2020 BMW S 1000 XR | First Look Review

2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Racing Red.
2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Racing Red/White Aluminum

After BMW announced several changes to the potent in-line four powerplant in its S 1000 RR superbike earlier this year, we figured it was only a matter of time before the tech trickled down to its flagship adventure sport tourer. And sure enough, here comes the 2020 S 1000 XR, lighter, faster and more versatile than ever before.

The big news of course is the RR-derived engine, which pumps out a claimed 165 horsepower at 11,000 rpm and 84 lb-ft of torque at 9,250. Fourth, fifth and sixth gears have longer ratios to reduce noise, fuel consumption and engine speed (hopefully addressing some of the buzziness we’ve noted in our tests — read our review of the 2016 S 1000 XR here). It also now features what BMW calls engine drag torque control (MSR), which reduces rear wheel hopping under hard deceleration.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Racing Red/White Aluminum
A 6.5-inch TFT display is standard on the 2020 S 1000 XR.

The suspension, frame and swingarm have all been tweaked to reduce weight, and coupled with the lighter engine the 2020 S 1000 XR is said to weigh just 498 pounds (our 2016 test bike weighed in at 531 pounds).

The list of standard features is long: Dynamic ESA (electronic suspension), four ride modes (Road, Rain, Dynamic and Dynamic Pro), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with wheelie control, ABS Pro (cornering ABS) with Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), 6.5-inch TFT display, LED lighting and Hill Start Control Pro. Options include Dynamic ESA Pro with two damping modes and automatic load compensation, HP Shift Assistant Pro (up and down quickshifter), Headlight Pro with DRL and cornering lights, and electronic cruise control.

The 2020 BMW S 1000 XR will be available in Ice Gray and Racing Red/White Aluminum. MSRP is $17,645.

Check out Rider’s 2020 Guide to New Street Motorcycles

Keep scrolling for more photos….

2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Ice Gray
2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Ice Gray
2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Ice Gray.
2020 BMW S 1000 XR in Ice Gray


  1. WOW! BMW has taken over as being the innovative motorcycle company! Honda used to be that way with the introduction of new models, new engine configurations etc. Now days Honda seems to be so conservative that they just follow the pack vs being the leader (remember their slogan “Follow the leader”?)
    BMW restricted itself for years to the boxer design and in doing so could not really compete with the Japanese or even the Italians but something happened at BMW and they decided that they would not sit on the sidelines any longer. BMW has had one hit after another and they keep improving their bikes! It’s refreshing to have at least one manufacturer (well okay, two, Triumph has had done a brilliant job as well) that isn’t afraid of the accounting department and builds motorcycles people want and perform!

    • Dan, by 2004 BMW realized that their customers were getting much older, that normally didn’t go out and buy new bikes often. So they changed their strategy back then. BTW Harleys were in the same boat, but they did not change..

    • How about KTM and Kawasaki with the H2 Models, Yes BMW’s are great but have a good look around You….

  2. How does this have the “RR derived” engine? The older RR? The 2020 RR has variable valve timing (shift-cam). Apparently, BMW didn’t carry this technology over to the 2020 XR.

  3. Very good comments regarding BMW and Innovation. Their electronics are very good, attractive features. However, until their reputation for reliability improves I will be happy with the HONDA approach. For me the value equation is just not high enough for me to buy another BMW.

  4. Joe,
    You sound like a troll or haven’t own a BMW. I have 26,000 miles on mine and have only had to do regular service maintenance on it.

    • I just bought a 2008 BMW r1200gs with 70,000 miles from a good friend. He put 30,000 miles on it with only regular maintenance. I have put 500 miles on it. I find it is too tall a bike for me. Oodles of get up and go. Nice road manners. At the price I paid for it I should get my money back next spring. looking into several alternatives. Honda CB500X Even considering a Yamaha 560 TMax if they are available in the US next yr. I am retired now and looking for a good-paying pt job. Then I can have more than 1 bike or trade every 1-2 in my retirement. Oh. also checking out the 2019 Royal Enfield INT650 because it reminds of the 80’s motorcycles I had when I was a young man.

  5. I have a 2016 GS and a 2017 XR.. The XR is a Great all rounder and much much more exiting and thrilling. I’m selling the GS, as I don’t do off-road. The GS is boring boring, but capable and comfortable, but boring… Will get the 2020 XR. Ont TWO things I would like that no one has mentioned = self healing paint that Kawasaki offers and tyre pressure monitor.

    • This is helpful information, as I have been thinking about selling my 2009 GSA and replace with a new one. I don’t do any serious off-roading on it (that’s why I have an XR650 also) and spend all of my touring on pavement. My question is about comfort. A 400 or 500 mile day kills my rhomboids (upper back/shoulder) on my GS. How taxing is the position of the XR?

  6. Had 3 GS and an 2017 Xr currently have R1250GSA best GS ever
    but i cannot wait for the S1000xr 2020 if they sort the vibe in the bars its mine
    seating Position almost the same as a GS

  7. I have a 2017 S1000XR love the bike ride all day no issues ,bars are good as far as vibration ,I did put larger weights ,hardly noticeable now ,don’t like the gearing Ratio is to low ,i Iid pu a 41 tooth on rear better , believe they address in the 2020


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