BMW S1000XR (2015-on) Review

Published: 20 May 2015

I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t

BMW S1000XR  (2015-on)

I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

So-called ‘Adventure Sports’ is brilliantly-executed blend of class-leading S1000RR superbike and equally definitive R1200GS adventure machine – so maybe it’s no wonder the end result is brilliant, too. XR is upright practical and comfortable, RR fast and impressively sharp and stable and also typically-BMW in being lavished with electronics, options and quality. A superb, fast all-rounder.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

The XR has the same basic configuration as the S1000R & RR in being a twin beam aluminium perimeter frame with cast aluminium double-sided swing-arm, but both are all-new to deliver different geometry. The steering head angle is 0.8º shallower than the S1000R with 18.5mm more trail while the swing-arm is 65mm longer to give a wheelbase of 1548mm, 109mm more than the S1000R, all to improve traction and stability. While the suspension is 30 and 20mm longer travel front and rear. There’s also a steering damper fitted under the ‘beak’.The resulting blend of stability and sharpness is truly impressive, this is one upright bike that will give many a sportsbike a run for their money.

Engine 5 out of 5

Essentially the same 999cc, dohc, liquid-cooled four as introduced with the S1000RR, but in ‘detuned’ spec virtually identical to that of the S1000R roadster launched last year. That means revised porting, cam timing and valve lift plus a reduced rev threshold to cut peak power from 198 to 160bhp at 11,000rpm and bolster midrange and peak torque to 83lbft at 9250. The main difference the XR has over the R is an all-new stainless steel exhaust in a low-slung design to help facilitate the panniers deemed vital for the XR’s touring role.The result is easy low-down tractability, impressive real-world mid-range and a thrilling (and howling) top-end rush, and all enhanced further by switchable rider modes (two as standard but with the option for four), sophisticated traction control and more.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Again, it’s a BMW so there should be little to worry about. Quality is definitely up there with the best and, while it’s too earlier to be 100% sure about reliability, there have been few problems with the R and RR on which the XR is mostly based. On top of that, BMW has an enviable ‘dealer experience’ and reknown for fastidiously looking after customers in the event of an recall issues and you can’t really ask for much more than that.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The price range of £12,400 to £14,750 isn’t cheap whichever way you look at it, but then this is not just a brilliantly-executed motorcycle, it’s a premium product from an aspirational brand and one that’s competing head-on with that most aspirational of Italian rivals – Ducati with its equally impressive (and similarly priced) Multistrada 1200. In that context, I wouldn’t expect the XR to be priced any differently. One final thought, however: this is now one of the most competitive classes of all and there are more than a few brilliantly able (if smaller capacity) rivals, such as Yamaha’s bargain MT09 Tracer and MV Agusta’s exotice Turismo Veloce 800 that offer much of the same experience for less.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Being a BMW, a bewildering variety of options and accessories are available in different ‘packs’. The standard version gets two rider modes, ABS, and two-way adjustable screen. But most will go for the Sport version, with extra modes, quickshifter, Dynamic Traction Control, cruise control and heated grips for £1245 more while the Sport SE gets all that PLUS BMW’s excellent Dynamic ESA (electronic suspension adjust), onboard computer, mainstand and luggage grid for a further £1105. All of it is top notch and works brilliantly, but for best residuals, the blingier the better.

Owners' Reviews

13 owners have reviewed their BMW S1000XR (2015-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW S1000XR (2015-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.2 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Test ride it and you'll want one.

20 July 2016 by Ray Crowe

The most exciting motorcycle I have ever ridden in 40 years of biking. It is everything you could wish for in a Sports/Adventure bike. Highly addictive. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
With the coding plug fitted post 1st service, a fourth mode option, Dynamic Pro, is made available. This mode although designed for track use, is absolutely awesome.
Engine
5 out of 5
Sweet as you could wish for.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No issues whatsoever.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Set price for servicing available at most dealers.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Electronic rider aids are amazing with the quickshift pro giving seamless gear changes. Only small gripe is the OEM seat unit that does not aid knee down riding so optional HP seat is worth purchasing. Vibes are grossly exaggerated. I purchased Evotech Performance handlebar weights to offset expected problems but they have not been noticeable. I suppose if you sit at 5000 reve all day then you may feel some vibes in which case, a Harley Davidson may be the bike for you!
Buying experience

Excellent BMW customer service. Deals worth shopping around for a deal if you are a cash buyer.

