2020 BMW F 900 R (bike review)

BMW’s 2020 F 900 R is everything you would expect of a premium BMW motorcycle, with dynamic and intuitive technology at the heart of a bike that offers a pure and enjoyable riding experience.

Launched this year in conjunction with its sibling, the F 900 XR, the F 900 R represents the sportier, edgier variant in the model lineup. With its naked sports bike styling, there can be no disillusion that this motorcycle is designed to be ridden and ridden hard.

Boasting tonnes of technology including Dynamic ESA, ABS Pro, MSR (dynamic engine brake control, dynamic traction control, and RDC + Shift Assist Pro, there are more than enough options to keep even the biggest tech head engaged.

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A water-cooled 4-stroke in line two-cylinder engine provides the go power for the F 900 R. The 895cc motor producing 73kW or 99hp depending on what measurement you prefer, and 88Nm of max torque, with a claimed top speed of 216km/h.

Combined with four riding modes to select from (Rain, Road, Dynamic and Dynamic Pro), this bike is not exactly about the power, but how indeed it gets the power to the tarmac. The standard Road mode is responsive but not really that exhilarating.

A quick flick to Dynamic mode changes everything, with sharper throttle response and a significant increase in performance. It’s also worth noting that our test bike came fitted with a set of aftermarket Dunlop SportMax tyres, which further improves handling.

On the road, piloting the F 900 R’s nimble 211kg frame through corners is a pure joy. It feels well balanced and as if it could stick to anything as the bike tips over further into the corner.

With standard upside down 43mm telescopic forks, which allow 135mm of travel, the front suspension is firm without being too harsh. There is an OEM lowering option available which allows 122mm of travel for vertically challenged riders.

The F 900 R seat height is 770mm on the standard seat, but more on that in a moment. Braking is excellent, with a dual 320mm disc brake with 4-piston radial brake calipers on the front and a single 265mm disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear.

After a little time in the twisties, it was time to engage Dynamic Pro. Combined with BMW quick shifter, matched to a constant mesh 6-speed gearbox, it turns agility and the bike’s dynamic nature up to eleven.

Through the corners and on country roads, the F 900 R really shines. It’s an aggressive naked sports bike and is undoubtedly going to win a lot of admirers. As an added bonus, there’s a large range of aftermarket accessories available.

That’s important, because that’s where we’d be heading to replace the standard seat. Maybe it’s due to the fact that this reviewer is just over 6ft tall, but we found the seat to be too firm and our riding position to be a little too tucked up for longer distance riding.

That aside, the 2020 BMW F 900 R is an easy bike to interact with, thanks to an easy to control 6.5-inch TFT display. Toggle switches on the handlebars provide easy access to every conceivable piece of information you’re likely to need, including two speedo options.

The list of standard equipment is also very good, and includes heated grips, and BMW connected apps for navigation and music. In fact, the only thing we could say was missing on the F 900 R was cruise control.

LED lights front and rear add to the aesthetic appeal and contribute heavily to the F 900 R’s aggressive naked sports bike stance, reinforcing the quality you come to expect from a marque such as BMW.

Overall, the 2020 BMW F 900 R is a great day trip or occasional track bike. It handles extremely well, is a lot of fun in the corners, and would make a good commuter bike through the week.

Up against heavyweights like Yamaha’s MT-09, and Kawasaki’s Z900, the F 900 R faces some stiff competition, particularly when it’s dearer than its rivals. Pricing starts from $16,645 ride away.

Three colour choices are available, including the Black Storm Metallic of our test bike, San Marino Blue Metallic and Sport Style-Hockenheim Silver Metallic/Racing Red.

Our test bike was provided by BMW Motorrad Australia. To find out more about the 2020 BMW F 900 R, contact your local BMW Motorrad dealer. Pictures courtesy of BikeReview.com.au


Riding experience
Style and comfort
Braking and handling
Technology and connectivity
Overall bike performance
Value for money


Pros - superb handling; outstanding fuel economy; great overall ride experience.
Pros - overly firm seat; cramped riding position impacts comfort on long rides.
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> superb handling; outstanding fuel economy; great overall ride experience.<br> <strong>Pros -</strong> overly firm seat; cramped riding position impacts comfort on long rides.2020 BMW F 900 R (bike review)