The 999cc liquid-cooled inline-four, reworked in several areas, has gained 6 hp and peak output is now a claimed 199 hp. On the intake side are reshaped ports, revised cam profile, lighter valves and shorter velocity stacks drawing from a larger air box. An all-new exhaust has eliminated the previous model’s under-engine canister, pairing some 6.6 lb. while the new muffler placement has shifted the CG slightly higher and rearward, closer to the swingarm pivot.
The shift of CG, along with new steering geometry that has 0.5 degrees less rake (23.5 degrees), 1.5 mm less trail (96.5mm), and a 3mm lower swingarm pivot, is aimed at improved front end feel, overall handling, and rear grip. The revised frame now allows more flex in the swingarm pivot area for further improved feedback and rear grip.
The 2015 S1000RR I rode at the world press launch held at the Circuito de Monteblanco in southern Spain was equipped with all the bells and whistles. My first of five 20-minute sessions lapping the billiard-table-smooth 2.44-mile, 14-turn track was in wet conditions, offering an opportunity to experience the safety benefits of Rain ride mode. I encountered not so much as a slip on corner exits despite feeding in a great deal of throttle. A flashing yellow light in the upper left of the dash provided a visual cue that DTC had my back.
With a dry track for the remaining sessions, I could better test the various ride modes and new features. BMW has refined the software controlling each RR ride mode, resulting in much more seamless and subtler DTC and wheelie control intervention. Also, the ABS/anti-rear-wheel lift has been recalibrated to deliver greater braking stability. As before Rain, Sport, and Race modes come standard, while the Pro mode upgrade unlocks Slick and a new mode labeled User that allows selection of defined parameters (throttle response, peak power output, engine braking, traction control sensitivity, Race ABS, and linked rear brake/anti-rear lift strategy) that are fixed in the preset modes. For example, you can pair the soft engine response of Rain with all other parameters set to Slick. This feature allows you to more easily dial in a custom setup by toggling between a preset mode and a slightly altered User setting without needing to stop in the pits.
While the DDC suspension adjusts dynamically to changing conditions, it’s calibrated differently in each ride mode—it’s softest in rain, firmest in Slick. It also employs an adjustment interface with 7 +/- steps for fork damping (both compression and rebound) along with discrete compression and rebound shock adjustability for further fine tuning.
After briefly sampling Road and Sport modes, I spent much of my time in Slick and User, primarily playing with different DTC levels. The afternoon also saw a change from the standard fitment Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP to Pirelli race slicks. The sticky tires delivered an even greater confidence in front-end feel and grip, with only an occasional flash from the DTC light on the dash once I ventured into a negative sensitivity setting. Subtle controlled rear drifts on corner exits and floating power wheelies onto the track’s main straight were now the norm.