BMW's hell-bent on returning to the top step of the liter-class Superbike podium next season with its all-new 2019 S1000RR. Next year's machine is the third major iteration of the German brand's superbike and also marks its 10th year of production.

Since its 2009 model-year debut, the S1000RR](/2018-bmw-s-1000-rr) has delivered class-leading engine performance. For 2019, Motorrad engineers take the development of its 999cc inline-four to the next level.

2019 BMW S1000RR superbike
BMW comes out swinging for MY 2019 with its all-new third-generation S1000RR superbike.BMW Motorrad


“The redesign of the RR engine confronted us with a considerable challenge in a number of different ways,” powertrain project manager Jörg Vogt says. “An even higher peak output combined with increased torque in the lower and medium engine speed range—these are apparently incompatible opposites. With BMW ShiftCam Technology we managed a quantum leap.”

What’s ShiftCam? It’s the Variable valve timing system introduced on the redesigned 2019 BMW R1250GS that employs a camshaft with two different lobes manipulating each of the eight intake valves. Applied to the S1000RR, the system utilizes partial-load lobes below 9,000 rpm to boost engine torque while also reducing excess mechanical noise and increasing engine efficiency (BMW claims a 4-percent reduction in fuel consumption).

S1000RR’s I4
The S1000RR’s I4 is significantly lighter and more compact than before—an astounding feat considering its already slim packaging.BMW Motorrad

The intake camshaft moves into full-load (maximum lift) configuration above 9,000 rpm and transition time is just 10 milliseconds. Paired with 10 percent lighter, “hollow-bored” titanium valves and a 25-percent lighter DLC-coated rocker arm setup, the engine spins 400 rpm higher than before to 14,600 revs. This technology is complemented by returning variable-length intake funnels that shift from long to short position at 11,700 rpm, further enhancing mid-to-top engine performance. The compression ratio in the unchanged bore and stroke of 80.0 x 49.7mm has also increased slightly (0.3) to 13.3:1.

BMW says that its I4 delivers in excess of 73.8 pound-feet torque from as low as 5,000 rpm. Peak torque (83.3 pound-feet) arrives at 11,000 rpm. Rated horsepower is up six ponies to 205 hp at 13,500 revs. Physically the engine appears more compact, with a nearly 0.5-inch reduction in width. The oil and water pump now operate as one unit, and the idler gear used to drive the units separately has been pared away.

All told the Motorrad team claims the engine has lost 8.8 pounds in the redesign process—no easy feat for any manufacturer. Spent gases pass through a lighter (nearly 3 pounds less than the 2018 model) exhaust that continues to be fabricated from stainless steel rather than exotic titanium.

2019 BMW S1000RR
The S1000RR continues to employ signature styling attributes, including shark-like gills.BMW Motorrad

The powertrain still puts power to the pavement via a six-speed gearbox and chain final drive. The slipper clutch has been designed with more slip/free-wheel effect, and incorporates both an electronic quickshifter and auto-blip technology. This mitigates clutch use aside from launches. Speaking of which, the launch control programming, as is the entire suite of electronics, is new and now powered by a six-axis IMU controller.

The S1000RR’s signature four global riding modes—Rain, Road, Dynamic, Race—return. Each mode affects engine power, throttle response, ABS, and DTC settings. The previous Slick mode has been replaced with the three-way-adjustable Race Pro setting, which allows track riders to tailor individual settings, including wheelie, engine-brake, and wheelspin control, based on preference and track conditions.

2019 BMW S1000RR new chassis
The S1000RR uses an all-new chassis that’s lighter and further incorporates the engine as a stressed member.BMW Motorrad

Although the S1000RR is clearly focused on performance, in typical Motorrad fashion, it still includes both cruise control and Hill Start Control. The latter is a new feature that makes for easier starts uphill (the technology is similar to what Honda uses with its new Gold Wing). When activated, the system applies the "parking brake" (which we presume is Motorrad speak for the rear brake), on gradients when either brake lever has been pressed, after the bike arrives at a standstill. Lastly, a Pit Lane Limiter ensures you don't break the speed limit when maneuvering through the pit lane at racetracks.


“The main aim in terms of the new RR suspension was to develop further enhanced riding dynamics as well as achieving a significantly reduced weight as compared to the predecessor model,” writes Motorrad’s Marcus Mund, project engineer for suspension. “We were able to meet this target by means of the new mainframe; the engine is now much more closely integrated as a load-bearing element, and there are a whole range of optimized details.”

intake camshaft
The intake camshaft incorporates an ingenious variable valve timing and lift design BMW deems “ShiftCam.” The camshaft has two sets of lobes that are used based on engine rpm.BMW Motorrad

The S1000RR gets an all-new chassis, it calls “Flex Frame.” Engineers tweaked the frame, subframe, and swingarm for just the right amount of rigidity. Specifically, the twin-spar alloy frame is 2.7 pounds lighter and relies more on the engine as a load-bearing component. It operates with a 0.4-degree steeper steering head angle (23.1 degrees) with a corresponding 0.1-inch reduction in trail (3.69 inches). The subframe is lighter, too, as is the swingarm (0.66 pound). It’s also longer, pushing wheelbase to 56.7 inches (0.35 inch longer than the 2015–2018 model). Furthermore, the swingarm pivot offers adjustment in a range of 0.16 inch.

