Like riding with the aliens
This test ride will be fun since I’m in my natural habitat, the sport bike. And “Clarise,” as I fondly call the BMW S1000 RR, is a euphoric and ecstatic bike.
Although pretty common on most bikes probably because of my height, the first thing I noticed different on Clarise was how my butt planted perfectly and comfortably on the seat. Its as if BMW knew my butt measurements, my height, and my arm length. Even my dad bod stomach rested without strain against the tank.
With a claimed 403-lb dry and 458-lb wet weight, the bike felt lighter mainly because of a lot of racing technology that was incorporated in it, and I’m one of the many riders that appreciate racing technology for everyday street use and for transforming myself into a weekend racer wannabe.
Riding Clarise in typical everyday traffic is a breeze. I can easily go around stopped four- and 10-wheeled vehicles. The engine heat was actually negligible even during stand-still traffic, which can become so bad at times, that I can be the one who can overheat, mentally. But somehow the S1000 RR’s heat dissipation was moving toward my lower calf instead of toward my inner thighs or even my crotch. This is a big factor and an important consideration for everyday riders.
To the expressways and twisties
This is where the real test begins and all I can say is wow, wow, wow, and another wow! This bike is pure power without compromising the handling and stability. But one thing that stood out was the controllable power, the balance, making the bike easy to handle even with all that horsepower. This is where sweet and demure Clarise revealed her true self – she is a tigress, a beast.
The acceleration is constant pure and unadulterated power coming from a 199-hp 1000-cc inline-four that is mated with a quick shifter, which plays a big part in eliminating any lag on both time and speed. The rapid fire split second upshift gives out that stacatto sound everytime a gear is fired, resulting in uninterrupted engine acceleration. It is very much like a gunslinger’s draw and fire. This is not your typical quick shifter where the power cut-off is coordinated with the throttle position, with the need to cut down on the throttle just a little so you can shift.
In the S1000 RR’s case, you can even shift while opening up the throttle or while it is in a constant position. The bike won’t let you shift if you throttle down even just a bit, which makes the bike shift while accelerating, therefore not wasting momentum and kinetic horsepower.
There are five different power modes that work in conjunction with the anti-lock brakes (ABS), dynamic traction control (DTC), and the electronic suspension/DDC. In each power mode the different electronic systems work in harmony, with each one complimenting each other like a perfect orchestra of electronic signals, each waiting for the need to actuate.
The power modes are:
Rain mode – where the power is reduced by 20 percent if I’m not mistaken. Clearly, I’m just speculating and I’m basing that figure on what I feel. There is a very dominant feel from the DTC and the ABS becomes sensitive.
Sport mode – the power is at 100 percent but you feel the interruption of the DTC in most instances.
Race mode – definitely this is Sport mode on steroids, definitely a more aggressive mode.
Slick mode – this is what I call the “bahala ka” or “hold my beer mode.” This is the only mode where the bike wheelies a little and then the DTC actuates forcing the front wheel down. This mode also feels like all the sissy and nanny modes are switched off.
User mode – this power mode is fully adjustable to the riders’ needs and demand. Although you can adjust the ABS and the DTC on the fly, this is where it can be preset.
The front and rear electronic suspension gives the rider more traction and handling confidence in a lean or upright position. It makes achieving those high speeds with more stability and more manageable steering. Amazingly at high speeds the, S1000 RR does not become stiff or hard to handle, but it becomes just more firm giving the rider more confidence on the straights and twisties.
The suspension control module acts like a mind reader. Its as if the bike knows when you are going to open up or shoot into a turn. And whether upright or in a lean, the suspension feels the same, maybe because the damping increments are very high.
Overall, I would rate the 2017 BMW S1000 RR an ecstatic bike that is definitely included in the top of my dream bike list. The power delivery of this bike will take you to the highest levels of cosmic euphoria where time and space is suspended, as if riding with aliens.
On a serious note, the P1.43-million price tag is worth it, so if you are an experienced rider and would like to push your riding skills closer to the edge on a serious level, then I recommend the BMW S1000RR. But this bike is not for sissies.
Thanks to Gil Balderas, Jacob Orbe, Notch Narca, Zaf Tanpinco, and everyone from the BMW Motorrad family for giving me the chance to experience the ultimate riding machine. Or is it a time machine?