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First Look: BMW’s Updated S 1000 RR Superbike Performs Even More Like Its Race-Only Counterpart

Revised for the first time in four years, the 205 hp model variant has some of the same components as the M 1000 RR in motorsport.

For 2023, BMW Motorrad has unveiled the first new S 1000 RR superbike in four years. Nipped and tucked everywhere, and with a claimed 205 hp and 83 ft lbs of torque on tap from the 999 cc inline-four engine, the $17,895 S 1000 RR shares a few components in common with the more expensive, race-only M 1000 RR, including the M-spec chassis kit—that allows for adjustments to the swingarm pivot height—and the use of a lightweight lithium-ion battery.

The latest S 1000 RR gains a few electronics upgrades as well, such as the Brake By Slide and Dynamic Traction Control Slide Control systems that allow the rider to drift the rear wheel under heavy braking for corner entry. Developed by Bosch, this is a similar system to that found on the Ducati Panigale since 2019. The electronics also showcase a new ABS pro setting for slick tires. It reduces intervention of the system to allow for the mechanical grip of the slick tire to be exploited to its full potential when on track.

The 2023 BMW S 1000 RR.
The 2023 BMW S 1000 RR. Peter Schreiber, courtesy of BMW Motorrad.

One interesting feature, and not an entirely new one, is BMW’s Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) assist. In general, when a rider uses the front brake, there’s a tendency at times to pull back on the throttle simultaneously. At this point, DBC sets in and stops the throttle butterflies from opening—accelerating and braking at the same time is not really something most S 1000 RR owners want to be doing.

The bones forming the latest iteration of BMW’s superbike are largely the same. Taking lessons from its use of the M 1000 RR in WorldSBK competition, BMW has engineered the S 1000 RR’s aluminum chassis to have more lateral flexibility in order to give more feedback to the rider when cornering. The greater feel from the chassis works in conjunction with a redesigned cockpit in which the gas tank is narrower. This allows the rider to better grip the tank under braking as well as use it to brace themselves in the corner. And slightly lazier steering geometry, with a wheelbase now .7 inches longer, and slightly increased trail should make for a calmer chassis on corner entry.

A close-up of the engine on the 2023 BMW S 1000 RR.
The 205 hp, 999 cc inline-four engine makes 83 ft lbs of torque. BMW Motorrad

More M 1000 RR traits can be found in the S 1000 RR’s new winglets at the front of the bodywork, which BMW touts as adding 22 pounds of downforce (although BMW declines to mention at what speed the downforce is generated). The downforce brings the obvious benefit of less wheelies under acceleration, which translates to less electronic intervention and thus a more efficient delivery of brute power can take place.

Speaking of electronics, it wouldn’t be a BMW without the full house of dynamic traction control, anti-wheelie control, multi-level Cornering ABS, electronic suspension, launch control, cruise control . . . the list goes on.

 A detail of the front winglets on the 2023 BMW S 1000 RR.
New winglets at the front of the bodywork are claimed to add 22 pounds of downforce. Peter Schreiber, courtesy of BMW Motorrad.

The comprehensive suite keeps BMW right at the forefront of the rider-aids arms race currently engulfing the superbike class, and it’s all accessed via the same 6.5-inch dash we loved so much back in 2019. Deliveries of the 2023 BMW S 1000 RR are slated to begin in January.

Click here to see more photos of the 2023 BMW S 1000 RR.

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