BMW’s new entry into the sport-adventure-touring sub-class has been caught while undergoing final testing in Europe. The S1000XR is loosely based on the thrilling and versatile S1000R, one of our favorite motorcycles of 2014, but with many changes to compete with sporty ADVs like Ducati’s Multistrada and Aprilia’s Caponord.
It’s not without some irony that BMW, the company that basically invented the large-displacement dual-sport/adventure category, is chasing its Euro rivals in this niche which favors performance over off-roadability. Visible in the photo is its longer-travel suspension, taller one-piece handlebar, and a larger-volume muffler to reduce the size of the under-engine collector for additional ground clearance. The windscreen is adjustable, sliding upward and rearward from its low position, seen here raised to one of its high positions.
It’s interesting to note the XR’s identically sized twin headlights, which eschew BMW’s controversial asymmetric designs of recent years. This may portend a change in design philosophy for the German company.
Structural changes are evident at the rear of the bike. A more robust subframe allows much greater load capacity to accommodate luggage options, including the topbox shown here and saddlebags. Also of note is the tiered seat that looks thinly padded to yield a short-ish seat height. A new swingarm appears to add some length to the S1000R’s 56.7-inch wheelbase and allows space to mount a centerstand.
We don’t expect many changes to the XR’s powertrain, although the potent 999cc inline-Four engine might receive mild tuned-for-torque modifications, perhaps milder cams and smaller throttle bodies. Since the 1000R’s ride-by-wire throttle is already quite manageable, BMW might’ve only revised the electronic engine mapping for use in the XR, with a choice of various ride modes.
BMW does options like no other moto manufacturer, and we can expect more of the same with the S1000XR. Along with luggage options, we’re sure to see niceties like those found on the 1000R: cruise and traction controls, BMW’s semi-active suspension (Dynamic Damping Control) and heated grips.
Like all BMW’s, the XR will come standard with antilock brakes. Curiously, the brake calipers on the XR are taped off to disguise the brand. We’d expect it to have the excellent two-piece Brembo setup from the 1000R, but perhaps there’s something new in the offing. Another option we might see is a version of the clutchless up/downshifting available on the recently introduced R1200RT.
We expect full details of the S1000XR to be released September 30 during the Intermot show in Germany. The S1000XR’s additional features relative to the 1000R will surely result in higher MSRPs. We’ll guess a base price of about $16,000, Fully optioned with luggage, the price may push the $20k mark.
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