That isn’t an exaggeration. When I first took control of the F900R, I felt a bit of hesitation – from the motorcycle and myself, to be honest. The simple reason being that I was not prepared for the power it had to offer. A hard twist on the throttle could mean wheel spin, even on the driest and cleanest patches of tarmac. If you’re on a bit of loose gravel, even a slightly enthusiastic twist of the throttle will lead to the arse sticking out. All in good fun, though.
But, I have to say, that’s the charm of the F900R. That 895cc, in-line, two-cylinder motor is a force to be reckoned with; and I say this is a compliment. Even at part throttle, there’s an immense amount of power and torque waiting to burst out of seams to lung you forward. Get in a groove; which does take a bit of time due to the sheer weight of the F900R, and you find yourself astonished by the incredible balance this motorcycle has to offer. Sure, the standard 815mm seat height can take a bit getting used, but it’s adjustable, so shouldn’t be an issue. However, once it’s set right, the F900R feels like a truly well-crafted machine.
Speaking of which, the six-speed gearbox feels silky smooth as well, slotting in with a reassuring sound, every single time. Although BMW’s roadster does heat up in a hurry in city traffic conditions, it doesn’t really feel out of its element. Oodles of torque keep the engine chugging along nicely. After all of this, we get to how the F900R looks, which too, is quite good. Yes, it does have those sharp cuts everywhere with a neatly done dual-exhaust, which by the way, sounds so sweet on the go. Then there’s the Hockenheim silver and Racing red paint job, which sits quite well on the bike. Personally, I’d go for the Black storm metallic.
Another thing I must mention is the unique sound of the F900R, which I briefly mentioned earlier. Although it sounds more like V-twin, it’s actually a parallel-twin engine. That’s thanks to some clever engineering from the boffins at BMW Motorrad. A small disclaimer though, the F900R does have a slightly committed riding posture, with the knees bent to a fair bit of degree. In my honest opinion, it’s more about getting used to the motorcycle. At first, I felt the F900R be a little cumbersome, but the Bavarian charm began to take over as time went by. For anyone’s driven a fast BMW car, this will be just as exciting, if not more.
One of the other aspects that left me deeply is the dual-discs at the front. There’s an incredible feel to the braking, one which only inspires to go faster. Trust me, this thing will have you ducking down every time down an open (and safe) stretch of road. It’s more than capable of reaching 200 km/hr if you can find the space to do so. However, the handling does take a bit of muscle. In many ways, it feels sort of old-school, but with modern technology like ABS Pro, Dynamic Traction Control and Dynamic Brake Control to help you out of a sticky situation. Make no mistake, this bike will leave an impact on you. I can almost hear its roaring engine sound as I sit here writing this review. Sigh.
So, what’s the verdict? Well, there’s no doubt in the fact that the F900R is a brilliant piece of equipment. But, and this a big but. It costs a lot more than its direct rivals, and I mean a lot more. For Rs 10.80 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it costs almost a couple of lakhs more than the Kawasaki Z900 and Triumph Speed Triple R. But, for that, you get an incredibly well balanced, powerful and good looking motorcycle – one that can do most things you’d expect a motorcycle of this size, with aplomb. All you have to ask yourself is – are you willing to dish out that extra bit of cash? If your answer is yes, then, you get an extremely capable middleweight motorcycle with a badge to match the go.