2021 BMW S 1000 R - First Look

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan
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A stripped-down S 1000 RR, further refined into a proper road bike

The naked bike wars have gotten a little spicier today, as BMW announced the all-new S 1000 R – a complete redesign from the previous model. The changes are many, but some might call it a retuned version of the S 1000 RR sportbike. Not that that’s a bad thing. So, let’s get right into it.


In fact, BMW makes no secret of the fact this bike takes heavy inspiration from the fully-faired RR sportbike, especially in the engine and chassis department. The liter-class Inline-Four is very similar to the one in the RR and 5 kg lighter than its predecessor. But instead of making peak power, the single R spreads its power across more of the rev range. The result is a rating of 165 hp and 114 Nm (approximately 84 lb-ft) of torque, according to BMW. Maybe more impressive is the 60 lb-ft of torque available as low as 3000 rpm.

2021 bmw s 1000 r first look

Another change between the R and RR are longer gear ratios for 4th, 5th, and 6th gears, which should lower engine speed while cruising and result in better fuel consumption. Interestingly, in BMW’s literature, it pointed out the reduced engine noise from the lower engine speed. Anyway, other tangible improvements include a new, smoother, slipper clutch, and optional engine drag torque control (MSR) is available, too. Basically, this is just another term for adjustable engine braking which, in coordination with the slipper clutch, limits rear wheel hop under hard or aggressive downshifts.


Like the engine, the chassis is borrowed from the S 1000 RR, which BMW says is considerably lighter than the previous S 1000 R. As part of this weight reduction, the new frame is more flexible (and narrow) than before, so much so BMW is even calling it the Flex Frame with capital Fs. Because of this, the engine has a greater role as a stressed member of the frame.

2021 bmw s 1000 r first look

The narrowness of the Flex Frame also translates into a slimmer seat/tank junction, allowing the rider’s knees to be closer together. This lets the rider move around more in the seat, resulting in greater comfort. Comfort for the upper body comes by way of an adjustable handlebar clamp that lets the rider move the bar forward from its standard position by 10 mm. Adjustable handlebar risers are also available as an option, which lift the bars an additional 10 mm higher.

Looking towards the bottom of the bike, the underslung swingarm and accompanying shock is another piece directly borrowed from the S 1000 RR. BMW says, compared to the previous S 1000 R, the shock is “significantly further away from the swing axis and the engine.” Now the shock, and the oil inside it, isn’t as affected by the engine heat, which results in more stable and consistent damping.


2021 bmw s 1000 r first look

What’s a motorcycle these days without electronics? With the updated S 1000 R, a new six-axis IMU accurately monitors the bike’s position, allowing the standard ABS Pro and DynamicTraction Control (DTC) to work even better. Three riding modes – Rain, Road, and Dynamic – are also standard, while the optional Riding Pro mode opens up a wide-range of adjustability, including engine drag torque control, “Power Wheelie” mode, and Dynamic Brake Control.

The DTC gets further refinement thanks to data gathered from BMW’s World Superbike effort, while other race-derived options include Launch Control and Pitlane Limiter. Hillstart Control Pro is another option, though the non-Pro Hillstart Control comes standard. Also standard is the Shift Assistant Pro, which works in both directions.

2021 bmw s 1000 r first look

Capping the electronic highlights is a 6.5-inch TFT display with additional screens, navigation, and connectivity options. If previous BMW screens are anything to go by, this latest one is sure to be an eye-pleaser.

Lastly, BMW has co-developed a range of accessories for the S 1000 R in three different packages: the M package, Carbon package, and Milled Parts ex works package.

For more details, see the full press release is below.

The new BMW S 1000 R

Emotional roadster look combined with supersports riding dynamics – that’s what the new BMW S 1000 R is all about. The Dynamic Roadster based on the S 1000 RR enters a new dimension.

