That’s it. I just don’t like it. I never feel lượt thích I know what the bike is doing under me, I don’t care for the power delivery, and the styling of the xe đạp has always left me confused. I don’t hate the bike or anything, but riding it just makes me feel like I am on an awkward date that is going to culminate with a hug or maybe a handshake. The reason I am mentioning this, of course, is that it’s not really possible to lớn Reviews a BMW S 1000 XR without having the Multi on your brain pretty much the entire time. I didn’t “get” this class of bike until I tested the S 1000 XR.

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Now I vị.

The bike

The S 1000 XR, to lớn my eye, looks like an adventure xe đạp with the wrong wheels on it. And really, that’s about what it is. The motorcycle’s frame differs a bit from the other members of the BMW’s S line. Put simply, the frame geometry is more relaxed than either of its siblings, which makes sense, because this bike was designed lớn provide more comfort. The xe đạp is a bit titanic, in addition khổng lồ being Teutonic.The seat height is fairly notable, at 33.1 inches with the standard seat installed, so shorter riders are going to have one heông chồng of a time on the big XR. It tips the scales at 502 pounds. It’s not large for its class, but it’s large. The riding position is classic “sit-up-and-beg.” Long days on this machine are a cakewalk.

* phokhổng lồ.

The engine has been re-worked from the S 1000 RR’s khổng lồ move sầu the power farther south in the rev range. Part of this rejiggering included dropping the compression a whole point, to 12.0:1. Please vày not let that drop fool you - this bike is aước ao the faschạy thử I have ever ridden. BMW claims the XR cranks out 160 horsepower, a very healthy number.Supposedly, this powerplant should turn in 44 mpg, according to BMW specs. Due to testing constrictions, I was unable to lớn obtain true fuel mileage, but the bike’s mileage tracking feature indicated my insane abuse of the BMW yielded 41 mpg over about 700 miles. I’m willing khổng lồ believe that was in the ballpark.

Engine? More lượt thích joy factory. pholớn.

While the seat height & looks may resemble an adventure-touring bike, there"s a lot of hardware here that"s standard sport xe đạp kit. This xe đạp has chain final drive, fed by a six-tốc độ gearbox. There’s a slipper clutch in there, too. Forks are upside-down style, & the rubber on this xe đạp is straight sport bike: a 190/55ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso can be found bachồng, và its mate up front is a 120/70ZR17 — & these are damn good tires for OEM. I bởi get tired of poorly performing OEM tires. BMW thankfully did not choose this area to lớn save sầu dough.

My chạy thử mule was outfitted handsomely. I had the “Premium” cài đặt, which comprises all the bells và whistles. Luggage racks, topcase racks, ABS (anti-lochồng brakes that also happen to be linked), Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), ASC (Automatic Stability Control), DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), heated grips, cruise control, Gear Shift Assist Pro, and a GPS Prep Package. Also installed was a mix of aftermarket handguards. (Why is it that this bike, not unlike the Multi, is purchased by people who seem to be enamored with acronyms?)

Here"s the Cliffs" Notes: You know what ABS is, I imagine. Dynamic ESA is toolless suspension adjustment coupled with computer-controlled damping. ASC keeps you from wheelie-ing & also prevents the ass kết thúc from sliding out on you under acceleration. DTC takes that one step further so you can get away with doing a silly thing like applying maximum throttle even in a turn. Gear Shift Assist Pro is basically a quiông chồng shifter for both upshiftsanddownshifts. BMW packages pre-configured settings for all of these gizmos & slaps them into lớn handy categories called Ride Modes (or Ride Modes Pro if you opt for that package, which unlocks two additional modes). If you need me khổng lồ explain GPS lớn you, this whole article will be over your head.

The combined kill/start button is a genius move sầu as far as I am concerned. Photo lớn by Brett Walling.

