BMW announced updates to the R1250GS and R1250GS Adventure for 2021, making the boxer models compliant with Euro 5 standards, while also marking the 40th anniversary of the GS line. BMW is calling this a “new” GS, but the changes aren’t as dramatic as that sounds. Even calling it “new-ish” would be a slight exaggeration.
BMW officially announced its first two-wheeled M model with the new M1000RR. Based on the S1000RR, no slouch on its own, the M1000RR offers a higher level of performance, adding aerodynamic wings and bumping the power output up to a claimed 212 hp while reducing the claimed curb weight to 423 pounds.
BMW has been teasing us for quite a while, and now that we have it in our hands, the 2021 BMW R18 truly is a thing of beauty. Rolling motorcycle art, if you will. Just walking around the bike slowly taking in the detail work that this embodiment of BMW’s past heritage wrapped in modern technology is a visual feast. From the exposed shaft drive to the polarizing fishtail exhaust to the chromed-out master cylinders of the First Edition trim to the modern headlight in a vintage shell, the R18 exudes quality. Starting the 1802cc oil/air-cooled boxer Twin sets the whole bike rocking side-to-side at the 950 rpm idle speed, pulsing like it’s alive.
Is Retro still booming? It was when BMW built its first R nineT in 2013, a bike that was so successful they’ve built like five more versions in the ensuing years. In fact, there are so many nineT’s it’s hard to keep them straight. We put the R nineT Pure in last place in 2017, when we shot it out against the now-defunct Honda CB1100EX and Triumph Bonneville T120 Black here. But in 2014, we rated the standard R nineT first, in a comparison involving the also-defunct CB1100 regular and Moto Guzzi Griso 8V.
There are a million ways to skin a cat, as they say, and the field that is the 900cc-ish middleweight naked bike segment is a perfect example. Just take these two cats. After we put the KTM 890 Duke R and Triumph Street Triple R head-to-head, Burns gave us flack for not throwing the Kawasaki Z900 in the mix. I still don’t think it quite has enough to top its Austrian or British counterparts, but it’s peppy enough and should be thrown up against something – if for nothing else than to shut John up.
With the World Superbike championship set to resume again this weekend in Jerez, after a long Coronavirus-induced break since the season opener at Philip Island in February, BMW felt it necessary to tell everyone how it was spending its time in lockdown – and it’s pretty fascinating.
Frankly I was a little intimidated when I saw the all-new 2020 BMW S1000 XR sitting there in the warehouse. It’s large, and the seat’s not low, and the battleship gray and sharp prow reminded me of touring the USS Iowa. It fired up with a raspy bark when I climbed into the stiffish saddle. You barely even need to let things idle anymore before you take off, but I usually do anyway (the computer on this one will only let you past certain rpm points as it warms up). Still, its 6%-lighter engine and 7%-lighter drivetrain doesn’t like it when I try to ease away with minimal rpm; it snatches and jerks and I almost kill it a couple of times before I remember what I’m dealing with here (I’ve been riding a lot of Rebel 500s and Burgman scooters lately).
BMW released details about its new Active Cruise Control system, its version of Bosch’s Adaptive Cruise Control technology. Whatever the name, the system uses radar sensors to detect objects ahead of a motorcycle and adjusts the cruising speed to maintain a safe distance.
Has it really been 20 years since the world didn’t seize up at the stroke of midnight, as we feared it might? Yes. Every time I walk out into the garage, my 2000 R1 sitting dormant on its stand (the last year of the first-gen R1) reminds me of what a long time ago that was. Next to all the new bikes it sees come and go, the old girl is positively archaic. In a good, Ann-Margret way, but still. While we’re still quarantining seems like a good time to look back upon what bikes have moved the game forward the most since the millennium.
This week’s exciting Reader’s Ride is in memory of our dearly departed Rocky Stonepebble, who I think claimed to be Scottish, didn’t he? When he wasn’t busy flinging poo through the bars to incite anarchy and hockey. Kriss and his BMW reside in the Scottish highlands.
It’s been said dozens of times, many different ways. The definition of adventure is unique to the person defining it. Like fingerprints, no two answers will be identical. Case in point: the KTM Adventure 790 R, BMW F 850 GS Adventure, and Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro. These bikes make up three-quarters of the burgeoning middleweight adventure category. These motorcycles comprise a niche within a popular category, yet within a few miles of riding each bike, it’s remarkable just how differently each brand approaches the task. The core philosophy of each marque shines through in these machines and plainly portrays how its part of the world, and the people riding there, define adventure.
In the midst of all the uncertainty and panic caused by COVID-19 and the hard times millions around the world have fallen upon, we thought we’d share some beauty created by French custom shop, FCR Originals. The shop has a penchant for turning British Twins, among other machines, into creative custom builds with styling cues that harken back to the ‘50s and ‘60s. As is evident from the pictures shared here, the level of detail and commitment to their projects is stunning.
BMW and KTM AG announced this week they will not be taking part in the industry’s two largest motorcycle shows due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Intermot, in Cologne, Germany, and EICMA in Milan, Italy, are still months away, but the two European companies say there’s too much uncertainty to properly plan for the trade shows.
Since May of last year, we’ve been anxiously awaiting the official reveal of the BMW R18. We’ve had hints from BMW. We’ve had spy photos. But we haven’t had anything for sure. Well, that time is at hand. Today, BMW officially unveiled the 2021BMW R18. What does it have other than the “Big Boxer” engine? Read on and find out.