2020 BMW S1000RR first ride review

To be very honest, this is the first time we are reviewing a true-blue race-spec sportsbike. The BMW S1000RR was first conceptualised in 2009 and was built for the Superbike World Championship. Later on, when it was adapted for street use, it became the first motorcycle to be equipped with electronic rider aids. This of course set a trend and others played catch-up. However, for 2019 the motorcycle was completely redesigned sharing almost nothing with its predecessor. Here is an in-depth review of the all-new 2020 BMW S1000RR.

Large hearted!

BMW S1000rr
The new RR’s engine is a work of art and its weight has been reduced by four kilograms. Closer home, this engine even weighs less than the G 310R’s unit. If that wasn’t impressive, BMW’s variable valve timing technology aptly named ‘ShiftCam’ has been added to the equation. It has been coupled with the world’s first ever hollow board titanium intake valves. In this process, the power has gone by 8PS and there is slightly more power in the middle and at the top spectrum. All this is thanks to the ShiftCam that works in a similar yet complicated fashion as the YZF-R15 version 3.0.

Electronics at your disposal?

BMW S1000rr
You name them and the 2020 BMW S1000RR has it all. All this power would be useless without an optimum way to control it and hence, the RR is packed with electronics. As is usually the case, more often than not, we tend to get overwhelmed by the motorcycle or its insane power. However, this wasn’t the case with the S1000RR. The massive 6.5 inch TFT instrument panel shows several options of what and how the information is displayed. It’s easy to navigate from the suspension to throttle response, traction control and wheelie control which have been separated for the first time ever. Engine braking settings and seven different riding modes are offered too; more on that later. There are hundreds of settings to completely customize the ride best suited to your riding style. Will take sometime getting used to but then, as we mentioned earlier, it is easy to learn.

Frame game

BMW S1000rr
The 2020 BMW S1000 RR gets an all-new chassis called the Flex Frame which relies on the engine as the load-bearing component. This also contributed in reducing the overall weight of the bike. The wheelbase is one centimetre longer than before and there is a new underslung swingarm which pushes the rear tyre harder into the tarmac while on the gas. The rear shock absorber which is mounted vertically is a linked type suspension and the all-new USD front forks are now 45mm in diameter. The rear shock absorbers communicate with the electronic systems, an adjustment which wasn’t possible before.


BMW S1000rr
Hayes Performance calipers have been used this time around. In short, Nissin delivers the front master cylinder, Brembo delivers the discs and Hayes Performance, the calipers. The brakes are phenomenal to say the least. Moreover, the adjustable lever gives superb feedback while the 6-axis IMU linked to the motorcycle’s computer does all the work to keep the front suspension from diving, the rear wheel from lifting and the tyres from losing grip. This comes in as a very cohesive riding package.


BMW S1000rr
The 2020 BMW S1000RR is offered in two different paint schemes: Racing Red and the Stripy Motorsport. The base variant comes equipped with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Race ABS and four riding modes which include Rain, Road, Dynamic and Race. The dynamic package adds next-generation Dynamic Damping Control (DDC), heated grips with three levels and cruise control. The M-package adds carbon fibre wheels; chassis kit with the rear ride height adjustment and swingarm pivot, a lightweight lithium battery, a sport seat and the Riding Modes Pro option offers additional three riding modes (Race Pro 1-2-3) that are freely programmable. Another feature that comes with the ‘Pro Mode’ is Launch Control and hill start assist which is mostly seen in cars and ADV motorcycles.

Final words

The S1000RR was designed and developed by the Germans, so yeah it has to be perfect. More so with a starting price of Rs.18.5 lakh, ex-showroom for the standard variant, it’s a mouthwatering deal for a motorcycle with a BMW badge. The M-trim which weighs just 193.5kg makes the S1000RR just as light or even lighter than many middleweight categories of motorcycles and it handles better than its closest rivals without ever scaring its rider and is extremely comfortable and well spaced out even for taller riders.
BMW S1000rr
A must-have if you’re in the market for a motorcycle that has style as well as performance written all over it!

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