BMW Motorcycles reviews

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2015 - 2018 BMW S 1000 RR

2015 - 2018 BMW S 1000 RR

This Is No Poser Bike

BMW has always had a presence in the motorcycle racing world, in fact the word “Beemer” was coined specifically for BMW’s race bikes of old, and the factory continues its blitz into the 21st century. The S 1000 RR is already part of that history, and it is marketed as a race bike, though truth to tell, the official factory race bike gets some features you won’t see on the street, but that isn’t unusual. Moved by a 999 cc engine that delivers nearly 200 hp, the S 1000 RR is nothing to take lightly. Salient point is; this bike is very close to the official race bike, which makes sense considering that it started life as a race bike in ’09 that spilled over into production for the general public the following year.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW S 1000 RR.

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2017 BMW C Evolution

2017 BMW C Evolution

An EV Scooter With Respectable Performance

The Bayerische Motoren Werke introduced its original C Evolution electric scooter to the great proving ground that is the European scooter market all the way back in 2012 and it’s finally coming to the U.S. market. A boosted battery ampacity gives it the increased range needed to handle a long-distance commute, but it’s the electronics suite that really puts the C Evolution in a class of its own. Traction control, torque control and ABS all make an appearance along with the 35-horsepower motor that, according to the factory, has no problem running right up to the 80 mph governor. I had to remind myself more than once that this is still considered just a scooter though it could certainly embarrass many a low- to mid-range ride. Not just other scooters either, but proper motorcycles. Don’t believe it? Read on and I’ll make my case.

Continue reading to see my review of the BMW C Evolution.

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2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America

2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America

BMW’s New Full Dresser In The American Tour Market

Touring bikes are big in the U.S., both literally and figuratively, and the Bayerische Motoren Werke AG looks to take our enthusiasm for touring to the bank, also literally. Beemer paid close attention to the custom culture surrounding such bikes as well as the popular factory features from the competition to come up with the K 1600 Grand America. Not only does the bike provide the look and functionality we tend to expect from our touring machines, but it pushes well into the power-tourer bracket with 160 ponies on tap. The factory wraps up the package with an enviable electronics suite that can be further improved upon with a whole host of factory options. Make no mistake; this is one high-caliber weapon of mass seduction, and it’s aimed straight at the Heartland, so let’s see if we can gauge how true Beemer’s aim is with its latest effort to score a slice of the American tour-bike market.

Continue reading for my look at the BMW K 1600 Grand America.

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2016 - 2018 BMW R nineT Scrambler

2016 - 2018 BMW R nineT Scrambler

The On-Road Bike With Off-Road Attitude

It is a well-known phenomenon that as people get to a certain stage in life, they crave things from their youth. Frequently, this coincides with a certain amount of disposable income to indulge in such nostalgia. Over time, entire industries have sprung from this demand, and even designers among established businesses capitalize on this market. The new-from-2016, R nineT Scrambler from the Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW Motorrad) seems to fall into just this sort of category. Based on a general design popular from the ’50s all the way through the ’70s, the Scrambler embodies the form of the original scramblers, while borrowing from the 1951 Beemer R 68. The result is a ride that invokes nostalgia in those old enough to remember the originals and subsequent variants, but also appeals to a younger crowd who appreciates classic looks coupled with updated performance and more reliable technology than its antique predecessors. I say that with confidence since I fall into the latter group, and I am really digging this new-old ride, so join me for a dissection of this scrambler descendant as I try to determine how closely this apple fell to the tree.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW R nineT Scrambler.

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2015 - 2018 BMW R 1200 RS

2015 - 2018 BMW R 1200 RS

A Lightweight Sport-Tourer That Doesn’t Disappoint

BMW launched its newest sport-tour model, the R 1200 RS in 2015, and the model is a carryover into the 2018 model year with some upgraded goodies last year and this year. Beemer combined the top-shelf Automatic Stability Control, optional Electronic Suspension Adjustment, Dynamic Traction Control and variable power-delivery modes with a rather sporty platform, both in form and performance. The 1,170 cc, twin-cylinder boxer engine delivers power numbers that would embarrass many pure sport bikes and drives the RS into the realm of high-speed, long-distance riders.

Continue reading for my review f the BMW R 1200 RS.

