11 things you didn't know about BMW's S1000R

Things you don't learn from the manufacturer's specs

I'M in Majorca at the launch of BMW's new S1000R, a naked version of the firm's class-leading S1000RR superbike using the same 999cc inline-four engine. I'll bring you a full first-ride review soon. In the meantime, here's some stuff I've learned which you probably didn't know.

THE BASE £9,990 model has two riding modes, Rain and Road, while the £11,390 Sport edition has two extra, Dynamic and Dynamic Pro. In the latter two, the traction control does not intervene to stop wheelies. In Road, wheelies are permitted but not very big ones. So if you want to pull a minger on the base model, you'll have to switch traction control off, which is easy enough.

DYNAMIC PRO mode switches off ABS on the rear wheel, so you can lock it up.

CRUISE CONTROL is available as a £390 option. BMW Project Manager Stefan Zeit says it could help protect your licence.

THE S1000R makes about 7lbft more torque than the S1000RR from 3,000 to 8,000rpm. Power and torque is the same in all modes except Rain, which makes less from 6,500rpm and peaks at 136hp instead of 160.

THE WHEELBASE is 22mm longer than the S1000RR's for better traction and stability under acceleration. It takes the S1000R's wheelbase to 1,439mm.

THE FOOTRESTS are 23mm lower than the S1000RR's to improve rider comfort. The pillion seat has also been lowered and moved forward 37mm for better passenger comfort.

WHEN THE rear wheel lifts under braking in Road mode, the front brake automatically backs off to bring it back down.

THE INSTRUMENT panel includes a lap time indicator with a green light that flashes when your time improves. It can also tell you how many times you've changed gear and how long you've been on the brakes.

BMW SAYS the traditional asymmetrical headlight is a performance exercise, not a styling one. Design Project Manager Alexander Buckan says it's the most weight-efficient way to produce high and low beam. Buckan said that without it, on the S1000RR, "We'd have wasted material on a vehicle which has one goal: speed.
"We're talking about 160-180g."

BUCKAN SAYS designing bodywork for a naked bike is "a bit like designing underwear. You have a beautiful woman. Not a lot of clothes she's wearing."

YOU'D BE lucky to fit some skimpy underwear in the space under the S1000R's pillion seat.