BMW M1000RR (2021 - on) Review

Highlights

  • Heaven sent for race teams
  • Wings reduce wheelies on track
  • 50 Years M version released in 2022

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 1 out of 5 (1/5)
Power: 209 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.8 in / 832 mm)
Weight: Medium (423 lbs / 192 kg)

Prices

New £30,935
Used £25,500 - £28,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

BMW’s M1000RR isn’t a machine for the discerning collector. It isn’t made in limited numbers and there are no fancy levers, swathes of carbon fibre, or billet aluminium and it sits on mechanically adjustable Marzocchi suspension, just like the base-spec S1000RR. It even comes on road-based Dunlop SportSmart TT rubber and not the trackday Metzeler Racetec RR K3 tyres fitted to the 10-grand cheaper S1000RR M Package.

It has a sole purpose in life: to be the starting point for a better race bike. After two years running the latest generation S1000RR in everything from WSB to superstock, BMW decided it needed changing around a bit. So, the M1000RR’s engine is stronger and more tuneable, the steering geometry is tweaked and it’s sprouted wings, Nissin brakes and lots of M badges.

It's insanely quick and one of the easiest superbikes for mortals to ride fast on track, but so is the S1000RR, which you can have for nearly half the price in base trim or 10-grand less in all-singing M Package spec. Its wings pin the front wheel down along the straights, but elsewhere the M feels so similar to the S1000RR it isn’t worth paying the premium, especially when you’re not getting the chassis designer labels you’d expect for a bike costing this much. But for race teams the extra cost is a drop in ocean if it means finishing first.

BMW M1000RR 50 Years M edition

BMW M1000RR 50 Years M

In 2022 BMW produced an M1000RR, built to celebrate the M Badge that adorns their hot four-wheelers: the £35,200 ’50 Years M’. It’s painted in the same Sao Paulo Yellow as the original 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL and comes with the optional M Competition package as standard. That means lots of carbon fibre and billet aluminium trinkets, an M Endurance chain, pillion pegs and seat, a cover, race mat, paddock stand and the code to unlock the GPS lap timer trigger.

The BMW’s M1000RR is a phenomenal piece of kit. It’s brutally fast and handles incredibly, but it manages to be friendly road bike, too - as at home scorching around a track as it hacking through the countryside.

None of the extras fitted to the ’50 Years M’ model we tested in August 2022 improve the way it rides and for the money it’s missing the high-spec chassis parts seen on its top spec rivals and some of the cheaper S1000RR variants. Unlike the standard M1000RR, it isn’t meant to be stripped and prepped for racing, making it a machine for the die-hard collector with very deep pockets.

Watch: Neevesy's full BMW M1000RR video review

In this video Michael Neeves gets to grips with the M1000RR in its natural habitat - the race track. Listen to that engine roar!

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Its aluminium chassis is unchanged, but with longer forks and new billet ali yokes. The rake and trail has been kicked out to 23.6°/99.8mm (from 23.1°/93.9mm), too. The offset is reduced by 3mm, the wheelbase is longer (from 1441mm to 1457mm), the swingarm pivot is adjustable and the rear suspension has new linkages and ride height adjuster.

The new geometry for designed to reduce wheelies on the throttle and stoppies on the brakes for the racers, but it’s subtle and doesn’t give the M1000RR a radical new feel. It’s still the same solid-handling S1000RR we’ve come to love and one of the easiest and most flattering superbikes to ride extremely quickly.

Neevesy gets his knee down on the 2021 BMW M1000RR

It’s light (1kg less than the S1000RR M Pack) sure-footed and the Dunlops are very capable on track, but it isn’t crisp-turning, lithe and doesn’t immediately seduce, as you’d expect from something wearing that iconic M badge. Instead, it has a stodgy and slightly lazy feel, which could be dialled out with racier tyres and a day tinkering with suspension, but that’s not something you’d have a problem with on the S1000RR M Package with its electronic damping and sportier rubber.

New blue-anodised Nissin calipers have racier pads and grip thicker 320mm discs. They’re designed to give more consistent performance during a race, are hugely powerful, but no different in feel to the S1000RR’s Hayes set-up. BMW have moved the rear caliper from the top the underside of the swingarm, to make wheel changes easier without disturbing or knocking out the pads.

BMW M1000RR 50 Years M Ride Quality and Brakes

BMW M1000RR 50 Years M on UK roads

For the 50 Years M version there’s no change from the regular M1000RR in the chassis department. It has the same cast ali twin spar frame you’ll find on the S1000RR, but with billet ali yokes and slightly lazier steering geometry to give the racers more stability on the brakes and throttle. Its underbraced swingarm is unpainted to save weight and rear brake caliper moved below the disc for easier wheel changes.

