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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Disclaimer - this is not intended as a definitive road test or evaluation on my part - just some thoughts on how two great bikes compare in terms of riding impressions.

Having sorted my ECU issues to accomodate displacing the cat with an Arrow manifold pipe I set out on a 200+ ride on some of my favorite Colorado mountain roads with a buddy on his BMW. As stated in a separate post - but validated by this much longer ride - the Rexxer reflash did the job - the bike rides great across all RPM ranges.

The funny backstory on this is that my buddy had originally ordered my Brutale for himself but ended up not liking the ergos and so the bike sat for a few months over the Winter until I bought it. I was actually very close to buying an S1000R when just for the hell of it I decided to do a test ride on the Brutale. I bought it that same day. My buddy was still in search of a naked to keep his Streetfighter company :) and decided to buy the S1000R. So here we are a few months later riding each others bikes which were originally supposed to be our own bikes. Makes your head spin.

It's rare when two friends swap bikes and aren't itching to get their own bike back. It's just fascinating to see how two very different companies addressed the same product category and both got it right but with very different results. The bottom line - and this will not surprise most of you - it's simply the difference between German and Italian sensibilities. The BMW is extremely refined to the point where some might say it's indifferent - while the Brutale is ultra sensitive and expressive to rider input.

I didn't think either held an edge in terms of speed - although we both thought the Brutale had a bit more grunt out of corners (could be gearing). Handling was on par - although the throttle by wire input of the BMW makes it seem a bit more composed in corners - giving it a tiny edge. They both turn in fast and transition smoothly. Ride quality goes to the Brutale - despite all of the adaptive suspension technology packed into the BMW it can be harsh especially over high speed bumps. The one area the BMW has a big advantage is in the gauges - much more useful info and the trip set does not involve any of the nonsense required on the Brutale.

Ergos are very different - the BMW feels much longer and stretched out while the Brutale feels smaller and 'tighter'. I'm very comfortable on the Brutale at 5'8" and 135 pounds but I think a bigger rider - especially over longer distances - would prefer the BMW. Both bikes are surprisingly comfortable even over long distances given their best in class performance.

More subjective stuff like aesthetics - no contest of course, exhaust note also goes to the Brutale but the BMW does make some nice noise at higher rpms with it's stock exhaust. Going back to looks for a minute - my buddy added a bunch of really nice CF and while it's still no Brutale it did make a really big difference and takes the bike from bland to pretty attractive.

So, that's it - of course you could factor price in - the BMW is a lot less money and comes with heated grips, cruise control and a few other accouterments - so it's probably a better value.

Don't know where the new Monster would fit in (we're both big Ducati loyalists) but I couldn't get past the looks (Diavel humping a Streetfighter) and I could never ever get past the looks of the KTM regardless of it's 90 pounds of torque.

Test ride the BMW if you get a chance - it's the Brutale's German cousin!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
then there is that ugly ass headlight on the BMW
Agreed - and it actually worse in person - and the tiny screen barely covers up the dash 'guts'. It's almost as though this was an afterthought and they were rushing to get it to production. That said, I'm not a huge fan of the Brutale's fried egg headlight either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
nice bike and nice color ^^
Agreed! I was told they only sold 3 in this color in the U.S. Seems hard to imagine but if it's true we should try and find who has the other one.

I know Cherche in Germany has the same year/color.
 

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Thanks for that mate,

That comparison puts most magazine tests/comparisons to shame. Good review and useful for those thinking of buying either of these. Brutale loks te best though.

Cheers

Deano
 

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The missing component for a magazine review is the ending "With better looks, more spirit and a great ride, the Brutale is a great bike...but for less money and more amenities we're going to give it to the BMW". maybe with a quip about the Brutale's fueling still being a little finicky or less refined that the S1000R.

Great write up with the honesty and impression of someone that hasn't been bought with ad money :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The missing component for a magazine review is the ending "With better looks, more spirit and a great ride, the Brutale is a great bike...but for less money and more amenities we're going to give it to the BMW". maybe with a quip about the Brutale's fueling still being a little finicky or less refined that the S1000R.

