As a naked roadster, the F 900 R now bears far more of a resemblance to the R 1200 R, with a hunched stance, strongly-sculpted tank, and forward projecting radiator covers, plus the pillion seat cover (which is removable) for that monoposto look. In other words, it’s the angry Captain Haddock to Tintin’s calmness.
The new headlight unit – full LED – strongly resembles a futuristic robot overlord, and the light up ‘R’ logo is a nice touch. It all gives the bike far more visual verve than the F 800 R ever did.
Our only complaint is that the large exhaust can looks unflattering and styled solely to make Akrapovic a little extra cash, though no doubt Euro 5 is partly to blame as well.
Then there’s the digital smarts as well, the Professor Calculus of the equation. Like every other modern BMW (bike or car) a full-colour digital infotainment system comes as standard, in this case a 6.5-inch TFT screen with a rotary-controller mounted on the left handlebar.
It’s still the easiest system to use while riding – you don’t need to take your hand off the handlebar just your thumb – and the screen is sharp and clear even in daylight. The smartphone app also allows you to listen to music and navigate (via Bluetooth) for even more functionality.
For data junkies and control freaks, it now reports even more information, with a dedicated sport mode now reporting lean angle and braking input to make you feel even more inadequate as a rider.
The smarts also extend to a more important, unseeable part: Safety. The F 900 R comes with all the bells and whistles, so it has cornering ABS, traction and stability control, plus five ride modes (Rain, Road, Dynamic, Dynamic Pro), Dynamic Brake Control (prevent gas input while braking) and MSR (prevents rear wheel locking while off-throttle or downshifting).