Anyone who has ever met me would be hard-pressed to use the word ‘tall’ to describe me, so, when it came to selecting a bike, I had to be mindful of which it would be.
– Crescentia Ndimande
Anyone who has ever met me would be hard-pressed to use the word ‘tall’ to describe me. Not that I am diminutive but rather it is important that any motorcycle I chose has to accommodate my particular height. So, when it came to selecting a bike to use at the 15thInternational Female Ride Day 2021 I was careful in the iron horse which I would champion.
The models on display at BMW Motorrad Fourways, were all appealing and at first, I gravitated towards the R 1600 RT; but after sitting on it I realized I would need to choose something much lower. Gift Gumbi, Motorrad Sales Executive, suggested I try the F 900 XR and I immediately remembered it as the bike which Vuyi Mpofu had used on her Pride of Africa Ride the previous year. Knowing that Vuyi is approximately the same height as me, I was hopeful that the F 900 XR would ‘fit’ me too.
Jumping onto the bike and switching on the engine, I discovered yet another pleasant surprise – the 6.5-inch TFT screen with BMW Motorrad Connectivity.
– CRESCENTIA NDIMANDE
The model available to me was Galvanic Gold and from the moment I sat astride it I was confident the F 900 XR would suit me just fine.
To be sure, however, I asked to take it for a quick spin and discovered, to my delight, that it was a Keyless ride, further scoring it points in my book.
The convenience of it being keyless signaled I would not have to worry about searching for the key in the numerous pockets of my jacket and pants.
Jumping onto the bike and switching on the engine, I discovered yet another pleasant surprise – the 6.5-inch TFT screen with BMW Motorrad Connectivity. Fitted as standard, I knew this feature would be handy during this and any other ride.
The screen is big enough to read comfortably while riding, which is great news for people like me who wear glasses or contact lenses. Satisfied with my final choice, I left the dealership and spent the next few days familiarizing myself with the features of the F 900 XR.
The day of the Ride finally arrived and to my dismay, it was cold and wet. Fortunately, the mid-range F 900 XR is fitted with “Rain” and “Road” riding modes as standard. I simply selected the appropriate mode to suit the wet tarmac and set off to meet the other women from all across Gauteng who would be attending the ride.
Powered by an 895cc engine, and with a fuel capacity of 15.5 litres, I didn’t have to worry about performance nor fuel efficiency. The F 900 XR weighs 219kg and at first, this had been a concern for me because I had had a tennis elbow operation on my right hand. 219kg is a hefty amount of metal but instead, the sports adventure bike proved light and easy to manoeuver.
Powered by an 895cc engine, and with a fuel capacity of 15.5 litres, I didn’t have to worry about performance nor fuel efficiency.
Of all the things I found impressive about the F 900 XR, I was most taken by its upright, yet relaxed riding position. I could quite easily see myself riding very long distances without fear of discomfort and lower back pain.
Overall, my time on the F 900 XR was too short – as if any amount of time would suffice – and I would highly recommend it to any lady looking for a motorcycle that isn’t a superbike. That said, I would want BMW Motorrad to make the Electronic Suspension Adjustment, a standard feature to make it easier for short riders to get on and off it safely and with ease.
Priced from: R 217 000 – 00
Thanks to BMW Motorrad Fourways for the bike loan
About Crescentia Ndimande
Crescentia Ndimande, mother of two, has been riding motorbikes since 2006, after being introduced in the biking fraternity by her late brother in law in 1991. Crescentia is part of Cancervive, and co-owns Dynamic Road Safety alongside her husband. Over the years, Crescentia has ridden a variety of bikes namely the Indian Chieftain, Triumph Rocket, Thunderbird 1700cc, Commander, Tiger 800cc, Harley 1200c, Hayabusa 1300cc, Honda Blackbird 1100cc, VFR 1200cc.