2020 BMW F 900 R Review: Everyday Hero

Derryn Wong

BMW has built its best midweight roadster yet, the F 900 R, by adding more character and fun to a very accessible package

Photos: Lionel Kong, Derryn Wong


The BMW F 900 R succeeds because, in riding terms, it’s like Tintin and friends. 

Unlike say, Asterix or Obelix, Tintin doesn’t have a huge personality. But there’s a theory that he’s popular exactly because of that, for being a ‘blank slate we project our desire for adventure on to.’ Sounds like the exact reason most of us got our Class 2 in the first place.

In fact, you could argue the entire adventure bike segment is built on exactly the opposite approach, but the truth is that just like SUVs, most adventure-style bikes all drive pretty much like regular ones.

But the F 900 R is a great bike because it goes further than its predecessor ever did and adds a whole supporting cast to the star of the show.

The predecessor: F 800 R. Agile and did whatever you wanted – but you had to bring all the fireworks yourself

The F 800 R, last facelifted in 2016, was perhaps Tintin alone – a fun, agile bike that could do whatever a rider wants, but it was entirely on the rider to bring all the fun to the party.

Not a problem if you’re a stunt-riding phenomenon, but normal riders needed something with a bit more personality, and that’s exactly what the F 900 R is. 

Continue to page 2: Looks that thrill

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bmw f 900 r motorcycle naked Roadster

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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