Its mechanically adjustable Marzocchi forks and shock produce a firm ride and lack the plushness of semi-active units on bumpy roads, but once the yellow Beemer gets in its stride the suspension evens out and its stiffness keeps things in shape. The faster you run through corners the better the M feels.

You’ll need a racetrack to even begin to exploit its handling abilities, but beneath those limits the BMW is stable, neutral, roomy and familiar. It may not have the racy, MotoGP feel of a Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 or the nimbleness of Aprilia’s RSV4 Factory, but the M is a superbike anyone can jump on and comfortably ride fast or slow from the get-go, just like any S1000RR – the secret to its success.

BMW M1000RR 50 Years M right side

Blue anodised Nissin front brake calipers are brutally powerful and offer the kind of tactile, analogue feel missing from most modern cornering ABS systems. Standard issue Dunlop SportSmart TT fast road rubber have all the grip you could ask for on the road, but you’d want something stickier for serious trackday action.

Find out more about the technical details of this new bike, and how it slots into BMW's line-up between the S1000RR and race bikes, in our video:

Engine

Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Most of the M’s newfound magic happens inside its 999cc inline four-cylinder engine. Power is up from 204bhp@13,500rpm to 209bhp @14,500rpm, torque remains the same 83lb-ftt@11,000rpm (up from 10,500rpm) and the redline is 500rpm higher (15,100rpm).

A stronger, higher compression cylinder head has new intake ports, all-titanium valves (intakes are hollow), exhaust valve spring assembly and narrower rocker arms. There are new forged pistons, longer and lighter titanium conrods (the S1000RR’s are steel), shorter variable intake trumpets and a lighter titanium Euro5 exhaust system. It has a new anti-hop clutch to help with race starts, overall gearing is shorter (up from a 45 to 46-tooth sprocket at the rear) and it keeps its variable valve ShiftCam system.

With 209bhp, the engine in the BMW M1000RR packs a lot of punch

BMW claims less torque than the S1000RR below 6000rpm, but better acceleration and roll-ons above. It’s hard to feel the subtleties of the M’s new power curve, or its extra 5bhp. All you feel is the face-meltingly speed of a high-revving race engine and brutal acceleration, all tempered by its superb slide and wheelie control. It may be fractionally faster out of corners, but its wings make a tangible difference to the way the BMW behaves along the straights.

Despite the motor’s monstrous power, wheelies are almost non-existent, letting you open the throttle wider for longer. BMW claims its carbon wings produce 16.3.kg of downforce at the M1000RR's top speed of 186mph, and in testing improves lap times by 0.5-0.7 second at some tracks. Expect to see them grafted on to an S1000RR near you, soon.

BMW M1000RR 50 Years M edition engine

BMW M1000RR 50 Years M left side

Like the standard M1000RR, the 50 Years M model uses a 209bhp, 999cc inline four-cylinder engine with variable ‘Shift Cam’ valve timing. That makes it more powerful and harder revving than the S1000RR (up from 205bhp@14,5000rpm to 209bhp@15,1000rpm) thanks to modified internals, including forged pistons and longer, lighter conrods. It has a one-tooth shorter rear sprocket for shaper acceleration and a titanium Akrapovic exhaust system.

Although the power delivery isn’t night and day different to the S1000RR, the engine has the same rawness, anger and hunger for revs as a thoroughbred race motor. It dishes out such fierce, relentless acceleration it’s hard for your brain to keep up on the track, let alone the road. But for normal riding the engine still manages to be flexible and easy to use thanks to perfect fuelling and help from the electronics that take care of wheelies, slides and engine braking.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Based on the fourth generation S1000RR, its mechanicals and electronics have largely been reliable, according to our owners reviews, but it has suffered its fair share of recalls since 2019 as well as nearly a year’s delay for full production after initial production quality problems. MCN ran an M Package S1000RR for over 9000 miles during the summer ’19 on the road and track with no issues.

The 50 Years M costs another £4650, making it more expensive than any full production superbike, including the Ducati Panigale V4 SP2.

BMW M1000RR foot peg

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Although you get a lot of high performance and tech for the money it doesn’t feel like it’s worth 10 grand more than the S1000RR M Package and its suspension and brakes don’t have the pub-bragging kudos of those fitted to the cheaper Ducati Panigale V4 S or Aprilia RSV4 Factory.

