All new - after ten years
The Bavarians actually built their BMW F 800 R for ten years – which today comes close to an eternity. But now the F 900 R is ready to take over the relay. Was the model change worth it?
Potzblitz: BMW is renovating its Naked Bike mid-range and anxiously, customer Normalo wonders how much the surcharge for the new model might be. Customer Normalo is astonished to discover, however, that the entry-level price of the new BMW F 900 R at 8,800 euros without extras is even lower than that of its predecessor. And now? Do they want to alienate us, and we have to buy the front and rear wheels as an extra?
Nix there. Although the development of a Naked Bike is a good opportunity for BMW to put a rather naked version (attention: pun) on the wheels, the equipment is not really barren. The standard includes ABS and the chic colour TFT display. What is annoying is that extra pay has to be paid for security-related matters. These include upgrading the ABS to the curve ABS or the dynamic traction control DTC, which works with gyro sensors and therefore incorporates the inclination, yaw and nick rate into the setting. BMW remains true to itself.
On the other other way, one might come up with the idea of comparing the F 900 R with its technically almost identical (frame, chassis, engine) sister. The F 900 XR comes as an adventure bike and shines with a full cladding – however, the additional "X" in the model designation must be rewarded with an additional price of a whopping 2,600 euros for another planking of the identical technology.
Be that as it may, the R without X is a typical Naked Bike. There is somehow no windscreen, and the footrests are mounted quite high up in the sense of a large slant, which does not please everyone. Because this leads to a fairly tight knee angle. However, the engineers managed to set up a sufficiently commode sitting position for people with long legs, thanks to the cheaply shaped tank. Unfortunately also typical Naked Bike: Socius comfort is rather small written, further than the next dredging lake the big tour should not go.
With a seat height of only 815 millimeters, the pilot sits nicely low and automatically slips to the tank. In this way, he has the future events under control thanks to the comfortable handlebars at hand.
Really? Let's test, so go.
The pressure on the starter button brings the two-cylinder in-line engine to life. It originally comes from the F 850 GS, but BMW has drilled it to 895 cubic meters. The reward for the revision is 105 hp, which weighs 211 kilos. There is anticipation. Until the Twin has reached operating temperature, we enjoy the fact that between 4500 and 8500 tours are always at least 87 Newton meters available. Even deeper speeds, the 900 puts away without complaint.
Now it is warm and we turn on the gas – without delay it goes ahead, the engine shoots up into the limiter at 9,000 tours. There is joy, as is the case when switching in a well-graded gearbox. However, the surcharge-based Quickshifter (up and down) is not necessarily the number one on the list of recommended extras. The whole thing has already been seen better, especially when switching off the vending machines of the competition usually react more smoothly.
A few words on the display. Depending on the extras, it shows a lot, but always clear, sharp and in color. The operation itself is also logical in itself. BMW offers a total of four extra packages, fully equipped the F 900 R for around 12,000 euros at the dealership.
What is not changeable when ticking all options: The electronic ESA chassis only acts on the backhand. There is nothing to adjust at the front, even manually. However, this does not necessarily have to be a disadvantage if the chassis is well tuned from the start – which is the case here.
With the seating position rather front-wheel oriented, not overly sporty, you can aim the BMW exactly where it should go. The riding feeling is typical Naked Bike, so quite active. The sporty bike goes well, it is quite agile in curves of all radii and can be steered well. At 211 kilos, it is not excessively light, but it is not cumbersome at all.
As mentioned, the windscreen is not quite as good, not to say it is omitted. But you know this beforehand and take a break on the track. The BMW owner can use the interruption to refuel immediately, as the content of it is only 13 liters. The tank may be chic, but with a dedicated driving style after a good 200 kilometers, it's ready for a filling again.
If things go the way they did with their predecessor, BMW has a potential bestseller in its range with the F 900 R. Why not: The machine is quite cheap for BMW ratios and at the same time quite good.
You just have to know what you want. This bike is ideal for a sporty excursion without great travel ambitions. Whose wish this was always: Test drive please!
The test bike was provided to us by Bergmann and Söhne in Pinneberg near Hamburg.
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Test BMW F 900 XR
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