Top test BMW S 1000 R

Top test BMW S 1000 R

Hit, sunk

The new BMW S 1000 R sounds robust, rough and aggressive. Just like their key data: 160 hp, 207 kg, electronic chassis, only 12,500 euros expensive – that’s a challenge to the competition. The top test clarifies whether and what hits the bare gun from Bavaria.

E.t are those moments that give even the most hardened test driver a tingling sensation under the tongue: When tilted, the machine slides over both tires towards the green area. You weren’t particularly weird …

Top test BMW S 1000 R

Hit, sunk

The attack cry of the BMW S 1000 R fades away in the Allgau countryside.

A Monday evening in February. The details of the machine have already been photographed, and now that: first photo curve after 20
Kilometers of poking around and an angle of almost 90 degrees. “Recharge a few more times,” advises top tester Karsten Schwers, “the Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa need temperature. Otherwise they will work badly. "

Temperature is the right keyword. Unfortunately, four degrees above zero stand in the way of optimal grip conditions. However, charging properly sounds good. Because the engine literally craves for full loading. He goes on. Growls wonderfully aggressive even in idle and roars from mid-speed like the Germans during an attack. We are in the Allgau, in the wilderness near Garmisch. Nobody can hear the attack scream of the BMW S 1000 R here.

So on the gas and up the small, scarred road that seems to lead nowhere. The front wheel becomes light up to third gear and prances gently over the ground when loading. The forward thrust of this naked bike is so enormous, so formidable and at the same time incredibly poised – it’s crazy. Why? Because nobody would have expected this radicalism from BMW. Especially not at a competitive price of 12,800 euros. It is true that one suspected, suspected and feared what could happen if BMW offered the supersport rocket S 1000 RR naked, but the result should surpass the worst nightmares of the competition. Because even when the two fingers exert light pressure on the brake lever at the end of the straight, the deceleration is just as brutal as the forward thrust.

What did they think in Munich? Accelerate so that it pulls the wrinkles out of the corner of your eye, brake like a wall and roar louder than … but let’s not do that. These first impressions last through the night until the next morning, when the S 1000 R causes completely different surprises this time. “Can you do a wheelie out of the S-curve for the photo?” Asks the photographer. No problem. Deactivate traction control DTC – press the button for five seconds – and off you go. The S 1000 R is extremely sensitive to the gas, the forward thrust and the climbing of the front wheel are done analogously to turning the gas handle.

The BMW S 1000 R reacts perfectly to the gas commands.

A motorcycle can hardly react more precisely to gas commands. This is where the R differs from its double R sisters: While in the RR the potentiometer of the throttle valve servomotor is still controlled via Bowden cables and the electronics operate the throttle valves taking into account all load conditions, in the R this is done completely electronically, ie real ride-by -Wire.

This system, called BMS-X by the manufacturer, works so flawlessly, even a tad more perfect and more sensitive than the already good one in the RR, that it will again cause astonishment at the next photo shoot. "Please keep following behind," says the photographer, gets into the car, holds the camera at the ready, and off you go.

Third gear, 58 km / h, 3600 rpm. As if held by an invisible rod, one sneaks after. And the nominal 160 hp engine behaves cultivated like Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the state reception. No jerking, no jerking. While in these situations a constant speed can only be achieved with many bikes with the help of the rear brake, the S 1000 R stays perfectly on course. Carry out every gas command without trembling or hesitation. Almost without disturbing load changes. Exemplary. Flawless.

When the photos are in the box, the fuel consumption trip is on. And theoretically it can be completed in sixth gear. The machine pulls through from 2000 rpm and tenses powerful muscles from 3000 rpm – you cruise between 2400 and 4800 rpm in the sixth, which corresponds to 50 km / h or 100 km / h. You never feel underpowered or even forced to downshift one, sometimes two gears, at these low speeds. Overtaking trucks is done with a slight twist of the throttle.

The explanation of this extreme ease of gliding and overtaking was provided by the MOTORRAD dynamometer two days later: Compared to the RR, the S 1000 R packs 18 Nm more on the tray at 3000 rpm. Up to 10,000 rpm, the S 1000 R retains its torque superiority over its RR sister, although sometimes it is only ten Nm more. Until then, it also always delivers between eight and twelve hp more. It serves its maximum output of measured 172 hp at 11,000 rpm, and the greatest torque of 118 Nm is at 9,300 turns. The value is surprising. After all, BMW specifies a maximum output of only 160 hp and thus 33 hp less than for its super sporty sister.

The technicians have done a great job

The technicians did their homework with flying colors and trained the naked bike precisely where they make sense in everyday life. Compared to the RR, the engine turns 2000 rpm less and locks off at 11900 rpm. This corresponds to 259 km / h in last gear. That’s enough! Nobody wants to be faster on a naked bike without a windshield. Tea secondary and primary gear ratios are identical on the R and RR models.

