The New Gen. 2015 BMW S1000 RR - A Tech Blog

Posted by ALPHA SBK INC. on



The new 2015 BMW S 1000 RR – the ultimate tech blog. (Updated often).

The new BMW S 1000 RR received its world premiere at the Intermot 2014 motorcycle fair. With refined torque delivery and peak torque of 113 Nm (83 lb-ft), an increase in engine output of 4 kW (6 hp) to 146 kW (199 hp), plus a reduction in weight of 4 kg to 204 kg with a full tank of fuel and Race ABS, the superbike that first debuted in 2009 is entering a new generation. Besides eliciting even sharper performance from the new S 1000 RR, particular attention was also paid to designing the bike to be even more rider-friendly. Whether it is used for everyday riding, through bends on country roads or being put through its paces on the race track – the new S 1000 RR excels in every respect. Those who wisely choose to remove the ABS System for race track use only will be able to do so and save 8-9 lbs. of weight by using the alphaRacing DTC Kit Box for the new 2015 S 1000 RR. Since the new engine control unit ("ECU") has an Infineon Tricore processor, and new CAN Line communications system - this DTC Kit Box will be released soon. As for the power output of the new engine - this was done by changing the cylinder head drastically. alpha Racing's performance parts will enhance the power and delivery of an already improved S 1000 RR.

Optimised drivetrain for even greater performance and rideability. The enhanced performance of the new RR in terms of drive power can be attributed to the re-engineered cylinder head with new duct geometry, new intake camshaft and even lighter intake valves. Furthermore, an airbox with a modified capacity combines with an intake system with shorter intake lengths to make mixture preparation more effective than ever and give the new S 1000 RR added punch. alphaRacing is developing a lighter, two-piece carbon fiber airbox to allow for an access lid and an integrated race air filter system with race-plate.  A further key contributing factor to the improvement in power and torque characteristics is the new exhaust system, which now dispenses with a front silencer and weighs around 3 kg lighter. Rideability and response from standstill both benefit from an increase in torque upwards of approx. 5,000 rpm, a more linear torque curve, as well as a wide torque plateau that allows the rider to summon up almost maximum pulling power between 9,500 (112 Nm) and 12,000 rpm (113 Nm / 83 lb-ft). 

New frame structure and chassis geometry for superior riding precision and even better handling. Further improved Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) from the HP4 as an ex-works option. Chassis-wise, the new RR has been honed with the introduction of a new, lighter frame structure offering an optimised blend of rigidity and flexibility.

Together with the optimised chassis geometry featuring redefined values for the steering head angle, wheel castor, wheelbase and swingarm pivot point, it promises even better handling, increased traction and unequivocal feedback, particularly when riding at the limit. The tasks of wheel suspension and damping continue to be performed by fully adjustable spring elements, but with modified negative spring travel for more banking clearance and greater agility. As a factory-fitted option, the new S 1000 RR can also be specified with the new improved version of the electronically controlled Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) suspension – already familiar from the HP4 – that provides the basis for a chassis set-up with absolutely no compromises.

Three riding modes as standard, plus two more available for fine- tuned adjustment by opting for the Pro riding mode feature.

To enable optimum adaptation to the prevailing riding conditions, the new RR bike already comes with three riding modes as standard: “Rain”, “Sport” and “Race”. If the Pro riding mode option is selected, these can be supplemented by the two additional modes “Slick” and “User”. The Pro riding mode option also features Launch Control for flawless racing starts as well as the programmable pit-lane speed limiter for sticking exactly to the pit-lane speed limit. When this feature is activated, it has the additional effect of producing the impressive soundtrack familiar from the world of motorcycle racing. The HP Gear Shift Assist Pro, which can likewise be ordered as an ex-works option, enables lightning-fast clutchless upshifting and downshifting.

Refined control system set-up. Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with precision calibration in seven +/- steps.

The new RR already leaves the factory with Race ABS (semi-integral) as well as Automatic Stability Control (ASC) included as standard. In conjunction with the optional Pro riding mode feature, it can be equipped with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) including banking sensor and precision calibration. All control systems have been retuned and further improved in terms of their control precision and characteristics.

First ever superbike with cruise control (optional). Innovative instrument cluster design, new electrical system and lighter battery. For the first time, the RR is now also available with an electronic speed control for staying within the current speed limits (ex-works option).

