BMW Mid­dleweights Ar­rive

Two new Bavar­i­ans to at­tract younger rid­ers

Bike India - - IGNITION -

EAR­LIER THIS YEAR WE TRAV­ELLED TO Spain to ride the BMW Mo­tor­rad F 900 R road­ster and its faired sib­ling, the F 900 XR, and you can read the first ride im­pres­sions of both these ma­chines in our March 2020 is­sue. We had then spec­u­lated that the Ger­mans were plan­ning a mid-2020 launch for these two ma­chines and it seems that we were bang on the money. Prices start at Rs 9.90 lakh for the F 900 R and Rs 10.50 lakh for its faired sib­ling (both ex-show­room).

The F 900 R is BMW Mo­tor­rad’s take on a naked mid­dleweight road­ster and it will go up against es­tab­lished com­pe­ti­tion in this seg­ment, in­clud­ing the Tri­umph Street Triple, KTM 790 Duke, and Du­cati Mon­ster, to name a few. The bike fea­tures min­i­mal body­work, a for­ward-canted rid­ing po­si­tion, and rear-set foot-pegs that en­hance its sporty im­age.

The F 900 XR is BMW Mo­tor­rad’s first stab at the mid-size road-go­ing ad­ven­ture-tour­ing seg­ment. It is ba­si­cally an F 900 R with all the trim­mings to make it suit­able for cov­er­ing longer dis­tances in com­fort ― wide body­work and a screen to pro­tect the rider from the el­e­ments, taller sus­pen­sion at both ends to bet­ter tackle bad roads, a larger fuel-tank, and re­laxed er­gonomics ideal for long days in the sad­dle. In our mar­ket it will be po­si­tioned against the road-go­ing Tri­umph Tiger 900 GT, Du­cati Mul­tistrada 950, and Kawasaki Ver­sys 1000.

Like the R, the XR runs on 17-inch al­loys shod with 120- and 180-sec­tion rub­ber; typ­i­cal sport­bike tyre sizes that as­sert that both these mo­tor­cy­cles are de­signed to be rid­den on tar­mac, with no in­ten­tion of head­ing off road.

Both bikes are pow­ered by an all-new 895-cc par­al­lel twin that makes 105 hp at 8,500 rpm and 92 Nm at 6,500 rpm, with the bulk of this torque avail­able from as low as 4,500 rpm. The mo­tor re­sponds ea­gerly to throt­tle in­puts, while the 90-de­gree crankpin off­set and ir­reg­u­lar 270/450-de­gree fir­ing in­ter­vals add a touch of char­ac­ter and a lop­ing ex­haust note to the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Other fea­tures in­clude a full-colour TFT dash and a state-of-the-art elec­tron­ics pack­age, while the ex­ten­sive op­tions list in­cludes an elec­tron­i­cally ad­justable semi-ac­tive rear sus­pen­sion, cor­ner­ing lights, key­less ig­ni­tion, a two-way quick­shifter, and more.

Hav­ing rid­den both these bikes in quick suc­ces­sion, we are of the opin­ion that the F 900 XR makes the most sense. It is com­fort­able to tour on, has the ground clear­ance to take on our mas­sive speed-break­ers and iffy roads, and re­tains ex­tremely sporty han­dling char­ac­ter­is­tics for those days when you just want to hit the canyons and at­tack apexes.

Now bik­ers in­ter­ested in own­ing a prac­ti­cal mid­dleweight ma­chine have two new op­tions to choose from.

IT TOOK OUR BREATH AWAY AT EICMA LAST year and now, as Italy bounces back from the de­bil­i­tat­ing COVID-19 pan­demic, pro­duc­tion of the out­ra­geous MV Agusta Rush 1000 has fi­nally started at the com­pany’s Varese plant.

Based on the al­ready ex­trav­a­gant Bru­tale 1000 RR, the drag-racer-in­spired Rush 1000 takes things a step fur­ther with its vis­ually stun­ning vis­age, meant to high­light the lat­est in the brand’s de­sign and engi­neer­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Meld­ing ag­gres­sive lines, sharp creases, and that en­closed rear wheel with the tra­di­tional round head­lamp, tail-light, and spoked front wheel, the Rush 1000 car­ries for­ward the vis­ual flair that MV Agusta are known for.

