This BMW S1000RR first debuted in 2010, this superbike had MotoGP-inspired electronics and race-ready handling thanks to a company best known for sensible tourers and adventure bikes. Agile, accurate, and refined, the bike handles like a lightweight 600cc supersport racer with the grunt of a V4 and the manic top-end power of a competition superbike.
In the words of the S1000RR global brand ambassador Nate Kern, “BMW had two goals: to make the new model at least one second faster than the old bike around any racetrack and to lose 25 pounds”. Having the likes of Ducati Panigale V4s and Aprilia RSV4 1100s as your rivals means that you must be on your toe to make an impact. This was evident in the S1000RR as the set goal by BMW on this project was massively archived.
The engine formation
The S1000RR featured a complete revamp engine except for the inline-Four cylinder configuration. Engine specs include 80mm x 49.7mm bore and stroke, four titanium valves per cylinder, DOHC, and a 13.3:1 compression ratio. Comparing the S1000RR to For Ducati Panigale V4 R measures 81mm x 48.4mm (for a 998cc displacement) with a 14.0:1 compression ratio. Likewise looking at another contemporary in this very class will be Kawasaki’s ZX-10RR which also comes with inline-four measuring 76.0mm x 55.0mm (same 998cc displacement as Ducati Panigale V4 R) with 13.0:1 compression. The S1000RR can only surrender to Ducati’s 16,000rpm performance as its V4R outperform both the BMW S1000RR and Kawasaki’s ZX-10RR with 14,600rpm and 14,800rpm respectively.
Reducing the mass of moving parts
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A lot of work has been put into getting the bike lighter starting from integrating the oil/water pumps, converting the cast aluminum ram air funnels to plastic as well as making the intake valves hollow. With these modifications, the S1000RR kicks in with a narrow engine boasting 205 hp and 83 lb-ft of torque and ultimately weighing 8.8 lbs which makes it lighter than before.
The S1000RR for the first time comes with BMW’s Shift cam Technology, commonly known as variable valve timing. The technology aid in a broader spread of torque without sacrificing peak power. This further improves the S1000RR performance by 74 lb-ft of torque from as low as 5,500rpm. Considering the engine spins to 14,600 rpm, that much torque within a 9,000 rpm window is simply awesome.
A new trellis-type subframe is used, and weight was taken off as many places as possible such as from the wheels, suspension, even the fairing thickness to achieve the 25-pound total weight loss goal. The chassis and suspension changes alone account for 11 lbs of that diet. Opt for the M performance package and you’ll see a further 7 lbs chopped off, thanks to carbon fiber wheels and a lithium-ion battery. The M package also gets you an adjustable swingarm pivot.
The Driving Experience
Having a feel of the new bike with all that comes with it is makes one appreciate the genius of the BMW brand. The seat itself is plush and comfortable (for sportbike standards), just like its predecessor, and if you’re the type of street rider who just can’t bring yourself to ditch the fully-faired sportbike for a naked, the reach to the bars isn’t low. A narrower gas tank means your knees aren’t spread out as far as before a small but noticeable difference.
The Marzocchi suspension components give the S1000RR a perfect balance front and rear as the bike delivers an impressive performance. A 45mm inverted fork rests out front, and a piggyback shock handles bump duties, both fully adjustable and the latter mated to a swingarm directly inspired from BMW’s World Superbike program. Base models get the standard suspension but opt for Select or M Package and bumps get absorbed electronically via BMW’s revised Dynamic Damping Control.
The Different Models
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Radial-mount, four-piston calipers are standard fare in sportbike land, but interestingly, as the rest of the category moves toward 330mm rotors and Brembo calipers, the S thou gets 320mm discs and non-Brembos (from Hayes, I think…). ABS is there, and depending on the package you buy, it can be adjusted or turned off.
The bike came with four riding modes (Rain, Road, Dynamic, Race) are available which affect throttle response, ABS, and traction control. Thing is, if you want to adjust any of those settings, you’re SOL. Doing that means you will have to spend a few more $ outside the $16,995 for the standard bike.
S1000RR models share the same engine, chassis, and basic electronics, starting with the £15k standard model. The BMW S1000RR M Sport has extra riding modes, rider aids, electronic suspension, heated grips, cruise control, and the M Package test bike has carbon fiber wheels, slide control, a race seat, lithium battery, adjustable ride height, and swingarm pivot, among a host of other goodies.
Reliability & build quality
The early engine and electronic faults suffered from the previous S1000RRs have been taken care of in the build-up to the 2020 production. You can count on the excellent dealer service, so even if there is recall or warranty work to be done, it shouldn’t cause any major headaches. Our BMW S1000RR owners’ reviews show happy buyers.
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