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BMW Introduces the New S 1000 RR

Just two years after the launch of their groundbreaking superbike, BMW has substantially revised the S 1000 RR. There are a myriad of changes discussed in the extensive text below provided by BMW.

Highlights include revised steering geometry, including but not limited to the steering head angle and the swingarm pivot location, revised fork, revised instrumentation, “optimised torque curve” for improved rideability, three new selectable power curves and a new mechanical steering damper.  Peak horsepower remains the same, massive 193 at 13,000 rpm, and redline is unchanged at 14,200 rpm.

Here are all the details from BMW, as well as additional photos:

1. Overall Concept and Features.

Scarcely two years after the launch in 2009, BMW Motorrad is now presenting the revised model of this successful supersports bike, now with many optimised details. The primary objectives were even greater riding precision and agility, a punchier power buildup, and a more sensitive response. The revised model of the S 1000 RR has incorporated quite a few feedback reports from national super stock races.

Like its predecessor, the new RR knows no compromise, providing the highest level of sporting character and riding dynamics. The convincing features of the new S 1000 RR are its improved handling with absolute riding stability, supreme engine performance with perfect everyday practicality, and a resounding dynamic performance. The highest level of active safety is safeguarded by the most advanced brake system today on the market, the BMW Motorrad Race ABS. When accelerating, the rider is supported by the Dynamic Traction Control system DTC. Both of these systems have been optimised for the perfect interaction.

There have been no changes to the superior engine power of 142 kW (193 hp) with a weight of only 204 kilograms including 90% fuel (206.5 weight with Race ABS).

Concept with optimised riding dynamics.
One of the primary objectives pursued for the revised S 1000 RR model was to improve ridability by boosting thrust and enhancing the linearity and harmoniousness of the power and torque curves. The reconfigured throttle improves overall response.

The new, optimised design raises response sensitivity, tightens the twistgrip angle, and reduces the twisting force.

Suspension with improved handling and feedback.
The modifications to the new RR suspension have been instrumental in boosting its riding dynamics. For instance, the upside down fork and the spring strut feature a new internal structure, providing an even wider range of damping forces from comfort to performance.

Moreover, the suspension geometry has been modified with new values for the steering head angle, offset, position of the swing arm pivot, fork projection, and spring strut length to yield even better handling, steering accuracy, and feedback for the new S 1000 RR. This has required modifications to the main frame that also included enlarging the cross sectional area of the intake air guide through the steering head for greater air flow efficiency. This package of suspension optimisations is rounded off by an adjustable mechanical steering damper.

Instrument cluster with new functions.
The engine speed display has been redesigned for better readability. In addition, the display can now be dimmed and provides more functions. For instance, the lap timer can now present “Best lap in progress”, and if required, “Speedwarning” can inform the rider when he exceeds a particular speed.

Refined design and new colours.
The new S 1000 RR not only benefits from the advanced developments for the engine, suspension, and cockpit. It has also gained yet another step ahead in terms of design. The tail section now presents a considerably leaner look. There have been some discrete changes to the asymmetrical side panels, and the centre airbox cover now sports side aperture grilles. On the top part of the panels, a new, telling identifying feature takes the form of two winglets that enhance the aerodynamic qualities.

In the most sporting colour combination of Racing red and Alpine white, the RR exudes power and speed even when it is stationary, whereas plain Bluefire lends it a decidedly extravagant look.

Sporty dynamics is conveyed by Sapphire black metallic, and in BMW Motorrad Motorsport colours, the new S 1000 RR testifies to its direct relationship with BMW Motorrad Motorsport. The distinctive RR logo has been slightly modified.

Additional visual accents take the form of wheels painted in glossy black and the red spring in the central strut. The matching swing arm either presents an anodised coating or is kept in black.

Also the ergonomics has been improved in the form of new heel plates for the rider. The stabilisers on the passenger footrests have now been designed for a leaner look.

Extended range of optional extra and special equipment.
For individualising the new S 1000 RR, BMW Motorrad is expanding its range of optional extras and special equipment ex works with a number of attractive features. Riders with a particularly sporty bent can now equip their RR with an HP titanium exhaust system (with or without ABE) or the HP race data logger. Also the heated grips offering two levels and fitted as optional extra can take the bite out of the early morning run on the racetrack or longer rides in cold weather.

