BMW S1000 XR Review

So my BMW R1200 GSA is in for it’s 36000 mile service at Lind Motorrad in Welwyn Garden City, and they have very kindly given me a BMW S1000 XR to ride around until my bike is ready.

So here’s my quick review.
This is meant to be BMW’s answer to the Ducati Mulistrada and at £12550 it’s expensive price tag.

Although BMW pitch it as an adventure/sports bike……it’s more like a sports bike, which you might have a mini adventure on, but you’d be wary of taking it off road as the suspension and ground clearance doesn’t come anywhere near what’s needed to be marked as an adventure bike. I should know as I’ve been riding one everyday for the last 10 years, that and the radiator is so huge it would be holed by a big stone or rock leaving you with coolant dripping everywhere…….so IMO wrong label BMW.


It does have an upright seating position similar to the GSA which is comfortable, however I think the “low saddle option I have is somewhat uncomfortable and makes me feel like my ass is in a bucket seat, too much plastic and not enough padding.

I found the engine note to be completely different to the GSA due to the inline 4.

It sounds quiet at low revs but when it’s wound up the grunt from the engine comes through and begs to be opened up to its full potential, always asking for more.

It’s obviously lighter than the GSA which is noticeable when taking it out of the garage of a morning, and when moving it around at standstill, and it’s just as nimble dodging through traffic as the turning circle is quite generous so it whips in and out nicely.


It has a quick release (not locking) mount for the Garmin Nav 5/6. The same switch gear as the GSA & has four riding modes. rain, dynamic, dynamic pro and road.

There is not much protection from the elements. It needs a taller screen. It has an  adjustable screen but needs to be done at a standstill. So you have to decide on up or down before you set off! 

Unlike the GSA it’s a chain drive which delivers the power to the rear wheel and wow…….What power it has. 160bhp so way quicker than the GSA and on the straights the 6th gear roll on is smooth and delivers the power very quickly. If you were on a race track straight or the German Autobahn you’d be flying along at 140mph no problem at all and even maybe then some.

The revs build up slowly until you hit up 4000rpm where it takes off, but that’s just the start, then it kicks in again at 9000rpm again without mercy and propels you forward at blinding speed I’ve not known before.

It’s only the second inline 4 I’ve ridden, the other one being my brothers Suzuki Bandit 650s.

Personally I’ve always been a single or twin rider as I’ve never really liked the look nor engine sound of an inline 4, they sound too much like a car to sound nice, but I think I maybe converted……almost.

It begs to be ridden fast, but doesn’t offer the rider the protection that GSA does. You end up being battered by the elements and find yourself getting colder because of it, wishing you had a taller screen or some kind of wind deflective fairing.

You need protection from the elements if you are riding at speed for prolonged periods of time. Otherwise you just get fatigued and battered by the wind which doesn’t make for a pleasant ride, well, not in my book. If you stick at 70mph you’ll be okay, but let’s face it, you don’t buy a bike like this to sit at 70mph. Not when it’s capable of 140mph+.


Braking is amazing. Can’t fault them at all. ABS & traction control as standard. Heated grips and a digital display wraps it up nicely.

Would I buy one??????? In a word…..NO!! Why? I’m too tall for it, it makes my butt hurt and I prefer my GSA for all the reasons I bought it.

I like my heavy ass GSA and all that it offers……it’s second to none.

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