But wait...there's more! By inserting a plug into the control unit underneath the seat, the rider is allowed access to Slick mode, "intended exclusively for racing on the track using slick tires." Not only does Slick mode provide full engine power and maximum throttle response, the DTC also remains hands-off until severe lean angles are reached, ensuring the rider can utilize all of the power and acceleration necessary for driving hard out of corners (because the DTC is pulled back so much in Slick mode, BMW states that the bike is unsuitable for riding on surfaces with poor traction-thus the reason Slick mode is accessible only via an underseat plug).
Likewise, the parameters of the new Race ABS are changeable according to the mode settings. With the complete control unit and pump weighing a claimed 5.5 pounds, the Race ABS is one of the lightest integrated-both front and rear brakes are linked-setups around. Using an array of sensors (including a "rear wheel lift-off" sensor that detects when the rear wheel has come off the ground from braking rather than bumps) allows the Race ABS to proportion the right amount of rear brake power in all situations. Both the ABS and DTC can be deactivated if so desired.
Chassis And Running Gear
The S 1000 RR's aluminum frame weighs just 26.4 pounds, contributing to the BMW's claimed wet weight of 455.3 pounds full of fuel. With a rake angle of 23.9 degrees and 96mm of trail, the RR definitely has the ingredients for a supremely agile-handling chassis.
The 593mm-long swingarm-one of the longer units in the literbike class-has an adjustable pivot via accessory inserts, along with rear axle carriers providing an extra-wide 45mm range of adjustment. Thus the actual wheelbase can vary from a short 55.7 inches to a stability-enhancing 57.5 inches. The rear shock features both high and low-speed compression damping adjustability, while the inverted cartridge fork sports larger 46mm tubes than the conventional 43mm measurement for improved rigidity while maintaining good feedback. And both the fork and shock have only 10-step setting gradations that are clearly marked for easier adjustment.
There's no doubt the LED taillight...
There's no doubt the LED taillight design is unique. Turn signal/license plate holder is easily removable for track use.
More weight watching is present in parts such as the cast aluminum wheels that have the brake discs mounting directly to the inner hub. Or the aluminum fuel tank, something previously only found on very expensive limited production homologation models. Or other design aspects that put function ahead of perceived style, such as the asymmetric headlight arrangement, or the varying bodywork thickness and differing body panel design on each side for improved cooling efficiency.
It's Serious This Time
BMW is taking a major risk with the S 1000 RR. The bike has undoubtedly cost a fortune to develop, and continued R&D via the self-sponsored factory team competing in the World Superbike Championship certainly isn't cheap either. Much is riding on the success of the S 1000 RR, including the brand's overall reputation in the motorcycle-much less sportbike-market.
Will the S 1000 RR do the business? The new BMW certainly looks enticing on paper, and those deriding the bike because of its asymmetric headlight arrangement in photos would do well to see the bike in the flesh, as the two-dimensional medium definitely doesn't do it justice. Preliminary reports say the press launch will be held around November, and we'll give you a full report.