by Jeremy Webb
I PICKED up the bike from Vines BMW Motorrad in Guildford, Surrey, and headed for the country roads to test the handling.
It is one of the first things I like to check on a bike. The B roads out of Guildford, back towards Hampshire, are ideal. Real-world testing opposed to track laps which don’t produce realistic information to potential buyers.
BMW say “Make life a ride”. I do try to apply this philosophy. Heading south, I turned off the A roads, taking on the twisty Bs and quickly found the bike handles superbly: agile and light, which allows you to change direction easily with little effort.
It grips the surface well, holding a line through bends.
BMW Motorrad label this bike a Roadster – most people would call it a naked bike. Small sports screen, no luggage racks, lightweight and stripped back to basics. Naked. Let’s stick with Roadster.
Peter at Vines said to me before I left: “I have a larger screen fitted to my S1000R, and it really helps with airflow.”
I have to agree, Peter. The stunning performance of the bike throws your head back with just the standard screen fitted. It didn’t stop me having fun, but on a longer run it would get tiring. As Peter informed me, nearly all buyers choose the Sport version of the S1000R, and also buy many options such as the larger screen. The sport model, which is the best seller in the range, comes with extras over the standard bike:
- The Akrapovic exhaust, which makes the bike sound very sporty
- the speed shifter allows you to change up and down without the clutch
- heated grips
- dynamic riding mode
- dynamic suspension setting.
I mentioned real world testing on normal roads: let’s face it, most bikes sold will never shred rubber on a track, so road testing is much more important than take a bike round a track, lap after lap.
But I do have to say, the S1000R Sport would be the ideal track day bike. You could even ride it there and use the track with the road tyres. Depending on how hard you ride, you may not be legal going home, though.
Back to the bike. Performance, as I stated, is stunning, hugely impressive in 3rd and 4th gears, when you wind back the throttle. You rush forward, road disappearing behind you, as does anything following. It has so much pull, even in 6th gear acceleration is rapid from cruising speeds to autobahn numbers. I would suggest a 7th gear would be ideal to allow lower revs at high cruising speeds.
Sadly, I only had the bike for three days but that was enough to grab me. I handed the bike back at Vines new season launch event, which was great.
Food, live music and test rides.
A lot of bike for the money, great handling and performance along with good standard features. It sounds gorgeous, looks lovely and offers the chance of track riding. It will give you plenty of enjoyment. I had lots of fun.
S1000R range starts at £11k. Sport £12,375k Included on Sport: · Riding Mode Pro · Gear Shift Assist Pro · Dynamic Traction Control · Dynamic Damping Control · Cruise Control · Heated Grips · Design Wheels (Black with Red Pinstripe) · Engine Spoiler · LED Indicators
Specs: 165hp 121kW 205kg with fuel.
Words and photo Jeremy Webb 2018
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