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In this review of R1 vs. S1000RR, we examine two super bikes in the 1000cc category that have caused a rift between biking fans as to which one is the best. We compare them on some top bike factors and declare to you the ultimate winner.

If you have been to a super biking racing track then you are familiar with supremacy wars. When it comes to superfast bikes then the S1000RR is a serious contender to the R1. Both bikes are in the 1000cc category, manufactured by awesome engineers and deliver the necessary horsepower to push your biking experience to the next level.

With all factors geared to towards speed it can be a challenge coming up with a winner for R1 vs. S1000RR challenge. In this review, we pit the two bike beasts side by side and tell you which is better on track.

How the R1 vs. S1000RR Compare

Model R1 S1000RR
Displacement 998cc 999cc
Max Power 194.3 BHP 200.8 BHP
Maximum Torque 112.4 Nm @11,500 113 @11,000
Ignition TCI (digital) CDI (digital)
Cooling system Liquid cooled Water cooled
Clutch Wet Multiple Disc Multiple-disc clutch
Kerb weight 200 197
Ground Clearance 130 120
Fuel tank capacity 17L 16.5L

R1 vs. S1000RR – Key Differences

Engine Capacity

When it comes to engine displacement the S1000RR comes in at 999cc while the R1 is at 998cc. This allows the BMW to generate around 193 HP @rpm of 13,000. The R1 performs better with a 197 HP @rpm of 13,500. The maximum torque for the S1000RR is 112 Nm @9,750 while the R1 does this at 112 Nm @11,500. From this statistics it is clear that the R1 generates more power to the S1000RR but it is a slight difference.

Both bikes operate on six speed manual gear box and you have a drive chain transmission type. Top speed for both bikes is limited at 300 km/h. The S1000RR comes in four power modes – road, rain, dynamic and race. Both bikes operate a fuel injection system with the engines being liquid cooled. The BMW S1000RR really benefited from the new variable valve timing system that helps spread power through the bike at 4,300 and 8,000 rpm. The R1 engine changes in 2019 included large air box, lower bore to stroke ratio, fracture split titanium conrods and a finger-follower valve system.

When it comes to choosing a superbike, the advice would be to begin with an entry level bike like the Yamaha R3 then upgrade to something more powerful in the 600cc section. Once you have gotten the feel of raw power you can then choose to go with a R1 or S1000RR. One of the distinguishing factors between superbikes and cruisers is their riding position. Cruisers are built for low riding positions and as such come with numerous customization options, superbikes on the other hand are built for one purpose – speed. Everything has to be designed just right so that it can reduce drag. In fact, a track competition between the R1 and the S1000RR will be very close and at times the difference will be just a few seconds. To win on this seconds the rider will need to ride right so as to reach top speeds.

Bodywork

When it comes to the weight distribution the S1000RR is heavier than the R1 with 4 kg and a bit longer by 1mm. The BMW has also a larger width of 825mm compared to the R1 690mm. The R1 takes the lead in height coming in at 1,150 mm compared to the S1000RR 1,138 mm. It also has a better ground clearance of 130mm to the S1000RR 120mm.

When it comes to the body frame it can be a challenge choosing between the two. Yamaha comes with a deltabox aluminum frame that makes it a lighter and gives it the ability to reduce drag. The S1000RR also has some good looks that helps you hit unimaginable looks. Both bikes have an aerodynamic frame that is meant to reduce drag and push the bike beyond normal speed levels. One of the challenges most bikers face whenever they start riding a superbike is the crouching position. This lets you recline on the seat for reduction of drag. The sitting position can be tiring and you wouldn’t compare it with the low riding position of cruiser.

When it comes to price both bikes are pretty expensive due to the high performance engines and electronics used to boost speed. Both bikes have seen considerable action in the racing track and won several world motorsport racing awards. If you are going to make a decision based on looks then our preference would be the R1. It looks menacing and the curves kind of bring out the boldness.

Electronics

Both bikes come with their own set of unique electronics. The S1000RR comes with Dynamic traction control, ABS Pro (this is specially designed for maneuvering corners), shift assistant pro, dynamic traction control wheelie function, launch control, hill start control, pit lane limiter and four riding modes – dynamic, rain, race and road. All these electronics are complemented by a 6.5 inch TFT display. If you want more damping control you have as an option the BMW dynamic damping control suspension. What this does is that you have some semi-active suspension with advanced damping settings.

The R1 also comes with its set of awesome electronics like slide control, traction control, ABS/unified control, wheel lift control and quick shifters. You are also able to define your riding modes.

Suspension

The BMW S1000RR spots in front 45mm upside down fork suspension and for the rear it gets a cast aluminum swing arm. The braking system consists of 320mm for the front and 220mm at the rear. The R1 consists of KYB fully adjustable 43mm inverted forks for the front and mono-shock four way adjustable for the rear. The front has 320 mm discs with 220mm at the rear. The R1 frame is diamond while the S1000RR uses aluminum. Both bikes run on 120/70-ZR17 tires.

