It didn’t take long to bond with the XR. With a tightened version of the R1200GS’s riding position and prodigious power, the XR kept me comfortable and entertained down the green Pioneer Valley, through Hartford, Connecticut, and then west and south along Interstate 84 to Fishersville for an early dinner. Only absurdly low speed limits in the northeast in general and road construction in Pennsylvania slowed me down. The BMW, for its part, whirred on, making an easy 160 miles between fuel stops, averaging 41 mpg. As I rolled through Maryland and West Virginia, I began to wonder about the thin sport saddle and began to tire of the vibration in the XR’s handlebars—the vibes peak at 5,000 rpm, about 70 mph. But I felt surprisingly fresh and ready for more. In time, I came to trust the Beemer’s range display, which turned out to be very accurate. Cruise control, I say, is a transformative technology.