BMW updates the Superbike range: performance for all tastes, on and off the curbs

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Fifteen years have passed since BMW decided to try their hand at Superbikes, developing a sports bike from scratch around a one-litre in-line four-cylinder. It’s an industry where products are updated every year, competition is fierce, and the pursuit of performance is constant. We are talking about motorcycles that well exceed 200 HP and 20,000 euros, whose capabilities can only be truly explored on the track. Right among the curbs of Mugello that BMW has decided to present the new S 1000 RR, M 1000 R and M 1000 RR. If all these acronyms have confused your ideas, let’s try to clarify them: the first letter indicates the positioning within the range, while those after the engine capacity define the specific model. Thus the S-RR is the “basic” faired sports car, while the M-RR is the more extreme one – between the two they cost around 13,000 euros – which in fact bears the name of the Motorsport department (born in 1972 for four wheels and since 2018 also expanded to two).

The MR, on the other hand, is the more performing version of the SR, which is a supernaked, i.e. a motorcycle that was born for sports use and is refined for road use “We have fine-tuned it to meet the specific requirements of a super sports roadster Driving dynamics was the focus of development and we are convinced that it speaks for itself, both on country roads and on race circuits,” said Ralf Mollekern, Project Manager BMW 4-cylinder. The “transformation” involves replacing the semi-handlebars with a wider handlebar, removing the fairings and making a softer setup. All this bearing in mind that we are always talking about a 210 HP motorcycle capable of reaching 280 km/h. Compared to the SR from which it derives, it has 45 HP more, suspensions, brakes and aerodynamics designed for both road and track use and more advanced electronics which also include drift control. It costs 22,850 euros, i.e. 1,850 more than the S 1000 R, which represents BMW’s gateway to the world of the track.

Compared to the previous model, it has evolved in every department: engine, suspension, chassis, aerodynamics, design and assistance systems “With a more powerful engine, more advanced chassis, advanced electronics including Brake Side Assist and DTC Slide control as well as an optimized aerodynamics package with winglets and a redesigned rear end, we have succeeded in taking the performance of the S 1000 RR to a new level,” explained Wolfgang Wallner, Project Manager S 1000 RR. Power is still 210 HP at 13,750 rpm and here too there is slide control, for exiting corners “full throttle”, to which is added ABS Pro designed to also work with slick tyres. Drift control is certainly the most innovative tool: it allows the rider to select two pre-set drift angles for the traction control system when accelerating out of corners.

On a technical level, it uses a steering angle sensor and up to the pre-selected angle of inclination it allows the rear wheel to slip when you give the gas, after which it intervenes, reduces the slip and stabilizes the bike. The trio of sports cars ends with the queen of the Elica Superbikes, which costs 33,950 euros. The engine has 212 HP at 14,500 rpm and thanks to the new aerodynamic package – fairing, wheel cover, front mudguard and brake cooling ducts in carbon fibre, higher windshield, new wings – the M 1000 RR reaches 314 km/h “Thanks to the many hours spent in the wind tunnel and on the road tests, we have managed to increase the top speed considerably despite the unchanged engine power; at the same time we have significantly increased the downforce, also when cornering. We expect that this development work is rewarded by success in racing”. In fact, this BMW is an excellent starting point for the production-derived championships, starting with the Superstock category.

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