5 out of 5

Not for the Faint Hearted!

26 May 2016 by Stretch

I've owned a X-Max 250, Black Bird, NC700, Z1000SX, Ducati MTS 1200 S, Rocket 3 Roadster, FZ1, Diavel, and finally by far the most comfortable, and exhilarating, and safe ride ever, the BMW S1000XR Sport SE, plus exceptional BMW Emergency, and... Read more Customer Service. Yes there is some vibration in the bars but Man up! Or use the cruise control! Most bikes have some vibration, my Z1000SX (a superb bike) was unbearable for my pillion and I after an hour on the road, the Rocket and Diavel ( also exceptional bikes) were the same on long journeys, maybe they just need breaking in. The BMW's competition Ducati MTS 1200S has the looks and the comfort for touring but the BMW S1000XR has the fun factor hands down, as well as comfort for touring.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Hilariously, Exhilarating ride, and yet safe at the same time, the Quick shifter is a real treat Sport SE models only, brakes are awesome!
Engine
5 out of 5
It's a BMW!
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
The electrical components on the handle bars seem a bit flimsy, I had a flat tyre but was alerted by hazard warning lights on the dash, arrangements were made with BMW Emergency Services to collect and fix the tyre at my nearest dealer. My ECU packed up but thanks again to BMW's Emergency Service and excellent Customer Services, I was back on the road again. Thankfully its still under warranty, which can be extended/renewed on its anniversary date. This also includes the exceptional BMW Emergency Service.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Servicing plus tyres. Running costs - depends on how you ride it!
Equipment
5 out of 5
Need to familiarise yourself with all the computer equipment, recommend the Sat Nav 5, its not just a Sat Nav! It also tells you what the bike stats are.
Buying experience

I bought from a Dealer, Ex-Demo Sport SE with 4500 miles on the clock for £13500 PX my Diavel for a good price. Plus low finance package.

5 out of 5

The best bike I've ridden

15 April 2016 by Paul

Anyone put off buying an XR by reports of vibrations should not worry. This is a serious weapon. 2 up its quicker than my old gsxs1000. Out handles any bike I've ridden. Brakes are epic, the quick shifter and auto blipper are intoxicating. It has the... Read more ability to be comfortable for 300 miles+ in a day and extremely capable of a Sunday blast. Leaves you with the thought that you could have ridden faster and harder after every corner. Yes it does had a slight vibration at 5000 rpm but so what it's fantastic in all other areas.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Very very powerful
Engine
5 out of 5
Stupidly fast
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
Well equipped
5 out of 5

12 April 2016 by Mick

I've had my XR for four months now and love it. It's without a doubt the best sports road bike you can buy. Talk about handle bar vibes are massively overblown. I think GS owners are riding this bike don't get it if you love your GS it's not the bike... Read more for you. It's a bike for sports bike riders who want more comfort and does it deliver, back roads and twistys are where it shines and you can ride it all day. The technology is awesome and easy to use, rider modes suspension set up on the move, quick shifter makes you feel like you're on a race bike so does the power, cruise control and heated grips add to the all day rideabilty. So if you want to cruise across continents no but if you want super bike performance you can ride all day YES.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
With all the extras electronic suspension, quick shifter, ect you can't live without it's a lot more than the base price advertised.
Equipment
5 out of 5
You have to have all the options technology is what this bike is all about.
5 out of 5

Mr

20 March 2016 by Captain

4.6 out of 5 actually Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Stick in the chip and go to dynamic pro if you are an experienced rider to get proper riding thrills. Good safety for those not so experienced If you leave chip in the draw.
Engine
5 out of 5
4.6 out of 5. Really very good give me the full 200bhp not 160. Mines a little vibey but no where near as much as others complain of
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Very very good although switch gear a little plasticky
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Only had 600 mile service so far. Bike is a little over expensive to buy. Fuel is giving me 41mpg so not great but expected.
Equipment
5 out of 5
4.6 out of 5. To be perfect it needs a hydraulic clutch, adjustable clutch lever and tyre pressure sensor. Higher screen would be a benefit to.
Buying experience

Good as you are going to get

2 out of 5

The bike is not what you see in the news...

