2023 BMW M 1000 RR - Review

Technical Review: Ben Purvis

Riding Review: Adam ‘Chad’ Child

UK Road & Track Review: Michael Mann


Price: £30,940 | Power: 209bhp | Weight: 193kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 5/5


We’re used to the mantra of ‘more power, less weight’ whenever a new range-topping superbike is launched but BMW has bucked that trend with the new generation of M 1000 RR by opting to increase performance through the pursuit of improved aerodynamics.

That means the new 2023 M 1000 RR and its even more extreme sibling, the new M 1000 RR M Competition, are substantially faster than the previous version both in a straight line due to reduced drag and in corners thanks to improved downforce despite no change to the 156kW (209bhp, 212PS) peak power or the 193kg curb weight (w/competition package 191.8kg). Top speed has increased from 306km/h (190mph) to 314km/h (195mph), while downforce has been upped throughout the speed range by nearly 40%. That means at 150km/h (93mph), there’s 5.7kg of front downforce from the winglets, up from 4.1kg on the previous model, and by the time you reach 300km/h (186mph) there’s 22.6kg of downforce where the old version managed 16.3kg.

The combination of more downforce with less drag is something of a holy grail in aerodynamics, and BMW has achieved it through a range of measures. The drag reduction is thanks to a new fairing, still made of carbon fibre, that creates better airflow around the rider with a taller screen and a more bubble-shaped nose, a redesigned tail, new side panels and front brake cooling ducts integrated into a new front mudguard. On the M 1000 RR M Competition, you also get aero wheel covers below those ducts to cut drag even more.


Pros & Cons
  • As a homologation bike, the improved downforce and reduced drag will be invaluable to racers and BMW’s WSBK effort
  • BMW promises that the aero changes will also boost rider comfort
  • Few bikes have such extreme, race-bred looks
  • Increased top speed is actually needed at Mugello!
  • Larger bodywork is easier to get tucked in behind
  • Huge wings produce incredible stability at high speed
  • The new fairing isn’t as chiselled as the old one, sacrificing style on the altar of efficiency
  • The additional M Competition package (as tested) is additional £5100
  • Everyone will be expecting some fast lap times...
  • No new steering head angle sensor like the 2023 S 1000 RR, therefore no Slide Control
  • Manually-adjustable suspension is harder to set up than the active units on the S 1000 RR


BMW M 1000 RR (2023) Price

How much is the 2023 BMW M 1000 RR? £30,940

The 2023 BMW M 1000 RR price will start from £30,940, which equates to a small increase from the previous model's £30,640. We got the opportunity to ride the more race-oriented M Competition model, which adds another £5100. But this does include the M milled parts and M Carbon package.

When it comes to colour options, you’re stuck with what you get on the M 1000 RR, which comes only in ‘Lightweight non-metallic’, while the M Competition version is finished in ‘Blackstorm metallic’. In the flesh the Blackstorm looks menacing and bold, and makes the new M one of the most angry-looking bikes on the road. (Yes, this crazy motorcycle is road legal).


BMW M 1000 RR (2023) Power and torque

As we’ve mentioned, there’s no change to the M 1000 RR’s engine for 2023 despite the radical new look, but to be fair you’re unlikely to be clamouring for more power when there’s already 156kW (209bhp, 212PS) on tap at a screaming 14,500rpm. The high-revving nature of the engine is also reflected in the peak torque, 113Nm (83.3lb-ft), which doesn’t arrive until 11,000rpm.

Looking at the M 1000 RR’s power graph reveals that the engine isn’t limp at low revs. It essentially overlays the S 1000 RR’s curve, but where the cheaper bike peaks at 13,750rpm the M 1000 RR just keeps go. The torque graph reveals that the M-bike has less grunt than the S-version below around 5500rpm, but from there on it punches harder.

This test was conducted during a three-day, track-only fast riding course at the Mugello MotoGP circuit with World Superbike champ, Troy Corser’s ‘Riding School Europe’ in partnership with BMW. The only time the M 1000 RR dropped below 5500rpm was when entering or leaving the pits. This was a pure track test of BMW’s homologation special at one of the fastest tracks in Europe.