Testing the S 1000 XR

My pleasure began at the starter button, which is integrated inkhổng lồ the kill switch. Nice work, BMW. The xe đạp felt tall, but that’s lớn be expected in this category. I worked this xe đạp through L.A. traffic, and it felt like any other large motorcycle. I finally eased it onto the freeway, & inside of a few car-lengths it was apparent that this bike had loads of power to offer. Since traffic was kind of heavy, I kept myself occupied by fiddling with some of the suspension settings. At each stop, I was switching between Road (soft, cushy touring) & Dynamic (firmer, good for twisties) settings. At complete stops, I farted around with preload, which was expressed in a few self-explanatory icons: one helmet, one helmet with a suitcase, and two helmets, a preload system which seemed eerily familiar. Ignoring BMW’s obvious cribbing off Ducati, I can say the system works. Tools? Ha! None required for preload adjustment. Press a few buttons until your ass feels good. Press a few more until your tires stay on the pavement. I was getting used khổng lồ this.

The efficacy of the Dynamic ESA system can be translated khổng lồ words, but your hindquarters would be more easily convinced than your ears. The system flat-out works, and it works excellently. phokhổng lồ.

Finally, I got off the highway and onto a lonely road. I had selected “Road” riding mode. (Our kiểm tra xe đạp was equipped with the Dynamic Package, which includes Ride Modes Pro. I think BMW attempted to lớn sway my opinion by simply loading up the xe đạp with everything they had on the spec sheet. That strategy works.) "Road" mode enabled high levels of electronic intervention, which I wanted to play with. I did experiment with other modes, but I found myself coming back khổng lồ this one because I was tickled every time the xe đạp stepped in to lớn correct me when it thought I needed some help.

I put the bike over on its side a bit. Hitting the curves with this xe đạp is a real treat! The docile street motor just poured on more and more ferocity as the revs climbed. The exhaust was one of the nicest stoông chồng units I’ve sầu ever heard. Each time I let off the throttle, I got a quiông xã hit of exhaust overrun. I’d describe it as a nice mixture of crackle và burble. For me, any aftermarket exhaust would have to really outpersize this pipe, because the tuy vậy this bike sings is beautiful to lớn my ears.

What I haven’t talked about yet is the acceleration. The S 1000 XR is simply powerful everywhere. Insanely, mind-stretchingly powerful. Every twist of the right h& grip yields ridiculous results. This motorcycle simply leaps every time you ask it khổng lồ. The power doesn’t really slaông chồng off anywhere. Up lớn 4,000 rpm, the bike is simply acceptably fast. Beyond that, it turns inlớn a snarling, galloping quái thú. I loved every second of it. The tốc độ this xe đạp is capable of is really astonishing. That power coupled with the incredible braking power the S 1000 XR has means it’s a hoot khổng lồ pound this through the twists & turns on your favorite riding roads. You can get up lớn speed way fast, và then scrub it baông xã off in a hurry. Riding this bike is fuuuuuuun.

Linked Brembo radial-mount ABS brakes really represent the pinnacle of stoppin" technology as we know it currently. phokhổng lồ.

The front brakes are twin 320 milimet discs, squeezed by radially-mounted, four-pot Brembos. Braking is sublime. The rear is a more conventional two-piston floating-style caliper; needless khổng lồ say most of the really good stoppin’ comes from your right hand, just as God intended. The brakes are stupid-powerful. One finger gets the job done. Oh, yeah — they have sầu wonderful feel. Oddly, the linked braking was barely noticeable on this bike, so perhaps I don’t hate combined brakes the way I thought I did.

All of this performance was managed by the electronics systems, including ABS, DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), ASC (Automatic Stability Control), and the DESA I mentioned earlier. The bike’s optional equipment also included a mix of BMW handguards. Luggage racks và a topcase rack also come with the top-tier model, as does a GPS prep package. (Our thử nghiệm bike did not include the GPS itself, so I can’t really speak to its efficacy or laông chồng thereof.)

S 1000 XR highlights

I’m assuming this section should be more than simple happy babble about how damn fast this bike was. There were a few things beyond the enormous mill that worked well for me. Some were minor và some were major, but they all added up lớn a happy rider. The first thing that made me giddy with joy were the turn signals. Standard metric-style turn signals; just push khổng lồ cancel. This may seem insignificant. It is not. Every...single...time that I ride the 2010 F 800 GS we have in house, I spover six or eight minutes seething, swearing inside my helmet because I ride the xe đạp infrequently enough that I have sầu lớn re-learn how khổng lồ turn them off each time. In the same vein, BMW’s button de-cluttering is fantastic. Flash-to-pass and high beams are in the same button. Pull khổng lồ flash, push khổng lồ leave ‘em on, just like in a oto. As I mentioned earlier, kill & start are the same button & more intuitive sầu than the older combined switch. It cleans up the bars, reduces buttons, & pleases me greatly.

