Why would anyone say no when given the chance to try the redesigned 2023 S1000 XR?

The 2023 BMW S1000 XR is a great example of how his superbike DNA, engine and handling can be translated into an adventure tourer. Power is immediate, progressive and impressive, thanks to the absolute gem of a 999cc inline 4-cylinder engine, and the XR’s cornering ability is unrivaled. But this isn’t the most practical bike, and although the quickshifter upshifts are smooth, if you glance at the throttle and remember to twist your wrist a little while downshifting, you won’t hear the engine rev at all. , the bike will roll more easily. around it. There’s also a very annoying thumbwheel on the left grip that’s easy to accidentally switch and end up in the dashboard settings menu while driving.

  • Price: Starts at $16,945 USD / $19,995 CAD
  • One of the best seats I`ve ever sat in. Comfortable, supportive, communicative.
  • Accelerates like a bat out of hell, corners like a demon, and has superbike level brakes with superb feel
  • 999cc inline four with 165 HP is buttery smooth at all revs, no vibrations at all through the frame of the bike
  • Not the most practical adventure tourer: Rather compact, very thirsty on gas, and there are better options for proper sport or adventure touring up and down the BMW model range
  • Quickshifter downshifts need some work, only really seem shift and revmatch properly when both brakes are on. If no brakes are on, it will dump engine braking into your lap and if you aren`t ready, it could surprise you
  • Annoying as hell thumb scroll wheel on left grip that could have just have easily been an extra rocker button on the button box itself

BMW S1000 XR 2023

In many ways, the BMW S1000 platform is he one of the most popular and best-selling platforms BMW has released in recent years. Of course, there’s also his S1000 RR superbike with up to 200 horsepower. This is the original version of his S1000 platform and in 2009 was considered the best equipped and most advanced liter bike of this generation. The mid-2010s saw the launch of the S1000 R, a naked sport version with a lower price point than the Superbike and importantly, the engine was tuned to be more road-friendly at 160 horsepower. A year later came the S1000 XR, an adventure sports version with the same street-ready tuning.
Initially, reviews were mixed. Many praised this bike for its well-rounded rider assistance features, comfortable standard riding position, and responsive throttle, but once the RPM climbed into the thousands, the bike seemed a little numb. I felt it and was worried the whole bike would growl. Some even commented that it feels like BMW put this bike into production earlier than expected to counteract the growing popularity of the KTM Adventure and Duke series of bikes.

With that in mind, I recently had the opportunity to drive his new 2023 BMW S1000 XR for half a day. Obviously not long enough to do a full review, but enough to get a good first impression of the test. Also, since this is the first time a member here at webBikeWorld has ridden his S1000 XR since the MY 2021 update, we will do our best to highlight the biggest changes and details. As with webBikeWorld’s review guidelines, I’ll detail the good, the bad, and the ugly so you can get my 100% honest opinion of him.

We must stop here and thank both his BMW Motorrad Canada and Barnes Powersports Blackfoot here in Calgary, Alberta for organizing the BMW Demo Day on June 8, 2023. I told them beforehand that I was riding for a first impressions review, but I didn’t get any special treatment with the 10 or so other riders who stopped by to show off their other bikes. To be honest, I was very happy.

With that, let’s move on to the review!

First impression before driving

First and foremost, unlike his other S1000 models, the XR feels almost understated. Where the S1000 RR and M1000 RR are angrily stooped ready to attack the track or the next twisty corner, the XR sits upright and relaxed, not really hopping or screaming. is not. It’s not as aggressively angular as the KTM Adventure, or as purposeful as the Suzuki V-Strom, it’s a very understated German adventure bike.

However, it is not without particular special details. The first thing I noticed was the seat. I have a fairly large butt, so I was hoping to find a thin ADV or dual-sport saddle on the bike. So imagine my surprise when I found a saddle that felt right on my cruiser. The saddle is thin in the front and has room in the thighs to blend in with the wide seat in the back before you can lift and connect the fairly large saddle to the pillion seat.