R1 – Overview

The Yamaha R1 is a super bike developed in 1998. It is Yamaha flagship brand in the 1000cc category. The bike comes armed with a liquid cooled 998cc six-speed transmission engine. This is supported by a DOHC inline four armed with titanium intake valves. The R6 is a beast in the racing track and can achieve top speeds over 160 miles per hour. Generating a whopping 82.9 foot pound of torque @11,500 rpm, the R6 can raise 200 worth of horse power with ease.

When the bike first saw commercial production in the late 90s it come with a revolutionary stacked gearbox. This allowed the gearbox input shaft to be raised hence strategically repositioning the gearbox input shaft below it. At that time the R1 was capable of doing 0-60 km/h in 2.96 seconds and reaching a top speed of 270 km/h. In 2001 some improvements were made to the R1 that reduced drag by up to 3%. This included aerodynamic side panels, changes to the headlight housing and a restyled windscreen. A new improved fuel injection system was introduced to the bike in 2002 and the new improved Yamaha deltabox frame. The inline four cylinder engine was added in 2007 and the new bike now spotted Yamaha’s revolutionary chip control intake system. The R1 latest developments occurred in 2015 to 2020 period when the wet weight was reduced to 199kg. This produced a more agile and faster bike and put the Yamaha way above the competition. What I have come to love about the bike is its improved electronics. The new version comes with anti-wheelie control, traction control, linked antilock brakes, slide control system, and various power modes.

The R1 comes in an aluminum deltabox that makes the bike lightweight. For the front it has KYB 43mm fully adjustable fork suspension while for the rear you get mono-shock four way adjustable. The seat is at 33.7 inches.

Yamaha has always not wanted to be left behind when it comes to offering the best superbikes in the market. If you have never ridden a superbike before it can be intimidating starting out with the R1. For one the bike is superfast and the riding position may require some getting used to. Yamaha introduced the R3 as an entry-level bike for beginners. The bike comes with a inline twin-cylinder liquid cooled 321cc engine that is capable of generating 42HP@rpm of 10,750. The bike can hit speeds of 111 mph and at a consumption rate of 56 miles per gallon is the ideal superbike for commuting. Once you have gotten a feel of riding an entry level bike you can then move on to the R6 which is Yamaha’s middleweight bike. The bike comes with a DOHC (sixteen titanium valve) liquid cooled 599cc engine that is capable of reaching a high speed of 160 mph. It also generates more than 419 pound foot of wet torque.

What we liked:

  • An array of awesome electronics
  • Durable deltabox aluminum frame
  • Great suspension

What we did not like:

  • A bit pricier and heavier than competitors

S1000RR – Overview

The S1000RR was showcased to biking enthusiasts in Munich in 2008 as a bike to compete in the Superbike world championship. It then went into commercial production with changes been made between year intervals. When it was released to the market the S1000RR had one of the biggest bores at 3.1 in X 2.0 in for its 1000cc category. It also came as standard with riding modes, ABS, dynamic traction control and clutchless shifter.

In 2019 the bike received a complete facelift that made it more agile courtesy of a new engine. The new S1000RR engine is a 999cc and is capable of producing 204 HP @ 13,500. This pushes the torque to 113 Nm @11,000 rpm. The engine spots the all new BMW shiftcam technology that works by varying the intake lift and timing. That’s not the best part. You have ECU controlled motors that at 9,000 rpm enable you to switch between low and high speed cams. All this is done in under 10 milliseconds.

To enable the S1000RR enjoy a more compact design some 9 pounds were shelved from the previous model. This was done through new DLC rocker arms, hollow-bored titanium intake valves, and other specialized parts. In addition, you have the oil and water pumps as one component. Like the R1, the S10001RR comes with an array of electronics like shift assistant pro, ABS Pro, dynamic traction control, DTC wheelie function, pit lane limiter, launch control, hill start control and four riding modes (road, rain, dynamic, and race).

The S1000RR has a six-speed gear box and chain type drive transmission. For the front brakes we have 320mm and 220mm at the rear. To support this the front suspension are 45mm upside down fork and at the rear you get cast aluminum swing arm. As an option you can get dynamic damping control which comes with updated damping settings. Overall, this is a bike that mixes expert craftsmanship to deliver an agile beast of a machine to compete with any 1000cc superbike that comes its way.

What we liked:

  • The electronics are on another level
  • New version is lighter and more agile
  • New 6.5-inch TFT display

What we did not like:

  • There were some recall issues in 2011

Conclusion

It can be quite a challenge choosing between two bikes that are almost similar in terms of specifications. The BMW S1000RR is very impressive when it comes to electronics. It benefits a lot from the BMW engineering team and you can customize them as you wish. This enhances your driving experience to suit your terrain. With the customizations you can raise the BMW front higher during acceleration than you would with the R1. When it comes to handling we would conclude that the S1000RR is more stable than the R1 especially when it comes to riding in harsh conditions. The R1 shows its power and muscle when it is on track. Here it is a beast of a machine churning out maximum horsepower with ease.