German Superbike gets more power, sharper handling, more advanced electronics – and wings!
The BMW S1000 RR has been around for a few years now, and while it’s hardly long in the tooth, you could certainly justify some updates for 2023. And the Bavarian firm has done just that, giving its superbike a healthy going-over, with some inspiration from its M1000 RR WSBK homologation special.
The highlights include a retuned engine, that now makes a stunning 210bhp@13,750rpm. That’s not far off what the 1100cc class motors from Aprilia and Ducati are making, but doing it with just 999cc is impressive. The extra 3bhp peak power comes from a new cylinder head with tweaked intake ports, an M1000 RR style airbox with shorter intake trumpets. This all improves power production at higher revs, and the new motor makes its peak power 250rpm higher than before (the 2022 bike made 207bhp@13,500rpm). It keeps its ShiftCam system, that adjusts the cam timing and lift for best efficiency all through the rev range.
Next on the upgrade list is the chassis, which now has a special ‘Flex Frame’ main frame. BMW has redesigned the twin spar unit, by adding several new openings in the sides, adding more flexibility in certain areas. That’s claimed to improve handling by giving better feedback from the front end, adding precision and accuracy, and the geometry has also been fine-tuned, with altered rake trail and offset. The wheelbase is also longer, now up to 1,457mm from 1,441mm.
The stock RR also gets the adjustable swingarm pivot setup formerly only available with the ‘M’ Motorsport chassis package or on the M1000 RR. And the swingarm has had some practical mods to make rear wheel removal easier – there are chamfered brake pads and caliper mount, as well as a new fixed spacer setup. Meanwhile, the front fork is all new, with revised closed-cartridge damping and construction, and is available with the firm’s DDC electronic suspension setup.
BMW’s been at the forefront of electronic rider aids for a while, and the already sweet ABS Pro setup on the 2022 RR has been enhanced with new settings to the full-on IMU-assisted package. There’s a new Brake Slide Assist function based on steering angle sensors to allow more controlled brake drifts into corners, and you also get a new Pro ‘Slick’ ABS setting. A revised full colour TFT LCD dashboard has new display modes with a clearer rev counter and new warning functions.
Finally, on the electronics front, the base S1000 RR now comes with a lightweight lithium M battery, and a USB charging socket in the rear tail unit. The rear wiring harness is also tweaked with a new LWS connector to make removing the rear number plate bracket, light and indicators even easier.
The most obvious change is up front though – the 2023 BMW S1000 RR gets the aerodynamic winglets pioneered on the M1000 RR. These composite plastic aerofoils claim to add up to 10kg of downforce onto the front wheel at speed, improving braking and handling, and adding stability when you’re hard on the gas.
The new S1000 RR costs from £17,500 and is available now. More info: www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk/en/home.html