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BMW S1000RR Sports Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

You might have to squint to tell the difference between the old and new one (the new tail unit and higher swingarm pivot is the clue), but the 2012 S1000RR is a giant leap forward. The first S1000RR was already leagues ahead of the competition, thanks to its huge power and cutting-edge electronics, but BMW has improved their fire-breathing superbike in every area. Thanks to a host of small, but important mods, it has more grunt, a smoother power delivery, quicker steering, better suspension and more refined electronics. Never has 195bhp been so easy to control.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 3

Although power and torque remain the same, the 2012 S1000RR has a lighter-action throttle, smoother power delivery, a 20% larger air intake and a one-tooth larger rear sprocket, which gives the BMW extra oomph off the corners. There’s also a revised traction control system, which is based on the £2500 optional HP Power Kit from the previous model. In the electronic riding modes (Rain, Sport, Race and Slick), the Rain mode now has 163bhp – 11bhp more than before. There’s less engine braking in Slick mode now. The throttle butterflies open to take some compression out of the engine when you’ve got the throttle shut entering a corner. There’s also now an optional GPS datalogger, for just £530, which is brilliant. The 2D system gives you 32 channels of information – everything from lap times, to speed, lean angle, brake pressure, traction control information and everything in between. You can further enhance the system with a timing beacon, which gives you live lap times on the dash, as well as a green light that lights up when you improve you sector time. It’s the ultimate track-riding gizmo.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

To speed-up the steering, improve stability in the corners and increase rear grip, the S1000RR’s steering geometry has been altered. The wheelbase is 9.3mm shorter, the swimgarm pivot is higher and there’s 0.1° more rake and 2.6mm extra trail. Fork offset is 2.5mm shorter and the forks protrude 5mm less through the yokes. Ride quality, suspension control and range of adjustment has been improved thanks to new fork and shock springs and internals. There’s a new 10-way steering damper, too, which is so good you could use it for racing. Now the S1000RR is a lot more agile and even feels lighter just pushing it around, thanks to the revised weight distribution, although all-up weight is the same. It’s as comfortable as any superbike on the road, but the screen is quite low and the pegs high for taller riders. 

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

For the price, you get a mouth-watering level of equipment as standard. On the Sport model there’s traction control, a quickshifter, racing ABS, four riding modes, electronic engine braking control, a slipper clutch, Brembo brakes, easy to adjust suspension, Metzeler Racetec Interact K3 tyres and all the other bells and whistles you’d expect from a modern-day superbike. For 2012 the S1000RR gets a new tail section, a new dash and colours.

BMW S1000RR Sport (2012-current)

Detail Value
New price £13,735
Dealer used prices
£10,310 (2012) - £12,840 (2014)
Private used prices
£9,530 (2012) - £11,560 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 999 cc
Power 193 bhp
Top speed 186 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 3
Engine rating is 5 rating is 3
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 2
Value rating is 5 rating is 3

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 2

The S1000RR is built to a very high standard and the reliability is excellent. There were stories flying around the internet about gearbox problems, but these were wildly exaggerated. True, a handful racing superstock bikes had gearbox problems early on, but then a lot of other different makes of machine occasionally have similar problems – it’s what can happen when you ask a road gearbox to perform in racing conditions. The BMW’s problems were focussed on, where those from rival manufacturers weren’t reported.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 3

No other machine gets close when it comes to technological, big bhp bang for your buck. Its closest rival, the ZX-10R ABS is just over £500 cheaper, but isn’t as fast or as clever and the Ducati Panigale S, with all its electronic rider aids is over six-grand more.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

2009 – S1000RR launched
2012 – Updated model introduced

Other Versions

Standard model £12,295

Specifications

Top speed 186 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 193 bhp
Max torque 83 ft-lb
Weight 204 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 17.5 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 999 cc
Engine specification 16v, inline four-cylinder
Frame Aluminium twin spar frame. Double-sided aluminium swingarm
Front suspension adjustment Fully-adjustable 43mm upside down forks
Rear suspension adjustment Fully-adjustable single rear shock
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston Brembo radial calipers. Racing ABS
Rear brake 220mm single disc with twin-piston caliper. Racing ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

See all BMW S1000RR motorcycles for sale

BMW
S1000RR

5103 miles

£11,999

BMW
S1000RR

1500 miles

£12,295

BMW
S1000RR

2275 miles

£11,999

BMW
S1000RR

12600 miles

£7,200

BMW
S1000RR

8079 miles

£8,999

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3(3 reviews)

  • buy a KTM

    peterfot

    Average rating rating is 2.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I ride superbikes since the dawn of time. Tried/tested/owned pretty much anything available out there (including ... er ... a Harley, he he). Got the RR (2012 model) in order to test first hand the brave new word (i.e. the TC). That said a RR without the gizmos is merely better than a blade. After various unhappy moments (awful reliability) I've managed to sold the thing to someone willing to live with pieces that keep falling - too many to list here. Other than that this bike is the triumph of marketing (more is more) over common sense (less is more). Moral: buy a KTM RC8R (fix first the selector drum).

    31 December 2013

  • Wish i didn't spend so much money on one..

    Matthew1971

    Average rating rating is 2

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Far to many build quality issues, sound engine but chain, sump, switches, electrics and petrol cap just to name a few fail far to often, even my BWM salesman admitted most parts besides the engine are cheap and nasty....

    06 July 2013

  • bmw s1000rr

    kennygorrie

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    i bought my second 2011 s1000rr in feburary and was once again reunited with my hero, then...i ended up popping into bmw motorrad edinburgh in march and decided to take out the 2012 model for a quick test ride and ended up walking out with a new one. There is such a leap forward again its is unbelievable, anyone considering a superbike would be silly not to seriously consider s1000rr, yes they are not the cheapest but really the level this bike is at makes it easily the best value for money

    16 May 2012

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ammarkadi

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ammarkadisays

Rider comments from UAE

Got mine 1 week ago, amazing bike very smooth and easy to ride, still breaking it so I couldn't really try anything more than 7k on rpm but still the feeling is amazing.

also I find it worth to mention that there are some vibration on the handle bars but I don't find it annoying so far, but the frame gets hot quickly during the city ride on the low speeds, and as I am riding in Abu Dhabi, it is really hot here most days in the year, so it is a bit annoying if you are not wearing leathers or safety pants, for jeans guys it is better to buy the carbon parts to cover the frame and I think you will be fine.

I will add my comments after 1000 km when I can really push it hard, but until then, it is beautiful bike and I do recommend it.
 

11 April 2012 07:08

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