“With our new S 1000 R, we have tried to preserve the strengths of its predecessor and to take into account the potentials known to us from press and customer feedback in the new S 1000 R. The team also made perfect use of the benefits provided by the new architecture”

Ralf Mölleken, Project Manager Complete Vehicle

Emotional roadster look combined with supersports riding dynamics – that’s what the new BMW S 1000 R is all about. Derived directly from the supersports S 1000 RR in the key areas engine and chassis, the dynamic roadster offers the same innovative technology. The close kinship to the “RR” can be seen from every angle. With its reduction to the essentials, the new S 1000 R offers unprecedented dynamic response. Thanks to its acceleration-optimised 121 kW (165 hp) peak output combined with the unrivalled low weight of 199 kg (DIN) as well as ABS Pro, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), full-scale LED lighting and much more as standard, the new S 1000 R once once again sets the benchmark in the dynamic roadster segment.

Newly developed, 5 kg lighter drive based on the S 1000 RR with adapted gear ratios, optimised mid-range power and engine drag torque control (MSR) as optional extras.
The in-line four-cylinder is based on the engine of the S 1000 RR and generates 121 kW (165 hp) at 11 000 rpm. The maximum torque of 114 Nm is available at 9 250 rpm. The engine speed range was made even wider, fuller and more harmonious in terms of achieving even more improved rideability thanks to a particularly linear torque curve. In order to reduce the noise and fuel consumption levels as well as the engine speed level, especially at cruising speeds on country roads, the 4th, 5th and 6th gears now have longer gear ratios. In addition to a smoother, self-reinforcing anti-hopping clutch, the new S 1000 R is equipped with engine drag torque control (MSR) for the first time as an optional extra. The engine drag torque control prevents the rear wheel from slipping as a result of abrupt throttling or downshifting thanks to being electronically controlled.

Completely new, lighter chassis based on the S 1000 RR with Flex Frame, Full Floater Pro kinematics, underslung swingarm and optimised ergonomics.
The chassis was also subjected to significant weight reduction, just like the entire motorcycle. The frame and swingarm are based on the S 1000 RR and have been made considerably lighter in than their predecessor. At the same time, the engine in the so-called Flex Frame takes on a much greater supporting function than before. The new frame offers further benefits due to its very narrow design. This considerably reduces the motorcycle’s width in the area of the knee contact area, thereby offering a more relaxed riding position with even more freedom of movement. An adjustable handlebar clamp enables the rider to make ergonomic adaptations. Two positions are already available as standard: 0 mm / +10 mm towards the front. In addition, 10 mm handlebar riser mounts are offered as an option, which can also be turned in the direction of travel by 0 mm / +10 mm.

The underslung swingarm has been taken over from the S 1000 RR and the spring strut with Full Floater Pro kinematics is now located significantly further away from the swing axis and the engine. This prevents the engine from heating up due to waste heat and ensures even more stable temperature behaviour and even more constant damping response. In combination with the swingarm, which has its roots in motorsports, this results in more tyre grip and lower tyre wear.

Three riding modes, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and ABS Pro as standard. Optional equipment “Riding Modes Pro” with riding mode “Dynamic Pro”, Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), engine drag torque control (MSR, “Engine Brake” and “Power Wheelie”.
The new S 1000 R is equipped as standard with Dynamic Traction Control DTC, ABS Pro with banking angle optimisation and the three riding modes “Rain”, “Road” and “Dynamic”. The fully configurable “Dynamic Pro” mode is also available with a particularly wide range of setting options as part of the “Riding Modes Pro” option. With “Riding Modes Pro”, the new S 1000 R also features the “Engine Brake” function in conjunction with the engine drag torque control (MSR) and the “Power Wheelie” function. As part of the “Riding Modes Pro” option, Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) additionally supports the rider during emergency braking manoeuvres.

Multifunctional instrument cluster with 6.5-inch TFT screen for excellent readability and maximum range of information.
The new S 1000 R’s instrument cluster was also taken over from the S 1000 RR. Special emphasis was placed on the best possible readability in addition to an extended range of functions and information. The screen was therefore designed to be large for good readability and optimum information display even under difficult lighting conditions. The rider can choose between customised screen displays for various purposes. The Pure Ride Screen, for example, provides all the necessary information for normal road riding, while a further Core Screen shows displays for banking angle, deceleration and traction control. A bluetooth smartphone interface which allows app-based arrow navigation is already included as standard. The TFT display is operated comfortably from the handlebars using the multi-controller. The optional M package provides a third Core Screen with bar display and lap timer.

