One of the more intriguing story lines we are following in the coming WorldSBK season is the arrival of BMW Motorrad in the superbike paddock. For the 2019 season, BMW has partnered with the Shaun Muir Racing team, with riders Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger.
With an all new superbike platform to develop and work with, our attention is on what this machine can do, especially with such a high-level team and duo of riders.
With SMR officially unveiling the team at their preseason test in Portugal, we sent our man Steve English into the pit box to get some up-close photos of the WorldSBK-spec BMW S1000RR for the 2019 season.
As you would expect, the details on this bike are very interesting.
BMW Motorrad has released its yearly figures for 2018, and the report is mostly positive. Sales worldwide were up a very modest 0.9% for the year (165,566 in total unit sales), and this does mean that 2018 was the German company’s eighth year in row of growth.
The news was good for BMW Motorrad USA as well, with the American subsidiary showing a 2.2% bump in sales (13,842 units) compared to 2017, thanks primarily to the company’s introduction of the K1600 Grand America.
It is an odd passion in life, but I find the international pricing schemes by various motorcycle manufacturers to be simply fascinating.
While this will surely mean that I will die alone (so very, very alone), this odd curiosity is bringing up some interesting thoughts about the new BMW S1000RR superbike.
And the signs point to the Bavarian brand’s newest liter bike costing quite the pretty penny in the US market. Let me explain.
Episode 2 of the Brap Talk podcast is out, and in this show our big topic of conversation centers around the dealership experience.
As such, we rely heavily on Shahin’s decade-long career of working in motorcycle dealerships, and discuss what can be done better – by both the dealers, and the customers. We also wander into speculation about our future with robot overlords.
Before we get to that in-depth conversation in the podcast though, we cover a few newsie items.
BMW Motorrad is very quietly teasing a new motorcycle platform, one that is centered around an 1,800cc boxer design.
BMW teased this new engine in a unique way, having Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda of Custom Works Zon build a show bike around the boxer-twin, which we are showing here in the story.
With its vintage style, it is easy to disregard the prototype engine from BMW as being something from the German company’s past, and perhaps that is the point. The engine uses a push-rod design, and its cooling fins tip-off its air/oil-cooling mechanism.
Specifics beyond this are non-existent, however, with BMW Motorrad simply saying that “further details about the engine and its possible future use will be communicated at a later point in time.”
Generally speaking, when you see a recall for an engine item on a motorcycle, like a connecting rod, it is a big deal. Such recalls have caught a few brands out, and it usually means a large investment of time and energy on the part of the OEM.
Some brands make complete engine swaps, while others will pay their technicians to make the appropriate fixes and repairs. Invariably customers aren’t happy with the solution, and it is not out of the question to hear talk about lawsuits and other legal remedies.
Today’s case though, well it is a bit different. BMW Motorrad has found that the connecting rods on the BMW F850GS may not have been installed correctly. But, the recall only affects one motorcycle…and it hasn’t even been sold yet.
I don’t think we have ever seen a recall for just one motorcycle before here at Asphalt & Rubber, let alone one that hasn’t been sold by a dealer, but here we are.
As we predicted, the 2019 BMW F850GS Adventure made its debut at the EICMA show in Milan, giving the German brand another adventure bike in its arsenal on the segment. Obviously based upon the BMW F850GS that we saw debut last year, the F850GS Adventure takes the middleweight’s off-road capability to a higher level.
At the core of the machine is the same 853cc parallel-twin engine that is in the F850GS model, which means a 94hp (75 kW) peak power figure, along with 68 lbs•ft (92 Nm) of torque. It also means a 538 lbs (244 kg) wet weight at the curb, which is absurdly heavy, if we do say so.
Of course, some of that bloat comes from the 6.07-gallon (23 liters) fuel tank that has been added to the mix, which BMW Motorrad says is good for 340 miles (550 km) of riding, which is no joke. So, there are trade-offs to be made there.
Feature-wise, there is also a larger touring windscreen, which is taller and wider. BMW has also included adjustable shifter and brake levers, for better ergonomic adjustment.
It is not like the BMW R1250GS Adventure was a big surprise for the 2018 EICMA show. It’s debut was telegraphed in emission documents filed with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and photos of the machine recently leaked onto the internet.
But, the GSA has always been an important motorcycle to the German brand, and as such, the debut of the 2019 BMW R1250GS Adventure is a bit of a thing.
As expected for the 2019 model year, the big feature on the R1250GS Adventure is the addition of BMW Motorrad’s “ShiftCam” boxer-twin engine. Getting a bump to 1,254cc, this increase in displacement means that there is a modest performance increase of 134hp and 92 lbs•ft of torque.
The wait is finally over. The 2019 BMW S1000RR is finally here. Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated motorcycle for the next model year, the BMW S1000RR is so important that it is taking the German brand back into WorldSBK racing, with help from Tom Sykes and the Shaun Muir Racing team.
There is reason to be excited too, as the 2019 BMW S1000RR makes a big splash on the spec sheet. Most notable is the 204hp (152 kW) at the crank, with 83 lbs•ft of torque, which is aided by the new ShiftCam valve train that debuted on the BMW R1250GS and other “R” models from BMW Motorrad.
This marks an 8hp increase over the outgoing generation of the BMW S1000RR superbike, but that’s not all. The 2019 BMW S1000RR also does away with 25 lbs of bulk at the curb (albeit, with a liter less of fuel onboard), for a wet weight of 434 lbs (197kg).
Even as the official opening of EICMA rapidly approaches, our Bothan Spies are hard at work looking for clues to next year’s motorcycle debuts. As such, they bring news from Milan, where BMW Motorrad is set to unveil a bevy of new motorcycles.
Most of these new bikes we know of, with the BMW R1250GS Adventure and BMW S1000RR already leaking, and the BMW R1250R and BMW R1250RS obviously tipped by CARB filings for the new ShiftCam boxer-twin engine.
With BMW Motorrad telling us that we will see nine new motorcycles this new bike season, all that is left is simple math on what remains, now that the BMW R1250GS and BMW R1250RT debuted ahead of the INTERMOT show.
So far, our total is six…but we’re about to make it seven, as our Bothan’s report that the BMW F850GS Adventure will debut tomorrow morning in Milan.
The new BMW S1000RR hasn’t even officially debuted yet, but it feels like we already know a great deal about this new superbike.
Photos and details of the machine have already leaked ahead of the EICMA trade show, giving us a good idea of what to expect from the German brand, and now more photos have leaked online.
Found on Reddit, and first posted by the Instagram account @S1000RRgram, these photos appear to come from the catalog for the 2019 BMW S1000RR, giving us a good perspective on how the bike compares in size to its rider.
The photos also give us a strong look at the S1000RR’s front fairing and headlight design, which finally features symmetrical lights.