2018 BMW S1000RR Spied

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

News out of Germany indicates a totally new RR

The S1000RR was a landmark model for BMW when it was first introduced in 2009, a new high-performance Inline-Four sportbike for a company that established its bona fides in Boxer-Twin adventure bikes. Since then, the S1000RR has been a perennial favorite for MO’s annual superbike shootouts, even against brand new contenders despite only receiving small updates in 2012 and 2015.

After spawning a standard and sport-touring follow-ups in the S1000R and S1000XR, not to mention some higher-spec limited production variants in the HP4 and carbon fiber HP4 RACE, it’s about time the S1000RR gets a full update. We may not have to wait much longer, as a heavily updated pre-production S1000RR was recently spotted undergoing tests by spy photographers.

Visually, the engine is different from the current S1000RR’s powerplant. It appears to be very narrow. almost like a Triple, but the four header pipes reveal that it’s another inline-Four, so it’ll again displace just under 1000cc. We expect it will, like the current iteration, do without a vibration-quelling counterbalance to extract maximum power. Expect a factory rating above 200 horsepower.

Header pipes merge into a collector presumably housing a catalytic converter before dumping into a sizable muffler pre-chamber that helps reduce the size of the actual muffler that sits alongside the new swingarm. The smaller-diameter pipe exiting under a larger one is curious. Also, note how the exhaust chambers aren’t surrounded by a bellypan fairing, which should help them shed heat.

The chassis also underwent extensive changes as well. The subframe is a new trellis design, and the swingarm’s shape now curves downward like on the HP4 RACE instead of the current S1000RR’s upward-curving swingarm. Very little of the frame is visible in the photos, but the part that is visible in the gap in the left fairings has a distinctly different shape from the current S1000RR’s frame.

Speaking of the fairing, the bodywork maintains the S1000RR’s asymmetrical openings, with revised gill-shaped cut-outs on the right side. From the front, however, BMW has finally ditched the asymmetric headlight design for a matching set of lights bookending a centralized ram-air duct. Turnsignals are integrated into the mirrors. A large exhaust chamber under the engine allows for a relatively small muffler placed along the right side.

Electronic controls and assists will play an integral role in a new RR, so expect it to be fitted with a six-axis IMU to enable top-level traction control and a form of cornering ABS. A semi-active suspension likely will again be offered, at least as an option like the current model. Instrumentation is sure to transition to a color TFT gauge panel.

So, just when we were thinking superbike development had reached its zenith, now we must prepare ourselves for re-racking the latest literbikes for yet another shootout! Keep it tuned to MO, as further details are expected in advance of the big moto shows this autumn.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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5 of 33 comments
  • HeDidn'tWeDid HeDidn'tWeDid on Jul 27, 2017

    At least BMW uses normal-sized test riders. Now I know how ridiculous I am going to look :-)

    • See 1 previous
    • MikeD MikeD on Sep 06, 2018

      Roll on the s1000r derivative!


  • Frank Frank on Jul 27, 2017

    Is that the BMW pit bike?