Unique Bikes: BMW Race S + market news

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars mag

bmw s 1000 rr race 4 bmw s 1000 rr race 4

Meet BMW's formidable sports weapon

This may a sound like a big call, but you’re looking at one of the world’s best sports bike lineages, that started with the first BMW S 1000 RR back in 2008 – yep, 15 years ago.

Back then, BMW was taking on the might of Ducati and the big four Japanese makers by launching a new product in a viciously competitive sports bike sector.

While it was being launched, many of us journos felt that the maker could be excused if its first attempt was good but not quite there. How wrong we all were – it was ‘right’ straight out of the blocks.

That model has since been superceded, but we’d still rate it as a good ride and a future collectible. Back in the day, it claimed a heady 144kW (193hp) of power at 13,000rpm and 112Nm of torque at 9750.


What you’re looking at here is much the same concept – a fuel-injected inline four with all the fruit – further developed across a couple of generations. It’s a premium variant, called the S 1000 RR Race.

Power has lifted to a claimed 154kW (206hp) while torque remains much the same. However the nature of the delivery rightly claims to be more flexible thanks to a variable cam timing, or ShiftCam in BMW-speak.

As for the transmission, it’s a six-epeed with slick electronic two-way power shifter.

Increasingly performance motorcycles are as much about their electronics as their physical attributes, and this is no exception.

The S scores a multi-dimensional traction control and Race ABS, plus assorted customisation features when it comes to performance delivery and safety nets.


Plus, the suspension at both ends has electronic damping adjustment, with ranges for road and track use.

Incredibly, for a track-focussed machine, you also score some very road-friendly practical touches, such as cruise control and heated handgrips. Yep, two features you’d normally expect to see on a touring bike.

Helping to control all of this is a number of function switches on the handlebars, plus a rotary ‘mouse’ on the left. It’s all accessed via a sharp and bright TFT sreen that also acts as the instument binnacle.

Our example came with an Akrapovic muffler, which added a snarl to the usual raspy exhaust note.

All up, the S 1000 RR impresses as something that’s both civilised and brutally quick – something that would be very much at home on a racetrack.

It’s about as good as sports bike get, albeit at a substantial price. As tested, we’re talking $34,400. More at AllMoto.com.

Market news


As you probablly know it’s pretty hard to beat a straight-forward well-styled black leather jacket as the go-to bit of riding kit. Richa has this Assen jacket on offer with built-in armour and a number of other features. Price is $669 via Richa.com.au.

Meanwhile our own Uncle Mick has this hand-made Norvin single up for sale for $49,900.


Scratch-built as a track bike, it’s running a 620cc powerplant that’s thought to be good for around 75 horses. Call Glenlyon Motors on 03 9381 1666. AllMoto.com has a feature on it.


- See more Unique Motorcycle features here

From Unique Cars #480, Jun/Jul 2023


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