When Supersport Meets Adventure

BMW put together the S 1000 XR for the adventuresome sort that prefers to stay on at least moderately civilized routes. Built on the proven S 1000 literbike platform, the XR really puts the “sport” in adventure-sport with a solid, 999 cc powerplant and a claimed top speed that lands upwards of the 125 mph mark. The XR also maintains a sportbike-like panache in spite of its adventuresome qualities, thus avoiding the blunt pragmatism associated with so many adv bikes. Of course, Beemer is a firm believer in better living through technology, and it includes a host of safety gadgets meant to help you keep it dirrty-side-down. Sound good yet? Let’s dig in and see what else the Bayerische has in store for us.

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

  • 2016 - 2018 BMW S 1000 XR
  • Year:
    2016- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Displacement:
    999 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph
  • Price:
    16695
  • Price:

Design

2016 - 2018 BMW S 1000 XR
- image 787945
The XR looks kinda like the lovechild of an RR and a GS; which is to say, a supersport and an adventure bike.

Generally speaking, the XR looks kinda like the lovechild of an RR and a GS; which is to say, a supersport and an adventure bike. A cut-down front fender leads the way with struts that double as deflectors to keep the swept area of the inner fork tubes clean and free from seal-destroying grit. Inverted forks add some beef to the front end with a split bird’s-beak face as a reminder that yes, this is supposed to be an adventure bike.

Asymmetrical headlights take up most of the real estate at the entry, and perched up top, a mechanically-adjustable windshield punches a hole in the wind for low-stress cruising at speed, and we’ve already established that the XR delivers plenty of the latter. The fairing flares out into a sport-typical scoop that shrouds the coolers and widens the protective pocket before tapering off to nothing to leave much of the engine exposed.

From here on back the flyline more closely favors the streetbike half of its heritage with a 5.2-gallon fuel tank — that stops well short of the typical camel-hump reservoir — with an aircraft-style filler cap and steep tumble down to the seat. A narrow waist makes for a skinny start at the pilot’s pad, but it quickly flares out to form a relatively deep butt-bucket with a decent rise to the p-pad so there’s plenty of containment to help keep you aboard.

Your passengers won’t be so fortunate with only a set of J.C. handles and flip-out footpegs to keep them aboard the stock bike, and the factory gives you an opportunity to exacerbate that situation with a trimmed-down, sportbike-style pillion section. Unfortunately, you’ll have to avail yourself of some accessories to have any kind of realistic cargo-carrying capacity as the stock bike comes sans any sort of baggage.

However, if you’re a fan of the Resident Evil franchise — or just someone who would like to own a piece of pop-culture — the S 1000 XR is a reasonably affordable way to go. You see, it features heavily in the most recent installation dubbed “The Final Chapter,” as its ridden by Alice across the apocalyptic hellscape. Pretty cool stuff, am I right?

Chassis

2016 - 2018 BMW S 1000 XR
- image 787947
Steering geometry comes set to 'nimble' to keep handling in the streetbike-like range so you can enjoy the corners without it turning into a wrestling match.

A bridge-type frame made up of aluminum-composite members forms the standing structure with a yoke-style aluminum swingarm to finish it off. The rear shock rocks an adjustable rebound-damping feature and adjustable preload with 5.5 inches of travel. That comes paired with the 46 mm, usd front forks sporting 5.9 inches of travel and adjustments for both compression and rebound damping so you can dial in for conditions and preference.

Cast-aluminum, 17-inch wheels round out the rolling chassis and contribute to a low unsprung weight to help the suspension do its job and preserve the integrity of the contact patches. A set of ZR-rated hoops provides said contact patch with a generous 120/70 up front followed by a 190/55. The wheelbase measures out at 61-inches long, and the steering head comes set at a nimble 25.5-degrees to keep handling in the streetbike-like range so you can enjoy the corners without it turning into a wrestling match.

Dual, 320 mm discs and four-pot calipers slow the front wheel with a twin-piston anchor and 265 mm disc slows the rear, and it comes with Beemer’s own Motorrad Race ABS that can be switched off for that full-raw feel and feedback. As usual, the factory offers improved-technology packages such as the “Touring” package that sees the dynamic/electronic suspension control feature bundled with heated handgrips, and the “Dynamic” package that brings the corner-sensitive ABS Pro to the table along with a clutchless, push-button shift feature.