The integrated flash-to-pass & high-beam switch is intuitive sầu and gets rid of a button. Very inventive. Photo lớn by Brett Walling.

I mentioned this bike was tall. Our xe đạp was equipped with (I think) the standard-height seat. There is a short seat and tall seat option available for không lấy phí. I would have liked lớn have tried the lower option. I have a 32-inch inseam. I was unable to flat-foot this bike, và when my feet were not on the pegs, the wide seat dug inkhổng lồ my inner thighs. However, once I was in riding position, the seat was magical — very firm và super-wide; the kind of seat folks fork over hundreds of dollars in the aftermarket for.

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The two-position windscreen, though spartan và manually powered, was effective and seemed sturdy. I wouldn’t change a thing. Other niceties included heated grips (which I did not have sầu the occasion lớn test) & cruise control, which was simple khổng lồ figure out.

ADV styling meets street performance - & the riding position is upright enough khổng lồ tour on. phokhổng lồ.

The final high note for me was the electronics package. This xe đạp made me a faster rider than I really am. In Road mode, if I got stupid with my right hvà, the bike let me have six inches of fun & then politely returned the front wheel khổng lồ the tarmac. If I locked the rear wheel, I could feel the ABS tapping my foot, letting me know I was being too pushy. When I wanted to firm up the suspension to catch some riders up ahead in the turns, two taps on the button with the picture of a shochồng did the job. If I wanted the xe đạp to just act a different way, quickly switching up the rider mode dialed in a different phối of intervention that seemed to be a fair approximation of the amount of help I wanted. I’m not a tech-o-phile, yet I appreciated all the assistance. I never felt as though I was being babysat. Rather, it’s as though the BMW was an old riding pal casually reminding me that my wife would probably yell if I wound up at the hospital. I never really expected damped throttle response khổng lồ be a good thing, but if you’re just trying lớn get from A lớn B on a xe đạp with 160 ponies, it is. Trust me.

S 1000 XR lowlights

Look, I know this has been a pretty glowing nhận xét. But the truth is that the flaws this bike has are so minor. Cindy Crawford’s mole comes to lớn mind, but there are a few issues. The bars are the first problem. I found them too wide. Other folks on our team thought the bar ends were simply too high, not in terms of rise, but it was almost as though they were angled upward so the ends of the grips were higher. We all agreed they offered a pronounced buzz. A set of handlebars might be on the docket for many riders. Even though I found them acceptable, I know others will replace them. My other complaint was the feel of the slipper clutch. I’m not fond of the ratcheting of most slipper clutches. I know it’s “normal,” I just don’t care for it. It’s not going to lớn happen, but an endless-screw type slipper in here would put a grin on my kisser.

The handlebars seemed to be a source of consternation for a few riders. Complaints ranged from width khổng lồ vibration lớn the rise và pullback combination. photo.

I’d lượt thích khổng lồ talk lớn BMW about the dash. It’s a boring old LCD. Look, I’m not a tech nerd. We know this. But if I liked this xe đạp, tech nerds are going to go gaga for it. So why is it wearing an LCD screen from 1997? Sure, it’s simple & functional, but it sucks. If I showed my friends this dash, no one would be impressed. BMW, check out a Boom! dash or one of those classy motogadget units that Moto Borgotaro used on their Guzzi. lưu ý that those dashes in no way resemble a pager. Try harder next time, please.

That dash reminds me of a Nokia 3210. photo.

Let’s talk about the front of this xe đạp. No, I am not commenting on the ADV styling, despite the fact that the beak and screen are not my cup of tea.

The two-position flyscreen looks right at home atop the requisite beak. phokhổng lồ.

