Column: Two Wheeled ///M

Motorrad | November 29th, 2009 by 18
S1000RR Green Right Bank 750x500

Since its earliest stages of development, I’ve been all over the S1000RR. One of the most beautiful bikes I have ever laid eyes on, I’ve …

S1000RR Carbon Fiber w modelhelicopter 654x436

Since its earliest stages of development, I’ve been all over the S1000RR. One of the most beautiful bikes I have ever laid eyes on, I’ve often pondered whether the S1000RR has the mechanical venom to match its aesthetic beauty. While I’ve yet to ride the new BMW, the numbers often tell a story. Put on your helmet before reading, this is one he!! of a story.

I would sum it up with three words from Mr Von Kuenheim… strong and powerful.

BMW has never been one to shy away from a technological challenge. What’s the challenge? To meet and defeat the reigning “Big 4” superbikes from Japan. Yes, the same 4 who have been perfecting their machines on the racetrack for 6 decades.

To be fair, BMW has its own rich heritage of motorcycle racing. Giving testimony to BMW’s prowess on the racetrack, among countless other race wins and championships, are six Dakar Rally Championships spanning from 1981 to 2000, winning the 1939 Isle of Man TT, and most significantly winning the inaugural 1976 AMA Superbike Championship with a BMW R90S piloted by Reginald Pridmore.

bmw R1200S sportboxer 2007

Run your hand along its contours and your fingers will follow the path of air directed by radical aerodynamics.

BMW has now come full circle. While they have diverted their attention away from a whole souled superbike racing effort since the 1970’s, we now see a re-focusing of energies and dedication to this world pinnacle of production based motorcycle racing. Leading up to their reappearance on the stage of superbike racing was a resurgence in endurance racing. Leading up to the 2007 LeMans 24 hour race we saw the BMW R1200S put in strong performances and grace varying podium steps. The hard development work at BMW Motorrad gave fruition to the “Boxer Sport,” a highly developed race spec R1200S featuring ample carbon fibre, fine tuning and upgraded components. This boxer-twin meant business, and delivered beyond all expectations, capturing the class win at the 29th running of the motorcycling class 24 Hours of LeMans!

BMW had realized its progressive goal in endurance racing, and the time was ripe to pour all efforts into preparation for a return to superbike. With all hands on deck BMW formed an alliance with Alpha-Racing of Munich and went to work on producing the world’s fastest production superbike. What were the results?

The S1000RR speaks volumes to BMW’s future, and the excellence they have attained.

WSBK Round 1

General Director BMW Motorrad, Mr Von Kuenheim states, “As you may expect of BMW Motorrad, the design of our BMW Supersports will be absolutely unique and very different. While it will of course reflect the usual design language in the segment, it will at the same time offer a strong and powerful message from the BMW brand.” I would sum it up with three words from Mr Von Kuenheim… strong and powerful.

S1RR Market pic

Strength, power, and then some. When BMW Motorrad went about determining the fundamental layout of the bike, they concluded that to surpass the performance of its competitors they must first consider the finest designs available. To this end, BMW tore apart the best of its competition and analyzed what gave the Japanese and Italians such speed and consistency in their bikes. BMW are an engineering powerhouse, always pushing the limits of what is technologically possible through creative and often very unique, unorthodox design philosophies. Non-conforming design has always been evident within BMW Motorrad, and for this project BMW compared creative designs against the current conventional; ultimately choosing the best designs in the end, one at a time.

S1000RR Green - Right Bank

60 years of hardened racing has the ability to perfect over time, and BMW recognized that to race against such experienced and heavy hitting competition, they must “reflect the usual design language in the segment.” Some will conclude upon first glance at the motorcycle that BMW have mimicked the Japanese. Look deeper and you will see the masterful creation of BMW. Run your hand along its contours and your fingers will follow the path of air directed by radical aerodynamics. In numbers, BMW’s new superbike, the S1000RR will silence its enemies and evoke fear in its stable mates.


A state-of-the-art 999 cc inline 4 beats within. The engine produces a staggering 193 hp on its way to a stratospheric 14,200 rpm. 83 lb-ft of torque is produced at 9,750 rpm. The engine has a bore/stroke of 80/49.7, the largest bore of any production litre bike. All this in a highly compact engine that weighs only 59.8 Kg (131.8 lb).

Unique technology on the S1000RR engine includes the exhaust system featuring two interference pipe butterflies. These butterfly valves oscillate according to rpm, throttle setting and other variables to cancel exhaust gas counter pressure pulses, thus increasing cylinder charge and engine power. In choosing between the bike’s 4 different engine maps you can tailor the power delivery to the prevailing road or track conditions. Valvetrain technology taken directly from BMW’s Formula 1 engines features titanium valves actuated by single finger style cam followers, said to reduce reciprocating mass by 50%. Switching through “Rain,” “Sport,” “Race,” and “Slick” settings, the new S100RR thereby combines multiple personalities and riding characteristics – much like engaging the ///M button on your BMW ///M Sports car.


