New Bikes

2019 BMW S1000RR - first thoughts

Our man Al's just back from the rather damp BMW S1000RR launch in Estoril, Portugal. Here's his first thoughts on the new bike...

"What a day… The weather at Estoril was shocking, with the morning just about a total washout. Rain, mist, low clouds – we had the lot, and the thought of wrestling a 207bhp superbike round was making the mood as dark as the clouds above.

"When we finally got out though, it all picked up fast. The bikes were on Bridgestone W01 wets, which were amazing in the cool, wet conditions. We were riding the M-sport version of the new bike, which is a £19k top-end option. It comes with carbon fibre rims – lush – and also the maximum set of electronic riding aids. Which we’re going to need today…

"Despite the rain, the S1000RR really makes the best of the conditions. It’s really miserable in the first sessions, so you’re mostly just picking your way round. The tyres gave loads of confidence, especially under braking, so what looked like a terrifying prospect quickly turned into a bit of a laugh. The traction control light was flickering away for much of the lap it seemed, but there were no massive moments in the first steady sessions. The carbon wheels make for super light handling, and the techs had dialled in some softer settings on the DDC electronic suspension setup, so there was a much more compliant, relaxed feel through the chassis.

"The new Shiftcam engine is a brute. It didn’t feel like it quite had the hammerblow of the sneaky 1100cc V-four motor in the Ducati Panigale V4S. But there’s loads of drive from way down in the rev range, together with a screaming top end. It demolished the long Estoril straights, and made me even more desperate for a warm, dry day to really try it out."

More - much more - on the new S1000RR from Al soon.

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