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2019 BMW S 1000 RR revealed! | Manufacture News | News

German marque set to move the superbike goalposts for 2019

BMW is about to unveil the smallest, lightest and most powerful superbike yet.

More than a year ago we spotted the next-generation S 1000 RR on test in Germany. Now we give you a clear look at the bike in its finished form ahead of its launch, courtesy of design patents that have escaped from the factory.

While there have been three distinct generations of the S 1000 RR already, the evolution has been subtle. For 2019, though, everything is new – engine, chassis, wheels, brakes and styling.

And it’s tiny. The idea of a 1000cc bike that’s as small and light as a 600 has been around for ages – the original Honda Fireblade took steps in that direction in 1992, and the first-generation Yamaha YZF-R1 made another huge leap towards the same goal in 1998 – but the 2019 BMW S 1000 RR will be another notable milestone in the miniaturisation of superbikes.

The key is the new engine and the innovative new chassis designed around it.

To achieve the unconventional chassis shape, BMW has had to clear a lot of space directly above the engine, and to do so it has introduced an entirely new inline four-cylinder engine.

While we don’t know much about it, it’s clear to see that the engine castings are completely new when compared to the current unit. Notable visual differences include the water pump, which has swapped sides.

Inside there will be plenty of updates that push the bike’s power well past the 200hp (149kW) mark.

It’s also likely to be among the first superbike engines to meet future Euro5 emissions regulations. There are two catalytic converters and the system then runs into a large collector box. Impressively, the silencer is smaller than that of the current bike.

In fact, BMW has managed to package its exhaust so tightly that it’s able to use a MotoGP-style swingarm with underslung bracing, the only roadbike in its class to do so.

The bike has more compact brake calipers and a repositioned ABS sensor on a smaller ring. The wheels are a new five-spoke design and the instruments are a single flat screen display.

The styling is renewed. The lopsided headlights are gone, replaced by a pair of symmetrical LED lights in a horizontally split nose fairing. A vertical central air intake between the lights provides a link to the earlier RRs, as do gill-like slashes in the right-hand fairing panel. 

When & what else?!

The new S 1000 RR is expected to be the highlight of BMW’s 2019 model range, due to be launched at Intermot in early October. Other new models include the revamped and re-engined R1250GS and R1250RT, C400GT scooter and F850GS Adventure.

Framing it

The new BMW superbike’s frame is unusual.

Instead of using the straightest possible beams to connect the headstock to the swingarm pivot, there’s a clear zig-zag in the frame rails as they go up from the swingarm pivot. They level off over the gearbox and then sweep upwards again following the angle of the cylinders to meet up with the steering stem.

It also features an unconventional linkage for the rear shock, with upper shock mount on a pivoting arm. Presumably a second link attaches from the swingarm to the other end of the pivoting arm, so the shock is pushed from both above and below as the rear is compressed.

By Ben Purvis