2012 Motorcycle of the Year | Best Sportbike

Über Superbike

BMW’s first true race-ready superbike wowed the world when it debuted in 2009, and it’s only gotten better with age. The 2012 model received what would appear to be inconsequential updates, but these minor chassis and suspension tweaks add up to a big improvement in handling. The S1000RR turns quicker and holds a line better than ever before, making its 170 horsepower that much easier and more exciting to exploit. That extra maneuverability is in addition to an existing list of assets that includes inspiring stability, tremendous brakes, traction control, ABS and a quick-shifter. You can even get your freakishly fast superbike with heated handgrips!

The S1000RR offers exotic Euro-bike cachet without the usual compromises in comfort and commutability. Incredible track performance aside, the S1000RR is a great streetbike. With a soft seat, smooth motor and spacious ergos, it’s the most accommodating thoroughbred on the market, and the sportbike most of us want to own.

Alternative Take

Kawasaki ZX-14R
The 2012 ZX-14R's new "stroker" motor pushes displacement from 1352cc to 1441cc, increasing power to truly astronomical figures and blowing Suzuki's GSX1300R Hayabusa out of the water in the process. Staggering straight-line speed is backed up by mile-eating smoothness and comfort that rivals Kawi's own Concours14 sport-tourer.