BMW M 1000 RR (2023) Engine, gearbox, and exhaust

Unchanged doesn’t mean outdated, and the M 1000 RR’s engine is still absolutely at the cutting edge of production bike technology. No other inline four-cylinder superbike (apart from the S 1000 RR that the M RR is based on) has the same ShiftCam variable valve timing and lift system, which switches between cam profiles depending on revs and requirements, and the rest of the spec reads like a pure race bike.

Titanium valves, titanium con rods (longer and lighter than the S 1000 RR’s), CNC machined intake ports, 2-ring forged pistons – the deeper you dig into the bike’s details, the clearer it becomes where the money has gone. Compared to the S 1000 RR, the intake has shorter funnel to push the performance bias towards higher revs (the redline isn’t until 15,100rpm) and in the pursuit of weight reduction the entire exhaust system is titanium, including the manifold and the silencers.

BMW has left the inline 999cc ShiftCam motor alone as 156Kw / 209bhp should be plenty for most fast-group hotshots. Thankfully we had the perfect conditions to test the M 1000 RR and, in the glorious form of frighteningly quick Mugello, the perfect track too. The Italian circuit holds the record for the highest top speed ever recorded in MotoGP, with Brad Binder's KTM this summer (2023) hitting 366.1 km/h on the home so-called straight.

The inline-four loves to rev, and before heading to the track for the first time, I’m told by the Racing School Europe instructor and former WSBK champion, Troy Corser, to make use of all the revs. The M 1000 RR makes peak power at 14,500rpm, which is 750rpm higher than the standard S 1000 RR, and revs onwards to just past 15,000rpm.

According to the experts, it’s preferable to take the final turn at Mugello in second gear: to go deep, then cut back, pick the bike up and get on the power early. Then it's simply a matter of holding the throttle wide open and tap through the gears on the (effortless) quick-shifter. Yes, 'tap' because the shifter on our test bike was configurated in a reverse, race pattern for the school, but works both ways, of course.

At which point the M becomes fast. Fast in a sense that's hard to explain. Over the infamous crest at the end of that start and finish straight (only the first half is straight), the bike's digital speedo passes 300 km/h each lap. In fact, so long as I get a half-decent drive out of the final turn and then stay tucked, it’s a relatively easy to reach that speed. No gritted teeth. No biting of screen. You don't have to try.

I was so focused on trying to pick up my braking marker that I only discovered this fact later while reviewing my GoPro footage. On some laps, the M hit over 305 km/h before I clung onto the stoppers. What’s more, the bike (road-legal, remember) was still accelerating and, with the tacho showing 14,000rpm (ish) was still to reach peak power, let alone the limiter at 15,100rpm. BMW claims the M's top speed has increased from 2022 due to the improved aero package, and I’m sure it will hit the factory's claimed 314km/h with relative ease.

For comparison, I jumped on a S 1000 RR that was parked in the Mugello paddock and performed the same test. Yes, the S 1000 RR is a blisteringly quick superbike capable of racetrack feats beyond all but the very best, but the M was noticeably quicker and higher revving.  Despite all my efforts and, this time, seriously gritted teeth, I never got the S 1000 RR to reach the magic 300km/h at the end of the Mugello straight.

It's not all about the bragging rights at the end of the straights, either, as the over-rev of the M comes into play between corners. In fact, the way the M accelerates between Mugello's chicanes is pure race bike. You can feel the electronic rider aids working overtime, balancing low, hovering wheelies with breath-taking acceleration. On paper the BMW may lack a few horses compared to such as Ducati’s V4 R, but the Beemer doesn’t exactly feel lacking in any way.



BMW M 1000 RR (2023) Handling, suspension, and weight

Once again, the changes to the chassis are minimal. The 2023 M 1000 RR weighs the same 192kg (wet, including a full tank of fuel) as its predecessor, and the frame and suspension are largely unaltered.

That means an aluminium ‘bridge’ frame that uses the engine as a structural member, with carefully tailored flex in the chassis to improve handling and grip. A set of 45mm USD forks, fully adjustable for preload, compression and rebound, are accompanied by a matching monoshock, with a similar scope for tuning.

Notable ‘M’ include the carbon-fibre wheels, which are redesigned with a new surface finish for 2023, although you can specify forged alloy wheels as an option if you prefer.

