Test bmw s 1000 xr

“A touring-capable sports bike” zu sein how ns good folks an Munich describe die new-for-2020 s 1000 XR.

Du schaust: Test bmw s 1000 xr


You’ll acquire no argument from me there. The s 1000 XR has constantly been in upright s 1000 RR superbike you tun können put luggage on, und this year’s bike zu sein lighter, much more powerful, and more innovative than ever. After riding it weil das several days on some of SoCal’s most amazing roads, I can assure you that this latest XR is in exceptionally strong beast the slots an at the extreme end of the sport-touring category.

The updates

Since the debut bei 2015, the XR has actually relied on hardware from the ns 1000 RR assembly line. Die 2020 modell follows suit, adopting the engine and many various other aspects des the freshly revised sport bike, which spurgeon had ns thrill of ridingat Barber Motorsports Park tonnage summer.

The 999 cc inline-four ist lighter and more compact 보다 before, and for XR duty features taller fourth, fifth and sixth equipment ratios zum more relaxed cruising. The complexity and cost von the RR’s transition Cam an innovation —which boosts ns superbike’s stärke at high rpm —wasn’t deemed vital here. The RR’s 14,500-rpm redline didn’t it seems ~ practical, either.

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Stack up ns apexes and the XR wollen knock "em down. Couple of bikes kann sein compete with die BMW"s sense von stability and precision when stück through a corner. It"s a real joy zu ride. Photo von Spenser Robert.

Instead, the XR has its own camshafts and bei exhaust manifold that concentrates power in the midrange zum better street performance. Even so, the XR’s peak output des 165 horsepower (up five from tonnage year) isn’t ceded until 11,000 rpm, just 1,000 rpm below ns redline. Meanwhile, optimal torque des 84 foot-pounds arrives weist 9,250 rpm. True, there’s about 60 foot-pounds of grunt obtainable from just 3,000 rpm, but die engine feels soft off idle und there’s no denying the it’s happiest und most responsive wie on ns boil.

Like ns engine, die aluminum twin-spar frame is lighter and narrower, specifically bolzen the rider’s knees. Comparable to the setup on ns Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX, die tail ar has integrated mounts for BMW’s accessory 30-liter panniers. It"s a nifty feature, suspect you’re interested bei adding luggage.

The structure supports a neu swingarm, and BMW has mounted die shock directly, meaning without linkage. The leaves ns standard D-ESA (Dynamic electronic Suspension Adjustment), through its updated valving und software, in control of suspension action. That does a exceptional job, differing damping in the fork and shock up zu 100 times per second to keep the chassis level and planted when accelerating and braking. I’ll talk an ext about that later, but zum now suffice zu say D-ESA is an effective function with superior functionality.

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I"m sad to lakers the headlights go completely symmetrical, however LEDs space appealing. Speaking des illumination, I"d opt out of the oversize fog lights bei favor of something smaller sized from Denali. Photo von Spenser Robert.

The XR’s headlights and face are totally symmetrical jetzt (I was always fond of the s 1000 RR’s original pirate-eye look) und illuminated via LED. The turn signals room LED, as well, und if freundin swing around kommen sie the back of the bike, you’ll an alert there’s no tail-light assembly. Rather, the running und brake lamp are integrated into ns turn signals, a kelle many Harley-Davidson models. I’m notfall sure how die Germans negotiated the with die DOT, however it makes zum a tidy however oddly conspicuous tail section.

Headlight und tail light aside, die XR’s figure isn’t too different native before, yet ns whole driver triangle was shifted front nearly in inch and the handlebar is about a half inch lower und more than bei inch narrower. BMW claims the neu riding lage improves ns front/rear load balance und front-end feel weil das the rider, while ns narrower riegel makes weil das easier low-speed maneuverability.

Subtly revised bodywork ist said kommen sie be an ext aerodynamic (seven percent much less drag) und some six decibels quieter than die previous model if you schutz the accessory High Windscreen ($274) installed and bei the high position. On that note, BMW assumes a high rate von accessory “take up” top top its premium bikes (it claims 99.6 percent von bikes are sold fully equipped!), deshalb our loaner was belastung with several großartiger worth von non-standard features, prefer a bi-directional quickshifter, center stand, carbon trim, fog lights, keyless ignition, und a few dozen other items.

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The XR"s new 6.5-inch TFT dash uses two screen modes. You can toggle over kommen sie a vehicle-status overview screen that has tire pressure, fuel range, battery voltage, etc. Photo von Spenser Robert.

Pricey add-ons aside, over there are other standard updates precious mentioning. Weil das example, BMW redesigned ns handlebar mount zu reduce vibrations (hooray!), the dash zu sein now graced with a 6.5-inch TFT display screen featuring two screen modes, and an IMU has been added that allows for multi-level wheelie control und rear-wheel lift control, and so informs the new lean-angle sensitive ABS Pro. Flexible engine braking is so new, as zu sein a hill-hold feature, and all the ride modes oase been expanded and refined.

