Peter Hickman knows a thing or two about BMW’s S 1000 RR, having raced and won the very prestigious IOM TT last year on the Smiths Racing BMW, and smashing the outright Mountain Course lap record along the way.
He’s also pretty darn good on the short circuits too was the fastest BMW rider in British Superbike, and is known as a rider that can give good feedback and input back to the team. That, in my opinion, is why BMW gave him the opportunity to try out the 2019 BMW S 1000 RR as early as last year. When Hicky speaks, people listen, and that’s why we wanted to hear his thoughts on the new 2019 S 1000 RR.
Peter Hickman Interview
Steve Martin: Firstly, the 2018 model was a pretty impressive machine and one you’ve had great success on, but nothing’s perfect, what do you think its weak points were?
Peter Hickman: “Like you say everything has its weak points. The BMW has always been strong in a straight line, both with engine power and on the brakes.
“For me its weak point was always the chassis, it was very rigid, so the slightest of changes to either the chassis, air/track temperature, or even tyres made big differences to the bike. This made it hard to get set up. It was also a bike that never finished the corners so well.”
Steve: You’ve cut some laps now on the new road bike, what’s your initial impression
Peter Hickman: “I rode a pre-production model last year and I loved it. Coming to Estoril has just cemented that feeling for me really. The bike is so easy to ride for a start, yet has more power and BMW have engineered more flex into the chassis, so overall, it’s everything I was asking for!”
Steve: The two bikes look completely different but what about the feel, what’s the biggest difference between the two.
Peter Hickman: “Where to start? It still feels like a BMW, which I think is great. Ergonomically it’s very different however, you sit in the bike more than the old S 1000 RR. I’m a tall rider and the bike is very small, but even with these two facts I fit on the bike no problem.
“This bike gives a very positive feeling for me, when I ask it to do something it does it. As a racer riding ‘normal’ road bike this was very impressive, they usually feel all soft and sloppy, I didn’t get that feeling from the new RR.”
Steve: Has the 2019 given riders and teams more scope to cut lap times especially in a more standard guise.
Peter Hickman: “Absolutely it has, especially as a road or superstock race bike. I really think with what BMW have brought to the table it’s going to take all racing to another level.”
Steve: I’ve heard from inside BMW that on the same day, same tyres, same rider, the new bike’s about a second quicker in street trim what do you think?
Peter Hickman: “Interesting you should ask, because I was the rider who did this test! Ha! It was at Cartagena last year, Pirelli slicks on both bikes. I managed a 1m38.8sec lap on the 2018 S 1000 RR, I did a five-lap run, came into the pits and jumped straight onto the new bike without talking to anyone and did the same five-lap run.
“When I came back in they asked me what I thought, I felt that the new bike was easier to ride but I wasn’t sure there would be a major difference in lap times. Turns out I did a 1m37.4 on the new bike! Which is a huge difference! And to put that into perspective the best time I’ve done on my 2018 Superbike last year was a low 1m33, so four seconds on a road bike is impressive!”
Steve: Electronics on the road RR were always good but how close is the latest system to the race versions”
Peter Hickman: “They’ve worked hard on this. They’ve made it much more adaptable like a race bike. For example, the traction control and anti-wheelie control run on separate systems now, which means you can have traction control out of the corner without hindering performance on the final part of the exit because it thinks it’s doing a wheelie when it isn’t.
“I need more laps to play more and understand but so far, I found it easy to use and really rider friendly, something most road bikes struggle with!”
Steve: Hicky thanks for your time, now go win some races.
A decade after BMW’s S 1000 RR first debuted and shocked all of us with its next level engine performance as we tasted its power for the first time at Portimao, BMW have re-imagined their flagship sportsbike for model year 2019.
The headline figures for this new third-generation S 1000 RR are 207 horsepower at 13,500 rpm and a wet weight (with 16.5 litres of fuel) listed as 197 kg in base form, and as low as 193.5 kg with the M package option.
In base form the 2019 S 1000 RR is 11 kilograms lighter than its predecessor.
Claimed torque is 113 Nm at 10,500 rpm and the engine itself is 4 kg lighter than the previous donk. Maximum engine speed is rated at 14,600 rpm and BMW claim that the new engine has more grunt across the entire rev range.
Combined with a new suspension package and even more comprehensive suite of electronics BMW claim the new bike is ‘at least one-second faster than its predecessor’.
