Many of the upgraded models shown at the EICMA motorcycle show are lighter, mainly to meet the tougher Euro5 emissions regulations which come into force next year.
One example is the BMW S 1000 XR which largely meets the emissions targets by shaving 10kg off the total weight.
However, they say they also manage to make the bike “faster” with a more linear torque.
Apart from the diet, the transmission has also been adjusted with higher rations in fourth, fifth, and sixth gears. That is what makes it “faster” in top gear.
The higher gearing also helps the bike meet the tough regulations which prescribe a certain cycle of revs, gears and speeds to comply with the standard emissions test.
It’s probably a bit of a cheat that everyone is doing, but BMW say it makes it more ridable and reduces noise.
Not sure how this equates to ride ability. Will sixth gear now be only suitable for the German autobahns? Anyway, at those speeds, wind noise is louder than engine and exhaust noise.
At least the 999cc inline four-cylinder engine now has a more linear torque curve which should mean most of those top gears are usable.
However, engine output remains at 121kW (165hp) at 11,000rpm and peak torque of 114Nm at 9250 rpm.
At least BMW has admitted the changes.
Many others make similar gear ratio adjustments but never advise customers. They only find out if they check the ratios in the tech specs or have a test ride.
BMW Motorrad Australia spokesman Nick Raman says the S 1000 XR will arrive in June or early July with pricing announced closer to that date.
Other updates include standard LED lighting, cornering lights, four rider modes, full-colour TFT instruments, electronic suspension adjustment, hill hold control and dynamic brake control which reduces drive torque during braking to prevent rear wheel lockup.
Weight savings come from the 19% lighter double-sided swingarm, 5% lighter engine, and lighter exhaust and frame.
BMW says the ergos have been updated for more wind protection and comfort.
It also gets the RR’s “Flex Frame” where the engine takes on more of the load-bearing function for better agility.
Options include shift assist for clutchless up/down shifts, electronic cruise control, and daytime running lights.
It will be available in Ice Grey and Racing Red/White Aluminium.