Frame: Aluminum composite bridge frame, partially self supporting engine
Front suspension/ travel: Upside-down telescopic fork, Ø 46 mm, compression and rebound stage adjustable/ 5.9" (150 mm)
Rear wheel suspension/ travel: Aluminum 2-sided swing arm, rebound damping adjustable/ 5.5" (140 mm)
Castor: 4.6" (117 mm)
Steering head angle: 64.5°
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rims, front/rear: 3.50 x 17"/ 6.00 x 17"
Tires, front/rear: 120/70 ZR 17/ 190/55 ZR 17
Brake, front: 320 mmm, Dual floating disc brakes, 4-piston fixed calipers
Brake, rear: 265 mm, Single disc brake, dual- piston floating caliper

Drivetrain

2016 - 2018 BMW S 1000 XR
- image 787950
A ride-by-wire throttle body manages induction, which in turn enables all sort of electronical (sic) fandanglery.

No doubt about it, Beemer means to use the engine as a selling point on this model, and what a selling point it is. The inline-four powerplant runs a 16-valve head with dual over-head cams to actuate the poppets and a ride-by-wire throttle body to manage the induction, which in turn enables all sort of electronical (sic) fandanglery. Traction control, or Automatic Stability Control as the factory calls it, monitors wheel speeds and intervenes by reducing power when a wheel-speed differential is detected, and a pair of Ride Modes gives the engine a split personality with two different power-delivery curves.

The mill runs a drastically oversquare layout with an 80 mm bore and 49.7 mm stroke to make up the 999 cc displacement, but it’s the sizzlin’-hot 12-to-1 compression ratio that is probably most responsible for the power output that hits 165-horsepower at 11,000 rpm with 84 pound-feet at 9,250 rpm. A slipper clutch couples engine power to the six-speed transmission, and the combination delivers around 35 mpg.

Engine: Liquid-cooled 4-stroke in-line 4-cylinder engine, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts, wet sump lubrication
Bore x stroke: 80 mm x 49.7 mm
Displacement: 999 cc
Rated output: 165 hp (121 kW) at 11,000 rpm
Max. torque: 84 lb-ft (114 Nm) at 9,250 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.0:1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire throttle system and knock sensor
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4
Clutch: Multi-disc clutch in oil bath, anti-hopping clutch, mechanically operated
Gearbox: Constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox with straight cut gears
Drive: Chain 2.647:1

Pricing

2016 - 2018 BMW S 1000 XR
- image 787962
MSRP is just shy of $17k with style and tech packages available that'll put you closer to $20k.

The 2018 S 1000 XR rolls for a base price of $16,695 in Racing Red, Light White / Racing Blue Metallic / Racing Red, or Ocean Blue Metallic Matte. If you want the Dynamic package you can expect to pay another grand, while the Touring package will tack another $1,400 onto the tab and the Premium package adds another $2,400.

PackagesIncludes:Additional Price
Base: Integral ABS (Disengageable), ASC (Automatic Stability Control), 2 Ride Modes (Rain/Road), Multifunction Display, Mechanically Adjustable Windshield, Smoked Turn Signal Lenses, LED Rear Light, Anti-Hopping Clutch, Power Socket, Adjustable Rear Spring Preload, Adjustable Rear Shock Rebound Damping, Radial Front Brakes, Upside-Down Telescopic Fork $0
Touring: Dynamic ESA, GPS Preparation, Heated Grips, Center Stand,Luggage Grid, Saddle Bag Mounts +$1,400
Dynamic: Gear Shift Assist Pro, Ride Modes Pro, Cruise Control +$1,000
Style HP: Low Seat +$550
Premium: Dynamic ESA, Gear Shift Assist Pro, Ride Modes Pro, GPS Preparation, Heated Grips, Cruise Control, Center Stand, Luggage Grid, Saddle Bag Mounts +$2,400
Standard: GPS Preparation, Heated Grips, Cruise Control, Saddle Bag Mounts +$950

Competitors

2016 - 2018 BMW S 1000 XR
- image 787963
2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XR
- image 781622
BMW gets a slight edge on power and torque, but all else being comparable, it comes down to looks.

Sure, I could have pulled out a Ducati and really ugly-shamed the XR, but I don’t want this to be about the beauty contest so I instead went with a bike that is roughly in the same looks bracket; the Triumph Tiger 1200 XR. Yeah, two “XRs” but we’ll manage.

