2011 Superbike Smackdown VIII Conclusion

Adam Waheed | April 11, 2011

Adam Waheed – 6’0”, 175 pounds – BMW (racing) / KTM (trackdays)

The 11 KTM RC8R finally has the power to run with the big boys in the Superbike class.
Waheed said he’d take the RC8R for track day riding.

Without a doubt if I was going to start road racing I would do it with the BMW. It just makes sense. It would cost you the least amount of cash to convert into a competitive racebike. Reliability wise if it’s engineered and built by BMW then it is pretty much guaranteed to go the distance too. However make no mistake about it: riding the S1000RR is gnarly. With 184 horses at the back tire things happen quick and even with its rider aids it’s not necessarily an easy bike to ride fast. On the flip side, if I wasn’t going racing and wanted a bike to play around on I’d pick the KTM. Although it is a little goofy to ride at first compared to the other bikes, I like its quirks. I also like how comfortable I am aboard it with its relaxed and fully adjustable ergonomics. It’s the only bike I can get off after riding for 30-minutes and not feel like I just sat in a leg press.
Steve Rapp – 5,8”, 165 pounds – BMW (racing) / Yamaha (Trackdays)

Steve Rapp put in a competitive time in Superpole aboard the R1.
Rapp would race a BMW but prefers to ride the R1 based on its fun factor.

The Yamaha is so fun to ride but it isn’t the fastest bike so I wouldn’t pickup that one to race. The Kawi is too new and maybe not quite ready for me to race. I didn’t gel with the KTM and wouldn’t race the Ducati if it was set-up like that. If it was the Suzuki or Honda I would probably go with the Honda based on the fact that it was easy to ride and that it had great power and good throttle connection. The shortfalls that it had could be fixed easily. The BMW is an animal. It’s a lot of bike that’s for sure. If I was going to Daytona I’d pick the BMW but if we were going to Streets of Willow I wouldn’t want anything to do with it. But overall I’d pick the BMW for racing and the Yamaha for trackdays.

Corey Neuer – 5’10”, 170 pounds – BMW
It’s very simple, BMW got it right! I can t even begin to explain what an absolute thrill it is to ride the almighty S1000RR. It simply did everything I wanted it to and never once gave me any kind of problem. I love the ergonomics everything is super fitting and roomy. The motor is no joke—it straight up hauls

The BMW scored well in anything related to acceleration.
While the traction control system works well it is now second-rate compared to the system employed in the 11 Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Both Neuer and Siglin would pick the BMW to go racing with.

ass! The power delivery is so friendly and has a very linear power curve. The transmission feels a bit sloppy under down shifting but no big deal. The brakes are super strong and consistent. As a package this bike a great bang for the buck and is very easy to turn into a race bike as it can compete at a high level straight off the showroom floor.

Chris Siglin – 5’8”, 150 pounds – BMW
BMW has no doubt done its homework throughout the process of developing a superbike. The S1000RR is an exciting bike to ride that keeps you pushing harder lap after lap with its class-leading horsepower, fantastic chassis feel, and amazing stopping power. The setup of the bike was very good, with great handling entering the corners and a tremendous amount of grip coming off the corner which is amazing considering the amount of horsepower the bike makes. Accelerating down the front straightaway leaves your eyeballs sunken into the back of your head and blisters on your hands from holding onto the grip for dear life when the BMW afterburners are on! One of the very few down falls of the BMW is the transmission and electronics. The transmission seems to be a bit notchy on back shifts and must be made with a very positive push or pull (GP shift or standard) of the shifter lever. The electronics package that comes with the BMW seems to be a great option for the street and the average Joe track day enthusiast, but as the pace picks up on the track with the BMW S1000RR traction control and wheelie control seem to be a bit abrupt when they kick activate. I like the BMW so much I already bought one to race!
Ken Hutchison – 5’8”, 185 pounds – BMW

Every one of our test riders were blown away by the performance of the BMW.
The 2011 BMW S1000RR retails for  16 630 as tested.
If there were one place the BMW struggled it would be with the front fork.
Hutchison, Earnest and Atlas would all pick the BMW to race if it was their cash.

I hate to beat the dead horse here but the BMW S1000RR is too bitchin’ to pass up. It is fast, looks bad-ass and has more technological gizmos than any bike other than the ZX. It works great on the track and it’s a blast to ride. I’m not sure how we could pick another open-class bike over the S1000RR. If you’re looking for the ultimate superbike for 2011 then look no further than our two-time defending Superbike Smackdown champion.

Michael Earnest – 6’1”, 195 pounds – BMW

If I was going to spend my money I’d probably buy the BMW. You get a lot of motor performance for the dollar. It is comparable to the rest of the bikes as far as the handling and the electronics package you can’t beat it. For the price you get some serious performance for the dollar.

Steve Atlas – 5’7”, 145 pounds – BMW

What more can one say about the machine that has single handedly revolutionized the liter-class sportbike world? Stock dyno numbers in the 180hp range at the rear wheel (yes, no lies, we’ve measured it on multiple dynos!!) and a dynamically proficient chassis complete with traction control, racing ABS, and multiple throttle settings brought to light an all-new machine that did far more to the evolution of the sportbike world than machine has done in the last five years. We’re talking at least 14-20 hp on any of the competition, from a bike that is extremely stable mid-corner, has a slipper clutch to take the drama out of corner entry, as well as spot-on fuel injection to make for precise corner exit – the combination is simply impossible to beat. Oh yea, did I mention racing-spec Brembo brakes are truly one-finger units (anything more and you will have you playing tongue hockey with the windscreen)? I do have one complaint: it’s the overly progressive rear shock linkage for track use, which blows through the stroke far too quickly under extremely acceleration, but can easily be remedied with a quick call to Lee’s Cycle for a replacement unit, one which we found to quite a lot faster earlier this month at the very same track aboard out 2010 project BMW in our Long Tern Project Bike. Maybe a different offset triple-clamp could speed up turn-in some, but both are minor fixes. Otherwise this is one utterly amazing motorcycle and it’s going to take some serious time and engineering from the rest of the competition to catch up. This is the reason why there’s a clear winner, and it’s a bike that hails Deutschland – in produced their first attempt at the sportbike market, nonetheless! Talk about coming out with a bang!


Adam Waheed

Road Test Editor | Articles | Adam's insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.

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