The new features at a glance

  • Optimised torque curve for improved ridability.
  • Expansion from two to three performance curves (one each for Rain and Sport modes and an additional one for Race and Slick modes); Rain mode now 120 kW (163 hp).
  • Reconfigured throttle for enhanced response (particularly gentle and sensitive acceleration in Rain mode, and immediately direct and spontaneous response in Sport, Race, and Slick modes).
  • Reduced twisting force and tighter twistgrip angle.
  • Smaller secondary ratio for boosted thrust.
  • Refined tuning between Race ABS and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC).
  • Enlarged cross sectional area of the intake air guide through the steering head for greater air flow efficiency.
  • Better handling, steering accuracy, and feedback.
  • Revised spring elements for an even wider range of damping forces.
  • Suspension geometry modified with new values for the steering head angle, offset, position of the swing arm pivot, fork projection, and spring strut length.
  • New mechanical steering damper adjustable over ten levels.
  • Forged and milled fork bridge in a new design and with a smaller offset.
  • Revised design with a leaner tail section, redesigned side panels, centre airbox cover with side aperture grilles, and winglets.
  • For new colour variants: plain Racing Red with Alpine white, Bluefire, Sapphire black metallic, BMW Motorrad Motorsport colours.
  • Revised RR logo.
  • New heel plates and leaner stabilisers on the passenger footrests.
  • Redesigned LCD engine speed display for better readability and with five dimming levels.
  • Instrument cluster with the new functions “Best lap in progress” and “Speedwarning”; deactivation of “Lamp” fault message when headlamp or number plate carrier removed.
  • Catalytic converters relocated, so no heat shield necessary.
  • Expansion to the optional extras and special equipment ex works.

2. Drivetrain.

Just as before, the S 1000 RR sports the water cooled four cylinder inline engine of solely 59.8 kg delivering a top power output of 142 kW (193 hp) at 13,000 rpm and a top engine speed of 14,200 rpm. The max torque of 112 Nm is reached at 9750 rpm.

Reconfigured throttle for improved overall response.
The primary objective in this next level of development for the new RR was to target the powertrain for combining the outstanding engine power with even greater ridability. To this end, the throttle was first reconfigured in engine control. To date, engine control consisted of four individual throttle curves for each of the Rain, Sport, Race, and Slick modes. For the new RR, these have been reduced to two: a characteristic curve for a particularly gentle and sensitive throttle in Rain mode, and a second for immediately direct and spontaneous response in the Sport, Race, and Slick modes. Following this measure, the rider now no longer needs to adjust to the constantly changing throttle characteristics when switching frequently between Sport, Race, and Slick modes. At the same time, this also served to optimise the load change behaviour.

For particularly sensitive and fast regulation, the throttle valve now features a supporting spring with a low spring rate that reduces the actuating force. And the twisting angle is now considerably smaller on the new twistgrip throttle.

Optimised power and torque curves and lower secondary ratio.
The higher priority objective of the best possible ridability also included the optimisation of the power and torque curves.

Three new power curves have been defined: one each for the Rain and Sport modes and an additional one for the Race and Slick modes (in contrast to earlier, when there was one for the Rain mode and a second for the Sport, Race and Slick modes). With an eye to improving acceleration and thrust properties, we have reduced the secondary ratio from its former 17:44 to its present 17:45.

In Rain mode, the new S 1000 RR now delivers 120 kW (163 hp), or 8 kW (11 hp) more than previously. In Sport, Race, and Slick modes, the RR can still deliver a top power output of 142 kW (193 hp), but the power could be significantly raised especially in the lower speed range between 5000 and 7500 rpm. The result is essentially more linear and punchier engine characteristics.

