BMW S1000RR (2009-2011) Review

Published: 27 November 2009

"BMW's first venture into modern superbike territory and hugely impressive"

BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)

"BMW's first venture into modern superbike territory and hugely impressive"

  • At a glance
  • 999cc  -  190 bhp
  • 32 mpg  -  147 miles range
  • Medium seat height (820mm)

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

BMW’s S1000RR is the German company’s first venture into modern superbike territory and what a serious effort it is.

Although it shares similar technology to the competition (GSX-R1000, Fireblade, ZX-10R etc) of dohc, 16-valves, stacked gearbox and so on, the engine delivers a mighty class leading claimed 190bhp at the back wheel.

Add a good gearbox, impressive fuel injection and electronics, it all adds up to make the BMW shine brightest.

As for handling; the S1000R was launched at Portugal’s Portimao circuit and couldn’t be faulted around one of the most tortuous tracks going.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

Sachs suspension doesn’t yet have the kudos of Ohlins, WP and Showa, but the massive 46mm front units and single rear shock are excellent.

BMW have also made suspension adjustment very easy by numbering the suspension adjustment range and colour coding it, and all it takes is the owner’s handbook to cross reference a suspension set up to suit the rider and conditions.

You can also use the key as a screwdriver to make adjustments to the damping adjusters.

On track the bike turns, stops and gives the rider so much confidence they will push harder and harder – and the BMW will take it in its stride.

Engine 5 out of 5

Top marks are not just for the high bhp output alone, but also for the clever electronics.

One part of which is the performance mode selection switch where four choices are manually selectable.

‘Rain’ mode caps power to 150bhp and reduces the torque output, it also smoothes the throttle response.

‘Sport’ is for dry road use; ‘Race’ mode is used in conjunction with treaded race tyres at a track day; and ‘Slick’ mode is for use with slick racing tyres.

These final three modes all deliver the full 190bhp and torque output, but throttle response becomes more and more direct.

As you’d expect with a claimed 190bhp at the crankshaft, the S1000RR is a serious powerhouse.

But with rider aids like power mode selection and the optional ABS and DTC traction control, it is also a very safe bike to ride fast.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

BMW has recently admitted quality control on its bikes hasn’t exactly been top notch over the past five years.

With this in mind BMW, have gone overboard with mileage testing – 300 pre-production S1000RR have been used for testing, which includes track testing on circuits worldwide.

Every new component has been tested for every possible scenario, from wet weather to vibration destruction.

The one problem to come from the S1000RR’s launch was some front brake discs warped. The problem was traced to the discs not being the correct thickness.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

The standard S1000RR has a 2009 list price of £10,950, which neatly places the BMW midway of the Japanese competition eg Yamaha’s R1 has an official price of £11,120, and the GSX-R1000 £9921. The S1000RR Sport version comes with quickshifter, DTC traction control and race ABS as standard for £12,235. Find a BMW S1000RR for sale.

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Easy to adjust suspension, Brembo radial front brake calipers, Bosch electronics all come together in a sorted package.

The dash system doubles up as a lap timer. Optional extras make the S1000RR complete, like the Racing ABS and DTC traction control and BMW’s own quick shifter system.

You can buy the ABS system for £785 and the quick shift unit separately, but DTC has to used in conjunction with Race ABS for it to work (£1199 for the two).

Owners' Reviews

16 owners have reviewed their BMW S1000RR (2009-2011) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.8 out of 5
Equipment 4.4 out of 5
1 out of 5

Performs well when its working

02 July 2013 by Matthew1971

Ive had mine for six months now and can honestly say its the worst motorcycle ive ever owned for build quality. BMW you charge well above the other for this bike what are you thinking...... Read more

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Good bike but poor durability and servicing

25 September 2011 by jayrichards

I bought the S1000R about 4 months ago after considering carefully a number of different bikes. I also own a ducati and another BMW bike. I love the performance and handling of the S1000R. Like most others reviewing this bike, these elements are... Read more near perfect. However, i have been extremely frustrated with the short-term build quality of the bike and the absolutely terrible BMW service response. When i first received the bike, it ran and sounded perfect. However the suspension ride was too tight for my low weight which had softened slightly. After only three months i have encountered numerous problems developing with bike, including: - extremely sqeaky front breaks - gap when apply acceleration on the chain (where it seems to slip a few centimeters before grabbing and engaging the back wheel) - light metal rubbing sound in the back wheel area when coasting - an incredibly soft or deteriorated carbon fiber tail pipe (silencer); so soft that a passenger's light foot pressure cracked/smashed the carbon housing I have taken the bike into the BMW dealer several times and on all the above issues get the same indifferent response - "this is the way this bike is". Also, i have had to ask several times to adjust he suspension, because they never seem to be able set correctly. I love my other BMW bike, and the life-span/durability and service has been generally excellent. With the S1000R its been a whole different story.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Love It

24 July 2011 by dave80h

Picked mine up a few days ago and can't stop grinning like a Chesire cat. Engine pulls like a train and that is it still restricted prior to it's first service. Looks absolutely stunning and has every gizmo known to man, just about. Yes I have... Read more noticed a bit of vibration through the bars but no worse than my zx6r. The bike to me seems a good quality piece of kit and so you would expect for that money. As sports bikes go it's relatively comfortable, no worse than it's rivals. Found it a bit hard but that can be dialed out. The only down side is the cost of the thing.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Not polished....

