Ringleader: Matt Samples
MSRP (2010): $17,480
Average Fuel Mileage: NA
Accessories & modifications:
None yet, but I've got a list
Look, I'm an average, "normal" guy with a family, career, community obligations, hobbies and friends. How do I rate a long-term testbike? It's all about who you know, and I ride with Aaron Frank. I progressed from extreme squidliness to amateur racer and, for the past four years, test pilot/photo model for the magazine. I kept asking for a long-termer, and they finally said yes! Although I have owned 1000cc sportbikes from all four Japanese manufacturers, I've never wanted a BMW before. I rode an R1100S once and got off swearing I would never do that again!
After I came home from our "Class of 2010" shootout, however, my blood was pulsing toxic levels of Euro-induced adrenalin. I've always known the Germans can make bad-ass cars, but they couldn't do bad-ass sportbikes till now. The S1000RR is raising the bar and pushing performance to a level never seen before. Seriously, the thing makes 175 horsepower at the rear wheel bone-stock, and guys are getting over 200 bhp with a pipe and a PCV. Hayabusas don't stand a chance. Nutty like squirrel poop, I tell ya'!
But honestly, I don't know why this surprises me. Look at what BMW has done in Formula 1. It was just a matter of time until the company brought that level of engineering and innovation to its bikes. The S1000RR's F1-style valve train and cylinder head are both unique on bikes, and help explain the massive sack it's packing. Eliminating the carriers in the front brake rotors is a stroke of genius. My dorky, pocket-protector side revels in sophistication like the four different traction-control modes and Race-ABS. I love the way the bike looks, too-even if the shark gills are only on one side. Catterson was ready to poke my eyes out, I asked so many times about the bike's ETA. I'm anxious to ride it on my Chicago-area roads and racetracks and make real, cost-conscious improvements.
Bring on the Beemer!