2012 BMW S1000RR has cool winglets at the top of the side panels.
2012 BMW S1000RR has cool winglets at the top of the side panels.
The inverted front suspension has more rake but less offset, with longer spring struts, revised spring rates and a new, stronger, forged and milled lower triple clamp.
The inverted front suspension has more rake but less offset, with longer spring struts, revised spring rates and a new, stronger, forged and milled lower triple clamp.
The S1000RR's striking styling has been sharpened even further with a slimmed-down tail section.
The S1000RR's striking styling has been sharpened even further with a slimmed-down tail section.

Two years in from its launch in 2009, BMW has released an updated version of the S1000RR, the Blue Propeller Boys' first superbike - and one which has been a nasty surprise to riders of other makes in Superstock racing all over the world.

The Spandau Boffins have wisely left that wicked 999cc transverse four alone; maximum power is still 142kW, but the throttle response curve has been remapped for better midrange response and the rider now has three rather than two performance curves to choose from.

Maximum power in Rain mode is now 120kW and there's a new, even more hair-trigger, mapping for Race and Slick modes.

The frame, however, is subtly new all over. How subtle, you ask? Try a larger steering-head casting to provide a bigger intake for the airbox, a revised steering head angle and repositioned swing-arm pivot.

The inverted front suspension has more rake but less offset, with longer spring struts, revised spring rates and a new, stronger, forged and milled lower triple clamp.

Even the mechanical steering damper now has a 10-position range of adjustment, while the antilock braking system and traction control have been remapped to work more accurately together.

The liquid-crystal instrument cluster has also been revised for improved legibility, with a choice of five brightness settings and two new functions, "Best lap in progress" and "Speed warning", which tells you when you exceed a preset speed.

But, more importantly, the "Lamp" fault message has been deleted. Superstock rules require removal of the headlights, which the bike sees as a fault. That meant that anybody racing an S1000RR has to put up with a large, distracting, warning light that can't be switched off - or spend a small fortune on a special resistance kit that fools the bike into thinking the headlights are still there.

The S1000RR's striking styling has been sharpened even further with a slimmed-down tail section, discreet revisions to the asymmetrical side panels and new side aperture grilles on the centre airbox cover.

The sure way to tell the 2012 S1000RR from its predecessor, however, is the cool winglets on the side panel that smooth airflow around the fairing.

The 2012 S1000RR weighs 206.5kg with a 90 percent fuel load and will be released in South Africa in the first or second quarter of the year. Prices will be announced then, but BMW SA says the price increase over the previous model will be "very slight".