When a car and a bike show up at a drag race, most of the time, you probably have a good guess what’s about to happen. Obviously, some variables will inevitably affect the outcome, such as the relative levels of experience between pilots, as well as any modifications. If you want to see something truly mad, though, it’s the setup in this video. Here, you get Bike World’s Chris Northover on a shiny new BMW M 1000 RR vs. Carwow’s Mat Watson in a completely-out-of-its-mind Ferrari SF90 Stradale.
The BMW M 1000 RR packs BMW’s most refined, fine-tuned, 999cc inline four-cylinder engine, which makes a claimed 212 horsepower and 113 newton-meters (or 83.3 pound-feet) of torque. Thanks to oodles of carbon fiber, mass centralization, and weight reduction, it weighs just 192 kilograms (about 423.3 pounds) at the curb.
Meanwhile, the Ferrari SF90 Stradale packs a four-liter twin-turbo V8 engine alongside three separate electric motors. All told, the claimed power figure here is a stonking 1,000 horsepower, along with 800 newton-meters (or 590 pound-feet) of torque. Curb weight is 1,570 kilograms or about 3,461 pounds.
For those unfamiliar, the SF90 Stradale is the most powerful and fastest Ferrari yet released from the factory. It’s a true force to be reckoned with, regardless of what the challenging vehicle(s) may be. Although the M 1000 RR is certainly an impressive motorcycle, you may already have sized up these two contenders and guessed at which way this competition is going to go, even without pressing play on the video.
As always, though, just knowing the results isn’t as interesting as seeing how they’re achieved and what actually happens. In most Bike World vs. Carwow drag races, they’re divided into three segments: Quarter-mile standing start, Rolling start from an agreed-upon speed, and the brake test. Here, they did the first two of those three segments and skipped right over doing the brake test.
As BMW’s top-of-the-line sportbike, the M 1000 RR offers riders several options for rider aids. Launch control can be all the way on, and includes both traction and wheelie control settings. It can be partly on, or it can also be shut all the way off, allowing a rider to rely on his or her skills alone to get off the line well. In this competition, they ran the standing-start quarter mile all three ways—and what was most interesting here was how they stacked up.
Now, obviously, your results will vary based on who’s at the controls. In former racer Chris Northover’s case, though, it turned out that his instincts and actions on the controls led to a much closer competition and a better start than BMW’s launch control settings at any level. When left to his own devices, he got off the line a lot better and managed to put up a little bit of a fight against the SF90 Stradale (although the SF90 still beat the M 1000 RR down the strip in the end).
The rolling start was a closer competition, as it usually is in car versus bike matches—but the SF90 Stradale ultimately won the day. It’s probably worth noting the price difference between the two vehicles, though. The Ferrari SF90 Stradale starts at £376,000 (or approximately $453,247), and this particular example was over £400,000 (or $482,178). That makes the M 1000 RR’s starting price of £30,940 (about $37,262) look like an absolute bargain, by comparison.