As well as reducing the bike’s tendency to wheelie, BMW promises that the increased front downforce from the redesigned bodywork and winglets will also add cornering grip, allowing greater lean angles or more speed in corners and giving more confidence to the rider in the process.

Not only did we have sublime Mugello asphalt as our playground, but also perfect conditions and sticky pre-heated Bridgestone slick rubber.

As a homologation special, the M lacks the DDC semi-active suspension found on S 1000 RR, so we had to spend a little time tweaking the set-up to match the track and tyres. Once done, with help from the Racing School Europe and Troy Corser, I had the opportunity to push the limits in safety over the three days of intensive testing.

Just when I thought I’d set a decent lap time and was on the edge of my ability the M would allow me to push that little bit more and improve my lap times further. The race dash not only shows brake pressure and DTC but also lean angle. This data is live while riding but it’s safer and easier to check once back in the pits. My bike's data revealed that it was regularly achieving 56 to 58 degrees of lean angle. Even at these high levels of lean, the M felt planted and sure-footed and it's worth noting that Corser was achieving a lean angle of over 60 degrees on the same bike.

For a large, angry-looking bike the M loves to carry lots of calm and composed corner speed. The combination of chassis, suspension and new aero package gives you the confidence to seriously attack corners. I’m pleased we had three days to test the new M as on the second and even third day the M was still taking me by surprise as it ran ever faster into the apex. At what I would consider to be extreme lean angles it felt solid and controlled, still not on the limit even when elbow sliders started scraping. Fun fact for you: at the North West 200 road races this year, Alastair Seeley actually touched his M's wings down!

At the end of day one I’d set a decent fast lap, but Corser gave me some pointers about how late I could brake deep into the turn, and when I should be getting on the power. I didn’t think it would be possible to cut my lap times, but the M proved to be the perfect partner. On day three it was comical how late I could brake, and how much brake pressure I could carry to the apex, and then how early I could start to accelerate. It's been said before but track riding the M truly is like a video game; the rider aids working overtime in the background allowing you to focus on the correct line and reference points around the track.

Again, for reference, I jumped on the standard and brilliant S 1000 RR for a few fast laps, and immediately realised how much quicker the M steered, and simply how much easier it was to ride. The M is lighter – 192kg against 197kg – while its carbon wheels help significantly reduce unsprung weight and steering inertia. What was really surprising, though, was the difference between the aero packages of the two bikes. The M's larger screen and wider carbon bodywork are easier to get in behind and make 300 km/h feel more like 200 km/h. It also took more physical effort to hold on when riding the S 1000 RR, and I assume this difference would be felt more by larger riders.

The M winglets not only look awesome but according to BMW have significantly improved aerodynamic downforce. At 150 km/h they produce 1.6kg more downforce than the 2022 M 1000RR, 2.8kg at 200 km/h, and 4.3kg more at 250 km/h. At 300km/h, which was hit almost every lap, the new M produces 22.6kg of downforce, 6.3kg more than before.

It’s hard to test or prove how much the wings improve the riding experience or cut lap times but at Mugello, with its notorious rise in the track at the end of the straight, the M was utterly planted at 300 km/h. So planted, solid, stable and predictable, in fact, that I could in theory have taken one hand off the bars to take a selfie had there not been some near-panic braking to be done.

But while the M has one of the best front ends I’ve ever tested I'm unsure how much of this is down to the wings or the forks or the chassis (notably, my bike used the same front Bridgestone slick over three days and it wore smoothly and perfectly).

Race teams however do have data to show how much the wings are working. Isle of Man TT winner Peter Hickman, who rides for FHO Racing BMW Motorrad Team, said, “We can see the wings working on the data. At the North West 200, the first time the new bike was above 200mph we could see the forks dropping. The bike was 5mm lower in the front than the previous year on the same settings. We had to adjust the front to compensate. We can feel and see the difference in the ‘23 bike as it’s easier to turn in BSB the wings certainly help.”


