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How many of you tried an XR?

Discussion in 'R1200RS Versus The Competition' started by jamesgarnor, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. jamesgarnor

    jamesgarnor Active Member

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    I was wondering how many had tested both the RS and the XR and what made you choose the RS?
     
  2. Brickhead

    Brickhead Active Member

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    I took the XR for a spin while my RS got its first service. (Dealer suggested it to shorten the wait.) Fun bike, loads of power and a commanding rider position. A few minor quirks, though: Bowden cable clutch with an uneven and jerky lever travel. Same thing on another XR I encountered on the road later. Gearbox with unnecessarily close ratios. Running up and down the gears like a F1 race car might be fun, for a while. The shift assist pro was a dream on this bike, however, smoother than on the boxer.

    When I chose the RS (which I ordered in December), I wasn't looking for an adventure/street crossover, nor did I have any wet dreams about inline fours or chain drives. First time I saw both these bikes, at EICMA in Milano (November 2014), I got a good look at the RS. For some reason, it was harder to concentrate looking at the XR:

    P1010232.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
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  3. JayDub

    JayDub New Member

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    I rode the XR first, thinking it would be the one. It did everything right, but didnt realy excite me. Call it lack of character maybe. When I rode the R1200R (first boxer I rode in about 20 years) i instantly loved the power, low center of gravity and the instant growl from idle. Never expected to buy the LC boxer. The other contender was a Super Duke R, but practicality and useability won the battle in my head. No regrets so far. Real world power of the 125 hp against the 160 seems irrelevant too.
    PS I have to admit that XR has a nice tail section.
     
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  4. oscarguitar

    oscarguitar Well-Known Member

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    I tested both, I love a good i4 and the S1000 engine is a very good i4. I also thought the XR was "my bike", and there was no way I was getting an antiquated boxer, with a fancy new fairing. However, I found the XR was brilliant but, huge, ballistic, buzzy, and too much like the GS (which I accept is also a fantastic bike) with a very upright riding position. I hate the tacked on front brake resevoir, which wobbles around like an after thought. I looks to have been styled by a committee and the extra cost of the XR was also a consideration. Interestingly the dealership were reporting many XR deposits becoming RS orders once the bikes were available to test ride.

    In the end I prefer the looks of the RS, the riding position works better for me, and I think I will keep my licence a little longer. I also think it suits my time of life a little better. What I really wanted / want is a S1000RS, but they aren't building them yet.

    I have questioned my decision to go with the RS during the first 1000 miles (2000 now) but as the engine has become run in and the suspension has settled I'm getting to really love the RS for effortless way it reals in the horizon, the great gobs of torque, the toys, the handling on A roads and the economy. It looks great, feels solid and secure in the wet and the wind, comfortable solo or with a pillion, undemanding when you don't want to hustle, and forgiving when you're not at 100% or make a small mistake.

    So yes I did try both, wrestling with the decision between a throughly modern take on motorcycling and a revamped 1930s flat twin, but in the end my wife told me to stop faffing about and get the RS since she liked the colour better!
     
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  5. Troppo

    Troppo Member

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    I have had about 4 hrs on two XRs. One on Italian mountain passes and the other in Australia.

    Too tall, too vibey. Goes very well, though. I own a S1000R and a GS.
     
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  6. Jan Willem Helmers

    Jan Willem Helmers Active Member

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    The XR does not have shaft drive so it's not option for me, when I heard BMW was creating an S1000XR I was hoping the would put the shaft drive on it, that way it would be a perfect replacement for the K1300S I had before (although I do not like the high and wide handlebars)
     
  7. MRM

    MRM Active Member

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    Like others, I rode the XR and felt it was very good at some things, not so good at others. Very high vibes in the handlebars make it a no-go for more than an hour or so of riding. The engine has tons of power, but as mentioned the gear ratio makes it far to hyperactive for relaxed cruising of any sort, unless you are going 140 all day long (as fun as that sounds!). The shift assist works like a charm, which is good because the clutch is terrible considering it is on a $20k bike. I found it to have a comfortable seating/riding position with better wind protection than expected. All in all it is a fun bike, but I don't think I would be happy with it as a sports tourer. To me the RS is better in almost everyway, with the only knocks being less power and a slightly leaned forward riding position. In the end I'm glad I picked up the RS as it's a better fit for me and the type of riding I like to do.
     