Two days later, top tester Karsten will determine the tremendous propulsion, which already amazes when driving photos, in sensational values: The S 1000 R manages the three MOTORRAD pull-through tests from 60 to 100 km / h, from 100 to 140 km / h and from 140 to 180 km / h every under three seconds and makes not only the super sporty sister RR, but also pull-through monsters such as the larger-volume Benelli TreK variants or Brutale models from MV Agusta look old. 

How can that be? Even if the S 1000 R looks like a plastic-free RR at first glance, the engine has been completely retuned for use in the naked bike. The cylinder head has narrower ducts and the camshafts have a profile with steeper valve lift curves. The compression was reduced from 13: 1 to 12: 1, and compared to the RR, the R has an interference tube, but no interference tube flap, as the set-up was only aimed at optimizing the torque.

And instead of the variable intake manifolds on the RR, the R only has long funnels in the airbox. All measures, together with the new throttle setting, ensure the stronger torque and this debut with timpani and trumpets. Speaking of trumpets, there is another advantage to being able to casually roll through places in sixth gear at just 2000 rpm
Ability: You are traveling relatively quietly. Because those kind of expressions of life that the S 1000 R in sharp ride
on the highway, a large part of the population could well interpret it as civil disobedience.

End of the highway consumption drive. The S 1000 R approved 5.6 liters per 100 kilometers, which is not exactly a small amount, but is quite acceptable for a bike with this performance. On the next 250 kilometers of country roads, she has to show what she can do. And that puts a constant smile on their drivers’ faces. Because not only the perfect throttle response is delightful. Or the rush of acceleration that constantly drives happiness hormones into your blood when all the obstacles disappear in the rearview mirror, so to speak.

No, the unbelievable nonchalance with which the S 1000 R arrows curves of all colors is also impressive. The machine is handy and steers precisely, almost as light as a feather. It can be playfully circled around corners with its wide superbike handlebars and follows the ideal line as persistently and unshakably as a train on rails – no annoying self-steering behavior, no annoying underhandedness. Drive as intended and targeted. great.

The fact that this is sometimes a bit easier than with its sister model RR is due to the wide handlebars, which reduce steering forces, and the comparatively upright sitting posture. Whereby S 1000 R drivers still sit leaning forward with a little sporty orientation. The frames of both models are almost identical. Only the rear has been lowered slightly, resulting in a steering head that is 0.8 degrees flatter. The swing arm is also flatter, the axis of which is now three millimeters lower in the frame. A longer chain moves the rear wheel axle backwards, generating 22 millimeters more wheelbase. Wheels and brakes are identical to those of the RR version.

The low weight certainly contributes to the ease of wagging around bends: The test motorcycle equipped with all the extra features such as the sports package (DTC, shift assistant, cruise control) and the dynamic package (electronic chassis, heated grips, LED indicators, engine spoiler) brought just 207 kilograms on the scales. For comparison: the current Kawasaki Z 1000 weighs 222 kilos, the new KTM 1290 Super Duke R weighs 213 kilos.

In addition to the weight advantage, there are goodies such as the advantages of the semi-active, electronic chassis, which the competition does not yet offer: the damping is adjusted to the respective driving situation within milliseconds. In addition, the chassis setup can be easily adapted to the current road conditions while driving. You can choose between "soft", "normal" and "hard".

Here, not only the spring base, but also the rebound and compression stage are adjusted at the front, while only the spring base and rebound stage are adjusted at the rear. The whole thing can be subdivided again into solo and pillion mode, so that really nothing to be desired. Sounds complicated? But it works flawlessly and, above all, foolproof: Just a few pushes of a button while driving are enough to adapt the spring elements to the wishes of the driver or the demands of the road surface. Overall, the basic setup turned out to be slightly softer than with the RR versions, which is astonishing. Because compared to the super sports car, the suspension travel of the shock absorber has been reduced by ten to 120 millimeters. Nevertheless, comfort is not neglected.

Both the fork with its 120 millimeters of spring travel and the shock absorber respond very sensitively, provide excellent damping and provide impeccable feedback. That seduces: Even frozen through after around 400 kilometers of sharp drive on country roads around Lake Constance, you still don’t want to get off the bike. The ride on this new Bavarian cannon is addictive and kicks huge. Against this machine, the assembled Japanese four-row competition will have a hard time.

Why? Because the S 1000 R is not only light as a feather, is technically state of the art and Power is served as casually and casually as McDonald’s fries. But also because it asks many a rider of a super sport bike the question of meaning simply by being there. And even if the S 1000 R allows itself just over seven liters per 100 km with a brisk driving style, it is gladly forgiven. It is not for nothing that it is said that power comes from fuel. And in very few cases, fun has anything in common with saving. 