Also the torque curves have been redefined for the purpose of improved ridability. So the new RR now offers three different torque curves (previously two): one each for the Rain and Sport modes and an additional one for Race and Slick. All four modes benefit from the greater harmony and linearity of the torque curve. In addition, the new S 1000 RR delivers in all four modes a considerably greater torque in the 5000–7500 rpm range. And particularly in Rain mode, the RR offers considerably improved ridability. Whereas the torque curve for the predecessor model virtually plateaued from 4500 rpm, the new engine now revs up more freely, and the curve rises to over 9000 rpm.

New combustion control in the overrun phase.
For uncompromising sporting characteristics with treadless tyres on the racetrack, Slick mode has been reconfigured for enhanced performance. This involved a series of modifications to the characteristic map for overrun phase combustion that effectively eliminated permanent overrun fuel cutoff. Now, overrun phase combustion control converts braking torque and engine drag torque into an optimised retarding torque on the rear wheel. The result is even greater riding and directional stability during braking and turning.

Modified stainless steel exhaust system and optimised intake air guide.
The all stainless steel exhaust system on the S 1000 RR features a redesigned catalytic converter and front pipes. Fitted previously in the front pipes, the catalytic cartridges are now integrated in the front silencer. The interactions between the 20% larger cross section of the intake air guide in the steering head, the modified airbox, the new bellmouth geometry, and modified engine application all served to increase the torque as described above. These modifications to the exhaust system now eliminate the need for the heat shield installed previously on the oil sump.

Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with enhanced control performance.
When unveiled in 2009, the S 1000 RR was the first series supersports bike in the world to combine Race ABS with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC). The fact that BMW Motorrad could implement these two technologies with such ease proved to be so convincing that nearly 100% of the vehicles leaving production are fitted with these two systems. Both systems have seen continued optimisations in the course of technical advances.

Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) is a rider assist system with a lean angle sensor that supports the rider and provides him with that extra safety on roads with compromised coefficients of friction. Following the laws of physics, it regulates the transferred drive torque, preventing the rear wheel from spinning in nearly all situations.

For the new RR, modifications have been made to reflect the new geometry, and wheelie detection has been optimised. When wheelie detection engages, the throttle valves now open much more gently. Moreover, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) has been optimised for greater riding and control performance in the Race and Slick modes.

The new DTC application is based on the BMW Race Power Kit for better transparency during highly sporty manoeuvres on the racetrack. The experienced rider can therefore achieve faster lap times.

3. Suspension.

The S 1000 RR boasts innovative suspension technology for the highest level of supersports performance. The refinements made to the suspension have focused particularly on enhancing agility, handling, and inclined stability. In addition, the modifications lead to greater suspension reserves and an enhanced feeling for all situations and the threshold level. In short, the new RR feels even lighter and more manoeuvrable, but without sacrifice to riding stability.

New suspension geometry for better handling and greater steering accuracy.
The new S 1000 RR features a modified frame with a new steering head and tail section. Besides new key figures for the geometry there is also a 20% larger cross section of the intake air guide in the steering head. The steering head angle is now 66° instead of the earlier 66.1°. The wheelbase has now been shortened by 9.3 mm to 1422.7 mm, and the afterrun has been lengthened by 2.6 mm to 98.5 mm. The fork bridge offset (front end) is now 2.5 mm shorter at 29.5 mm. In addition, the fork projection is 5 mm shorter than in the predecessor model. These modifications also included revisions to the steering head bearing for a lower breakaway torque and hence greater steering precision.

Redesigned spring elements for a wider range of applications.
The new spring elements now allow a wider range of suspension configurations between comfortable for the road and tight for the racetrack. As before, the suspension can be configured quickly and easily at the clearly defined scales on the spring elements. The new suspension adjustment now benefits riders on both country roads and the racetrack. Internal friction has been minimised on the fork and spring strut. This has resulted in a considerably optimised response, and the rider can now recognise the threshold level with far greater ease.

Upside down fork with new inner workings.
To date, the upside down fork on the S 1000 RR was fitted with bottom valve damping. Now featuring a mid speed damping valve, the fork can now utilise additional force at the working piston to build up compression damping with greater speed and precision. Also, the constant flow area has been reduced for improved feedback from the front section. The piston rod guide and the bearing concept have been revised for a better, more transparent response.

