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  #1  
Old 08-02-2015, 02:35 PM
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First 2 rides on my new XR

The dealer delivered the bike on Friday and as it was a nice late afternoon I just had to get out and knock off about 120 miles before heading for the pub and the usual Friday evening session.

First the bike in its pristine glory:





Today, I went out with my mate Chris for a run down to Llandovery, up to Llyn Brianne, over the mountain road to Tregaron, then Aberystwyth and back on the A44 to Rhayader, Crossgates, Knighton and home - a further 218 miles.

Some photos up at Llyn Brianne:





So now I've ridden the bike about 340 miles and what are my impressions. The bike is the SE version so essentially fully loaded.

First, BMW badge this as "Adventure Sports". I'd say it's a sports bike for grown ups, or maybe for those whose relative lack of flexibility means that an S1000 RR is not a practical proposition. Ot maybe those who recognise that 200 bhp is way more than you can ever safely use on the road. The XR has 160 bhp. It is more than enough. This bike is ballistically fast. A combination of 20 kg less weight, shorter gearing and relatively small power loss driving a chain rather than a shaft, means that this is quicker than a K1300S at the sort of speeds you can ride on public roads.

Handling - BMW have got this well sorted out of the box. This thing turns, holds it's line and changes direction really well. This bike likes twisties.

Engine - the fuelling is excellent. You can roll down to 1,000 rpm in 6th (about 14 mph) and it will pull smoothly away. This really isn't a surprise as BMW got the fuelling spot on with the first S1000 RR. There is plenty of torque for quick overtakes, even in 6th. The acceleration in lower gears is blistering. I had to recalibrate as to start with corners were approaching quicker than I was used to with the K13. With the SE you also have cruise control as standard which is great if you on a motorway.

Throttle - In "Road" mode I found the throttle response about right- this is a fly by wire system and so there's no slack to take up. So if you changing down and wanting to roll off you have to make sure that the throttle is fully closed or you will find that it will want to roll on even if only by a small amount into a corner. In "Dynamic" mode it is much sharper and you need to be on the ball with your inputs. In "Rain" mode you knock 40 bhp off and the throttle response is much softer. I used this mode on the mountain road which is single track with passing places. It was nice to have this option.

Suspension - good but firm even in "Road" mode. It isn't so good if the road surface is poor - you can get bounced around a bit - and a lighter rider than me - c.90 kg - might find it too firm. I think this comes back to the fact that in reality this is a sports bike albeit with an upright riding position. In "Dynamic" mode it's even firmer. It would be nice to have the equivalent of "Comfort" mode in ESA for those days when you just want to cruise a bit or maybe you're on the motorway/interstate/autobahn etc. However, plenty of feedback from the front end. I'll be interested to see how it feels on a proper wet road - I'll report further.

Gearbox with up and down quick shifter - this is outstanding, particularly the downshifter where you just roll off the throttle and push down on the gear lever - the system blips the throttle for you to match revs with gearbox speed. Great if you're braking hard for a tighter bend.

Brakes - outstanding with plenty of feel, but every Beemer I've had has had outstanding brakes.

Comfort - nice relaxed riding position. Good seat. It is however very tall. I'm 5' 11" with a 32" inside leg. At rest I'd have the balls of both feet on the ground but I couldn't get both feet flat on the ground. The seat height is 840mm and they do an 820mm low seat option and a 790 low suspension option.

Instruments - nice and clear as I've always found with Beemers. It's a pity that it doesn't have a tyre pressure reading available via the info button. If you have the BMW Nav V fitted it links to the bike ECU and you can get 16 fields of info including how many gear changes you made as well as lots of other good stuff.

Weather/wind protection - not as good as a K13S but good enough. The screen has two settings and is only manually adjustable, unlike say a R1200RT which is electrically adjustable anywhere between two positions.

Downsides. This is a vibey bike and the vibes lick in between about 4,500 to 5,500 through the handlebars but they didn't really bother me. Frankly if you spend your time riding in this rev range rather than using the gears and the full rev capability of the bike then this is the wrong bike for you. Anyway if you think the vibes are bad then go ride a Ducati or a KTM V-twin. The other point is the firmness of the suspension. It would be nice to have a setting akin to "comfort" on the K13.

Apart from these minor issues this is a very, very good bike. Compared with the K13 this is a sports bike that will tour as opposed to a sports tourer - a role which I think the K13 does as well as if not better than any other bike out there. I didn't think that at 62 I had any hooligan element left in me, but on Friday and today I found out that the inner hooligan has just been lurking unnoticed by me. What a blast. There are those out there on internet forums saying the vibes are unacceptable and the bike is deeply flawed. I think this is complete nonsense. I haven't driven a car or ridden a bike that didn't have some degree of compromise built in. These people need to get used to the fact that there is no perfect car or bike that will do everything. As I said, IMHO this is a very, very good bike.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:56 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Nice write up Philip, thank you for taking the time.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:58 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Have you set the preload? With ddc if the preload is a bit too stiff it makes a huge difference. I found tyres pressures need to be a little less than manufacturer recommended settings to get the best out of the ddc generally, just my 2p.

