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					02      WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2009
News                                                                                                                                                                                                                       At the NEC Bike Show. Enter now at

                                    NEW KAWASAKI Z1000
                                    ►First ride on the all-new 136bhp super
                                    naked. Can it rival the Speed Triple? p8
                                                                                BMW shakes up the superbike class
                                    SHAKEY JOINS CHECA                          ►
                                    ►Britain’s Shane Byrne will ride for the
                                    Althea Ducati squad in WSB, p48             ►                                    ►                                                               S1000RR
                                    AMAZING NEW MOTO GUZZIS
                                    ►Milan Bike Show stunned by new Guzzi                                                      it reminds me of a 180bhp GSX-R1000.
                                                                                                                               The power delivery is astonishing. And
                                    concepts. Plus: BMW six-cylinder, p12
                                                                                                                               this is Rain mode?! There are still three
                                                                                                                               levels to go…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     27 November 2007: BMW’s WSB
                                                                                                                                  At 12,000rpm the shift warning light                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           challenge revealed
                                                                                   comes on and I nudge the gearlever                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exclusive spy shots show BMW
                                                                                                                               upwards to the next gear seamlessly.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              technicians and rider track testing
                                                                                From now the world is a different place.       BMW’s quick-shift system is faultless,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            an unmarked bike in Spain. Keen to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 keep the bike under wraps, the test
‘I’ve always loved bikes – I’ve not
                                                                                Having just climbed off the S1000RR after      as, for that matter is the gearbox.
                                                                                its first public test, I can confidently say      Time to take stock of what’s in front                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mule is kitted out with Yamaha R6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 bodywork, hinting at the new bike’s
had a chance to ride until now’
                                                                                everything you thought you knew about          of me: easy to read tacho with no light
                                                                                superbikes has changed. No more will           reflection, and a quick glance at the LCD                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         small dimensions.
                                                                                we talk solely of the ‘Big Four’. There’s      info box tells me speed and gear posi-
CRICKET HERO DARREN GOUGH                                                       a new kid on the block and it could very       tion instantly.
                                                                                well be the very best of all.                     The bars are perfectly spaced, wide
                                                                                                                               and low without causing wrist ache.
                                                                                                                               The pegs are high but not uncomfortable
                                                                                                                               because of the forward tilt to the clip-
                                                                                                                               on bars. It feels as right as a Fireblade,
                                          Live reporting from                                                                  but as comfortable as the ridiculously
                                                                                                                               practical KTM RC8.
                                          first Norton ride                                                                       For the next three laps I delight in the
                                                                                                                               S1000RR’s abundance of power at high                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              29 October 2008: Near
                                          ►MCN man Phil West gets the first                                                    revs, with the elastic feel of the engine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         completion
                                          ride on the new Commando                                                             response coming out of the turns. At                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nearly a year on and first indication
                                                                                               MCN we love the latest R1’s wet setting,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          of project S1000RR nearing
                                          ►  Save cash on your next insurance                                                  and the S1000RR’s has already instilled                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           completion comes from spy shots of
                                          policy with MCN Compare                    MCN’S TREVOR FRANKLIN                     the same safe sensation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a bike in production spec bodywork
                                                                                                  Session two is in Sport mode, selected                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         with bizarre decoy decals. F1 god
                                          PLUS! 10,791 BIKES FOR SALE +                                                        through a button on the right bar, and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Michael Schumacher crashes one
                                                                                   Things went well from the start. Ad-        underlined by a thick indicator against                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           during the Albacete test.
                                          500 BIKE REVIEWS + FORUMS
                                                                                justing the front brake lever was enough       the mode listing in the LCD info box.