New spring strut with revised damping.
The central spring strut now features a piston rod whose diameter has been increased from 14 to 18 mm, allowing more oil to flow through the low/mid speed valve. Here too, the reduction to the constant flow area increases the rate and precision of compression damping buildup.

At the same time, the needle geometry has been modified on both valves and now allows a highly linear buildup of damping force over the whole range of settings. All in all, these modifications to the buildup of damping forces greatly enhance the effects and feelings conveyed by each configuration.

A check valve installed in the piston rod counteracts any negative effects on compression damping when the rebound is being set.

Also the spring strut now presents a smaller constant flow area for improved feedback.

Overall, the new RR offers considerably greater ride comfort at the same time as greater feedback and dynamics.

Race ABS with fine tuning and clear feedback.
The Race ABS on the S 1000 RR has been developed specifically and exclusively for the requirements on the supersports segment. For the new RR, it has been adapted to the new suspension geometry and now provides optimised control performance. An adaptive learner, it recognises the requirements even of highly experienced riders and detects diverse road conditions and tyres.

By pressing the lever, the rider receives feedback from the Race ABS as to when the traction limit will be exceeded and the control range reached. The rider feels controller feedback as a slight pulsing in the brake levers.

New mechanical adjustable steering damper.
Unlike its predecessor, the RR now features a mechanical steering damper adjustable over ten levels. This allows the rider to choose the configuration best suited to his riding style.

New coated swing arm and new swing arm bearing bush.
Depending on the S 1000 RR paintwork, the rear wheel swing arm is either anodised or provided with a black, cathodic dip coating in lieu of the earlier Ostra grey paint.

The swing arm bearing bush in the frame’s tail section is now secured in place with the one screw (instead of two as in the predecessor model) at a position 4 mm higher for the full effect of the optimised suspension geometry.

New heel plates.
The heel plates have been redesigned for the optimal ergonomics. The stabilisers on the passenger footrests have also been redesigned.

Fork bridge in a new design.
The forged and milled top fork bridge for the RR now presents a new design as a visual constituent of the cockpit always in view of the rider. The fork bridge offset is now 2.5 mm shorter at 29.5 mm.

4.  Electric and Electronics

Redesigned rev counter and dimmable LCD display.
The rev counter has been redesigned for better readability. The LCD display now offers five dimming levels and provides a number of additional interesting functions. The display now presents a symbol representing the new heated grips available as optional equipment ex works.

“Best lap in progress” for the racetrack.
The integrated lap timer now displays “Best lap in progress”. When on the racetrack, the rider can then see in real time (100 m intervals) whether his present lap is faster or slower than his fastest lap so far. This provides invaluable assistance to riders with sporting ambitions. On every lap, the current lap time is compared with the “Best lap” time. When the current time is better, the “Best lap in progress” (BLP) lamp lights up green. When the time is slower, the BLP lamp goes out.

“Speedwarning” function for everyday support.
The function “Speedwarning” signals to the rider when he exceeds a particular speed he has defined. When the speed limit is exceeded, the shift lamp lights up and the word “SPEED” appears on the display.

Option for deactivating the lamp fault display.
For racing without a headlamp or number plate carrier (direction indicators), the lamp fault display now presents a deactivation option that disables this fault symbol.

5. Body and design.

Highest dynamics, functionality, and unmistakability in design.
The lightness the new S 1000 RR conveys when running is also reflected in the look of greater dynamics presented by this highly dedicated sports bike.

Immediately conspicuous is the far leaner tail section. The centre airbox cover sports new side aperture grilles. The asymmetrical side panels so characteristic of the RR, with gills on the right and air outlet on the left, have experienced some discreet refinements in their design.

These are joined by the new air deflectors, the so called winglets. These not only lend the new RR its look of greater dynamics, but also boost its aerodynamics by dissipating the wind pressure on hands and arms at high speeds.

6. Range of Equipment.

For even greater individualisation of the S 1000 RR, BMW Motorrad offers an extensive range of optional accessories and optional equipment ex works. Special equipment is delivered directly ex works and is integrated in the production process. Special accessories are installed at BMW Motorrad dealerships. The motorcycle can therefore be fitted with options after it has left the factory.

