Is this BMW the next king of litrebike hill?

The S 1000 RR has been among the best litrebikes of the past decade. It now looks as good as it is advertised to go. Is it as desirable as ever though?

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A month after Autocratech went live, I received feedback from readers. The common theme was that mostly those products were covered that only a select few could buy. To an extent, that is true too. I have a counter point, though – I am not publishing a new piece every day. I can’t cover every new product. Moreover, every product I cover here has some significance, from the Cullinan to Ninja 300. You wouldn’t want to read about something like the Hero Splendor days after its launch. Now I have another such product for you. It is from BMW Motorrad and it is a monster. It is the 2019 BMW S 1000 RR. Why should you care? What can it do? Those are just some questions I intend to answer here.

2019 BMW S 1000 RR – Photo Gallery

What’s new about the 2019 BMW S 1000 RR?

There’s quite a bit new to the 2019 BMW S 1000 RR. That’s because it is a third-gen model. But you know what? It feels more like a second-gen model though. The S 1000 RR came to market back in 2009. Over the years, it received quite significant updates The only thing that didn’t change was the bike’s looks. The 2019 model now fixes that too.

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New bodywork is the norm with the 2019 BMW S 1000 RR. It hasn’t lost its muscular look. It isn’t a svelte looker like its European rivals from Noale and Bologna. However, it was never a looker in the first place. What BMW instead fixed was remove all the asymmetrical bits from the bike. Gone is the shark gill cutout from the fairing and the asymmetrical headlamps. Also gone is that stubby exhaust.

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New to the third-gen S 1000 RR are a pair of sleek-looking all-LED headlamps. I think BMW took the inspiration for this from the new 2019 Yamaha YZF-R6 (unlike a certain other Yamaha). By the way, I am not complaining. I can argue that Yamaha bikes look better than even Ducatis or Aprilias and the 2019 R6 is my exhibit for this. Anyway, doing away with shark gill fairing cutout isn’t a nice move. That styling aspect made S 1000 RR stand out and feel predatory.

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Underneath all that bodywork lies the magic. You see, the all-new Esser features what BMW calls Flex Frame. A part of it has been left exposed (delightful, although painted in black). The highlight of this new chassis is the engine which is now a stressed member. BMW says the bike features a leaner fuel tank and the seating area trim sections have been revised for better support and knee grip.

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The biggest difference this new frame makes is in the weight department. The bike weights 197kg ready to ride. That’s a drop of 9kg from the previous bike’s weight. Let’s take this moment to thank aluminium (or aluminum). The new bike’s frame feature aluminium composite construction. Also, no single-sided swingarm here.

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Back to the engine now. The 2019 BMW S 1000 RR features a DOHC, 16-valve, fuel-injected, 999cc inline four-cylinder engine. It has water-cooling, makes 207HP (205HP for USA) and 113Nm torque, and helps the bike go from 0-100kmph in just 3.1 seconds. Helping the engine make those manic power and torque numbers are a few tricks – 13.3:1 compression ratio, BMW’s ShiftCam technology, new intake passage, and 1.3kg lighter exhaust system (remember that stubby exhaust statement?).

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BMW’s ShiftCam tech is new for 2019. It varies the timing and stroke of valves on intake side of the engine. Apart from being a stressed chassis member, this engine is 4kg lighter. Taking care of all that power is a six-speed manual gearbox that powers the rear wheel. Looking for clutchless up and down shifts?

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The Esser features HP Shift Assistant Pro for this purpose. But 207 horses are still a lot to control. To help with that, this bike features four modes – Rain, Road, Dynamic, and Race – as standard. These modes tweak traction control, wheelie control, ABS, engine braking, and throttle map to suit your taste and skill level.

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In the electronics department, the all-new BMW S 1000 RR isn’t lacking either. Featuring a 6.5-inch colour TFT digital cluster. BMW calls it Pro Ride screen. It features three Core screens for racetrack use. Here’s an instance of what sets them different – the tach readout can be either in dial from or as a bar chart. But what’s a BMW product without options? BMW Motorrad offers three packages with the all-new S 1000 RR.

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The Dynamic Package equips the Esser with electronic suspension system called Dynamic Damping Control (DDC), heated grips, and electronic cruise control. The Race package adds a new Pro Mode, M forged aluminium wheels, M lightweight battery, and M chassis kit with rear ride height adjustment and swing arm pivot (bike’s weight reduced to 195.4kg).

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The M package adds motorsport paint finish, and M sport seat on top of what Race package offers. Also, opting for M package replaces the Race package’s aluminium wheels for carbon-fibre rollers. All in, the M package-equipped S 1000 RR weights 193.5kg ready to ride.

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Talking about that Pro Mode, it adds three modes to the 2019 BMW S 1000 RR. That takes the bike’s available modes to seven! Essentially, selecting the Pro mode offers you the choice to select Pro 1, Pro 2, or Pro 3 modes. Each mode freely customisable to your liking. Moreover, equipping the bike with Pro mode means you get Launch Control and Pit Lane Speed Limiter aids.

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Sadly, the only colours you can get the bike in (for now) are Red and Motorsport – a combination of Racing Blue, Light White, and Racing Red colours. Also, in the Motorsport shade, the exposed frame colour changes to anodised aluminium. It’s a shame that this paint scheme is available with M package-equipped S 1000 RR.

Is the 2019 BMW S 1000 RR worth consideration?

How is it not? Let’s count the 2019 BMW S 1000 RR’s shortcomings – no roads where it can stretch its legs, too few trackdays to test its capabilities, and a country like India where heat from the Sun and bike’s engine is enough to melt the rider away (metaphorically speaking). But this isn’t a bike for masses. It isn’t supposed to fulfill multiple roles. All this Beemer has to do is go fast, lap after lap. Everything else is a plus, not a fundamental aspect to address.

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Here’s why you should consider it though – it is a machine where function rules everything else. This isn’t a Bimmer mistaken as a Beemer. It is not the among the best looking bikes around, unlike its rivals from Italy (one from Japan too). The S 1000 RR is a scalpel disguising as a knife. I cannot wait to see just how high this bike moves the performance bar for litrebikes. For that reason, give this bike a good deal of thought. I believe that this bike may very well be worth your money.

2019 BMW S 1000 RR – Specs at a glance

Specifications2019 BMW S 1000 RR
PriceRs 18.50 lakh onward (ex-showroom Delhi)
EngineDOHC, 16-valve, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 999cc inline four-cylinder petrol
Power207HP (205HP in US)
Torque113Nm
Transmission6-speed manual
Front Suspension45mm Upside Down fork, preload+compression+rebound adjustable
Rear SuspensionMonoshock, preload+compression+rebound adjustable
Front BrakeDual 320mm discs with four-piston calipers
Rear BrakeSingle 220mm disc with single piston caliper
Mileage15.6kmpl
Fuel Tank Capacity16.5 litres

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