                                                                                to feel completely at home on the BMW          What a difference. Response is much
                                                                                within yards of pit lane – the last time       more direct producing wheelies off the
                                                                                I had such an immediate sensation of           throttle in first gear while the engine
                                                                                well-being came aboard Honda’s lat-            note is almost saying ‘How high and
                                                                                est Fireblade.                                 far do you want to go?’ Already, with
WORLD SUPERBIKE REVIEW                                                             However, BMW had insisted I set off         two more extreme modes remaining
►Relive the epic battle between Spies                                           rain mode (see p4), where throttle re-
                                                                                sponse is progressive and you have access
                                                                                                                               it’s clear that if anyone had the notion
                                                                                                                               the S1000RR was going to be a low-on-
and Haga. Saturday, November 21, 7pm,
Motors TV                                                                       to a ‘mere’ 150bhp. Boring? Hardly – from      fun, Mr Sensible machine then kick it
                                                                                6000rpm the drive is so intense and pure       into touch right now.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             11 Feb 2009: BMW release pic
BAJA 1000                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BMW finally releases photos of
►Thursday, November 19, 8pm, EXS                                                                                                                                                ‘Race’ mode gives an almost direct
                                                                                                                                                                             throttle response, as if the cables are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    With confidence ramped up you push
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 harder and harder. Running deep on the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the finished S1000RR superbike –
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 although only one side-on view is
WORLD SUPERMOTO                                                                                                                                                              linked to the throttle butterflies rather                                                                                                                                           brakes for last minute turn-ins makes           leaked. Some tantalising technical
►Monday 23 November, 3pm, EXS                                                    BMW has been stung by recent
                                                                                 criticism of poor reliability on models
                                                                                                                                                                             than an electrical junction feeding the
                                                                                                                                                                             ECU. While full ‘Slick’ mode is as if your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the steering input more physical, but it’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 never exactly slow steering because the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 details are also leaked – 183kg dry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 weight, ABS, traction control and a
                                                                                 including the R1200GS, and top                                                              right hand is working the butterflies                                                                                                                                               S1000RR stays on your chosen line.              high-tech top-end.
                                                                                 bosses have admitted this is one of                                                         themselves. To be honest, with the full                                                                                                                                                Similarly, more speed while getting
                                                                                 the biggest challenges the firm has.                                                        output stretching the chain and causing                                                                                                                                             upright out of turns leads to a slight
                                                                                    Vice President of bikes Christian                                                        the rear tyre to smear the tarmac, it’s all                                                                                                                                         waggle around the headstock. The steer-
                                                                                 Landerl said: “We had to produce                                                            a bit too intense, such is the immense top                                                                                                                                          ing damper’s preset level is on the light
                                                                                 more than 100 S1000RRs for                                                                  end rush of the Bavarian powerhouse.                                                                                                                                                side, but it isn’t a concern – more a grin-
                                                                                 homologation in December 2008                                                               So, instead of mashing the throttle wide               TREVOR FRANKLIN                                                                                                              making movement.
                                                                                 and into January 2009. But we knew                                                          open, I now find myself rolling it slightly                                                                                                                                            And it is with the same grin I reluc-
                                                                                 with this bike that quality control was                                                     with more and more caution. Time to                                                                                                                                                 tantly hand the bike back to BMW. The
                                                                                 going to be a very high target for us.                                                      switch on the traction control.               over and driving hard and, at the end of                                                                                              S1000RR is BMW’s first attempt at crack-
                                                                                    “So then we produced 300                                                                    With DTC activated, it takes two laps      the straight, it’s also the first time I’ve                                                                                           ing the 1000cc superbike class, but it
                                                                                 examples of S1000RR and asked                                                               to fully trust the electronics, but the       seen a speedo reading of 279kph (174mph)                                                                                              amazes simply because its top end power,
                                                                                 BMW employees to ride them. They                                                            benefit is impressive and two-fold.           followed swiftly the hardest braking I’ve                                                                                             stability, and sophistication betters them      4 November 2009: WSB bike
                                                                                 had to sign a contract with us not to                                                       First, you instantly feel safer because       ever had to undertake on any superbike                                                                                                all. Suzuki, Kawasaki et al are going to        hints at road bike’s ability.
                                                                                 tell anyone about the bikes and to just       bikes will be going to the customer           the power is capped just enough and in        at this track. That speaks volumes about                                                                                              have a new track day playmate.                  Troy Corser’s WSB S1000RR is
                                                                                 ride and ride them.                           or elsewhere, and once these pre-             such a refined way to not be intrusive.       the S1000RR’s sheer speed.                                                                                                               I’m surprised at how good the BMW            tested by MCN after the final WSB
FRIDAY                    SATURDAY                  SUNDAY                          “These riders have covered more            production machines have been                 And, second, you now feel able to pin the        The Brembo calipers and Nissin front       and with a lot of feedback from the front   ment. From trackside you can even see       S1000RR is and I think you will be too.         round. The ride shows how balanced
Rain everywhere…          More wet weather but      Wet again and colder         than one million kilometres (625,000          finished with at the press launch they        throttle out of corners. This was brought     master cylinder work brilliantly while,       and rear.                                   the suspension doing its job. And at no                                                     and agile the chassis is.