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2018 BMW F 750 GS / F 850 GS

2018 BMW F 750 GS / F 850 GS

The New Kids On The Block For Adventure Touring

BMW presses on into adventure-bike territory with a new generation of F-GS models, the F 750 GS and F 850 GS. This adventuresome pair follows the same design as it predecessors with the 750 serving as a road tourer and the 850 set up for work in what you might call less-civilized areas be it fire trails, dirt roads or deserts. An all-new powerplant delivers 77 horsepower and 95 horsepower to the 750 and 850 respectively, and each enjoys other features specifically geared to its host’s purpose in life. The newly-redesigned frame and bodywork, in the words of the factory, give the range “a more dynamic and masculine design.” I’m not sure what to do with that since I tend to think of bikes like I think of boats, in the feminine, but I reckon someone at the factory decided to made the range ’identify’ as male this year. Wherever you land on the looks, form follows function on bikes like these (or at least it should) and so it’s the rest of the machine that should matter the most. Let’s dig in and check out the specialized gear and capabilities of these two all-new rides.

Continue reading for my look at the BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS.

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2014 - 2018 BMW R 1200 RT

2014 - 2018 BMW R 1200 RT

A Nice Compliment Of Electronics At An Affordable Price

The BMW marque has long been associated with top-shelf engineering and luxury, and that reputation is justified once again with the updated-in-2014 R 1200 RT. A true sport-tourer, the RT brings 125 horsepower to the table along with an array of electronic gadets to help manage the power and provide a low-stress riding experience. As a base model, the RT stands head and shoulders above most of the competition, but the available accessories raise the bar even higher. Excited yet? I know I am. This newest iteration also received a facelift that brings the model aesthetics up to date, so even though form follows function (as it should), form was definitely not neglected. Let’s get to it and see what those crazy Bavarians are up to, and what they’ve done to bring the venerable RT up to date.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1200 RT.

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2017 - 2018 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT

2017 - 2018 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT

The Maxi-Scooter Almost Too Beefy To Be A Mere Scooter

Nobody blurs the line between scooter and ’proper’ motorcycle better than the engineers at BMW, and the C 650 range is no exception. The 2018 C 650 “Sport” and “GT” models are a direct carryover from the ’16 model year, but that’s not surprising given how difficult it would be to improve upon the bundle of features already built in. I mean, it’s a scooter with traction control and ABS on board, plus a relatively large and powerful engine with a sophisticated engine management system, so this is ’not’ your grandfather’s scooter. I have a great appreciation for German engineering, so I’m looking to see what all Beemer has tucked away on its not-so-little maxi-scooter.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW C 650 GT and C 650 Sport.

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2017 - 2018 BMW G 310 R / G 310 GS

2017 - 2018 BMW G 310 R / G 310 GS

BMW Heats Up The Small-Displacement Market

BMW’s G 310 R roadster got a brother as it moved into the 2017 model year with the addition of the adventuresome G 310 GS. The “GS” builds on the success of the “R” with a few subtle changes that shift the design toward the adventure bike end of the spectrum. Sharing the same 313 cc engine, the G 310 pair head into the low-displacement market alongside some hot competition.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW G 310 R and G 310 GS.

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2018 BMW C 400 X

2018 BMW C 400 X

A New Entry Into The Mid-Displacement Scooter Market

BMW Motorrad turned us on to its newest mid-size scooter, the C 400 X, at the EICMA last week, and now it’s time to take a deeper look. Beemer blesses it with a 34-pony thumper that drives it up to 86 mph and turns in a 0-60 mph time of 9.5 seconds; not bad at all for a genre made up mainly of rides more appropriate for putting around campus or retirement communities. Scooters can be sources of good, economical transportation, and quite a bit of fun to boot. While for some people frightening themselves can also be a source of entertainment, the process of trying to compete with urban-artery and highway speeds can be downright terrifying on the majority of the scooters around the world. For that reason, the C 400 X looks to be a good fit for the American commuter since it seems like it can hold its own with the traffic and speeds we deal with over here.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW C 400 X.

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2015 - 2018 BMW R 1200 R

2015 - 2018 BMW R 1200 R

The Very Embodiment Of The Term ’Roadster’

BMW’s R 1200 R roadster has been around since 2006, and the Motorrad looks to extend that run with a repowered and updated version for MY15 and beyond. The new “R” gets the same boxer mill as the R 1200 GS/GS Adventure/RT/RS, so it packs 100-plus ponies and 90-plus pounds of grunt into the narrow, minimally appointed roadster frame. Electronic gadgetry comes in the form of ABS and ASC, as well as variable power-delivery modes and traction control, for most of the top-shelf safety features folks tend to expect nowadays. There’s more of course, so it’s safe to say that there is much more here than meets the eye if you’ll forgive the shameless Transformers reference, so let’s dive right in and see what else the Bayerische Motoren Werke has in store for us with this newest incarnation of its popular roadster.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1200 R.

