2011 BMW S1000RR | Doin' Time

Staffers' Rides

Photography by Jim Moy

2011 BMW S1000RR

Wrist: Matt Samples
MSRP (2011): $16,630
Miles: 9237
MPG: 36
Mods: Galfer brake pads, Metzeler tires, Renthal chain and sprockets, R&G Racing frame protection and rearsets

I’ve been piling miles on my BMW S1000RR. I’ve attended multiple track days, taken a 2000-mile tour to the Ozark Mountains and made countless day trips around western Wisconsin. It was beyond time for some scheduled maintenance.

Honda Northwest (www.hondanw.com) in Crystal Lake, Illinois, handled the first routine oil change and tire swap, just before the Arkansas trip. I can’t praise the stock Metzeler Racetec K3 tires enough. Based on how well they gripped at the track,I was sure they’d be too soft to last on the street. I was so impressed when the first set went 2500 miles that I levered on another set ($221.95 front, $394.95 rear; www.us.metzelermoto.com). Everything else checked out fine, and I was off to the Ozarks.

The S1000RR returned home with more than 6000 miles on the clock, so I sought out a certified BMW dealership for the first “dynamic service.” Cycle Werks (www.cyclewerks.com) in Barrington, Illinois, subjected the bike to a rigorous exam, checking for warning codes, changing the oil, dropping in a fresh air filter, cleaning and lubing the chain and inspecting the chassis.

The brakes raised the only red flag. A half-dozen track days cooked the fluid, and fade was becoming a problem. After flushing and re-filling with fresh fluid, the color difference in the reservoirs was dramatic. The stock Brembo brake pads were also toast. Looking for a more cost-effective solution, we followed the advice of David Behrend at Fast Bike Industries and installed Galfer’s street/track sintered HH pads ($74.80 per caliper; www.fastbikeindustries.com). Easier to heat up on the street compared to the pure-race Carbon compound, these offer the same great initial bite and smooth modulation of the stock pads, but are easier on the bank account.

I also tweaked the gearing. The factory 17/44 sprockets might be fine for maximizing fuel mileage on the interstate, but the bike bogged out of slow turns and took too long to spin up into the high-rpm power. Following the advice of local S1000RR racers, we dialed up Renthal for a 16/45 chainwheel combo ($59.95 front, $69.95 rear; www.renthal.com) along with a narrower, #520-size RR4 SRS chain ($197.06). The #520 conversion cut almost 2 lbs. and, with the same tensile-strength rating as the stock #525 chain, shouldn’t need more frequent adjustment—though the aluminum rear sprocket probably won’t last as long as a steel piece.

Re-geared, my S1000RR sucked up everything but modified BMWs on Road America’s long straights, and the added inch of wheelbase (the smaller chainwheels allowed us to pull the wheel farther back) improved corner exits, too. The motor is still stock, but not for long: I’ve got my eye on a full Akrapovic system, and a Dynojet PC-V with the optional AutoTune kit. Stay tuned.

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