is, after all, a cruiser, and so BMW will also be offering two customization packages from Roland Sands Design, the “Machined” and the “Two-Tone Black.” BMW will also offer an extensive list of customization parts and accessories so buyers can make their R 18 uniquely their own.

Keep scrolling for more photos….

2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
Exposed driveshaft on the right side of the double-sided swingarm.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
Mid-mount controls are behind the huge cylinders. We’re not sure how forward controls would work on this design, but we do know that floorboards are a BMW option.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
Classic round display includes a gear indicator. “Berlin built” refers to the fact that this model is built in BMW’s Berlin-Spandau factory.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
2021 BMW R 18 First Edition.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
2021 BMW R 18 First Edition.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
LED headlight includes an optional Adaptive Headlight (cornering lights).
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
2021 BMW R 18 base model.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
2021 BMW R 18 First Edition.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

BMW to Live Stream R18 Reveal

2020 BMW R18 "Big Boxer."
2020 BMW R18 “Big Boxer.” Photo courtesy BMW Motorrad.

In only a couple of hours, BMW Motorrad will be live streaming the worldwide unveiling of the highly-anticipated R18 cruiser. At 2:00 p.m. EDT (11:00 a.m. PDT), viewers can tune into BMW Motorrad’s Facebook page or YouTube channel to get a first, live look at the new “Big Boxer” R18 cruiser.

Teaser shots have been trickling in for months, after a series of concept bikes built around a new 1,800cc boxer twin were unveiled at motorcycle shows worldwide.

Click here to read the latest on the R18, including detailed photos.

To watch the live unveiling, go to any of the following:

BMW Motorrad Facebook page
BMW Motorrad USA Facebook page
BMW Motorrad YouTube channel
BMW Motorrad USA Instagram page

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 BMW F 900 R and F 900 XR | Road Test Review

2020 BMW F 900 R
BMW has upgraded its middleweight parallel twin-cylinder line with a larger version of the engine from the F 850 GS, which brings more character and smoothness to the new F 900 R (shown) and F 900 XR.

Since the launch of the BMW F 800 model family with the F 800 S and F 800 ST in 2006, these middleweight, parallel twin-powered motorcycles have been offered in a wide variety of models as lower-priced alternatives to BMW’s larger bikes. As with the R 1200 boxer twins, the most popular parallel twins have been the F 800 GS and GSA adventure bikes, with the more street-oriented F 650 GS/F 700 GS close behind. No surprise, really, since adventure and ADV-styled bikes have done well for some time now.

Conversely the F 800 ST and later GT sport-touring versions were short-lived, leaving the F 800 R streetfighter introduced in 2009 as the sole non-GS model in the lineup as of 2019. No doubt the bike’s entry-level price and the showmanship of four-time world-champion freestyle rider Christian Pfeiffer — who helped develop the naked bike he spun, slid and nose wheelied to victory — extended the F 800 R’s longevity.

2019 BMW F 850 GS vs. 2009 F 800 GS: Time to Upgrade?

2020 BMW F 900 R
The BMW-designed, DOHC, 4-valve-per-cylinder twin is made by Loncin in China, and bikes are assembled in Berlin, Germany. In addition to an unbalanced 270/450-degree firing order for a better sound and feel, it has new dual counterbalancers ffor smoothness.

We applauded BMW’s move toward a simpler, less expensive entry-level twin with the F 800s, which had telescopic forks in place of pricier Telelever or Duolever front ends and belt or chain final drive versus a shaft. But their BMW-designed, Austrian Rotax-built engine, even with its innovative counterbalancer, never really earned our admiration. It was buzzy and raspy sounding and just didn’t deliver the satisfying, torquey throb we expect from a twin.

The F 800s performed well, but it wasn’t until BMW redesigned the engine for the 2019 F 850 GS and F 750 GS (and engine production moved to Loncin in China) that the 853cc engine they share finally came to life. The larger displacement helped, but it was mostly the switch from a balanced 360-degree firing interval with 0-degree crankpin offset to an imbalanced 270/450-degree interval and 90-degree offset that woke the powerplant up, giving it an almost boxer-like twin-cylinder growl and feel. Swapping the central connecting rod-style balancer for dual balancer shafts also tamed the vibes.

Read our 2020 Guide to New Street Motorcycles here.

2020 BMW F 900 XR
The F 900 XR offers a nice balance between cornering ability and bump absorption with its longer travel suspension.

