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RideFast Magazine March 2020

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previous sentence were not affected in any way by the fact the Rob went to that launch, and I did not. An age seems to have passed since then with various little tweaks and local legislative bureaucracy causing various delays, but it is good to finally sit on one in the flesh and feel it rumbling its way onto a track we call our own. The full report was offered after the launch but herewith a highlights package – the motor now shoves out 207 hp at 13,500 rpm, two figures that have since been out-claimed by the Italians. However, these are German figures that tend to be portrayed via an efficiently-produced clipboard, whereas the Italians convey theirs through the medium of arm waving and crotchgrabbing. The S1000RR has also been munching the diet pills. Previously, it sat at a somewhat rotund 208kg, a figure BMW dismissed as not a problem due to their clever use of mass-centralisation. Sadly, for them, the opposition also used mass-centralisation, except with less mass. The current bike, with the lightened M Package, weighs a daintily athletic 193 kg ready to ride. Where the previous model was a pillar of stability, it had a wayward manner deep within the corner, preferring to go straight when you would rather it would turn. There are no issues now, and immediately it feels light on its feet with far better tipping and less negotiation mid-turn. The strange throttle setup helps this further; at all stages of opening, the bike feels bogged down as though it’s in the wrong gear. This might not run up and give you the kick you were expecting, but it does make controlling speed through the turns a little less traumatic. When all hope appeared lost, you open up onto the straight with the anticipation it will merely struggle through the revs, but the moment the throttle goes full, suddenly the engine comes to life with the kick of 207 ponies. The struggle here is that you had just begun to relax your kidneys when suddenly they are shot out your backside. The theory behind this phenomenon is part down to the ride-by-wire throttle setup and a good chunk down to the ShiftCam motor. It also goes some way to help curb the shortfall of the inline-four, screamer motor, a format that traditionally offers huge punch down the straights but is clumsy within the turns. Where some manufacturers seem to base their superbike ergonomics on the dimensions of smurfs, BMW has hired Hans, who moonlights as a heavyweight kickboxer, to model theirs. There’s enough room to conduct a gymnastics tournament. The electronics were never noticed, meaning that they’re either working exceptionally well or are not working at all and will be sorely missed when they are suddenly needed. The quickshifter is one of the best available anywhere – further begging the question of why the system on BMW’s boxer motors is so awful – and the TFT dash is magnificent, especially in track display mode. On the race track, some little flaws do sneak their way through the net. The brake callipers used are from some company you have never heard of and have the letters “BMW” emblazoned on them. There are stories that Brembo 34 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MARCH 2020

Big thanks to Daly Motorrad Klerksdorp for loaning us their Demo M Sport model to test. The bike is available for sale so contact them as it is a gem! World of Carbon BMW S1000RR couldn’t supply them with their latest goods because of some contract with Ducati, so BMW went elsewhere. While suspicious to begin with, they do stop the motorcycle faster than hitting a concrete wall and will serve it well during an emergency. The problem is that braking on a racetrack is less about grinding to a halt and more about control. The rider squeezes the brake hard in a straight line and then slowly releases the brake as the bike leans more and more into the turn. There’s a lot of feel required, a problem when the brakes feel more like a light switch than a dulling knob. The electronic suspension will cater for various roads and tarmac but tend to get somewhat overwhelmed when braking hard into a bumpy turn, especially when the brakes let go a little too suddenly. These matters of concern manifest strictly when ridden hard on the race track, whereas the public road should be nothing but bunnies and rainbows. However, we are not on the public road, so let’s move on to something a little more fitting. Here we have the race bike of Bert Jonker, the man behind World of Carbon, who nervously let Rob and I lap Red Star at speed mere days before the start of his racing season. No pressure. From a technical point of view, this bike remains mostly standard with no performance mods to the motor, the frame, the brakes and the electronics beyond what is “standard” in the M Package. What it does have is an addition that improves the handling, the brakes, the acceleration and the lap times more than anything else: an aftermarket fairing. The improved performance is partially down to the lighter weight of the thinner panels and the removal of lights and flickers, but it is mostly down to how much less the racing kit costs. Have you ever priced a standard road kit on “Where some manufacturers seem to base their superbike ergonomics on the dimensions of smurfs, BMW has hired Hans, who moonlights as a heavyweight kickboxer, to model theirs. There’s enough room to conduct a gymnastics tournament.” RIDEFAST MAGAZINE MARCH 2020 3 5