BMW set the bar high when it released the original S 1000 RR for the 2009 model year. Fast-forward to today and the German company is seeking to reclaim the top spot in the Superbike class with its 2020 S 1000 RR. Fully overhauled from the inside out, it awaited us at Alabama's Barber Motorsports Park for its official US press introduction.Known for its hard-edged performance, BMW offers a softer and more versatile S 1000 RR for 2020. (Kevin Wing/)
The S 1000 RR is BMW’s top-of-the-line sportbike designed for competition, trackdays, street riding, and all-around sport fun. All of the wonderful qualities that we loved about the first- and second-generation bikes are present in this third-iteration machine, albeit in a smoother and more controlled fashion.
Related: Related Content: 2015 BMW S 1000 RR | First RideThe 2020 S 1000 RR retails for $22,095 with the optional M Package and mandatory Select Package. (Kevin Wing/)
As always, it continues to deliver whooping engine performance, to the tune of 183 hp at the business end of the back tire as measured on our dyno (six more ponies than the 2017 machine). But for 2020 it’s even more agile and lighter-feeling. Specifically, the reengineered chassis has more favorable flex characteristics, especially when loaded, full throttle. But the most notable improvement is the way it steers.
It turns so much sharper than before. This makes for a bike that you can put exactly where needed on track. Even with its newfound agility, the S 1000 RR hasn’t given up any stability—which is important in a nearly 200-hp sportbike. Credit goes to not only the honed steering geometry but the improved rigidity balance and works-style inverted swingarm.Without question, the S 1000 RR’s improved steering manners and agility are stand-out improvements compared to its predecessor. (Kevin Wing/)
The optional M-spec carbon fiber wheels (available as a $3,700 upcharge as part of the M Package) further boost handling, especially when hustling the BMW from side to side, in quick transitions. This option also adds a lighter lithium-ion battery and embroidered “M” rider’s seat. It also unlocks the Ride Modes Pro settings, which allows the rider to tweak individual brake, traction, wheelie, and ABS control settings. There is, however, a caveat: You have to opt for the $1,400 Select Package, which includes cruise control, Dynamic Damping Control (semi-active suspension), heated grips, and Tire Pressure Monitoring System. This elevates the S 1000 RR’s MSRP to $22,095.Read more