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2020 BMW F 900 R Review: Everyday Hero

Derryn Wong
29/09/2020

And while the F 900 R no longer looks like it wears lederhosen and high socks, there’s definitely a party animal inside waiting to get free. If you want to dump the frustration of a 45-minute Zoom call, knock the bike into Dynamic mode and it wakes up. 105hp isn’t a tremendous amount, but we believe it’s more than enough for most bikers.

Up-down quickshifter lets you be lazy with the clutchwork


The F 900 R won’t wow you with its acceleration, although it is fast, it’s not a full-bore, nut-rage litre-naked like the S 1000 RR is, the real magic happens when the tarmac isn’t straight (there’s sort of a Tintin reference here). 

The wonderful thing about this is, it isn’t an ability gained by the expense of stability. Some bikes go around corners wonderfully, but also feel like they might buck you off if you hit a depression or make abrupt adjustments. File that under ‘character’, and some we wonder why some people actively enjoy dating crazies.

The F 900 R isn’t like that. In a straight line it feels entirely normal, but you notice something’s up when you go around corners at increasing speeds and angles of lean and the bike utterly calm, as if to say, “Is that all you got? 25 degrees? Meh…” Then you look at the speedo and find out you’re going rather more quickly than you’ve ever been on that particular piece of tarmac. 

When travel to Malaysia is once again legal, it’s very likely the F 900 R will be an absolute blast on B-roads. In fact, BMW specifically says the bike is ‘dedicated above all to sporty, active riding on winding country roads in terms of chassis design and ergonomics.’

Main stand also part of options pack

The test bike came with the options package: adjustable electronic suspension (ESA), side pannier racks, top case rack, main stand, cruise control and GPS mount for a total S$37,800, which brings it into competitor Ducati 821 territory.

ESA is a definite want in our case, but it’s only available as the above package, though at S$31,000 the standard bike comes with keyless, quickshifter, LED everything and the TFT screen, so it’s not shabby, though the riding experience may be different as the normal suspension is only adjustable for rear preload/rebound. 

But we think the key competition is likely to be from the F 900 R’s own brother: The adventure-touring F 900 XR, which has a slightly less racy setup and more wind protection and of course, adventure bike styling. 

The F 900 R shows BMW is now playing with a full ensemble, and the result is a naked roadster that has an extremely overall set of qualities, the most enticing of which is it’s a bike that can rip bends with the best of them, but, when you wish, is equally brilliant at making the mundane less so. 

BMW F 900 R

Engine895cc, 8V, parallel twin
Power105hp at 8500rpm
Torque92Nm at 6500rpm
Gearbox6-speed manual with up-down quickshifter 
0-100km/h> 200km/h 
Top Speed3.7 seconds
Wet Weight211kg 
Seat Height 815mm optional
AgentPerformance Motors Limited 
Price S$37,800 (machine only)
AvailabilityNow
Verdict The eminently rideable nature of its predecessor, now with more ability and fun 

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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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