BMW rocked the sportbike and high-performance motorcycle world last year with the release of the 2010 BMW S1000RR. This two wheeled missile went on to win both the 2010 Superbike Smackdown VII Street and 2010 Superbike Smackdown VII Track shootouts in its rookie year. BMW’s first true Superbike had our heads spinning with the cannonball-like hit of its Inline-Four engine and advanced electronics package that made it easier to command whether you’re blasting down your favorite back road or knee down at the racetrack.
But being the psychotic power junkies we are, even the mighty S1000RR isn’t quite fast enough. So in our quest for more adrenaline… err, I mean power, we fitted a Yoshimura R-77 Exhaust System available at Motorcycle-Superstore.com. This is Yosh’s top-of-the-line exhaust system designed for maximum performance at the track. The head pipe features a four-into-two-into-one design that terminates in a sleek trapezoid shaped muffler on the right side. Both the header and mid-pipe are constructed from titanium while the muffler is built from a mix of carbon fiber and titanium hardware.
We can’t lie; the pipe is expensive carrying a price tag of nearly $2000. But for that money you get one of the highest quality exhaust systems available. When viewed up close, the attention to detail is exquisite. Every weld is precise and the finish of each component seems to help justify its lofty price. On the scales the pipe weighed 13.1 pounds less than stock unit which in turn reduces the Beemer’s fully fueled curb weight to 437 pounds.
Strapping the BMW onto the dyno proved the Yosh exhaust delivers power gains throughout its 14,000 rev range. From idle to 5000 rpm the stock system actually delivers just a hair more power but as soon as the engine spins past that threshold it’s pumping out more rear tire spinning horsepower and front wheel lifting torque. The power curve features a linear progression much like stock with nearly 80 ft-lb of torque (2.38 more than stock) arriving at 11,000 rpm and a whopping 183.08 horsepower (6.39 more than stock) coming some 2300 revs later, 700 rpm shy of redline.
In our stationary sound tests the R-77 delivers a significantly louder exhaust note with our sound meter registering 88 decibels, six points above stock. At half of maximum rpm (7000) the difference wasn’t quite as big only cranking out two more decibels than stock (100).
From the factory the S1000RR already had a relatively rambunctious exhaust note but the addition of the Yosh pipe makes it even better. At idle a much deeper exhaust note garners attention from other motorists at stoplights. Swivel your head before dialing in the throttle because if the law are anywhere within a 500-foot radius they’re going to be on you quick as the pipe emits a racy roar. Restrain your throttle hand and short-shift the engine and you’ll have an easier time going unnoticed so considered yourself warned. Furthermore if you want to go ultra-stealth then the pipe has an optional muffler insert that reduces the noise to a level comparable with stock.
In stock configuration the BMW offers great handling and suspension performance under the vast majority of riding conditions. However those capable of zooming around the racetrack at professional-grade speeds might notice a quirk. The problem lies in the way the rear shock moves within its stroke. In order to get adequate levels of comfort and road compliance on the street yet firm damping when loaded heavily with the throttle, engineers were forced to design the rear shock linkage with certain compromises.
The LCR shock linkage changes the attitude of the motorcycle. For optimum results an ride-height adjustable shock needs to be installed.
The solution is to fit an LCR Link. The part is a direct, bolt-on replacement for the stock linkage. It alters the speed at which the shock absorber moves which makes the rear end of the bike feel more predicable when loaded on the gas. For more information check out the Lee’s Cycle BMW S1000RR LCR Shock Linkage review.
Around the racetrack are where the handling improvements are most notable but we also like the way the bike rode on the street. The back end of the bike felt much higher than before but within a few turns we were comfortable with its new attitude. Yank on the twist grip and the rear end squats more predictably than before. It doesn’t just squat, spin and rebound like it did when it was stock. It feels like the rear tire bites into the pavement harder. This allows the rider much greater control when modulating power slides off corners.
We still encountered considerable wheel spin with the stock Metzeler K3 street tire but with the fitment of full-on race tires the link would allow us to explore the outrageous performance of the S1000RR in a safer and more controlled manner. Despite the more aggressive chassis stance, steering wasn’t overly quick and straight-line stability was unaffected. On the street, ride quality was slightly harsher but it’s something we can live with considering how much more planted the back of the bike feels when loaded hard.
While we really like the added sound and character courtesy of the Yosh pipe if you’re looking for straight up performance gains your money might be best spent with one of Yosh’s slip-on muffler. Handling wise the LCR linkage really impressed us. When ridden hard the difference in handling was night and day which makes this component a must-have for a track enthusiast.