It doesn’t look that big, but this seat is probably the best motorcycle saddle I’ve sat on in my entire motorcycle career. Extremely comfortable and supportive, it mediates all the movements of the bike.

Next we looked at the handlebars and dashboard. So his TFT on the S1000 XR is like new. I’ve ridden a few of the newer Kawasaki bikes with screens, but they can be a little tricky to spot if you put them in the sun at the right angle. It’s not impossible, but bright greens tend to hide under bright yellow-whites. All the time I was looking at the bike before riding, I was trying to get an angle where I couldn’t see the display. Either by using some kind of polarizing coating, or by using a darker blue, the shade of red was visible from any angle. .

The dashboard of the S1000 XR has the same look and graphics as most sports bikes made by BMW. Not much of a shock considering the S1000 XR is his S1000 RR in a big adventure suit with a bit more power. Images via RevZilla.

The first real problem with the bike was with the handlebars. The left-hand button box has few buttons or switches compared to other modern motorcycles, but BMW chose to use a scroll wheel between the grip and the button box. This is just large enough to allow you to unclip every time you look for a signal or signal. A horn picks up. Depending on what you select on the dashboard, it will either be blank or scroll down to the settings menu, omitting important items like speed and revs. Maybe I have big hands and I would get used to them after testing the bike for a few days, but they were a little awkward.

The left hand grip and scroll wheel are very annoying. It’s small enough to reach the keypad, but big enough to hit with your thumb almost every time.

Looking at the front of the bike, the only really aggressive part of the bike is revealed in the sportbike style headlights and the center air intake. To be honest, I really like the way it looks. It flows nicely into the low windshield (there is an optional taller windshield as an accessory) and blends in with the angular aesthetics of the bike’s entire front. The rear is a little more restrained, but the fucking passenger grips look like little stabilizer fins on the rear of the Rocket. I noticed this while riding my bike, and it’s a very apt analogy.

One thing that may not be obvious from the photos is how narrow this bike looks despite having the same frame and fairing width as its cousin R1250 GS. These bikes look wider with boxer cylinder heads sticking out on each side, but the actual frame is almost identical in style and size to the S1000 XR.

Here you can feel the influence of the superbike S1000 RR, including the angular sharp headlights and the huge air scoop in the middle to feed the hungry 999cc inline 4 displacement.

After inspection, we decided it was time to familiarize ourselves with this bike. As I climbed onto the pegs and threw my legs out while setting up the bike and flipping up the kickstand, it felt like it was made for me. It was stiff enough to provide support and also stiff enough to let me see what the bike was doing under me even with the engine off. This gave me a ridiculous amount of confidence when cornering, so it’s important to note in a later ride report.

A view of the S1000 XR from directly above the seat. The handlebars and mirrors may be wide, but the mirrors reflected my shoulders more than anything else…the curse of broad shoulders. Plus, the little box above the dashboard is his GPS mounting plate, so navigation is right in your line of sight.

Another problem I was able to discover when the BMW rep gave the “fire” signal before the ride was the mirrors. I’m a fairly broad-shouldered person, only 22 inches wide, and fiddled with the mirrors to see at least part of the road on either side, but mostly what I was seeing was the reflection off my shoulders. I wish I could install mirror extensions farther from the top of the handlebars as an accessory.

The handlebars were a little wider than what I’m used to, but I was used to having my hands slightly inward due to my broad shoulders, so it still felt very comfortable. It was angled just enough to keep my wrists straight and relaxed, and high enough for my forearms to be parallel to the ground, which again wasn’t what I’m used to on a sport tourer. All in all, for a wide range of youngsters and gals, BMW has created the perfect set of handlebars for his XR

The Ride

After settling in on the bike, putting it in normal road mode for rider aids, and getting used to the slightly wider handlebars than I was used to, I made my way out of the parking lot onto the actual road. The S1000 XR’s hydraulic wet clutch has a cable-operated wet clutch and, to my surprise, is very deaf. The BMW R Nine T Scrambler I used to ride had a great lever feel, but this time I couldn’t feel the engagement at all with the XR. In fact, at first, the only way I could tell was by noticing a drop in RPM and pinning that lever movement in my brain as the clutch engagement point, to make sure it was slipping off the clutch. was.

