More tech, less weight.

If, like us, you’re keeping track of all the new bikes launching this month, it’s been a real party so far. Good news is that it’s not over yet. BMW has been a busy Bavarian bee for the past few weeks with the introduction of a slew of 40th Anniversary GS, a new R 18 trim level, a new G 310 GS, the high-po M 1000 RR, the CE 04 electric scooter concept, and an updated selection R nineTs.   

On November 19, 2020, it added two bikes to its Fall 2020 roster. One is the G 310 R we’ve been expecting since its September debut in India. The other is the new 2021 S 1000 R, armed with a new look, a lighter chassis, and a few tech upgrades.   

Look-wise, the super-roadster drops the asymmetrical headlight and receives a single-piece optical, with LED lighting at both ends. BMW also reworked the side panels and belly pan to give the bike a more dynamic appearance. During the redesign process, the maker took several weight-saving measures, including borrowing the S 1000 RR’s chassis, swingarm, and engine, the latter optimized to serve the roadster’s road-focused application. These measures allowed the new S 1000 R to shed 14 pounds for a total of 438 pounds, which makes it the lightest bike in its class according to BMW.   

Gallery: 2021 BMW S 1000 R

The new Flex Frame not only results in a lighter bike, but it also helps improve the ergonomics thanks to a narrower waist that allows the rider to keep their knees tucked in. The handlebar is also easily adjustable to meet the rider’s needs and comes with two settings that push the bar forward by a third of an inch. There’s also an optional 0.4-inch bar riser offered.   

Under the bodywork, the 999cc inline-four and attached 4-into-1 exhaust system are now Euro 5 compliant. The 165 horsepower at 11,000 rpm and 84 lb-ft of torque at 9,250rpm power ratings remain unchanged, however, BMW says that it improved the mid-range pull. That allows the mill to churn out as much as 59 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm and reach a minimum of 66 lb-ft of torque between 5,500 and 12,000 rpm. 

The 6-axis inertial measurement unit monitors the bike's pitch rate and controls its standard anti-wheelie function, ABS Pro with cornering capability, and dynamic traction control. There are now three standard riding modes instead of two (Rain, Road, and Dynamic) as well as the optional Dynamic Pro mode that optimizes wheelie and launch control, engine braking, and drag torque, among other things. All the information and different settings are displayed on a 6.5-inch TFT screen and can be controlled using the left-hand side cluster.   

Other features include optional adaptive turning light, M, Carbon, and Milled Parts packages, navigation, quick-shifter, and more. BMW has yet to confirm the new 2021 S 1000 R’s pricing and availability in the U.S.