Updated suspension graces the machine front and rear. At the front, a 1mm smaller diameter inverted fork (45mm) from Sachs sheds another 0.66 pound off the machine. The fork continues to offer three-way adjustment for spring preload, compression, and rebound damping.

2019 BMW S1000RR front end
The S1000RR’s front end looks similar to Ducati’s 2007-spec Desmosedici D16RR MotoGP replica.BMW Motorrad

Lastly, an updated version of BMW’s Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) semi-active electronic suspension control is available as an option. The technology automatically adjusts suspension damping based on road and machine conditions, in real time, making adjustment in approximately 10 milliseconds. The DDC settings are linked to the global riding modes, and can be further tweaked within the Race Pro setting. The rider keeps tabs on everything via a huge 6.5-inch color TFT display (with a larger screen than an iPhone 8 Plus). The display can be set up for both road and track-specific use.

The Sachs-sourced shock absorber features a larger main piston (46mm) and operates through a different linkage. The shock has been relocated farther away from the engine block to mitigate heat sink and maintain more consistent damping during extreme conditions (racing and trackdays). It rolls on 3.5-pound lighter cast aluminum wheels. “M” spec forged alloy and carbon-fiber wheels will be available as a factory option.

6.5-inch color display
A huge 6.5-inch color display serves as instrumentation on the S1000RR. The display settings can be customized based on rider preference.BMW Motorrad

The S1000RR has historically employed rational ergonomics for a sportbike—that looks to continue with the new machine featuring a leaner fuel tank (1-liter less capacity). The rider triangle has been tweaked with “optimized contact surfaces” between the clip-ons, seat, and footpegs.

Although BMW’s base superbike has never employed the fanciest stopping hardware, the sum of its braking components are always atop the class. New one-piece radial-mount calipers pinch a set of lighter (1.1-pound) 320mm-diameter steel rotors at the front through high-quality stainless-steel brake lines. Like before, the front calipers wear embossed BMW logos on the outside. Rear brake duties are handled by a 220mm-diameter rotor that gets squeezed by a single-piston caliper. New-generation ABS programming, deemed ABS Pro, has been installed and now includes cornering functionality.

All told, the 2019 S1000RR is 24.3 pounds lighter than the machine it replaces, with a fully fueled curb weight of 434 pounds in standard configuration.

one-piece radial-mount calipers
The S1000RR now gets a set of one-piece radial-mount calipers that clamp lighter steel rotors.BMW Motorrad


“Motorcycle design is a very specialised discipline—it combines body design, ergonomics, aerodynamics, and technological development,” says BMW’s Matthias Kottmann, the man in charge of the S1000RR’s new clothes. “The work is integrative; we use design to give function a form so as to shape and showcase technology. Our aim is to achieve instant recognition of the motorcycle model through its design.”

Over the last decade the RR’s appearance has grown leaner and meaner. And the third-gen machine is BMW’s shiniest example to date. When viewed from a three-quarter front angle, it looks similar to Ducati’s limited-production 2007 Desmosedici D16RR MotoGP replica. Yet it retains signature Motorrad styling attributes, including the shark-like gills on the sides and the huge cutouts that expose the rear portion of the engine.

redesigned rear suspension
The rear suspension was completely redesigned. The swingarm now allows for adjustment in a 4mm range.BMW Motorrad

The front of the subframe is now exposed, similar to KTM’s rowdy 1290 Super Duke R, with it terminating with a fairing-covered high-pointed tail. Full LED lighting ensures you’ll be seen on the road. The S1000RR looks best in its signature red/white/blue Motorsport colors, but also comes in an alternative red colorway. US pricing and availability have yet to be announced. More information as it comes.

2018 BMW S1000RR Specifications

ENGINE 999cc liquid-cooled inline-four; DOHC; 16-valve
BORE x STROKE 80.0mm x 49.7mm
FUEL DELIVERY Dual-stage fuel injection
CLUTCH Wet multi-plate slipper clutch; cable actuation
FRAME Twin-spar aluminum
FRONT SUSPENSION 45mm Sachs inverted fork, three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 4.7-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Sachs gas-charged shock, three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 4.6-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE 320mm discs w/ radial-mount four-piston calipers
REAR BRAKE 220mm disc w/ single-piston caliper
WHEELS Die-cast aluminum; 17 x 3.5-in. front; 17 x 6.0-in. rear
TIRES TBD; 120/70-17 front, 190/55-17 rear
RAKE/TRAIL 23.1°/3.7 in.
WHEELBASE 56.7 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 32.4 in.
Warranty: TBD