The multifunctional instrument cluster comprises a new dial for the analogue rev counter as well as a redesigned LCD display offering a far greater array of functions.

The new S 1000 RR furthermore features a new electrical system and a more powerful sensor box, along with a smaller battery weighing around 1 kg less.

Design that is more dynamic than ever with stunning colour schemes. Last, but by no means least, there is the completely restyled bodywork that speaks an even more dynamic design language. The principle of the asymmetric headlight arrangement on the outgoing model has been retained as a characteristic distinguishing feature, yet the headlights have been repositioned and restyled to ensure that the new RR is recognisable as “new” at first glance. The dynamic design with its sporty, aggressive feel is given further impact by colour schemes with three very individual characters: Racing Red / Light White, Black Storm metallic and the BMW Motorsport colours.

Highlights of the new BMW S 1000 RR:

  • Increased power output and torque: 146 kW (199 hp) at 13,500 rpm and 113 Nm (83 lb-ft) at 10,500
  • Even better rideability thanks to increased torque from appro 5,000 rpm upwards as well as a more linear curve. A broad plateau of peak torque available in the rev range from around 9,500 up to 12,000 rpm.
  • Re-engineered cylinder head with new duct geometry, new intake camshaft and even lighter intake valves.
  • New intake system with shorter intake lengths, larger airbox and full E-gas ride-by-wire.
  • Reduction in weight of 4 kilograms to 204 kg with a full tank of fuel (making allowances for equipment).
  • New exhaust system weighing around 3 kilograms lighter without a front silence
  • Riding modes “Rain”, “Sport” and “Race” as standard plus the option of the Pro riding mode with two additional modes, “Slick” and “User” (configurable), for optimum adaptation to riding conditions.
  • Launch Control for flawless starts as part of the optional Pro riding mode feature.
  • Pit-lane speed limiter for maintaining an exact speed in the pit lane as part of the optional Pro riding mode feature.
  • New, lighter frame structure with an optimised blend of rigidity and flexibility for more traction, greater precision and clear feedbac
  • Refined chassis geometry for even better handling, increased traction and unequivocal feedback at the limits of perfor
  • Fully adjustable spring elements with optimised negative spring travel for more banking clearance and greater
  • Further improved version of electronic Dynamic Damping Control (DDC), familiar from the HP4, as an ex-works option.
  • Race ABS with optimised set-
  • DTC traction control with precision calibration in 7 +/-
  • HP Gear Shift Assist Pro for fast clutchless upshifting and downshifting as an ex-works option.
  • New electrical system with a more powerful sensor box and lighter batte
  • Electronic speed control as an ex-works option.
  • More sophisticated instrument cluster with extended array of functions and wide variety of information.
  • Completely restyled bodywork for an even more dynamic design language.
  • Innovative colour schemes with three individual characters:

Racing Red / Light White, Black Storm metallic and BMW Motorsport.

  • Extended range of optional extras and special accessories available ex- works.


New benchmarks for output and torque. The water-cooled four-cylinder in-line engine, together with its intake and exhaust system, underwent extensive modification and redesign work to prepare them for use on the new RR. Output now peaks at 146 kW (199 hp) at 13,500 rpm, an increase of 4 kW (6 hp) on its predecessor. Maximum torque has risen slightly from 112 to 113 Nm (83 lb-ft) and comes on line at 10,500 rpm. The usable rev range has been widened considerably on the new RR, meaning that near-peak torque is on tap constantly between around 9,500 (112 Nm) and 12,000 rpm (113 Nm / 83 lb-ft). The result is even punchier start-off characteristics and pulling power. Maximum engine speed remains unchanged at 14,200 rpm.

Re-engineered cylinder head with new duct geometry, new intake camshaft and even lighter intake valves.
The principal development objective for the new S 1000 RR was to further improve on its predecessor’s already outstanding power and torque figures and combine this with enhanced rideability for superb all-round performance.

With this aim in mind, the geometry of the intake and exhaust ducts was modified while the cams on the intake camshaft were given a fuller contour. These measures are further reinforced by lighter intake valves (2 g less per valve) and valve springs that have been adapted accordingly. In a quest to reduce friction losses, the cylinder barrels that are integrated into the top half of the engine block now undergo slide honing. The top half of the block continues to accommodate the compact and lightweight six-speed gearbox as well, whose shift precision is now sharper than ever.

