Like it or not, most motorcycle brands have a reputation for attracting a certain type of rider. In the case of the BMW rider, the stereotype has a definite touch of the "sensible grandpa" about it ... at least, that's how things worked until recently. For the last five or so years, the German manufacturer has been releasing a bunch of bikes that can actually deliver seriously good fun - albeit in a sensible kind of way. But there's nothing sensible about the bomb they dropped in 2010 with the release of the S1000RR. In our latest video road test, Loz Blain and Noel McKeegan cash in their pension checks and climb aboard the formidable BMW superbike.
This is BMW's first genuine supersports bike, tailor made for the company's first World Superbike campaign. They threw the kitchen sink at it, with a mind-bending 193-horsepower engine, standard quickshifter and the first really smart electronics system that controls not only engine power and throttle response, but traction control levels and how the ABS system works depending on what mode you're in.
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In the last 18 months, this bike has dominated comparison tests in motorcycle press the world over. It's been the most powerful, the fastest, the smoothest and the cleverest - and while it's a bit more expensive than a Japanese bike, it's heaps cheaper than any of the European competition. You expect quality vehicles from BMW - but even so, this bike is an astonishing achievement.