2018 BMW S 1000 R

Bavarian bang for the buck.

2018 BMW S 1000 RBMW

If the S1000R looks like an S1000RR that’s missing half its bodywork, that’s not terribly far from the truth. With its full-aero front fender, mini-fairing, mini-side panels, mini-lower valance, and full-sportbike tailsection, the S1000R certainly does slot halfway in between a naked bike and a superbike visually. Well, fine. The 999cc DOHC inline-four delivers a claimed 165 hp at 11,000 revs, giving this claimed 452-pound (fully fueled) slingshot a power-to-weight ratio better than that of a McLaren Senna (for about $823,000 less).

Concessions to comfort include a low-rise handlebar, slightly lower footpegs than the S1000RR, and seat-height options from 32 inches to 33.1 inches. These deviations open up the cockpit from a typical wrist-torturing, neck-cramping superbike, letting the S1000R function as an everyday rider, while still allowing the rage-in-a-cage persona of a superbike. As proof of merit, the S1000R has triple-disc brakes with BMW Motorrad Race ABS, Z-rated 17-inch radial tires, stability control, and selectable "Rain/Road" power modes. Priced a couple thou under the S1000RR, this one makes sense on multiple levels, particularly in comfort and value. Wunderbar!

Likes: Gutsy performance, smart low-rise handlebar, available HP Motorsport paint

Dislikes: The fairing side panels and lower valance look like gratuitous add-ons

Verdict: A kinder, gentler superbike

2018 BMW S 1000 R Specs and Pricing

MSRP $13,995
WET WEIGHT 452 lb.