Fishing guide

2022 BMW S 1000 XR review

Having the right tool for the job can make all the difference.

A quarter inch socket will not work if you need your missing 10mm. A can of spray cheese is no substitute for whipped cream. And these flip flops are a poor choice for ice fishing.

But there are tools that can work for many jobs. A multitool or a Swiss army knife can solve an infinite number of challenges. The 2022 BMW S 1000 XR is a motorcycle multi-tool in the extreme, and it was absolutely the right tool for a quick spin around the Canadian Maritimes.

2022 BMW S1000 XR

The last time I saw the Cabot Trail that circles the northern tip of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia was from the back seat of my parents’ 1987 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser , and as a brooding teenager, I didn’t appreciate geography as much as I am. today. My riding partner had never been to Prince Edward Island, so a loop of that province was also part of our mission. But we only had a week for our vacation, which meant a fast pace and no dithering.

Yet within the first minute of our ride, my companion’s voice came through the intercom. “Uh, do we really need to go so fast? In the process, they were calling me out on my exuberance and bringing to my attention that I may have unwittingly traveled just a little over the speed limit.

In my defense, it’s incredibly easy to accomplish both with this BMW. The 999cc inline-four shares more than a few mechanicals (and personality) with the fire-breathing S 1000 RR superbike; and even after being detuned to 165 bhp it’s an incredibly fast machine.

Having put a lot of miles on a previous generation XR on a wild jaunt through Pennsylvania, I expected this BMW to be very fast, but I didn’t expect it to be more fluid. The old bike numbed my toes and fingers and rattled the mirrors at highway speeds, but this one ended up feeling like a turbine by comparison. BMW has taken great care to improve vibration damping through the bars and pegs, and that is appreciated.

My other excuse for not noticing my pace is that the XR’s redesigned fairing improves airflow around the rider, so the sense of speed is noticeably diminished. At times we encountered considerable head and crosswinds, shaking my partner relentlessly on her unfair Z900 at highway speeds—a feeling I was largely immune to on the Beemer. When the rain pounded us on PEI, I flipped the lever to raise the windshield higher, providing even more protection.

Unfortunately, our truncated schedule forced more freeway driving than either of us would have preferred. This turns out to be one of the tasks the S 1000 XR handles very well, not only because of its wind protection, but also its exceptional stability at speed. Plus, the luxury of cruise control offered a welcome respite from a tired throttle wrist, and on chilly mornings the heated grips were a nice touch, too.

2022 BMW S1000 XR

Even though its bug-like face suggests sports bike intentions, BMW ranks the S 1000 XR with its other adventure bikes, and its riding position offers upright seating similar to the gnarlier GS bikes. Although slightly further forward than the last generation, it is still a very neutral posture that keeps the rider’s weight on their wrists, and the high height compared to the naked S 1000 R also means a less cramped. The new seat developed for this generation S 1000 XR is a dramatic departure, being very comfortable, yet aggressively scooped to hold the rider’s buttocks in place, while allowing for a narrow width at the tank to help short-legged riders pose their feet.

Even so, my short-ish the crotch meant I was on my tiptoes to land, and usually leaned to one side for a flat-footed perch at stops typical of other adventure bikes I’ve ridden. BMW offers a lowering kit to lower the suspension about an inch, and a thicker “comfort seat” is available for those who want more height and comfort.

For the most part, the roads we encountered were in good condition, but through construction zones and the few neglected parts of the Cabot Trail, the S 1000 XR’s ride comfort also shone brightly. As standard equipment, BMW equips the S 1000 XR with its Dynamic ESA Pro system which allows electronic adjustment of the suspension. When first riding the XR there was a surprising amount of suspension compression similar to a full ADV bike that made me wonder if this machine would live up to my memories as a great handler when the roads became winding.

2022 BMW S1000 XR

I didn’t need to worry. Being about 10 kg (22 lb) lighter than the old bike and with advancements in suspension, the S 1000 XR is even more eager to play around the corners than before. The suspension’s compliance over the bumps magically tightens up as the bike is thrown around corners. For riders who want to set things up like this, the Dynamic Pro riding mode allows configuration of throttle response, traction control, ABS intervention and even the amount of engine braking. There is also a rain mode which I used during a particularly wet part of the PEI ride. which softens the throttle response and intensifies the intervention of the security nanny.

BMW has made considerable efforts to increase the safety of the S 1000 XR. Beyond highly sophisticated traction control with rear wheel suppression and hill start control, ABS is linked to cornering angle sensors to reduce the likelihood of a skid when leaning over and grabbing brakes in a moment of panic.

It was fun to experiment with some of the different riding modes, but for most of the trip the bike was left on the road and was fine with me. The bike’s relatively large stature and center of gravity provide exaggerated urgency to lean into corners; and with wide bars offering plenty of leverage, the big BMW feels particularly keen to squeeze through even the tightest corners. Even at low speeds or when negotiating in a parking lot, the amount of steering angle available makes the S 1000 XR really easy to squeeze through tight spaces. Throttle calibration is spot on too, helping to deliver smooth, linear inputs at any speed.

The precise throttle and long-travel suspension means the S 1000 XR can also handle gravel roads and pothole parking lots with ease, something its stiffer S 1000 R and RR cousins ​​can’t. can’t say.

As accomplished as the S 1000 XR is on the highway, it’s also adept at doing one hell of a sportsbike imitation. Its responsive steering and stability are backed up by a confidence-inspiring set of Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring tires that offered plenty of grip. Leaning into the famous Cabot Trail corners, the BMW was thrilled with so much performance on offer, and while much of its 103 lb-ft of torque feels accessible through most of the rev range, I couldn’t I can’t help but keep the gears low and revs high just to hear that engine’s wild screech over and over again, often ripping off clutchless shifts thanks to the standard Gear Shift Assistant Pro system.

All of this multi-faceted excellence comes at a cost, of course, which is $19,995 to start. My bike had the reasonably priced $615 Touring package with racks, USB charging socket, center stand and hand guards, all of which were useful. It also comes with GPS support for the Motorrad navigation unit on loan from BMW which desperately needed a map update and was tedious to enter destinations. Still, having a built-in, weatherproof navigation system was a welcome perk on this trip.

Adaptive headlights cost an additional $685, plus $330 for tire pressure monitoring and an additional $330 for the alarm system, for a total of $21,955 before the government took its cut. There’s a huge catalog of other options and accessories available, meaning this already versatile machine can be configured to suit any rider’s preferences or needs.

2022 BMW S1000 XR

It’s an expensive machine, sure, but its closest competitor, the Ducati Multistrata V4, starts at over $22,000 and can easily hit the $30,000 mark. The KTM Super Adventure S is $21,499, and even Kawasaki’s Versys 1000 LT SE is over $20,000, so this Beemer is priced competitively.

The mix of that vigorous drivetrain, serious performance capabilities, touring comfort, aggressive styling and excellent build quality make the S 1000 XR a good value. It also made it the perfect tool to get the most out of our run in the eastern provinces, and has been reaffirmed not only as one of the best machines built by Motorrad, but also one of my favorite motorcycles for sale today.