SPIED: Lighter, faster and ready to beat up the Blade!

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Front Page - By Richard New­land DEPUTY EDITOR @MCNNEWS mo­tor­cy­cle­news

BMW is about to rip the su­per­bike sec­tor apart with a ma­jor makeover of its S1000RR. Since the sports mis­sile landed in 2010 the Ja­panese and Ital­ians have been busy catch­ing up. The play­ing field is now flat­ter than a bowl­ing green, but it looks like that could all be about to change – first with Du­cati’s new V4 next year, then the ar­rival of this new S1000RR in 2019.

The 2017 Honda Fire­blade and Suzuki GSX-R1000 are cer­tainly im­pres­sive, but nei­ther are ground­break­ing. Over the next two years we ex­pect a new ZX-10R and R1, while Du­cati’s Pani­gale-re­plac­ing V4 su­per­bike is cur­rently the worst kept se­cret in motorcycling. But who would bet against this ground-up brand-new BMW S1000RR being the most rad­i­cal? This pro­to­type looks so fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent to the ex­ist­ing bike.

Small won­der

It looks tiny. The wheels are stan­dard (cur­rent) 17in S1000RR rims, and the re­duc­tion in phys­i­cal size is clear. The wheel­base, how­ever, is close – pos­si­bly even iden­ti­cal – but the ge­net­ics that de­liver it are rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent.

The tail unit is a lot shorter than the ex­ist­ing bike’s and will of­fer only the small­est of perches for a pil­lion. The LED in­di­ca­tors also ap­pear to con­tain the rear lights – each clearly glow­ing red in our spy shots. Whether this will be a pro­duc­tion so­lu­tion is un­clear.

The stubby tail unit sits atop a com­pletely new sub­frame that is now of tubu­lar con­struc­tion.

Back at the sharp end

There are some big changes at the front, too. The love-it-or-loathe-it asym­met­ri­cal face is gone. While the in­tri­cate fins and lay­ered fair­ing pan­els are a clear evo­lu­tion, the face is a dra­matic de­par­ture. As well as com­plete frontal sym­me­try, there’s a pair of daz­zling LED pro­jec­tor beam style eyes each side of a fa­mil­iar- look­ing large cen­tral air in­take. Gone too are the fair­ing-mounted in­di­ca­tors, re­lo­cated in the mir­rors in­stead, and the main side pan­els have also shrunk.

BMW on the big screen

The rider’s view is dom­i­nated by an enor­mous new flatscreen dash, a full­colour high-def TFT item. It’s fair to as- sume the RR will sup­port func­tion­al­ity for ad­just­ing ev­ery­thing from fuel maps to sus­pen­sion set­tings and rider aids, while also boast­ing a suite of dis­play styles to suit per­sonal pref­er­ences.

We’d also ex­pect the RR to have the lat­est evo­lu­tion of ev­ery­thing cur­rently avail­able, while mo­bile con­nec­tiv­ity will be a must, and it will doubt­less in­clude sat­nav func­tion­al­ity.

Trou­ble at mill

There is also a com­pletely new en­gine. Some el­e­ments have sim­ply swapped sides com­pared to the cur­rent mill, while the po­si­tion of other el­e­ments, like the water pump, have been com­pletely re­lo­cated. While the fun­damen- tal ar­chi­tec­ture re­mains, the crankcases, heads, and most of the aux­il­iaries are com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

We wouldn’t rule out the new RR hav­ing a counter-ro­tat­ing crank to help its on-track agility – some­thing that would also ex­plain the ap­par­ent re­ver­sal of some en­gine features.

It’s also cer­tain to be Euro5 com­pli­ant, ready for the new emis­sion laws in 2020. So this should be a 205bhp+ pack­age with a se­ri­ous re­duc­tion in mass to give a huge per­for­mance boost.

The ex­haust sys­tem is fas­ci­nat­ingly small. Big­ger ex­hausts are a re­luc­tant by-prod­uct of re­cent emis­sions laws, but clearly BMW have found a way to clean up the com­bus­tion cy­cle in or­der to run with such a small sys­tem.

Tak­ing con­trol

The chas­sis is all-new, too. The fork looks iden­ti­cal to the ex­ist­ing model, al­though the monoblock calipers are un­recog­nis­able, al­though the rear ap­pears to be the cur­rent Brembo item.

The rear shock and swingarm are com­pletely new. With no vis­i­ble ad­justers, the shock is clearly elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled, sug­gest­ing it’s the lat­est evo­lu­tion of the firm’s Dy­namic ESA. The swingarm is now an un­der­braced item and the shock moves from a canted forward lo­ca­tion to a bolt-up­right, more rear­ward po­si­tion very close to the rear wheel, made pos­si­ble by the flipped swingarm de­sign.

The main frame is also a rad­i­cal de­par­ture. Still clearly an al­loy frame – not the an­tic­i­pated car­bon frame from the HP4 – it ap­pears that the two large frame spars are re­placed by a more con­vo­luted se­ries of sec­tions, to of­fer more deft chas­sis tun­ing for track use. What is clear is that it is nei­ther car­bon, nor a mono­coque de­sign.

Cat at­tack im­mi­nent

The test mule looks re­mark­ably well fin­ished. There’s not much black tape or miss­ing/bodged parts, which all point to this bike being close to pro­duc­tion. Nonethe­less, MCN’S sources sug­gest the very ear­li­est a pro­duc­tion ver­sion will be of­fi­cially re­vealed is mid-to­late 2018, and that it will re­place the cur­rent model as a 2019 cat amongst the rac­ing pi­geons.

‘This is rad­i­cal and so fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent to the cur­rent bike’

The rider might not be small, but the bike IS tiny The cur­rent S1000RR has fi­nally been over­taken, but it’s about to bite back

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