A world first, the S1000RR also features Dynamic Traction Control (DTC). Utilizing a gyroscope, the engine will harness power based on lean angles for each respective engine mapping, allowing you to dial in heavy throttle on corner exit. The DTC will engage based on lean angles from 38′ in “Rain” mode to 53′ in “Slick” mode. While your first experience will require confidence in the system and a wrist-full of faith, DTC is a breakthrough in safety for street riders as well as a valuable performance enhancement. Central to its performance, the S1000RR is also the lightest ABS equipped motorcycle produced with a wet curb weight of 206.5 Kg (455.3 lb) fully fuelled. Yes, the S1000RR sports the world’s best power to weight ratio of any production bike at 1.05 kg/hp. Clearly, the numbers are staggering. You don’t have to remind Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki or Yamaha.

S1000RR M Paint

Brimming with Formula 1 technology, the S1000RR sets new standards in the evolution of sport bikes. As a demonstration of BMW’s design superiority, the S1000RR speaks volumes to BMW’s future, and the excellence they have attained.

We are very excited to refer you to the world’s first written ride review of BMW’s S1000RR, brought to you by MCN. Please enjoy… and tighten that helmet strap, would you?

The S1000RR will silence its enemies and evoke fear in its stable mates.

In due time, we will bring you our own ride impressions of the S1000RR, but until then please hit the jump for MCN’s write-up. Download PDF

S1000RR Side Profile Green on Track

18 responses to “Column: Two Wheeled ///M”

  1. Uxel says:

    Really a tremendous technical engineering by BMW. The first reviews also stated that this bike will be a tough competition for Yamaha, Honda and its competitors…
    …but tbh, I still dont digg that front… :) I own a K1200S, and its not that type of small, leightweight, comparable to the driving physics of that 1000RR (which I think would fall in love with), but… left half seems to be from Ninja, right one from Honda… dont know…

  2. Joe says:

    I am so excited to see this bike on the road and even get a chance to test … it is an amazing technology marvel that I know will impress everyone. Fun to see BMW going after this market.

  3. housejunkie85 says:

    we love big dicks

  4. lennardt says:

    the cheapest version of s1000rr costs just 15100€ in germany, so it’s also cheap.
    btw: this bike is a beast and although it has great specs, the engine has potential for a lot more power :-)
    at this test ( they got 147kw at a enginetest, so the engine develops more power then stated by bmw.

  5. Marc says:

    I so lust after this bike….but due to circumstances I would much prefer a S650RR….they would KILL the competition if that came out and was priced accordingly…..

  6. Shawn says:


    Word on the street has it that BMW is secretly working on a middle weight supersport bike called the S675RR. Much like the Triumph Daytona 675 Triple, the BMW would be an ultra light weight machine, rumored to share the same engine layout. Details are sketchy and unreliable at this point, but as time progresses we will find out more. Here is a great link to find out more about the supposed S675RR,

  7. :p says:

    Only if I could drive 1

  8. lennardt says:

    is the fourth picture in a higher resolution downloadable anywhere?

  9. Marc says:


    That is awesome…especially considering that I was considering purchasing a Triumph Triple R….I now have a new webpage to add to my daily surf of the net!

  10. Shawn says:


    The photo is downloadable from this page in 1024 X 687 resolution. I’m not sure if it is available on the web at a higher resolution, this was the best I could find, sorry.

    Sweet picture though, very exciting as your eyes follow so many lines. As the pic suggests, the S1RR will make an amazing city bike to toss through on and off ramps.


    I like your taste in the Triumph, I have money down on a Triumph Daytona 675. I also really look forward to a middle weight super sports from BMW because frankly, 198hp is just too much for my use in the city.

    There’s an old adage that states, “It’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow.” The truth is, short of Monza or the N’Ring, it would be hard to ride the S1RR to its full potential (or even near it). I had a blast this year riding a small displacement bike at the limit constantly. It really developes your skill as a rider, Rossi, Spies… they all started on 250 race bikes. Those words are so true, I had a blast routinely redlining my ninja in every gear – to ride the S1RR at that pace would be boring – never leaving second gear. Not too mention insurance costs, it’s a much better fit for me on a middle weight bike.

    Unfortunatly, you may have to ride the Triumph before you jump on a BMW. The proposed S675RR is in early stages of it’s development and it will be at least another year to two years before you can ride away from the dealership on one – if they even build it. Not too worry, the Triumph is a great bike.

    If your looking for something a little less frenetic, I advise you look at the F800S or F800R, both beautiful BMWs.

    Lastly, I’m confident that you will find the bmwsuperbikes forum to be a great resource.

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