This Ain’t Your Granddad’s Roadster

The BMW S 1000 R was on the receiving end of a facelift ahead of the 2017 model year, and it carries that enhanced package right on into MY2018. BMW’s liter-sized naked roadster rolls with a new frame, increased engine output and Euro 4 emissions compliance. That comes on top of the already impressive electronics package that includes Beemer’s Automatic Stability Control, Ride Modes and a Race ABS feature. The new look is significantly leaner up front for better penetration and is lighter by four pounds overall, and that comes backed up by a five-pony power increase that makes the most of those improvements. Race fans will also appreciate the extensive optional equipment list, but for today I’m going to focus on the base model of this newest S 1000 R, so let’s dig in, shall we?

Continue reading for my review of the BMW S 1000 R.

  • 2017 - 2018 BMW S 1000 R
  • Year:
    2017- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Displacement:
    999 cc
  • Price:
    13995
  • Price:

BMW S 1000 R Design

In keeping with the “roadster” label, the S 1000 R carries itself with very Spartan appointments and nothing in the way of modesty as the dearth of body panels leaves little to the imagination.

It’s all in the name “roadster.” The S 1000 R carries itself with very Spartan appointments and nothing in the way of modesty as the dearth of body panels leaves little to the imagination. In other words, no weight capacity is wasted on the whimsical or the superfluous. It starts out right up front with the cut-down front fender and fairing that is little more than a glorified headlight can. The lights themselves are wildly asymmetrical for a bit of a Steampunk visage that just looks freakin’ cool as far as I’m concerned.

A bikini flyscreen provides minimum comfort for the rider, but it does do a marvelous job of protecting the backside of the instrument panel that features an analog clock for the tachometer with an LCD screen to take care of almost everything else and idiot lights to cover what remains. A solid wall of radiators greets the incoming air behind the beefy inverted forks with a decidedly un-naked cheek fairing and narrow cowl, but the factory gets off the hook ’cause these are necessary to control the airflow through the machine, and who really wants to look at the bare side of a radiator anyway.

The flyline is dominated by the generous, 4.6-gallon fuel tank that sports a contrasting cover at the forward half and deep knee pockets that draw up to a narrow waist where it meets the sculpted saddle to give your thighs a break and help you deal with the 32-inch seat height. A rise to the p-pad forms the butt-stop for the pilot and places the rider in the bike more than on it with improved visibility for the passenger and that aggressive nose-down look that all the cool kids are riding nowadays.

At the tip of the tail we find a highly stylized LED tail light with a hang-down mudguard/plateholder (could really benefit from a hugger, says I) and short-standoff turn signals Yeah, it’s a sporty looking ride to be sure, and the upswept titanium Akrapovič muffler just puts it over the top visually.

BMW S 1000 R Chassis

2017 - 2018 BMW S 1000 R
- image 783144
Steering geometry grants a very definite eagerness in the corners with potential for lightning-fast reversals.

An aluminum, bridge-type frame provides the main structure with four cast members and the engine as a stressed unit to complete the assembly in typical naked-bike fashion. The frame is looking trim after a summer at fat camp, and that shows up in the rear of the frame with a four-pound weight loss for this year with a decidedly beefy, yoke-style swingarm to finish the standing structure.

A set of 46 mm usd stems float the front end with a coil-over monoshock to support the rear; both with 4.7 inches of travel and ride-quality tweaks to include compression- and rebound-damping adjustments. Steering-head geometry holds the forks at a nimble 24.8-degrees with 3.9 inches of trail and a 56.7-inch wheelbase, numbers that indicate a very definite eagerness in the corners with potential for lightning-fast reversals.

Symmetrical, 17-inch cast-aluminum rims round out the rolling chassis in style and keep unsprung weight low with a sticky, ZR-rated 120/70 hoop up front and 190/55 out back. Speed reduction falls to the dual, 320 mm front discs and four-piston anchors opposite a 220 mm rear disc and single-pot caliper with BMW’s switchable Motorrad Race ABS feature as the first layer of electronic safety equipment.