Technical data BMW S 1000 R

Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, rocker arm, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 48 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 350 W alternator, 12 V / 9 Ah battery, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch (anti- Hopping), six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 2.647, bore x stroke: 80.0 x 49.7 mm, displacement 999 cm³, compression ratio 12.0: 1, rated power 118.0 kW (161 hp) at 11000 / min Max. torque 112 Nm at 9250 rpm

landing gear
Bridge frame made of aluminum, upside-down fork, Ø 46 mm, rebound and compression damping (with DDC adjustable spring base and electronically adjustable damping), hydraulic steering damper, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system , adjustable spring base and rebound damping (with DDC adjustable spring base and electronically adjustable damping), double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, double-piston floating calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 220 mm, single-piston floating caliper, ABS. Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17, tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17, tires tested:
Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1439 mm, steering head angle 65.4 degrees, caster 99 mm, spring travel f / h 120/120 mm, permissible total weight 407 kg, tank capacity / reserve 17.5 / 4.0 liters.

Data service
Service intervals: 10000 km, oil and filter changes: every 10000 km / 3.5 l engine oil SAE 5W-40 spark plugs NGK LMAR9D-J
Idle speed 1250 ± 50 / min Tire pressure solo (with pillion passenger) front / rear 2.5 / 2.9 (2.5 / 2.9) bar
Guarantee: two years

Colors: Red, blue, white
Price: 12,800 euros
Price: Motorcycle test * 14,500 euros
Additional costs 390 euros

MOTORCYCLE points evaluation of the BMW S 1000 R.


Record: In the pull-through measurements, the S 1000 R overshadows all bikes measured so far. This is where all your skills come together: the optimal gear ratio, the perfect throttle response and the super successful engine set-up. You can’t really blame this drive for anything. The load change behavior is low, the gearshift thanks to the gearshift assistant is great, and even the running smoothness has improved somewhat compared to the RR thanks to the changes. The only drawback: The manual force for operating the clutch could be even less.

213 points with a maximum score of 250.

Landing gear:

Hovering at the push of a button: With just one touch of a finger, you can adjust the semi-active chassis from sporty hard to comfortably soft. It is just as easy to adapt for driving in pairs. The feedback leaves nothing to be desired in all settings, and the S 1000 R remains absolutely stable at top speed. The wider handlebars improve the handling a little compared to the RR. The steering behavior is flawless, the S 1000 R can be chased through any radius as precisely as a scalpel and remains stable on course even on poor surfaces with bumps.

213 points with a maximum score of 250.

Everyday life:

Finally something to complain about: The pillion seat is uncomfortable in the long run, luggage attachment options are rare, the view in the mirrors could be better, and wind protection is only marginal. Bearable? Sure, with such a naked bike. The rather poor high beam is much more annoying. Or the meager range: if you are traveling quickly, the reserve light comes on after 180 kilometers. If you drive more cautiously, it only lights up after 260 kilometers. On the other hand, it is positive: the S 1000 R can load 200 kilograms – you can gain weight.

141 points with a maximum score of 250.


The initial deceleration of the brakes is brutal and the braking performance is superbike. No wonder, the brakes have been taken over unchanged from the S 1000 RR. The ABS function is also flawless, and the control behavior, especially in Rain and Road mode, is very pleasant. Handlebar slap is effectively prevented by the steering damper.

116 points with a maximum score of 150.


Slightly lower costs compared to the RR due to slightly shorter inspection times and slightly less tire wear. The MOTORCYCLE standard consumption is not exactly low at 5.6 l / 100 km.

55 points with a maximum score of 100.

Overall rating:

738 out of 1000 possible points.

Price-performance note: 1.6

A lot of fun, technology and power for relatively little money – there is currently nothing comparable on the market. The S 1000 R is a real high-flyer.


The S 1000 R is a really big hit that completely shifts the standards of the strong naked bikes. Not only the engine power raptures, but also the feather-light, neutral and precise steering behavior. In addition, the equipment options with the electronic landing gear and the DTC are an additional incentive to buy this Bavarian naked cannon. And all of this for a price that the competition cannot currently match.

Jahn, Markus

Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS

Aprilia Tuono V4 R

V4, 167 hp, weight: 212 kg,
0-100 km / h: 3.2 sec, Vmax:
270 km / h, consumption: 6.9
Liters, ABS. 15,490 euros *

Jahn, Markus

KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

KTM 1290
Super Duke R

V2, 173 hp, weight: 213 kg,
0-100 km / h: 3.3 sec, Vmax:
272 km / h, consumption: 6.3
Liters, ABS. 15,495 euros

Gargolov, Rossen

MV Agusta Brutale 1090 RR

MV Agusta
Brutal1090 RR

R4, 158 hp, weight: 219 kg,
0-100 km / h: 3.3 sec, Vmax:
250 km / h, consumption: 7.8
Liters, ABS. 18,490 euros

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