BMW S1000R review: the second-generation super naked based on the S1000RR superbike


  • Based on 2019 S1000RR superbike
  • Useable midrange rather than unusable top-end shove
  • Let down by new Hayes brake calipers

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
Power: 164 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.7 in / 830 mm)
Weight: Medium (439 lbs / 199 kg)


New £13,100
Used £10,000 - £13,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The latest BMW S1000R won’t satisfy those who buy solely on the strength of a spec sheet – it would appear to be giving away power to rivals, as well as lacking the flashy running gear. But in reality, it’s a very polished and potent super naked.

The inline four engine lacks some of the pizazz of alternative configurations, the brake calipers feel like a step-down from the old bike and it really warrants tyres better suited to the broad range of its abilities. Those are the only niggles: it otherwise blends cutting-edge performance with road sensibilities as well as anything out there.

During 2021 MCN's Michael Neeves ran a BMW S1000R on the long-term test fleet. Find out how he got on here.

Watch: BMW S1000R video review

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The main advances over the old S1000R are from the chassis. The frame relies on the engine to provide structural rigidity, yet both elements (and ancillaries like the exhaust, swingarm, subframe) are all lighter. The whole bike weighs a claimed 199kg: joint-class leader with the new Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS.

It’s narrower between your knees, and new handlebars connect you more directly with the front tyre. They’re adjustable for 10mm more forward reach from standard position, too. Suspension is all new: the rear shock in particular has a larger damping piston for better control, and the DDC semi-active control option pulls data from a new IMU and acts upon refined settings to increase ride comfort as well as control.

It’s made the S1000R much more agile, more dynamic (the previous model was a bit staid and safe by comparison), and easier to control at town speed. Extra steering lock has reduced the turning circle by 1.5m, too. High-speed direction changes are just as easy as threading through a jam to the front of the queue.

Cornering on the road with the 2021 BMW S1000R

The only compromises on the chassis side are the brakes and tyres: the 1000R uses the Hayes calipers found on the R1250GS as well as the S1000RR. Owners of those were less than pleased by the switch from Brembo on those model, and the supernaked is similarly compromised. Outright power is strong, but initial lever response and progression is inconsistent, so they’re not confidence inspiring in use, which tends to make you ride with extra caution as any braking has to be planned and actioned more carefully. The ABS is at least very good: as are all the electronic systems. The new suspension balances refinement and poise brilliantly in road mode: Dynamic suspension mode was redundant until the launch moved to Cadwell Park for an evening of thrashing.

On a circuit, it’s as capable as you could wish from a road bike, yet easy to ride. Ground clearance, grip, electronic rider aid intervention, stability, feel: you name it, it’s more than good enough, with the exception of the brakes, which are even harder to apply with any precision when you’re in the upper reaches of fifth gear.

I tested a mid-spec model with stock cast wheels, as well as another with optional forged wheels which save nearly a kilo in unsprung weight. Worth it? No. it’s already light, with plenty of leverage from the wide handlebars, so the benefit of racy wheels isn’t particularly needed. Nor is the adjustability of the Dynamic Pro mode – when the preset settings are so good and you can turn them off entirely if you want, it seems silly to blow a year’s fuel money on the feature.


Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Giving motorcyclists what they think they want is fraught. After all, decades of sportsbike buyers shouting "More! Faster! Lighter!" has resulted in bikes so focused, few actually buy them. Super nakeds have provided some antidote to that, but those too are increasingly close to sportsbikes in terms of technology, and performance - Aprilia’s Tuono V4 and Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 in particular. They’re sportsbikes by any other name: if you’ve built a naked streetbike so fast that downforce from wings provide a measurable benefit, that’s a sign you’ve gone too far.

BMW took a similar route to creating the S1000R, from the S1000RR superbike. The frame, swingarm, suspension and engine are the same in general, with detail changes to suit the different usage. The two previous generations have remained at least 25bhp short of the sportsbike in output though, with more midrange, whereas the Italians favour less differentiation. It may satisfy keyboard experts who demand unadulterated sportsbike thrills with flat handlebars, but relatively few are sold.

The new S1000R may appear to have gone down that path: it has again taken its major componentry from the latest generation of double-R, which is packs over 200bhp at the wheel with more intense focus than ever. Refreshingly, it hasn’t and peak power remains the same as the old model: 165bhp.

BMW S1000R four-cylinder engine

The S1000RR uses Shiftcam technology, which provides two camshaft lobes for each valve – one with reduced lift for low rpm torque and combustion efficiency to satisfy Euro5, another that is engaged at 8000rpm to feed the motor’s hunger for fuel and air up to 14,000rpm. The naked does without the complexity, and redundant top-end power and a conventional camshaft profile matches the RR up to 10,000rpm before falling behind the superbike and revving to a lower 12,750rpm ceiling.

