I spent a week with the updated BMW S1000R. Here are my thoughts
When going to the official first rides organized by different motorcycling brands you manage to get a decent first impression upon the tested motorcycle but, still, it’s just a “first impression.” That’s because you're on a specific route, at a specific riding speed and you do some 400 km on a nice road in Spain. You start to know a bike later when spending more than three days with it and use it as a daily ride. That’s what we did with this brand-new S1000R.
BMW S1000R received an update for 2017: Euro 4 regulations compatible, more power, less weight, improved electronics. A more refined version of the S1000RR-derived supernaked. Our test ride began on a cloudy Monday, but it was a great week to come. Our experience is also available in a video format. You can watch the movie below or
“>on YouTube if you’re a visual-oriented person. Enjoy it on full screen and don’t forget to subscribe.
Day 1 – First contact
I am the first person to ride that S1000R test unit. It has an ODO of only 2 km. Good news! But this means I must be careful and stay under the 9,000 rpm limit until the bike reaches 1,000 km on the dash. That’s a pity because the 9,000-11,000 rpm interval is magic.
Next to my bike, there was a 2016 S1000R, so it was easier for me to spot the differences which are not quite obvious. So we have a different side fairing, a standard Akrapovic can – which gives you a raucous sound when revving hard in the low rpm range and a powerful scream in flat-out mode at 9,000 revolutions.
My S1000R test machine featured HP wheels – which are 2 kg lighter than standard ones and make the bike more nimble due to reduced inertia movement.
After riding this bike for 5 km, I remembered my old S1000R experience – this bike turns you into a hooligan.
Day 2 – S1000R vs. S1000RR
Next day I met my colleague Bogdanel who owns a new S1000RR – our long-term test machine for this year. After switching the bikes, he tells me the difference: a more relaxed ride (of course) and the same turning angle (not so good). Although the naked is not so muscular as the superbike, he didn’t felt it underpowered. At least not on the road. Our conclusion: if you wanna hit the track, the S1000RR is your bike. Else, you should choose the streetfigher. It’s more comfortable and cheaper. However, we want to make a track comparison. But until then, let's get to the commuting.
Day 3 – Commuting
After three days of fighting with the rush hour traffic in Bucharest – which is horrible – I realized that the S1000R is not my favorite commuter. Besides the superbike-like turning angle, there’s the frame heat that’s bothering me. Due to the engine, the frame starts burning, especially on the left side. Not so fun, especially in the summertime.
Besides that, you can do a decent lane-splitting due to its compact dimensions.
On the other hand, you’re not buying a $16,000, 165 HP super naked for its commuter abilities. And that leads us to the next day.
Day 4 – Curve-eater
It was the day when I fell in love with the S1000R. It made me laugh. It made me happy. It made me remember why I like riding a good and powerful motorcycle.
It was impossible for me to ride it at a slow pace. I was playing between 6,000 rpm and 9,000 rpm (my favorite interval), and it was all natural. I wasn’t even trying to ride it fast. Meanwhile, everything else – cars and motorcycles – disappeared in my rearview mirror as if there were just some frozen objects.
What impressed me that much? It wasn’t the power. It was the power delivery. You don’t need a surgeon hand to handle this bike. It’s very smooth and predictable, unlike some brutal on/off machines. Some of you might consider it boring, but I enjoyed having full control. At least until 9,000 rpm.
And it’s fast. It’s really, really fast. You reach a three-digits figure on the dash without realizing it and ask yourself how the hell did that happen so fast.
The suspensions are on the stiff side. It’s a normal thing. Although there are some different damping presets over there, I wouldn’t say you’ll get a comfortable ride. I felt it a bit shaky on a high-speed left turn, but it might be due to the high-pressure in tires.
Besides that shaky turn, all I felt was one of the best connections between a motorcycle and the road.
The braking system is brilliant, and you only need two fingers to stop the bike. Also, you have a comfortable riding position on curvy roads, but it’s the highway that annoys you. Not to forget that it come with the S1000RR seat.
There are three riding modes – Rain, Road, Dynamic. The Dynamic Pro must be unlocked by yourself. Changing these modes gives you a different preset of the bike (throttle response, ABS, traction controls, suspensions). A notable update is the cornering ABS.
Day 5 – Conclusion
It was a short day. The day I took back the bike to hte dealer. The BMW S1000R is built for those who want a sporty and precise machine. It’a fast motorcycle build for smooth tarmac and sunny weekend.
I loved the power delivery, the throttle response, the engine sound and the brakes. I didn’t like the turning angle and the heat that comes from the frame.