Like most bikes of today the new BMW F 900 R is an expansion over their previous 853cc, DOHC, parallel-twin. Not a bad thing because all the other manufacturers seem to be treading up the same path. So obviously this new F 900 R is the replacement for their earlier and slightly boring F 800 R naked bike.
When the 790 Duke appeared in 2018, I was more than impressed with KTM. They’d taken the bold move to ‘invent’ a new engine after years of single cylinder units and, of course, their vibrant V-twins. A very expensive operation on all counts and quite a controversial one seeing as the ‘parallel twin’ tends to be as exciting as a R50 Woolworth’s gift voucher. But that all changed with this engine layout as the 790 spat out 95hp on the dyno and then spawned into their superb Adventure range. Job done then I suppose, well not really.
This capacity of a motorcycle is arguably the most competitive arena to be associated with, for all brands. Around the world, the 300/400cc market is the becoming the one to watch as sales grow every year, but not necessarily here in South Africa, which is a shame.
How things change with time. When I first climbed aboard the new, and very good-looking, DL1050TX, I was a bit so-so but, after a few weeks living with it, everything changed. So much so that in fact I now believe this is quite possibly the ‘nicest’ motorcycle I’ve ever ridden. Sure some of the ‘others’ make more power and have more ‘stuff’ but riding the new V-Strom on a daily basis enforces my belief that you couldn’t be on a better saddle.