BMW shocked the motorcycle world in 2009 with the launch of its S 1000 RR superbike. Here was a bike, produced by a company known mostly for its touring and adventure machines, that wasn't just competitive with the best from Japan and Italy, but class-leading in power and technology – and all for an extremely reasonable price. And it has sold rather well.

So, how do you go about updating such a successful product? Carefully. BMW has chosen not to reinvent the wheel with its 2012 S 1000 RR, and that's certainly fine by us. Still producing a peak of 193 horsepower, there's no change to the engine other than a remapped throttle curve that's said to improve low-speed performance along with an additional riding mode (Rain, Sport, Race and Slick).

Suspension updates, on the other hand, are many. Geometry of both the front and rear suspenders has been adjusted, as have the spring rates. Structural updates include a new forged and milled fork bridge plus a reconfigured air passage through the steering head. Naturally, the electronics package has been "refined" for 2012, as well.

We're pleased with the new color schemes BMW worked up for its sportiest model. Before, we really only liked the red, white and blue motif that made up BMW's Motorrad Motorsport package, but now there are more attractive options that included Racing Red with Alpine White and Black, Sapphire Black Metallic and Bluefire (a light shade that you can see in our gallery). Oh, and don't forget the revised RR logo...

Check out all the details in the full press release after the break.
Show full PR text
The new BMW S 1000 RR.

Scarcely two years after the launch in 2009, BMW Motorrad is now presenting the revised model of this successful supersports bike, now with many optimised details. The primary objectives were even greater riding precision and agility, a punchier power buildup, and a more sensitive response. The revised model of the S 1000 RR has incorporated quite a few feedback reports from national super stock races.

Like its predecessor, the new RR knows no compromise, providing the highest level of sporting character and riding dynamics. The convincing features of the new S 1000 RR are its improved handling with absolute riding stability, supreme engine performance with perfect everyday practicality, and a resounding dynamic performance. The highest level of active safety is safeguarded by the most advanced brake system today on the market, the BMW Motorrad Race ABS. When accelerating, the rider is supported by the Dynamic Traction Control system DTC. Both of these systems have been optimised for the perfect interaction.

There have been no changes to the superior engine power of
142 kW (193 hp) with a weight of only 204 kilograms including 90% fuel (206.5 weight with Race ABS).

Concept with optimised riding dynamics.

One of the primary objectives pursued for the revised S 1000 RR model was to improve ridability by boosting thrust and enhancing the linearity and harmoniousness of the power and torque curves. The reconfigured throttle improves overall response.

The new, optimised design raises response sensitivity, tightens the twistgrip angle, and reduces the twisting force.

Suspension with improved handling and feedback.

The modifications to the new RR suspension have been instrumental in boosting its riding dynamics. For instance, the upside down fork and the spring strut feature a new internal structure, providing an even wider range of damping forces from comfort to performance.

Moreover, the suspension geometry has been modified with new values for the steering head angle, offset, position of the swing arm pivot, fork projection, and spring strut length to yield even better handling, steering accuracy, and feedback for the new S 1000 RR. This has required modifications to the main frame that also included enlarging the cross sectional area of the intake air guide through the steering head for greater air flow efficiency. This package of suspension optimisations is rounded off by an adjustable mechanical steering damper.

Instrument cluster with new functions.

The engine speed display has been redesigned for better readability. In addition, the display can now be dimmed and provides more functions. For instance, the lap timer can now present "Best lap in progress", and if required, "Speedwarning" can inform the rider when he exceeds a particular speed.

Refined design and new colours.

The new S 1000 RR not only benefits from the advanced developments for the engine, suspension, and cockpit. It has also gained yet another step ahead in terms of design. The tail section now presents a considerably leaner look. There have been some discrete changes to the asymmetrical side panels, and the centre airbox cover now sports side aperture grilles. On the top part of the panels, a new, telling identifying feature takes the form of two winglets that enhance the aerodynamic qualities.

In the most sporting colour combination of Racing red and Alpine white, the RR exudes power and speed even when it is stationary, whereas plain Bluefire lends it a decidedly extravagant look.

Sporty dynamics is conveyed by Sapphire black metallic, and in BMW Motorrad Motorsport colours, the new S 1000 RR testifies to its direct relationship with BMW Motorrad Motorsport. The distinctive RR logo has been slightly modified.

Additional visual accents take the form of wheels painted in glossy black and the red spring in the central strut. The matching swing arm either presents an anodised coating or is kept in black.

Also the ergonomics has been improved in the form of new heel plates for the rider. The stabilisers on the passenger footrests have now been designed for a leaner look.

Extended range of optional extra and special equipment.

For individualising the new S 1000 RR, BMW Motorrad is expanding its range of optional extras and special equipment ex works with a number of attractive features. Riders with a particularly sporty bent can now equip their RR with an HP titanium exhaust system (with or without ABE) or the HP race data logger. Also the heated grips offering two levels and fitted as optional extra can take the bite out of the early morning run on the racetrack or longer rides in cold weather.