24 July 2011 by Westymr2

I have just got back from a nearly 3 hr test ride on one. Unfortunately it hadn't had its first service so only revved to 9k. That aside i was impressed BUT it was lacking something. The brakes were sharp as hell but lacked feel compared to my... Read more monoblocks. The bike did make all kind of shapes under heavy braking, the abs and tc were off but don't think that would of made any difference to the rear end slithering about. There was a very annoying buzz through the bars that ended up giving me pins and needles in my fingers. Positioning on the bike was nice and it was comfortable to ride (apart from the buzz) The engine pulled really well though, shame i couldn't take it anywhere near the redline! :( Overall a good bike! If the little annoying bits about it were fixed i might think about it. But for 13k...... No thanks! I still believe that a 1k litre sports bike are too much for the roads. I'm going to stick with my Daytona R.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

fast as fook

29 June 2011 by slerbeman

looks good. good gizmos, dtc and shifter. good ergonomics. accelerates faster than kilogixer or any jap kilobike, you just need to use all the power and shifter. easy and locigal to adjust suspenders. track driving is easy and very... Read more locigal, excellent throttle response and dtc makes cornering smooth :) bars vibrate under 5000 rpm, resonance is around 4000 rpm. solution to get rid of vibrations is easy, drive faster and use bigger rpms. two times has quickshifter malfunctioned, during full throttle acceleration. my tyre of choice is pirelli supercorsa sp, that works well with bimmer.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

IronBlock V8

10 June 2011 by Mr. Luck

Mate im single handedly trying to change the way people perceive Bmw riders, im currently on a wanky old GS commuting and having ridden/owned other bikes and ridden along side other BM riders i do know what ya saying (volvo drivers are the same in... Read more cars) but i can hand on heart say, i know i'm not a great rider but the GS does just love going a bit rapid as it's a big twin and lumpy when chugging around plus it is just very high up so no we're not looking down on anyone, honest, so if i do go past anyone don't take it personally im not trying to c@*t anyone off just enjoying the ride but know secretly in my heart i'd rather be on the gixxer..... I would say though that i do think all Ninja riders are mental...! In a positive way, i quite want one to see why!! I love you all equally and tip my lid....

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Brandimageproblem

07 June 2011 by IronblockV8

I don't care how good it is,its got a BMW badge on the tank,buy a YamaHondaSuzKawasakiApriHarley instead,at least everyone won't think you're a bell end/oldman/arrogant prick. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Nice but

30 May 2011 by tman39a

Had a 30 min test ride on one of these and whilst the gadgets etc are great it was all spoilt by a dreadfulhigh frequency buzz in the bars at steady throttle....i could never commute or tour on this but i guess thats not what it was designed... Read more for....still doesn't forgive the buzz...almost 2 stroke like. Overall engine is great above 2500rpm and the suspension is ok from the crate but not perfect....all its rivals are clearly better developed and already starting to see these beemers appear 2nd hand with really low miles and owners switching to other brands.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Serious kit

22 April 2010 by gibbicr

The quick shifter and the Brembos with ABS are stand-out for me. Other good points are its big enough to be comfortable and has a neat dash. All in all feels really together and all the electronics makes going and stopping faster & safer. Also much... Read more prettier than the latest R1 - eg compare the lovely stubby pipe to those twin garbage cans. Only dubious bit is the fitting of the plastics around the seat....but overall it lives up to its billing.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

This thing can go a bit

18 April 2010 by Nostrodamus

Just had a little 50km ride on a mates SRR. Christ, the hounds of hades reside in that engine. I only rode it in Slick mode - not much point mucking around with the 'lesser' ones. But my mind could barely keep apace with what it was doing over 10k... Read more rpm. Thankfully it has lovely progressive powerful anchors. No instant grab, just linear power you know you can feed into the lever. Those Sachs forks give a beautiful ride too. The rear was a little firm for my light weight but those things are easily changed aren't they. Bottom line? Waay to much for the road as all four cylinder litre sports machines are and the engine too buzzy for me too. As a track machine - well no wonder it won Masterbike.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 16 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued 2011
Original price £13,735
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 190 bhp
Max torque 83 ft-lb
Top speed 184 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 32 mpg
Tank range 147 miles
Specification
Engine size 999cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 16v dohc in-line four-cylinder four-stroke. Six gears. Fuel injection.
Frame type Dual beam aluminium
Fuel capacity 17.5 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 204kg
Front suspension Fully adjustable
Rear suspension Fully adjustable inc’ high and low speed compression damping
Front brake 2 x 320mm disc with Brembo 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 220mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2009: world launch of BMW’s 2010 model S1000RR
2010: "Sport" model available (ABS, DTC, Gear shift assist) for £13,310

Other versions

HP, Motosport and Carbon editions (2010)

Photo Gallery

  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
  • BMW S1000RR  (2009-2011)
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