Loving the up and down with the QuickShift Pro, brilliant chassis stability and fantastic brakes gave me huge confidence.Everything written in this review matches my own experience of the XR perfectly.I don’t think I have ever ridden a bike harder than the XR on that trip! I run Pilot Power 3’s which are heaps better than the OEM Bridgies.I had to sort the Vibes in the bars but got plenty of help from BMW with that no issues now. [The previous model was severe in terms of vibrations – Ed].There’s no denying that as far as performance goes, BMW have really got their act together, ever since they brought out the amazing S 1000 RR way back in 2009, they have been right at the pointy end of power and technology, with the 2018 S 1000 XR being no exception.Sitting astride the bike it feels pretty tall, but my test bike had been fitted with the 855mm HP sport seat. It makes me a much better rider than I really am….and that’s the way it should be….I have now had my XR just over a year, and its the kind of bike you just want to get out and ride it, i have had plenty of sport bikes in the past, and wish i had this alot earlier for touring, and so comfy, i think its the best bike i have ever had, and i have been riding for 46 years and had over 20 bikes in that time. Not that anyone is likely to choose the XR for a Road of Bones style adventure.
The shock itself houses larger piston diameters, more oil and lower pressures, so that when combined with that new linkage-less swingarm we spoke of earlier, it gives a smoother and more controlled ride than before.The Dynamic ESA Pro is just a software update, which is a bit of a bummer considering all you’re paying for is the BMW tech to switch it on. You can do it as fast as you can possibly can or cruise like a an old man on the highways. The 855mm High HP Comfort Seat has a different cover design noticeably on the passenger pad.Thanks for picking up on that. Le puissant moteur de la série quatre cylindres, associé au châssis et à la suspension agiles, offre d'excellentes performances et une réponse dynamique. The bike comes standard with Dynamic ESA, which only offers one damping mode of Road, and manual selection of how much weight (preload) you want for the rear, be it rider/rider with luggage/rider and passenger.Move up to the optional Dynamic ESA Pro, and you get two damping modes of Road and Dynamic, the latter of which automatically adjusts load compensation on the shock. Maybe, in some ways, the S 1000 XR is just too much: too fast, too tall, too coolly proficient. Although most closely associated with MV Agusta, they oﬀer a massive range for other road bikes. With a 20 litre tank, range is acceptable but not outstanding. BMW describe the bike as Adventure Sport, and the emphasis is very much on Sport with a tarmac bias.
Now the hardware is done, let’s look at the software.
It can be manually adjusted between two positions but its tricky to do so on the move.In terms of steering, handling, ground clearance and sheer ability to enjoy a twisty road, the XR is top class. The GS has a lower C-of-G and longer travel suspension (190mm/200mm, F/R) so it doesn't feel as top heavy, and when you sit on it the suspension compresses a fair bit, giving a better chance of getting your feet flat on the floor.Another fact of life with the XR is fuel consumption.
Very cool.After a few weeks with the 2020 Honda Africa Twin, which has almost as much electronics as the BMW, it’s interesting to note the execution of both models. Or composure through technology.The downside is that Dynamic mode is too firm for real comfort. Some smoother gravel stuff would be fine, but hitting big holes or ruts would not be good.Having said that, when I did ride a few light trials, the XR handled surprisingly well for a bike with 17inch rims, while the traction control did a fine job of taming the rear wheel.
Despite suspension travel of 150mm front and 140mm rear, and a fair bit of mass, setting the Electronic Suspension Adjustment to Dynamic mode delivers an impressive level of control. There is really not much to dislike about the XR, the clutch is on the heavy side, but with the up and down quickshifter you hardly use it, and while I’m not a fan of the screen – or any screen for that matter – that may be just me.Would I own one? I’ll follow it up.
Jumping on the XR immediately feels very similar to the cockpit of the R 1200 GS that has been dominating the ADV market for years.
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