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Comparing The 2015 To The 2014 (Or Earlier Models)

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Curious to know what the average (or not so average :)) student at the school thinks of the bikes, and the differences. Chime in if you've ridden the new bike compared to the other models.




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I have a 2014 that's completely stock and a 2013 that's had more than it's share of extras installed including Ohlins Suspension, HP Power Kit and Carbon Fibre wheels. I rode my 2013 at the school at Barber and was pretty uninterested in riding the new bike even though I had one reserved. At the next to the last session as I was going out on my 2013 Trevor said to me "are you even going to try our bike" and I started to feel guilty having a bike just sitting there. I took the school bike out on the last session of the day and I was actually really impressed. I ended up riding the 2015 for the last half of the second day. It was great being able to compare and experience both generations back to back.


The 2015 was pretty amazing. While not as ultimately powerful as my 2013 at Barber the 2015 had an edge power wise due to BMW moving the power down lower in the rev band. On my 2013 there was never enough straight pavement to really keep the bike in it's power sweet spot for my level of comfort. The 2015 seemed to always lurk in that power sweet spot. The 2015 had some pretty substantial chassis and geometry changes that made it turn in effortlessly. Almost as effortless as my 2013 with it's light as a feather wheels. But the biggest thing about the 2015 that had me cackling like a crazy person was the auto blipper. Just being able to flick the lever and have the bike take care of the rev matched downshift saved me a ton of attention heading into the corner. I found myself going deeper into the corners and trusting the shifter to do it's things in places I would never have imagined shifting before.


The DDC system was pretty amazing too. It was almost completely transparent to me. I always "notice" when I go from my stock suspension on the 2014 to the Ohlins on the 2013. For a stock system it's much like having a well setup Ohlins suspension on the bike. Actually slightly better. One that adjusts itself 100x a second. I think as well BMW enhanced the stock pegs a bit. On previous generation bikes I always upgrade to the HP rearsets right away as the stock ones never worked well for my long legs. It was not a problem at all on the 2015. I noticed as well the school's mechanics were able to quickly swap bikes between GP shift and standard shift with a single screw. I'm used to riding both patterns as I have one that's GP and one that's standard. I rode the 2015 in standard without issue.


BMW also made a LOT of changes in the DTC system. Stock the 2014 bikes especially in the more conservative modes hold you back a bit and are slightly overprotective. I actually had to "re learn" throttle control moving to my 2013 because it's DTC system is a lot less restrictive. The 2013's less restrictive DTC tuning gave me a few surprises when I got greedy with the throttle. The 2015's DTC system seems VERY similar to the 2013 with the power kit. It's slightly more protective but a massive improvement over the stock 2014 DTC tuning. It was so good actually that I never even thought to ask to try Race mode. Sport mode was pretty awesome.


I'm normally a pretty conservative rider and I take my time out on the track. Within a few corners on the 2015 I found myself being transformed into a bit of a hooligan to the point where eventually had to think about being a bit more conservative. It was pretty amazing to me that I got that comfortable with a completely new to me bike in that short of a time frame. What's more amazing to me is the bike was mostly stock like it would come off of a showroom floor minus the school's bodywork and other protective equipment.


Within minutes of stepping off the 2015 I was thinking about what color scheme I wanted for my 3rd BMW. Then of course logic and reality stepped in. I need to thin my herd of bikes a bit before buying another bike as I'm running out of room (first world problems). I'm doing the next best thing in the short term. My 2013 has a Proshift autoblipper on order that should be here in a few weeks from the UK. Long term I'm still planning on a 3rd BMW and will probably build a 3rd generation bike that's similar to my 2013 but more as a dedicated track bike.

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So I have tried a stock s1000rr 2012 at the shop, rode the CSS s1000rr of last year, and the CSS 2015 at Laguna Seca a few months ago, and the bike I am using at home is a (second hand) track-only HP4. My ranking is 1) HP4, 2) 2015 s1000rr, 3) 2014 s1000rr / 2012 s1000rr.


Now the thing is that it's hard to say what makes me like the HP4 better than the 2015 s1000rr, because it is not a stock HP4 (full exhaust, rapid-bike, third party pegs, different sprockets and chain etc...DDC is stock, DTC is not modified, no change in the ECU. Ride it mostly in Race or Slick mode). But I feel faster getting into the corners, get on the throttle faster, get out of the corner faster, more power... I just feel better on it. BUT, it may just be because that's the one I am used to...it may just be because I am making progress and what I feel when riding has more to do with me than with the bike...or it may just be because my brain is saying "that bike, although second hand, did cost a fair bit...so don't even think about another one !". In other words, the limiting factor with these bikes is me, not them...


Anyway...I think all those bikes are awesome, and with my level, they would all make me smile like a kid. I personnaly (again, probably due to my level) have not felt a special improvement in DDC behavior between the HP4 and the 2015 s1000rr, although I know they have modified the 2015 DDC a bit.

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Rchase and Damien,


Thanks for putting that up guys, really nice feedback. Hope we get some more to chime in, even just students that have ridden our bikes, from one year to the next.


One thing the coaches did was go to User mode, and play a bit there. Pretty universal that we would put the DDC in Sport, and the DTC in Race, then often made some other changes to damping, but that was a good starting point.



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I took my level 1 CSS at NJMP in July 2012 and my Level 2 just recently at VIR this May. Both bikes were truly awesome as I don't ride a sport bike. In fact my first experience on a sport bike was my Level 1 CSS. Outside of a couple of demo rides (2014 R1 and Ducati 1299) my recent level 2 CSS was my second ever real sport bike experience. I want one, but at least for now I've got room for only one bike at home and that would be my FJR1300 tourer.


I think it is likely that any differences I felt between the two CSS days were probably less to do with the bikes and more to do with changes in my skill level as I learn and become more comfortable going faster. But anyway this was my impression. Take this with a grain of salt given my lack of track experience.


Power delivery


Both the 2012 and 2015 were scary fast (to me anyway) and it took a couple of sessions at my level 1 school in 2012 before I got used to the thrust at WOT. But like anything you get used to it and it is a blast! Power wise if there was any difference that I could feel, it is that the 2015 seemed a bit softer or maybe a bit less agressive when you first crack the throttle open at lean to start your roll on. In both cases I was in Sport mode but I recall thinking it was less abrupt. Maybe that is all in my head but I recall in 2012 feeling that there was a dramatic difference in both character and power between rain and sport modes. It seemed like the difference was less dramatic (in a good way) with the 2015.




I loved the quick shifter especially the auto blipping down shifts on the 2015. It let me more spend more attention units on braking rather than worrying about my down shifting technique so much. Smooth downshifting is something I always try to practice on the street (no slipper clutch on a my bike). I probably didn't have to worry about it as much as I did in my CSS 1 anyway given the slipper clutch but I did not worry about it at all on the 2015.




Ok this is where I really think the difference was in my progression and not so much the bike but who knows. Both were very stiff compared to my FJR. But what I felt on the 2015 is odd to describe. It was as if I had a better feel for what the tires were doing. Like you could feel them really grip the surface. I had this feeling particularly if I was going fast enough to scrape the knee sliders a little bit while going over less then perfect pavement, a bump or transition, etc. It was as if you could feel the tire coping with the imperfections but all the time still providing tremendous grip. It was very confidence inspiring and made me want to push a little harder each time I went through the same corner (Particularly VIR turn 1, 4 and the transition at turn 7). Maybe I did not feel this back in 2012 because I was too scared and lacked enough skill to push hard enough to feel that. I was not expecting to improve as much with level 2 but the difference was huge. The vision skills I learned seemed to slow everything down and give the feeling that I could go faster just about everywhere. Unfortunately by the time I had worked up to the point I was starting to feel these sensations the day was over. I hope it does not take me 3 years to get back and do level 3!




Can't say there was any difference here. Push the bar and it turned. Both bikes had a neutral feel. Neither falling into turns or trying to stand up. I guess that's really a characteristic of the tires and I think they were probably the same Dunlop Q2s at both CSS events. Could be wrong here. Dunno.




Phenominal brakes in 2012, probably equaly phenominal in 2015 but now I knew what to expect. I actually was easier on the brakes in Level 2 so nothing significant stands out for me, just 1 or 2 fingers and a light pull would shed all the speed I wanted. In fact every session I still felt like I needed to keep it pinned longer after the kink and brake later as it was so easy to slow down. I never really got it together and still rolled out of it too soon after the kink. I found myself feeling like I was carrying a lot of speed into turn 1 but then I would find after I turned in I was really going in to slowly. I would be a bit aggressive on my roll on to compensate but I would just end up running wide. My coach quickly pointed out that it was my aggressive roll on and not my corner entry speed that was making me run wide. Quicker turn in and less aggressive roll on cured that.


Hmm what else is there? What a great bike and what a great school!

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