We just spent the day ripping it up around the fabulous Portimao race circuit in Portugal on BMW’s new S1000RR supersport literbike, and it’s set to blow away perceptions of what a BMW motorcycle is.
With 193 crankshaft horsepower and a claimed dry weight of 404 pounds, BMW says the S1000RR has the best power-to-weight ratio of any production bike. And, by the way the S1000 lofts its front wheel onto Portimao’s front straight at 150 mph, we’re becoming believers!
But BMW’s RR isn’t just a monster motor. Turn-in response is brisk, its brakes are ferociously powerful yet provide excellent feedback, and the entire package is remarkably easy to handle for a hyperbike with such elevated capabilities.
BMW has never been afraid of incorporating the latest technologies, and the S1000s we rode were equipped with high-tech features such as traction control, race-level antilock brakes, multi-mode engine tuning selections and BMW’s Gearshift Assistant that allows full-throttle upshifts without backing off the throttle or using the clutch.
What is especially amazing is how BMW has instantly become competitive with Japanese literbikes that have been developed over a decade or more. While we’re not yet prepared to to say the S1000RR can beat the best from Japan and Italy without riding them back to back, we can say with confidence BMW’s RR will give any of its established rivals a run for the money.
BMW has fired a potent salvo into the literbike market, and it will surely shake up the pecking order of its competitors. Check back with Motorcycle.com on Monday for our full report.