Improved intake system with shorter intake lengths, larger airbox and full E-gas ride-by-wire.
The intake system also underwent some extensive modifications with the aim of not just boosting maximum output, but also substantially upping torque delivery especially in the zone around the 4,500 rpm mark that is so important for performance dynamics. Consequently, the diameter and length of the intake manifold were recalculated and the throttle valves repositioned closer to the cylinder head. The combination of the redesigned intake ducts and the reduced intake length results in an improved gas-exchange cycle, particularly at medium revs.

The power unit on the RR bike still features variable intake lengths. For this, a servomotor attached to the airbox is used for map-controlled variation of the intake duct length in two stages. When the revs pass 11,500 rpm, the short intake channels best suited towards generating maximum power are enabled.

Apart from enabling the rider to operate the throttle with far less effort, the inclusion of a full E-gas ride-by-wire system, or “electronic throttle”, also paved the way for a new, considerably smaller servomotor for the throttle valves. This in turn made it possible to enlarge the airbox capacity and allowed it to be shaped symmetrically for all four cylinder units in order to optimize power and torque delivery. The far larger air intake in the top section of the fairing also helps to ensure an even more effective supply of intake air.

Brand-new exhaust system without front silencer that is approx. 
3 kg lighter.
The exhaust system for the new RR underwent a complete redesign with the overriding objective of further increasing power and torque output. As before, it is made from stainless steel and incorporates two three-way catalytic converters as well as electronically controlled interference pipe valves.

The previous front silencer has been dispensed with for the new S 1000 RR, however, and the new system features a rear silencer with a dB eater and twin-pipe design. With a view to increasing gas speeds, the manifold diameter has been reduced and, at the same time, the exhaust back-pressure lowered. Improved gas-exchange cycles, increased torque at medium revs and superior power output are the result. Apart from the improvement in the performance figures, the new exhaust system has also shaved a remarkable 3 kg or so off the weight. The new S 1000 RR also stands out clearly from its predecessor acoustically speaking, with a distinct shift towards lower frequencies resulting in a deeper, fuller sound.

“Rain”, “Sport” and “Race” riding modes as standard, plus Pro riding mode as an option for optimum adaptation to riding conditions.
The new RR comes equipped as standard with the three riding modes “Rain”, “Sport” and “Race” as well as Automatic Stability Control (ASC) without banking sensor. The optional extra Pro riding mode features two additional riding modes, “Slick” and “User”, along with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) including banking sensor and precision calibration in seven +/- steps for maximizing safety and performance when accelerating. In addition to this, the Pro riding mode also includes a Launch Control function for flawless racing starts as well as a programmable pit lane limiter for sticking to the set speed limit in the pit lane.

In “Rain” mode, output is 138 kW (187 hp) (previously 120 kW [163 hp]), while torque is limited to a maximum of 108 Nm (80 lb-ft). Throttle response becomes gentler to suit the operating conditions on wet roads. When riding in the wet, the Automatic Stability Control (ASC) or optional Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) take action very early, before the grip threshold has been reached, and work in unison with a safety-focused Race ABS setting and a soft DDC electronic damper control set-up to ensure supreme safety even when riding in the most adverse weather conditions.

For use in dry conditions, “Sport” mode puts the engine’s full power of
146 kW (199 hp) on tap, at the same time as providing direct throttle response, just like in the “Race” and “Slick” riding modes. This riding mode has been developed for use on country roads in particular. In this setting, the ASC or DTC traction control systems intervene later in view of the much more favorable grip conditions, allowing the rider to safely power out of bends for maximum riding pleasure out on the road.

The “Race” mode, meanwhile, has been specially devised for use on race tracks as well as country roads offering perfect grip conditions. Here once again, the rider can enjoy full engine power combined with direct throttle response. The Automatic Stability Control (ASC) continues to be set up for road operation. However, because it factors in the data on banking angle, the optional Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) is more geared towards riding on the limit, allowing it to accommodate an extremely sporty riding style.

The new RR can additionally be ordered ex-works with the Pro riding mode option, which adds two extra riding modes: “Slick” and “User”. All modes can be activated by the rider using a selector switch on the end of the right handlebar. To confirm the selected mode, all the rider has to do is briefly close the throttle. To enable the additional “Slick” and “User” modes, however, the supplied coding plug under the seat must be used.

The “Slick” mode is primarily designed for riding on the race track with racing tires. With this mode activated, the DTC traction control is again set up for extremely sporty performance, but also makes allowance for the tires’ higher friction coefficient and a very sporty riding style.

