By wide and common consent, it's one of the best road bikes on the planet. So we are running a BMW S1000RR as a long term test bike in 2011. Pics of mods, tyres, bit and pieces are in the gallery at the bottom of the page.
Well, if the magazine you edit is called SuperBike magazine, what the hell else do you want to ride? Why wouldn't you want to throw your leg over one of the best road bikes produced in the history of motorcycling? It's a (forgive me the cliche) game changer. Power with an electronics package that left the rest of the world gasping and most of the Japanese manufacturers wondering how much extra R&D budget they were going to have to spend to make their bikes look 'modern'. So I got the golden ticket for 2011. Best job in the world mate....
Yeah, I know, why wasn't my head tucked in behind the bubble...
If you've got any questions or feedback on the S1000RR, if you own one and have any suggestions or tips, feel free to get in touch, Kenny.Pryde@vitalitypublishing.com
And there we had it. I rode the bike all year. Fellow SuperBike types Chris and John rode the bike. Racer Paul Young rode the bike. Dave Smith rode the bike. It was given a damn good thrashing on a number of tracks and it never missed a beat. It did need a set of new brake pads when it went back to BMW though....
A sneaky heads up for all you people out there who think that they might 'need' to 'improve' the quality of their brake fluid. Or, indeed, just think that their brake fluid needs changing. Don't change it to silicone-rich fluids, which tend to be more expensive 'race' fluids. Your Brembo brake seals don't like the silicone and brake fade will arrive as sure as eggs is eggs.
June 17, Friday
I am bereft of bike. The boy/lad/man (Northover, Hogan, Smith) have packed my bike away and are now down at Dunlop's test track Mireval getting some new tyres fitted on it as part of a test. Admittedly its a long, long way to go for a set of tyres (it's near Montpellier) but I hope when I get my bike back that there will be enough wear left on the Dunlop D211 GP hoops that will enable me to get a feel for them compared to the Metzeler Racetec Interacts I've been so happy with. Stay tuned.
PS In a move that is hard to explain, the D211 GP
tyres are the track-oriented ones I used on the Honda CBR600RR race bike a couple of seasons ago. The GP Racer D211
is the road-going equivalent. Two different tyres, two very similar names.
May 29, Sunday.
Just been for a ride on a decent day and wanted to report that I love this bike. That's it really, it was just one of those rides where everything clicks and feels right and, importantly, there was no traffic on my favourite bends!May 24, Heart of the Tragic, Londinium
It's been a while, I see. We've been making a magazine and riding bikes basically. The BMW was part of the 1,000cc group test
that we've just finished. Whether it 'won' or 'lost' was neither here nor there to me. I think it's a great bike and although I had a chance to ride the others back-to-back on track and road, I was happy enough when I went home on 'my' bike rather than any of the others (none of which are shite by the way!)
My tyre fetish was given full reign on the test. I was there messing about with tyre pressures on the fresh aftermarket Metzeler Ractec Interact K3
tyres we fitted to all the bikes. I reckon the aftermarket ones feel a bit different ('softer'?) than the OE ones that come with the bike. If I'm imagining it, I'll let you know. In the meantime, I'm going to speak to a Metzeler engineer to find out...May 3, My house
I confess that I haven't had a great deal of experience with Sachs suspension
in the past. It's not a name that springs (ooooh, sorry) to mind when you think of sportsbike suspension. But I have to say that I've been impressed by the adjustability and sensitivity of the forks and shock fitted to the BMW. By which I mean that when you turn the adjusters – even a couple of clicks – they actually have an impact on how the bike feels. Hats off to Sachs for road performance.
PREVIOUSLY, ON THE LONG TERMER UPDATE BLOG...
C'mon, that clutch lever is maaaassive...
April 25, Brands Hatch British superbikes
I abuse my media pass to have a look at the Buildbase BMW Motorrad superbike team's bikes and have a chat with Ian Lowry. 24 year old Irishman Lowry looks a bit shell-shocked at the position on the timesheets. "We really haven't had any testing and the bikes were only built a couple of weeks ago. We went on a dealer day on the wee Stowe circuit at Silverstone and then we had the Snetterton BSB test day and then we've come here. The BMW is new to the team who've been running Kawasakis for years and the PI Pectel electronics package on the bike needs some fine tuning."
So, Lowry is on a new bike, with a new team and new Bitubo suspension as well. His team mates John Laverty and Barry Burrell (in the EVO class) were all stuck on more or less the same lap time on Brands Indy circuit – 46.5 – and couldn't seem to make any progress beyond that. Plus Laverty was punted off and lost the tip of his finger in race one, which put an end to his weekend.
For the record, I should point out that my fine motorrad was prepped and made ready by the good people at Vines BMW down in Guildford in Surrey. The benefit here is that there are some great though well-policed roads to and from Guildford. Still, you can't complain. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, etc.
April 12, the office
Monday started unusually well, with a nice lightweight box from BikeHPS with my name on it waiting for me on my desk – which is bloody impressive since I only ordered it on Friday! There were no unpleasant surprises inside. The clear, MRA double bubble screen was tucked inside. I'll take some before-and-after pics from the side (and post them in the gallery) to make sure I'm getting the full double effect! Clear screens, you know they make sense. German bike, German screen company.
April 7, Londinium
Just got in touch with GB Racing
to secure some engine casing protection for the BMW S1000RR. I saw the
stuff on the BMW Motorrad World superbikes of Leon Haslam and Troy
Corser (and Ruben Xaus gave all the kit a thorough testing last year
too) and I had some of the GB Racing kit on my Suzuki GSX-R600 last
year. Full factory kit! More seriously, approved for racing by the
February 27, Cartagena circuit, Spain.
No, the BMW with the number 46 on it is not mine. It belongs to Rhalf lo Turco,
who races in the Michelin Power Cup and Rhalf, who came over from
Brazil to race in the UK, was decent enough to throw the keys at me for a
few laps on the Spanish circuit.
He had dynoed it on his London shop's
Dynapro dyno and reckoned it made somewhere around 201bhp at the rear
wheel. Which, from what we've heard, is about right for a
pipe'n'fuelling job. Rhalf (pictured) is using a Bazzaz
Z-FI system to tweak the fuelling on the bike since the Bazzaz unit can
be used to progamme all eight injector bodies. To be honest, it felt
on Cartagena's 600m long front straight. What have I let myself in for?