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I started riding around 10AM it was still a bit chilly, so I had the bike warm up for quite some time. I actually listen to BMW’s Suggestions for once and put it in Rain mode.
For those who don’t know, the bike has four modes; Rain mode, which limits the power output to 150HP and sets the Traction control and the ABS pretty tight to make sure things don’t get out of hand. Sport mode, which gives you the full 193 claimed HP and still keeps the ABS and Traction quite tight. Race mode, full Power and lighter reduction on Traction Control and ABS. And finally Slick mode, for which you need to plug a jumper under the seat, this gives you full power and very little interaction from the Traction control. ( for more info see BMW’s info site)
The roads were pretty empty and the speed limit (yea I actually cared since I have already two tickets for this year) was 65 with everyone going 75mph. For the break in period I tried to use a variety of RPMs and Gears, and stay below 9000RPMs ( Read line is 14000 ).
I did a few bursts of acceleration and was not that excited about it, but that was the rain mode anyway. So after I had to stop for gas ( the bike makes about 150miles on a tank, and once you run in reserve the display counts the actual mileage left until empty [ how accurate that is, we will see] what I think is pretty neat.) I switched to Sport mode, now the bike took of way better and was quicker up to power if you run it high I RPMs (for now that’s between 7000 and 9000RPM ) it started to move quite well and the power delivery was much more power full. The bike made a lot of fun riding and the acceleration exited me, it is like the 1098 feels in the low / midrange. After a while I switched to Race mode and got another kick out of it, the bike responds very fast to the throttle movement and it literally screams when you accelerate, the air intake seems to be pretty cool designed and lets the air get quickly in the motor. Also the exhaust is quite well, if you are above 5000RPMs its actually getting pretty loud, I believe that’s the loudest OEM exhaust I heard so far.
Once I got even deeper in the countryside and the road started to be more lonely and going up and down the hills with decent turns, I got more ballsy and ran the bike harder, I accelerated though all Gears, using the quick shifter and without the interruption of power from first gear to six and reaching 160mps somewhere above the 9000RPMs I should have stayed under. – I think that feeling I got is what the guys in WSBK have every lap they turn – It handles Very well, and turns in quickly into corners.
I went and set the bike to slick mode to see what it does, but couldn’t notice a change as big as the switch before. After a while I put it back into Race mode to let the TC and ABS do their thing if I needed it to. On the map was a road marked as very motorcycle interesting and very technical difficult, the road was more difficult than technical interesting, as they just resurfaced the road and lots of sand, rocks and dirt was all over. The Traction control and ABS light stared to work on that part of the route and I was pretty impressed that the wheel didn’t really broke loose, during acceleration or breaking. For the rest of the drive I kept playing with different mods and the quick shifter, which was pretty much fun. One thing I noticed when I got of the bike, usually If I rode the 1098 for 250+miles my back got messed up and my wrist hurts from my weight on the handlebars. I got of the S1000 and I felt fit, no back or wrist issues.
When I got the bike out of the trailer yesterday morning, I couldn’t help myself than going around work to just nail it one last time until the spring is here. I had the bike pulling up in 1-4th gear. And it felt just cool. Since I lack of comparisons, I took also my new bought GSXR600 out and ran that thing the same route and was even more impressed with the S1000 that there was so much more. OK it was a 600 compared with the most powerful 1000cc bike on the market, but still…
SO, Overall: The bike has the power it claims to have, and I believe it will show that on the road this summer. The power delivery might even be a bit too high for the everyday ride ( and that’s really ME writing this? I must start to grow up or something). It handles well for a first time production bike from a Manufacture who stayed out of this field of the market until now, and others who build bikes for years should maybe look at some of the stuff on this bike…
It is probably the best liter bike I bought so far, it would put my ’05 CBR 1000RR way down the drain. And it also puts the Duc on a spot behind it. I’m excited for this years riding season!