• 4 kg lighter, newly developed 4-cylinder in-line engine with BMW ShiftCam Technology for variation of valve timings and valve strokes on the intake side. • Increased output and torque: 152 kW (207 hp) (in the USA: 151 kW (205 hp)) at 13 500 rpm and 113 Nm at 11 000 rpm. • At least 100 Nm of torque from 5,500 to 14,500 rpm. • Effort-saving, linear torque curve: further improved ridability and controllability due to increased torque in the lower and medium engine speed range. • Newly developed suspension featuring Flex Frame, with the engine taking on more of a load-bearing function. • Significantly improved ergonomics due to Flex Frame. • Refined suspension geometry for further improved handling, increased traction and crystal-clear feedback in the threshold range. • Further developed electronic damping adaptation Dynamic Damping Control DDC with new valve generation as an optional equipment item. • New rear wheel suspension weighing 300 g less than before with Full Floater Pro kinematics. • Weight reduction of 11 – 14.5 kg to 197 kg when fully fuelled (DIN unladen) and 193.5 kg with M Package. • New exhaust system weighing some 1.3 kg less, with front silencer. • New 6-axis sensor cluster. • Further developed Dynamic Traction Control DTC as standard • DTC Wheelie Function as standard. • Adjustable (+/- shift) DTC Wheelie Function as an optional equipment item. • Engine brake function, adjustable. • ABS Pro for increased safety when braking, also in banking position, as standard. • New riding modes “Rain”, “Road”, “Dynamic” and “Race” as standard and “Pro Modes” option with three additional configurable modes “Race Pro 1-3” for optimum individual adaptation to conditions. • Launch Control for perfect starts comes with “Pro Modes” option. • Pit Lane Limiter for precise pit lane speeds also included with the “Pro Modes” option. • Shift Assistant Pro for fast up and down shifting without clutch, standard. • Shift pattern can easily be reversed. Electronic cruise control as an ex works option. • New instrument panel with 6.5-inch screen offering excellent readability and featuring a Pure Ride screen as well as three Core screens. • LED light units all round. • Turn indicators with new “Comfort Indicator” function. • Completely newly designed body elements for even more dynamic styling and optimum aerodynamics. • Two colour schemes for the market launch: Racing Red and Motorsport paint finish. • Extended range of special accessories and ex-work options.
BMW ShiftCam Technology
Not only is the geometry of the intake and exhaust ports further optimised, the 2019 BMW S 1000 RR now also comes with BMW ShiftCam Technology.
This system varies the valve timings and valve strokes on the intake side via a two sets of lobes on the camshafts.
The valves themselves are made of light titanium with the intake items featuring a hollow bore.
A revised intake passage and a new exhaust system that is 1.3 kg lighter likewise contribute to increased overall performance. Ridability and sprint capability benefit from a substantially increased torque across a wide engine speed range.
With the aim of achieving a significant weight reduction, the engine in the new RR now has more of a load-bearing function than was previously the case.
The requirement in designing the new main frame, in addition to improving ergonomics, was to have the force applied directly to the engine structure via the shortest possible paths.
BMW claim that a significant increase in riding dynamics was achieved in the new RR based on the combination of the new riding geometry, optimised wheel load distribution and a substantial weight optimisation.
The steering head angle has now been set 0.4° steeper at 66.9°, with the offset of the fork bridges adjusted as necessary. The castor is reduced to 93.9 mm (previously 96.5 mm).
At the same time, the wheelbase was extended by 9 mm to 1,441 mm. The length of the new single-section rear wheel swinging arm with underslung sections is 606.6 mm.
The new Full Floater Pro kinematics in the rear suspension also contributes significantly to the perceptible increase in suspension performance.
All in all, riders of the new RR will benefit from further improved handling, increased traction and even more transparent feedback in all riding states up to the threshold range.
The next generation of the electronic suspension DDC is available for the new RR as an optional equipment item. Specially developed for the RR, Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) requires no compromises in terms of suspension set-up.
This is made by possible among other things by new valve and control technology. What is more, a shim package is available for selective adaptation when required for ambitious race track riding.
Four riding modes as standard and three more as part of the “Pro Modes” option for optimum adaptation. For ideal adaptation to varied conditions of use, the new RR is fitted with the four modes “Rain”, “Road”, “Dynamic” and “Race” as standard.
For those who wish to delve deeper into the world of race tracks and motor racing, the “Pro Modes” option offers an additional three riding modes (Race Pro 1-3) that are freely programmable. These enable individual adaptation of the most diverse control functions such as Dynamic Traction Control DTC, ABS and wheelie detection as well as the throttle curve (torque adjustment) and Engine Brake to suit the rider’s own skill level and riding style.
