The S 1000 R is leaner and meaner than ever before

LISTEN 10:06

BMW rolls into MY2021 with a revised version of its street-legal sportbike, the S 1000 R. It borrows heavily from its race-tastic stablemate, the S 1000 RR. The new model hits the street both leaner and meaner this year to deliver an absolutely essential roadster platform, even though the electronics suite is rather robust within the standard features. Optional electronics and gear can turn this bike into a bona fide race machine.

  • 2021 BMW S 1000 R
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Displacement:
    999 cc
  • Top Speed:
    160 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    14995
  • Price:

2021 BMW S 1000 R Design

  • 6.5-inch color TFT screen
  • LED lighting
  • Aggressive nose-down stance
  • Adjustable ergonomics
2021 BMW S 1000 R
- image 963883
2021 BMW S 1000 R
- image 963885

With a little nip and tuck here and there, the factory tweaked the overall look of its next-generation S 1000 R, but the connections to its predecessor and its track-wise sibling, the “RR” version, are quite clear. Right out of the gate, the headlight housing has been redesigned to accommodate the new LED headlights plus DRL, and that changes the mask as well. The lights themselves are asymmetrical for an almost steampunk look head-on. If you spring for the Headlight Pro option, you can add adaptive cornering lights to the list of goodies.

In profile, the new S 1000 R carries even more of that nose-down/tail-up posture that lends it a “runner crouched at the blocks” look that pairs well with the sporty capabilities this bike brings to the table. Behind the redesigned front end, all of the instrumentation is bundled into a single, 6.5-inch color TFT screen. Multiple display arrangements are part of the stock package and let you choose between a “normal” riding display and a “Core” screen that deliver data on the lean angle, traction control and deceleration. A third Core screen displays bar graphs and lap timer for track days. Bluetooth connectivity also comes stock to add a navigation function to the instrumentation.

The widespread weight-loss efforts paid off with a drop just over 14 pounds to bring it down to 452 pounds soaking wet. On each side, small cheek fairings meet an inconspicuous radiator cowl to close off the front of the engine area, but leaves the entire lower half of the engine well visible. As much as it emulates a proper race bike, it’s a street machine first, so it comes complete with a pillion-pad and fold-up, subframe-mount passenger footpegs.

A minimal rear mudguard mounts LED blinkers, taillight, and taglight over the plateholder with a swingarm-mount hugger to complete the coverage. Stock seat height is 32 inches unladen, but you can bump that up to 33 inches or down to 31 inches with optional seats. The upper part of the rider’s triangle can be tweaked as well by building in 0.4 inch of adjustment to the handlebar’s position in the risers, and even the hand levers can be adjusted to accommodate a wide range of hand sizes. The waist is now 0.5 inch narrower to give your inner thighs a break and bring your legs closer to center.

2021 BMW S 1000 R Chassis

  • Optional Dynamic Damping control
  • Integral Race ABS (Disengageable)
  • Eager in the corners
  • Fully adjustable front fork
2021 BMW S 1000 R
- image 963892
2021 BMW S 1000 R
- image 963881
2021 BMW S 1000 R
- image 963886

BMW also tweaked the aluminum, bridge-type frame for the new S1000 R. It still carries the engine with a 32-degree forward cant and uses welded, chill-cast members, but the new “Flex Frame” relies even more on the engine to reach its final rigidity to reduce weight. To that end, the factory managed to pare the tally down by 11.5 percent. The steering head angle was reduced from 24.8- degrees to 24-degrees even making it even more eager in the curves, and a five-degree increase in the steering sweep increases it up to 33 degrees making it easier to deal with once you put your feet down.

USD front forks take care of business with a cartridge-type build and 4.7 inches of travel, plus the full spectrum of adjustments. Out back, a spring-strut supports the rear end and dampens the redesigned underslung swingarm with 4.7 inches of travel at the rear axle and adjustable rebound damping. If you prefer your suspension to be automatically/electronically managed, then the optional, ex werke Dynamic Damping Control should be right up your alley.

