The BMW M 1000RR is the first M superbike

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It almost slipped through the cracks, perhaps not for dedicated bike media but with the BMW M 1000 RR being announced and released to the world at the same time M-fanatics were soaking up that nose on the the new BMW M3 sedan and M4 Coupe, it was a little shaded for attention.

Let’s fix that. Make no mistake, this is an important bike for BMW from not only a brand perspective but also a competitive one. M-cars have been around for decades now establishing the M-division as the go-fast go-to for BMW yet when BMW Motorrad began dabbling in sports bikes, there was no immediate crossover.

It’s taken over 10 years from when the first S 1000 RR was released and multiple flourishes with M-style components and bodywork for BMW to go all-in and align their product strategies across their auto and moto divisions. From a brand perspective it makes incredible sense and will only serve to fuel customers’ desire to own M products from both the auto and moto showrooms.

The M 1000 RR to BMW is essentially what the V4R is to Ducati. A special run primed for homologation that will allow BMW technicians in World Superbike and domestic series to finesse the bike to a much higher degree than with the standard S 1000 RR. And this is because they need it. Since the new S 1000 RR WSBK bike joined the championship it’s only netted a couple of 3rd places on the rostrum with ex-world champion Tom Sykes sitting currently in 11th place in 2020. Something needed to be done.

Enter the 2020 BMW M 1000 RR

Here are the numbers: 156 kW (212 HP) and a kerb weight of only 192 kg. Peak output of 156 kW (212 HP) is at 14,500 rpm, and maximum torque of 113 Nm is applied at 11,000 rpm. And BMW know how to build monster engines with the most recent S 1000 RR using BMW ShiftCam technology for varying valve timing and valve lift, also retained in the M version.

Maximum engine speed has increased to 15,100 rpm made possible through a host of changes such as new 2-ring forged pistons, adapted combustion chambers, a increase in compression to 13.5, longer and lighter titanium connecting rods, slimmer and lighter rocker arms, fully machined intake ports with new duct geometry as well as optimisations on camshafts and intake area. BMW go on to note it’s the range between 6,000 rpm and 15,100 rpm which has benefitted the greatest.

There’s also a lightweight titanium exhaust which will hopefully add a bit more growl to the otherwise efficient yet inoffensive exhaust note of the standard model.

No modern bike built for racing these days can escape aerodynamics and in particular, winglets. Love them or loathe them, there’s no escaping they actually make braking and acceleration improvements. The M 1000 RR sports clear-coat carbon winglets which help reduce lift under acceleration, stability in cornering, and downforce in braking.

The chassis uses a modified geometry and extended adjustability of the swinging arm pivot point which is exactly the type of adjustability the BMW Motorrad WSBK team will need. The upside-down forks have also been optimised.

The brakes are M specific drawing on experience gained from the automotive division, working together with M carbon wheels.

There’s an optional M competition package, that provides an activation code so customers can gain access to the M GPS laptrigger and M GPS data logger via the OBD interface of the instrument cluster.

The M competition package also includes the M milled parts package, M carbon package as well as a silver 220 g lighter swinging arm, a friction-optimised, maintenance-free and DLC-coated M Endurance chain and a passenger package including a tail-hump cover.

Price is yet to be announced but some are suggesting somewhere below the price of a Ducati V4R…but not by much.

This is a statement from BMW Motorrad that they are serious about taking on the world’s best in racing. Now they have a bike that’s hopefully going to get them in the fight.

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