Mark’s Gear
Helmet: Arai Regent-X
Jacket: Spidi All-Season H2Out
Pants: Rev’It
Boots: Sidi Performer Gore-Tex

Fast-forward one year and the new parallel twin has been enlarged once again and slapped into a pair of dynamic new middleweights, the F 900 R and F 900 XR, roadster and sport-adventure bikes again priced as alternatives to BMW’s larger machines. Updates to the shared DOHC, 4-valve per cylinder engine for more performance and torque from F 850 status include a bump to 895cc, a new cylinder head, forged pistons instead of cast and a higher 13.1:1 compression ratio.

On the Jett Tuning dyno our F 900 R test bike churned out 88.2 horsepower at 8,400 rpm and 58.1 lb-ft of torque at 6,400 rpm, an improvement of about 3 horsepower and 3 lb-ft of torque over our 2019 F 850 GS test bike. Compared curve to curve, more torque is available across more of the F 900’s powerband, too, especially between 4,000-7,000 rpm (redline is at 9,300). All of this grunt reaches the rear wheel via chain final drive through a slick-shifting 6-speed gearbox with a cable-actuated slipper clutch that has a light pull and broad engagement band (an up/down quickshifter is available as an option).

Read our Road Test Review of the 2019 BMW F 850 GS and F 750 GS here.

2020 BMW F 900 XR F 900 R dyno chart
Our F 900 test bike made about 3 more horsepower and 3 more lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel than the F 850 GS.

In addition to their engines, both bikes share an aluminum bridge-type frame, aluminum double-sided cast swingarm and bolt-on steel subframe (presumably to provide enough strength for the optional soft side cases and a luggage rack/top trunk). There’s a 43mm USD fork with no adjustments up front, and a single shock with rebound damping and spring preload adjustment in back — I do wish the remote knob for the latter was easier to access.

2020 BMW F 900 R
Single rear shock on both bikes has adjustable rebound damping and spring preload, the latter with a remote knob that is hard to use.

Cast wheels are shod with high-performance sport- or sport-touring tires in the same sizes, and both shed velocity with triple disc brakes that include radial-mount opposed 4-piston calipers up front and ABS. LED headlights and taillights are standard, and front and center is a large, bright 6.5-inch TFT display with a wealth of ride and vehicle information accessible via the Multi-Controller wheel and menu button on the left bar.

2020 BMW F 900 R
Bright 6.5-inch TFT display offers a ton of vehicle and ride info, all controlled with the Multi-Wheel Controller and a menu button the left bar.

In typical BMW fashion, though the whole idea of the F 900s is a ton of fun at a lower cost, you can boost their prices considerably with a slew of nifty accessories like multiple seat options, Keyless Ride, heated grips, cruise control, a centerstand and more, as well as advanced optional electronic enhancements. These include Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment (D-ESA) with Dynamic and softer Road modes and electronic preload; Ride Modes Pro, which adds Dynamic and Dynamic Pro modes to the standard Rain and Road engine modes, and enables cornering ABS, MSR and Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), which detects emergency braking and reduces torque output to counter unintentional opening of the throttle. The Ride Modes Pro plug-in dongle also upgrades the standard traction control to Dynamic, and of course all of this stuff is infinitely adjustable six ways from Sunday.

2020 BMW F 900 XR
Decent wind protection (especially with the larger accessory windscreen we tried later) contributes to the XR’s sport-touring competence.

Fortunately both bikes work just fine without spending a moment playing with settings or one might never leave the garage. The F 900 R is the sportier of the two, with a light wet weight of 471 pounds, shorter suspension travel and steering geometry that make it quite a ripper in the corners. It also has a lower seat, higher footpegs and flatter bar for sport riding and to help it accommodate shorter riders, yet the seating position is still quite comfortable, and while the suspension is set firm for sport riding it still soaks up the bumps quite well. Overall it should appeal to a broad range of riders looking for great handling and some techy stuff at a lower price.

2020 BMW F 900 R
Robust Brembo triple disc brakes feature radial-mount opposed 4-piston calipers up front.

To justify its higher cost, the F 900 XR adds a substantial fairing and small adjustable windscreen that together provides a fair amount of wind protection (I do recommend the optional taller windscreen) and contributes to its higher wet weight of 486 pounds. It also has a taller handlebar, significantly more suspension travel, lower pegs and slightly higher seat in keeping with its adventure-influenced design, yet I could still support it adequately at stops with my 29-inch inseam. Add a pair of side cases and it would make a very nice light tourer with a good balance of handling and power.

2020 BMW F 900 R
The F 900 R has shorter suspension travel, a lower seat, flatter bar and higher pegs to give it a sportier feel and stance.