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2017 BMW R NineT Urban G/S

2017 BMW R NineT Urban G/S

A sophisticated nostalgia kicking some dust.

Success was not a problem with BMW, especially for their R NineT. It has absolutely been a hit story for the German ever since it launched the R Nine T in 2013. It was so good that BMW struggled initially to keep up with the demand and they released one version after the other in succession to the world stage that includes the Pure (roadster) and Racer (café/endurance-style), as well as the Scrambler. It is a no brainer that BMW Motorrad will see it fitting to extend their range even further.

The GS motorcycles refer to either Gelände/Straße (German: off-road/road) and are distinguished by their long travel suspension, upright riding position and larger front wheels. Taking up the same moniker is the Urban G/S which is a purpose built street-oriented motorcycle that has a charm bound to resonate with onlookers. Based on the ‘Lac Rose’ concept seen at Wheels and Waves earlier last year, the German finally took the wraps off their new 2017 BMW R nineT Urban G/S at the previous EICMA in Milan.

Paying homage to the original 1980 BMW R80G/S, this urban combines the classic motorcycle with modern technology and sophisticated craftsmanship that can transport anyone back to the days when the GS abbreviation meant a sense of freedom and the passion for adventure on two wheels, both on-road and off-road. But this time they’re for looks and not for bashing your way across unpaved expanses of Africa.

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2014 - 2016 BMW F 800 GT

2014 - 2016 BMW F 800 GT

BMW designed the F 800 GT to replace the aging F 800 ST, and improve upon the sport-touring capabilities of the family. The new model brings a sleeker, more modern look to the table along with improved performance out of the repurposed ST mill. In its stock configuration the GT comes with ABS as the only bit of gadgetry, but the list of available options includes Beemer’s Electronic Suspension and Automatic Stability Control to name a few. Sporty looks, updated electronics and enhanced comfort are all part of the package, but is it enough to compete in a market segment with so many tour-tastic sport bikes? Let’s find out.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 800 GT.

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2017 BMW HP4 Race

2017 BMW HP4 Race

How Fast Is Fast Enough?

Public demand for race-ready road bikes has never been higher, and the folks down at the Bayerische Motoren Werke are trying to take that momentum to the bank with its HP4 Race. Like many of its track-day competitors have recently done, BMW set about the business of mini-mass producing a bike that carries as much of its factory-team race gear as they are comfortable sharing with the world. However, the factory isn’t risking much in this bid for a slice of the hardcore race-fan market with a limited-edition run of 750 hand-built units, so in addition to the obvious attraction of the technology and power we can add rarity to the curb appeal. Here we have a 215 horsepower engine pushing the world’s first all carbon-fiber frame with a veritable alphabet soup of features that are surely indispensable for racers looking for an edge.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW HP4 Race.

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2018 BMW K 1600 B

2018 BMW K 1600 B

How Does It Stack Up To The Competition?

Beemer brings its six-banger expertise and sense for the luxurious together in the K 1600 GT. It packs a whopping 160 horsepower onto a sled that benefits from dynamic suspension and ABS to name but a few of the comfort- and safety-oriented features. This highly-anticipated machine has been widely touted by the factory as having been built specifically for touring American roads, and as we all know, touring here means something entirely different than it does in Europe. Today I want to put this new Beemer head-to-head with another major import that is already entrenched in the battle for a slice of the non-American American tourbikes — the Gold Wing F6B from Honda. How will they stack up once the smoke has cleared?

Continue reading for my look at the BMW K 1600 B.

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2015 - 2017 BMW F 800 GS / F 800 GS Adventure

2015 - 2017 BMW F 800 GS / F 800 GS Adventure

The lines between on- and off-road enthusiasts are becoming rather blurred nowadays, with a majority of major manufacturers having established themselves within the dual-sport/adventure bike sector. BMW is one such builder, and is even into its second generation of adventure bikes with the F 800 GS and F 800 GS Adventure. The former is more of a casual commuter / funbike, while the “Adventure” is geared toward touring and long-range work, and naturally, both come with the top-notch engineering one expects from BMW.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 800 GS and F 800 GS Adventure.

