THE S1000RR is just one of the contenders in the fiery cauldron that is the Superbike class. Almost every major manufacturer has one it their stable and some boast World Championship-winning pedigree, high-tech electronic wizardry or outrageous power outputs. There is no doubt that the power struggle, long dormant since the advent of the Yamaha R1 and Suzuki K5, actually flared up again with the introduction of BMW’s entry in 2009. Despite being BMW’s first foray into the Superbike category, the original S1000RR was a most complete package ever put together and the other manufacturers have upped their game in order to compete.
The S1000RR has evolved since then, but has maintained its familiar silhouette and assymetrical design. After all, it still is one of BMW’s bestselling motorcycles and why change a good thing, right? Subtle evolution of a design that still runs at the forefront (or thereabouts) is a proven formula.
Some of the changes for the 2018 model year are a redesigned front fairing with a smaller windshield. An enlarged air intake and gill-like heat vents and an extension to the lower-rear cowling increases airflow through the fairing. The asymmetrical headlight arrangement remains, but has reversed positions; low beam is on the right and high beam on the left. The pillion seat cover is standard for 2018.
The aluminium beam frame underwent a slight revamp. A half-degree reduction in the steering head angle and a 3 mm drop in the swingarm pivot position is designed to provide improved feel and feedback to the rider while increasing the traction at the rear tire. Suspension remains the same; fully adjustable upside-down 46 mm forks and rear shock with 4.7-inches of travel. The electronic Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) works in conjunction with the traction control system and uses lean angle and roll rate data to dynamically adjust damping as you ride.
The same pair of four-pot Brembo monoblock calipers grip twin 320 mm front brake discs and a single-pot Brembo caliper grabs the 220 mm disc at the back. The ABS system provides varying levels of intervention based selected rider modes and is switchable. In Race mode, rear-wheel lift detection stoppies by gradually releasing the front brake if it detects the rear wheel coming up.
The oversquare DOHC 16-valve inline-four engine (80 mm bore and 49.7 mm stroke) produces 199 hp @ 13,500 rpm and 113 Nm of torque @ 10,500 rpm, 6 hp more than the 2017 model. The engine allows you to harness its’ power controllably through electronic wizardry. BMW’s E-gas ride-by-wire feature controls the variable-length intake tract that shortens the intake tract length above 11,500 rpm.
Three preset riding modes are on hand; Rain, Sport and Race, as well as the optional Ride Modes Pro (User and Slick mode) that brings even more performance presets and works in conjunction with the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), ABS and DDC to provide a safety net for any riding situation. A Launch Control feature and pit-lane speed limiter is also included. The six-speed gearbox is mated to a hydraulically-assisted slipper clutch as well as Gear Shift Assist Pro, BMW’s quickshifter which works in both upshifts and downshifts.
The S1000RR comes out of the box, almost race-ready. The only thing remaining is the rider. While it may be festooned with a multitude of rider-aids, the S1k is still a 200 hp superbike that demands fulls respect, and full attention while riding. Luckily, at slower (and more sane) throttle openings, the S1k is a pussycat. It can handle traffic congestion with ease and doesn’t need any special concessions for normal riding situations. The S1000RR weighs a scant 208 kg and is therefore easy to handle. The quickshifter helps too, in this regard. The seat (815 mm) is fairly comfortable and even the fuel tank capacity (17.5 l) is adequate for touring. Top speed? Well, BMW says in the catalogue that the top speed is over 200 km/h.
The new chassis geometry helps lighten the steering effort, although the previous incarnation was not really lacking in this area. The tweaks to the chassis is to improve rear tyre traction and is difficult to assess without a track on hand. But there are no surprises in the S1k’s handling, the planted front-wheel and stable, surefooted chassis is signature BMW S1000RR.
The BMW S1000RR comes in Black Storm Metallic, Racing Red with Light White, Light White with Lupin Blue Metallic/Racing Red and retails for RM100,875.00