published at 09.03.2012, 17:29
Motorcycles

Project Superbike – read all about it

Sports bike fans have been following the journey of the S 1000 RR Superbike from initial concept to racetrack to Superbike World Championship podium glory over the past three years. Among them was respected journalist and photographer Jürgen Gassebner, who has written a book charting the entire development story of the RR.

Called ‘Project Superbike – Entwicklungsgeschichte der BMW S 1000 RR’ the book documents one of the most ambitious projects in recent motorcycling history – BMW Motorrad’s quest to develop the fastest and most powerful motorcycle in the world on which to contest the Superbike World Championship, despite the company never having built a Superbike before.

The new book, currently available in German language only, documents the creation of the most powerful sports motorcycle ever built by BMW Motorrad and one that has literally opened the brand up to new market segments and a new generation of sports riders worldwide.

Naturally, a brand goes racing to not only compete at the highest level, but also to generate awareness and – ultimately – sales of its products to sports-minded road and track riders worldwide. The opportunities for BMW were significant, with new technological benchmarks to showcase in the fields of riding dynamics and safety, not to mention the incredible performance potential offered from the 193 hp serial production machine.

Author Gassebner has had unprecedented access behind the scenes within the engineering, research and motorsport departments of BMW Motorrad. With interviews with key project personnel, the book tells the story of the dedicated team who gave themselves the job of building the most compact superbike in the world – one with 1000cc worth of power but with the dimensions of a 600cc machine.

From the first clay models created in the design studio through early prototypes to the first finished model, the 192-page book includes many never-before-seen pictures, computer graphics and drawings, charting the development of arguably the brand’s most ambitious motorcycle to date. The additional pressure of having to also produce a race machine capable of competing in the world’s most competitive motorcycle racing world championship makes the RR success story seem all the more worthwhile.

And while the official factory race team are edging ever closer towards their first WSBK win (new recruit Marco Melandri finished on the podium in second place in his debut race for the team in February 2012) the serial production RR has been a huge success ever since its launch in 2009, winning awards, magazine tests and enjoying huge sales across the world. Gassebner’s book brings us right up to date with the new-for-2012 RR and explains all the key features and improvements designed to keep it at the top of its class for the foreseeable future.

Available in hardback for EUR 39,95 (ISBN: 978-3-86852-505-2) Jürgen Gassebner’s Project Superbike – Entwicklungsgeschichte der BMW S 1000 RR is available now from http://www.heel-verlag.de/Projekt+Superbike,i6.htm

For RR fans, it’s worth also recommending the Project Superbike DVD, which is available in a 92-minute German language, or 52-minute English language version. This film goes right behind the scenes to capture the passion and desires of those within BMW Motorrad who were determined to join the competitive and fast-moving world of Superbike racing.

From the designers whose dream it was to create something that will survive the present, and the engineers tasked with making that dream a reality, all the way through to the racers themselves – this is the story of people who got together to do whatever was necessary to make this dream come true. Priced at €14.99 or local equivalent, the DVD was first released in January 2011 and can still be purchased from all good online retailers. Link directly to the DVD on Amazon here.