The equipment options already available for the S 1000 RR have now been supplemented with the following.

Optional Extras.

  • Heated grips with two levels.

Special equipment.

  • HP titanium exhaust system street legal / non-street legal.
  • HP winglets of CRP.
  • HP race data logger with GPS.

This offer is rounded off with the familiar, high quality collection of rider´s gear, HP parts and the HP race parts designed specifically for the S 1000 RR.

  • HP race calibration kit.
  • HP race cover kit.
  • HP race shift pattern reversal.
  • HP race footrest plate.

In addition, BMW Motorrad HP Race Support assists all customers who want to use their RR at a higher professional level on the racetrack.

7. Colours.

New colour concept for sporty dynamics.
The colour concept for the S 1000 RR plays with the contrasts presented by the black bridge frame, the filigree wheels with glossy black paint, and the stubby rear silencer of stainless steel. The look of sporty dynamics is underscored by the two arm swinging fork with anodised or black cathodic dip coating. On all colour variants, the red spring in the central strut provides an additional visual accent.

The new RR will be offered in four colour variants. In the particularly sporty colour combination of Racing red and Alpine white, the S 1000 RR exudes power and speed even when it is stationary, whereas Bluefire underscores the extravagance of the supersports bike. Sporty dynamics is borne up by Sapphire black metallic, and the BMW Motorrad Motorsport colours, which testifies to the direct relationship with BMW Motorrad Motorsport.

The distinctive RR logo has been slightly modified.

Follow this link to see information regarding engine output and torque, and specifications for the new 2012_BMW S 1000 RR.

45 Comments

  1. Not4Marxism says:

    It is too funny reading the comments about the appearance of the bike. It’s is if you think they’ll materially affect BMW’s decisions. Have you perhaps noticed that they seem to sell every one of these machines with no problem? Certainly, there are many that appreciate, or look past, its visual “character.”

    Frankly, I am curious how the new development will help the bike in the WSB championship. They have the power, but the chassis was somewhat lacking…

  2. BoxerFanatic says:

    If you don’t like the headlight, then get a race fairing and install aftermarket lighting.

    Frankly, as someone with comparatively little interest in the 1-upmanship of race-ready/race-replica street bikes…

    I DO THINK THIS IS JUST ANOTHER ME-TOO LITER SPORT BIKE!

    I am glad that BMW has beaten everyone else at their own game, but I am not happy that they have done it somewhat at the expense of BMW’s own game.

    Other than a forward leaning transverse 4 that somewhat resembles a new K-bike… this bike shares NOTHING with other BMWs.

    No Duolever. No shaft drive. sure as hell no boxer engine. S1000RR is BMW beating Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, and Suzuki. Whoopie.

    I would have no problem if that were the extent of it. As I said, I am glad they have pushed that envelope.

    But the cost has been seen elsewhere.

    No R1200S DOHC. The HP2S is a too-expensive, completely impractical bike that seems to be eclipsed by the S1000RR anyway.
    No continuation of the K1300R in the US, and the R-Sport is gone.
    R1200R gets the GS’s DOHC motor but no other significant upgrades, and also no R-Sport half fairing.
    R1200ST is gone, rather than being re-designed not to be hideously ugly. No new R-ST or R-RS.
    The Lo-Rider modular-boxer-bike concept remains a concept, and is not being produced.

    The GS, RT and K-bikes are getting some continuation, and supposedly there is a water-cooled boxer in the works…

    Where are the developments in the MEAT of BMW’s range, that aren’t trying to out-japanese the japanese bikes?

    But maybe I am just bitter… I want a new R1200S DOHC with a bit of R1100S versatility and design appeal. or a good looking successor to the ST and 1150RS, or even just an R-Sport half fairing option on the R1200R. And Duolever on a boxer bike.

    The japanese companies do what they do, and that is fine. They aren’t going to out-BMW BMW’s R or K lines. If BMW doesn’t do it because they are pushing the S1000RR, nobody else will.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I don’t think they are trying to “out japanese” the Japanese. They want a piece of the hypersport market, and to do that, they must produce a bike that can win races and earn its owner ego points at the local scratching grounds. Sorry, but that can’t be achieved that with shaft drives, Duolevers, or two big cyclinders sticking out of the side. There is a proven formula for this market segment, and BMW is using it. They want to play where the big boys play, and they want to make a splash doing it.

