What makes a World Superbike SUPER?
The FIM Superbike World Championship is the pinnacle of production-based motorcycle racing. The technical regulations ensure that the key parts of the racing bikes correspond to those on their series equivalents. In several areas, however, modifications are allowed. In our feature, we show you the components that make our BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team’s BMW S 1000 RR Superbikes “super”.
In WorldSBK, all specially developed components need to be homologated by the FIM – they need to be commonly available to purchase and are foreseen with a price cap. Our components are available through our retail partner alpha racing.
By the way: racing in WorldSBK is the perfect way for us to develop technical innovations that find their way from the race track to the series development. In the new series model of the BMW S 1000 RR for example, you can find several features that we had developed for race use with the previous model.
The special components at a glance.
The silhouette of the series version of the bike needs to be maintained but the fairings can be specially manufactured for World Superbikes. Our carbon race fairings for Tom Sykes’ and Eugene Laverty’s bikes are aerodynamically optimised in the wind-tunnel – and we just love that look of our RR!
The base engine including pistons and connecting rods is the series RR engine. Also head and valves are based on the series version. The Superbike version has modified camshafts, porting and trumpets. The four-cylinder four-stroke, liquid-cooled engine has a capacity of 999 cc and its output is over 220 hp (at over 13,500 rpm).
The race radiator of the RR is specifically designed to handle the high thermal loads in racing and to cope with the increased power of the Superbike.
The ECU hardware is based on the series version of the RR, but the software is specially developed for WorldSBK. This area is a perfect example for “from race track to road” development, as the electronics developed in motorsports since 2015 have been implemented into the series version of the new BMW S 1000 RR.
The wiring harness is also one of the components that’s modified in WorldSBK to integrate additional sensors like suspension travel and brake pressures, as well as additional connections to ease quick repair and maintenance.
The special race dashboard of our WorldSBK RR has an integrated logger and displays all specific information that are required in racing, like safety notifications for shown flags and other alarms, as well as indicators such as for used levels of traction and wheelie control, riding modes ... and of course lap time!
The WorldSBK BMW S 1000 RR has an Öhlins RVP25/30 upside-down telescopic fork, especially developed for taking it to the limit at the race track.
The special tank of the WorldSBK RR has an increased capacity to cover race distance and its shape is ergonomically adapted to the needs and preferences of our riders, Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty.
The WorldSBK version of the RR has an Öhlins RVP50 shock absorber, with a modified full floater linkage system.
The swingarm is also modified to optimise the bike for race needs, like for example in terms of a quick change system for the wheel, stiffness and swing arm lengths. For WorldSBK, we developed an underslung swing arm.
The wheels of WorldSBK Superbikes can also be special race wheels. But we chose the CFK wheels of the series BMW S 1000 RR, as they are just perfect also for racing! Their dimensions: front 17” x 3.5”, rear 17” x 6.0”
Our partner Akrapovič is one of the world’s leading specialists in exhaust technology. In cooperation, we design and develop tailor-made lightweight exhaust systems for our WorldSBK RRs, manufactured with high-quality materials like titanium and carbon fibre.
With top speeds far over 300 km/h and tight race track corners, the brakes are exposed to extreme high loads in WorldSBK. For this reason, specially developed race brakes are used. Our cooperation partner in this field of expertise is Nissin. The front braking systems of our RRs consist of Nissin radial 4-piston callipers and Yutaka 335 mm twin-discs, the rear brakes consist of Nissin 2-piston callipers and Yutaka 220 mm single-discs.
The footrests are tailor-made to the individual needs and preferences of our WorldSBK riders.
The handlebar is also tailor-made to the individual needs and preferences of the riders, with specific off-sets, widths and the accommodation of specific brake levers and button units.
The race seats of our WorldSBK RRs are custom-built and ergonomically adapted to the riders’ needs in order to give them maximum hold and confidence when racing their RRs.