BMW’s S1000R was updated for 2021 but to many people, it didn’t quite hit the mark. Criticised for a characterless engine, afterthought headlight design and an overall solid, but unremarkable performer, the S1000R gets overlooked for its more desirable peers.
It’s been around since 2014 and it’s previously been a popular choice for many riders. Based on the S1000RR sportsbike, it’s got the same inline four engine but like many supernakeds it’s been re-tuned for a bit more midrange instead of a top end sportsbike rush. That means it makes less power – around 165bhp compared to 200 horsepower for the RR.
It got an update in 2017 and again in 2021 with an all-new engine (minus the ShiftCam system that gives it a power and torque boost) and chassis from the RR. Now this latest incarnation might be a decent roadster but it’s not really standing out from the competition. The likes of the Aprilia Tuono Factory, Ducati Streetfighter V4S and KTM SuperDuke Evo are all European bikes that are arguably more involving bikes to ride that make more power and are less, how do we say it… sterile. Japan’s ZH2 and refreshed-for 2022 MT-10 are both bikes that pack in an impressively engaging ride that the S1000R lacks.
On the styling front, the headlight has come in for criticism too with a unit that’s identical to the one on the twin cylinder F900R, which in itself isn’t a bad thing but when you’re aiming for the same market as the Streetfighters and Tuonos which have an obvious family resemblance to their sportsbike brothers you have to wonder why BMW didn’t choose the same route with the S1000R and mimic the RR headlight design.
I mean, they already did most of the work with the rest of the styling so why stop at the cowl?
Like many I believe BMW may have missed a trick, but the good news is they could fix that by doing what they’ve done with the S1000RR sportsbike. That is, they made an even higher-performance version and called it an M1000RR. This was a higher-specification version of the bike with better brakes, less weight, more power, a more tuneable engine and… winglets. So if you like the sound of an M1000R supernaked, here’s what it could look like.