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BMW Shows Production S 1000 RR Superbike

It’s gone from fantasy to concept to official announcement . . . all the way to a real product. BMW’s first real superbike, the inline-four-powered S 1000 RR, made its debut to the world press at the Monza round of the World Superbike Series in Italy last weekend. The bike, which weighs in at 455 pounds full of fluids and makes a claimed 193 hp, will be in U.S. dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2009, but BMW of North America has yet to announce pricing.

We’ve already told you a lot about the S 1000 RR. Here are some more details. The engine uses F1 trickery, like individual (and teeny) cam followers and titanium valves to boost rpm and power output. Redline is at 14,200 rpm (compare a typical redline of 13,000 rpm for a Japanese superbike), and the claimed peak torque output of 82.5 lb.-ft. comes at 9,750 rpm. There are butterfly valves in the stainless-steel exhaust system to boost mid-range performance. A “race” ABS system (which adds only 5.5 pounds to the bike), quickshifter and dynamic traction control (“DTC”) are all optional.

The internet forums are already packed with comments griping about the bike’s unconventional styling. This is after months of criticizing the bike (in WSB race form) for looking too much like a Japanese superbike. Particularly vexing to the conventional are the asymmetrical headlights and delicate taillight. One more for the “you can’t please everyone” file. But those who do like the bike, and who crave the long list of standard and optional features along with what may be the best power-to-weight ratio in the class, may be very pleased with the bike’s rumored low MSRP. I was told last year the bike would be priced within 10% of its Japanese counterparts, which has been borne out by the European bike’s pricing: 15,150 Euros, just 255 Euros more than a Euro-spec Yamaha YZF R-1. It’ll be offered in four color schemes: grey, silver, green and a race-replica.

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MD Readers Respond:

  • “Unconventional styling” – People are complaining about the styling
    being unconventional?!?!

    Proof people will complain about anything, for any reason – whether
    founded or unfounded.

    You could have painted the thing Yamaha blue and sold it as the next-
    gen R6/R1 design. Or – paint it red and call it the next CBR series.
    Unconventional? Aprilia makes unconventionally styled sportbikes.
    This….this is a German company with an apparent teenage desire to
    ‘fit-in’ after years of going their own way. Unconventional it is
    not. “Me-Too!” is what it screams…. and I suspect Japan will be
    issuing a (bigger than predicted) smackdown on the dealer floor and
    the racetrack for years to come. Brett

  • The bike looks (mostly) awesome, and if the price is close to what they say it will be, wow, that would be great. But that headlight. Damn, that’s just plain ugly. Strange. Weird. Stoooopid. Make is symmetric and they will sell a lot more of them.
  • It wouldn’t be a BMW if they didn’t do something to make it ugly.
    the headlights really are a wreck.

    “Your momma got one big headlight and one little one…”
    but viewed from either side it looks pretty good actually. possibly the first Bimmer that won’t frighten women and children.
    you know they’ve built a proper sportbike when their best efforts to make it repulsive can’t even slow the flow of drool it inspires in this reader. Justin

  • The new bike I feel is a fresh new design. For those who are tired of
    the ubiquitous japanese design this pulls no punches. There is really
    no alternative to a good European in-line 4 since the MV is so
    outdated and the British stopped producing the 955i. The big
    difference between the Japanese bikes and this new horse is you will
    get visually pleasing trick bits like Brembo brakes and what looks
    like Marchesini wheels. I have only owned one BMW motorcycle but look
    forward to the induction of the new brute from Bavaria. Matt