Last March, we came out with an article on the forthcoming launch of the 2020 BMW F900 R happening in a few weeks. But due to the COVID-19 outbreak that put everything on standstill, “a few weeks” was extended to “a few months” as the quarantine policy in Metro Manila and elsewhere in the country was strictly enforced.
Lately, the bulk of the 2020 BMW F900 R units arrived, and BMW Motorrad Philippines is now busy preparing for the official launch that will happen very soon. The entry of this German-made roadster is expected to rock the midsize market, now dominated by the Yamaha MT-09.
It’s almost six months since we joined the launch of the F900 R in Malaga, Spain, along with two other models—the F900 XR and the S1000 XR. The BMW Motorrad team allowed us to enjoy two days of riding, shifting from one bike to another.
Having owned three of them since I started riding two-wheelers, I had to admit I have this little bias toward naked bikes. First, I find nakeds sexy because they have no fairings, so they’ve literally got nothing to hide. Nakeds are also designed for riding comfort with a wider and slightly raised handlebar, making them an excellent daily shuttle and weekend ride.
Other than being rider-friendly, naked motorbikes are usually offered in cost-effective packages. With the F900 R, the BMW engineers have apparently achieved all of these without cutting corners many would expect on middleweight naked motorcycles.
Powered by an 8-valve, liquid-cooled, DOHC parallel-twin 895cc engine that generates 105hp and 92Nm of torque, the F900 R proved to be an awesome road performer. Initial power delivery is impressively smooth yet responsive, which is perfect for newbie riders.
The F900 R is fitted with standard premium electronic rider systems that include two selectable ride modes (Rain and Road) with pre-selected traction control, throttle response, and ABS settings, with push-button controls located on the right handlebar. There’s also a large 6.5-in TFT display that can be used with the BMW Motorrad Connectivity app.
The BMW F900 R showed all of these awesome riding traits as we were carving Malaga’s scenic mountain roads, while taking quick scenic stops at coffee shops along the way. Once in a while, we took the highway where we pushed the speedometer needle higher on the way back to the hotel. We capped the evenings exchanging views on the big ride over ice-cold German beer matched with all sorts of delicious sausages. That’s German hospitality at its finest.
The F900 R demo units in Malaga came in only two color combinations: Red/Silver and Black/Silver. However, the units that arrived here sports another color scheme—Blue/Silver. BMW Motorrad Philippines has set the price for the two F900 R variants at P655,000 for the Standard variant and P779,000 for the Style Sport.
Knowing the BMW F900 R has finally arrived on Philippine shores comes as a major relief for many of us, especially those who have already placed reservations. After the formal digital launch, my colleagues and I are looking forward to another exciting test ride in local destinations with the F900 R. Let’s go!