Although the light, plastic-welded fuel tanks on the R and XR have capacities of just 3.4 and 4.1 gallons respectively, I never saw fuel economy below 37 mpg from the required 91 octane, and that was after nearly 250 miles with a heavy throttle hand — they are capable of much better. Although the BMW R 1200 boxer engine makes more power and torque, in many ways the F 900 parallel twin’s character is equally satisfying, especially its growl and ripping-velvet feel that comes with a smooth rushing surge of torque in the midrange. Paired with either the R roadster or XR sport-adventure platforms, the combination creates a very fun and functional middleweight for whatever sort of ride you care to enjoy.

2020 BMW F 900 XR
A nicely styled fairing and small adjustable windscreen, more suspension travel and upright seating are hallmarks of the F 900 XR.

2020 BMW F 800 R/XR Specs

Base Price: $8,995/$11,695
Warranty: 3 yrs., 36,000 miles
Website: bmwmotorcycles.com

Engine

Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel twin
Displacement: 895cc
Bore x Stroke: 86.0 x 77.0mm
Compression Ratio: 13.1:1
Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Adj. Interval: 12,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: BMS-M EFI
Lubrication System: Dry sump, 3.2-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-spd, cable-actuated wet slipper clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain

Electrical

Ignition: BMS-M
Charging Output: 416 watts max.
Battery: 12V 12AH

Chassis

Frame: Steel bridge monocoque, load-bearing engine, cast-aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 59.8/59.9
Rake/Trail: 29.5 degrees / 4.5/4.1 in.
Seat Height: 32.1/32.5 in.
Suspension, Front: 43mm USD telescopic, no adj., 5.3/6.7 in. travel
Rear: Single shock w/ adj. spring preload (remote) & rebound damping, 5.6/6.8 in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm floating discs w/ opposed 4-piston radial calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 264mm disc w/ 1-piston floating caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.5 x 17 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.5 x 17 in.
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 180/55-ZR17
Wet Weight: 471/486 lbs.
Load Capacity: 477/479 lbs.
GVWR: 948/965 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 3.4/4.1 gals, last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 PON Min 
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 3,500

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 BMW S 1000 XR | First Look Review

2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Racing Red.
2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Racing Red/White Aluminum. Images courtesy of BMW.

After BMW announced several changes to the potent in-line four powerplant in its S 1000 RR superbike earlier this year, we figured it was only a matter of time before the tech trickled down to its flagship adventure sport tourer. And sure enough, here comes the 2020 S 1000 XR, lighter, faster and more versatile than ever before.

The big news of course is the RR-derived engine, which pumps out a claimed 165 horsepower at 11,000 rpm and 84 lb-ft of torque at 9,250. Fourth, fifth and sixth gears have longer ratios to reduce noise, fuel consumption and engine speed (hopefully addressing some of the buzziness we’ve noted in our tests — read our review of the 2016 S 1000 XR here). It also now features what BMW calls engine drag torque control (MSR), which reduces rear wheel hopping under hard deceleration.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Racing Red/White Aluminum
A 6.5-inch TFT display is standard on the 2020 S 1000 XR.

The suspension, frame and swingarm have all been tweaked to reduce weight, and coupled with the lighter engine the 2020 S 1000 XR is said to weigh just 498 pounds (our 2016 test bike weighed in at 531 pounds).

The list of standard features is long: Dynamic ESA (electronic suspension), four ride modes (Road, Rain, Dynamic and Dynamic Pro), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with wheelie control, ABS Pro (cornering ABS) with Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), 6.5-inch TFT display, LED lighting and Hill Start Control Pro. Options include Dynamic ESA Pro with two damping modes and automatic load compensation, HP Shift Assistant Pro (up and down quickshifter), Headlight Pro with DRL and cornering lights, and electronic cruise control.

The 2020 BMW S 1000 XR will be available in Ice Gray and Racing Red/White Aluminum. U.S. pricing and availability are TBA.

Keep scrolling for more photos….

2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Ice Gray
2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Ice Gray.
2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Ice Gray.
2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Ice Gray.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 BMW F 900 R and F 900 XR | First Look Review

2020 BMW F 900 XR in Racing Red.
2020 BMW F 900 XR in Racing Red. Images courtesy BMW.
2020 BMW F 900 R in Hockenheim Silver Metallic/Racing Red
2020 BMW F 900 R in Hockenheim Silver Metallic/Racing Red.

