It’s been a funny old start to the riding season. Well, I say funny old start, I’m yet to turn a wheel on my long-term test bike. Like the bulk of the UK, and along with the rest of the MCN team, I’m currently working from home and the only two-wheeled action I’ve seen of late is my daily hour of exercise. I’ve swapped to pedal power, at least my fitness is improving and there’s a fighting chance that I’ll fit in my leathers, when the need arises.
Talk about bad timings! I was due to collect my BMW F900XR TE the week we went into lock-down. So rather than getting to grips with the parallel-twinned beauty, I’ve spent the last few weeks reading the reviews of our Road Test team and busy planning, for when my riding gear can come out of storage.
One review caught my eye, the recent MCN250, where the Beemer was pitched against the Yamaha Tracer 900GT, a former long termer of mine. Our Chief Road Tester, Neevesy, put both bikes through their paces and I was interested to read, the power delivery of the 103bhp XR is far more docile than that of the slightly more powerful, triple cylindered, Tracer. This will be something that should suit my riding style, I’m not a throttle happy rider and love the characteristics that twins offer.
One thing that was highlighted was that the XR isn’t as roomy as the 900GT, which is a slight concern, as I’ve signed up to take part in the Round Britain Rally. It will see me spend hours in the saddle, as I tour the country to take snaps of me (and the bike) at landmarks all over the UK.
I’d paid my £35 entry fee, been issued with the countrywide list of landmarks and with the Rally due to start at the beginning of April, rather than the last few weekends being out on the road, I’ve been poring over maps. I’ve planned for the XR to come with a sat-nav, for now I’m taking my time to plot the best routes, so I can cover off the most landmarks in the shortest period. As soon as the bike arrives, I’ll use all my technical wizardary to load the nav with my desired routes, kit up the Beemer with some essentials and disappear for a couple of weeks.
Update one: Introducing the BMW F900XR TE
Published: 10 March 2020
I’ll spend the summer touring the UK on the BMW F900XR, as I take part in the Round Britain Rally, and racking up miles for my #ride5000miles target.
I’ve also planned a road-trip to the Outer Hebrides, where I may sample the odd glass of locally distilled Isle of Harris Gin!
The rider Ali Silcox, Office Manager, 50, 5ft 10in. 15 years of year-round riding, daily commuter. Alison.firstname.lastname@example.org
Bike specs 895cc | 103bhp | 219kg | 825mm seat height