BMW releases its first M-series motorcycle, the extraordinary M1000RR
BMW has announced its most powerful motorcycle ever – a lightweight, juiced-up version of its outstanding S1000RR superbike that becomes the first bike to wear the storied M badge. The M1000RR is a razor-edged track bike that's also street-legal.
From the outset, the current-generation S1000RR has been available with an "M Sport" package, but BMW Motorrad has taken things up a notch in the creation of the new M-RR bike. The company admits the M badge won't transform the bike as comprehensively as it tends to in the car world, because the S-RR is already so damn fast, but the M bike sharpens things considerably and offers a new homologation base for BMW's World Superbike efforts.
Yes, it's lighter and more powerful. The M-RR is some 5 kg (11 lb) lighter than the S bike at 192 kg (423 lb), thanks largely to its standard featherweight carbon wheels and a new Akrapovic exhaust system that's titanium from the header pipes to the end can.
The motor has been modified with a raised redline of 15,100 rpm, Mahle forged pistons, Pankl titanium conrods, increased cylinder compression, and a bunch of other edits around the intakes, camshafts and rocker arms, resulting in 212 horsepower, a step up of 5 hp from the standard bike. But there's also a change in character away from the flexibility of the streetbike to a track focus that emphasizes midrange and top-end speed for a bigger slingshot effect as the revs come up. Top speed is up to 306 km/h (190 mph), and 0-200 km/h (0-124 mph) is now in the 6-7 second range.
I get the sense that one of the key reasons for this bike is that BMW really wants to run winglets in World Superbike, and according to regulations it can only do so if the homologated street bike's got 'em too. So the M-RR runs a set of carbon winglets up front that contribute some 16.2 kg (36 lb) of downforce at speed, helping keep the front wheel down for maximum acceleration on track and less intervention from the traction control system.
Call me old-fashioned, but I think these things look pretty silly on the street, where hundredths of a second don't matter and you get bonus hero points from your riding buddies for sweet wheelies – but such is the way of progress.
Going against the grain, BMW has decided to put its own M-branded brake calipers on the M-RR instead of running Brembo gear like everyone else. It's not clear whether BMW is manufacturing these things itself or just creating the design and outsourcing production, but either way, they're very distinctively blue, and the company says they offer outstanding control and strong performance when they heat up under hard, repetitive loads on the track.
In terms of the chassis, weight distribution has been altered, suspension attention has been given to controlling dive on the brakes and squat on the gas, and the swingarm pivot point can now be adjusted for fine control of geometry.
If you're planning to go racing – and BMW says this thing is pretty much ready to roll – you can option up with an M Competition package that gives you GPS lap tracking, carbon bodywork parts, a lighter swingarm, BMW's "maintenance free" M Endurance chain, an aerodynamic cowl for the rear seat and some milled, adjustable aluminum replacements for the levers, footrests and other bits.
Naturally, it costs a bomb – US$39,385 is your base pay to play figure. That's a considerable premium over Honda's $28,500, 215-hp, 201-kg (443-lb) Fireblade SP, but peanuts next to the $100k you'll need to shell out for a similarly winged Ducati Superleggera V4. It's fair enough though, the Diet Duke earns its sky-high price tag with a ridiculous 231 peak horsepower and an equally stunning 152 kg (335 lb) weight figure that frankly boggles the mind.
It remains to be seen whether the M-RR can finally vault BMW past the seemingly untouchable Kawasaki team to finally take a World Superbike title, but BMW's superbikes have always been special on the road. Enjoy a launch video below and plenty of detail photos in the gallery.
Source: BMW Motorrad