2011 BMW S1000RR | Doin' Time

Staffers’ Rides

Photography by Gron4 Photography, Jim Moy

WRIST: Matt Samples
MSRP (2011): $16,630
MILES: 10,338
MPG: 32
MODS: Akrapovic exhaust, Dynojet Power Commander with Auto Tune

The fastest bikes at my local track days are race-prepped BMW S1000RRs, and the fact that they’re ridden by some seriously talented cats means they really move. I tried to shadow them to pick up some speed secrets, but they were walking away from me in the corners and on the straights. Clearly I needed more power if I was ever going to successfully stalk these guys. Wait: We’re trying to make the most powerful literbike on the market faster? You betcha!

Guy Weber, BMW Service Manager at Cycle Werks (www.cyclewerks.com) in Barrington, Illinois, warned me that there weren’t many gains to be had from the usual bolt-on mods. “Good luck getting power from mapping or exhaust changes,” he said. “The factory setup is brilliant.”

Regardless, it’s hard to resist trying. After all, Akrapovic makes beautiful pipes, with welds that have a look of fine art to them. The Slovenian company was kind enough to supply us with one of their Evolution full systems ($1895.95, www.akrapovic.com). To address the fuel side of things, we ordered a Power Commander V and Auto Tune module from Dynojet ($379.95 and $279.95; www.powercommander.com). Be warned: Installing this sort of equipment on the electronics-laden S1000RR is a big job. Both products came with detailed instructions, but the project involved stripping nearly all of the bike’s bodywork, disabling the stock exhaust butterfly valves and tapping into numerous electrical connections buried within the BMW’s wiring harness. Anyone looking to perform a similar installation should allot at full day to the task.

Hitting the starter button made it all worthwhile. The S1000RR sounds brutal, the growl at idle rattling your chest! The Evo is a race pipe and it’s pretty honkin’ loud, so the Beemer will be restricted to the racetrack from now on. We put the bike on the dyno at Moons Supercycle (www.moonssupercycle.com) in Milwaukee for a shakedown. Before the install the beast put 184 horsepower (!) to the rear wheel, and post-op it had gained 8 bhp of midrange grunt and 2 bhp at peak. That’s no night-and-day difference, but it’s a bigger improvement than we'd expected to achieve. In addition to the power gains, the titanium Evolution pipe dropped a full 17 lbs., and the supplied Power Commander map really cleaned up the power curve. The Auto Tune should allow me to fine-tune things at the racetrack by allowing me to input specific target fuel-air ratios.

At my next Sportbike Track Time (www.sportbiketracktime.com) track day, the “trackaholics” weren’t pulling away so much on the straights and I was able to pirate their brake markers and turn-in points. Score! With the exhaust and fuel changes the Beemer’s throttle response is definitely better, especially in the midrange. The blued titanium headers make the S1000RR look legit, and the sound of the engine at full throttle is unbelievable. Is all that worth $3000? Hopefully, this report will help you make an educated decision. Because besides having fun with bikes that don’t belong to us, that’s what Doin’ Time is all about!

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