Author Having moved on - a few thoughts on my F900XR  (Read 628 times)

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  • Offline Chippy4467   gb

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    Offline Chippy4467

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    Having moved on - a few thoughts on my F900XR
    on: September 04, 2022, 06:16:08 pm
    September 04, 2022, 06:16:08 pm
    Having moved on from my Gen2 XRT to a BMW F900XR TE a few of you asked for my impressions of the new bike, so here goes: (Sorry its nearly a book  :034:)
    Firstly my main reason for changing was to get something lighter that was easier to move around the drive & garage (never going to admit age is a factor). However after a Gen1 Tex and especially Gen2  XRT I had been a little spoilt with toys.  Ergonomics are key for me as I have a dodgy knee and neck. However the Triumphs were bought for 2 up touring and unfortunately Mrs Chippy is not riding pillion atm but it still wasn’t easy.  My quest included test rides (mostly 2 hour) on:
    •   Gen4 Tiger 1200 (didn't like engine, clocks/menu, poor wind protection compared to Gen2 + neck ache),
    •   Tiger 900GT Pro (didn't like clocks/menu +neck ache)
    •   Tracer 900GT (great bike but those clocks-ahhhhh!),
    •   NT1100 (OK but...not inspiring)
    •   Vstrom 1050XT (liked it but still heavy and not comfortable after a couple of hours)
    •   GSF-S 1000GT (great engine/gearbox, but poor quality poor brakes and dated package, hard on the knees)
    •   Ninja1000SX (liked it but neck & back ache after 3/4 hour)
    •   Ducati V2S (engine/throttle too full on/harsh and kept sliding forward on seat - just not for me took it back after 45mins)
    Well what was there left? KTM? Tried them in past and comment re V2S engine applies.  BMW S1000XR? – dismissed as too viby after 2 mates got rid after short term ownership
    At this stage the Tiger 900 with narrower bars fitted was actually looking good
    So why the F900?  Had on paper dismissed it as only 15.5L tank but there wasn’t much left and my local BMW dealer had 2 used ones plus a demo bike.  The used one I was looking at had a comfort seat (apparently standard is not good) so took the demo out with the comfort seat fitted and just gel’d.  OK so it took a bit of getting used to what appeared to be short shifting (but I’ve ridden parallel twins before) and reduced power but happy with comfort/handling. Got good deal on my XRT so there we go 2020 F900XT TE with Comfort & Dynamic packs with 5,800miles. Had the BMW rack fitted then swapped top pate for Givi kit to use my existing Topbox. Also bought the panniers, not cheap, but easiest solution and keys are matched.
    Did 800miles last weekend on it and it just keeps on growing on me
    So my thoughts:
    •    It’s sooo much lighter than the XRT. Win win. 
    •   Despite no fork adjustment handling is really good.  I’d describe it as an accomplished, compliant but controlled ride that works in 99% of conditions. The 1% is when braking into or in a corner (yes I know don’t do it) it stands up far more than I’m used to with the XRT which would hold the line. Dynamic setting (semi active rear) is very good. Tyres are back to road sizes and the Road5’s suit the bike really well – although why previous owner put a GT version on the back is a mystery – perhaps they were riding 2 up all the time.
    •   Build quality is good.  I’ve had the plastics off to fit Scottoiler and power socket at the bars (OEM one is by left leg so not helpful) and the fasteners are all SS and clips are sturdy
    •   TFT is clear and unlike the new Triumphs I like the menus and both find them, and the controls, intuitive without having to dive down several levels of menus to see what I want – big plus for me. Had to mover the GPS mount to above the screen so its much easier to see - but bonus is my Garmin 660 slots straight in to BMW fitting - just havent got it to "talk" to the bike yet to use wheel control on left bar. Keyless ignition will take a while to come to terms with…….progress ?
    •   Tank range between 200 – 230 miles, MPG 57-67 ! averaging about 62mpg (UK galls)
    •   Comfort is good, but it was 35 degrees when I collected it and at that temp seat wasn’t so good so first addition was a Cool Cover which has helped a lot (they do add height & width to seat).  Seat does not have the space to move around so much as the XRT but I like it. Knees are a little more bent but after 5 day tour to and around Shropshire/Wales were fine.
    •   Screen not quite big enough first time since 2013 I’ve had flies on my visor -  – fitted an MRA Vario – sorted
    •   Scottoiler – yes it’s got a chain but so what, they work well and I’ve had 6 bikes with Scottoilers and if adjusted properly are far better than spray on chain lubs.  I was getting 25,000 miles per chain set on a CBF1000 and would expect similar on this.
    •   Engine – 105 bhp is a step down and you have to think a little bit more about overtakes, especially multiple ones, but in the right gear I think initially it’s actually quicker off the mark than the XRT?  Only revs to 8750 – hence comment about short shifting. Throttle is odd – not linear – you don’t get all the power unless you open it all the way but easy to get used to but its better in Dynamic (sport) mode. And it does sound nice when you give it a handful  :008:
    •   Gearbox is good  - not up to Suzuki/Kawasaki standard but it’s better than the Triumph and QS is OK but personally could do without it – only you can’t turn it off like you can on most other bikes.  Gearing is a little high so it doesn’t like rolling in first under 10mph – can be fixed with +2 teeth on rear sprocket when it’s time to change
    •   Interestingly being lighter and with less power the tyre pressures do not change nearly as much as they did on the Triumph so tyres are not working so hard – so hopefully they may last longer?

    In summary, am I pleased? YES very much so.  :152:  Still far more performance than I need on the road, comfort & handling is good. Servicing is 7000miles so not quite up to the XRT 10,000 but about on par with Tiger 900.  Will it cut it if Mrs Chippy circumstances change and she gets back on? I don’t know. At that point I may have to look again……………………until then safe riding






  • Offline XCaTel   ie

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    Offline XCaTel

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    Re: Having moved on - a few thoughts on my F900XR
    Reply #1 on: September 11, 2022, 05:16:20 am
    September 11, 2022, 05:16:20 am
    Cheers Chippy4467, interesting to get good feedback and an owner perspective. Good Luck!  :046:

  • Offline NorthumBryan   gb

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    Offline NorthumBryan

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    Re: Having moved on - a few thoughts on my F900XR
    Reply #2 on: September 16, 2022, 09:27:30 am
    September 16, 2022, 09:27:30 am
    What a cracking review, take a bow  :467:

    Interestingly, on the way back home on the ferry I got talking to a chap who had a blue 900XR and he was raving about how good it was.
    Talking bollocks since 1965...