In recent years BMW has gone to great lengths repositioning its motorcycle division from a position of building motorcycles for bearded, pipe-smoking eccentrics to be more inline with its performance-derived automotive group. BMW silenced its critics with the BMW S1000RR, the company’s first modern sportbike that delivered more performance than established Japanese OEMs who have building sportbikes for decades.

In 2009, after months of teasing initial reports, BMW entered the brand new S1000RR in the World Superbike Championship finishing the season in 13th position with Troy Corser. In 2010 Corser gave the BMW S1000RR its first World Superbike pole position and two third-place podium positions. More impressive is the fact that, also in 2010, Aryton Badovini won the Wold Superstock championship on a BMW S1000RR, losing only a single race all season — an incredible feat for a brand new sportbike. The BMW S1000RR was also made available for public consumption in 2010.

Since its introduction the BMW S1000RR has been lauded by the motorcycle press due to the bike’s amazing performance in stock trim. With 175 rear-wheel horsepower generated from its liquid-cooled, dual-overhead cam, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder engine, the BMW S1000RR was substantially more powerful than its Japanese counterparts. The 999cc engine has a very oversquare bore and stroke of 80 x 49.7 mm. This is the largest engine bore of any liter-size sportbike on the market.

2010 BMW S1000RR

Its retail price of $13,800 wasn’t much more expensive than its Japanese rivals. For an additional $1,500 BMW offered an electronics package including ABS, selectable engine-mapping (Rain, Sport, Race, Slick) and traction control. In addition to wheel speed sensors, the BMW S1000RR also incorporated bank angle sensors and throttle position sensors making its traction control system the most advanced system on a production bike. The BMW S1000RR’s ABS system features a front-wheel-only mode allowing the rider to lock the rear wheel to help initiate a rear-wheel slide.

According to BMW, the S1000RR has an asymmetrical front fairing not just for styling purposes but also because the high-beam and low-beam headlights differ from each other in size and weight, and to emphasize each one’s performance BMW constructed the fairing accordingly.

The BMW S1000RR features dual front Brembo four-piston radial calipers gripping 320mm rotors, and in the rear a single-piston Brembo caliper grabs a 220mm disc. The instrument cluster is comprised of an analog tachometer and digital speedometer. There’s also a built-in lap timer that’s operated by the high beam light switch on the left handlebar. The lap timer also records brake pressure and throttle openings.

To help market the new BMW S1000RR and showcase the bike’s acceleration, BMW created a video where a tablecloth from a 20-seat dining table was attached to the S1000RR. The BMW S1000RR launched from a standing start, yanking the tablecloth from the table without disturbing the place settings. The video went viral with more than 3 million views, but its authenticity was later debunked by the television show MythBusters.

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