  8. shootersteve77

    shootersteve77 Active Member

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    As the owner of an S1000R, i could pretty much surmise what the XR would be like, so it never interested me. After having spoken to a few owners, I found my thoughts were correct. Too much annoying vibration in the bars for touring on the interstate. I do not mind a chain, however, they are simple and cheap to maintain compared with final drives on most BMW's. If I was an off road guy, I'd probably love the XR.
     
  9. Ben Russo

    Ben Russo Active Member

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    99.9% of the miles I ride are on paved roads.
    The XR was chain drive.
    The XR felt much taller and therefore top-heavy.
    Yeah, I am 6'1" and CAN ride tall bikes, but I just don't like doing so.
    If I was looking at the XR for road riding, I would look at an R1200RT first.
    If I was looking at the XR for adventure riding off of the pavement, I would first look at the KTM 690 Adventure, which only weighs 308 lbs.
     
  10. shootersteve77

    shootersteve77 Active Member

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    Top heavy and high seat are two more features that I have a hard time with. I laugh when I think of my Harley days when I had a 28" seat but still lowered it another inch! Now I'm happy if I can find a BMW with a 31" seat height!
     
  11. Richard230

    Richard230 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    The September issue of Motorcycle Consumer News contains a review of both the RS and the XR. Throughout the entire one-page XR article (one page for the RS and one page for the XR) they refer to the bike as the "R1200XR". At the beginning of the article they even mention that it has shares the same engine as the R1200R that they tested the previous month. :eek: What were they smoking in Canada?

    I also noted that they said that the Gear Shift Assistant Pro on their XR didn't work very well and sometimes it wouldn't let them down-shift and got hung up between gears. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  12. Ben Russo

    Ben Russo Active Member

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    It is summer vacation time. My bet is that the editor didn't proof that, or they had someone else proof it that did a search and replace..
    Odd that they mention the shift assist pro on the XR. Other reviewers say that it is better on the S1000 engine than on the R1200 engine.
    I think it might have to do with the straight four operating in a higher RPM range most of the time, and being a more free revving engine.
     
  13. KOCook

    KOCook Active Member

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    Took a test ride on the XR. Confirm much of what has been posted. Engine vibrations are very pronounced at certain RPM ranges. If you really must have one, no doubt you could find an RPM range that would give a smooth ride at just about any speed. So where does this motorcycle fit? Filtering/lane splitting aggressively through city traffic (sans boxes; keep it skinny). The upright seating affords quick head-turn visuals (mirrors are blurry, but can be set for quick lane checks) and gobs of leverage for flicking. Mega power and cornering clearance on tap. Maybe Euro-UK city messenger service; or hooligan service in any major European city. :)

    If you love the S1000RR, but want GS ergos--this is your machine.
     
  14. RSRider

    RSRider Member

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    Hi all--my first post. I bought an XR and rode it about 500 miles in and around the Deals Gap twisties of NC/TN. I agree with others here. It's too tall (I'm 5'10"), even with the 'low' seat and top-heavy but it goes like stink and handles very well. I also did not like the handlebar width. So, I just test rode a R1200RS as a possible alternative and was hooked on the torque delivery, handling, appearance and especially the ergos which are perfect for my body. I've placed the XR on consignment at my local dealer and will order a R1200RS (in gray, loaded). ;) Live and learn...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Cheers!
     
  15. shootersteve77

    shootersteve77 Active Member

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    After owning my S1000R for a bit over a year now, I have passed on even test riding the XR. I'm sure it's tons of fun as is my SR, but no substitute for touring on an R1200 anything.
     
