Beemerthat’s top of the class

BMW has made a ma­chine that trumps the Ja­panese, writes Craig Duff

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Bikes -

BMW may not be on top of the World Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onship stand­ings, but on the street noth­ing comes close to the S1000 RR.

This ma­chine will sweep ev­ery bike of the year ac­co­lade and de­servedly so. The base model comes in at $21,000 and has the best power-to-weight ra­tio in the su­per­bike class, the best out­right grunt, arm-bend­ing brakes and a chas­sis that will be torn apart in a lot of Ja­panese R&D cen­tres.

At that price, the BMW is a good thing, but a de­cent rider on a Suzuki or Honda won’t be far off.

Spend the ex­tra $4000 to get an S1000-with-the-lot and you rule the road— if your abil­ity is up to it.

The elec­tron­ics on the BMW are as­tound­ing for their abil­ity to im­prove your rid­ing.

There are four en­gine modes, each of which ad­justs the trac­tion and anti-skid brak­ing thresh­olds.

Most rid­ers who have been to a track day should be able to hit the 38-de­gree lean an­gles Rain mode al­lows be­fore the trac­tion con­trol ac­ti­vates, which then en­cour­ages chas­ing the 42-de­gree thresh­olds in Sports mode.

Take it to the track and there’s Track and Slick mode, which give pro­gres­sively more lat­i­tude — in­clud­ing rear-wheel power slides in Slick — be­fore the com­puter cramps your style, or saves your hide, depend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion.

What sur­prises in a weapon made this scalpel-sharp is just how ride­able it is in traf­fic. The BMW will hap­pily daw­dle along in a 20km/h free­way crawl, with only the ris­ing tem­per­a­ture gauge in­di­cat­ing it isn’t in its el­e­ment.

It won’t over­heat, cook your legs or load up your wrists.

Two-up du­ties also aren’t out of the ques­tion. The pil­lion pad looks as though it will strug­gle to seat a 10-year-old, but the V-shaped front and seat an­gle means pas­sen­gers aren’t at risk of flip­ping back­wards un­der ac­cel­er­a­tion.

If you have the coin, the BMW is the su­per­bike to buy. It has re­set the mar­ket as the clear class leader, at least un­til the Ja­panese mak­ers have a chance to re­act. That could be years away.

Per­former: the BMW S1000 RR is at home on both street and track.

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