The BMW M1000RR is pretty expensive for what it is

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

Based on the S1000RR M Package, it has the same carbon wheels, all-singing rider aids and even a sat nav-enabled colour display, heated grips, cruise control and three-year warranty (it’s still a BMW, after all), but does without its electronic suspension. That’s not a problem because most Ms will be bought by race teams who’ll strip them down to their bare bones, before building them back up into track weapons with aftermarket or BMW kit electronics and dash.

The wings on the BMW M1000RR try to stop the bike from doing too many wheelies

Apart from its wings the M1000RR looks just like an S1000RR and not as exceptional as it could for the money, but it’s transformed with the optional Competition Package. It includes tasty carbon parts, racing levers, an unpainted swingarm (saving 220g), a low friction chain and a GPS lap timer with a display on the dash. That little lot will cost you another £4100, but really for a 30-grand bike they should be included in the first place.

For an extra £4560 the 50 Years M has carbon fibre tank infill panels, chain guard, mudguard, hugger and heel plates. Billet aluminium parts include folding adjustable brake and clutch levers, brake lever guard, rearsets and crash protectors.

None of these makes a difference to the way the BMW rides, although it now weighs 191.8kg fully fuelled compared to the standard M1000RR’s 192kg. You’ll also be able to use the GPS lap timer, hands-free on track.

BMW M1000RR 50 Years M front

Specs

Engine size 999cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 16v, inline four
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 16.5 litres
Seat height 832mm
Bike weight 192kg
Front suspension 45mm Marzocchi USD forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Single Marzocchi shock, fully adjustable
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial Nissin calipers. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 220mm disc with twin piston caliper. Cornering ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 200/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Annual road tax £101
Annual service cost -
New price £30,935
Used price £25,500 - £28,500
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Three years

Top speed & performance

Max power 209 bhp
Max torque 83 ft-lb
Top speed 186 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 156 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2021: BMW launch their first M-badged motorcycle. Based heavily on the M Package S1000RR (and is 1kg lighter) it has a stronger, more powerful engine, wings, revised chassis geometry and mechanically adjustable Marzocchi suspension Nissin brake calipers, shorter gearing, an underslung rear brake caliper.

Other versions

BMW M1000RR 50 Years M: Launched in 2022 to celebrate 50 years of their car division’s M badge. Finished yellow and comes with M Competition Package as standard.

Owners' reviews for the BMW M1000RR (2021 - on)

1 owner has reviewed their BMW M1000RR (2021 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW M1000RR (2021 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 1 out of 5 (1/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 1 out of 5 (1/5)
Reliability & build quality: 1 out of 5 (1/5)
Value vs rivals: 1 out of 5 (1/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
1 out of 5 37K and Oil smoke trails for you.
26 December 2021 by Bill

Version: The M Mistake version

Year: 2021

I like everything about this bike, but the motor loves its oil. I have had this for about 4 months. I followed the run-in procedure as the owner manuals calls out. As I have with all my motorcycles. This bike burns now 1 mL plus per mile. that is 600 mL per 600 miles. BMW says it can burn up to .5 L per 600 miles for road use or 1.5 L per 600 miles track use. What! and no BMW is not standing behind their product I have been getting the run around for a month now.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I do like the ride of the bike, everything about the ride is awesome. NO, I do not track the bike but I ride it everywhere I can within the Oil range. I think the suspension is great, I found I could get it set up very well for street use, I do not know about track use. I would say to me I love the bike, NOT the oil-burning, maybe if I owned stock in the oil company it might work ???? mmmm NO I don't think so.

Engine 1 out of 5

I can not say anything good here, but if you do not mind dropping 37K plus tax and fees, and seeing that smoke trail follow you all the way, or bug bombing the garage in the morning with a good dose of pure oil burned smoke, then this is the one for you. Oh, I should mention if you are burning oil, then gas is getting into the crankcase. This is not good, now your oil that is not burning yet can be less effective at keeping the motor lubed. And the oil is very dark and burnt black color. After about 50 miles. And yes I understand why the motor is different, But it was told to me or put in writing the motor of BMW's first M bike was going to burn up to .5 L per 600 miles road use or up to 1.5L per track use. I would have not bought it. But seeing how BMW did not provide that info or warning.

Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5

Only good if you are not planning on riding more than a few hundred miles. Or if you like to take oil with you on your ride.

Value vs rivals 1 out of 5

You will need to invest in oil and lots of it.

Equipment 5 out of 5

To me, I think what the bike comes with is awesome I can not say I dislike any of it. I have had 4 versions S 1000 rr and the M now and love them all I use them as cross country touring. Yep, I do it sports touring on a sports bike.

Buying experience: Awsome, SoSo Cycles in Concord CA these guys have always been great.

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