For ten years the S1000RR has been the think­ing-rider’s sports­bike. Sear­ing speed, mon­ster midrange, tol­er­a­ble com­fort and plenty of prac­ti­cal touches made it the per­fect weapon for those want­ing more than just a loopy track bike. No sur­prises it headed the UK sports­bike best-sell­ers list for years. And af­ter a cou­ple of hefty re­vamps that kept it near the top, along comes the third gen­er­a­tion to do bat­tle with the classlead­ing GSX-R1000R, Yamaha R1M and Du­cati V4S. The 2019 S1000RR is al­most all-new – new en­gine, sus­pen­sion, frame, and sym­met­ri­cal styling. Power is up by 8bhp to 207bhp (how the old one got by with 199bhp is any­one’s guess) and wet weight is down by 11kg to 197kg (193.5kg for the M ver­sion with the trick light bits). The new en­gine gets BMW’S Shiftcam gizmo, which varies the cam tim­ing and lift on the in­take valves, al­low­ing the engi­neers to tune high revs for power and midrange for torque. At 9000rpm an ac­tu­a­tor shoves the camshaft along, al­low­ing an­other set of cams to ac­ti­vate the valves. If the sys­tem is any­thing like that on the R1250GS we’ve rid­den, the shift will be im­per­cep­ti­ble from the sad­dle. No dyno curves are avail­able yet so we can’t see ex­actly what dif­fer­ence Shiftcam makes, but BMW claim at least 75 lb ft (just shy of the peak torque of a GSX-R1000R) be­tween 5500 and 14,000rpm. Peak torque is claimed at 83 lb ft. The S1000RR’S mon­ster midrange looks to have sur­vived the chase for higher peak power. The frame has had more mod­est changes. It’s a new de­sign that uses the en­gine more as a stressed mem­ber but it looks largely the same as the old one. It is dif­fer­ent though – the frame’s weight drops by 1.3kg, it flexes dif­fer­ently to the old model’s and it’s 13mm nar­rower at the knees, which should help make the RR feel less of a beast. Ge­om­e­try has changed slightly too, with a frac­tion steeper head an­gle, less trail and 9mm more on the wheel­base.

NEW EX­HAUST This weighs 1.3kg less than the old one and uses two si­lencers (one un­der the en­gine) rather than hav­ing a sin­gle mas­sive munter stick­ing out the side (we’re look­ing at you GSXR1000R). NEW FRAME AND SWINGARM Most no­tice­able is the swingarm, which is now un­der­slung rather than the old bike’s up-and-over style. The main ad­van­tage is to shift the rear shock away from the en­gine, to re­duce heat­ing.

NEW ELEC­TRON­ICS Cur­rent S1000RR riders will recog­nise the new bike’s rider aids and modes etc, but all the sys­tems have been up­dated. The new-semi ac­tive sus­pen­sion is a ground-up re­design.

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