The new features at a glance

• Optimised torque curve for improved ridability.

• Expansion from two to three performance curves (one each for Rain and Sport modes and an additional one for Race and Slick modes); Rain mode now 120 kW (163 hp).

• Reconfigured throttle for enhanced response (particularly gentle and sensitive acceleration in Rain mode, and immediately direct and spontaneous response in Sport, Race, and Slick modes).

• Reduced twisting force and tighter twistgrip angle.

• Smaller secondary ratio for boosted thrust.

• Refined tuning between Race ABS and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC).

• Enlarged cross sectional area of the intake air guide through the steering head for greater air flow efficiency.

• Better handling, steering accuracy, and feedback.

• Revised spring elements for an even wider range of damping forces.

• Suspension geometry modified with new values for the steering head angle, offset, position of the swing arm pivot, fork projection, and spring strut length.

• New mechanical steering damper adjustable over ten levels.

• Forged and milled fork bridge in a new design and with a smaller offset.

• Revised design with a leaner tail section, redesigned side panels, centre airbox cover with side aperture grilles, and winglets.

• For new colour variants: plain Racing Red with Alpine white, Bluefire, Sapphire black metallic, BMW Motorrad Motorsport colours.

• Revised RR logo.

• New heel plates and leaner stabilisers on the passenger footrests.

• Redesigned LCD engine speed display for better readability and with five dimming levels.

• Instrument cluster with the new functions "Best lap in progress" and "Speedwarning"; deactivation of "Lamp" fault message when headlamp or number plate carrier removed.

• Catalytic converters relocated, so no heat shield necessary.

• Expansion to the optional extras and special equipment ex works.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      The headlights just reassure me that this bike is absolutely mad and wants to kill me.. love it :)
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like the headlights. Looks different.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I never understood the asymmetrical design with the headlights of these bikes. Looks like it was in a fight and had a black eye. But okay, I guess. What the hell do I know. I guess it's always good to have different designs, keeps things creative.
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        One of the lights are low beam and the other is high beam. So since they wont be like the identical left right headlights of cars, BMW designers were like "What the hell... let's make them look completely different. In fact, screw symmetry altogether!" Also note that the venting and ductwork is different on the left and right side of the fenders, one side needed more cooling.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Tags just expired on the YZF-R6. Snow tires mounted on the car, ready for Whistler. 6 month to save up for a new bike, and this is definitely on the list....
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      Other than the odd headlight set up...beautiful bike.
        Dean Hammond
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        agreed, the litre bike segment has some AWESOME bikes of late, KTM RC8, MV Agusta F4, Aprilia RSV....some fantastic choices....then theres tha Japanes bikes, they arent too shoddy either....
      • 3 Years Ago
      i thought BMW finally built a sexy bike ! Until he saw the font he says.. BMW damn it.. its like seing the best looking ass on a girl and then finding out she got in a car accident but just in the face..
      Carbon Fibre
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, complete beast.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Amazing streetbike, but nowhere at the racetrack for some reason. Regardless, were there room in my budget for another bike, this would be on my short list. It's ugly, in a very attractive way. And the bang for the buck here is fantastic. Wait, did I really just think that about a BMW???
      Surya De
      • 3 Years Ago
      For those who are talking about wsbk and BMW, I don't honestly think WSBK is an indicator of how good the bike will be. Case in point Ben Spies on R1 vs R1 on the road and Ducati with Checa and Bayliss vs Ducati on the road. The Ducati is a very nice bike on the road whereas the R1 I am not such a fan of. But if you compare sheer speeds the Ducati and R1 are in the lower end of the street riding pack. The BMW and Aprilia and the Kawi Ninja and the MV are compared to the Duc in a league of their own. I think looking at Superstock races will give a better idea of how badass the BMW is. Superstock does not allow much modification if any at all if memory serves me right and the BMW absolutely dominates there. Why? Because it's an awesome bike. The WSBK spec machines are far too removed from what we have access to and hence I don't understand why it is even used in spec comparisons and how good a bike is. My 2 cents. Btw I love the red and black scheme and don't care the bike is assymetrical. It's like something out of Transformers from the Decepticon camp.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Controversial Front: It just gave me flashbacks of Ultraman's Baltan guys. (
      • 3 Years Ago
      In Germany we have a saying for these kinds of vehicle designs: Von Hinten lockts, von Vorne schockts...
      Alonzo Alex Clark
      • 3 Years Ago
      i love this bike the body style is very attrective but like everyone has said on this the front end is just not working for the bike it kind of looks like it giving you the evil eye or the villian from james bond Ernst stavro blofeld but other then that i just mite buy this bike over the winter for the summer months
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