Wednesday, May 06, 2015

BMW S1000XR is all set to fight for the adventure-sport-tourer crown this year

So is this a BMW S1000RR with an upright riding position and 160bhp instead of 199? Well, not really, but the new S1000XR just might be closer to being that than you'd imagine...

BMW have now released more details and official photographs of their S1000XR ‘adventure sport’ machine, which had been unveiled in Novemeber last year at the 2014 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. For all major motorcycle manufacturers, having an ‘adventure tourer’ in their line-up is de rigueur these days – it seems a lot of people really like motorcycles with styling that’s vaguely reminiscent of Paris-Dakar Rally Raid machines of yore, but that are actually best suited for fast sport-touring on perfectly smooth highways. Guess it’s the comfortable ergonomics combined with the genuine high-speed capability of some of these machines, maybe…?

So, coming back to the new BMW S1000XR, it’s powered by a slightly detuned version of the S1000RR’s inline-four, which kicks out 160bhp and 112Nm here (as compared to the S1000RR’s 199bhp and 113Nm of torque). And while it’s almost 40bhp down on the S1000RR, the S1000XR may not be the weakling you think it is. “The S1000XR’s straight-four-cylinder unit combines tremendous pulling power and exhilarating acceleration with a high peak output, while offering the rider a usable rev range that spans over 10,000 rpm. This makes it just as adept at highly pleasurable touring as it is at sporty rides down winding country roads or holiday trips, complete with passenger and luggage,” says a press release from BMW.

Inevitably, on to the bike’s electronics – the S1000XR comes with two riding modes (‘rain’ and ‘road’), and automatic stability control (ASC), dynamic traction control (DTC) and anti-lock brakes (ABS) are all standard. You also have the option of getting two more riding modes – Dynamic and Dynamic Pro, with which you also get the uprated ABS Pro. The latter prevents the wheels from locking up during hard braking in fast corners, which should be useful, we guess, for shaving 0.20 seconds off your lap time at the Sachsenring when you’re doing a trackday there. (But then, wouldn’t you buy an S1000RR for that sort of thing…?)

The BMW S1000XR gets an aluminium-alloy perimeter frame which uses the engine as part of the load-bearing structure. Electronically adjustable suspension (Dynamic ESA) is available an optional extra, and is said to take the bike’s handling to a whole new level. Which is just as well for those who like the BMW R1200GS but want a faster, more street-focused and a bit more high-tech adventure touring bike – yes, the new S1000XR is the bike for you.

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