  16. BruceL

    BruceL Member

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    I own an S1000R, but bought an R1200RS for the relaxed highway cruising. Does the S1000XR have the same ratios as the S1000R? If so, it will be tiring during long days in the saddle.
     
  17. PeakRider53

    PeakRider53 New Member

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    I have been an XR owner for a little over two months (1,500 miles) and couldn''t be more pleased. It has almost all of the attributes of the GSs I"ve owned, the raw arrest-me power of my old K1200R, modern save-your-hide electronics, an easy to read digital speedometer, cruise control, a snick-snick up or down quick shifter that I didn't know I could not live without, and a raw growl that only formula one drivers are familiar with. I found over the years that I didn't do as much dirt as I thought I would do on my GSs; so I chose the XR for the 95% of the time I would spend canyon carving in the mountains of Colorado. What I didn't know is that my XR does great in the dirt (dirt + gravel roads); all I do is push a button to disengage the traction control so I can spin the rear tire when I'm climbing on washboard dirt roads; and it does great even with the stock street tires. Today I road 28 miles of dirt standing up most of the way as if I were on a GS; amazing. And when I hit pavement I was back in the saddle snicking through the gears listening to the waaaaaa of a 160 HP racing engine. This is the best of the 11 BMWs I have ever owned.
     
  18. shootersteve77

    shootersteve77 Active Member

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    Well you certainly can't beat that engine and drivetrain. BMW really did it right on the RR other than the unpleasant vibes at 4-5000 RPMs. The power and sound combined with it's super smooth transmission is hard to beat. I just don't find it as soothing for long rides as the R1200 engine. But for any dirt road riding, I can't think of a better choice.
     
  19. GaryS

    GaryS Member

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    I'm with the others: too tall and vibey. Never really liked the GS position either though, so I'm definitely in the minority for BMW owners. And oddly, I preferred the boxer engine for the bulk of my riding style.

    I say that after taking a S1000R on a long demo ride (2h) thinking itd be my next bike, but despite the goobs of power, I prefered the ST3 and the boxers. Than it was time to try a MV Agusta brutale 800. WOW !!! My wifes fear kept me away ... for now. But man what a bike. That rr in red is a beauty, but I dont think highway miles is its calling.
     
  20. MIST

    MIST New Member

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    I test rode the XR twice for a total of about 80 miles. It's a great motorcycle. Throttle response and power delivery were great. The shift assist was phenomenal. Wind protection was sufficient. The riding position was comfortable, although I was locked into one position on the seat with no room to move slightly forward or aft. The clutch pull was easy and smooth, but a longer reach than it should've been and with no adjustment. The dreaded buzziness that everyone talks about was present in the handlebars, seat and pegs, but I felt I'd be able to live with it. Overall, it was a pleasant experience and I really liked the motorcycle.

    When I returned to the dealership from the second test ride, there was a 2016 R1200RS sitting there that had arrived the evening before and just been placed on the floor after the PDI. I felt my heart skip a beat and I started to drool. The GM told me it wasn't a demo, but I could take it out for just a few miles. I liked the XR very much, but absolutely loved the RS. It spoke to me and everything about it was simply right. Both motorcycles were impressive, but the RS made me smile.

    It used to be two, but I now relegate myself to one at a time. Currently that's the RS. I could easily envision an XR making it's way into my garage in the future.

    My Previous Rides (in alphabetical order)-
    BMW K12GT
    BMW K12LT (2)
    BMW K12RS (2)
    BMW K12S
    BMW K13S (2)
    BMW R12GS (2)
    BMW R11RT
    BMW R12RT (4)
    Ducati Monster 1100 (2)
    Honda Shadow Spirit 1100
    Honda VTX-C 1800
    Kawasaki Concours 1400
    Suzuki Bandit 1200S
    Triumph America (3)
    Triumph Speed Triple
    Yamaha FJR 1300 (2)
    Yamaha FZ6
    Yamaha FZ8
    Yamaha V Star 1100 Custom
     
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