New 2020 BMW F900 R and BMW F900 XR | EICMA 2019

John Milbank, BikeSocial Consumer Editor
By John Milbank
BikingMilbank BikeSocial Consumer Editor, John owns a BMW S1000XR, Honda Grom and a 1999 Kawasaki ZX-6R. He's as happy tinkering in the workshop as he is on twisty backroads, and loves every bike ever built (except one). He's bought three CBR600s, a KTM 1050 Adventure, Yamaha MT-10, two Ducati Monsters, several winter hacks, three off-roaders, a supermoto pit bike, a Honda Vision 50 and built his own custom XSR700. 

 

New 2020 BMW F900 R and BMW F900 XR | EICMA 2019

 

The new BMW F900 XR is a smaller version of the updated-for-2020 S1000 XR and joins the new F900 R with a shared parallel-twin motor that’s evolved from the previous F800… here are the specifications you need to know…

 

How much more powerful is the F900 than the F800?

The 895cc parallel twin that powers the new BMW F900 XR and F900 R makes 103bhp (77kW) @ 8,500rpm and 68 lb-ft (92Nm) @ 6,500; compared to the 88.5bhp @ 8,000rpm and 63 lb-ft @ 5,800rpm of the 798cc motor in the outgoing F800 R it’s a healthy jump, if slightly higher in the rev range.

 

 

 

Is the F900 XR just a sleeved-down BMW S1000 XR?

The new BMW F900 XR shares the steel bridge frame and parallel-twin motor of the F900 R – weighing 219kg, it’s only 7kg lighter than its big brother the S1000 XR, but the 825mm seat height is 15mm lower, making it a more accessible bike for shorter riders. Yet it still has a healthy maximum total weight of 438kg, so could be a good choice for touring riders with 219kg payload capacity (including passengers). Suspension travel is 170mm at the front and 172mm at the rear – that’s 10 and 12mm more than the S1000 XR.

The F900 XR has a 15.5 litre plastic tank, which at a claimed 67mpg should give a range of up to 229 miles. The steel main frame is the same as that seen on the GS models in the F series, though that fuel tank is now in front of the rider, so the sub-frame has been redesigned.

The front brakes are a pair of 320mm discs bitten by four-piston radial Brembo calipers that look very similar to the ones on the outgoing S1000 XR (the new machine has BMW-branded stoppers).

Automatic Stability Control and ABS are standard, while an optional Riding Modes Pro gives cornering ABS and traction control, as well as Dynamic and Dynamic Pro riding modes, plus Dynamic Brake Control (to limit throttle input while braking) and MSR, which is engine drag control that works alongside the anti-hop clutch to reduce the chance of the rear wheel slipping in hard acceleration or aggressive down-changes.

Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment will be an optional extra, as will ‘Headlight Pro’, which adds adaptive cornering functionality to the LED headlight. The 6.5” TFT screen is standard.

 

 

What’s the difference with the BMW F900 R?

Based on the same platform as the F900 XR, the BMW F900 R is expected to feel quite different to ride. While engine performance is the same, the seat is 10mm lower and the suspension travel is 135mm at the front and 142mm at the rear.

Wheelbase is 1,518mm, compared to 1,521 on the F900 XR, and if you don’t count the mirrors, the F900 R is 45mm narrower at 815mm. It also weighs less – 211kg – though its maximum weight is 430kg, so like the F900 XR, there’s 219kg to play with – the Yamaha Tracer 900 only has 167kg spare; take into account a rider and pillion (maybe 160kg), and the BMW looks set to be a fairly capable load lugger.

We’ll have to wait until we review the two bikes for a final verdict, but if they’re priced competitively, these could have the potential to shake up the mid-range market.

 

2020 BMW F900XR (BMW F900R) spec

New price

n/a

Capacity

895cc

Bore x Stroke

X86x77mm

Engine layout

Parallel twin

Engine details

Water-cooled four-stroke

Power

103bhp (77kW) @ 8,500rpm

Torque

68 lb-ft (92Nm) @ 6,500

Top speed

>124.3mph (>200km/h)

Transmission

6 speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption

67mpg claimed

Tank size

15.5 litres (13 litres)

Max range to empty (theoretical)

229 miles (192 miles)

Reserve capacity

n/a

Rider aids

ABS, traction control, rider modes

Frame

Steel bridge

Front suspension

43mm upside-down fork

Front suspension adjustment

None

Rear suspension

Single shock

Rear suspension adjustment

Hydraulic preload adjustment and rebound damping

Front brake

320mm disc, four-piston radially-mounted Brembo calipers

Rear brake

220mm disc, single-piston caliper

Front tyre

120/70 ZR17

Rear tyre

180/55 ZR17

Rake/Trail

60.5°/105.2mm (60.5°/114.3mm)

Dimensions

2,160mm x 860mm (LxW excluding mirrors)
(2,140mm x 815mm)

Wheelbase

1,521mm (1,518mm)

Ground clearance

n/a

Seat height

825mm (815mm)

Kerb weight

219kg (211kg)

Warranty

n/a

Website

www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk

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New 2020 BMW F900 R and BMW F900 XR | EICMA 2019
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