BMW have unveiled two new middleweight models using a bored-out version of the parallel-twin engine found in the F850GS, called the F900XR and F900R.
The F900XR is either a smaller S1000XR or a road-going F850GS, depending on your point of view and is clearly designed to take on the popular Yamaha Tracer 900GT.
As the name suggests the engine has grown a little, with a 2mm bigger bore pushing capacity up to 895cc, from 853cc, and there’s also a revised cylinder head. This pushes peak power up to 105bhp and gives it a bit more oomph in the middle of the range, however peak torque remains the same.
The bikes both come complete with electronic bells and whistles including two riding modes as standard (more available if you tick all the boxes), ABS, traction control and a 4.3” full colour TFT dash.
If you opt for the top-spec version you also get semi-active suspension, cornering ABS, keyless ignition, a quickshifter plus ‘engine drag torque control’ which stops the wheel locking on aggressive downshifts.
Also borrowed from the 850GS is the frame although it’s been tweaked a little for a shorter wheelbase, and a slacker head angle. The subframe is slimmer too, along with the seat, to help keep the seat height at a comfortable 825mm (even with the relatively long travel suspension). The XR has a 15.5l tank, which apparently is made from welded plastic – some sort of motorcycling first.
The new F900R is a direct replacement for the now long-in-the-tooth BMW F800R and is a dynamic update with a sportier look.
The fuel tank is one litre smaller and now sits in a conventional place on the bike (rather than under the seat). The bike is also 8kg heavier than the F800R, but has an extra 10bhp to make up for it.
More from MCN