      I doubt that the evolution in the Boxer line you so desire has anything to do with the R&D expended on the 1000RR. The big GS is far too much of a golden goose to let boxer platform development fall by the wayside. Will you see an S or an ST again? Who knows? The F800ST and F800S were fails. There are very strong competitors in the “sport touring” category. It would be difficult for BMW to offer such machines at a price point that would attract customers in large enough numbers. Of course, that is what they said about literbikes, too.

      • BoxerFanatic says:

        R&D money and production fixed costs don’t come from nowhere.

        R&D money getting a few more minute refinements here and there is not going toward other bikes.

        The fact that R&D on the S1000RR doesn’t spread to R&D on the K, and especially not on the R series is the problem, because the finite budget means that they can only direct it in so many directions at once.

        BMW has a history of proving what can be done without carbon copying the rest of the market’s status quo.

        Now they are copying the status quo. As I said… I wouldn’t have a problem with that in and of itself, if the rest of the line wasn’t suffering for product diversity, in the lines that nobody else offers. There are 7 liter-class sport bikes like that, if you count Ducati and MV Agusta, along with BMW and the Japanese 4

        There are no alternatives to the BMW boxer bikes that BMW no longer builds. Maybe a Moto-Guzzi, MAYBE, and there is no current LeMans or Daytona from them.

  3. Jim says:

    Call it Quasimodo with power.

  4. Secret executive says:

    I was kinda thinking that BMW would transfer some of that wild horsepower closer to the midrange where its more usable…..it was scarcely quicker than the Honda even though it had a huge(30bhp)advantage….that and they needed to address the odd front end appearance

    still a wonderful machine with great build quality…not surprising they didnt change it much

    is this gonna be the GSXR’s year…they havent showed their cards yet ?

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I was kinda thinking that BMW would transfer some of that wild horsepower closer to the midrange where its more usable…..it was scarcely quicker than the Honda even though it had a huge(30bhp)advantage”

      “Patience Neo, the answers are coming.”

      honestly i thought the same would be happening (technically they have a little), but then i caught myself realizing this is only a mid-life update. we (and the race teams) won’t get major changes till 2014.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “is this gonna be the GSXR’s year”

      no…

  5. donniedarko says:

    I like the endurance style light profile. I think the bike isnt just another me-too sportbike, and its real world performance speaks for itself. Next bike I will own will most likely be one of these, simply by price and offered specs. No other bike from Asia or Italy matches this bike by price and the argument off-the-floor performance is hard to match.

    Very excited to see what the response on this gen is…

  6. sean says:

    yah it’s such a shame. This bike is so close to perfect yet so far away. For me, thos lights are a deal breaker. I couldn’t look at them everyday without going crazy thinking WHY? WHY? WHY? I can imagine what the OCDers think when they see this. I feel their pain.

    • ziggy says:

      Couldn’t agree more with this statement. Seems BMW wants to set itself apart through deal breaking ugliness. Hell, I stopped reading past the full frontal shot.

      • Sean says:

        Whoever designed that front end should be shot. It’s not even about being ugly anymore it’s just plain stupid.

    • super888 says:

      If you are riding the bike you are not looking at it so why does it matter. Unless you are more concerned about looking good rather than actually riding well?

      • ziggy says:

        The reason is real simple: I call b*llshit. This is not a triumph of form over function.

        This is a triumph of BMW’s quirky sense of style over symmetry.

        You can’t tell me that this look was not well thought out and championed through design and production process. If this were about function, they would have cut and trimmed in a whole host of other areas as well. Hell, they could use flat black paint, unpolished swingarm, muffler, etc. They would have ditched the faux air ducts in the tail section (wow talk about a functional improvement there!) Perhaps deliver power at some point less than maximum warp. None of this happened by mistake.