Frame: Aluminum composite bridge frame, partially self-supporting engine
Castor: 3.9” (98.5 mm)
Steering head angle: 65.2°
Front wheel location / suspension: Upside-down telescopic fork Ø 46 mm, compression and rebound stage adjustable
Rear wheel location / suspension: Aluminum 2-sided swing arm, rebound damping adjustable
Suspension travel front / rear: 4.7” / 4.7” (120 mm / 120 mm)
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rim, front: 3.50 x 17"
Rim, rear: 6.00 x 17"
Tires, front: 120/70 ZR 17
Tires, rear: 190/55 ZR 17
Brake, front: Dual floating disc brakes, 4-piston fixed calipers, diameter 320 mm
Brake, rear: Single disc brake, diameter 220 mm, single piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad Race ABS (part-integral, can be switched off)

BMW S 1000 R Drivetrain

2017 - 2018 BMW S 1000 R
- image 783156
Very ample power and torque make for a serious machine that the electronic fandanglery will only go so far to protect you from yourself.

The electronic wizardry continues into the drivetrain with Beemer’s ASC that provides switchable traction control for a second tier of yummy-goodness with a pair of riding modes — “Road” and Rain”— that allow you to tailor power delivery according to the prevailing conditions. Said power comes from a 999 cc, inline four-banger to the tune of a whopping 165 horsepower at 11,000 rpm (up from 160) with 84 pound-feet of torque at 9,250 rpm. Yeah, it’s a serious machine.

In spite of the fact that we have nothing quite like the Autobahn here in the States, the U.S. model still turns in a top speed somewhere North of 125 mph. Go ahead and ride that fast of you feel like you have to, just let me know how much the ticket costs.

Dual over-head cams time the 16-valve head with 80 mm bores and a 49.7 mm stroke that combine with piston shape to crank the compression up to 12.1-to-1 and put you in line at the 91-octane hook. A ride-by-wire throttle controls the electronic throttle body for smooth inputs, and of course, to enable all the electronic fandanglery. Make no mistake; safety systems will only protect you from yourself so much; you’d better respect this machine and understand what you’re in for if you decide to grab a fistful and twist.

Engine: Liquid-cooled 4-stroke in-line 4-cylinder engine, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts, wet sump lubrication
Bore x Stroke: 80 mm x 49.7 mm
Displacement: 999 cc
Rated output: 165 hp (121 kW) at 11,000 rpm
Max. torque: 84 lb-ft (114 Nm) at 9,250 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.1 : 1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire throttle system and knock sensor
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4, with titanium silencer
Clutch: Multi-disc clutch in oil bath, anti-hopping clutch, mechanically operated
Gearbox: Constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox with straight cut gears

BMW S 1000 R Price

2017 - 2018 BMW S 1000 R
- image 783154
MSRP starts at $14k, though the race accessories will pump that up in a hurry.

The 2018 S 1000 R rolls for $13,995. Naturally, Beemer presents plenty of opportunity to boost that figure with optional race-tastic fandanglery like cornering traction control, pit-lane speed limiter and launch control plus crunchier bits like heated grips and superlight forged wheels.

Standard Features: Integral Race ABS (Disengageable), HP Titanium Slip-On Silencer, ASC (Automatic Stability Control – Disengageable), 2 Ride Modes (Rain/Road), Anti-Hopping Clutch, LED Rear Light, Drop Sensor, Upside Down Telescopic Front Fork (46 mm, Compression and Rebound Adjustable), Adjustable Rear Rebound, Toolkit
Color: Catalano Grey, Light White/Lupin Blue Metallic/Racing Red, Racing Red/Black Storm Metallic
Price: $13,995

BMW S 1000 R Competitors

2017 - 2018 BMW S 1000 R
- image 783157
2015 - 2017 Ducati Monster 1200 / 1200 S / 1200 R
- image 674565
The sticker price doesn't do the Monster any favors, but the good looks and electronic fandanglery leaves you with a difficult choice.

When looking for a competitor for the Beemer, I felt like I needed something that provides the same performance but carries itself with less of an edgy demeanor. Ducati was my Huckleberry with its Monster 1200 that is Pure-D sex-on-wheels with its curvaceous nature and clear Italian roots. Duc shuns every sort of fairing with a bare-ass naked front end and low-profile headlight can, and it even casts off the flyscreen for a more minimal entry. From there, the general shape, seat construction (in, rather than on) and nose-down/tail-up stance is similar to the Beemer, just sexier and cleaner.

Ducati also packs in better suspension with the full spectrum of adjustments at both ends, and its stock ABS feature is of the cornering variety for an edge in electronics as well. This advantage continues into the engine controls with Ducati’s Wheelie Control that comes on top of the traction control and riding mode features.

