Wait, what? At first glance, the BMW S1000XR looks to be part superbike, part supermoto, and part dual-sport. But is it really? Powered by a version of the S1000RR’s inline-four, the 999cc motor produces a claimed 166 hp, making it among the most powerful ADVs. Peering deeper, the aluminum bridge frame carries an adjustable inverted fork and shock, albeit with just 5.9 inches front, 5.5 inches rear travel—about half that of a proper dirt bike, and inadequate for mastering Dakar-style terrain at speed. The 17-inch cast aluminum wheels carry asphalt-specific rubber. And then there’s the S1000XR’s curb weight, all 503 pounds of it…
This high-altitude analysis reveals the S1000XR as a superbike-based ADV with few serious off-road intentions. For road-based adventures, though (with the occasional easy jeep track included), it could be just the ticket. The tall handlebar contributes to an open ergonomic “triangle,” the seat height can be optionally varied between 31.1 inches and 33.7 inches, and the ADV-style fairing carries a tall windshield for good wind and weather protection. Options include traction control, electronically adjustable suspension, and more.
Likes: Novel concept, huge power, attractive styling and color options
Dislikes: Sky-high 11,000-rpm power peak; seat kicks up annoyingly at the rear
Verdict: A proven superbike reimagined as an ADV