Motorcycle Review of the BMW S1000R

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SEASON 26 | EPISODE 9

This sharp edge, fly by wire, real world street fighter was sent into the ring late last year and at first blush the tale of the tape would suggest that this is a stripped down version of BMW’s hugely successful racetrack ready super sport, the S1000 double R.  But that would really be selling this bike short because this thing is impressive. 

Dave Hatch | Host 

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2015 BMW S1000R Motorcycle Review

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BMW S1000R is a roadster stripped to the essentials for maximum performance: 160 bhp/118 kW, 112 Nm torque and a power-to-weight ratio of 1.29 kilograms per bhp. The competition disappears in the rear view mirror.

At first blush this sharp edge, fly by wire, real world street fighter seems like a stripped down version of BMW’s hugely successful super sport, the S1000 RR. But that would be selling this bike short because it is extremely impressive. There are still ponies under the faring in the single R, a claimed one hundred and sixty in all, and yes the weight is there, it’s three kilo’s more then a RR but what’s really impressive is the usable power delivery and the electronic refinements. It comes with the now de rigueur ABS (Antilock Braking System) and accompanying ASC (automatic stability control), and you also get the DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) electronic power delivery mode designed for both wet and dry conditions.   Then there’s more options to refine your ride with selectable DCT and electronic suspension set-up modes. If that’s not enough cutting edge technology for you, you can also order the S1000R with a high performance gearshift assist probe.

With the S1000R, BMW is trying to bottle racetrack magic so it can be enjoyed everywhere in everyday conditions. It’s still incredibly powerful like the RR, it has the naked sport bike look of the RR, but the extras turn it into a multi purpose machine instead of a single purpose racetrack bike. Reviewer Mark Russell speculates that the performance on the R might be better than the hyper sports bike version theorizing that the sports power is a little bit lower and the torque is higher, comes on sooner, and has a crisp throttle response. With the adjustable settings for throttle response, it’s certainly more versatile guaranteeing a better ride in all sorts of conditions. Additionally, all mode adjustments are electronic – that means you don’t have to get off the highway to make changes so, without taking your eyes of the road, you can adjust the bike’s responsiveness and fine-tune your ride.

Mark admits to riding in rain mode most of the day because it makes for more cushioned responses without sacrificing horsepower. The S1000R would be great for an experienced rider with a highway commute who maybe wanted to do some longer weekend rides. The option is available for a co-rider but it certainly couldn’t accommodate a passenger for more than jaunt around town. It’s quite comfortable for a sporting single rider, but the S1000R doesn’t bridge the gap between sport bike and sport touring. However, it doesn’t need to – the BMW S1000R is a sport bike, with incredible power and versatility, re-imagined for everyday use.

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