No, I am talking instead about the enormous radiator and oil cooler that have sầu no protection in front of them. Even if you never offroad the XR, these items are sitting ducks just waiting to lớn be impaled by some chunk of road detritus.

Gọi me a pessimist, but this looks like an expensive repair just waiting to happen. photo lớn.

My last gripe is with the pricing and options. This one’s kind of long và dull, but I was dizzy after I tried lớn explain to lớn my wife how much this bike would actually cost us if I was going to lớn buy one. (I am not going khổng lồ, but I did go so far as khổng lồ pretover, which doesn’t always happen.) One issue is that the bike’s base price is listed as $16,350 on BMW’s trang web, but when you actually attempt to build one of these, you’ll find that you can’t actually order a xe đạp at that price. The cheapest package is the Standard package for an additional $945.(Why the hell does any "standard package" carry a premium over a non-existent bike?!) If my math is correct, that means the cheapest S 1000 XR is $17,295.

BMW also splits up the electronics between sub-packages. If you want all the bells and whistles, you’re buying the Premium version, which includes the Touring và Dynamic sub-packages. Getting confused yet? All Standard package options, though, are sprinkled inlớn the Touring & Dynamic sub-packages without a la carte pricing, so it’s hard khổng lồ get a feel for exactly how much each option actually costs you. It’s almost a moot point. Finding the “Standard” version of one of these is going to lớn be lượt thích hunting unicorns. BMW should just scrap the weird pricing, sell the top dog, & say it has a price tag of $18,750.

My other issue here is that even the top-of-the-line option isn’t really the out-the-door price. Who’s going to lớn get the GPS prep package và then not buy the BMW GPS? Of course a bike lượt thích this demands luggage, which must also be added by the rider for more shekels. The pricing’s not out khổng lồ lunch or anything compared to lớn the Multi, but it would be nice if they just said, “$18,750 is the price, GPS and bags are extra.”

It’s a small bone khổng lồ piông xã, really. This bike was a joy to lớn ride. It went fast, slowed down in a hurry, and hustled through the corners lượt thích a champ. The electronics made me feel fast and confident, and the bike was comfortable & drew some stares. Now that I “get” the S 1000 XR, I think I also understand anyone who literally gets the S 1000 XR. Future buyers: It’s a fine motorbike. You have my envy.

The competition

Look, if you want to nail down competition, it’s the Multistrada. It’s the same bike and the same weirvì adventure-sport class. The Multistradomain authority 1200 S Touring costs ya $21,294. However, it also comes with panniers, a top case, & handguards. Those pieces are BMW accessories that run $1,892, bringing the similarly equipped BMW lớn $đôi mươi,642. The Duc’s extra cost nets a purchaser LED headlights, DCL (Ducati Cornering lights; here we go with the acronyms again), và a full-color TFT display. (Seriously, BMW. Fix this.)

...and it also includes pannier racks. phokhổng lồ.

All in all? Options are going lớn heavily affect the price & which xe đạp is appropriate for a given rider. The pricing is similar if one compares apples to lớn apples, but there are simply scores of option combos. Both bikes are premium offerings. The difference for most of the riders I know will probably hinge on whether the rider likes an inline-four engine or an L-twin.

I’ll toss the Aprilia Caponord in here, too, at $15,499. It’s the cheapest option, but it gives up a lot of horsepower. If one is truly planning on touring, I vị have sầu lớn ask: Is Aprilia’s dealer network robust enough khổng lồ keep you on the road? Only prospective sầu buyers can answer that question, but if you don’t need gratuitous power (you do) & you don’t mind doing some of your own wrenching (again, you do), then it could be a feasible alternative.


The styling of this xe đạp still throws me, but the general usefulness of the S 1000 XR in so many situations won me over. It was comfy, and with bags it would make a great tourer, & yet it"s still faster than 90 percent of the bikes on the road. I"m not the "early-adopter" type, but the BMW"s electronics not only made me appear khổng lồ be a faster rider than I am by a long shot, but also kept me safer — and that"s worth something to nearly every rider.

I had a great time riding this Beemer. Before I got this xe đạp, I remember thinking, “For that kind of money, this BMW had better be one hell of a bike!” Guess what? It is!