After studying the possibility of running in MotoGP, the head honchos in Munich opted for the Superbike class, nearer the standard bike and consequently the future buyer. The human and infrastructure preparations for a "factory" participation in the World Superbike Championship have been well under way for the last three years at least, with an official and diligent presence at the World Enduro Championship, the MotoST Enduro in the U.S. and, closer to home, the Canadian Thunder series, as well as various promotional series for the R1200S, K1200S and HP2 Sport.
However, the BMW Superbike was always absent. Here it is - the all-new S1000RR, which has been secretly tested for over 12 months by ex-Grand Prix racer Jeremy McWilliams and which will be ridden in 2009 by Spaniard Ruben Xaus and multiple Superbike World Champion Troy Corser. BMW is aiming for the podium the first year in, but specialists are predicting the manufacturer will have a difficult time of it.
Having gone the way of the four-cylinder (limited to 1,000 cc) rather than the twin-cylinder like Ducati (limited to 1,200 cc), the S1000RR features the full range of specs and technologies found on the Japanese four-cylinders. What's more, the German designers called on the know-how of the BMW F1 team to complete a machine that will no doubt mark the Superbike scene with its avant-garde features. Just think, a single cylinder of the S1000RR features 250 cc of displacement, while a cylinder of the F1 engine displaces 300 cc. That means that BMW knows how to rev its engines up to 19,000 rpm, and that the intake, valve control, injection, ignition and exhaust technologies can be swapped freely, which is almost enough to justify the great confidence and high podium expectations of BMW for 2009.
The Bavarian manufacturer has only leaked details that we could easily have guessed at: four cylinders, electronic ignition and injection, aluminum frame and conventional suspension systems. That is to say a carbon copy of the Japanese mounts; the possible differences will certainly be less visible - and less acknowledged by the team.
For the rest, we'll have to wait to ride and examine the bike ourselves, which should be possible sometime in early 2009. It will definitely be worth the wait.Photo Credit : BMW