New LED headlamp and powerful LED light units as standard. Headlight Pro with adaptive turning light and iconic light guides with daytime running light function as an optional extra ex works.
The lighting units of the new S 1000 R are based on state-of-the-art LED technology. These include the new, striking LED main headlamp with optimised low beam and high beam light. The newly designed turn indicator and rear lights also make use of LED technology. The rear turn indicators have been adopted from the S 1000 RR and feature an integrated tail/brake light function. The front turn indicators are “hidden” in the fork area. Enhanced safety when riding at night is ensured by the adaptive turning light which is a component of Headlight Pro as an ex works option. In this case, further LED modules are added. The rider benefits from improved road illumination when cornering to make riding at night even safer.

New, even more dynamic design in an attractive basic colour and two exclusive style variants.
In its latest edition, the S 1000 R also clearly borrows from its supersports counterpart, the S 1000 RR, but placing the emphasis on its character as a dynamic roadster. To a greater extent than previously, the “tail up – nose down” look gives the S 1000 R an eye-catchingly dynamic visual impact with its new body elements. The colour concept also highlights the sporty, dynamic appearance of the new S 1000 R. In addition to the basic colour Racingred non-metallic, the options Style Sport and the M package with additional product content are available.

The highlights of the new BMW S 1000 R:

• 5 kg lighter, newly developed 4-cylinder in-line engine based on the S 1000 RR with further optimised mid-range power and rideability as well as new gear ratios in 4th – 6th gear.

• Lightest dynamic roadster in its class: Weight reduction by 6.5 kg to 199 kg DIN empty weight or 202 kg including comfort and dynamics package. The M package reduces the vehicle weight by another 4.8 kg (2 kg with forged wheels / 3.7 kg with carbon fibre wheels).

• Superior output and torque: 121 kW (165 hp) at 11 000 rpm and 114 Nm at 9 250 rpm.

• At least 90 Nm of torque available from 5 500 to 12 000 rpm. More than 80 Nm already available from 3 000 rpm.

• Effort-saving, linear torque curve: Even better rideability across the entire engine speed range.

• Newly developed suspension featuring the “Flex Frame”, with the engine taking on more of a load-bearing function.

• Significantly improved ergonomics thanks to the “Flex Frame” allowing the rider to have his knees closer to the motorycyle body.

• Underslung swingarm with Full Floater Pro kinematics and new suspension strut for even more sensitive response and optimised rear wheel grip.

• New, lighter exhaust system, EU5 compliant.

• New 6-axis sensor box for precisely determining the pitch rate and anti-wheelie function.

• ABS Pro for even more safety when braking, also in banking position, as standard. Dedicated rain brake mode with flatter brake pressure gradient. ABS Pro as standard for even safer braking when cornering.

• WSBK proven DynamicTraction Control (DTC) as standard ensures even greater stability when accelerating.

• Three riding modes “Rain”, “Road” and “Dynamic” as standard.

• DTC wheelie function as standard.

• Riding Modes Pro with additional “Dynamic Pro” mode including adjustable wheelie control, engine brake and engine drag torque control (MSR) as well as Launch Control, Pitlane Limiter and Hillstart Control Pro as ex works options.

• Hillstart Control as standard.

• Shift Assistant Pro for quick up and down shifting without using the clutch available ex works.

• New instrument cluster with 6.5 inch, easy-to-read TFT display including additional sports screens, arrow navigation and connectivity.

• New LED headlamp and LED light units as standard.

• Adaptive Turning Light and daytime running light in Headlight Pro package available as an option ex works.

• Completely newly designed body elements for even more dynamic styling.

• Attractive basic colour and two style variants available from start of production.

• Expansion of the Original BMW Motorrad Accessories and optional extra range, including M package, Carbon package and Milled Parts package ex works.

Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

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2 of 39 comments
  • Bmwclay Bmwclay on Nov 20, 2020

    Can I get an accessory trailer hitch from BMW?

  • Imtoomuch Imtoomuch on Nov 22, 2020

    Like most new naked bikes, the headlight is terrible looking. Otherwise it’s a good looking bike which I can’t say for the faired super bike version.