Long Beach IMS: BMW Has High Hopes for Superbike

Publish Date: 
Dec 4, 2009
By Arlo Redwine

The BMW S 1000 RR superbike will retail for $13,800 and will hit dealership floors Jan. 26. The company says it already has “quite a few” presold orders.

The news came during a press conference today at the Long Beach, Calif., stop of the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show. Pieter de Waal, vice president of BMW Motorrad USA, said that the S 1000 RR may be the most important model introduction in the company’s history.

“Because,” he said, “not only are we going to enter into, for us, a brand-new segment — a very important segment, that of the superbike — but also we believe we will make BMW relevant to a brand-new generation of customers.

“I want to make no bones about it,” de Waal continued. “When we decided to build this motorcycle, we did not decide to build an exotic alternative. … We decided deliberately to build a motorcycle which is mainstream, and take the four existing Japanese manufacturers head-on. I believe we have succeeded in the task.”

De Waal says the S 1000 RR, which produces a claimed 193 horsepower, will be the most powerful superbike available. He also praised the bike’s lightness (404 lbs. dry), stopping ability and handling. Riders can select different modes in which braking, traction control and engine management work together. The bike has a fly-by-wire throttle system. More specifications are now posted on BMW’s consumer website.

Upgraded 1200 Models
BMW also was displaying its new 1200 boxer models, which likewise will become available in late January. (Click here for an earlier report.)

De Waal noted that the bikes’ new flat-twin engine is based on the two-year-old DOHC engine of the HP2 Sport. “Although the horsepower of these motorcycles is only, on paper, 5 percent up, our intention was never to enhance the maximum horsepower but instead to build an engine which breathes much better and has significantly more torque. … The motorcycles are much, much faster in acceleration. They’re much smoother, and they bring a new level of refinement into two-cylinder that is setting standards for the industry.”