While cars may be BMW’s main focus today, after switching over from planes, the German marque started with motorcycles first. But while BMW Motorrad offers well-reviewed adventure bikes, touring bikes, and even a new cruiser, it’s still separate from the automotive business. As such, the motorcycles don’t really share anything with the cars. However, that’s about to change. Because BMW’s M Division has gotten its hands on the S 1000 RR liter bike and created its first motorcycle: the 2021 BMW M 1000 RR.
How does the 2021 BMW M 1000 RR differ from the S 1000 RR?
To be fair, the BMW S 1000 RR is plenty sporty on its own, Cycle World reports. It has a 999cc four-cylinder engine rated at 205 hp and 83 lb-ft with a redline at 14,600 RPM. That’s a significant amount of power in a bike that only weighs 463 pounds with fluids.
Luckily, it has a standard slipper clutch and auto-blip function to help with that. Along with ABS, traction control, wheelie control, engine braking control, and adaptive suspension, Revzilla reports. Though while they’re all adjustable, some of that adjustability only comes as part of the optional M and Select Packages, RideApart, and Motorcyclist report. However, the M Package also adds carbon-fiber wheels and a lighter lithium battery.
The 2021 BMW M 1000 RR, though, goes beyond just what the M Package offers, RideApart reports. The superbike’s engine now makes 212 hp and redlines at 15,100 RPM. It’s also lighter overall and breathes through a redesigned and shorter intake system.
Speaking of lighter, the BMW M 1000 RR weighs just 430 pounds, and that’s with fluids. That’s thanks to the engine modifications, the titanium Akrapovic performance exhaust, and the carbon-fiber wheels, Autoblog reports. The bike’s chassis has redesigned geometry, too, and carbon-fiber winglets for more downforce. Plus, instead of Brembo or Hayes brakes, it’s the first bike to get M-branded calipers and pads, BMW Blog reports.
But if that’s still not enough, BMW also offers an M Competition Package for the M 1000 RR. The package comes with a lighter swingarm, a GPS-based lap data logger, carbon-fiber bodywork, and a maintenance-free chain. It also shaves a further 7 pounds from the bike.
Pricing and availability
The standard BMW S 1000 RR starts at $16,995. But if you want the full adjustability, as well as niceties like cruise control and heated grips, you’ll need to add the M and Select Packages. At which point, the superbike costs $22,690.
As of this writing, BMW has not released official pricing for the 2021 M 1000 RR. But RideApart reports its UK pricing is roughly equivalent to $39k, and its Canadian pricing is about $32k. So, it will likely be $10,000-$15,000 more expensive than an S 1000 RR with the M and Select Packages. However, it comes standard with all the features from those packages, including the lithium battery, heated grips, and cruise control.
But if you want one, you’ll have to act fast. Autoblog reports BMW is only making 500 of them.
There aren’t many sportbikes on the BMW M 1000 RR’s level. The Suzuki Hayabusa has the power, but it’s heavier and lacks the helpful electronics. However, there a few track-focused superbikes that can square up to the Beemer.
The 2021 BMW M 1000 RR vs. the track-ready superbike competition
One is the Ducati Panigale V4 R, Cycle World’s Best Superbike of 2019. In road-going US-spec form, noise regulations limit its power output, Cycle World reports. But with the racing Akrapovic exhaust, its 998cc V4 makes 234 hp and 83 lb-ft. All that in a bike which Ducati claims weighs 379 pounds without fluids.
And its features list reads similar to the M 1000 RR’s: ABS, traction control, wheelie control, engine-braking control, and slide control. Plus, it also comes with carbon-fiber winglets, a slipper clutch, and auto-blipping on downshifts. But it might be even pricier than the BMW M 1000 RR; with the track-only gear, it starts at $48,000.
While the Ducati Panigale V4 S was Cycle World’s Best Superbike for 2018, the Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory beat it and the BMW S 1000 RR in Cycle World’s superbike comparison. With a wet weight of 439 pounds, it’s slightly heavier than the M 1000 RR, Revzilla reports. However, it’s no-less advanced in terms of technology.
The RSV4 1100 Factory has a 1078cc V4 rated at 217 hp and 90 lb-ft. And it comes standard with a titanium muffler, lithium battery, and several carbon-fiber body panels and aerodynamic winglets. Plus, like the other superbikes, it has wheelie control, traction control, ABS, cruise control, and even a pit timer.
It doesn’t offer the semi-active suspension of the Ducati or BMW. However, unlike them you can order it with carbon-fiber brake cooling ducts, Cycle World reports. And its mechanical Ohlins shocks offer “more feel and control” than those found in the S 1000 RR or Panigale V4 S, Cycle World reports. Plus, with a $25,499 base price, it’s cheaper.
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