One second. That’s the brief on which BMW had built this new gen superbike. The new generation S 1000 RR had to be one second quicker than its fabled predecessor around a track and yet also be easier to control.
Not a task for the faint hearted as the previous gen S 1000 RR tore apart the superbike rule book with its vicious power delivery and savage nature. Not much has changed on that front mind you, but instead this new generation is even quicker and doles out ridiculous quantities of power in an instant
There is a method to this madness though and that revolves around its new engine and a fanatical devotion to saving weight. Weight is the biggest enemy of speed and BMW went to extreme lengths to ensure it is kept at bay. From designing a new engine from scratch to developing a bespoke suspension, the new S 1000 RR is more agile yet expands its repertoire of talents. The engine is at the core of this superbike and must not be spared here as it’s a 4-cylinder in-line motor with upwards of 207 bhp.
There is more power now but the way the power delivery is spread out is even more impressive. Enthusiasts fret not as the characteristic sharp top-end has not been tinkered with and instead there is a bigger burst of power much lower down the rev range to go along with that. You are instantly whisked away to ludicrous speeds with utter nonchalance with the trademark BMW howl providing you company. Being lighter along with the new suspension also helps it put down the power better and much more cleanly. It’s certainly less of a knife edge experience now and you can explore its limits with less trepidation. There is more stability and armed with a new braking system, it sheds speed with a more ferocious pace than what it gains with.
With advancement of technology there is no doubt that access to limitless performance is much easier now and in the S 1000 RR, you do not need to be a MotoGP rider to uncork its full potential. That has been the biggest change in super bikes- particularly the litre-class ones. There is a full suite of technology available on tap which means you can customize the bike to suit your riding style. However, make no mistake as at heart it is still a bona-fide superbike with performance that needs to be handled with caution on a public road. That said it is less of a handful now.
The previous S 1000 RR was known for putting functionality before plain aesthetics especially with its unique headlamp design. However, the new one has distinct LED lights with a piercing stare and clad in traditional BMW motorsport colours, it looks stunning and does justice to the cliché of “looking fast while standing still” It however looks more delicate than some of its rivals and there is a certain beauty to its singular devotion to speed. Plus, there is more flexibility too, in terms of comfort, and it is less of a brutal object now. You also get a state of the art TFT display and generally it is easier to live with now along with a degree of everyday usability thrown in for good measure.
Priced at Rs 19 lakh, the new S 1000 RR gets a more rounded personality this time while still providing performance and handling not seen in other superbikes. Straight-line speed is all but one of its many talents and BMW Motorrad has fettled its favourite recipe to perfection. Years back its predecessor set the benchmark and it is business as usual with the new generation.