2020 BMW S 1000 XR Details Leaked

Next year’s bike gets a new engine, new chassis, and less weight—but power output isn’t changing.

2020 BMW S 1000 XR
Could the new 2020 BMW S 1000 XR look more like the original design sketch of the S 1000 XR? That is not known, but it will get a new chassis and ShiftCam engine with lighter weight.BMW

We've become accustomed to the idea that with every passing generation flagship bike the power rises to previously inconceivable levels but BMW is about the buck that trend with the launch of a completely new S 1000 XR that puts out precisely the same amount of horses as its predecessor. That's not a bad thing.

Let's face it, the current bike's 165PS (162 bhp) isn't exactly limp. The S 1000 XR already wins the numbers battle against its clearest rival, Ducati's 158PS (156 hp) Multistrada 1260. While giving it the same 200 hp-plus of the 2020 S 1000 RR superbike might create some unbeatable bragging rights, it might not actually create a better bike.

What We Know About The 2020 BMW S 1000 XR

A double dose of leaked information courtesy of type-approval documents means we can now build a fairly accurate picture of the next-generation S 1000 XR, starting with that unchanged power figure. It comes courtesy of a new engine that’s derived from the variable-valve-timing “ShiftCam” four that’s fitted to the 2020 S 1000 RR superbike. European type-approval information reveals that the new bike has a 999cc “A11A10A” engine—clearly a close relation to the 2020 S 1000 RR’s “A10A10A.”

Sharing the same ingenious ShiftCam system, which alters both the valve timing and lift by switching between two sets of cam lobes depending on revs, emissions documents filed with California Air Resources Board (CARB) show the new S 1000 XR’s engine puts out around a third as much hydrocarbons as the old model (0.057 g/km compared to 0.154 g/km), and half the combined HC and NOx (0.1 g/km against 0.2 g/km). Carbon monoxide is cut the most, dropping from 1 g/km to 0.1 g/km.

The CARB certification also reveals that the new bike goes under the internal codename “K69.” That makes sense; the old S 1000 XR was “K49,” a derivative of the “K46” S 1000 RR. The new S 1000 RR superbike is “K67,” so the “K69” fits a new generation of S 1000 XR perfectly.

While CARB’s information focuses purely on emissions, the bike’s European type-approval documents are more enlightening. They confirm the 165 peak horsepower and that it’s reached at 11,000 rpm—the same as the current model. The documents also reveal that the 2020 S 1000 XR will be about 5 pounds lighter than its predecessor, coming in at 498 pounds (226kg) compared to the current model’s 503 pounds (228kg).

2020 BMW S 1000 XR
The 2020 BMW S 1000 XR will be lighter and faster than the outgoing model.BMW

Unsurprisingly, the cleaner new exhaust is quieter than the old, with European figures quoting a peak of 94 decibels, down from 98 decibels, but the same document also says the 2020 bike is faster; the cited top speed is 158.5 mph, up from 155.3 mph for the 2019-spec S 1000 XR. With no extra power on tap, that's got to be down to aerodynamics, and the new model is narrower, lower, and shorter than the previous one, if only by around an inch or so in each direction. The wheelbase is also a fraction shorter; to fit the new ShiftCam engine's different mounting points BMW must have redesigned the entire frame. The firm is sure to have taken the opportunity to hone the bike's handling in the process.

Of course, there's still the question of the new bike's styling. BMW is unlikely to stray far from the beaked template of the original S 1000 XR, but the F850-based Concept 9cento, revealed at the Villa d'Este concours last year, probably gives a fairly firm indication as to how the firm will evolve the look. All will be revealed when the covers come off the new S 1000 XR next month.

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