WSBK: BMW S1000RR Undergoes Wind Testing

Corser and Haslam hit the wind tunnel

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Nov. 16, 2010
BMW Motorrad Motorsport put its World Superbike racers and the S1000RR through some wind tunnel tests to prepare for the 2011 championship season.

Troy Corser and Leon Haslam took part in an afternoon of wind tunnel tests at a BMW facility in Munich, Germany, to try to improve the aerodynamics of riding the S1000RR superbike. Facing simulated speeds up to 149 mph, Corser and Haslam tried different positions and body angles to find a way to minimize drag.

“The riding position is a main factor for the aerodynamic efficiency of the overall package of rider and bike,” says Rainer Bäumel, technical director of BMW Motorrad Motorsport. “The positions of the head and the upper body, of elbows, knees and feet can have an enormous influence on the drag, and subsequently on lap times. Of course, there is not one position that is the optimum for all riders, because it all depends on so many different individual factors, beginning with height and stature. The intensive work in the wind tunnel enabled Troy and Leon to find out what riding position is the best for them personally.”

Leon Haslam BMW S1000RR wind tunnel test WSBK

The team also tested different windscreens to improve aerodynamic efficiency.

“At the same time we try to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the bike as much as possible within the strict technical regulations”, Bäumel continues. “This is why we evaluated several different shapes and positions of the wind shield. We collected a lot of valuable data that will help us with the set up of the bike for the next tests.”

Troy Corser Leon Haslam BMW World Superbike team WSBK

The 2011 WSBK season is an important one for BMW as it enters its third year of competition. Corser earned BMW its first two WSBK podium results this past season while also winning the team’s first superpole. BMW’s progress was dwarfed however by Aprilia which returned to the series the same time as BMW yet captured the riders and manufacturers titles in just its second seasons.

BMW finished sixth out of seven teams in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons, beating out Kawasaki both years. Kawasaki will enter an updated ZX-10R in 2011 so BMW will also need to step up its game to not just improve but keep pace.

On the positive side, BMW Italy’s World Superstock team captured the 2010 championship with rider Ayrton Badovini winning nine of ten races, missing out on a perfect season with a second place result in the final round. BMW Motorrad Italia will move up to the WSBK class with Badovini joined by former World Champion James Toseland, giving BMW four factory-supported riders.

Leon Haslam BMW S1000RR wind tunnel test WSBK

For more pictures, visit our BMW S1000RR Wind Test gallery.