Nice report
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:20 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Philip:

Nice report - so at 5'11" and a 32" inseam you are on the balls of your feet - I guess at 5'7" and maybe on a good day a 29" inseam this bike will be somewhat of a challenge for me - oh well I don't like stopping much anyway.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:25 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Great review Phillip!
I liked the bike too, and wanted a comfy setting for the suspension as well.
Be great to here more feedback as you get the miles racked up on the bike.

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Old 08-03-2015, 03:42 AM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucev
Philip:

Nice report - so at 5'11" and a 32" inseam you are on the balls of your feet - I guess at 5'7" and maybe on a good day a 29" inseam this bike will be somewhat of a challenge for me - oh well I don't like stopping much anyway.

Bruce if you can manage the RR with a seat height of 815mm, you could manage the XR with the low seat option - 820mm. You should give one a go.
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:14 AM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Cheers for the great write up WM. I am on the cusp or ordering one and have been reading every road test after a test ride on one a couple of weeks ago.

I think you may have just persuaded me......!!!
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:35 AM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Great write up Phil. I'm sure this bike is going to be ideal for the Spanish mountains you are going to this fall.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:49 AM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welshman
Bruce if you can manage the RR with a seat height of 815mm, you could manage the XR with the low seat option - 820mm. You should give one a go.
Phil:

I'm okay on the RR - especially this one - because I don't ride it on the street - I just have to pit out and in and I simply slide to one side.

My 2012 which I rode on the street - again was not too bad because I very seldom stopped - really fortunate to live where I do - just roll out of the driveway and I'm right where I need to be. Usually rode the RR for a few hours and back in the garage.

The XR would be a bike that I would ride a lot more - would have to have the low seat option for sure.

This could be the bike that replaces my KS in a few years - really will be reading all your reports about this one.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:52 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Excellent report and pics Phillip

Both stunning machines

btw. Confirmed, I'll wait for something similar to Fiona, Today not exist
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:02 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucev
Philip:

Nice report - so at 5'11" and a 32" inseam you are on the balls of your feet - I guess at 5'7" and maybe on a good day a 29" inseam this bike will be somewhat of a challenge for me - oh well I don't like stopping much anyway.

I share the same inseam measure as you; bruce. I sat on one at dealership (don't know if high or low seat); but I was teetering between the balls of my 'stretched' feet. I'm sure under way at speed all would be fine with those long suspenders soaking up the roads irregularities. But us vertically challenged would need be 'aware' at each stop along the way.

I really like it in the white w/black trim
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:44 AM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Excellent report Philip and thanks for posting. Enjoy the bike and riding.
I will get a chance on Saturday and report back.
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:55 AM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

I also got to ride last Saturday and it was a blast. This bike is nimble, feels planted and is all in. You hear the air intake, feel the suspension, feel the engine trying to jump out of the chassis and get some of the windblast.

I almost stalled the bike 3 times in first gear at low revs and had to grab the clutch. However, when it gets up to a few revs, it just buggers off. It closes distances with cars on a highway with blazing speed and would be over 200 in no time. That engine is just incredible.

I liked the seat, could flat foot it at my 5ft11, and see that I would probably have to live at 9000 rpm most of the day. I don't think the screen has all day comfort but you could likely get away with full day riding at sane speeds. The reported vibration did not bother me because the ride was too short.

It has no offroad capability. It is a great street bike, commuter, breakfast run and medium distance tourer.

Is there one in my future? Don't know. I do not have that gut wrenching feeling which you get with a new girlfriend and a new bike. More riding for more than a day and that might change!
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:14 AM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Hein

Just what I felt when I first rode the bike!

I've got an MRA Vario screen arriving today and it'll be interesting to see whether it's an improvement over the stock screen.
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:56 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Quote:
Originally Posted by FR1956
I share the same inseam measure as you; bruce. I sat on one at dealership (don't know if high or low seat); but I was teetering between the balls of my 'stretched' feet. I'm sure under way at speed all would be fine with those long suspenders soaking up the roads irregularities. But us vertically challenged would need be 'aware' at each stop along the way.
you guys are funny!

Great write up. Love the look of this bike, as well as the qualities you outlined.
I'd buy one if they made it in a 3/4 size, but the height is simply too great for my 5'2" stature.
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Old 08-15-2015, 03:32 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Great write-up and pics on BMW's latest motorcycle (It is the newest one on the block from BMW, isn't it?)