The Tiger conforms more nearly to the typical adventure-bike look with a full-on bird’s-beak fairing and minimal cheek pieces that shroud the radiator and little else. From the fuel-tank hump to the tip of the upswept tail, the Tiger gives off an almost austere air against the panels that adorn the Beemer. Not sayin’ it’s bad, just sayin’ it is.

Trumpet matches Beemer with adjustable suspension front and rear along with stock ABS protection, so neither gain anything here. The Brit runs a 1,215 cc triple that certainly packs in more cubeage and runs with switchable traction control but still falls short against the German engineering as it only manages 141 ponies and 90 pounds o’ grunt versus 165/84. Pricing is also comparable with the Tiger rolling for $16,500. In the end, I guess, it really comes down to looks.

He Said

“Nice ride, and certainly more like what I would want in an adventure bike. That’s right, I’m more of a blacktop-warrior, and prefer to stay where the rescue/medical people can easily get to me, so I’ve no need for the off-road-tastic bikes. That said, I still think a Multistrada is better looking, but for a Beemer, the S 1000 XR really ain’t bad.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “So they took the engine out of the S 1000 RR, tuned it for a little more torque down low, and put it in an adventure chassis. While the seat is quite comfortable, overall, it has a bit of vibration at highway speeds, so maybe not quite a comfortable as a tourer if that’s your intention.

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid-cooled 4-stroke in-line 4-cylinder engine, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts, wet sump lubrication
Bore x stroke: 80 mm x 49.7 mm
Displacement: 999 cc
Rated output: 165 hp (121 kW) at 11,000 rpm
Max. torque: 84 lb-ft (114 Nm) at 9,250 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.0:1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire throttle system and knock sensor
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4
Clutch: Multi-disc clutch in oil bath, anti-hopping clutch, mechanically operated
Gearbox: Constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox with straight cut gears
Drive: Chain 2.647:1
Chassis:
Frame: Aluminum composite bridge frame, partially self supporting engine
Front suspension/ travel: Upside-down telescopic fork, Ø 46 mm, compression and rebound stage adjustable/ 5.9" (150 mm)
Rear wheel suspension/ travel: Aluminum 2-sided swing arm, rebound damping adjustable/ 5.5" (140 mm)
Castor: 4.6" (117 mm)
Steering head angle: 64.5°
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rims, front/rear: 3.50 x 17"/ 6.00 x 17"
Tires, front/rear: 120/70 ZR 17/ 190/55 ZR 17
Brake, front: 320 mmm, Dual floating disc brakes, 4-piston fixed calipers
Brake, rear: 265 mm, Single disc brake, dual- piston floating caliper
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 86.0" (2,183 mm)
Width (incl. mirrors): 37.0" (940 mm)
Height (excl. mirrors): 55.5" (1,408 mm)
Wheelbase: 61.0" (1,548 mm)
Seat height, unladen weight: 31.1" – 33.7" depending on options
Inner leg curve, unladen weight: 70.5" – 75.8" depending on options
Unladen weight, road ready, fully fueled: 503 lbs (228 kg)
Permitted total weight: 979 lbs (444 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment): 476 lbs (216 kg)
Usable tank volume: 5.2 gal (20 l)
Reserve: Approx. 1 gal (4.0 l)
Maximum speed: Over 125 mph
Fuel consumption: 35 mpg (WMTC)
Fuel type: Premium Unleaded
Electricals:
Alternator: Three-phase 486 W generator
Battery: 12 V / 8 Ah, maintenance-free
Details:
Standard Features: Integral ABS (Disengageable), ASC (Automatic Stability Control), 2 Ride Modes (Rain/Road), Multifunction Display, Mechanically Adjustable Windshield, Smoked Turn Signal Lenses, LED Rear Light, Anti-Hopping Clutch, Power Socket, Adjustable Rear Spring Preload, Adjustable Rear Shock Rebound Damping, Radial Front Brakes, Upside-Down Telescopic Fork
Color: Light White/Racing Blue Metallic, Racing Red, Racing Red, Ocean Blue Metallic Matte
Price: $16,695

References

BMW S 1000 RR

2015 - 2018 BMW S 1000 RR
- image 678704

See our review of the BMW S 1000 RR.

BMW R 1000 GS

2017 - 2018 BMW R 1200 GS
- image 784052

See our review of the BMW R 1000 GS.

Triumph Tiger 1200 XR

2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XR
- image 781620

See our review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XR.

Ducati Multistrada 1260

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260
- image 777812

See our review of the Ducati Multistrada 1260.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: bmwmotorcycles.com, triumphmotorcycles.com, ducati.com

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