Niall Mackenzie's BMW S1000RR launch report

Fresh from two sessions on BMW's new superbike, Niall checks in to give his feedback

I've ridden BMW's new superbike, the S1000RR for two sessions here at Portimao, plenty of time to get a feel for the bike and here are my initial impressions.

Just sitting on the new BMW S1000RR makes me think of my long-term R6. I'm five-foot eight/nine and it just fits me really well, everything is really light and compact. It's a pretty amazing piece of packaging, really. Just moving it around on pit lane here at Portmão makes it feels like someone's nicked the engine.
The BMW bloke in the pre-ride press conference encouraged us to do the first session in sixth gear at 2,000rpm as a way of demonstrating how smooth and tractable this engine is. Personally I think it was just a way to ensure that none of us immediately chucked one on its roof in the expansive gravel traps.  For the few corners I did try this technique it really did show up the engine's super-tractable, electric motor-like torque delivery and flexibility.
It's really easy to flick from one  bank angle to another ­ handy at this circuit because one corner just flows into another and really high speed direction changes are crucial.
The RR steers beautifully neutrally with pinpoint precision. The bike runs massive (biggest in class) 46mm forks and the feel and feedback from them is mint.

It feels closest to the last R1, not the big-bang one, but the previous model, it's not  revvy like a Blade it's not peaky like a ZX-10R, it's smooth in the way it makes it power, like a big turbine, which makes it easy to ride hard.

I stiffened up the front forks in session two to minimise the weight transfer both on and off the brakes and it made a big difference to the turn-in.

I've seen 280kph on the clocks down the straight so far, in 5th. More to come in the next session when I go out with Troy Corser and see what he's got in his locker!