The throttle is the next part of the ride, but it took a few seconds to get used to because it works “throttle-by-wire.” It’s really weird to understand the science, but once you get a feel for how fast the system responds and how much throttle you need to use to get the desired response, it’s almost like telepathy I can feel it. Plus, the XR dives deep when you accelerate past about 1/4 of throttle.

Would you like to leave the group? With a little bit of gas, you can catch up like you were flying at the speed of light without breaking the speed limit (cough). Braking is equally intense and feels great. A light two-finger push can slow it down, and a little firmer push with all four fingers can make it go faster than you think, without creaking or slack, even after hours on the bike. slow down.
Now, it may sound like I was going to rave about his S1000 XR, but my left foot hit the first part of this bike and it disappointed and frustrated me. The quickshifter is a very useful thing, but either the bike I was riding was having issues, or it was demo day anyway, so somewhere in the menu it was set to “most beginner” level. , was troublesome. Upshifts were smooth and instant, but downshifts were patchy.

Who knew that this little bugger would turn out to be something that I personally think needs work. When you`re buying a bike that is over $16,000, realistically closer to $20,000 with some options, you would expect something as simple as a quickshifter to work flawlessly!

If I had any throttle on when I requested a downshift, if there was room in the revs, it would downshift but also buck the bike a little, in the same way when you manually downshift and release the clutch too fast so you get a sudden burst of engine braking. I tested this out by doing a couple of manual downshifts with the clutch and rev matching with my wrist, and it was smooth as glass. The only time I was able to get a smooth shift going down was when I was completely off the throttle and had both brakes on, such as slowing for a corner, and then it was smooth, auto-revmatched, and rapid. If there was any throttle, even a whiff of it, it would dump a load of engine braking in and it was, in a word, unsettling.

As for the engine, I have to say that the 999cc in-line 4-cylinder engine mounted at the bottom of the frame is truly a masterpiece. It makes 165 horsepower on the XR and carries over the FlexFrame mounting system from the RR as part of the MY 2021 update. No matter how high the revs were, there was no hum or abnormal vibration even at 9,000 rpm. No handlebar whistling, no seat vibration, nothing. The only “hum” I felt was through the pegs. That’s because the pegs are on the same part of the frame as the motor. Still, even at highway speeds, I had to think to feel it

One thing that really surprised me about the S1000 XR was how it felt underfoot. Some bikes feel heavy when riding and under a little maneuvering he feels like there are big chunks of metal in the two wheels. On other bikes such as the XR, you barely feel the 500 lb weight of the bike while riding. Don’t overdo it, but honestly, the BMW is the first bike I’ve ridden in a long time that really feels like an extension of my hands, legs, and butt, and I honestly think it’s because of the seatback.

I am thinking, despite seemingly communicative, it provides all the information you need to corner, accelerate, and maneuver safely without discomfort.
Perhaps the best thing about the S1000 XR is when you take it through a few corners and suddenly the trapped and controlled superbike DNA emerges. The way the bike threw into corners was frankly unbelievable, and in some corners of the course the group went through, the XR allowed me to lean more than I could ever imagine on my Ninja 650. .

BMW’s marketing collateral with the S1000 XR tilted at least 20 degrees suddenly makes sense. Cocking is surprisingly easy, just toss it into a corner, grab it and run, and it does. Image via BMW Media

Literally, in high-speed corners, all you have to do is put on your helmet and think about the direction of the corner. Then suddenly the bike leans forward 25 degrees on him, lowers his head and pulls him to the inside of the corner with a big smile on his face. Cheeks hurt under a helmet. Even cornering at a moderate speed, such as cornering from a main road to a side road, you can feel that it is stable even though it has communication power.

