BMW Motorrad launches its F 900 twins in India

by Shahkar Abidi & Firoze Irani 21 May 2020

BMW Motorrad, the two-wheeler business arm of BMW, today entered the middleweight motorcycle segment  in India with the launch of F900 R and F900 XR motorcycles in India. Both these bikes are available as completely built-up units (CBU) through all its dealer network in the  Indian market. Bookings have opened today.

While the F 900 R is available in only the Standard variant, at Rs 990,000, the F 900 XR sports tourer is available in two variants – Standard (Rs 10.50 lakh) and Pro (Rs 11.50 lakh). These two motorcycles were unveiled at the 2019 EICMA in Milan and have been launched in the middle of 2020, as planned. The bikes are imported as CBUs and bookings for both bikes open today.

BMW had quite a few motorcycles on display at EICMA 2019, but the new F 900 R and F 900 XR had the most relevance to India. These middleweight offerings share the same chassis and engine, but differ in terms of styling, riding position, suspension travel and other bits. 

New 895cc engine powers the F 900 twins
Powering the bikes is a new 895cc, inline-twin engine that is based on the 2018 BMW F 850 GS' motor, albeit with a slightly larger bore (by 2mm) and higher compression ratio. It produces 105hp at 8,750rpm and 92Nm of torque at 6,500rpm, with as much as 87Nm available from 4,500rpm onwards on both bikes. The engine is paired to a 6-speed transmission. 

The F 900 XR has a 15.5-litre fuel tank, while the R gets a smaller, 13-litre unit. The XR also gets greater suspension travel – 170mm (front) and 172mm (rear) – in comparison to the 135mm (front) and 142mm (rear) on the F 900 R.

Competition in India
In terms of competition, the F 900 R goes up against the KTM 790 Duke, Kawasaki Z900, Ducati Monster 821 and the soon-to-be-launched Triumph Street Triple R. The BMW F 900 XR doesn’t have a direct rival, but its price put it against more powerful machines like the Kawasaki Versys 1000.

Speaking at the models' virtual launch Arlindo Teixeira, acting President, BMW Group India said, “ With the introduction of the dynamic duo – the all-new  F 900 R and F 900 XR – BMW Motorrad is set to redefine and captivate the popular mid-range segment in India at a truly attractive value proposition."  

BMW Motorrad India posts strong sales in Q1
BMW Motorrad officially started its operations as a part of the Indian subsidiary of BMW Group in 2017. Its most popular models in the country –  G 310 R and G 310 GS –  have been developed in Munich, Germany by BMW Motorrad and are locally-produced by cooperation partner TVS Motor Company in Hosur, India. These two bikes are among the German manufacturer’s most affordable models, and an entry into its two-wheeler world.  

In Q1 CY2020, BMW Motorrad India reported sales of 1,024 units, which represents a 71.5% year-on-year growth, albeit on a low base of 597 units during the similar period previous year. The  India sales contributed 3% to BMW Motorrad total global deliveries of 34,774 units in the first three months of 2020, which were down 9.9% year on year.  The momentum for BMW Motorrad India was primarily driven by the sub-500cc motorcycles –G 310 R and G 310 GS – which accounted for over 80 percent of Q1 sales among motorcycle aficionados.

The company says the R 1250 GS / GSA, F 750 / 850 GS / 850 GSA and the S 1000 RR also saw demand from motorcycle enthusiasts.