2023 BMW M1000RR Review Price Spec_03


BMW M 1000 RR (2023) Comfort and economy

Comfort isn’t normally a top priority when it comes to homologation-special race-bikes-for-the-road, but the new M 1000 RR’s taller screen and more protective front fairing promises to make the 2023 bike a less demanding ride than its predecessor. BMW says that the improved airflow offers a ‘noticeable physical relief’ to the rider.

The bike’s rear end and seat are also improved, with redesigned contours for the seat pad to increase the contact area with the rider when you’re hanging off, again reducing fatigue and – according to BMW – improving feedback. A modified wiring harness means the number plate bracket and rear lights can be more easily removed and reconnected.

Economy probably isn’t a priority for the M 1000 RR’s customers, but despite its race-tuned engine the bike’s fuel consumption isn’t far removed from the S 1000 RR’s. At 43.5mpg, it’s less than 1mpg shy of the 2023 S 1000 RR, but the better aero doesn’t appear to have made any difference here as the previous M 1000 RR achieved an identical number. With a 16.5 litre tank, that means a max range of 157 miles between fill-ups.

As mentioned, this was a track-only test at Mugello, but the ease of use and excellent ergonomics and wind protection felt on track at 300kph should be beneficial to road riders too (especially so on the limit-free stretches of the German autobahn).

The sizable bodywork and tall screen give your upper body an easier workout, plus once you get tucked in, chin on the tank, the new bike is much roomier – though I am only 5’6-and-a-bit”. The aero package is excellent; you can get really tucked in, away from almost all the wind and fatiguing turbulence.

Despite its ferocious power and speed, the M is focused on making life as easy and stress-free for the rider as possible. Lightness, protective bodywork and superlative electronic rider aids make a difference on track – even when pushing for lap times in 30-degree-plus heat I didn’t feel tired – and the same should be true for the road.


BMW M 1000 RR (2023) Brakes

As with the other mechanical bits of the M 1000 RR, the brake discs and calipers are the same as the previous version – with 320mm discs at the front, held by radial four-pot calipers – but the new brake ducts integrated into the front mudguard should improve their cooling while honing the bike’s aerodynamics.  BMW says that they reduce temperatures of the brakes by up to 10 degrees Celsius in extreme, racetrack use, helping give a more consistent performance.

Mugello is very hard on the brakes: slowing from 300km/h in sixth gear to a second gear hairpin is a big ask lap after lap, but the M-stoppers showed no indication of fade and performed the same lap after lap. This perfectly consistent braking allows you to push your brake marker back with confidence. The new brake ducts may have helped with this consistency and certainly look very cool.



BMW M 1000 RR (2023) Rider aids, extra equipment, and accessories

When it comes to rider aids, if you can imagine it, then the M 1000 RR has probably got it. There are riding modes – Rain, Road, Dynamic, Race and three ‘Race Pro’ settings – as well as cornering traction control, wheelie control, adjustable throttle characteristics, three engine brake settings, an up/down quickshifter that can be reversed for track use, launch control, a pit lane limiter, and hill start assist. You also get a datalogger and lap timer in the 6.5in TFT dash, as well as a USB socket in the rear, LED lights and – slightly incongruously – heated grips and cruise control.

When it comes to optional extras, the list is vast. The ‘M Competition Package’ that’s fitted to the M 1000 RR M Competition adds an ‘M milled parts’ pack, ‘M carbon’ pack and a 220g lighter swingarm, as well as the aero front wheel covers, a DLC-coated M Endurance chain and a pillion seat hump cover.

Since many of the M 1000 RRs are likely to be bought by race teams wanting to use the bike as it is truly intended, other options include track-only ‘Kit’ motors in a variety of states of tune, Superstock and Superbike racing electronics kits, a race exhaust, a race body and race tank and seat.

Other options range from footrests to lever protectors, tank pads to tinted screens, even a battery charger and a protective screen cover for the TFT dash.

Our test bike was fitted with the optional M Competition package. The quality of finish on the new M is of the highest standards, and I love the new look of the carbon wheels and the carbon bodywork, and the trick front carbon front end. The mudguard, which is integrated into the brake ducts and M aero wheel cover, had onlookers flocking to the full factory-looking M.

