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New BMW S1000RR. Is this 2019’s top superbike?

Published: 07 September 2018

BMW shocked the superbike establishment a decade ago when they launched the original BMW S1000RR. Now they’re about to do it all over again when they unveil next year’s version.

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Officially, you’ll have to wait until the Intermot show in Cologne this October to see the bike, but these CAD images, taken from the company’s official design patent for the 2019 S1000RR, clearly show all the main details.

There’s a lot to take in, but it’s abundantly clear that this is a completely new design. The engine, frame, suspension and bodywork have been designed from scratch with the clear intention of making this a huge leap forward from the current S1000RR. BMW’s rivals should worry.

More power is guaranteed, and that means well in excess of 200hp

The engine’s still an inline four, but all the visible castings are completely new, so it’s not simply an evolution. More power is guaranteed, and that means well in excess of 200hp.

The chassis is also new, and clings much more closely to the engine than most beam frames. Its rails gain an unusual zig-zag shape as they go over the transmission and then turn up to follow the angle of the cylinders towards the headstock. The intention appears to be to make the bike more compact than ever, and it certainly looks small in these pictures.

At the back, the swingarm is braced from underneath rather than above. That’s standard practice in MotoGP, but unique among the current crop of 1000cc road-going superbikes. Normally, the bulky exhaust collector box below the front of the swingarm means designers use bracing that runs above the swingarm instead.

It’s impressive that BMW has managed to squeeze it all in without making such compromises, particularly since it’s got a smaller end-can than the current S1000RR, and is surely designed to meet 2020’s Euro5 emissions limits.

When it comes to styling, it’s all change. Notably, BMW has dropped the lopsided headlights that have been an S1000RR trademark for a decade. In their place is a pair of matching LED lights in a symmetrical nose. The central air intake does hard back to the old bike’s design, giving a smidge of continuity.

Find a previous version of the BMW S1000RR for sale.