        I have had the same experience with their cars, quirky, often uncomfortable, less reliable than one would expect, and not particularly serviceable. When you buy BMW, you are buying an engineering culture and aesthetic. Don’t make the mistake that this asymmetrical, Bill The Cat Lopsided Land Shark represents anything special either. Great work BMW, your overpriced Grendel-bike has finally allowed you to get close enough to draft the Japanese big 4!

        I have heard it said that the Japanese design their products to suit the end user, while the Germans try to cultivate the end user to suit the product. I suppose that is why BMW riders are such a loyal cult. You have to be one of the small percentage who naturally click with their performance and style quirks and their oddball sense of German engineering, or you must learn to fit their expectations of the riding experience. Beemers are fine bikes, but they are by no means easily accessible, tunable, or shade-tree fixable.

        • BoxerFanatic says:

          I would argue that a BMW boxer bike, even a brand new oil-head, is easier to perform standard regular maintenance than any bike with the heads tucked up somewhere under the gas, air filter, wiring, and frame.

          Driveline maintenance might be slightly more involved, but it is also less often required with shaft drive than lubing and replacing a chain every few thousand miles.

          Frankly, speaking of aesthetics… the Japanese big 4 have little high ground to hold in that respect, and the S1000RR, along with the J4 liter sport bikes all look like origami clones of each other, even if the J4 bikes happen to be symmetrical. Some of them used to look nice. now they just look like a bundle of angles and cut lines.

          None of them hold a candle to the likes of some older Ducatis and the MV F4, if you want to talk aesthetics. Even the new Ducatis are falling prey to over-complicated styling.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “Beemers are fine bikes, but they are by no means easily accessible, tunable, or shade-tree fixable”.

          correct. and they’re not supposed to be. yet another deliberate and premeditated aspect of the design process you’ve keenly observed. the consumer cannot be left to their own devices. they will “devalue”.

          re: “I suppose that is why BMW riders are such a loyal cult.”

          YYYAAAHHTZEE…!!! see, the process works.

  7. Paulryun says:

    U cant see the headlight while riding it( neither can everyone as theyre gonna be behind you), however, youll certainly appreciate the way it functions as above mentioned…

  8. Morris Bethoven says:

    Fast bike with a face only a mother (hopefully) could love.

  9. Vroooom says:

    It might be time for a new K1000, it’s been about 15 years or so, and I’ll bet that motor detuned for more mid-range torque and less top end would make one hell of a sport tourer. Not that I’ll be springing for a new BMW, but I can always watch the used market a few years later. Given the price I’m always suprised how many low mileage models end up for sale (of BMWs in general).

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “and I’ll bet that motor detuned for more mid-range torque and less top end would make one hell of a sport tourer.”

      i think you just described the K13.

  10. cinderbob says:

    It would be difficult to imagine a homelier face on a motorcycle (or anything else). Sadly, the old saw “it’s so homely it’s cute” does NOT apply here. Instead, it is just plain UGLY. If BMW’s goal was to create a distinctive look it definitely succeeded, but at what price? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I can’t imagine anyone finding this schnoz appealing.

  11. Gary says:

    I like the new color combinations, and I suppose put up with the different face on it. The different side views are a little strange, would rather they be the same. I think BMW is very well on the way to having a great line-up of bikes that will mostly stomp most other makes. However, the big bugaboo for me is the rather small and far spaced dealer network in my area. They need to get more dealers to make them more desirable in my opinion.

  12. MGNorge says:

    (“The swing arm bearing bush in the frame’s tail section is now secured in place with the one screw (instead of two as in the predecessor model”)

    Was this just some small arcane tidbit? Looks are one thing but I think to most eyes a symmetrical front end would be more pleasing.

  13. Butch says:

    BMW did a great job with their first true sportbike and an equally good job with marketing and dealer support. Having said that, I’ve ridden a couple S1000RRs and I’ll stick with my Aprilia RSV4, an awesome machine in it’s own right, and a better handling machine IMO.