The new M 1000 RR does not come equipped with the steering sensor that measures how much you turn into a slide, which was introduced on the S 1000 RR launch in Almeria earlier this year. To be honest I couldn't get the system to activate on the launch of the S 1000 RR, so it wasn’t missed in Mugello on the M. I simply don’t have the skill to reduce the traction control enough to allow a grippy rear Bridgestone slick to spin and slide. I could feel it working a little on the brakes as the S 1000 RR backed in at its press launch in Almeria, but again it wasn’t really missed at the high-speed Mugello in perfect conditions.

It seems slightly unusual to have even more electronic tech on the S 1000 RR than the M 1000 RR. And while the extra goodies of the S weren't missed by me in Mugello, some riders, especially those who can power slide, might feel slightly short changed.



BMW M 1000 RR (2023) Rivals

In the rarefied class that the M 1000 RR inhabits, its rivals are the same bikes that it faces on the track in WSB competition – the homologation specials intended to be the perfect canvas for racing improvements while slotting in below the price limit enforced by the FIM.

None are cheap, and all will impress when it comes to their performance and handling – and if past experience is anything to go by, in the long-term homologation bikes have proved to be a better investment than their cheaper, more road-oriented siblings.


Ducati Panigale V4R

Honda CBR1000RR-R SP

Kawasaki ZX-10RR

Yamaha R1M


998cc V4

999.9cc inline four

998cc inline four

998cc inline four


214.9bhp (160.4kW)

@ 15,500rpm

214.4bhp (160kW)

@ 14,500rpm

201bhp (150kW)

@ 14,000rpm

211.1bhp (157.5kW) with ram air

197.1bhp (147.1kW)

@ 13,500rpm


82.1ftlb (111.3Nm)

@ 12,000rpm

83.3ftlb (113Nm) @ 12,500rpm

82.5ftlb (111.8Nm)

@ 11,700rpm

83.6ftlb (113.3Nm)

@ 11,500rpm


193.5kg (wet)

201.3kg (wet)

207kg (wet)

202kg (wet)

Seat Height











2023 BMW M1000RR Review Price Spec_115


BMW M 1000 RR (2023) Verdict

I’ve ridden Mugello many times before, it’s one of my favourite tracks, but I don’t think I’ve ever lapped so quickly and with such ease. I recently described the base-model S 1000 RR as so good, so rewarding and easy to ride, that it feels like a PlayStation game (albeit one that hurts should you get it completely wrong). The new 23 M is even better: a thoroughly interactive, faster, more thrilling experience. One that genuinely goes as fast as it looks.

It hit 300 km/h every lap. It has such solid stability it should have the wheelbase of an ocean liner yet stops and turns like a supersport middleweight. It carries corner speed like an old 250 Grand Prix lightweight and I can’t remember the last time I rode a bike so hard and fast without having to push myself beyond my personal limit. It was all so easy. Even at high speeds, when the wind blast should be tearing at your leathers, the bodywork allows you to get tucked away like the very best TT bike.

The feedback from the chassis and suspension allows you to push the handling towards the limits and do with margin and in relative safety. It’s truly amazing what you can get away with, how late you can brake, how hard you can lean. I just about ran out of superlatives for the standard S 1000 RR and now the M 1000 RR has emptied my head completely.

How will Beemer compare to the competition? The biggest and most obvious rival is Ducati’s homologated Panigale V4 R, which I rode a few weeks before the BMW at Misano. On paper the Ducati has more power and revs higher, but has slightly less torque. They both weigh around the same and have similar electronics and some might argue the Ducati is more desirable. But the Beemer is racy and aggressive and while the Ducati is undeniably cleaning up in WSBK, but the Beemer won at the Isle of Man. I think the M might be easier to ride. Lap times will be close and, hopefully, I can bring you this test shortly to show who is the king of the track. Please Mr Bennetts…


2023 BMW M 1000 RR on road and track in the UK
BikeSocial’s Michael Mann rides to Donington for a track day, see how a £36k road bike performs on the track, or is it the other way around?



By Michael Mann


You might be thinking I’m one jammy b*stard. Please understand that I feel just the same. I understand because when Chad called earlier in the summer saying he’d been invited to ride the M 1000 RR at Mugello for three days under Troy Corser’s jurisdiction, I nearly choked on my biscuit healthy snack, and put the ‘phone down. Talk about all your Christmases coming at once.

