It was love at first sight. The second you laid your eyes on the bike, you knew you had to have it. A few weeks down the road, and a few thousand miles later, the love is fading and your only hope of rekindling the flame is to fit the bike with various aftermarket parts.
As you browse through the parts department at the local motorcycle shop and scan vendor catalogs online, you quickly become overwhelmed and taken back by the daunting number of aftermarket components that are available. It's here that riders start to question which parts make the most difference, which parts can be installed without hassle and which modifications cost what?
Hard Racing Performance, a North Carolina-based company and online retailer, realizes that these questions are all too common in the industry and has found a way to make the transition from stock sportbike to modified machine an easy, well-informed process. Every year or two, as new models break ground; the company builds a project bike outfitted with a wide array of aftermarket parts available directly through hardracing.com. The shop's latest victim? A silver 2010 BMW S 1000 RR.
The BMW is the fifth project bike Hard Racing Performance has worked on in the past 11 years. The goal of the project - as with the previous ones - was to install anything new, cool and something that would improve the bike. For customers, the build offers a firsthand look at available products, the install process and the costs associated with each mod.
Hard Racing Performance knows that most sportbike owners need and desire aftermarket parts that not only make the bike look better, but also make it perform better. Keeping this in mind, the shop installed high-end high-performance parts that would not only add to the bike's already strong looks, but also save weight and improve performance. The result was the addition of, among other things, BST carbon fiber wheels, and an Akrapovic exhaust system. Because Hard Racing knows that it's important for riders to be able to pick their bike up and ride home after a slow-speed fall, the BMW was fitted with a number of precautionary parts including CRG folding levers, frame sliders, case savers and rearsets with "breakaway" pegs.
While many of the performance enhancing parts of the BMW S 1000 RR are visible, a handful of them are concealed within the bike's fairings and motor. Hidden behind the clutch cover is an STM slipper clutch, which retains the BMW's original friction plates, drive plates and basket, and was installed for smooth clutch disengagement. An Öhlins steering damper is tucked behind the front cowl and within the air box lays a BMC hi-flow race filter to allow the BMW to breathe better.
The hardracing.com website followed the BMW S 1000 RR project bike through its build and constantly updated the list of installed parts. In addition, the guys at Hard Racing posted "how to" articles that provide images and detailed step-by-step instructions for the installation of various components such as the Öhlins front fork and STM slipper clutch.
In the end, Hard Racing Performance put out a totally revamped BMW S 1000 RR marked by great looks and amazing potential on the street or track. In addition, customers ended up with a firsthand look at the fit and finish of various aftermarket products along with a number of helpful step-by-step posts to ease installation of the components themselves.
The Öhlins TTX rear shock seen here was installed to provide better tire feedback and only took the shop about 15 minutes to mount. The shock is known for its completely separate functions for compression and rebound. The optional hydraulic preload adjustment knob was installed on the BMW's TTX shock for those situations when gear is added, a passenger hops on or the bike needs to be stiffened up for handling purposes.
The Brembo RCS19 master cylinder matches with the Brembo calipers to guarantee the BMW will stop without hesitation and even comes standard with a folding lever as a precaution. The Brembo remote adjuster leads to the left-side handlebar - this allows the rider to adjust the brake lever in or out without taking his hand off the throttle or brake lever.
The Dynojet LCD panel presents all Power Commander data in "real time" and has a wide array of options that allow the rider to, among other things, view and adjust Power Commander settings and change maps. All adjustments can be made through the display's touch screen or three easy-access buttons.
Ilmberger carbon fiber guards are seen throughout the bike. The frame guards seen here provide the BMW with a fresh look and because Ilmberger uses a special coating on their products, these pieces are more scratch resistant and will be less affected by UV light.
The nickel-finished Brembo HP monobloc brake calipers mounted to the BMW S 1000 RR provide more ridgidity, which translates into more power for squeezing the rotors. The stock rotors run the chance of overheating or warping, and were therefore replaced with the Galfer wave rotors seen here. It's important to note that the BMW was able to retain the ABS with the mods.
The Dynojet Auto Tune works directly with the Dynojet PC V. The Auto Tune kit monitors the fuel mixture and sends the information to the Power Commander V to automatically correct the map. The Auto Tune also allows the BMW to switch back and forth between the tuning modes and the base map settings.
The Akrapovic complete Evolution Titanium System weighs 16 pounds less than the stock exhaust and features a dB-killer insert that can be removed for an even louder exhaust tone. Prior to the Akrapovic install, a Yoshimura slip-on and Competition Werkes slip-on were fitted and weighed to note fit and finish.
The Yoshimura frame sliders will minimize damage from sliding-type falls and the case savers are intended to protect the bike from impacts that could crack the cases and cause oil leaks. For the BMW, these components could mean the difference between riding home and catching a ride on the tow truck.
The CNC-machined Yoshimura axle blocks seen here are lighter and stronger than the stock pieces and make it easier to adjust the chain.
The Attack Performance rearsets used on the BMW are highly adjustable and allow the rider to position the pegs and levers to the position that best fits them. The rearsets feature carbon heel guards, and partial "breakaway" pegs and allow the guys at Hard Racing to run either GP or standard shift.