Since the XR arrived, Dazzla has been taking it everywhere
I did read somewhere in AMCN that the BMW S1000XR was labelled as an Adventure Sports motorcycle. Well, I’ve been getting out and about on the XR quite a bit since it joined our long-term fleet, and I’m not sure how accurate that is.
For me this bike stands out as an excellent Sports Tourer – tall, nice wide ’bars, super comfy, great upright riding positon, and goes like stink when you kick her in the guts. She may be a little heavy, but that’s a good thing when you are smashing through the twisty bits. With the weight a little higher and a nice 17-inch front wheel, a quick flick of the wide bars and she dips in beautifully. The weight and height have only been an issue while disembarking or mounting on uneven slopes or when slow manoeuvring. Or maybe I’m just getting a little soft in my old age.
The gears are quite short and the Beema finds them effortlessly. At first, she seems a little placid and purrs along like a kitten, but if you wrap it up and drag the gear changes out a little to get higher into the rev range she just comes alive, as you would expect from the same in-line four engine as the S1000R.
The two 320mm radially mounted four-piston caliper Brembos up front are great and provide secure stopping power when needed. As with many new bikes in this price range, it comes with all the mod cons such as traction control, stability control, ABS, rider modes, heated grips and electronically adjustable just about everything, all conveniently controlled by a plethora of switches and that thumb wheelie thingy on the left grip.
The coolest thing about the XR for me is the ‘Shift Assistant’ that allows clutchless up and downshifting. I’ll admit it felt foreign at first, a bit like the first time you use a heel-toe shifter, but after a few kays it becomes more fluid and you think less about it.
The hottest thing on the XR? Has to be the heated grips. They are the best I have ever used and were in especially handy at last issue’s photo shoot at the Melbourne Ice Bar. Thanks to the XR’s grips, I was able to defrost my digits in between takes.