BMW S1000 RR

Worthy Successor

BMW has been making motorcycles since 1923 when it introduced their first model, the R32. Presently they have a collection of some excellent machines on two wheels for a wide spectrum of riders to choose from be it for road, track or dirt use. As a manufacturer, they have a rich motorcycling history with plenty of fans including Steve Jobs who used to ride a 1966 R60/2 model. Their entry into the rarified world of liter class bikes with the S1000RR in 2010 was an awakening for the whole motorcycling industry which was mostly dominated by the Japanese manufacturers. Suddenly the new kid on the block made its way directly to the top of the ladder claiming superbike of the year and a whole lot of devoted followers as well. It also brought along with it a new age of rider aids with high levels of technological innovation, safety package and stupendous power to the superbike class.

Having tested the original, I was keenly looking forward to the new model to see how the Beemer, already a top rung model, was improved upon.

Starting off aesthetically, there are small winglets on either side of the fairings, ventilation ducts on the redesigned tail piece and tank cover, redesigned air ducts / gills on the fairings etc. that give away its new identity.

Mechanically you get a new adjustable steering damper which aids the handling, revised suspension geometry with less friction fork internals, shorter wheelbase, higher swing arm pivot and an increase of a tooth on the rear sprocket.

Riding modes are now de rigueur on almost all new generation motorcycles and the Beemer has 4 of them along with a revised throttle and torque curve. The Bavarian Engineers also reduced the twist required for the throttle, improved the exhaust system and increased the air box by 20% to make the motor more efficient and remain powerful.

The unchanged 193 hp at the crank produced by the 4 cylinder motor needs a helping hand from the electronics division to keep the shiny side up and also to convert the bhp into km/hr in seemingly all riding conditions. For this, help comes in the form of new Dynamic Traction Control and Race ABS, along with a HP Quick Shifter.

Enough work has been done to make the electronics less intrusive during spirited riding. You can test your riding skills by switching off all rider aids, though it’s best left to those who have mastered the act of rear wheel steering.

The bone stock (except for the delicious sounding Akrapovic slipon) S1000RR that Kevin Hughes, GM of AGMC Dubai, races at Dubai Autodrome regularly on track days, was to become the sole mode of transportation of yours truly for a couple of days to come.

Even after two years, the design still looks fresh. The asymmetric lights give it a mean character to the already sharp front end. Firing it up, the first change noticed was the more refined engine and the larger clear LCD display compared to the predecessor.

Instead of taking it to the track where obviously it would fare excellently, we used it as a day to day mode of transportation combined with the mandatory weekend blast across the Kalba stretch.

Having the option to choose between rain, sport, race and slick modes does liven up your weekday mornings. Taking the RR for a quick ride, one can notice the near perfect weight distribution and the compactness of the bike. The rain mode which has been increased to 163 bhp helps novice riders feel at home without being threatened.

The Kalba ride proved to be a dream aboard the S1000RR. Power with control is a byword that can be said about this machine. At corners you are assured that any slightest mistake at your end will be forgiven by the Dynamic Traction control and Race ABS. The revised chassis set up does allow the RR to attack the corners with more confidence. Tucking under the fairing and giving it the stick, you can feel all the numbers and curves getting transformed into sheer riding pleasure and munching on the kilometers with devastating vigor.

Heat build up is an issue mostly dreaded by superbike riders, more so when waiting at traffic signals to turn green. Aboard the S at such moments you seem to appreciate the work done by the engineers in Munich even more as the thermodynamics of the bike are spot on.

Brakes require the slightest pressure on the levers to bring the dynamic action to rest in the most dignified manner. The wet anti-hopping multidisc clutch plays a key role in keeping the rear wheels intact during quick downshifts. Even during hard braking your body is in total control without any unwanted forces affecting on your wrists. In Sport mode the engine feels like it can keep on providing limitless amounts of sheer German horsepower all the way to the rev limit. The power never seems to run out in this machine.

For 77,000 AED with 2 years/unlimited mileage international warranty; this is a package hard to resist not having in your garage - for the avid biker looking for fun on and off the track. The 2012 version can be said is a worthy successor with improvements in overall refinement, suspension quality and staying true to the original’s massive grunt. Advanced riders may still feel traces of the electronics working overtime during those hot laps on the track though. For them, there is the option to go for the Limited HP4 competition model for 105,000 AED.



Autoshows Calendar

Upcoming Articles

  • Global Drive: 2018 Rolls Royce Phantom
  • Global Drive: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
  • Global Drive: 2018 Jaguar XJR575
  • Editors' Choice: Range Rover Velar
  • Editors' Choice: Lexus LC500h
  • Editors' Choice: Peugeot 3008
  • Editors' Choice: Cadillac CT6
  • Special Feature: Renault Zoe Electric