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But as the name suggests, the Urban G/S is more for the urban environment, with the occasional dirt road thrown in, or perhaps some country back-road cruising. It’s also probably not the bike for the interstate tourer either, although, like a lot of bikes in this class, it can turn its head to any of those tasks, and with some careful management achieve its owners’ goals adequately. Actually, more than adequately…
I’m not going to bang on about ‘bars falling to hand, seat to peg relationships or controls, except to say I got on and felt comfortable immediately and never gave any of those aspects any further thought. That to me says bucket loads about how much time and effort BMW have put into making this bike feel great to ride.
Everything just worked, I never looked for any of the buttons or controls and throughout the entire day spent my riding time just enjoying what is an immensely enjoyable bike to ride. But I know there will be some who will want to know about things like clutch operation, brake feel/power, suspension effectiveness, how the gearbox operated and the way the motor delivers its power and torque, so I will elaborate on those items.
First up, the engine starts up almost instantaneously. It still gives the slight rock to the side inherent with a flat twin engine. But, that’s the only time you will notice it. Once moving the inertia of the boxer motor is counterbalanced by the reverse rotation of the shaft drive, meaning no matter what revs you are running at, the bike never lilts to the side when opening or closing the throttle.
The motor itself is a gem. I was actually gobsmacked at how good it was in a number of respects. It has got a bark from the 2-into-1 muffler that no boxer motor has a right to emit. It’s seriously an aurally pleasing sound. Just blipping the throttle at a standstill emits a raspy bark and that bark just gets better as revs rise.
There is no traditional BMW wet fart drone from this motor, it’s honestly a huge giggle to hear the pipe emit such a joyous sound. It encourages the rider to use lots of throttle to allow the Euro 4 compliant exhaust valve to open and send raucus, cammy sounds into the atmosphere.
The fuelling is simply brilliant, probably one of the best fuel injection systems I have sampled in recent times. There is absolutely no snatchy reaction at any revs or throttle openings and the bit which some manufacturers still can’t get right, the closed to open throttle application, is perfect.
I tried to fool the injection along the twisty mountain road section of the test, a section which will highlight fueling issues on any bike. But at no point was I able to coax any glitches from the Urban G/S’s fueling. Enter a turn with a closed throttle, get to the apex and open it back up again and all you get is a smooth, but strong surge from the motor.
It’s simply brilliant and the first time I have waxed lyrical about fuel injection in this area of any bike I have ever tested, period! I loved it. The power from any revs is strong, very strong. It literally jumps off the turns. The amount of torque it produces throughout the rev range means you can either be lazy and leave it in one gear, or you can shift up and down the box and enjoy the full capabilities of the engine as the revs rise. It’s your call.