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Old 07-30-2015, 04:03 AM
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KiwiMat KiwiMat is offline
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BMW S1000XR Testride Review

So i went down to my local BMW dealer last week after an invitation to ride the new BMW S1000XR.
First impression is, this is a big bike, im 6 foot tall, but the short legged variety, and it took a little getting used to stopping at the lights on this bike. The salesman said there is a low seat and a sports seat, to suit various rider height and style.
Hop on the bike, its a very comfortable bike, even though you sitting reasonably high, it stills feels like your sitting in the bike, rather than on the bike, which i prefer.
Instruments are well laid out, buttons on the switch gear are same/same as most new models, there is that "toggle switch/ring on the left handlebar immediately next to the handlebar grip, which is used in conjuction with the Navigator when setup, this would be very handy indeed.
Very relaxed upright seating position, i had the adjustable screen in the low position and the few squirts i gave the bike "around" 100km/h, there was ample wind protection, and i could easily see myself doing big miles behind that screen without any complaints. Handlebar/handgrip shields are very nicely made and positioned, i have never ridden with them before, and suspect in the cold and with rain they would be a welcome addition.
Start it up and take off, as you would expect, its a very responsive engine. This bike had only done 183km, so i played by the rules and didnt rev the bike over 7,000rpm, but its got gangs of power approaching those revs, and i presume it gets silly fast towards the redline. Exhaust pops/gurgles on deceleration is pretty cool, lets everyone know your there too, and the exhaust does sound really nice, but not too loud which i think is important.
This bike goes around corners very well, with minimal effort, under acceleration or braking it just loves the corners. For a bike that appears quite tall, once again with these BMW motorbikes, the centre of gravity feels low, the bike feels planted (could be the massive rubber rings under it helping.....) I could see this bike being lots of fun through the twisty roads, and surprising a few sportsbikes in capable hands.
The gearbox is really smooth, and im sure its a typical tight little 6 speed 1000cc unit. Now i didnt want to compare this bike to the K1300 which i ride, but i ride the K every day, and lots of the readers here do, and i did notice how short the gearbox felt compared to the K1300R, which has those long "wind it out" gear ratios. To the S1000XR's credit, its going to make it even better in an urban environment, more manageable for some at low speed, and from memory at 100km/h it was doing about 4,000rpm in 6th, so not revving it tits off when cruising. Just to add, the "amount of travel" in the handgrip from idle to full throttle is a fairly short distance, very different to the K1300, so that may have impacted how the gearbox felt to me.
The adjustable suspension is very easily accesssed via the handlebar buttons, the bike felt very stable, when i did give it the berries in the corners, it went very, very well, and was extemely planted, stable, and you get the impression that you could really push this bike in the corners once you get used to the bike and the way the suspension reacts. The R1200RS also had the Road and Dynamic suspension modes, and i feel a testride is not long enough really examine how well it works, being realistic, im out on a bike i have never ridden before, taking it up to 7,000rpm a few times, im concentrating on riding the bike, rather than examining the suspension. I did however go through the setting on the way back on the freeway, (which if you know Sydney M4 around Wentworthville/Granville is a bit rough in sections) and found myself comparing it to the K1300 again, on the K1300, the simple Comfy/Normal/Sport modes are easy to identify in terms of how the bike changes, and after a while on the K1300, you get to know what settings you want for various riding styles and road surfaces. I didnt feel that the Dynamic suspension was giving me that nice soft/ cushiony ride that the comfy setting on the K1300 gives you, yes we know that setting can be too soft and floaty sometimes, but its an option that has its time and place when the road is shyte, or your just done rat-bagging and want to cruise along.
My point is, for me, i need to spend some time with Road and Dynamic mode suspension to make an educated comment, but it feels harder than K1300 comfy mode. But when the brakes and suspension are working together...WOW, read on....
Brakes are amazing!! i did a few very quick stops, and was surprised how well it stops, and how well it holds its upright position, or what im trying to say is there seemed to be almost zero fork dive at the front. Very impressed with the brakes and how well they work with the dynamic suspension.
Quick shifter is awesome, downshifts are absolutely seemless, upshifts will be if your on the gas a little or a lot. I use the QS on the K all the time, and actually had to make a concious effort when i first got the bike, to use the clutch only for a while to know how it feels. The clutch on the XR felt good, solid and predictable. But i can see the merits of using QS all the time (partically pulling up in traffic), both hands firmly on the bars, and one less thing to have to do while riding.
I didnt really feel any vibrations through the handlebars, but i only went out for 30minutes.
The Cruise control is the best thing since sliced bread and every motorcycle should have it. Simple and easy to use, just amazingly good.
Rear pegs are very low and pillion seat looks very comfortable, your passenger is going to love this bike, how the bike performs will really come down to your combined weight and how you work the 1000cc engine.
Instruments were clear and easy to read, well laid out.
To Conclude - This is an excellent all round bike, easily be the one bike for everything. I didnt get to rev the bike past 7,000rpm, but im sure it gets silly as it approaches the red line. This is a big bike, a tall bike. Its very comfortable, handles well, accelerates hard, brakes combined with the suspension are amazing.
It has all the latest electronics which all work well. The build quality is very good, as we expect from BMW.
Is it a road orientated adventure bike?, pumped up sports bike? like the Ducati?....... dont speculate or go with someone elses opinion, ride it and make your own judgement. Its a lot of fun. You could easily do 1000km a day on this.


Terminology Translations:
"give it the berries" - accelerate at a spirited pace
"spirited pace" - more than slow acceleration
"rat-baging" - see "spirited pace"
"cushiony ride" - like riding on a motorcycle lounge-chair
"motorcycle lounge-chair" - K1300 in comfy mode
"fork dive" - front of bike becoming lower during braking with conventional fork using bikes.....

Thanks Bikebiz Granville for the invitation to ride the S1000XR (and any bike in the fleet for that matter!)

Cheers
KiwiMat
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:24 AM
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Re: BMW S1000XR Testride Review

Nice work Mat Thanks for the effort mate, it's always nice to see what else is out there besides the awesome K!
BTW, how was the chain noise? Lol !!!
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:32 AM
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Re: BMW S1000XR Testride Review

Mat

That's a useful report to add to this forum. I think you've hit the nail on the head with that one.
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:31 AM
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Re: BMW S1000XR Testride Review

Ventured into ProCycles in Hornsby today and had a look at the new XR, in fact there were two, one red, one white
Definitely a bike for a tall person! I was perfectly comfortable reaching the ground but I'm 6'3". For comparison, I sat on the new RS straight after, and that felt small and low. The XR has very wide bars, straight off a GS. Also it comes prepped with a cradle for a BMW Nav unit
The most disturbing information was the price $A28'000!!!
How can they justify asking this much for a chain driven, fork steered mc?
I feel like my K13S was a bargain at $A23'790!
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:47 AM
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Re: BMW S1000XR Testride Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by K13S@man
Ventured into ProCycles in Hornsby today and had a look at the new XR, in fact there were two, one red, one white
Definitely a bike for a tall person! I was perfectly comfortable reaching the ground but I'm 6'3". For comparison, I sat on the new RS straight after, and that felt small and low. The XR has very wide bars, straight off a GS. Also it comes prepped with a cradle for a BMW Nav unit
The most disturbing information was the price $A28'000!!!
How can they justify asking this much for a chain driven, fork steered mc?
I feel like my K13S was a bargain at $A23'790!

How does it compare in price with the S1000 RR?
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