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BMW S1000RR First Ride

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Tiff, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. One line summary - 3+ bikes for the price of one with a gearshift more addictive than drugs.

    The detail:

    Disclaimer: When reading this, remember I'm a BMW fan - yes, I even like the separated switches for the indicators on my bike. I've ridden a couple of 'litre' bikes before, but by no means an expert.

    10am, Thursday morning, a quick intro to the main bits of the bike and I was on my way into the traffic in Rain mode - recommended by the sales guy 'until you get the feel for it'. As I'd just climbed off my F800ST, the riding position felt very strange at first, but the softer throttle pick up and easy clutch made it very easy to dribble along with the traffic on City Rd.

    Turned onto the Monash Fwy and a chance to twist the throttle. Response felt very much like my F800 - rapid, smooth progress, but certainly not 'quick'. That's enough of rain mode then - time to release some more horses. A quick look at the dash, two presses of the 'mode' button on the right hand switch block to get to Sport, clutch in and a new type of bike suddenly appears. Slight moves of the wrist give an almost instant response - still very smooth, but the huge surge towards the redline sees the gear change light coming on very quickly to one of my favourite features - powerassist gear changes.

    Simply - once you've pulled away in first gear, you don't need to touch the clutch to shift up. As long as you have 'some' throttle on (i.e. more than none) just nudge the lever and, faster than you could reach the clutch lever, it's snicked up to the next gear. It makes a great 'pop' noise as the engine pauses for a micro-second before engaging again. The wider open the throttle, the better the noise. :cool: It's extremely addictive and I found myself changing down as often as I could just to be able to change back up again. Change downs are (almost) as smooth thanks to the slipper clutch.

    So after a wonder down the freeway with a couple of cars with bike enthusiasts inside jostling for a look and wave, off for a bit of twisty stuff up into the Dandenongs. Time for the next 'bike' with the selection of Race mode.

    Brutal is the best word I can think of to describe it. The full power thumps in instantly as soon as you even think about opening the throttle. You have to pump through the gears just to try and keep up - thank god for the brakes that prior to this were really only being brushed to wipe off speed.

    My lack of time with the bars on this bike made the counter steer seem a bit harder than the nice straight bars on my F800, but a decent shove along with a bit of weight redistribution saw it tip in and hold a line very easily.

    After an hour in the seat, and going reasonably hard, the bike was throwing up quite a lot of heat. Not sure it will be much fun on a 40 deg commute in heavy traffic, but as long as you get to change gears a couple of times, you'd put up with that!

    Riding back into town, I dropped it back into Sport mode - too much temptation otherwise (and no point rushing into the back of anything with 500m in front). The change in temperament was just as noticeable, and almost relaxing compared to Race, and made for a still rapid, but less hectic ride back to the dealership.

    Really glad it was dry on my first ride, but now keen to see what Rain mode is like in the wet. God knows what 'Slick' mode is like - you need to put in a special plug in under the pillion seat to be able to select it. For my skill level, I wouldn't need more than Race mode on the track.

    This will be my next bike - just a question of timing. There's a 3-4 month wait at the moment if you place an order today. Thunder Grey will be the colour for me, although apparently at least 50% of orders are going for the Motorsport tricolour. Can't see that it's worth the extra $750, I'd rather spend that on an Akrap can to make it sound even better. Pop, pop, pop.

  2. cheers for the write up this bike impresses me simply for the fact that it has moved the goals posts and as such the other makers will need to play catch up -- I can barely wait to see the next R1 incarnation now in response to the BMW
  3. Thanks for the review.
    I want one.
  4. From what the sales guys were telling us in the WSBK expo tent, Slick mode will let you back it into corners and slide it a bit if you have the balls for it coz the race mode will restrict you from doing that!

