The new 2021 BMW S1000R is here: new face, chassis… engine?
Gone is the lopsided squint
BMW has just unveiled the new S1000R naked bike, and it's moved the game on in terms of looks and technology.
The big news – and possibly quite disappointing news for some – is that it doesn't get the fancy torque-enhancing ShiftCam technology from the fully faired S1000RR superbike. However, the single-R's engine is otherwise borrowed from the RR, albeit retuned to give 165hp at 11,000rpm and 114Nm at 9,250rpm.
That means peak figures are up just 5hp and 2Nm over the outgoing model – though it's still a little way off the pace of the current crop of supernakeds – namely the 180hp KTM SuperDuke R and the 208hp Ducati Streetfighter V4.
Unlike those bikes, however, BMW's kept the price of the new S1000R down – the entry-level S1000R will cost from £12,055 when it goes on sale in Spring 2021, and the top-spec 'one you want', the S1000R Sport, will cost £14,000 on the nose.
The most obvious change is to the styling. Gone are the slightly kooky offset headlights, instead replaced by a far more traditional single unit split by a horizontal LED daytime running light.
From launch you can get the S1000R in plain red, this grey/yellow and the red/white/blue M colours
BMW's saved 6.5kg across the bike – all up it weighs 199kg before fluids. You can chop a further 4.8kg by adding the carbon-fibre wheels and the optional M package bundle.
Chassis-wise, you get the swingarm and more flexible frame from the latest S1000RR. The latter has helped give riders of the superbike more feel at big lean, and here it should also help reduce the width of the S1000R between your knees. The engine is used as more of a load-bearing member as well, saving a bit of chassis weight into the bargain.
The ergonomics are tweaked too – the straight handlebar can be moved 10mm forward if you prefer a more leant-over feel, and those with more ageing spines can add an optional riser to hoist the bars by 10mm.
What about that engine then?
Your new S1000R will be powered by a 999cc inline-four-cylinder pinched in part from the S1000RR. BMW claims it has a flatter torque curve than before, and 4th, 5th and 6th gears have been lengthened to make it a bit less buzzy at cruising speeds.
You'll be able to add the carbon-fibre wheels from the S1000RR M package
That 114Nm torque figure might lag behind the more expensive competition, but BMW's saying at least 80Nm is available from just 3,000rpm – so the new S1000R should share its predecessor's ludicrously grunty charm. BMW quotes a 0-200km/h (0-124mph) time of 8.0 seconds – which is, apparently, 5% faster than the previous S1000R.
Unsurprisingly the new S1000R meets the EU5 emissions regs, and the lighter exhaust looks as if it's pinched wholesale from the RR.
I guess it has a boatload of electronics…
… Yup. Before we get onto the go-faster stuff, it's worth noting that the new S1000R's LED headlamp gets optional adaptive turning lights to help light up corners. The front indicators have been hidden away by the fork stanchions to clean up the overall look – a neat trick that does away with ugly dangly lights hanging off the side of the bike. Another helpful addition is a hill-start control to keep the brakes on until you've got the clutch out.
Like the S1000RR, Brembo brakes are replaced by Hayes items
In terms of rider modes, there are three as standard: Rain, Road and Dynamic. As well as adjusting the softness of the throttle response, each mode limits torque in various gears: Rain reduces it in 1st, 2nd and 3rd while Road and Dynamic reduces it in 1st and 2nd. Dynamic Pro is the only mode that allows full torque in all gears, but you can still set a softer throttle response if that's your thang.
If you add the Riding Modes Pro option to unlock Dynamic Pro mode you'll get the ability to adjust the engine braking electronically, and you can also activate a setting to enable power wheelies. Otherwise the S1000R's electronics will do their darnedest to let you go full-throttle without front-wheel lift. It's worth noting that the Riding Modes Pro option pack also includes launch control and a pitlane limiter for full race-bike feel in the 30mph limits.
The bike naturally gets a de rigueur six-axis gyroscopic brain to control the standard-fit traction control.
There are two versions
You can get the boggo S1000R, or the (likely more popular) S1000R Sport. The Sport gets a whole wodge of stuff included as standard, such as: the adaptive headlight, the daytime running light, heated grips, the up-and-down quickshifter, active suspension, cruise control, Riding Modes Pro… and plenty more. Given there's less than a £2,000 price difference, you'd be wise to pick the Sport.
The new S1000R then – it gets a new face, plenty of marginal gains and goes on sale in Spring 2021.