OK, just one much more point prior to we obtain into die actual review. The XR rolfes on ns RR’s cast wheels this year, which room a full four pounds lighter than last year’s hoops. Us all understand less rotating mass is great, but ich mostly wanted to bring it up as a way to discuss curb weight. According to die BMW website, last year’s bike had actually a wet weight of 503 pounds, und this year’s bike ist 498. The leaves quite a bit von mass unaccounted zum given that die tech presentation said some 22 pounds was slashed off die previous model. It turns out BMW opted to compare ns weight von fully accessorized bikes (remember the 99.6 percent rate?) rather than base-model makers as listed on the website. Quite whacky, huh? Don’t worry, we’ll oase more fun v base modell versus totally equipped wie man it comes zu discussing price.

Thanks weil das bearing through me through all that. Now, let’s talk about how the bike actually works.

First jene first: exactly how are ns handlebar vibrations?!

Anyone that’s heard anything about the XR knows the handlebar vibration was a big complaint on vault models. Higher gearing und new rubber bar bushings mitigate vibes kommen sie tolerable levels hoch until around 6,000 rpm (that’s 90 mph in sixth), but sachen get tingly toward ns right side of the tachometer. Sie won’t care, though, due to the fact that once freundin spike the revs her pupils möchte be dilated und your love racing in response to the engine’s psychotic top-end acceleration.

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A neu handlebar mount integrates rubber bushings that aid quell study abroad sensations at die grips. Ns XR"s inline-four isn"t particularly smooth, but vibes are no longer agonizing. Photo von Spenser Robert.

So, all jene considered, vibrations space no longer the major worry they when were. Great.

What’s notfall great, however, zu sein the seat.

It’s thin and too soft and oddly shaped, deswegen you notification pressure points almost immediately. Von the time you’ve shed through für hilfe of the 5.2-gallon tank (about 100 miles at the 39 mpg i averaged), you’re ready zum a break. Additionally, die deep contour des the saddle was a poor rechts for all three backsides that tried it. As Zack sharp out, “Your butt ist only the shape wie man you’re reclining.” Who was this seat designed for, anyway?

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There"s a nook in the subframe that"s big enough zu hold my tool kit and flat-repair kit, which generally live bei my backpack because bikes don"t often oase much under-seat space. Photo von Spenser Robert.

Luckily, BMW provides a plethora of saddle options, including High and Low seats the your dealer wollen swap out free von charge at the time von purchase. There are also accessory seat that space $600 or more to ns wrong side of free. The standard saddle zu sein 33 inches off ns deck, but ns bike ist narrow sufficient that ich didn’t oase any issues flatfooting through my 32-inch inseam, so I could gestanden to jump up to the 33.9-inch High seat and hopefully gain some comfort.

Seat aside, die riding position ist very much to my liking. It’s upright and relaxed, there’s no weight on her palms, und you have excellent leverage on ns handlebar. It’s the kind of posture you could conveniently maintain every day. Ya know, once sie swap out die seat.

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This mini frunk is ideal zum ear plugs or in N-95 mask. Ich kept ns key fob the in, but that yes, really belongs in your pocket, unless sie want someone kommen sie ride off v your $22,000 bike. Photo von Spenser Robert.

For me, weist five feet, 10 inches, ns two-position windscreen (which ist the roden unit — BMW didn’t auswahl that up, maybe since tall screens look goofy bei photos) create a still pocket von air in the high position, but left my helmet jostling about when ich flipped the lever to die low position. Zack zu sein several customs taller 보다 me and said ns air roughly his helmet was pretty turbulent with ns screen in either position, so anyone north von six feet wollen want to opt zum that High Windscreen i mentioned earlier.

You kann sein outfit ns XR with up to 90 liters von hard luggage and offset die load through rear feather preload the adjusts at ns touch des a taste (or automatically, if you opt for D-ESA jeden like 99.6 percent des buyers), and with a taller windscreen und thicker chair you’d have a pretty terrific sport-tourer. It’s even gott heated grips und cruise control that tun können be dialed up to 117 mph. That’s my kind of seafaring speed.

But let’s it is in honest. If sie want to tour or ride two-up, BMW has viel better models in its lineup. The RT, GS, or any von the K bikes are much superior mile eaters. No, freundin don’t journey the s 1000 XR for the straight stuff. Highways are nur what you endure en course to the twisty roadways (or race track) where ns XR yes, really shines.

The superbike within

Point die BMW’s flat wenig beak under a twisty road and all becomes ideal with ns world. Covid-19 concerns, politics, and social stress dissipate like hot exhaust fumes in the crisp morning air as sie unleash the engine’s complete power und immerse yourself an the XR’s effortless handling und astounding brakes. This ist one von those bikes that’s dafür put together, with hardware und systems the work so harmoniously und seamlessly, that you can’t aid but be a much better rider.

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The s 1000 XR in its herbal habitat – a brilliantly twisty mountainside road. The may direkte within ns sport-touring category, but don"t it is in fooled. Die XR ist 100 percent sport bike. Photo von Spenser Robert.

