We all know about BMW M cars. They’re some of the most legendary sporting machines ever made, even if the modern stuff is, to put it kindly, polarizing. But most folks don’t know that there are now BMW M motorcycles. Three of them, actually. And the new BMW M 1000 XR is the latest one that blends super-sport and comfort on one tall bike.
It’s a slightly strange bike in that it has a stance almost like a BMW GS adventure bike but is a sport bike based around the S 1000 XR and S 1000 RR. It uses the 201-horsepower 14,600-rpm inline-four from the S 1000 RR, while its body and frame are closer to the S 1000 XR. BMW also shortened fourth, fifth, and sixth gear while also shortening overall gearing with a larger sprocket.
While its goal as an M bike is to be fast, it also has a few aerodynamic features that both improve performance and increase comfort. Winglets in the front side panels help sculpt air around the rider while adding around 26 pounds of downforce at 136 mph. There are also chassis tricks with remote-reservoir adaptive dampers, larger 12.6-inch brakes, and upside-down front forks all mounted to the bike’s aluminum bridge frame. If you opt for the M Competition package, carbon wheels replace the standard forged aluminum ones.
Finally, it has some serious electronic tricks, the coolest of which is Brake Slide Assist. If you’ve ever watched MotoGP, you’ll know that riders often back their bikes into corners using the rear brakes and gently sliding the bike. Much like the stability control systems in modern cars that can help folks hold a drift, the M XR has a similar system that helps you back the big bike into corners like a pro.
It’s a reasonably unhinged bike, to say the least. Much like modern M cars, it packs a lot of tech and horsepower into a big, heavy package. But unlike the cars, the M XR might be the thinking person’s BMW bike of choice.
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