27 January 2016 by Chico Cunha

I do not recommend this bike to anyone while BMW do not solve the problem with vibrations. It is quite impossible you ride more than 100 kms. without being regretful for your decision. Your hands will get damping due to the hard frequency of... Read more vibration after 4.000 rpm. The suspension is also hard and in long distances you feel very uncomfortable. Seems that BMW did not test properly before finishing this project and starting production of this bike. Very frustrated as I had the GS1200 and sold it to buy the S1000XR...

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
Not comfortable as announced for long distances. It is not a touring bike even if you had a GS1200...
Engine
3 out of 5
The engine is strong but it causes extreme vibrations as informed before. So, it is not good.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
At the second day of use appears the yellow light with the information: D-ESA! The suspension got totally hard and I needed to take the bike back to the seller for checking.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Buying experience

The bike costs much more than it value in comparison with others bikes with the same price.

4 out of 5

Great machime

16 January 2016 by Sean

Fantastic bike stock exhaust sounds awesome Shed loads of technology and all changed by touch buttons on handle bars only slight negative is the vibration but cured this with heavier bar enfs from cymarc Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Comfy seat and brembo stoppers up front nuff said
Engine
5 out of 5
Open it up and watch your licence
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No dramas so far
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Initial service only
Equipment
5 out of 5
Shed loads too much to list
Buying experience

Bought from a dealer no problems with the service received

5 out of 5

Stunning

07 December 2015 by bagwafu

After various sportsbikes I went from a Gixxer Thou to a BMW S1000RR then onto the S1000XR. I loved my RR - incredible machine and by far the best sportsbike out there 2 years ago (don't know how the 2015 model compares to the new R1 and ZX10 etc). ... Read more And I toured on it, found it absolutely fine cross Europe etc. However I couldn't take my wife on the back and thats what we want to do. So I tested the XR and was blown away. Got a great trade in on the RR so signed up for the XR. We have done a long weekend mini tour to visit family and have booked a tour to Spain next year - I love it for its sporty characteristics (its actually faster on normal UK roads IMO due to the low down grunt) and my wife is very comfortable on the back. So very happy. I considered a 1200 GSA, and would be tempted if I did more touring, however the teenager in me still needs something a bit sportier. Wildly reported vibration isn't an issue (all bikes vibrate!), comfort is great, wind protection is OK with the MRA Vario, speed is grin inducing, it has all the toys so very very happy overall.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No problems.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Fast!

17 August 2015 by TorbjornOberg

A comfortable missile. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Beats everything else.
Engine
5 out of 5
More power than you will ever need. Above 7000 rpm it is stunning.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Mine was one of the first delivered and the electronics needed to be fixed.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Buying experience

I bought it new from a dealer. Dealer was great, BMW not so amazing.

3 out of 5

16 August 2015 by grumpy ol git

high frequency vibration cheap components and plastic parts. No lock on Sat Nav. No protection for oil and water Rads. Non adjustable clutch lever. Sloping seating position All for a cheap price of. £14000 plus Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Read all 13 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2015
Year discontinued -
New price £12,400
Used price £10,000 to £15,500
Warranty term Two years
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost £370
Performance
Max power 160 bhp
Max torque 83 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 999cc
Engine type 16v, inline four
Frame type Cast ali, twin spar
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 228kg
Front suspension 43mm USD forks, fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Single rear shock adjustable for preload and rebound damping.
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston calipers. ABS
Rear brake 265mm single disc with twin-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2015: Model introduced

Other versions

None

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