Cast-aluminum wheels round out the rolling chassis with a symmetrical, 17-inch diameter and race-rated rubber in a 120/70 ahead of a fat, 190/55 out back. Carbon-fiber wheels are available as a weight-saving option if you want to trim down the inertia and gyroscopic forces generated therein.

Dual, 320 mm floating discs work with four-piston calipers to haul down the front wheel, and out back, a single-pot anchor bites a 220 mm disc, all under the guidance of BMW’s proprietary Race ABS feature. If you prefer, you can turn the ABS off entirely for straight-up braking action.

Frame: Aluminum composite bridge frame, partially self-supporting engine
Front suspension/ Travel: Upside-down telescopic fork Ø 46 mm, compression and rebound stage adjustable/ 4.7” (120 mm)
Rear suspension/ Travel: Aluminum 2-sided swing arm, rebound damping adjustable/ 4.7” (120 mm)
Castor: 3.9” (98.5 mm)
Steering head angle: 65.2°
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rim, front: 3.50 x 17"
Rim, rear: 6.00 x 17"
Tire, front: 120/70 ZR 17
Tire, 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)

2021 BMW S 1000 R Drivetrain

  • Liquid-cooled 999 cc inline-4 engine
  • 165 horsepower and 84 lb-ft of torque
  • Drop sensor and two ride modes
  • Anti-hopping clutch
2021 BMW S 1000 R
- image 963896
2021 BMW S 1000 R
- image 963880
2021 BMW S 1000 R
- image 963882

BMW tapped its own S 1000 RR race engine for design inspiration on the S 1000 R, and like everywhere else, weight considerations were front-burner items. Massively oversquare, the inline-four runs with an 80 mm bore and 49.7 mm stroke for a total displacement of 999 cc and a smokin’ hot 12.1-to-1 compression ratio. Liquid cooling deals with the waste heat and helps moderate temperature swings, plus the engine water jacket helps attenuate some of the mechanical noises from within the cases.

DOHC times the valvetrain with four poppets per cylinder. Engine control starts with a ride-by-wire throttle, but the signal is subject to a number of modifiers before it manifests as a change in engine rpm. A switchable traction control feature called the Automatic Stability Control monitors wheel speeds and intervenes when rear-wheel slip is detected. A pair of stock Riding Modes tune the power delivery for Road or Rain, and to prevent loss of traction due to rear-wheel hop, the S 1000 R carries a slip-and-assist clutch to mitigate the backtorque.

This bike has robust optional electronics features that really add to its race-capability. Pick up Dynamic Traction Control, Dynamic Pro Ride Modes, pit limiter, and ABS Pro, plus the Gear Shift Assist Pro to round out your street racer.

A constant-mesh, six-speed transmission and chain final drive make up the rest of the drivetrain. As for power, the S 1000 R’s engine is definitely no slouch with 165 horsepower at a lofty 11,000 rpm and 84 pound-feet of torque at 9,250 rpm, so this is definitely an engine that like to be wound up and then kept there. A titanium muffler caps the exhaust pipe, and the engine meets EU-4 emissions standards.

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) @ 11,000 rpm
Max. torque: 84 lb-ft (114 Nm) @ 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

2021 BMW S 1000 R Price

2021 BMW S 1000 R
- image 963888
2021 BMW S 1000 R
- image 963893

The 2021 BMW S 1000 R rolls for $14,995 in black, San Marino Blue or the racing livery that’s mainly Light White with Lupin Blue Metallic and Racing Red trim.

Standard Features: 2 Ride Modes (Rain/Road), ABS (Disengageable), Adjustable Rear Shock Absorber Rebound, Anti-Hopping Clutch, ASC (Disengageable), Drop Sensor, LED Tail Light, HP Titanium Slip-On Exhaust, Upside-Down Forks with Adjustable Compression/Rebound Damping
Color: Black Storm Metallic, San Marino Blue, Motorsport
Price: $14,995

2021 BMW S 1000 R Competitors

2021 BMW S 1000 R
- image 963889
2017 - 2020 Ducati SuperSport / SuperSport S
- image 777375

BMW puts together a solid product, no doubt about it, and the new S 1000 R is no exception. Rather than going to one of the Big Four, I decided to hit Ducati up for my competitor and LO, there was the SuperSport 950 just waiting to be taken up.

