2019 BMW S1000 RR: More power, less weight, better handling

The BMW S1000 RR revolutionizes BMW's superbike game.

Changes to the 2019 BMW S1000 RR advance the German superbike considerably, with a more powerful engine, a lot less weight, and many other upgrades.

First things first: The S1000 RR gets BMW’s variable valve timing tech, aka Shiftcam, which works on the intake valve system.

According to BMW, this makes the engine more usable at road speeds, as well as reducing emissions and still optimizing track performance. In particular, high torque is available at a broad RPM range, with a linear torque curve; BMW says at least 73 lb-ft of torque is on tap from 5,500 rpm all the way to 14,500 rpm. BMW also says fuel consumption is down, thanks to Shiftcam technology.

The new liquid-cooled inline-four (as before, with four-valve heads) makes 207 hp at 13,500 rpm, and 83 lb-ft of torque at 11,000 rpm (up from 196 hp; torque is roughly the same). Aside from Shiftcam, BMW made all sorts of other mysterious internal engine tweaks to make things lighter than before, stronger than before, and ultimately, produce more power than before. And, it accomplished this task while also cutting the weight of the engine by 4 kg.

Shift Assist Pro is standard on the S1000 RR (up-down quickshifting). As before, the transmission is a 6-speed, which can be reconfigured backwards for track use. The exhaust is also redesigned to be more compact and lighter.

BMW also cut weight off the chassis, with an aluminum bridge frame like before, but the engine has been designed to handle more of the chassis load, which allowed designers to cut material off the frame. It’s also more narrow than before. And, designers set the steering head angle slightly steeper (now at 66.9 degrees) and extended the wheelbase to 1441 mm while reducing cast to 93.9 mm, all of which is supposed to offer better feedback from front and rear wheels. The swingarm is also redesigned.

The S1000 RR has a totally new suspension system, front and rear. It’s fully-adjustable front and rear, with 45 mm USD forks up front, which can be integrated with BMW’s Dynamic Damping Control (automated ride-by-wire suspension adjustment), same as the rear monoshock. Note that these suspension components appear to have been designed in-house, not sourced from third-party manufacturers, which is so often the case with flagship machines.

As for braking: the S1000 RR has dual 320 mm brake discs up front, with radial-mount four-piston fixed calipers. In back, there’s a single 220 mm disc with single-piston floating caliper.  Leaning ABS is standard (it can be disengaged), but if you want to pony up extra money, you can pay for DBC, which stands for Dynamic Brake Control. According to BMW,  “DBC increases safety when braking, even in difficult situations, by avoiding unintentional accelerator activation. As soon as the sensor cluster supplies a certain deceleration value during braking, any simultaneous desire to accelerate on the part of the rider is detected as implausible and throttle valve opening is suppressed. This keeps the motorcycle stable and shortens the braking distance.

Standard, the new Beemer comes with cast aluminum 17-inch wheels, but can be ordered with trick forged aluminum or carbon-fibre wheels as options. Seat height is 824 mm, and wet weight is 197 kg, down 11 kg from the previous model. LED lights are standard all-round. There’s also a 6.5-inch TFT screen which can be configured to show all sorts of ride information (remaining range, lean angle, fuel level, etc.), and to integrate with communication or entertainment systems via Bluetooth. The amount of riding data available would have only been possible in the past with expensive telemetry devices.

The S1000 RR packs a full electronics package. Along with the previously-mentioned ABS Pro and optional Dynamic Damping systems, there’s also BMW’S Dynamic Traction Control, wheelie control, launch control, pit late speed limiter, and so on.  “Rain”, “Road”, “Dynamic” and “Race” riding modes are standard, but for extra money the user can unlock programmable race modes. Of course, a wide range of accessories are also available at extra cost.

MSRP for the S1000 RR is $18,900. We’d expect availability in time for spring.

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