except the south west     the good news is that     with temperatures            miles) between February this year             will be destroyed and recycled.               home most clearly by exiting the last, fast   at the same time, the chassis feels totally     The S1000RR’s suspension set-up is        point does the bike get out of shape, on
of Ireland where it is    it’s mild with highs of   struggling to get out of     and the recent start of production               “We have done the utmost to                right hander leading onto the straight.       at ease. And although not as nimble as        impressive, too. To say you can feel the    or off the brakes or by simply fluffing
merely cloudy.            15°C in the west.         single figures.              of customer bikes. None of the 300            ensure quality of the S1000RR.”               It’s the first time I’ve ever had to make     Honda’s latest Blade in the slow turns,       Sachs suspension dealing with bumps         the line into a turn and correcting it by
Verdict: Biking DVDs?     Verdict: Mild but wet     Verdict: Winter is here                                                                                                  use of Portimao’s full width while banked     the BMW drops into turns fully settled        and acceleration forces is an understate-   backing off the throttle.
04     WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                At the NEC Show. Enter now at

                                        How it all works
                                        ►                                          ►                                       ►
                                                                                                                                                          ► Chunky Sachs front forks are
                                                                                                                                                          46mm in diameter (the norm is
                                                                                                                                                          43mm). Like the shock, forks
                                                                                                                                                          are adjustable for damping by
                                                                                                                                                          screwdriver, or – seriously – using
                                                                                                                                                          the S1000RR’s ignition key. The
                                                                                                                                                          biggest difference between the
                                                                                                                                                                                                  get the right set-up, meaning
                                                                                                                                                                                                  a lot of experimentation. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                  BMW’s adjuster heads are
                                                                                                                                                                                                  surrounded by numbers 1-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                  which correspond to different
                                                                                                                                                                                                  front or rear damping rates in
                                                                                                                                                                                                  the manual. This would tell you,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ►A large white-faced analogue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        tacho features an inset LCD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        info box, and large LED warning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        light to prompt you to change
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        up. The data displayed can
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        be switched from road (gear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        position, power mode, speed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Section D

                                                                                                                                                          S1000RR and its rivals is the ease      for instance, that for track riding   etc) to track (speed, current
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         11                                      15
                                                                                                                                                          with which the damping rates can        on road tyres you turn the front      lap and gear, selected power
                                            ►Dual beam aluminium frame         ►Engine performance, throttle response, ABS and traction control           be changed to suit riding style and     red adjusters to 7, and rear red      mode, last lap time), to info
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (last/fastest/all time best lap,                                                         9                   Section C
                                            made from four pieces. Rear        can be altered by selecting one of four riding modes on the right bar:     conditions. The Japanese use a          adjusters to 6. It’s impressively
                                            ride height can be raised by       Rain (reduced torque, power down to 150bhp, soft throttle response),       wide range of clicks or turns to        practical.                            brake usage from how long
                                            10mm via the rear shock’s          Sport (standard road setting), Race (on track with treaded race tyres)                                                                                   brake light was activated, and
STEFAN ZEIT, 39                             upper mounting point. Front ride   and Slick (on track with slicks, full bore everything). To change mode                                                                                   throttle percentage per lap,                                                                                     5
MCN: What has BMW done to                   height can be lowered by 5mm       on the move, pull clutch lever in, select new mode using button on right                                                                                 gear changes and more). This
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     8                                      6
                                            or raised by 10mm.                 bar, shut throttle, release clutch.                                                                                                                      is all before you get into ‘Set-
ensure the S1000RR is reliable?                                                                                                                                                                                                         up mode’ (which I didn’t have
SZ: This is a new bike in a very                                                                                                                                                                                                        time to fathom). All data can
elite class so quality is very, very                                                                                                                                                                                                    be transferred to an optional
important. We have covered many                                                                                                                                                                                                         2D recorder/download box to                      Section B 7
thousands of riding miles in order                                                                                                                                                                                                      provide evening entertainment.
to match and surpass the quality
of the competition. This does not
include all the track testing we
have undertaken on circuits around                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Section A
the world. It has been solid testing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2          4
We have also chosen suppliers                                                                                                                                                                                                           ► Nothing extraordinary about
of quality components eg Bosch;                                                                                                                                                                                                         the engine design (in-line-
and parts like the cam followers                                                                                                                                                                                                        four, dohc, 16-valves, stacked
have the most expensive quality                                                                                                                                                                                                         gearbox, slipper clutch etc)                        1
hardening process available.                                                                                                                                                                                                            except the cams work against
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        individual cam followers
MCN: Will it be possible to fit                                                                                                                                                                                                         (fingers) rather than using
aftermarket exhausts?                                                                                                                                                                                                                   direct valve actuation. The big     SECTION A: START/FINISH        SECTION B: ENTER TURN 3           SECTION C: OFF-CAMBER          SECTION D: TURN 13 ONTO
A BMW Akropovic silencer will                                                                                                                                                                                                           four Japanese manufacturers         STRAIGHT INTO TURN 1           THEN INTO TURN 4                  CHALLENGES                     START FINISH STRAIGHT.
be available and maybe an Arrow                                                                                                                                                                                                         gave up on this system years        Fastest part of the circuit,   Third gear down to first          Brake downhill into first      Double apex, tight corner
equivalent to follow from Alpha                                                                                                                                                                                                         ago, but BMW’s F1 gurus say         hitting 174mph in 6th          for the right hairpin. Run        or second gear left corner     that runs downhill – I’ve
Racing, the BMW WSB race team.                                                                                                                                                                                                          reciprocating mass is reduced       gear, before toeing down       in wide left, hard on the         that suddenly goes off         never got the entry right
Any other silencers could cause                                                                                                                                                                                                         by 50% when compared to             box to 2nd gear into           brakes and throw the bike         camber as the track            and always have to change
warranty issues.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        shim-in-cup tappet actuation        downhill turn 1. Stability     right. The late apex means        starts to rise halfway         line mid-lean. The S1000RR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and gives greater high rpm          on the straight is perfect     bike will keep right for uphill   through the corner. Need       deals with this without
MCN: What plans do you have to                                                                                                                                                                                                          reliability. The exhaust features   even though it feels very      drive into half-blind left.       to lift bike onto the fatter   protest. The route out is
extend the S-RR range?                                                                                                                                                                                                                  three butterfly valves. The         light through the bars         Lots of body movement for         section of the tyre and pin    off-camber, but good feel
The S1000RR is the result of an                                                                                                                                                                                                         first two live in the manifold      over small bumps. Easy to      the accelerating flick right      the throttle open while        from the rear means a lot of
idea from some four and half years                                                                                                                                                                                                      cross-connection pipes to           get head behind screen.        then left can upset some          gritting teeth and aiming      faith is put into the rear tyre.
ago. BMW still has many other                                                                                                                                                                                                           alter exhaust back pressure         Braking at the last minute     bikes (eg standard 2009           for the kerb. Steer and        Onto the fastest corner that
ideas it would like to make real. The                                                                                                                                                                                                   waves according to engine and       gives no ill effects and       Yamaha R1), especially hard       lean away from kerb while      leads onto the start line and
S1000RR is a big shift in direction                                                                                                                                                                                                     road speed. Like Yamaha’s           the bike turns in fine on      on the gas with changing          accelerating then hook         it is fast with a blind entry.
for BMW, and I like to think we are                                                                                                                                                                                                     EXUP exhaust valve, it means        the brakes – no sensation      cambers – the BMW feels           second or third for clean      Peel in and pray the front
not about to put the brakes on.                                                                                                                                                                                                         they’re wide open when flat out;    of trying to sit up and run    sure-footed. Small on-off         drive through and out          Metzeler is up to the job (it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        partially to near closed at low     wide. Front suspension is      throttle movement caused          of turn six. Gear choice       is). There’s a harsh bump
MCN: How will you define the                                                                                                                                                                                                            rpm to bolster low down drive.      very settled off the brakes    by lack of track knowledge,       depends on how stupid          just off the correct line and
success of S1000RR?                                                                                                                                                                                                                     A third lives in the rear of the    while still banked. Hits the   then running on to the kerb       speed is into downhill –       Ducati’s 1198S wobbled
Not easy to answer. Worldwide                                                                                                                                                                                                           exhaust, primarily to reduce and    apex as desired. Secure        after cresting turn 4 doesn’t     1st cog slows the bike and     and wallowed even on track
sales of the litre sports class is                                                                                                                                                                                                      meet noise emissions.               feel from both wheels          upset bike’s stability. Very      gives vicious drive out,       settings. On the BMW the
roughly 80-85,000, and taking, say,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         with throttle wound on, at     agile through this section,       2nd makes everything           bars and rear end jolt hard
10% and more of the market share                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            lean and at speed trying       rather like Honda’s latest        smoother but you need to       but it all stays together.
would be good.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              to make most of wide exit.     Fireblade.                        carry more corner speed.       Awesome.
06     WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             At the NEC Show. Enter now at

Q: Is the original equipment ECU
reprogrammable for race use?
                                           How it measures up
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Brilliant. Need we say more? OK, here
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               goes. The S1000RR hasn’t furthered
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               the 1000cc class, but then Yamaha’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               crossplane-cranked R1 didn’t do that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               and it went on to win everything go-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ing – from MCN’s 1000cc group test to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               British and World Superbike titles.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What BMW has done with the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               S1000RR is to give us riders another
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            get,which is why they adorn exotica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            such as Ducati’s 1198 range and the KTM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            RC8R. And a prospective S1000RR buyer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            won’t be paying silly money for them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nor will they have to pay through the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            nose for the quality feel the BMW ex-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            udes – straight from the crate.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               So what other reasons should we
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            contemplate buying the BMW? The                                                                                                                       TREVOR FRANKLIN
A: No. The ECU only accepts ‘Flash’                                                                                                                                                                                                            choice when it comes to buying the           same reasons we buy any other marque
memory downloads for updated                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ultimate sports weapon. But when you         of superbike: performance, handling,
ignition and fuelling software. BMW                                                                                                                                                                                                            weigh up what the S1000RR has to offer       looks and value for money.
will make an announcement on                                                                                                                                                                                                                   that choice narrows down significantly          BMW claims the S1000RR tops the
available race systems in March.                                                                                                                                                                                                               – I think the Japanese competition are       horsepower stakes and, ye gods, it does
Q: Is it easy to detach the number-                                                                                                                                                                                                            going to struggle to compete.                feel like it could easily do 10-second
plate assembly for track days?                                                                                                                                                                                                                    One reason is that, as MCN has learned    quarter miles without breaking sweat
wings1372                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      from our first track test, the BMW is        and pass the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’
A: Yes: remove three bolts and                                                                                                                                                                                                                 bloody good in standard trim. Re-            186mph speed limit in record time.
disconnect one wiring plug (approx                                                                                                                                                                                                             member, the bike I rode wasn’t fettled          Handling in standard trim will make
four minutes). Front indicator             YAMAHA R1 £11,120                               SUZUKI GSX-R1000 £9921                          KAWASAKI ZX-10R £9499                            HONDA FIREBLADE £9221                              to impress on track as many launch           the other manufacturers wince with
removal is just as easy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       bikes are. Based on this, the S1000RR        embarrassment – even Honda. Styling-
Q: What’s the expected                     Engine:             998cc (78.0 x 52.2mm)       Engine:              999cc (74.5 x 57.3mm)      Engine:    998cc (76 x 55mm) liquid-cooled
                                                                                                                                                                                            (ABS £10,721)                                      is going to be a superb road bike – ex-      wise BMW are on the ball (though the
maintenance schedule and will                       liquid-cooled inline four, 16v dohc.            liquid-cooled inline four, 16v dohc.            inline four, 16v dohc. Fuel injected.   Engine:       999.8cc (76 x 55.1mm), liquid        tremely capable and fast, but very safe      strange green paint won’t be to all tastes)
prices be comparable to the                                   Fuel injected. Six gears.                       Fuel injected. Six gears.                                       Six gears.            cooled inline four, 16v. Fuel injected     and controllable with it.                    to me it looks as sharp as anything else
competition?                               Power:                              179.5bhp    Power:                              182.4bhp    Power:                              185.4bhp     Power:                              175.3bhp          Take braking, for example. None           available, even with its asymmetry.
JC Current, USA                            Torque:                              85.2ftlb   Torque:                              86.1ftlb   Torque:                               83.4lbft   Torque:                               82.7ftlb     of the flagship Japanese sports bikes           And with regards to price, from our
A: Servicing requirements aren’t           Kerb weight:                           206kg    Kerb weight:                           203kg    Kerb weight:                            208kg    Kerb weight:        199kg (210kg with ABS)         come equipped with Brembo calipers           first taste £10,950 isn’t such a bitter pill
finalised yet. But it will follow          Contact:          Contact:           Contact:             Contact:                  – acknowledged as the best you can           to swallow. Roll on the group test...
the Japanese makes, where an
annual service will be required if
the mileage isn’t met – expected
to be between 6-10k miles. Valve
                                           +     A rev-happy short-stroke engine
                                                 with clever electronics and
                                           variable inlet stacks. Crossplane
                                                                                           +     Easy-going engine with no real
                                                                                                 surprises – tractable with no
                                                                                           step in power. ‘Big Piston’ forks up
                                                                                                                                           +      Highest claimed power figure of
                                                                                                                                                  the Japanese quartet – and feels
                                                                                                                                           like it, with manic power delivery that
                                                                                                                                                                                            +     Lightest of the big four players
                                                                                                                                                                                                  and extremely agile. Engine
                                                                                                                                                                                            delivers a strong spread of power                                                                                                                                                                                                            CHASSIS
clearance adjustment at 18k miles.         crankshaft provides incredible throttle         front are excellent and make up for             begs to be used, especially on track,            coupled with linear torque. Optional                                                                                                                                                                                                         Frame & swingarm: Dual beam aluminium
Q: How easy is it to remove the            feel, which gives devastating corner            the weak shock at the rear end – it’s           which is where the hardcore riding               ABS also available. Probably the                 ABS is available as an optional extra                                                                                                                                                            frame, aluminium gull-type swingarm
catalyser – will a full pipe or end        drive. Three-way power mode switch              a road-biased set-up. The GSX-R is a            position, engine delivery, slipper clutch        easiest and safest bike to ride                  for £785. Like Honda’s sport ABS it is                                                                                                                                                      Suspension:
can be required?                           will suit all riders. Best-handling R1          safe and predictable bike.                      and suspension come into their own.              absurdly fast. Was the Honda the                 very good considering it is on what is                                                                                                                                                        Sachs 46mm USD forks, fully adjustable.
hanktank05                                 ever – with careful suspension set up.                                                          Wave-pattern brake discs and Ohlins              bar BMW hoped to jump… before the                essentially a race bike. The BMW’s ABS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sachs rear shock, fully adjustable, inc high
A: An end can will not be enough                                                                Slow steering is highlighted               steering damper are standard items.              arrival of the R1?                               can be turned off for track use – but it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               and low speed compression damping
because it fits in after the cat. But           More fasteners on show than                     on track and rear shock gets                                                                                                                 doesn’t have to be, because the ECU

                                                                                                                                           –                                                –
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Rake/trail:                   23.9°/95.9mm
replacing the whole exhaust will                Bob’s Bolt store, underseat cans           overwhelmed. Styling is typical GSX-R                 Stiff track-focused suspension                   The only blot on the Honda                 controls the sensitivity of the ABS                                                                                                                                                         Wheelbase:                          1432mm
lose the dual exhaust valves in            look an afterthought and the rouge              and doesn’t stand out as the ‘mostest’.               right out of the crate needs to be               design sheet is that the soft              depending on the power mode selected.                                                                                                                                                       Claimed wet weight:                    204kg
the downpipes and lose low rpm             frame is yuck. R1 is the expensive and          Twin silencers are huge and weighty.            backed off to suit UK roads. Raucous             suspension can’t make the most of the               In ‘Rain’ mode the ABS functions as                                                                                                                                                                               (206.5kg with ABS)
Q: How can BMW justify the £3k
                                           heaviest of the competition – and 5bhp
                                           down on the previous model R1.
                                                                                           Rider’s knees clout the frame, forcing
                                                                                           them outwards.
