BMW S1000XR review

8 replies [Last post]
Herman Ebersohn's picture
Joined: 2010/04/27

Points: 4

It so happened that I got very lucky that a new BMW S1000XR could sleep in my garage  this past weekend after I took Andre's 1200GS in for a rear tyre change and software upgrade on Friday. The Donford Team Cape Town very kindly offered me a S1000XR for a test ride while working on his bike but on my return I was informed of a computer hick-up which would take some time to sort out. I had absolutely no objection because they said I could get the S1000XR for the weekend.

I took the XR out to Riebeeck Kasteel on Saturday and again on Sunday for a quick ride around town and enjoyed every minute of it. I've never ridden a "superbike" and can only compare it with the GS range. I am no boffin at biking and my riding skills are not nearly as good as most riders I know, but when I get a smile on my dial, I know it's lekker...

Firstly, the riding position is familiar and therefore really comfortable. Wind protection from the standard screen is very good even with my GS helmet on, and that at over 180km/h. The gear shift assist is super smooth and much better than the quick shifter of my 1200GS Adventure. From 1st gear right to the top gear and down to 1st again makes you smile every time. Although a lighter bike than the GSA, the XR feels surprisingly very solid and stable. I've gone through corners faster than I ever had on my GSA, but suppose the XR is more a road bike and should be easier to do twisties. They say it's because of the Lean-Angle Sensitivity Control, Cornering ABS and all sorts of fancy electronics of the bike that makes it so much easier and fun to ride for a non professional. The sound of the bike is awasome, especially in the "Dynamic Pro" mode in which I had it about most of the time. I wonder how an Acrapovic pipe would sounds on this bike. The quick-revving engine which is so different for the GS, instantly gave me a exhilarating rush. On the open road I just could not resist in gearing down every time I saw a car in front of me and passing him by chasing up the revs.   

If I was a rich man with money lying around, I'd buy one today (and keep my 1200GSA) My only concern...this bike is faster than my Guardian Angel can fly...

While I was riding this super sexy machine, Andre took my GSA and tasted the gear shift assist for the first time. Needless to say that I had to call Donford this morning to install a Gear Shift Assist onto his bike. The weekend's fun on the S1000XR turned out to cost me quite a bit, but I see it as a tactic to keep the XR a little longer.

Thank you BMW Donford Motorrad Cape Town.

Excellent ride! Excellent service!  


Take responsibility for the energy you bring into the room!

Adrian Lee's picture
Joined: 2010/11/04

 Last week I sat on one and it had me thinking !!!

Thank goodness I have a bad memory so was soon able to forget .........

Rony Desodt's picture
Joined: 2011/06/18

O it rides very lekker!

Do it today, maybe there is no tomorrow!

Off road instructor at "Rough and Ready"

Joined: 2007/06/25

The X R is receiving rave reviews in most mags, local and abroad.

Think before you ink.

Trust is the most valuable asset.

I have the rest of my life to get old.

Joined: 2012/01/13

How many of the Club members have an XR?

David ffoulkes's picture
Joined: 2015/02/19

Two on our database.

David ffoulkes

Committee: Treasurer / Clubs Africa / Ride Captain

Joined: 2012/01/13

David ffoulkes wrote:

Two on our database.


Thanks David, does that include me?


The late Deon Sachs had one as well

David ffoulkes's picture
Joined: 2015/02/19

Nope, excludes you - database shows you owning a 1200GS - please correct it.

David ffoulkes

Committee: Treasurer / Clubs Africa / Ride Captain

Joined: 2016/01/26

I bought an S1000XR from Donford in June this year after many months of consideration while trying to find a suitable replacement for my R1200GS which I have owned since 2011. Fact is that every other bike I have tried before, just could not compare with my GS and as a result it has remained my steed of choice.

When BMW launched the S1000XR, I took it for a short ride on a Donford demo day. I liked the XR but was not sure it could tick all the boxes so decided that I needed more time to think about it. After reading the many excellent reviews one can find on the internet, I decided that I needed to take a second look. I asked John Carr at Donford to book out a bike for me and took it for a proper ride along Clarence Drive. This is the type of road that brings out the true character of this excellent bike. Needless to say that upon my return, I had no hesitation to sign the offer to purchase and part with my money.

The XR gets better to ride every time I take it out. The performance is exceptional and the handling sublime. Riding the bike through mountain passes like Bains Kloof or Franshoek is incredible. The gearshift assist is fantastic allowing one to focus on riding. The motor is incredibly flexible, you never feel that you are in the wrong gear. There is so much torque that no matter what gear you are in, the bike pulls willingly and without a stumble.

The level of comfort from what is essentially a sports bike is excellent. I have done a trip to Barrydale and back and had no aches and pains that may have been the case if I was riding a K1300s or Hyabusa, the ride position is very similar to my GS, the saddle is just a bit harder though. The suspension is also harder even if one selects Road Mode, still not as compliant as a GS but 100% better than any Blade, GSXR or ZX10. 

A superbike with GS comfort. If one is going to do most of your riding on tar, then the XR is definitely worth looking at.


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