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2010 BMW S1000RR on track Review


by Marc Cantin ,

In order to shorten this text and add some necessary information, we have imbedded references to another text "BMW S1000RR and its electronics – How it all works (together!)", containing more technical info

When BMW decided to build a 1000cc sportbike five years ago, they set major targets to ensure the success, indeed the domination of the new model in that class. It had to be the most powerful, quickest and safest 1000cc sportbike on the market, to reflect BMW’s leading edge technology, reliability and brand image, and to sell in the U.S.A. for less than a $1000 premium over the Japanese competition. After riding the S1000RR at Palm Beach International Raceway part of a US Press Launch, I can emphatically affirm that all target have been met, and how!

According to BMW market research, the world-wide market for a performance bike of this extreme nature is growing, along with the popularity of track days where owners can experience the efficiency and thrilling performance of the big engine in a sane and secure environment. By the by, BMW feels that a 600cc sportbike is not required in their product range, as the low weight and agility of the S1000RR matches the 600s, and yields significantly more easy-to-use torque at low rpm – a correct assumption as I found out riding the bike on track.

The S1000RR brings all major components close to the center of the machine, while still leaving enough room for the rider to move around comfortably, on track as well as on the road.

I`m no Mat Mladin, and neither are 99% of the target buyers for the S1000RR. So here I am, an ageing mere mortal on a track, astride the world’s most powerful production bike, with 193hp (200 at 100 kph, when the ram-air effect kicks in) just waiting to put me in orbit. And like a lot of us bike nutters, I want – no, I crave the rush that this bike can provide – not just all the power, but also the superior braking, cornering and acceleration.

The S1000RR is all about opening up the ultra performance world to more riders, while maximizing safety and ease of use at the same time. It does so with the most sophisticated set of hardware and software on the market, so cinch down your helmet and welcome to a new world.

The Full Mechanical Monte
The 250cc cylinder displacement size on the bike meant that designers could take full advantage of all the development BMW did for their F1 engine, whose 300cc cylinders were close enough to pass on all the lightweight casting, cooling, mechanical valve actuation, metallurgy and intake-exhaust systems, as well as the ignition and fuel injection electronics.

This means that the 1000 SS engine takes full benefit from variable geometry intake stacks, power valves in the headers to optimize back pressure across the whole rev range, a larger power valve near the end of the exhaust system to manage the noise, Ride-by-Wire throttle control with dampening to slow down throttle opening and thus the arrival of torque in Rain and Sport modes only. The ECU also smoothes out the torque over the whole rev range to accommodate what would otherwise be a few bumps and flats sports at various rpm, just like on MotoGP and SBK machines.
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