Could this be the best middles weight commuter on the market? Well, I’m sure BMW hopes so. This competes in the same class as the Yamaha MT09 Tracer. This XR is powered by the same parallel-twin found in the F850gs but with 50cc more, this equates into a power output of 77kw (105hp) and 92nm of twist. A little less power than MT-09 but with more torque. Weight wise it comes in at a fairly hefty 219kg but this is about average for the segment. This can basically be considered as an F850gs but for the road. With 170mm travel in the front and 172mm at the rear, this is quite a tall motorbike however the seat height is a reasonable 825mm in standard trim. So those of you with a 30/32 leg should cope fine. As usual, there is a fairly extensive options list including lower seats.
Swinging back to the motor, I suspect in true BMW fashion this engine is all about mid-range torque rather than out and out power, this, however, is not necessarily a bad thing as it means it should pull strongly out of low-speed corners. Twin 320mm floating discs gripped by 4-piston callipers should make stopping easy. The tall riding position also makes it great for seeing the upcoming road hazards. It should make for quite a decent canyon carver but true to BMW’s nature it will also be comfortable with decent wind protection. A full electronic suite is also included and is managed via the colour TFT display as found on many new BMW bikes. ABS is standard and there is Dynamic ESA available as an option with two riding modes.
Design-wise this new XR is a little bit of a mixed bag for me with the front end resembling the Ducati Multistrada a little too much. The “Beak” at the front is a little awkward looking but it’s not really an ugly bike but not pretty either. I have no pricing at the time of writing. Being a BMW the build quality should be very good.