BMW’s 2023 S 1000 RR superbike hits the road

BMW has unveiled the 2023 S 1000 RR superbike, complete with updated electronics, chassis tweaks and new bodywork. The most comprehensively revised area on BMW’s flagship is the chassis, with a number of changes made to its geometry.

For starters, BMW has changed the structure of the frame to allow for a more lateral flex — when a motorcycle is leaned over, the suspension stroke doesn’t align with the bumps on the road, so it’s important for the chassis to flex in a controlled manner, to absorb road imperfections.

The steering rake angle is now slightly more relaxed, at 23.6 degrees compared to the earlier 23.1 degrees, while the triple clamp offset has been marginally lowered. As a result, the trail has increased from 94mm to 99mm. The wheelbase has been lengthened from 1440mm to 1458mm, and these changes should theoretically make the Beemer a slightly slower steering machine with an increase in overall stability

Power from the 999cc inline-four motor now stands at 210hp, while torque remains unchanged at 113Nm. This increase has been made possible by changes such as the new intake geometry and revised intake funnels. The US-spec motorcycle continues to make the same 205hp as before, but India will receive the European-spec motorcycle, with a higher power output.

Mechanical changes to the engine have been accompanied by electronic updates to the rider aids, and the S 1000 RR now features a slide control system in addition to the earlier traction control system, so the bike’s computer will now allow the rear tire to spin and step out to a certain degree before intervening. A new Brake Slide Control function has been added, which allows the rear wheel to step further out of line under braking than in the past, before it is reeled back in by the ABS.

The increased track focus is also apparent in the new Slick mode for the ABS, and a unique feature here is the Dynamic Brake Control (DBC). Essentially, after the bike detects a certain level of deceleration, DBC kicks in and cancels any accidental throttle inputs by the rider by simply ignoring the request from the ride-by-wire throttle. Since the S 1000 RR gets a bi-directional quickshifter (now optimized for smoother shifts), the need to rev-match manually doesn’t exist anymore.

Amongst all the changes mentioned so far, it is the visual tweaks that catch your eye, which include the addition of sizeable aerodynamic winglets at the front, and revised bodywork for the tail section. BMW claims the winglets produce as much as 10kg of downforce at high speed, so they’re not quite as effective as the M 1000 RR’s (16kg), even though they do look rather alike.

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