BMW S1000 R gets updated engine, new chassis

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BMW has revealed its new S1000 R naked bike, with an updated, Euro5-compliant engine for 2021, and a new chassis and electronics package.

The S1000 R isn’t any more powerful, despite the engine overhaul. It still makes 165 horsepower at 11,000 rpm, and 84 pound-feet of torque at 9,250 rpm, same as the outgoing model. Although it’s derived from the S1000 RR superbike, it doesn’t have the Shiftcam variable valve timing design; that means it’s basically the same engine as found in the S1000 XR. Although it doesn’t see any power gains for 2021, BMW does say it makes its power more quickly, and that the engine itself is considerably lighter, which should aid handling.

The S1000 R gets a new frame, same as found on the S1000 RR superbike. It’s more narrow through the area the rider’s legs grip, and is designed to shift more of the bike’s mass towards the front wheel. Again, this should aid handling, and it also helps that the frame is lighter and stiffer than the previous model (wet weight is 199 kg for the 2021 model down around 5 kg from last year’s bike).

The swingarm is also the same as the S1000 RR; BMW’s press release doesn’t go into many details on the shock (“spring strut with Full Floater Pro kinematics“). However, there’s a set of 45mm USD forks up front, fully adjustable. Well-heeled buyers can even pony up for electronically-managed “smart suspension.”

Speaking of electronics, the S1000 R comes with a six-axis IMU, which manages traction control, leaning ABS, and other safety systems. Three riding modes (Road, Rain, Dynamic) as standard; pay extra, and you can get the Dynamic Pro riding mode, with a power wheelie function. BMW has several other optional electronics systems available as well (along with the usual line of other accessories).

BMW ships the S1000 R with a 6.5-inch TFT screen, same as on the S1000 RR. It’s Bluetooth-enabled, so you have multiple infotainment options by connecting your helmet headset and mobile device.

The S1000 R will command a $16,500 starting price in Canada, and should be available for the spring selling season.

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