                                                                                                                                           performance means this is not a bike
                                                                                                                                           for the less experienced road rider,
                                                                                                                                                                                            Blade’s agility on track – it’s difficult
                                                                                                                                                                                            to find a decent setting to deal with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             normal ABS and cuts in when it detects
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             front or rear wheel lock up. With the                                                                                                    THE FACTS                                          BRAKES & TYRES
premium over Yamaha’s R1 and                                                                                                               with poor resale values because of it.           braking and acceleration forces.                 higher performance modes, the ABS                                                             It seems like we’ve been waiting for       BMW S1000RR £10,950                                Front brake: Brembo 2 x 320mm front disc
the Honda Fireblade?                       ...and how the BM compares                      ...and how the BM compares                                                                                                                        sensitivity is backed off. In ‘Rain’ or       with race ABS for £1199. It works with

                                           +                                               +
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           this moment for ages. And that’s be-       (SPORT VERSION £12,235)                                             with four-piston calipers
Dominic Roebury                                  No crossplane crank, but                         Engine response is involving and         ...and how the BM compares                       ...and how the BM compares                       ‘Sport’ mode the front ABS is activated       the ABS wheel speed and a gyro that

                                                                                                                                           +                                                +
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           cause we have – it’s two years to the                                                         Rear brake:              220mm disc with
A: The base level S1000RR costs                  extremely well-developed                         predictable like the GSX-R’s, but             Race-spec radial Brembo                          Superior suspension from                    with only slight brake pressure applied       determines lean angle position. Its ‘slip’      week since MCN first printed spy shots     Colours            Green, silver, grey, team                            single-piston caliper
£170 less than the Yamaha and a            electronics let you open the throttle           with noticeably more power. The BM’s                 calipers biting 320mm discs are                  the off. Almost as agile as the             to the rear. Use only the rear brake lever    level changes according to the power            of a disguised BMW sports bike un-                          Motorsport red/blue/white         Front tyre:                    120/70 x 17
shade over £1700 more than the             early and hard coming out of turns.             claimed to have 193bhp – and it feels           normally the preserve of European                Honda, despite the extra 5kg and road            and it operates independently of the          mode selected. The system works by              dergoing testing in Spain. Two years of                                                       Rear tyre:                     190/55 x 17
Honda (based on 2009 prices).              The four-way power switch is                    like it. Huge 46mm front forks aren’t           V-twin exotica, but even the base spec           set-up – plus the ABS S1000RR is                 front system. In ‘Slick’ mode the rear        retarding the ignition and, depending on        testing! Bikes have been designed and      ENGINE
Q: Does it wheelie off the throttle?       genuinely useful and will benefit all           ‘BPF’ but they feel good all the same           S1000R has them fitted. And they                 3.5kg lighter then the ABS Blade.                ABS is still partially operated by the        severity of slip, will close the throttle       built in less. But now we’ve ridden the    Type:                  Liquid-cooled 999cc         LIVING WITH
Chris Hiner                                riders. Sharp styling and quality spec          and can be precisely adjusted for both          have plenty of feel, too.                                                                         front brake lever, but doesn’t work with      butterflies just enough to reduce power

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           bike, all becomes clear. BMW has pro-                              (80 x 49.7mm), dohc,       Fuel capacity               17.5 litres
A: Yes. Second gear, too, with a           could easily attract R1 owners.                 road and track use.                                                                                   The BMW is a class act, but it’s            the rear brake lever (allowing racers         output until the wheel speeds fall in

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           duced a bike that’s not just faster than                   16v four-stroke inline four-       Seat height:                  820mm
smidge of clutch dip. But if you have                                                                                                          Though the BM is priced similarly                 not miles ahead of the Honda as a           to ‘back it in’ to turns. And yes, you        line. Race ABS/DTC is standard on the

                                           –                                               –
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           the extraordinarily capable Fireblade,               cylinder. Six gears. Fuel injected.      Overall width                 826mm
optional traction control fitted, it            Only back-to-back tests will tell              The BMW’s on-road ability is                    to the R1, the ZX-10R is £1500               quality road bike. Reliability-conscious         can just feel the ABS operating pulse         £12,235 S1000RR Sport.                          but more polished and sophisticated,                                   Chain final drive.     Overall length              2056mm
will only do it in ‘Slick’ mode – a five        if the BM’s power and electronics              unknown – will it guzzle fuel,              cheaper – and that’s one hell of a               Honda riders might wait a year before            through he front brake lever.                                                                 too. And for roughly the same money.       Power (claimed):                      190bhp       Insurance group                      17
second ripper mono is allowed.             can defeat the R1’s corner drive.               cramp knees etc? The GSX-R doesn’t.             hurdle for BMW to clear...                       they consider migrating to the BMW.                 DTC is Dynamic Traction Control,                                                           Amazing? Definitely.                       Torque (claimed):                      83ftlb      Contact:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             available as an option in conjunction

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