“You have got to do the Bonang Highway on the S1000XR!” Since taking delivery of our BMW S1000XR long-termer, barely a week has passed without Miles Davis from BMW egging me on me to experience the perfect union that is the Bonang and BMW. However, if it wasn’t for his persistence, there’s no way I would have forced myself to find time to make the trip. In the end I did a week-long tour from Melbourne, up the Bonang, through central Victoria, then on to the coast of NSW, then north to Sydney, before returning to Victoria via a two-day tour of Albury. I’ll save full details of my road trip for an upcoming feature, but the short version is, it rained almost every day … and I still loved it! I rode solo the whole way and managed to complete the Bonang run without encountering a single car. When was the last time you had that feeling of freedom?
Getting back aboard the XR for a decent ride reminded me why this bike is the reigning AMCN Motorcycle Of The Year winner. Its design brief as a sports tourer scores a bullseye, though It does sway towards the sports side a bit with its quickshifter (up and down), firm suspension and cracking power delivery above 7000rpm. However, it was the optional accessories that impressed. The S1000XR was packed to the hilt with my gear, and despite the rain and filthy road grime, everything in the hard cases and tank bag remained bone dry and clean. The BMW Navigator V system not only kept me pointed in the right direction, but its road-speed indicator also revealed the bike’s speedometer to be 7km/h out, and its speed camera warning system saved me at least twice. It also saved me a long walk by taking me to the nearest petrol station once my fuel light illuminated – rather than the one I had planned on. When we rolled into the servo it was just on dark with a range of 8km left in the tank, still 39km from my intended fuel stop.
The good news for the XR is that its long-range touring duties have only just begun. Next up is a trip way out west – hopefully without the rain.