Are we into motorcycles, too? Of course. We don’t write much about them, but we recently spent some time with three BMW bikes: the S 1000 RR, R NINE T and F 800 GS Adventure. How good were they? Good enough that we figured we should spread the word.
Our favorite was probably the S 1000 RR, the sport bike of the group.
Does it offer amazing performance? Duh, of course, it’s a modern sport bike. Its 1-liter engine offers 199 horsepower. Let that sink in for a bit and think about how many cars have offered plenty of performance with just about the same amount of power—cars like the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S, the latest Honda Civic Si, and even the iconic 3.2-liter Porsche 911. In this bike’s case, that horsepower only has to lug around 450 pounds plus riders.
Retail price is about $15,000. Yeah, you can get a new liter sport bike for less. Either you’re into the BMW bikes or not.
Want to walk around this bike with our own J.G.? Just watch this:
Less is More
What exactly is the BMW R nineT, the next bike on our list? Call it the bruiser of the bunch.
The style? Minimalistic. Bare. A bit retro. It’s kind of a bobber, but one done at the factory. You’re either going to love it or hate it.
The punch? Plenty. Its air-cooled, flat-two 1170cc engine offers 110 horsepower. You sit up tall in the saddle—nice and comfortable.
Like the S 1000 RR, it also retails for about $15,000. Some people will see that as a deal for a turnkey bike that has some seriously cool looks; others will point toward the less expensive retro bikes from the Japanese brands.
Into the Wild
Last, we spent some time with the F 800 GS Adventure, the perfect bike for those about to cross the wilds—riders like Neal Peart. For us, though, it required a bit too much inseam for daily use.
One thing this sampler taught us after years of not paying much attention to BMW’s latest motorcycle offerings: Their old bikes are legendary, sure, but their fire still burns. We’re happy to see that it does.
Enjoy more articles like this in the pages of Grassroots Motorsports. Get all the latest how-tos and stories for just $10. Subscribe now.
View comments on the GRM forums
30 years ago, Suzuki introduced the GSXR 1100 and I bought the first one available. I had ten years experience roadracing bikes and wanted to move up from the 550's and the 750 Interceptor. My first laps at Texas World, I realized that I no longer recognized the racetrack. It was just awesome and I eventually came to grips with it but it was hard, scary work.
One of the magazines put one on a dyno. 92 hp at the wheel.
David S. Wallens wrote:
—cars like the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S, the awesome hot-hatch Fiesta ST, and even the iconic 3.2-liter Porsche 911. In this bike’s case, that horsepower only has to lug around 450 pounds plus riders.
Fixed that for ya.
Funny they chose not to send their flagship and best seller R1200GS over for you guys to ride instead of the F800. I guess maybe they don't need more exposure to sell those.
You guys should try the S1000R and S1000XR if you loved the RR's motor but are getting a little long in the tooth for having the shifter located somewhere back near the rear axle They offer a seating position for grown-ups :)
You'll need to log in to post.