Finally, the “User” mode gives riders the option of configuring the RR as they please for engaged sporty riding. Quite apart from the two possible throttle characteristic curves for varying throttle response, this mode also allows the rider to compile an individual set of control characteristics for the Race ABS, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and electronically controlled Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) suspension from a range of predefined settings, and thereby configure their own personal riding mode. As in “Slick” mode, the DTC traction control can be individually adjusted while on the move in seven +/- steps.

The complete RR set-up configured in “User” mode, comprising the rider’s selected settings for Race ABS, DTC (slip thresholds + wheelie tendency), engine (throttle response + torque) and DDC, can be easily activated on the move at the push of a button. As a result, riders are able to see how their programmed “User” set-up compares to the “Slick” configuration. This means that, for the first time, it is now possible to compare two different set-ups of the same function (e.g. DTC) while riding the bike without the need for a pit stop.

Although the above-mentioned control systems for the RR represent a valuable aid for the rider, thereby providing a major safety boost, they are unable to change the laws of physics. The bike’s physical handling limits can still be exceeded as a result of mis-judgement or rider error, which can lead to a fall in extreme cases.

Further improved Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with precision calibration in seven +/- steps.
The Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) system was redeveloped for use on the new RR to further enhance its control precision. In “Rain” or “Sport” mode, it is now able to offer even greater handling stability in the wet and in the dry respectively. In “Race” mode, meanwhile, the rider enjoys improved forward propulsion together with high handling stability. Wheelies are not suppressed immediately; rather, they are brought back under control gently. In the “Slick” and “User” modes, on the other hand, the focus is placed entirely on forward propulsion, while front-wheel lift detection is deactivated, making wheelies possible.

Just as on the HP4, it is now also possible to adapt the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) to any changes in grip conditions while on the move in “Slick“ mode by using the “Slick +/- DTC” rocker switch on the left handlebar controls. This enables the rider to effectively react to ambient conditions, such as air and track temperature, change in tire grip over the course of use, as well as road surface conditions.

The adjustment range extends from -7 to 0 to +7. 0 corresponds to the basic RR setting in “Slick” mode, while -7 reduces the degree of corrective control substantially, making it possible to let the bike slide far more. By contrast, in the +7 setting DTC intervenes far more noticeably.

Launch Control for flawless racing starts as part of the Pro riding optional extra.
In conjunction with the optional Pro riding mode feature, the new RR offers its rider a Launch Control function in “Slick” and “User” mode that provides effective assistance with racing starts. It is activated when stationary with the engine idling by holding the start button pressed for more than three seconds. Activation is indicated in the instrument cluster display.

The Launch Control works by limiting the engine’s torque by just enough to ensure that the maximum transferrable drive torque is available at the rear wheel when the rider pulls away in first gear. The Launch Control’s parameters are programmed for a rider weight of 75 kg and a maximum rev speed of 9,000 rpm at stationary.

When the rider shifts into second gear, the engine torque is adjusted to reflect the change in ratio, ensuring that the maximum transferrable drive torque continues to be channeled to the rear wheel during this phase too.

Once the speed reaches 70 km/h (44 mph), the rev speed limiter is deactivated. The Launch Control and accompanying gear-dependent reduction in engine torque are disengaged as soon as third gear is selected or the banking angle exceeds 30 degrees. The system is likewise deactivated if the rider switches off the ignition, stalls the engine or switches to a different riding mode.

Pit-lane speed limiter for maintaining an exact speed in the pit lane as part of the Pro riding mode optional extra.
The Pro riding mode option also allows S 1000 RR riders to limit their speed when entering the pit lane in all riding modes.

The rider carries out the initial activation and programming of the pit-lane speed limiter in the set-up menu. It is then engaged while riding in first gear by pressing the start button while twisting the throttle at the same time. Even if the rider opens the throttle twist grip fully, ignition interruption limits the engine revs to the pre-programmed threshold so that the resulting bike speed cannot be exceeded. If a shorter or longer secondary transmission ratio is fitted, the rider can increase or lower the engine rev speed required for a limit of e.g. 60 km/h (approx. 40 mph) accordingly. When the start button is released again, the RR accelerates with maximum power. The way in which the pit-lane speed limiter interrupts ignition has the added benefit of generating a distinctive S 1000 RR soundtrack even when in the pit lane.



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