BMW surprised us with two new mid-range models, the 2020 F 900 R and the F 900 XR, both based around a slightly enlarged version of the parallel twin released last year that powers the F 850 GS. With an increase from 853cc to 895cc, BMW says the new engine is good for 105 horsepower and 68 lb-ft of torque, and its dual counterbalancers result in a smooth riding experience.

Apart from the engine, the 2020 F 900 R and the F 900 XR also share a steel frame and rear subframe and feature unique lightweight plastic-welded fuel tanks (3.4 gals. for the R, 4.0 gals. for the XR), a 6.5-inch TFT display, LED lighting, two ride modes (Rain and Road), ABS and ASC (Automatic Stability Control) as standard.

F 900 TFT display
A 6.5-inch TFT display will come standard on both the F 900 R and F 900 XR.

Options include Riding Modes Pro, which adds Dynamic and Dynamic Pro ride modes, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), cornering ABS (ABS Pro), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and engine drag torque control (MSR), which prevents rear wheel hop when decelerating. Dynamic ESA (electronic suspension, rear only) is also available as is Headlight Pro, which adds cornering lights, and Keyless Ride.

Both models feature an upside-down fork and rear monoshock, with 5.3 inches of travel at the front, 5.6 at the rear on the F 900 R, and 6.7 front, 6.8 rear on the F 900 XR.

The 2020 F 900 R will be available in Blackstorm Metallic, San Marino Blue Metallic and Hockenheim Silver Metallic/Racing Red. The 2020 F 900XR will be available in Light White, Galvanic Gold Metallic and Racing Red. U.S. pricing and availability are TBA.

Keep scrolling for more photos….

2020 BMW F 900 XR in Racing Red.
2020 BMW F 900 XR in Racing Red.
2020 BMW F 900 XR in Galvanic Gold
2020 BMW F 900 XR in Galvanic Gold.
2020 BMW F 900 XR in Light White
2020 BMW F 900 XR in Light White.
2020 BMW F 900 XR
Plenty of touring accessories will be available for the F 900 XR, including the lights and saddlebags as seen on the bike to the left.
2020 BMW F 900 R in Hockenheim Silver Metallic/Racing Red
2020 BMW F 900 R in Hockenheim Silver Metallic/Racing Red.
2020 BMW F 900 R in Blackstorm Metallic
2020 BMW F 900 R in Blackstorm Metallic.
2020 BMW F 900 R
2020 BMW F 900 R.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

BMW Teases Another R18 Big Boxer Concept, Includes Most Detailed Engine Shots Yet

BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
BMW has announced its second “concept” bike based on the upcoming 1800cc Big Boxer engine, the R18 /2. Images courtesy BMW Motorrad.

BMW is marching steadily toward its promised cruiser, anticipated sometime in 2020, with the news of its latest concept bike based around the new 1,800cc “Big Boxer” opposed twin. Buried in a press release for a new Concept R18 /2 (pronounced “slash two”) were photos showing the design and production of the /2, including the most detailed shots to date of the new engine, clearly functional and roadworthy.

First, the bike. The Concept R18 /2 appears to be a classic cruiser in design, with modern flowing lines, a small headlight cowl and a slightly bobbed rear fender. Wheels are cast, 19 inches up front and 16 at the rear, with Brembo brakes and a gorgeous Candy Apple Red paint on the bodywork.

BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
The Concept R18 /2 has a hidden rear mono shock for a classic hardtail look.

The 1,800cc air/oil-cooled boxer engine used in the /2 has a classic BMW 1960s aesthetic, finished in matte gray and black. The massive cylinders protrude past the ends of the handlebar, and dual air intakes funnel under the rider’s thighs to the airbox beneath the front of the seat. To the rear of that is a hidden single shock absorber to maintain the classic hardtail look.

We’re not quite sure why BMW wants to try breaking into the American cruiser market, given lackluster sales in the segment (and its own ill-fated R 1200 C attempt in the late ’90s/early oughts). Hopefully plans include a bagger as well…but in any case, we’re excited to see and hear more about this new R18 Big Boxer engine, clearly headed for production in the near future.

Keep scrolling for more images….

BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
BMW Concept R18 /2 cruiser, based around the 1800cc “Big Boxer” opposed twin.
BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
Massive cylinders with cooling fins protrude beyond the ends of the handlebar.
BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
We do love the Candy Apple Red paint used on the Concept R18 /2.
BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
Driveshaft is on the right side, brake disc with big Brembo caliper is on the left.
BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
Oil cooler is placed unobtrusively at the lower leading edge of the engine, between the frame downtubes.

Source: RiderMagazine.com