You know, you can look at those you-tube promo videos 'til the cows come-in, but it takes a great report like this, Phillip, to understand much better what a bike like this is all about.

For instance, think there's a much greater difference between "Road" and "Dynamic" on the XR than there is on the w.c. GSs.

Thanks for sharing.

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Old 08-18-2015, 12:35 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddy1
you guys are funny!

Great write up. Love the look of this bike, as well as the qualities you outlined.
I'd buy one if they made it in a 3/4 size, but the height is simply too great for my 5'2" stature.

AKA FUN SIZED!
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:38 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Philip,

I just picked one of these up myself, it has everything on it BUT the Akropovic... The stock can is pretty loud as it is. What do you think of the Akropovic? OR does anyone else have any idea of the comparo betwixt the two... On any of the S1000's?

Thanks!

Colin
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Old 08-18-2015, 02:32 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

I didn't think that at 62 I had any hooligan element left in me, but on Friday and today I found out that the inner hooligan has just been lurking unnoticed by me. What a blast.
We'll said. Nice.
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:28 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby
I didn't think that at 62 I had any hooligan element left in me, but on Friday and today I found out that the inner hooligan has just been lurking unnoticed by me. What a blast.
We'll said. Nice.

Yeah....happens at 70 too!
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:04 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

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Yeah....happens at 70 too!
Don't think the "Hooligan" factor ever goes away. It's just a little more selective, shall I say, as to when it rears its head !!
I'm sure there are a lot of grins that hide behind those full coverage helmets after a 10k blast through the gears !!
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:15 AM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

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Originally Posted by X-RAY MIKE
Don't think the "Hooligan" factor ever goes away. It's just a little more selective, shall I say, as to when it rears its head !!
I'm sure there are a lot of grins that hide behind those full coverage helmets after a 10k blast through the gears !!

Can't do 10K runs yet Mike....the BMW 'Break-in police' will come take my key away....but floating thru the gears in the hi 8's is working just as good!
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Old 08-21-2015, 12:51 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welshman
Instruments - nice and clear as I've always found with Beemers. It's a pity that it doesn't have a tyre pressure reading available via the info button.

Seems crazy that a person pays extra for the TPM option but you can't see the TPM readings unless you buy a NavV.
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Old 08-22-2015, 04:57 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Let me chime in on this - I rode XR for 10 min today.
Didn't expect much...but I knew it's sportier than GS so straight away I was in "attack" mode.

Other than the fact that it doesn't do sand or gravel or climbs kerbs - I liked it. Lots.
There is vibration on the pegs... Didn't really bother with wind noise.
However, engine, clutch (yes heavier pull bug GREAT feel), gearbox, shift assist, brakes. It's all perfect. I'm going for a longer ride soon. Expect video with top speed and acceleration run...
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:58 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Quote:
Originally Posted by halo99
Philip,

I just picked one of these up myself, it has everything on it BUT the Akropovic... The stock can is pretty loud as it is. What do you think of the Akropovic? OR does anyone else have any idea of the comparo betwixt the two... On any of the S1000's?

Thanks!

Colin

Akrapovic sounds very good but stock exhaust sounds pretty god too. Akrapovic is a bit deeper and a tad lighter.
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  #26  
Old 08-23-2015, 11:38 AM
7thBeemer 7thBeemer is offline
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
Seems crazy that a person pays extra for the TPM option but you can't see the TPM readings unless you buy a NavV.
I didn't catch TPMS in Welshman's original post. I didn't think the XR had TPMS but had high hopes after reading that it was in the Nav V. I looked at Max's XR parts fiche and there is not a wheel sensor. So even though the Nav V has a screen with tire pressures, I don' think there will be anything in those fields while it is used on an XR. I hope someone can prove me wrong.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:21 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thBeemer
I didn't catch TPMS in Welshman's original post. I didn't think the XR had TPMS but had high hopes after reading that it was in the Nav V. I looked at Max's XR parts fiche and there is not a wheel sensor. So even though the Nav V has a screen with tire pressures, I don' think there will be anything in those fields while it is used on an XR. I hope someone can prove me wrong.


You are correct....no wheel sensors on the XR.
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:35 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

I went to a BMW demo day at Moto Inter Montreal on Saturday. They let me try the XR for about 90 minutes.
Excellent acceleration! Wow!!
Nice handling bike but got real buzzy in the grips over 4000 RPM.
I'll stick with my bikes for now...

Cheers
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  #29  
Old 09-01-2015, 04:17 PM
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Re: First 2 rides on my new XR

I had long, proper ride today...

Difficult to figure out, the XR...it's sports bike with wide, upright bars.
Not for a moment would I replace my GS LC with XR. And I love speed.
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