Great write up with the honesty and impression of someone that hasn't been bought with ad money :p
It's my opinion that there are only two kinds of motorcyclists when it comes to choosing what to ride - those who truly love motorcycles and those who just love to ride. The former will always buy bikes from companies like MV Agusta and the latter will buy bikes like the BMW. To be clear - it has nothing to do with riding skill - most of my mates are much better riders than me - but to them the bike is just a means to an end so they ride BMWs, Hondas and Kawasaki's. They thought my struggles to get the ECU on the Brutale sorted was ridiculous. To me it just makes my relationship with the bike more gratifying. To each his own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I failed to mention that the Brutale has a slipper clutch - something that's missing from the S1000R despite it's otherwise impressive tech spec.
 

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Propsed fix for ugly headlight

 

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I failed to mention that the Brutale has a slipper clutch - something that's missing from the S1000R despite it's otherwise impressive tech spec.
Nope, you missed that one, the S1000R does have a slipper and it works flawlessly - as you would expect.
It also sports a seamless quickshifter that makes my heart pound just a bit faster and puts a grin on my map each time I use it.

Now, I know you weren't talking about me Rob, when you stated that some of your buddies love riding more than just loving bikes. And although I think the Brutale is the most beautiful naked bike made (your Brutale in particular!) I personally love the looks of the S1000R and even more with its new splash of bling. I think the headlight nacelle looks even better in person.

One thing that really made me grin while riding the 1090 was the instant hard throttle response from way down low. I was wheeling his bike after just a few seconds on it. (I hope that didn't freak you out Rob)
The beemer has great low-end power too but the ride by wire is programmed to tame such quick throttle inputs to the point of being a really hard bike to wheelie - it works great on the track but not so much for hooliganism.

One thing I also feel is the amazing manners the bmw has in the turns - the bike just corners effortlessly - I don't mean initial turn-in but mid corner stability. I tracked my 1078 many times - in fact it became a dedicated track bike for me for a while, and the beemer is just that much easier to ride fast.

We were both so busy having a great ride that we didn't get too many pics - honestly the ride was outstanding. but here is one pic from the start and better pic of the BMW.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nope, you missed that one, the S1000R does have a slipper and it works flawlessly - as you would expect.
It also sports a seamless quickshifter that makes my heart pound just a bit faster and puts a grin on my map each time I use it.

Now, I know you weren't talking about me Rob, when you stated that some of your buddies love riding more than just loving bikes. And although I think the Brutale is the most beautiful naked bike made (your Brutale in particular!) I personally love the looks of the S1000R and even more with its new splash of bling. I think the headlight nacelle looks even better in person.

One thing that really made me grin while riding the 1090 was the instant hard throttle response from way down low. I was wheeling his bike after just a few seconds on it. (I hope that didn't freak you out Rob)
The beemer has great low-end power too but the ride by wire is programmed to tame such quick throttle inputs to the point of being a really hard bike to wheelie - it works great on the track but not so much for hooliganism.

One thing I also feel is the amazing manners the bmw has in the turns - the bike just corners effortlessly - I don't mean initial turn-in but mid corner stability. I tracked my 1078 many times - in fact it became a dedicated track bike for me for a while, and the beemer is just that much easier to ride fast.

We were both so busy having a great ride that we didn't get too many pics - honestly the ride was outstanding. but here is one pic from the start and better pic of the BMW.

Say what you will, Mike - but I got the hole shot and beat you to the end of the driveway. :stickpoke
 

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Say what you will, Mike - but I got the hole shot and beat you to the end of the driveway. :stickpoke
I'll give you that one Rob. And, I also have to hand it to you for sticking to your guns and getting the ECU nightmare fixed. The bike runs superbly, far better than it did off the showroom floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'll give you that one Rob. And, I also have to hand it to you for sticking to your guns and getting the ECU nightmare fixed. The bike runs superbly, far better than it did off the showroom floor.
Thanks Mike - I wasn't sure where that was headed for a while.
 
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