There are gains lower down, so the crucial area 'under the curve' is greater. At road speeds, more is available, and you don’t have to be riding at prison speeds to experience the best of it. I rode it on the roads of north Lincolnshire at the launch, and it proves to be everything you’d expect from an S1000 derivative: grunty, urgent with a flat power curve and flawless throttle response. The first three gears haven’t changed, but fourth to sixth are all taller, even compared to the S1000RR.

The broad torque spread allows a wider ratio spacing – you rarely need to stab it down to get the response you need, and if you want to kick back and cruise, the rpm drop right down for reduced consumption and vibes. Which is just as well: unpleasant high-frequency vibes have plagued the S1000 series for years, and they’re not resolved here. Hold it above 7000rpm for too long and your fingertips won’t appreciate the buzzing they’re subjected to. But 70mph in top requires just 4000rpm, and creeping up a bit more for a brisk but not mickey-taking motorway still keeps it running at around 5000rpm.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 2021 BMW S1000R is based heavily on the fully-faired S1000RR superbike. Being a brand-new model, it's hard to judge reliability, but BMW offer a three-year warranty and a strong dealer network.

What's more, our owners' reviews of the current RR superbike reveal five-star ratings for reliability, meaning you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

And finally, our long-term test of the BMW S1000R didn't highlight anything too concerning from a reliability standpoint.

Pulling a wheelie on the BMW S1000R at Cadwell Park

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The super naked segment is the healthiest it’s ever been, with almost all major manufacturers throwing their hat into the ring with an all-singing-all-dancing performance upright.

Although the S1000R starts at £12,055 – undercutting much of its premium European competition – prices can quickly climb when you start to tick boxes on the optional extras list.

Our launch bikes actually came in at £17,090 and this puts the Beemer firmly in the ballpark of current favourites including the £18,100Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory, £20,205 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S and £15,749 KTM 1290 Super Duke R. All blisteringly quick motorcycles, some may actually prefer the BMW for its road-friendly midrange and more modest power output.

Watch: 2021's best super naked motorbikes


5 out of 5 (5/5)

The 2021 BMW S1000R naked gets three rider modes, variable throttle/power maps, adjustable cornering-sensitive traction control, adjustable wheelie control, adjustable engine braking management, adjustable cornering ABS, six-axis IMU, up/down quickshifter, cruise control, hill-hold control and Bluetooth connectivity. There's also optional semi-active suspension control and a fourth riding mode.

There are loads of optional extras on hand to personalise your bike, or indeed to make it quicker, louder, crash better or be more comfortable.

The BMW S1000R gets a TFT dash and keyless ignition


Engine size 999cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, dohc 16v inline-four
Frame type Aluminium composite bridge
Fuel capacity 16.5 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 199kg
Front suspension 45mm USD forks, fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Monoshock, fully-adjustable
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs, Hayes four-piston calipers
Rear brake 220mm disc, single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £300
New price £13,100
Used price £10,000 - £13,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Three years

Top speed & performance

Max power 164 bhp
Max torque 84 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2014 - BMW launch the S1000R. Essentially a naked S1000RR retuned for 160bhp. Sport version came with more electronics than any of its rivals of the day, including traction control, ABS, rider modes, HP4-like semi-active suspension, cruise control and heated grips.
  • 2017 - S1000R updated for Euro4 and gets an extra 5bhp. Uses the lighter frame from the 2015 S1000RR, which accounted for the lion’s share of its 2kg weight loss and electronics upgraded with a new Bosch IMU to give cornering ABS and traction control. Autoblipper/quickshifter and a titanium Akrapovic silencer now standard.
  • 2021 - All-new BMW S1000R launched based on the 2019. S1000RR superbike. Performance is largely unchanged, but it's a claimed 6.5kg lighter, with more tech as standard.
  • 2023: Price rise to £13,100 for standard bike, and £15,315 for the Sport.

Other versions

Available as both a BMW S1000R and S1000R Sport. Starting at £15,315, the Sport includes everything on the base model, plus DRL, USB socket, heated grips, semi-active suspension, cornering lights and more.

If that's not enough for you, there's now a hotter BMW M1000R which takes learnings from the track-tastic M1000RR hyperbike.