Fast forward three months and I got to show my own dollop of smugness when borrowing the UK press bike for a road trip to, around, and home again from Donington Park to correspond with the final Bennetts Track Day of 2023, one of the six we run exclusively for BikeSocial members. Look out for more in 2024…

So, despite the 209bhp, aerodynamic wings, Race Pro modes, TT lap record, etc., the M 1000 RR doubles up as a road bike too, so away from Mugello and Donington, how does it stack up on the UK roads?

I’d used this £36k piece of street ammo for a few office commutes (jeans and jacket, 12-miles each way) before setting off on the 70-mile round trip to the East Midlands circuit just after 6am one Wednesday morning, all togged up in my one-piece leathers with a tank bag strapped to the non-existent pillion seat. And while the German marque didn’t have ‘commuting’ high on the list of objectives when developing the bike, it handles the mission just as well as any other sports bike from the last decade, if not better, given its rider-aid arsenal such as hill hold control, cruise control and heated grips. BMW’s RR range has long been the roomiest for its jockey particularly with space to move back and forth in the saddle and a feeling of sitting ‘in’ the bike. At 6ft tall (183cm) and a shade over 14 stones (91kg) with a 33” inside leg (and 43 years old), arguably my dimensions aren’t athletic enough to make the most out of the BMW on track but on the road, it makes no odds, though I feared the worse when I first swung a leg over – the rear shock barely budges and the seat is hard as a piece of 2 x 4.

The first push of the ignition switch results in a more aggressive noise than you might expect, as the electronics allow the bike to rev slightly higher than idle to get the lubricants warmed up slightly faster, give it a minute and it dials itself down again and you’re good to get that inline-four with its ShiftCam cleverness on the move.

The TFT dash will be familiar to RR owners, and operationally it’s particularly easy to navigate with the same switchgear and tracker wheel layout from the last few iterations of S 1000 RR, and among the options is the layout of the display which, with just a flick of a couple of buttons, can be swapped from a more road layout and a track-oriented version focussing on the higher ¾ of the rev range along with lap times and lean angles. But before all that, I had to get to Donington Park, so with heated grips set to number 2 of 3, off I trundled at 6.15am. It’s not a V4, so the neighbours had less to complain about, and the BMW’s behaviour on the stretch of 30mph and 40-limited roads out of town is somewhat surprisingly compliant. It’s not the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been, and the smooth nature of both throttle and gearbox allows for a clean junction getaway and speed builds up into a cruise. You wouldn’t think you were on a thoroughbred sportsbike capable of ludicrous speeds at the other end of its performance spectrum. An extravagant commuter of the most extreme levels though not as pointless as a road bike as some might say. After all, those rider aids serve a welcome purpose.

Bumps and lumps in the road surface are highlighted by the ridged chassis and stiff suspension set-up though sit back in the saddle and using the throttle effectively can make the imperfections a little more bearable. Or simply trust in the bike’s agility and swerve them - it all adds to the entertainment of taking the Starship Enterprise on a conventional A-road.

Ordinarily a bike’s fuel light will turn itself on when a tank has 20/30-miles of range remaining but not BMW – the much less subtle in-your-face alert covers the entire screen. On this occasion, with only road miles covered, at that stage I’d reached 109 miles covered with a further 30 indicated, equating to an approximate 45mpg.

The bike is sublimely balanced with its racy set-up and Michelin Power Cup 2 rubber making is oh so tempting to test the power, braking, and cornering ability, all of which is supported by that raft of electronics to keep you relatively safe and secure. And while the wings stick out making that front-on view look like a moustached robot, it’s appearance as a road bike is less daft than the supercars of Arabia lapping Knightsbridge each August. The BMW certainly draws attention from those that know, and for me that’s why I’d want to own it – for the wow factor, the drama, the conversation starting. The aero appendages add to the styling of course, and while they’re irrelevant for road handling, they add noticeable stability on the track.

Dynamic from the moment you apply even 1% throttle, the M RR is as keen as gun dog eager to chase that dummy and please its owner, it never feels unwieldy. Quite the opposite, graceful even.

With the enhanced fairing comes retained heat, and that has to escape somewhere. Not a problem on track but ride the RR on the roads and I certainly noticed a warm left knee when riding slowly, in traffic or when stationary at the lights, for example.

Also worthy of note are the mirrors which are easy to adjust and have a nice, wide field of vision anywhere from stationary up to 40mph but above that and it all gets a bit vibey and blurry. The brakes are stunningly sharp, though the rear brake lever is well tucked away and when pressed can take some of the efficiency away from the front brake lever. The quick shift is just that: quick. It takes the mildest, gentlest, faintest touch to slot up or down, and, unlike so many others, you don’t need to be on the gas to change up, or indeed off the throttle to change down. It’s a superb system and probably the best I’ve ever used.



And then to the track.

Chad’s already provided an excellent overview of what the BMW is like at speed, and all I can really do is echo those thoughts following my 5 ½ sessions around Donington Park’s GP circuit. On arrival, all I needed to do is flick the riding mode into Race Pro 1, drop 8psi from each tyre down to 32/30, and ask our on-site mechanic to help invert the gear selector making it into raceshift. I don’t own tyre warmers and had no way of transporting them either, so a steady warm-up lap at the beginning of each session was all it took to get the Michelin’s up to (my operating) temperature. That said, while the bike is way more capable than my ability – but it does allow you to be really aggressive with the throttle, brakes and lean angle, flattering any non-racer. I wish I had the balls/time to keep pushing that brake point later, or accelerating harder/earlier, or lean that bit further… but this is a £36k press bike and I’ve got the company logo all over my helmet and leathers.

An 8psi drop didn’t turn out to be enough though, with a degree of tearing and slight movement especially coming out of the fast right-hander called Coppice and accelerating at lean onto the back straight. 4 less psi out of both front and rear turned out to be ideal and was joined by +2 (of 7) on the traction control settings for some control.

Again, the poise and precision of the bike under hard braking or acceleration, alongside the stability over the small crest on the back straight, and accuracy when pointing to an apex all come with a 10/10 score. Do bear in mind that as a road bike it has plenty of extra weight on board vs a race bike, with lights, mirrors, side stand, reg plate holder, cables etc. so we can only imagine what the superbike version would be like to ride back-to-back with this one. Unsurprisingly it’s certainly not slow, it pummels its way to the peak power figure at 14,500rpm and I’d noted Chad’s comments about using the rev range as opposed to the gears, so judged my use of the gearbox accordingly. 1st gear for the two hairpins isn’t my usual selection, for example but in the BMW electronics I trusted. So pulling hard on the throttle out of each corner and leaving the bike to make its adjustments meant I could simply hold on and grin. Much like the remaining 90% of the lap… I really enjoyed doing my best with the RR. I tried hard but I could feel it saying, “Come on Mann, is that all you’ve got?”.

As a track bike, it’s extraordinary machine that’ll flatter the majority, but it’ll be an expensive one if you go cartwheeling down Craner Curves. Ferociously fast with so much attention-seeking levels of acceleration to boot. It loves the high revs but isn’t stunted down low courtesy of the ShiftCam engine technology, and it has so much poise and grace under hard braking, quick downshifts and when thrown into a corner; it’s calm, composed and controlled, and a hella entertaining to ride.

As a road bike, it’s more comfortable than many others in its class, and still has the mod cons for a cozier ride; heated grips, cruise control to name but two. Neither the performance nor aerodynamics will be tested to anywhere near their capabilities on the road, but they do add to the attraction and bragging rights of the M double R. The downside is, with the level of world production bike racing pushing the boundaries higher and higher, there’s every chance a new version will come along in a couple of years’ time. But for now, us mere mortals can continue to dream about owning one.



The £70k BMW M 1000 RR: track use only

But when the official BMW options for your £36k sportsbike aren’t enough to satisfy your track ambitions, be like Dave. Mr Godber is a BikeSocial member. He’s also a track day addict and his quest for the ultimate track bike is the reason why a £70k hole appeared in his bank account recently. He took the 2023 M 1000 RR as a donner bike to Peter Hickman’s PHR Performance business in Louth and asked them for bling. I don’t expect those were his exact words, but the TT champ and his squad duly obliged.

Dave says, “Over the last five months we’ve been working to build me what I wanted as the ultimate track bike. I started riding on track three years ago, I thoroughly enjoy it, as do a number of people who enjoy this hobby, and I just wanted to build something that really was the best motorcycle I could possibly buy. So I took an M 1000 RR and worked with the team at PHR and with Ohlins, Brembo, Bonamici, Alpha Racing, Evotech and a few other key suppliers, as well as PHR’s own team, and we’ve built this.

“I’ve spent my career in automotive engineering, I really love design, I love engineering, I’m passionate about low mass and reducing weight as well as the power and torque being nice and linear. So we really went to work on this bike; to start with we looked at the chassis and suspension, so Öhlins FGR250 front end, it’s got Moto2 wet callipers, Alpha discs - it really stops, it really turns and it really performs.

“It’s basically a race bike, and this is how far we’ve come so far and there’s still a little more to come: electronics, MRCK to go on the front, race loom and ECU, swingarm pivot on the rear, rad, and probably a little bit of modification just to tune it in to me and what I need to ride.

“As far as I’m concerned, motorcycles like this are to be ridden. They work better when they’re worked hard. I just want to go an enjoy it, I’m not worried about it, I’m a fairly cautious and safe rider, I’m passionate about getting coached and training and learning about how to ride motorcycles. I’m not just hooning around at warp factor 12. But certainly, the bike is far better than I am but actually that’s the point, because actually now it’s about me dialling into it and me learning how to ride this particular version of this rather fantastic motorcycle.

“With the donner bike and all the components, and labour and work that’s gone into, it’s standing at about £70,000 at the moment. There’s probably another £15-18,000 to spend on it including the swingarm, the rad kit, the MRCK Pro and so on, so it’ll be about £85-90 by the time it’s finished. It’s the ultimate track bike. It’s been a fantastic project; the team has been amazing to work with. It is a one-off because it’s the only bike with this specification, but certainly PHR are certainly keen to build more of them for customers in the future, so this is almost a prototype as it stands at the moment.

“Essentially, other than running it in, you’ve got to do your first 500-miles around the M25 as a road bike, before its first service. Then I handed it off to PHR. The ECU has been mapped, it’s a custom map in there and when we first had it on the dyno it was still a little tight because it was still a very new engine. It was putting out 200(bhp), then we had it back on the dyno on Monday after we’d done another 300-400 miles on it, and with RAM air it’s currently at 223(bhp) at the back wheel, so absolutely plenty for any mortal human being for track day fun, but there are more things you can do – you can increase compression, change the gasket, you can do some work on the cam lobes, but ultimately when is enough, enough? It’s really about the rider. They’re so fast in a straight line but really it’s about cornering stability, it’s about suspension and it’s about the chassis underneath.”


2023 BMW M1000RR Review Price Spec_14


BMW M 1000 RR (2023) - Technical Specification

New price




Bore x Stroke

80x49.7 mm

Engine layout

Inline four cylinder

Engine details

Water cooled, DOHC, ShiftCam, 16-valve


156kW/ 209bhp @ 14,500rpm


113Nm / 83.3ft lbs @ 11,000rpm

Top speed



6-speed manual, up/down quickshifter

Average fuel consumption

Claimed: 43.5mpg / 6.5l/100km

Tank size


Max range to empty

Claimed: 157 miles

Rider aids

4 riding modes, 3 programmable riding modes, traction control, ABS, 6-axis IMU, wheelie control, launch control, pit lane limiter, quickshifter (up/down), cruise control, engine brake control (three modes)


Cast aluminium ‘bridge’ frame

Front suspension

Marzocchi 45mm USD forks

Front suspension adjustment

Adjustable rebound, compression and preload

Rear suspension

Marzocchi monoshock

Rear suspension adjustment

Adjustable rebound, compression and preload

Front brake

‘M’ double disc brake, 320mm, radial four-piston calipers

Rear brake

Single disc brake, 220mm, two-piston caliper

Front wheel / tyre

Carbon-fibre wheel, 120/70-ZR17 tyre

Rear wheel / tyre

Carbon-fibre wheel, 200/55-ZR17 tyre


2073mm (l) x 848mm (w)



Seat height



192kg (wet)

MCIA Secured rating



Three years




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What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.