Wunderlich Curarê

Wunderlich BMW
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?

Wunderlich BMW
Wunderlich BMW
Wunderlich BMW

  • To NOT have clip ons on an S100RR just seems wrong. Ergos are second to speed and handling on a bike like this. With a full bar on risers, leaning into a corner would be strange and very UN-ergonomic.

  • Well, I quite like this bike. I even find it surprisingly good looking with this cult livery… What prichinello says about the hand is right and still, when I look at the photo I don’t see any mismatch. The full bike looks like dedicated to sportive handling on open road… I’m sure it would make a tremendous rallye or road race bike, a winning machine for the French Dark Dog Moto Tour or the mythic TT…

  • I like the Gulf colors – these seem true to the original (maybe the Ducati 1098R used a faded/ancient Pantone deck!). The fragmented and deconstructed paint job works for me on a cutting-edge hyperbike…even the sideways ‘speed racer’ W on the tank makes sense.
    The handlebars, though…I bet it’s much easier to throw around corners, but this isn’t a naked streetbike; this is one of the fastest motorcycles in the world. Perhaps the ‘bars are realistic though, as who actually does 120mph+ very often?

  • I’m with the author on this one – it looks like a pinada explosion, way too much going on for my taste. Besides which the Gulf colors work best on a Porsche 917/926, on anything else they just look they’re just mimicking those marvelous monsters.

  • Derek Larsen

    I actually enjoy this paintjob–except for that silly tribal bit on the gas tank. It hugs all the nooks and crannies of the bike, and emphasizes it in a way that suggests a tessellated look, like it’s a colony of colorful nanobots that decided to be a bike today.

  • RobL

    I’m normally a fan of Wunderlich (have to be when you like Beemers, it’s either Wunderlich or G+G or nothing), but with all of their other significant aesthetic design work, was it really necessary for a metal elephant trunk to be snorfling it’s way out of the exhaust? Even a stock R1 muffler or carbon fiber Zard/Viper/Zeuna/Akrapovic would have matched the look.

    Do like the concessions to comfort; having the by-the-numbers baddest-ass sportbike on the planet is one thing, having it’s near-race trim ergos making it a chore to ride is another.

  • Woody

    Interesting how every comment so far has had a different opinion about the bike. I really like it, and I’d take it, gulf colors, motocross bars and all.

  • Alex Yinger

    This is very nice. I’m usually not a big fan of BMW bikes but i have to say that this is fine stiff and I’d take it happily just the way it is.

  • mingh

    The gulf colours should be left to those who earned them and made them what they are now in racing history. Factory BMW’s have the famous white blue red, that would suit this bike much better. Or they could pay homage to the R90S colour schemes……

  • Doug

    R90S color scheme would be great.

    Is there more info. on this line:
    “Torque delivery and rideability are improved by using a piggyback ‘Performance Controller’.”

  • Andrew

    I don’t know… I think they could have followed its Curare name of the poison a bit better and matched the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog. The tribal thing is so worn out. Sort of like the ubiqutous barbwire tattoo around an upper arm. It also continues to break up the mutliple lines created by the oragami folds in the bodywork for me. Maybe it looks better in person.