It's gone from fantasy to concept to official announcement . . . all the way to a real product. BMW's first real superbike, the inline-four-powered S 1000 RR, made its debut to the world press at the Monza round of the World Superbike Series in Italy last weekend. The bike, which weighs in at 455 pounds full of fluids and makes a claimed 193 hp, will be in U.S. dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2009, but BMW of North America has yet to announce pricing.
We've already told you a lot about the S 1000 RR. Here are some more details. The engine uses F1 trickery, like individual (and teeny) cam followers and titanium valves to boost rpm and power output. Redline is at 14,200 rpm (compare a typical redline of 13,000 rpm for a Japanese superbike), and the claimed peak torque output of 82.5 lb.-ft. comes at 9,750 rpm. There are butterfly valves in the stainless-steel exhaust system to boost mid-range performance. A "race" ABS system (which adds only 5.5 pounds to the bike), quickshifter and dynamic traction control ("DTC") are all optional.The internet forums are already packed with comments griping about the bike's unconventional styling. This is after months of criticizing the bike (in WSB race form) for looking too much like a Japanese superbike. Particularly vexing to the conventional are the asymmetrical headlights and delicate taillight. One more for the "you can't please everyone" file.
But those who do like the bike, and who crave the long list of standard and optional features along with what may be the best power-to-weight ratio in the class, may be very pleased with the bike's rumored low MSRP. I was told last year the bike would be priced within 10% of its Japanese counterparts, which has been borne out by the European bike's pricing: 15,150 Euros, just 255 Euros more than a Euro-spec Yamaha YZF R-1. It'll be offered in four color schemes: grey, silver, green and a race-replica.