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2015 - 2017 BMW F 700 GS

2015 - 2017 BMW F 700 GS

Beemer’s F 700 GS replaced the 650 version back in ’12, and the line is still going strong as we move into the ’17 MY. This year, the factory threw on a number of substantial upgrades that increases the value a bit to help it compete in an ever more crowded market.

Adventure bikes are fairly ubiquitous nowadays, and I think almost everyone but the American manufacturers are making something in that vein, so it’s important to stay on the cutting edge as the adventure-bike segment continues to mature. Today I’m going to take a good look at the ’17 model and try to gauge how well Beemer has done toward this end.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 700 GS.

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2016 - 2017 BMW R 1200 GS / R 1200 GS Adventure

2016 - 2017 BMW R 1200 GS / R 1200 GS Adventure

BMW continues its GS legacy into 2017 with the R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure. With a new cooling concept integrated into the muscle-up-front design from last year, the R 1200 GS looks even more ready and capable to carry you on the adventure of your choosing.

Standard with disengageable integral ABS, traction control, an on-board computer, a height-adjustable saddle, stepless adjustable windscreen, a pillion adjustable fore and aft, and removable passenger pegs, the R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure are great choices for on-road and off-road touring.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure.

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2016 BMW G 310 R

2016 BMW G 310 R

In styling, the G 310 R — BMW’s first roadster under 500 cc — is a smaller cc version of the S 1000 R, but it is anything but small when it comes to performance. A lot of times, I’ll call anything under 400 cc an entry level or beginner’s bike. It might be a handful for folks new to two wheels, but as a crotch-rocket trainer or a fun bike in the stable of experienced riders, it delivers nimble handling and a fun ride.

Yes, it’s a roadster, but with it’s own panache. The low front and high tail definitely gives you that “cat about to pounce” stance. Deep cuts in the tank tell you before you get on that this bike is meant to be ridden hard and fast through the curves.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW G 310 R.

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2015 - 2016 BMW K 1600 GT / K 1600 GTL / K 1600 GTL Exclusive

2015 - 2016 BMW K 1600 GT / K 1600 GTL / K 1600 GTL Exclusive

The Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works, or simply BMW if you like) has proven time and again the quality of German motorcycle engineering since the early 20th century. Now operating as BMW Motorrad, the factory continues this legacy into the 21st century with the release of the BMW K 1600 GT, GTL and GTL Exclusive. Complete with the expected blend of luxurious, comfort-driven features and uncompromising performance, this ride is a perfect example of why Don Henley wrote, “I love those Bavarians, so meticulous.”

Continue reading for my review of the BMW K 1600 GT, K 1600 GTL & K 1600 GTL Exclusive.

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2015 - 2016 BMW G 650 GS

2015 - 2016 BMW G 650 GS

Fun. That’s a word I keep hearing over and over again when folks talk about the G 650 GS from BMW. Made-over in 2010 for the 2011 MY, this member of BMW’s 2016 adventure stable is at home on back roads and easy off-road terrain. This single-cylinder enduro ride has a gutsy little engine and suspension to match whether you’re on-road or tearing up the dirt.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW G 650 GS.

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2015 BMW R 1200 GS

2015 BMW R 1200 GS

The BMW R 1200 GS – the icon of all travel enduros. For 32 years “the GS” has been defining its segment and has proven to be the trusty companion on any motorcycle adventure. BMW Motorrad is now embarking on a new chapter of its success story and is yet again perfecting the iconic R 1200 GS.

Continue reading about the BMW R 1200 GS.

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2015 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

2015 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

In 2004 and again in 2007 we watched Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman embark on their "Long Way" journeys on BMW GS Adventure motorcycles. Sure, they weren’t stock bikes, but how many of us are planning 15,000-mile trips through deserts, inhospitable countries and nearly impossible terrain? If we were, we would also go for tough metal panniers, an extended luggage rack to carry all our essential gear, a taller windscreen and specially adapted shock absorbers and headlights, just as they did. Of course, all those options are available to those of us planning trips within our own country.

The 2015 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure is the latest model in the "Adventure" dynasty that arguably began with the GS 800 back in the early 1980s. New for 2015, the R 1200 GS Adventure has the BMW Motorrad Keyless Ride System, the Shift Assistant Pro, and not one, but two low suspension/seat lowering options available.

Continue reading for my review of the 2015 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.

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