BMW’s S1000 R naked bike gets several improvements for 2021, but more horsepower isn’t one of them.

BMW updated its naked bike this fall, after giving it a pass in 2019. As expected, it gets the same engine as the S1000 XR adventure bike, a liquid-cooled inline four. It makes 165 horsepower at 11,000 rpm, and 84 pound-feet of torque at 9,250 rpm–same as the outgoing S1000 R model, pretty much. It’s based on the S1000 RR superbike, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have the Shiftcam top end, with variable valve timing. It’s got taller ratios in gears 4-6, a revised slip/assist clutch, adjustable engine braking control, and BMW’s re-jigged the engine to make its peak power faster (which is what all the cool OEMs are doing these days, it seems, instead of chasing top-end horsepower).

The chassis sees a new beam frame, lifted from the S1000 RR; it’s supposed to be lighter and more rigid than the outgoing model, more narrow where the rider sits, and with more weight towards the front now. The under-braced swingarm also comes off the S1000 RR. The wheels are lighter than the previous model’s, but pay extra, and you can upgrade to forged alloy rims or even carbon-fibre rims for more weight savings. BMW sells these wheels as part of its “M” performance package. The base model gets fully-adjustable 45mm forks, but paying extra gets BMW’s DDC (Dynamic Damping Control) system up front, with electro-trickery managing the suspension’s adjustments in real time. This is managed via the bike’s riding modes selection.

If you want to pay extra, you can throw plenty of performance parts at the S1000 R. Photo: BMW

As always, there’s a wide range of electronic rider aids you can add to the bike as well, at extra cost (BMW loves to up-sell these days). The bike comes with a six-axis IMU as stock, with leaning-sensitive ABS,  traction control, LED lighting, a 6.5-inch TFT dash, three riding modes (Road, Rain, Dynamic)—all familiar from the S1000 RR. Pay extra, though, and you can get the new Dynamic Pro riding mode (with a Power Wheelie function!), along with several other upgrades to the electronic safety systems.

The S1000 R weighs a claimed 199 kilograms at the curb now, more than 4 kg under the outgoing model. Pricing in the US is unknown ; pricing starts at $16,500 in Canada.

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