Other features that come with the “Pro Modes” option are Launch Control for perfect race starts and the configurable Pit Lane Limiter for exact adherence to speeds in the pit lane. Ultra-fast shifting up and down without the clutch is enabled by HP Shift Assistant Pro, which comes as a standard feature.
New Six-Axis IMU
New 6-axis sensor cluster for an unprecedented level of electronic control quality.
The new RR is fitted with ABS Pro and Dynamic Traction Control DTC as standard. In addition to traction control, DTC also includes the DTC Wheelie Function as standard – available as an ex works option and now individually adjustable for the first time.
All control systems have been readjusted for regulation quality and characteristics. While the part integral BMW Motorrad ABS systems already provide a very high degree of performance and safety when braking in a straight line, ABS Pro now takes this a step further to offer increased safety when braking in banking position as well.
New 6.5-inch colour TFT screen
The instrument panel of the new RR has also been completely newly developed and is now designed even more consistently for use in supersports racing. In addition to a maximum range of information, the BMW Motorrad developers paid particular attention to ensuring that the 6.5-inch TFT screen provides excellent readability – even in difficult light conditions.
The aim was to offer the rider individually tailored screen displays for different uses. The Pure Ride screen shows all the information required for regular road use while the three Core screens are designed for use on the race track, with the rev counter displayed in analogue form (Core 1 and 2) or else as a bar chart (Core 3), for example.
Alongside the digital display of speed, revolutions per minute, selected mode, settings for ABS Pro, DTC and DDC and the menus, it is also possible to access the following wide range of information on the screen (depending on the options fitted), for example
• Current banking position, left/right. • Maximum banking position achieved, left/right. • Current deceleration in m/s2 . • Maximum deceleration achieved in m/s2 . • Engine speed reduction by DTC. • Speed warning (“SPEED” appears when a previously defined speed is exceeded). • Average speed. • Average fuel consumption. • Trip 1 and 2. • Remaining range. • Total kilometres. • Fuel tank fill level.
For riders using the new RR on the race track, the new instrument cluster offers additional and highly interesting data which can be accessed in a variety of screen display formats:
• Lap time and lap distance. • Lap-specific speeds (min, max, average). • Active mode per lap. • DTC adjustment value per lap. • Banking angle, left/right. • Maximum banking positions, left/right per lap. • Maximum DTC torque reduction per lap. • Maximum deceleration per lap. • Number of shifts per lap. • Average throttle grip position per lap. • Total laps, total riding time and total distance. • Best ever lap.
Ergonomics and Styling
The new layout of the main frame – as a Flex Frame – has made it possible to create a much leaner fuel tank and seating area trim sections for further improved support and knee grip.
What is more, optimised contact surfaces and a newly defined ergonomic triangle between the handlebar ends, seat surface and footrests makes for optimum ergonomics.
Meanwhile, completely newly developed bodywork features ensure the new RR is instantly recognisable as a new model. This is supported by the dynamic design featuring a colour scheme with two individual characters: Racing Red and Motorsport paint finish.
• M Package: Pro Mode, Motorsport paint finish, M carbon fibre wheels, M light weight battery, M sport seat, M chassis kit with rear ride height adjustment and swingarm pivot.
• Dynamic Package: Next generation Dynamic Damping Control DDC, heated grips, cruise control.
• Race Package: Pro Mode, M forged wheel, M light weight battery, M chassis kit with rear ride height adjustment and swingarm pivot.
BMW aiming for WorldSBK Title
A new BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team will enter WorldSBK in collaboration with Shaun Muir Racing and with a well-known rider pairing: 2013 Superbike World Championship winner Tom Sykes (GBR) together with reigning Superstock 1000 European champion and three-times IDM champion Markus Reiterberger (GER).
With the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the cooperation with Shaun Muir Racing, BMW Motorrad is significantly expanding its engagement in the WorldSBK. At the same time, BMW Motorrad will continue its successful customer racing program in numerous other national and international racing series.
What do you think of BMW’s effort? Please comment below.
BMW S 1000 RR
@ Engine Speed
@ Engine Speed
Water-cooled in-line 4-cylinder engine
Premium (super plus) unleaded petrol, octane number 95- 98 (RON) (knock control; rated output with 98 RON)
DOHC (double overhead camshaft) Valve activation via individual rocker arms and variable intake camshaft control system BMW ShiftCam
Valves Per Cylinder
Throttle Valve Diameter
Closed-loop three-way catalytic converter
12 / 8, maintenance-free
LED low beam twin headlamp in free-form technology