For a bike about to enter its second year of production, the BMW S1000RR hasn’t done bad for itself. It’s won just about every magazine test the world over, utterly blitzed the World Superstock 1000 Cup in Europe, won every Australian Superstock 1000 race it contested in the hands of Craig Coxhell, and very nearly climbed the top step of the WSBK podium with Troy Corser on more than one occasion.
It’s no surprise then that the S1000RR remains largely unchanged for 2011. BMW have raised the bar with the electronic trickery that comes with your new Bavarian superbike. There’s ABS, and while traction control is also a pretty new phenomenon for production machines, having it all in such a user friendly package makes this machine more than just another faceless four-cylinder sportsbike.
The BMW Motorrad WSBK team’s input has been a firm part of the S1000RR production development process, and that input has seen BMW fit a heavier crankshaft to the 2011 model. The heavier crank is designed to smooth out the S1000RR’s bottom-end power delivery – but it certainly doesn’t inhibit the legendary top-end punch of the DOHC, 16-valve, 999cc inline four-cylinder, which is still as mighty as ever. Acceleration is swift from the moment the throttle is cracked, but it depends what map you’re in (Rain, Sport, Race or Slick) as the relationship between twist grip movement and the throttle butterflies opening varies with each mode.
Getting that grunt to the ground is the powershifter-equipped six-speed gearbox that is an absolute knife-through-butter affair and fun when you’re short shifting through twisties.
The chassis on the S1000RR is compliant without being dull, quick without being twitchy. The BMW won’t turn with the absolute precision of something like the Aprilia RSV4 Factory, but it is inherently more stable which makes it a more pleasing proposition if the majority of your riding is done on the road. The chassis’ roomier dimensions also mean that you’re not as sore at the end of the day.
When you have simple additions like key-operated suspension adjustment it makes you wonder why the millions of manufacturers who’ve built a sportsbike didn’t do it before. You even get a chart to make sure you don’t get lost on the numbered clickers.
It may look white but the colour is actually a light silver metallic. Funnily enough it actually looks white most of the time but get it in the right light and it almost looks grey.
I’d recommend this machine to anyone who wants the best available compromise in a racebike/roadbike/just bloody good sports motorcycle they can buy today. Like the VMAX, the S1000RR is one of my favourite motorcycles – it’s a genuine landmark machine.