In contrast to this responsive and confident ride, the front forks do an excellent job of absorbing bumps on rough surfaces, while the rear forks are a bit stiff. Not surprisingly, on more than one occasion, I was given a pat on the tailbone as a reminder that I have superbike DNA under my skin. But the front suspension with ESA dynamic stability and damping control was excellent. We never felt like we lost contact with the road, but our wrists never broke even on the hardest of bumps. Penetrates well without feeling numb or overly uncomfortable

Connected suspension with Dynamic ESA constantly adjusting on the fly. Perhaps because the XR is a superbike with a flashy suit, the rear monoshock is set quite hard, but it’s not so hard that it breaks your spine. However, these front forks are excellent and convey the feel of the road and bike without breaking your wrists on big dips and holes. Image via BMW Media.

By the time we got to the end of the track, we spent quite a bit of time finding negatives about the S1000 XR other than the awful quickshifter downshifts, but there were two things we didn’t like about this bike.

The first bad thing about the S1000 XR is the annoying scroll wheel on the left. Most of the time I ended up smacking my thumb when reaching for the left-hand keypad, and the dashboard scrolled to the settings screen several times while I was driving. This moved the speedometer and tachometer to the top of the screen in the minibar, and I had to spend some time thinking about scrolling the wheel up to see the dashboard again. Not devastating, but also very uncomfortable.

His second downside with the XR is that it’s still not the most practical bike, even though it can be outfitted with panniers and rear compartments. Yes, it can accommodate saddlebags and luggage, and the small pillion handle can be used as an on-seat luggage attachment point, but it’s fairly compact for an adventure tourer and feels like a superbike dressed up for adventure. bicycle. His recently launched R1250 RT also has a longer tail and more practical luggage compartment, making it a true sports tourer.


All in all, the 2023 BMW S1000 XR is in the top 10 list of bikes I’ve ever ridden. There are also some annoyances with the quickshifter and ridiculous scroll wheel, but it makes up for the pure, unadulterated fun once you’re in the super-comfortable saddle. Its standard upright riding position is perfectly balanced for someone at least 1.85 meters tall, and the handlebars fit naturally in the hand, but adventures like his touring or his ADV bike style It has a long tradition as an inventing company.

Cushioning is further enhanced by excellent front suspension and the fact that the bike feels light and smooth underfoot. Accelerating like a bat in hell, cornering like a scalpel, there were a few times when I was leaning forward as if it was an RR instead of an XR. I had to sit more and tell myself to actually spend a few milliseconds thinking. Some impact on the tailbone from the stiff rear suspension was relatively easy to calculate, as it keeps the rear wheel firmly on the road and enhances the overall feel of the bike.

In terms of overall utility, the S1000 XR is certainly “okay.” At least to me, it seems like the bike to buy if you want to enjoy supersport and superbikes without sacrificing your spine and wrists. Yes, luggage and overhead lockers will fit. Like all saddlebags and such, it really feels more like an add-on than a core feature. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense adventure tourer, there are several options in the BMW range, including the excellent R1250 GS ADV bike. Another option is his F900 XR Adventure Tourer, the little brother of the S1000 XR. This gives him 90% of the S1000’s capabilities and ride quality, although less fuel efficient due to his 2-cylinder. When traveling long distances, fuel consumption is a concern.


  • 999cc inline four from a superbike, restrained to 165 HP, that is unbelievably smooth and predictable with its power
  • Almost telepathic levels of communication about what the bike is doing and the road beneath it
  • One of the best saddles I’ve sat on, ever, on any bike
  • Accelerates like a bat out of hell in any gear to get you out of any situation
  • Excellent brakes with superb feel
  • Dynamic ESA suspension adjusts constantly so you feel planted and confident during any maneuvers or cornering
  • Flickable, yet precise


  • Settings scroll wheel on the left handlebar is just big enough to get in the way when you’re trying to reach the button box
  • Quickshifter downshifts are rough and buck the bike if you even look at the throttle, let alone twist any on
  • Absolutely numb clutch, no feel for the engagement point at all
  • Not the most practical of bikes, with better options existing at higher and lower price points in the BMW lineup
  • Priced like a BMW, and you definitely feel the badge premium when looking at the options list.

Source: webbikeworld.com