2021 BMW S 1000 R Review: Light Saber

2021 BMW S 1000 R M Package review Singapore

Light, precise and very rideable BMW’s S 1000 R M Package pairs neck-straining power with awesome agility that’s very at home in Singapore and beyond

Photos by Lionel Kong and Derryn Wong

SINGAPORE – In the world of streetfighters/supernaked motorcycles, you can equate various members of the segment from whips, chains, or swords, to more advanced technology.

With that, the BMW S 1000 R would be a lightsaber since it’s packed with technology from the S 1000 RR superbike and it’s the lightest bike in the supernaked class. 

The 2021 model is an all-new S 1000 R, based on the current RR as mentioned. CarBuyer knows the first-gen S 1000 R very well, having tested it at its debut in 2014 on the road, as well as on track, plus the updated version in 2018. 

Mr Brightside 

2021 BMW S 1000 R M Package review Singapore

It’s easy to spot the new machine, since BMW Motorrad has moved away from the asymmetric headlight look of the past for most of its models (R 1250 GS aside), so the S 1000 R loses its angry-eyed look and has the robot-esque headlamp unit which has a familiar resemblance to the parallel-twin roadster the F 900 R

2021 BMW S 1000 R M Package review Singapore

On the bright side, literally, is the fact that this is a full LED unit with a snazzy daytime running light, and adaptive cornering light for an easier time of it at night – it’s a feature not often found in the segment. 

There’s minimal bodywork as befitting a supernaked, with side panels on the radiator and a lovely tail section with dual ‘aero tunnels’ stolen right off the RR. 

But here’s where we should introduce the optional M Package. The S 1000 R’s base trim in Singapore is dubbed the Race Package, at S$69,800 machine price (no COE, Road Tax, insurance) while the M Package adds S$5,000. 

The S 1000 R M Package

M forged wheels or M Carbon wheels (extra charge) M lightweight battery, Akrapovic titanium sports silencer, M endurance chain, M Motorsport paint finish, M laptrigger unlock code, M sport seat, M fuel cap.

A S$5,000 option, the M Package drops the weight of the S 1000 R to 196kg with forged aluminium wheels (left), or 195kg with the carbon wheels.

It’s the first time we’re seeing the M logo on a BMW bike in person, so to us it’s still slightly weird. But BMW M is no stranger to evolution after all, and the first M-branded bike already exists in the form of the superlight M 1000 RR.

And, technically the S 1000 R is a very high-performance, rear-wheel drive machine so it fits right in with the M ethos.

2021 BMW S 1000 R M Package review Singapore

This comes into more importance later, but for appearance purposes the M Pack means the white paint with BMW’s red-white-blue racing colours (which make a nice contrast to the bronze subframe and engine cover) the black fuel cap, and the Alcantara-esque sport seat with the BMW M logo. 

2021 BMW S 1000 R M Package review Singapore

The M seat is lower than the standard seat (850mm down to 830mm) but riders with a shorter inseam can opt for the 810mm low seat as well. For us, a regular Joe at 1.73-metres tall and a 30-inch inseam, the S 1000 R is as comfortable as sporty motorcycles get. The lack of mass also helps with the unglamorous stuff, since parking the bike is rather easy and the tail section is easy to grip. 

2021 BMW S 1000 R M Package review Singapore

The build quality is superb, and there’s nothing to fault even after looking under the seat (with a snazzy blue seat release) and behind the fairing panels. The new fat handlebar is flat – always a good sign – and adjustable by 10mm by rotating the clamps.

Knee room was good for us, but longer-limbed riders might do better with the taller seat/adjustable rearsets (cost option). It’s a testament to how much BMW got right that we had no obvious aches after our three day test ride – neck aside.

Continue to page 2: Where the S 1000 R has the advantage over the supernaked class

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about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong