Wunderlich has always struck me as the motorcycling equivalent of Jägermeister: undoubtedly potent, but an acquired taste. And so it is with the German company’s latest creation, based on BMW’s S 1000 RR sportbike. It’s been built to celebrate Wunderlich’s 25th anniversary and in the company’s strange tradition, the bike has a Brazilian-influenced name: Curarê, which apparently refers to the poison used by Brazilian Indians on their arrow tips. Wunderlich’s mechanical thinking is more sensible than its marketing though, and focuses on reducing weight and improving ergonomics rather than increasing the already stupendous power of the stock S 1000 RR.
That means wider, flatter bars for a more relaxed riding position, and a new aluminum top yoke weighing just 1.8kg. Carbon fiber and titanium components are scattered throughout the bike to lower its avoirdupois, including a lightweight SBK-style sports exhaust with titanium header pipes. Torque delivery and rideability are improved by using a piggyback ‘Performance Controller’. The fairing extension and ‘double-bubble’ sports screen deflect more air away from the rider, and there’s a comfortable ‘SportEgo’ seat. This seat can be specified with a 2-to-4cm higher cushion, and Wunderlich describes the effect on the handling as “nothing short of revolutionary. The rider can move the bike beneath him or her significantly more effectively over the center of gravity. Cornering is noticeably lighter, and the bike’s agility is increased in all riding situations.” Possibly a rare example of Teutonic hyperbole, but the Curarê will undoubtedly be a much better long-distance machine than the showroom S 1000 RR.
I’m not sure about the Gulf Oil-style paintjob, though. On some bikes—such as the Gulf-Ducati 1098R—the iconic livery works. But when it’s laid on top of fussy modern sportbike styling, it seems to lose its appeal. Don’t you think?