As I fed in the clutch and wrung the throttle, the bike surged ahead instantly with a small wheelie. The acceleration was blinding and the traction control light was flickering frantically on the meter console as it tried to provide sufficient traction to the tyres. The exhaust was howling in the morning air while I shifted up through the six-speed gearbox with the throttle pinned and without pulling the clutch lever, thanks to the quickshifter. I was well past 170 km/h on the digital speedometer before the front wheel took off in the air. Easing off the throttle, I brought the wheel down and braked hard for the upcoming roundabout, quickly downshifting to the first gear. The eletro-mechanical aids work in perfect harmony to control the bike under hard acceleration so the rider can focus on enjoying the experience. The massive 320-mm twin front disc brakes (and the 220-mm rear one which I hardly ever tapped) do an equally great job of shedding speed and have a predictable feel while the Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres are some of the finest one can get. The ABS and DTC can be switched off manually via a switch on the handlebar; that’s really unnecessary on the road.
I did a few more runs in different modes and the bike was equally impressive in each of them. Even in the Rain mode, it felt far from shy. In fact, I found it more manageable since it did not wheelie at high RPM.
A nearby stretch of road had a cluster of speed bumps where I tested the three suspension modes. The bike soaked up all the undulations without upsetting the ride when I went over the bumps at 60 km/h in the Soft mode and there was no noticeable change in the Normal mode as well. The third time I went over them in the Hard mode and it shuddered and kicked my butt multiple times, forcing me to stand up on the pegs. That one’s for the racetrack then!
BMW have created yet another masterpiece that joins the club of elite naked sports bikes such as the KTM 1290 Superduke R and Aprilia Tuono V4 R ABS. However, the sophisticated technology it packs in is all very expensive. Add to it the heavy import duties on CBUs in India and what you get is the daunting price-tag of Rs 22.83 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). If you are willing to shell out more, BMW offer a large collection of performance parts and accessories for the S1000R that probably make it marginally faster but will certainly shoot up the price by a few more lakhs. The bike is on sale at all four dealerships of Navnit Motors (Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Mangalore) and I may conclude by saying that for all its performance and technology, the S1000R is not a practical bike. It is an everyday sports bike for wealthy enthusiasts who want to be exclusive.