First Look: 2021 BMW M1000RR

Published: September 23, 2020

Yes! It’s that time of year again – the leaves are falling, Halloween’s just round the corner, Xmas treats in the shops, and lashings of hot new bikes start to appear.

Like this – the 2021 BMW M1000 RR. ‘M’ in this case stands for ‘M-Sport’ and is the same M that appears on the back of various high-powered saloon cars in Surrey.

It’s the firm’s performance branding, and its application to a whole new bike model is a first.

BMW M1000RR
The brand new 2021 BMW M1000RR

We’ll come to the ‘why’ in a moment, but first let’s do the ‘what’.

This is a hefty revamp of the already-excellent S1000RR superbike, with even more power, added chassis jewellery and a revamped chassis.

The most obvious change is aerodynamic though: yes, the BMW superbike finally gets the wings that all the other cool kids have got.

A set of clear-carbon aerofoils on the upper front fairing, that generate downforce at speed – a claimed 16.3kg (13.4kg on the front wheel, 2.9kg on the rear) at 300kph.

This of course helps tame wheelies, adds high-speed stability and improves braking force at speed too.

The BMW M1000RR
Front view of the BMW M1000RR

 

The other obvious change is to the brakes – a set of blue-anodised Nissin calipers, chomping on massive 320mm discs.

Blue brakes are a tradition on M-Sport cars, and it’s nice to see someone other than Brembo having a go at ultra-performance stoppers.

Check out the BMW M1000RR video…

The other obvious change is to the brakes – a set of blue-anodised Nissin calipers, chomping on massive 320mm discs.

Blue brakes are a tradition on M-Sport cars, and it’s nice to see someone other than Brembo having a go at ultra-performance stoppers.

Perhaps the main part of the new M1000RR is hidden away inside the engine cases though.

A thoroughly uprated powerplant gets new two-ring race pistons, longer, lighter, titanium con-rods from legendary engineering firm Pankl, new hollow titanium exhaust valves and a raised compression ratio, up to 13.5:1.

You also get a full-titanium exhaust system that saves nearly 4kg in weight.

BMW M1000RR
Close up of the BMW M1000RR

The rest of the chassis gets more updates too, with a new rear suspension setup, further adjustability to the swingarm pivot point, tweaked geometry and revised suspension settings.

You still get slightly mundane but beefy 45mm Marzocchi forks (though the rear shock has a blue spring…), which may well disappoint fans of the golden spring shower, Öhlins. Cheer up though mate, you get sweeeet carbon M wheels thrown in instead,

The final figures for all this?

A huge 212bhp claimed peak power, 192kg kerb mass, and around £31k when it hits the dealers next year.

BMW M1000RR
The 2021 BMW M1000RR in action

Why are they doing all this then? Well, the point is clear in the press release – it’s a homologation special for world and national superbike racing.

The wings and the engine mods to this standard, road-legal bike that anyone can buy will be eligible for the race bike next year, giving the firm the sort of advantage that Ducati has with its megabucks V4R superbike homologation special.

The lack of posh suspension is a clue – race teams will throw the bouncy bits in a skip anyway, so it’s a waste of time upgrading them for a homologation bike.

Far better to spend the cash on the titanium rods and fancy cylinder head, which can’t be changed on the race bike…

Check out some more BMW features here...