  14. Fat Old Man says:

    What I first thought were useful grab handles near the rear seat on second look appear to be useless faux air ducts leading to nowhere. The silly looking 1985 shark gills are only on one side of the bike. The iconic BMW trademark seems to be misplaced at its present position. The face appears to be the work of a drunken German ax muderer who hacked apart three bikes and stiched them back together during a psychotic episode of epic deranged malevolence. Happy Halloween everybody.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “The silly looking 1985 shark gills are only on one side of the bike.”

      fwiw, shark gills have been a feature of a few of ferrari’s recent F1 cars. ducati’s current GP11 also sports the “aquaman” sides. not that it’s helping any… :(

      • Fat Old Man says:

        I plan on swimming in the ocean again, so I hereby apologise to all sharks for saying their gills look silly. I am deeply sorry. The 1985 comment is also inappropriate, man will always utilise the shark gill motif because of its inherent natural beauty. But I think even a shark would be opposed to having gills only on one side.

  15. kawzies says:

    Vee cannot haff ze shiny paint!!! Whoever wants zee shiny paint on der motobike iss veak und decadent und also iss der shweindhundt!!! Und ze whole vorld can laugh today at ze headlights….but the smiles vill be ripped from their untermensch faces when we fly by them screaming like a Shtuka(sic)and ve take over the world!!!!

  16. Bro Bear says:

    Kinda reminds me of Colonel Klink… One eye with a monocle, the other with eyebrow askew. Nice looking sportbike, tho!

  17. sean says:

    Love this bike but I think BMW missed an opportunity to fix the headlights. They obviously are not listening to all the feedback. Personally, I like the round headlight that’s on there now, it just needs a matching pair. Oh well.

    • Random says:

      Yeah, two headlights like the current round one would be nice (just give the damw thing 2 K1600GT/GTL “angel eyes, dammit!). There seem to be something universal about the unattractiveness of these kind of unsymmetrical designs (even my gf thinks it’s ugly despite not distinguishing a Honda froa a Ducati).

      Though from an engineering/sales viewpoint it’s incredible such an ugly bike sells so well, which is surely a result of an incredible performance envelope.

    • zx7Ramsay says:

      Actually, th reason the headlights are shaped the way they are is almost purely functional. The round allows the high beam to stay concentrated while the cat eye allows the low beam to spread. Not sexy but amazingly functional.

    • Dave says:

      All what feedback? 4-5 guys on Motorcycle daily? lol I think it’s weird too but there must be a good reason for it. My guess is weight/power.

  18. Nate says:

    A wise man once said, “when has a BMW motorcycle ever looked good?” Try riding the S1000RR and you’ll find a way to buy one.

  19. redninjazx6rrider says:

    Ugly

  20. Gixxr1300 says:

    Good Lord! The front looks like the face of the Hunchback of Notre Dame! But aside from that it looks like a nice machine.

  21. Gutterslob says:

    Awesome as it is (except for the front-end looks), I’m suspecting the revised CBR will edge it round a track again (just).

    I’ll stick to my Speed Triple since it’s running well and is a heck of a lot of fun.

  22. riley says:

    I’m sure it’s awesome – but that face! It looks like Bill the Cat. Ack.

  23. RC says:

    Awesome machine, if BMW can only change the ugly headlight arrangement I would probably buy one…

  24. Denny says:

    This thing, this thing is …. awesome. Save for that unearthly crappy front; that could have been done lot better if they let true stylist (hey, how far is it to Italy?) to have hand on it. But then, is it that important? Probably not. Somebody who invests over 20grand for this toy has preoccupation of different sort – to show his jap-tech riding buddies his technical superiority.

  25. MarkF says:

    How about that naked streetfighter that’s been talked about for years?

  26. blurgixxerninja says:

    i just ordered the red and white one. :D

  27. Laubin says:

    Looks like Japan Inc. will be playing catch up yet again–only suzuki has’nt show its hand yet. Looks wise its all nice except the “stroke victim” look headlights– ugh– but hey you can’t see them when you’re riding it right? I keep telling myself that when im riding my 09 R1…This version of the BMW hits all the spots(Improved wheelie control!) I’ll take one in black…after i sell my R1 and maybe a Kidney :)

  28. Tom says:

    I’ll take one in all blue. Thumbs up BMW!