A light press on the riegel slaps die bike indigenous one side von the tires to die other, and you kann sein adjust her line punkt any point bei a edge — whether you’re on die brakes or ~ above the gas — without the chassis objecting. Thank D-ESA weil das that. Even though die handlebar is rubber-mounted, the doesn’t inhibit steering precision or front-end feel, which zu sein excellent. There’s no need zu use human body language kommen sie usher the bike toward bei apex; ns XR is eager kommen sie lean without freundin scooting a cheek over or also pointing a knee. This bike dances betwee corners favor a true sport bike, und when the road straightens out, it turns thereinto hereas immediately as the beastliest bikes on ns road.

There’s power everywhere in the second geholfen of the rev range, however from about 8,500 rpm to die 12,000 rpm redline die XR’s acceleration is maniacal und the engine howls like ns superbike it is. Wheelies space common an first gear, and the engine tun können easily overpower ns edge grip des the rear Bridgestone T31, resulting in super-satisfying smears at corner exits.

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It"s got 165 speech – of prozess it wheelies! Wheelie control ist adjustable, and bei the much more lenient level you can float the front wheel MotoGP style for maximum acceleration. Photo von Spenser Robert.

BMW S-bikes schutz always had actually epic brakes, and the XR ist no exception. Even with a standard axial grasp cylinder, frühen zeitpunkt bite zu sein powerful und stopping power zu sein huge. One finger is enough to bring die rear wheel off the ground. Throw a perfect calibrated bi-directional quickshifter, loads of cornering clearance, und the safety net des ultra-refined and adjustable TC und ABS into die mix, and you oase a beleuchten of a sport bike.

The XR recipe ist primo for the street, but truth be told, you’d need zu head kommen sie a gyeongju track to fully explore the machine’s capabilities. And the just thing that’s keeping this bike from dominating ns A gruppe is a stickier set des tires.

The electronic nitty gritty

We understand that the XR’s underpinnings space solid, yet we shouldn’t discount what the bike’s electronically permitted systems, specifically the D-ESA und ABS, contribute to die package.

Let’s anfang with D-ESA, because that’s die biggest factor, in my opinion. Hinweisen this point ns system’s duty should be familiar —electronics in the fork und shock constantly change compression and rebound damping zu best suit ns bike’s maneuvers. D-ESA zu sein a traditional feature und has one damping mode, “Road,” und three selectable rear-spring preload settings (rider, rider through luggage, und rider with passenger). Upgrading kommen sie D-ESA pro unlocks a stiffer “Dynamic” damping schedule und replaces the preload settings with in automatic duty that supplies a travel sensor to adjust the shock spring zum varying loads.

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"Imperial speeder-bike reconnaissance number 211 report in, no Rebel scum present on die western flank." "Core" dash screen mode engaged to maximize die sci-fi experience. Photo von Spenser Robert.

I in reality prefer the softer “Road” mode (overall the suspension on die XR zu sein quite firm bei terms of spring rates und damping, und I doubt that weist 185ish pounds an gear I’m lighter than the target rider), but regardless des which setting freundin use, die electronics effectively control suspension motion in a method that feels much more pronounced than with previous iterations. As bei example, even though die 2020 bike has a one-inch-shorter wheelbase und makes an ext power, it’s less prone to wheelie than older models, presumably due to die greater adjustability of the neu D-ESA valving limiting rear-end squat.

With D-ESA, you can carry die brakes deep right into a corner and the fork adjusts zu control dive, and as sie trail off the brakes D-ESA manages rebound an the fork and tightens trost compression on the shock as you roll on die gas. It every works to keep the chassis planted und on line, so the bike zu sein stable and predictable in a method that really increases your confidence.

Backing trost all des that zu sein a multi-level ABS system with myriad settings, consisting of front-wheel control, rear-wheel control, braking-force distribution, rear-wheel lift, and lean-angle sensitivity (which BMW calls ABS Pro). You tun können opt kommen sie use ns default ABS setups as assigned to ns Rain, Road, und Dynamic ride modes (which so package engine power and response, TC, and wheelie control, among other features), or completely customize every parameters using die Dynamic pro ride mode.

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Look ma, no tail light! an place des the running and brake- irradiate assembly, die XR has a key slot to release die seat. Die tail light and running lights are incorporated into the angeführt turn signals. Photo über Spenser Robert.

Honestly, ns variation in traction threshold and pressure regulation von the ABS setups are much more evident zu me than ns engine response/power settings or even the D-ESA settings, which i find impressive. This is a extremely refined and adjustable system, with modes that must prove effective zum everything indigenous rain riding, wie man you want maximum stability und safety, kommen sie raging punkt a track day, wie you want to brake hard enough zu lift ns rear wheel or even slide die rear tire into a corner, supermoto style.

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Ari stellen on his an essential hat

To prevent crippling the Common Tread server with too many words, I’ll fire turn off my complaints together succinctly as possible.