This week, BMW is hosting the US launch of the F900R naked and the F900XR sport-tourer – and it sure looks like the Germans have the Yamaha MT-09 and Tracer 900 in their crosshairs. I won’t be able to make it this time around but I’m sending our buddy Nathan May on my behalf. What would you like him to tell you about these all-new motorcycles?
I first saw these bikes in person at the 2019 Long Beach International Motorcycle Show, and I thought the R looked pretty sharp and the XR looked less so, thanks to an insect face.
Trudy Hardy (Vice President of BMW Motorrad Americas) and Vincent Kung (Product Manager) told us about how BMW was going after the “volume brands” in terms of pricing, but with technology typically not seen as standard features in the mid-sized roadster segment – LED headlight, TFT screen with mobile connectivity, stability control, 12V socket, etc. There’s also optional cornering lights in the headlight, different seat heights, and a bunch more stuff that Nathan will fill you in on.
The shared engine is a 895cc parallel twin (evolved from the motor in the F850GS) with dual counterbalancers that produces 99 horsepower and 68 lb-ft of torque. But what really got the attention of the media at Long Beach was when they announced starting prices:
$8,999 for the R – that’s the the same as a Yamaha MT-09 and Kawasaki Z900 (or $300 cheaper than a Ducati Monster 797).
$11,695 for the XR – that’s comparable to the Yamaha Tracer as the base features and price are in between the 900 and the 900 GT offerings and it’s $2,800 cheaper than a Ducati Multistrada 950.
The base models offer a lot of features at a pretty compelling price point, but BMW Motorrad USA is pretty notorious for just bringing in bikes with option packages already equipped. We’ll just have to see how they feel on the road.
Nathan will be giving you a First Ride Review of both bikes, and I’ve asked him to bring back a XR for extended testing because that’s the one I really want to try for myself. Check out BMW’s websites for both bikes (F900R, F900XR), then leave your questions in the comments below!