BMW S1000RR Traction Control is for Real
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
After riding around in the rain, there’s question the $1480 DTC/Race ABS option is the best add-on you can get for BMW’s S1000RR Superbike.
Last week I had the opportunity to ride BMW’s S1000RR
Superbike at the beyond epic Portimao racing circuit in southern Portugal. Awesome right? Well, beside the fact that it was in full wet, pouring down rain conditions on standard street tires it was. How you ask? Dynamic Traction Control (DTC). The DTC feature is packaged together with a Race ABS (anti-lock brake system) and is available as a $1480 option… and it’s worth every penny.
Up until then my motorcycle traction control system experience has been somewhat limited to consumer systems available from companies like Bazzaz Performance (find out more in our Bazzaz Performance Z-Fi TC
review) and Ducati’s Traction Control system as used on the Ducati
1098R/1198R and S models. And while I’ve also had a go at the ultra-high dollar Magneti Marelli set-up as used on Mat Mladin’s Yoshimura GSX-R1000, I simply didn’t have the cojones to give it a complete shake down within my limited lap allotment. (Read how things went in the 2009 Mat Mladin Suzuki GSX-R1000 Test
With the bike set in Rain mode it’s utterly amazing how the electronics automatically compensate for stability during corner exit. I specifically remember one section of the track, the exit of Turn 4, where you’d get the rear end to wiggle around on other manufactures 1000cc sportbikes as you accelerate up a short hill. Where the other bikes would spin the Beemer’s engine would instead cut-out ever so gently—still accelerating forward but curtailing power just enough to keep the rear wheel inline.
After a couple more laps, I was comfortable with how the TC reacted and I started to get on the throttle earlier and no matter what I did, the system always sorted everything out and just let me focus on riding without having to worry about slipping or sliding. Coming into the final bend—a right-hand, off-camber sweeper (Turn 15) you could literally hold the throttle pinned and the bike would just do its thing—accelerating forward without a hint of rear end instability. It literally felt like a well-sorted traction control system in a modern sports car—incredible!
If you had any doubts to whether or not the $1480 option is worth its asking price don’t, because it could cost double the price and it would still be worth it. It functions that well.
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