2020 BMW F 900 R Review: Everyday Hero

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

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong