M is the new R.

Motorcycle Manufacturers frequently apply letters to the end of a model name to indicate a bike’s performance. An ‘S’ or an ‘R’ typically positions a variant over the base model or last year’s model. Should the company improve upon the design further, they can easily slap an extra ‘S’ or ‘R’ onto the end, and voila, a new level of performance is born. We’ve seen such an approach with the 2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, but BMW chose to escalate matters with a different consonant by releasing M performance packages for the S 1000 RR.

Standing for motorsport, BMW’s M division specializes in high-performance automobile development and production. With a racing lineage dating back to the 1960s, Beemers donning the M-badge boast modified engines, transmissions, suspensions, and trims. For the S 1000 RR, the M division decided to trick out the company’s latest superbike with ultra-lightweight carbon fiber. Performance parts and components include a carbon fiber airbox cover, chain guard, front and rear fender, side panels, tank shell, and sprocket cover. 

Gallery: BMW S 1000 RR: M Performance Accessories

While the M performance packages for the S 1000 RR leans toward weight-savings, BMW realizes that rider comfort and adjustability also impact the performance of the machine. For that reason, the M line also features low, high, and sporty seat options. The customization doesn’t stop there, however, as adjustable footpegs, adjustable clutch & brake levers, and a handlebar clamp allows users to customize the ergonomics to their preferences.

The M team also developed a carbon fiber and forged aluminum wheelset to maximize the S 1000 RR’s acceleration, deceleration, handling, and suspension response. Overall, Beemer’s M performance parts outfit the S 1000 RR for the track by reducing the curb weight, personalizing the ergonomics, and refining the road manners of the superbike. 

Though BMW’s M division has been around for decades and the accessories offered for the S 1000 RR depart from the motorcycle industry’s naming conventions, we can’t ignore the fact that Yamaha decked out the R1 M in carbon fiber too. Maybe we’ll see other manufacturers begin to adopt the thirteenth letter for their model names, but for now, we’ll relish the novelty.