Gen­er­ous use of space-age ma­te­ri­als such as car­bon-fi­bre and ti­ta­nium results in a 186-kg dry weight and, com­bined with the 208 hp avail­able for the 998-cc in-line four de­rived from the F4 su­per­bike, we ex­pect a top speed just north of 300 km/h. If that isn’t enough for you, MV are of­fer­ing a track-only ex­haust and an ECU remap to push peak out­put up to an eye-pop­ping 212 hp. Other juicy bits in­clude Öh­lins electronic sus­pen­sion, Brembo Stylema monobloc brake calipers, and a com­pre­hen­sive elec­tron­ics pack­age based around a six-axis IMU.

The Rush 1000 is the pin­na­cle of MV Agusta’s hy­per-naked range and, with only 300 units of this ul­tra-ex­clu­sive road­ster be­ing built, the chances of see­ing one on In­dian roads are slim to none.

OVER THE PAST WEEKS, KAWASAKI IN­DIA have opened book­ings for and announced the prices of two new BS6-com­pli­ant mod­els. Their mid­dleweight sport tourer, the Ninja 650, gets sharper body­work with a front end that looks ex­tremely sim­i­lar to that of the Ninja 400 and the Ninja ZX-6R with those H2-in­spired fins around the head­lights. Tech­ni­cal updates in­clude an at­trac­tive 4.3-inch colour TFT dash with smart­phone con­nec­tiv­ity, LED light­ing all around, and BS6 emis­sion com­pli­ance.

Power comes from the ex­ist­ing 649-cc liq­uid­cooled par­al­lel twin, which we al­ready know is an ex­cel­lent mo­tor. BS6 com­pli­ance hasn’t seen peak power drop from the 68 hp at 8,000 rpm of the out­go­ing BS4 bike, how­ever, peak torque has dropped from 65.7 Nm to 64 Nm and it now comes in 200 rpm higher at 6,700 rpm. The new Ninja 650 is priced at Rs 6.24 lakh (exshow­room), which is Rs 35,000 more than the out­go­ing BS4 bike.

The other re­cently launched BS6­com­pli­ant Kawasaki is the Ver­sys 1000, priced com­pet­i­tively at Rs 10.99 lakh (ex-show­room); the most ac­ces­si­ble litre-class tourer avail­able in our mar­ket. Built to munch high­way miles at high speed in ab­so­lute com­fort, the 2020 Ver­sys 1000 is pow­ered by a four-cylin­der mo­tor that pumps out a healthy 102 Nm at 7,500 rpm and 120 hp at 9,000 rpm; fig­ures that can eas­ily turn the sur­round­ing scenery into a blur with a twist of the throt­tle.

The 2020 Ver­sys 1000 gets full-LED light­ing with cor­ner­ing lights built into the body­work, an at­trac­tive dash that jux­ta­poses a large ana­logue tachome­ter with a full-colour, in­for­ma­tion­packed TFT screen, con­nec­tiv­ity op­tions, and a full suite of lean-sen­si­tive safety aids based on a six-axis IMU.

WE MAY SOON BE IN­TRO­DUCED TO A NEW MO­TOR­CY­CLE FROM TVS Mo­tor, called the Ronin. The Ho­sur-based brand has re­cently filed a patent for the Ronin trade­mark and we be­lieve the new bike might be a cruiser, sim­i­lar to the TVS Zep­pelin con­cept that we saw at the Auto Expo 2018 or, per­haps, will mark the brand’s en­try into the rapidly grow­ing en­try-level ad­ven­ture bike seg­ment. Watch this space for more info on the TVS Ronin in the com­ing months, and ex­pect an of­fi­cial launch an­nounce­ment about this new TVS mo­tor­cy­cle in 2021.

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Fast Fred­die, sid lal and the ed hit the leg­endary Isle of man

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