In 2014 BMW Motorcycles decided to give their fans what they had been waiting for, the S 1000 R Roadster. A stripped back naked version of their supreme racing bike the S 1000 RR.
It was very much the road going version of the leading superbike, performing on par with the RR and with the optional extras available such as semi-active suspension it handled like it too.
As the years have ticked over, the S 1000 R has held its own in a tough class with the likes of the Yamaha MT10 and KTM 1290 Super Duke R fighting for the top spot.
Today the BMW S 1000 R has come down in price significantly from what it was so now it is much more accessible to a wider range of riders.
This means you can get a brilliant superbike equivalent roadster capable of track days or a crazy Sunday blast at a pretty reasonable price.
It is an awesome machine, so let’s get into the details.
BMW S 1000 R Review
BMW advertises the S 1000 R as a dynamic roadster on the outside with Superbike DNA on the inside. It certainly has typical roadster proportions but the S 1000 RR set the bar very high for the naked version to compete with.
While no match for its older Brothers top speed, the S 1000 R remains both ultra agile and ultra precise.
BMW S 1000 R Engine
At the heart of the S 1000 R is a 999cc engine that is built to be a sporty beast.
BMW Motorcycles had their designers revise the RR’s engine to make it more midrange focused. This included a different cylinder head, redesigned ports, camshaft sensors, ignition coils and cam profiles.
Overall the power was trimmed from its 190 plus horsepower to make the S 1000 R a more suitable road-going bike, but it still retains 165 horsepower to play with which is more than enough for any road in the world.
For 2022 the engine weight has been reduced by 11lbs, overhauled to meet Euro 5 standards and 4th, 5th and 6th gear has been lengthened with the intention to reduce vibrations.
It is a lovely, smooth, usable engine that has been refined to make the power accessible and non-threatening.
Once you open it up though the S 1000 R will provide all the fun you could need, the longer gearing in the higher gears allow for better fuel efficiency when touring.
Road and Rain mode reduce the power in lower gears whereas Dynamic mode will throw you into the corners like you are competing in MotoGP.
The Akrapovic exhaust as standard (on the Sport) gives a soulful grunt that sounds great as you blip through town, and again when you open it up as you increase your speed.
Chassis, Suspension, Handling & Brakes
For 2022 the bike also has a revised chassis that is stronger, the rigidity is increased and is overall lighter.
Like most naked bikes BMW Motorcycles have designed the S 1000 R to be super agile around town, the clutch and brake levers nice and light for one-finger use, and the flickability for a big capacity bike is surprising.
The weight loss for the new model has certainly aided with the agility and precision of the bike.
The suspension is excellent and can be adjusted for different circumstances, whether you are setting up for a trackday or riding some distance there is enough flexibility to make the extremes of both scenarios work.
While the riding position is more relaxed than the RR, it is still pretty sporty and has an aggressive stance.
That is not to say the bike is uncomfortable though, as you will find sitting in the saddle you will be ready to lay down some serious miles on the S 1000 R. It is more than competent as a sports tourer to carry your luggage, then shake it off and let loose when you hit that perfect road.
It is also really important to remember that being a BMW there are many accessories you can add and parts to make the ride more suited to your needs, from performance enhancements tocomfort seats and raised bars.
You do get 3 seating positions as standard and a dual adjustable handlebar clamp which will get you started on finding the perfect fit and position.
The brake system on the S 1000 R is impressive, it is BMW’s own branded brakes as opposed to the Brembo’s used previously.
They have plenty of bite and don’t feel that they are lacking anywhere.
Of course the ABS Pro and Dynamic Traction Control assists with how the bike feels, handles, approaches road surfaces, corners, hard braking etc. The general consensus is that this is an area the bike thrives.
The styling of the BMW S 1000 R is refined, it still looks like a superbike despite lacking fairings, it has a sporty edge that some of the other naked bikes in the class lack. No detail has been overlooked as you would expect from the BMW design team.
