It was only a matter of time before BMW’s iconic M racing division came to the party and helped BMW Motorrad produce something truly special, and that time has finally come with the unveiling of the M 1000 RR.
Making its debut alongside the newly redesigned M3 and M4 sportscars, the M 1000 RR is, as the name implies, heavily based on BMW's S 1000 RR.
This isn't the first collaboration between BMW Motorrad and the M Division, with the two having already introduced the successful M vehicle offer strategy at the end of 2018 for motorcycles (the S1000RR in particular) and has been offering M optional equipment and M performance parts ever since.
The new M 1000 RR uses a water-cooled inline four-cylinder engine based on the already established RR power train. Updates include BMW ShiftCam technology for varying valve timing and valve lift that has been modified comprehensively in the direction of a racing sport engine.
Peak power is a claimed 212hp (156 kW)at 14,500rpm, while maximum torque of 113 Nm is achieved at 11,000rpm.
In addition to an increased redline to 15,100rpm, the M RR engine has extensive technical refinements over the base S 1000 RR engine such as new 2-ring forged pistons from Mahle, adapted combustion chambers, higher compression of 13.5, longer and lighter titanium connecting rods from Pankl, slimmer and lighter rocker arms, fully machined intake ports with new duct geometry as well as optimisations on camshafts and intake area. The lightweight exhaust system is also made of titanium.
The new M RR engine is even more powerful than the RR power train in the range from 6,000 rpm to 15,100 rpm, a range that is particularly relevant for race track driving dynamics, but without losing its qualities as a fascinating source of power for sporty driving on country roads.
Aesthetically there is plenty to set the new M bike aside from the "lessor" S 1000 RR.
The new M RR emphasises its racing genes with the light white solid paint/M Sport colour scheme in the basic colours light blue, dark blue and red. Further features of the M RR are the engine covers in granite grey and the fuel filler cap painted black.
BMW says that the aerodynamics were a decisive point in the technical specifications for development work of the M RR. In addition to a maximum speed that is as high as possible and absolutely necessary for winning races, there was another objective in the technical specifications of the M RR: to establish the best possible contact of the wheels with the road - especially when accelerating.
The M winglets were developed during intensive testing on the race track and in the BMW Group’s wind tunnel and are made of clear-coat carbon. They produce aerodynamic downforce and thus additional wheel loads (and grip) depending on the speed the bike is travelling at. BMW says the additional wheel load on the front wheel counteracts wheelie inclination, traction control regulates less, more driving power is converted into acceleration and the driver achieves faster lap times. The effect of the winglets is also meant to be noticeable in curves and when braking, the downforce allows later braking and ensures increased cornering stability.
The chassis of the new M RR is based on the RR with the bridge frame made of aluminium at its centrepiece. It has an optimised upside-down fork as well as a revised central spring strut with blue spring and Full Floater Pro kinematics.
BMW's primary objective of the chassis design was to achieve the best possible lap times on the race track. The chassis of the M RR is therefore uncompromisingly designed for the race track but also manages to allow for use on back country roads as unlike other special BMW superbike, the M 1000 RR is fully road legal.
Breaking away from tradition, the M 1000 RR is the first BMW motorcycle with an M brake package – just like the M vehicles of BMW M GmbH. It was developed directly from the experience with the racing brakes of BMW Motorrad company racing machines in the Superbike World Championship and provides maximum fading stability and controllability.
Externally, the M brake callipers have a blue anodised coating in combination with the M logo. With the M carbon wheels, the new M RR has more high-tech components for maximum performance on the race track and road.
As is to be expected on such an advanced motorcycle, the instrument cluster takes the form of a 6.5-inch TFT display and an added OBD interface that can be used with a special activation code for BMW's M GPS data logger and M GPS laptrigger.
The instrument cluster of the new M RR has the same basic design as the RR and has an M start animation. As part of the optional equipment set to be available for the bike, an activation code (which is part of the M competition package) can be used to provide comprehensive data material for the use of the M GPS laptrigger and M GPS data logger (Original BMW Motorrad Accessories) via the OBD interface of the instrument cluster.
For those who are still not satisfied with the new M RR in standard trim, the M competition package provides a fascinating mixture of classy components for the racing technology gourmet and the aesthete at the same time. In addition to the M GPS laptrigger software and the corresponding activation code, the M competition package also includes the M milled parts package, the M carbon package as well as a silver 220 g lighter swinging arm, the friction-optimised, maintenance-free and DLC-coated M Endurance chain and the passenger package including tail-hump cover.
At the time of writing, we are awaiting official word from BMW Motorrad New Zealand importer Europe Imports on details regarding pricing, expected arrival time and potential numbers of BMW's latest and greatest superbike. We'll update you as soon as we've got the full NZ market details.