MILAN SHOW: BMW release S1000XR adventure-sport bike

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These are the first official images of the new BMW S1000XR, which combines the 160bhp from the S1000R but wraps it in an adventure bike layout to take on the likes of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 and Kawasaki Versys 1000.

The new BMW has been spied by MCN numerous times in recent months as it underwent final testing both on private test facilities and also the roads around the BMW Munich headquarters and in the Italian Alps.

BMW have confirmed that the new XR will be fitted with ABS and traction control as standard, but bizarrely owners will have to cough up extra money on top of the basic price if they want to use all of the electronic rider aids the bike is capable of delivering, by buying the optional ‘Pro’ riding modes. In standard trim, the XR has Rain and Road riding modes and a standard version of the firm’s Automatic Stability Control (ASC).

Road riding mode includes anti-wheelie and a direct throttle response while Rain is aimed at lower grip road conditions and has a softer throttle response along with the anti-wheelie control, too. Opt for the Pro settings and owners will be able to unlock the extra Dynamic and Dynamic Pro riding modes, along with ABS Pro – which works while the bike is braking and leant over in corners. The package will also add Dynamic Traction Control, which includes a lean angle sensor to detect and manage wheelspin while accelerating out of corners.

The engine is taken almost unchanged from the S1000R roadster, which was launched at the start of this year, which is an RR motor detuned to 160bhp from the 195bhp in the fully-faired superbike, and delivers a healthy 83lbft of peak torque. An optional Quickshifter Pro is also available on the XR, which will enable the rider to shift up and down the gearbox without using the clutch. The retuning of the RR motor was in the pursuit of nicer road manners, increased torque and this has been brought about thanks to redesigned cylinderhead porting, reduced valve lift and a reduction in maximum revs by 2000rpm.

New chassis and swingarm
Despite appearing very similar to the naked S1000R, the new XR model actually gets an all-new bespoke chassis and swingarm which have been designed to give a handling characteristic more suited to this type of crossover adventure-sports bike. 

The twin-spar aluminium perimeter frame is built from four sections to include the steering head, engine and swingarm mounts plus the two side sections. The subframe has been made stronger than those of S1000R and RR, so it can carry both luggage and a pillion more easily.

The steering head angle is less aggressive than that of the S1000RR and the trail is longer which, combined with the 65mm longer double-sided swingarm, has increased the overall wheelbase to 1548mm which is 109mm longer than the S1000RR as this bike chases calm road manners rather than track orientated sharp handling.

The links to the other models in the S1000 range in terms of styling are clear to see; the asymmetrical front lights aren’t immediately obvious but they are there inside the symmetrical shape of the housing to keep the same style as the other bikes in the range.

The side panels have hints of the superbike to the gills on the right side and the cutaway on the left side of the bike too. At the front is a beak, which almost certainly works to reduce front end lift at high speeds which can otherwise cause instability in these high-powered adventure bikes, and is shared with the 2015 RR. A separate low-mounted mudguard keeps road spray off the bike and a standard fit steering damper helps keep it all under control.

BMW are promising the S1000XR is going to be a bike for all occasions, but despite the long-travel suspension and adventure styling of the model, it’s clear this bike has no pretensions of off-road ability, and is fitted with 17 inch wheels front and rear. If you want a true adventure bike, we’ve heard the firm’s R1200GS is pretty handy.

The XR does have up to 30mm more ground clearance than its S1000 siblings, and the riding position, handlebars and seat-to-pegs relationship is all about rider and pillion comfort rather than lap times. It has also been designed from the outset to accomodate hard-mounted luggage, including a topbox, panniers and a tankbag. The windscreen is height adjustable, too.

The LCD dash promises a mix of sporty and practical touches and has a lot of potential information on display including revs, speed, gear position, riding mode selected, mileage, two trip meters, fuel level, range, average consumption and speed, a lap timer, shift light (with adjustable brightness) and a clock. The cockpit also gets a 12v socket for charging accessories.
No UK price or availability have been announced yet, both of which will be revealed at Motorcycle Live at the end of the month.

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