If you want to retain the naked look but turn the sports performance up a notch you can opt for the S 1000 R Sport variant which includes all the base model features plus:
- Daytime Riding Light
- Headlight Pro
- Adaptive Headlight
- Gear Shift Assist Pro
- Riding Modes Pro: Dynamic Pro
- Cruise Control
- Keyless Ride Light
- USB Charging Socket
- Dynamic Damping Control (DDC)
- Heated Grips
- Engine Spoiler
Features – Tech and Rider Aids
- Full LED lighting
- Three Ride Modes (Rain, Road, Dynamic)
- Six-axis sensor incl. ABS Pro & DTC
- TFT display with connectivity
- Adjustable handlebar position
Optional Extras and Accessories:
- DDC (Dynamic Damper Control)
- Ride Modes Pro (includes Dynamic Pro, with adjustable Wheelie Control, HSC Pro, MSR, DBC)
- Shift Assist Pro
- Headlight Pro (adds adaptive cornering light)
- Keyless Ride
- TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor System)
- M Carbon wheels
- M lightweight battery
- Carbon package and billet packs
- Rear bags and soft bags
- Carbon trim panel components
- Billet parts
The 6 ½ inch TFT display is a firm favorite and a major win according to all those who have reviewed the model.
The riding modes, and settings can all be accessed by a simple switchgear and the display provides all the necessary information you could want and then some; it is the simplicity of the unit that puts it ahead of the competition.
There is no denying that the M Sport package looks like the bee’s knees and having the M livery on the bike makes it stand out and gives an even sportier dominance, plus less weight thanks to the carbon wheels or M forged wheels options and the titanium sports silencer.
The optional M package which will will add an additional $2850 also gets you keyless ride light ready, titanium sports silencer and endurance chain improved efficiency.
Wheelie Control and Dynamic Damping Control are also two tech features that are worth their salt if you are someone who enjoys the electronic rider aids that BMW have become known for.
BMW S 1000 R Top Speed
The S 1000 R has an estimated top speed of around 124mph.
BMW S 1000 R Specs
Engine and Transmission
- Engine – Four-stroke, inline-4, 4 valves per cylinder
- Capacity – 999cc
- Bore x Stroke – 80 x 49.7mm
- Compression Ratio – 12.0:1
- Cooling System – Liquid cooled
- Starting – Electric
- Induction – Electronic Fuel Injection
- Transmission – 6 Speed
- Final Drive – Chain
- Max Power – 165 horsepower at 11,000rpm
- Max Torque – 114 Nm at 6,000 engine revs
- Top Speed – 124mph
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame – Bridge type aluminium laminate frame with load-bearing engine
- Front Suspension – Upside-down telescopic fork, spring preload, adjustable preload and compression
- Rear Suspension – Aluminium swingarm with central shock adjustable preload and compression, adjustable spring preload
- Front Brakes – Twin discs, 4 piston calipers
- Rear Brakes – Single disc, 1 piston caliper
- Wheelbase – 57”
- Seat Height – 32.7”
- Wet Weight – 199kg or 198kg with the M package
- Fuel Capacity – 20L
BMW S 1000 R Price
In the UK the S 1000 R starts from £12,400 and in the US prices start from $14,545.
Who is the BMW S1000 R for?
It is a top end BMW model and with an engine boasting 165 horsepower, it isn’t for a novice rider.
The S 1000 R is a brilliant all round road-going naked motorcycle. Want a trip across state lines? Tackle a trackday? Or just into being a road warrior on the twistys?
The S 1000 R can do it all and do it well.
It offers superbike performance at a more affordable cost than the RR; it is also more comfortable and usable as an everyday motorcycle.
The bikes audience will largely be experienced sportsbike riders who want to maintain sports performance but have a bike that’s kinder on their backs and that can be used for other purposes such as some touring.
You May Also Like…
Other motorcycles you might want to consider in the same class as the BMW are the Yamaha MT10 SP, KTM Duke 1290, Ducati Streetfighter V4, Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 and the Kawasaki Z H2.
All of these have something to offer and each are pretty different from the other; it is hard to remember that the commonality is that they are all naked roadsters with huge capacity engines.
I think when it comes to value for money the BMW gets the edge over the above mentioned competition.
However, the overall power figures compared to the Ducati V4S for example are pretty poor with the Italian naked pushing out over 200 horsepower.
The BMW S 1000 R is an excellent roadster that you can customize to suit your riding needs.
It looks every bit the top of the line modern BMW, oozing style, class and has a whole mood that will get you ready for whatever the road can throw at you.
It is not the most powerful or fastest naked roadster available but it may very well be one of the most usable road-going motorcycles around.
Official web page for BMW S 1000 R