    He was also saying that Steve Martin did a 1:39 around Phillip Island on the completely stock S1000RR :cool:
  5. Thanks for the write up. I guess this bike has the likes of Honda worried, especially at the relatively small difference in price compared to the difference in bike you can have.
  6. Bastard. :wink:
    It's the first new sport bike I've ever wanted and I can't bloody afford one........
  7. Looks to be a pretty awesome little motorbike. Probably one of the few sportsbikes I'd actually buy...
  8. Good write-up, Tiff. I saw the pre-production bike being ridden around EC last year and it looked & sounds awesome! Next week I get to see in the flesh Glenn Scott's S1000RR race bike (apparently the first s1 race bike in oz) I'll try and get some pics up of that if you like
  9. Tks Smithy - be good to see some pics of the full race version. Have seen a couple on the web - be interesting to see if they've done anything differently here.
  10. I can't afford it either PatB, but I don't think I'm going to let that stop me! I'll have to wait until later in the year though before I can get some of the cash together.
  11. Definitely a great write up and in conjunction with it's good looks almost makes me want one even though I'm not a sports bike kinda guy as a rule. Agree with everyone else that BMW look to have put some serious pressure on the big 4 to come up with the goods as far as new features and tech are concerned.
  12. Thanks for the write up. For me the only question is, do I keep the K12S? *shrug*
  13. For all my 'loans are the devil' talk, this bike is making me consider it
  14. The thought had crossed my mind about trying to keep the F800 too, just for those occasions when you want to go two up for more than about 2 minutes, but finances and the fact I really, really don't need two bikes put that one into the 'never gunna happen' file.
  15. Looks like the folks that get paid to ride bikes love it too.
  16. loving this bike at the moment :)
    hoping to look into buying one in time for next Summer.
    It's absurdly fast. 193HP, and BMW claim another 7HP at high speeds when RamAir kicks in. THAT'S 200HP. For 22 GRAND. 22 is a lot of money, but no-one could deny this base bike is a bargain. and it makes all the other litre bikes look like pretty-boys with their symetrical bodywork and headlights. I'd get the Thunder Grey Metallic too (but adding the BMW M3 acid-green hero-colour to the options was a nice touch)
  17. Been riding one since February and have taken it through all sorts of weather conditions. Through the high 30s heat to the cool single digit mornings and of course a couple of heavy storms/down pours. Bike worked just fine. First time I rode it through heavy rain, I switched to Rain mode. Much more sedate but my need for instant input didn't fancy it much. The second time through similar conditions, I left it in Sport mode. Felt just fine. Bike pulls extremely quick through all gears, especially 2nd to 4th gears. Much more pace than my previous bike. Everything about the bike is silky smooth but there is a little vibration through the handle bars at city speeds. Have removed the top fairing before to see the internals. Wires, very neatly tucked away and removing the fairing is a 5 minute job. Easy! Build quality e.g. paintwork, screws and bolts, etc first rate. Default suspension settings a little firm but I like it. Fuel consumption about 8l/100km with a mix of highway and city riding.
    For those intending to commute daily with it, it's a great bike and it's up to the task. It's a comfortable ride in slow traffic but gets a little hot through the left leg cause the exhaust fan is on the back of the left radiator. Heat is extracted through the left fairing.
    Mine is the Thunder Grey with tinted screen, BMW Motorrad foldable levers, Akrapovic slip on and Techspec side tank grips.
  18. I rode one today. Didn't fall in love, but enought to convince the upgrade. Brakes are best I have ever ridden. I have never been through a corner and grabed so much throttle half way through. Replacement exhaust is a must.
  19. As it should - it was built under the new ruling that allows the 4cyl bikes to have a bore to stroke ratio of up to 1.85 to one. The BMW has that, with a bore of roughly 82mm and a very short stroke that puts it right on the custp of the limit. All the competition is stuck at the old 1.6:1 limit andd are redesigning to catch up. Reputedly, Aprilia are pissed off because it means that their V4 could have been even more effective if the rule timing was better.

    And yes, I would love to have a ride on one of these things, even though I know it'd make me sh!t myself. Good to hear that its accomodating of 6ft+ riders, too

    Cheers - boingk.


    And they claim rear-wheel horsepower, not crank as all the other manufacturers do. Dyno charts by all the journos back the claims up to within 2%, too.