Not exactly competitors: BMW S1000R vs SSS - Ducati Supersport 939 Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Not exactly competitors: BMW S1000R vs SSS

I feel pretty well situated to put this comparison together. I've now owned the BMW S1000R (Single R - street fighter) for about two years. I have test ridden SSS about a total of 100 miles across multiple sessions. Ridden on 17, 18 and 19 models but all were S. For me, once I learned what Ohlins is about in previous bikes, I won't skimp on that again - so a standard isn't even an option in my mind (apologies to those that this may offend).

The BMW, every technology possible and then some. Nicely loaded comes with heated grips (as they say, you either never had them or you won't buy a bike without them), ABS, wheelie nonsense stoppers, traction control AND, unlike SSS cornering ABS. As a 35 year rider, I never thought I'd use cornering ABD. After all what sort of moron grabs brakes on a curve - I did. Coming off a cloverleaf exit on an expressway, I slid into a tar snake that pushed me too wide. I was hot into the turn and if not for brakes, would have come off the apex. Without cornering ABS - who knows. I may have not topsided and controlled it. But in this case, it was a code brown and I rode through it. So I am very happy with the nannies and tech. And yes, this naked bike even has cruise control on top of the electronic suspension (which is garbage - see my Ohlins note above).

The more I ride the BMW the more I feel it's just like a high-end Monster. Similar handling, similar high position and you never truly feel a part of the bike. On the SS bikes (should be same for both) you fall into the bike. Your mid legs wrap around the tank perfectly, hands land just where they need to (for my dimensions) and the bike becomes one with the rider. It isn't as much as being on it as being one with it - hard to explain to folks. I am willing to overlook a lot of missing bits (cruise control, heated grips standard, and that life saving cornering ABS) to be one with this bike.

At throttle the bikes are pretty similar. The torque curve on the SS pushes hard once you clear that 2500-3000 slow zone. On the Beamer it's instantly there and very linear. But it's all horsepower, not so much torque. Off the line the low-down power on the BMW pushes you, but gives up the ghost a bit - only to resume at jailable numbers.

It's a great track-day bike, though wind exposure is terrible. It's a great bike when there is no traffic - I live in Chicagoland. Nope. And the electronic suspension? It's great for Germany's roads - again, I live near Chicago where the temperatures swing 150 degrees every year and the roads heave to open up like giant craters.

Every time I rode the SSS I never found it wanting. A little more oompf down low would be nice, but it is just off the line. I'll be trying the 14t front gear for sure as top end here is unlikely. I never found the heat overbearing, though to be fair, I tested on opposite sides of summertime every time. Looking at the temp gauge, however, I can tell you the BMW heats up much faster. In summertime temps - it is a proverbial convection oven and I haven't roasted yet. So I'm not afraid. Neutral on the BMW sounds just shy of that on the SS - meaning it's barely there. I got used to that too.

So to sum it up, very different bikes, but a similar price class and sometimes we have to shop by a budget. So if anyone finds this, I hope it helps. Frankly you can't go wrong - but if you want the BMW, be younger, stronger and prepared to muscle the bike into submission. You may not achieve it even then, but it will be fun. When you're ready for a gorgeous machine with comfort and great ergos, give the SS a try.

I am now off to try and figure out how to not get raped in trade on my BMW so I can join you all officially. Was working on a deal for a bike that was used and had some add ons, but it got sold the day I had to be in meetings and I couldn't react fast enough.

Cheers
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 11:46 PM
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Thanks for a great comparison and read. I'm sure many look at the BMW S1k while eyeing the SS939. Really great for those wondering.

Obviously the new S1000RR is one **** of a bike- and I think at least a couple grand more in price? As a BMW rider for 2 decades including my beloved K100RS that I put almost 80k miles on (I was much younger then)- and then having a couple Ducati- they are very different bikes for sure.

As someone once wrote on one of these Ducati forums- "the soul of a Ducati is very different from the soul of a BMW". And that's a nice way to put it.

Thanks again- and I hope you find a deal. I'm sure there are some great used 939's out there for a good price.
And well said about heated grips- so true.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
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As someone once wrote on one of these Ducati forums- "the soul of a Ducati is very different from the soul of a BMW". And that's a nice way to put it.
I've owned 2 BMW's...an R65 and a K100RS. I loved 'em both for what they were...finely engineered and extremely reliable German machines. But soul? Hardly. My SSS is my 3rd Ducati. There's definitely something to be said about the soul of a Duc. I'd never go back to a Bimmer, no matter the performance delta. They simply lack whatever it is that makes up the soul of a Ducati.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 07:35 AM
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Nice write-up. I’ve owned two BMWs, the last one a black K1200S that I rode for 10 years and put tens of thousands of miles on all over the US and Canada. Very fast and stable, in fact, a better open-road sport-tourer than the SSS, imo. But the K is big, heavy and has a looonnnggg wheelbase. Not nimble, but can be muscled for sport riding. Very different from the SSS. Although I still think about her every now and then, it was time to let her go. The SSS is a wonderfully versatile bike.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yes - the BMW soul, so to speak, is that of a Formula 1 driver, ice in the veins and the personality of a white wall. But, it's a precision, scalpel-sharp, almost unforgiving machine. Super agile, rewards those who put in the time or ride it competitively. Beyond that - that's all I can say. The worst part of the bike is the suspension. While I thought having an electronic suspension is cool - I quickly found out that it's not. Unlike the RR, where you can set preload, rebound and compression - the R only allows preload. What's worse, it's sprung for a 180-190 rider max. When I bought the bike I weighed 230 so my dealer cranked the preload to max making it like riding a stone. I am now down to 190 but have been struggling to find the right spot for preload... hopefully it won't matter too long. I long for my old days with Ohlins where I knew everything is mechanical, how it works together and what to adjust. I guess soul is analog.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 08:20 PM
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Thanks. What an interesting writeup. I had considered the single R when shopping and did indeed settle on the SS. Haven't looked back since
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 11:09 PM
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Yes - the BMW soul, so to speak, is that of a Formula 1 driver, ice in the veins and the personality of a white wall. But, it's a precision, scalpel-sharp, almost unforgiving machine. Super agile, rewards those who put in the time or ride it competitively.
Yes.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 09:31 AM
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Thanks for this write up. Itís nice hearing rider comparisons.

I love my SuperSport, but now that it needs replacement thereís a part of me that sees the S1000RR and thinks, ďHmmm, it has cruise, and SW Motech makes bags for it.Ē

I havenít been on an RR since itís first year, and I was way less experienced then. The challenge is that no dealers seemingly anywhere in Canada have an RR to try until at least October.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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RR is a very different horse of course. The on the single R you sit very upright and are not part of the bike. The RR has a typical racing position. So if you're going to do any distance, be ready for some pain. It's an amazing machine, especially with the new features added this season. But that's comparing to a Panigale, not a Supersport. Can you picture yourself on a Panigale with bags? If so - RR is a great way to go.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 07:37 PM
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... Can you picture yourself on a Panigale with bags? If so - RR is a great way to go.
Hmmm, I didnít realized there was so much after market luggage for the RR...very interesting. Many nice memories ripping a BMW inline 4 coming back to me...would be quite a contrast to the bikes in my existing stable. Ut, oh...

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