It’s a trade off though; the Monster’s L-twin horsepower falls a skosh short with 147 ponies against the Beemer’s 165 horsepower, but claims 91 pound-feet of torque against Beemer’s 84 pounds o’ grunt. Honestly, at this level, a handful of ponies one way or another doesn’t do much to change the fact that both are more bike than many of us should try to handle. The $14,995 sticker doesn’t do the Monster any favors, but the good looks and electronic fandanglery leaves you with a difficult choice so far as I can tell.

He Said

“Top notch, as you’d expect from the Bayerische. The improvements should hold it in good stead for at least the next few years I reckon. Of course, its race-tastic brother the “RR” model really brings some sweet stuff to the table, so I’d say the family line is certainly competitive in the current market.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “It’s a relatively sporty riding position on the S 1000 R, but no pressure on the wrists, which is agreeable for me. I might have gone for the KTM Super Duke R or the Yamaha MT-10 as the competitor, but I imagine there is no shortage of candidates. Nice wide bars, no vibration in the mirrors, solid brakes, and even at low speeds, it handles very nicely.”

BMW S 1000 R Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid-cooled 4-stroke in-line 4-cylinder engine, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts, wet sump lubrication
Bore x Stroke: 80 mm x 49.7 mm
Displacement: 999 cc
Rated output: 165 hp (121 kW) at 11,000 rpm
Max. torque: 84 lb-ft (114 Nm) at 9,250 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.1 : 1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire throttle system and knock sensor
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4, with titanium silencer
Clutch: Multi-disc clutch in oil bath, anti-hopping clutch, mechanically operated
Gearbox: Constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox with straight cut gears
Drive: Chain 2.647:1
Chassis:
Frame: Aluminum composite bridge frame, partially self-supporting engine
Castor: 3.9” (98.5 mm)
Steering head angle: 65.2°
Front wheel location / suspension: Upside-down telescopic fork Ø 46 mm, compression and rebound stage adjustable
Rear wheel location / suspension: Aluminum 2-sided swing arm, rebound damping adjustable
Suspension travel front / rear: 4.7” / 4.7” (120 mm / 120 mm)
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rim, front: 3.50 x 17"
Rim, rear: 6.00 x 17"
Tires, front: 120/70 ZR 17
Tires, rear: 190/55 ZR 17
Brake, front: Dual floating disc brakes, 4-piston fixed calipers, diameter 320 mm
Brake, rear: Single disc brake, diameter 220 mm, single piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad Race ABS (part-integral, can be switched off)
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 56.7” (1,439 mm)
Length: 81.0” (2,057 mm)
Width (incl. Mirrors): 33.3” (845 mm)
Height (excl. mirrors): 48.3” (1,228 mm)
Seat height, unladen weight: Standard Seat: 32", Comfort Seat: 33.1"
Inner leg curve, unladen weight: Standard Seat: 71.1", Comfort Seat: 73.4"
Unladen weight, road ready, fully fueled: 452 lbs (205 kg)
Permitted total weight: 897 lbs (407 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment): 445 lbs (202 kg)
Usable tank volume: 4.6 gal (17.5 l)
Reserve: Approx. 1 gal (4 l)
Maximum speed: Over 125 mph
Fuel consumption: 35 mpg (WMTC)
Fuel type: Premium Unleaded
Electricals:
Alternator: Three-phase 406 W generator
Battery: 12 V / 9 Ah, maintenance-free
Details:
Standard Features: Integral Race ABS (Disengageable), HP Titanium Slip-On Silencer, ASC (Automatic Stability Control – Disengageable), 2 Ride Modes (Rain/Road), Anti-Hopping Clutch, LED Rear Light, Drop Sensor, Upside Down Telescopic Front Fork (46 mm, Compression and Rebound Adjustable), Adjustable Rear Rebound, Toolkit
Color: Catalano Grey, Light White/Lupin Blue Metallic/Racing Red, Racing Red/Black Storm Metallic
Price: $13,995

References

Ducati Monster 1200

2015 - 2017 Ducati Monster 1200 / 1200 S / 1200 R
- image 650083

See our review of the Ducati Monster 1200.

BMW S 1000 RR

2015 - 2018 BMW S 1000 RR
- image 678704

See our review of the BMW S 1000 RR.

KTM Super Duke R

2015 - 2017 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R ABS Wallpaper quality
- image 726340

See our review of the KTM Super Duke R.

Yamaha MT-10

2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-10
- image 758194

See our review of the Yamaha MT-10.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: bmwmotorcycles.com, ducati.com, ttrno.com, yamaha-motor.com, ktm.com, photographer credit: R Schedl

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