Ducati SuperSport

2017 - 2020 Ducati SuperSport / SuperSport S
- image 777357

As purely an aesthetic exercise, the Ducati wins hands down in my humble opinion. It’s hard to beat the Italians when trying to make a sexy-looking machine, and the SuperSport is pure sex on wheels. Ducati powers its entry with its signature Testastretta L-Twin engine that displaces 937 cc and churns out 110 horsepower with 69 pound-feet of torque. Too bad it falls so short of the Beemer’s performance figures.

Ride-by-wire and a full electronics suite on the Ducati more or less breaks even with the BMW though the Duc has slightly better stock electronics, but doesn’t have the race-tastic options the Beemer has available to it. Adjustable suspension is a constant across the board, as are race-rated rubbers which is no surprise given the performance of these engines.

Ducati uses a slipper clutch between the engine and the six-speed transmixxer just like the Beemer, but it follows up with a stock quick-shift feature that delivers clutchless shifts both up and down the range. Ducati ramps up the pressure at the checkout with a $13,495 sticker that is mighty appealing against the $15k sticker on the BMW, though the real knee-draggers out there might find the extra performance to be worth the extra cheddar.

Read our full review of the Ducati Supersport.

He Said

“BMW once again proves its worthiness with this next-gen S 1000 R, but there is room for improvement, namely adding more of the top-shelf electronics to the stock equipment package to start. Though it is junior to the “RR,” the single “R” makes a good showing for itself and would be a good addition to anyone’s stable who is interested in burning it up on the public streets.

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “BMW went to race-bike riders and stunt riders to find out what they wanted in a bike and even though the end goal was different, the one over-riding desire was the same: to have a precision tool that obeys the rider’s every command with immediate and full in-control response. It has a really nice electronics suite with some race-tastic options. Add that to an S 1000 RR-derived engine with a wide powerband and mid-range optimized torque and you have a serious streetbike.”

2021 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) @ 11,000 rpm
Max. torque: 84 lb-ft (114 Nm) @ 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
Front suspension/ Travel: Upside-down telescopic fork Ø 46 mm, compression and rebound stage adjustable/ 4.7” (120 mm)
Rear suspension/ Travel: Aluminum 2-sided swing arm, rebound damping adjustable/ 4.7” (120 mm)
Castor: 3.9” (98.5 mm)
Steering head angle: 65.2°
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rim, front: 3.50 x 17"
Rim, rear: 6.00 x 17"
Tire, front: 120/70 ZR 17
Tire, 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:
Length: 81.0” (2,057 mm)
Width (incl. mirrors): 33.3” (845 mm)
Height (excl. mirrors): 48.3” (1,228 mm)
Wheelbase: 56.7” (1,439 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)
Fuel capacity: 4.6 gal with approx 1-gal reserver (17.5 l with approx 4 l reserve)
Fuel consumption: 35 mpg (WMTC)
Fuel type: Premium Unleaded
Maximum speed: Over 125 mph
Electrical system:
Alternator: Three-phase 406 W generator
Battery: 2 V / 9 Ah, maintenance-free
Details:
Standard Features: 2 Ride Modes (Rain/Road), ABS (Disengageable), Adjustable Rear Shock Absorber Rebound, Anti-Hopping Clutch, ASC (Disengageable), Drop Sensor, LED Tail Light, HP Titanium Slip-On Exhaust, Upside-Down Forks with Adjustable Compression/Rebound Damping
Color: Black Storm Metallic, San Marino Blue, Motorsport
Price: $14,995

Further Reading

BMW Motorrad

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- image 789359

Read more BMW Motorrad news.

TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: bmwmotorcycles.com, ducati.com

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