Owners' reviews for the BMW S1000R (2021 - on)

3 owners have reviewed their BMW S1000R (2021 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW S1000R (2021 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 3.3 out of 5 (3.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Engine: 3.3 out of 5 (3.3/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Equipment: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
4 out of 5 From Yamaha MT10sp to BMW s1000r
12 December 2023 by Chris Whitehead

Version: M package

Year: 2022

Annual servicing cost: £360

I'd definitely recommend this bike . An every day rider. Great bike for when you want to take it easy or go a bit loony. Good mpg. No way as harsh on the juice as my old Mt10 or tires .

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Coming from an yamaha mt10 sp 2017 I find the Brembo brakes ,on the BMW,streets ahead of Yamahas . I'm 85kg kitted up and for me the suspension in road setting works perfectly. In Dynamic on my bumpy roads ,locally, the ride is harsh . Can't say I miss the semi active of the Yamaha as even in the softest setting it was harsher than the BMW's.

Engine 3 out of 5

I've given the engine 3 out of 5 this is before flashing it . With a remap and torque limits removed in the lower gears the power delivery is streets ahead with good pulling power delivered smoothly from low down all the way through the rev range. From factory the low down pull was very disappointing and also lumpy , surging , around 2000 to 4000 rpm. This was very disappointing coming from the mt10 which has way more low down pulling power. Town riding this drove me nuts! Once you hit the midrange it's fine and above 8000 it takes off ! But like I say , map it ! All the lowdown issues gone. Also I see people mentioning vibration. Have to say I've not found this at all through my hands. Maybe people gripping the bars too tight?

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Only issue so far was the cush drive rubbers wearing after 3000 miles ,forward, backwards play at the rear sprocket. Meant to be a known issue with the forged wheels. They were replaced under warranty with BMW's new upgraded version. Another 3500 miles done and no issue with the new ones. Overall the build quality looks great and good deep paint.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

For the 6000 miles service , oil & filter , air filter , brake fluid change and general check over . In Ireland so cost in Euro's. Getting from 38 to 48 mpg. Got just over 4000 miles out of the original Dunlop supersport mk3 which is good milage for our cheese grater roads. Changed to a sports touring tyre now for winter and hopefully see 6000 or more out of that.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Love the electronics on this and excellent TFT dash. Easy to navigate, if in the mood one press of a button knocks all that off for some fun. Then when the weather changes it's good to have the added insurance of lean sensitive traction control and lean sensitive abs, wheelie control, launch control, rear wheel lift control, different levels of engine breaking etc, etc. Cruise control is simple to use and handy for relaxing and easing the temptation to shred speed limits. Heated grips could do going a bit warmer, they're OK but still recommend heated gloves for those colder days. Accessories added straight away was rad and oil cooler gaurds. Why all bikes don't come with these anyway is a mystery. Overall ,after a few mods, I'm delighted with the bike.

Buying experience: Dealer. With trade in .

4 out of 5
19 July 2023 by Steven

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £250

Great engine, loads of tech.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Correct setting of suspension sag is essential to get the most of the semi-active suspension, especially if you're a lighter rider.

Engine 5 out of 5

Lively and exciting inline 4 engine. Dynamic Pro mode unlocks full torque in lower gears, and adds a satisfying burble on the overrun.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No issues

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
2 out of 5 Something to avoid: The Bike, there are other options on the market.
22 May 2023 by Alex1972

Version: S1000R Black Full Optional

Year: 2022

This is a bike I really wanted to fall in love, but this never happened. The looks in black fantastic in my opinion, driving position is great, the brembo brakes also great, but... The engine is the definition of the non exciting engine. Dead slow on the low revs, annoying vibrations above 6000 rpm, stupid noise. The sound improved with a slip on exaust of sc project. The extra electronic suspension is very low quality compared to an ohlins for example. A total waste of money in my opinion. I would never recommend this bike to a friend.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Brakes are fantastic, suspension is annoying.

Engine 2 out of 5

The worst part of the bike. No power in low - mid revs and super annoying vibrations all over the bike, handlebars footpegs saddle above 6000 rpm. It is relatively economical, but this is not what you are looking for in a supernaked.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

The bike died out electronic gremlins in the first ride, after 150 miles. Since then due to gremlins of the app, the on board navi is practically unusable. BMW should just opt for android auto and forget developing useless apps.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Cornering lights, keyless ride, electronic suspension, sos, tpms sensors and many other useless electronic features like lean angle, acceleration and deceleration monitoring etc.

Equipment 3 out of 5

If you really like this bike I recommend you to avoid any extras from BMW. Cornering lights are really bad, the same bad is the extra electronic suspension, keyless ride is at least stupid as you need the huge key to open the tank.

Buying experience: Always excellent in BMW.

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