Snag has his mind blown by the bar-lifting, game-changing BMW M 1000 R.

What we like:

  • Game-changing handling
  • Sexy as hell
  • Faaaaaast

Room for improvement:

  • Takes commitment to push hard
  • Seating position a little tight
  • Price may deter some
2023 BMW M 1000 R INFO MOTO
Photo: Jack Lytras, Ruthless Visuals

Now settle in for a minute, because this is a bike that changed me. In more ways than one. A new set of limits, a new level of performance. But it took experiencing it properly. It was not instant. How so?

Well, it all started when I read the specs sheet for the bike. First up, you’ll pay $34,715 to get one of these at your joint.

Now, to the stuff that matters. Hmmm. 154kW (210hp in the old money). 199kg wet. 0-200km/h in seven seconds. Yep, let those figures simmer for a moment.

2023 BMW M 1000 R INFO MOTO

Well, that’s what I did. And, I thought, ‘that’s flippin’ ridiculous. How the hell will that sort of performance sheet equate in the real world?’

And, on paper, you’d say the same thing. How can all that power be put on the blacktop, and just as importantly, stopped? Tram tracks, wet roads, lunatics in cars; I thought we may just have been dealing with too much. Way too much.

Yep, I was dubious.

Then it arrived at Snag Palace, with changing my mind occupying its evil thoughts. Or not caring a damn. I don’t know. It was at my home. In its wonderful, blinged-up coat of BMW traditional red and blue armour.

2023 BMW M 1000 R INFO MOTO

It was like a 12 month-old rottweiler. I’m certain it lifted a lip and snarled on initial approach. Knowing all about its spec sheet, I approached it. Eye contact. RESPECT.

And, that feeling started. Because it is outrageously, ostentatiously, grandly, wondrously, aggressively-styled. In the best way. Corners, edges, that M badging, the Akrapovic tinware… It was a first kiss moment and I knew something special was brewing. And I hadn’t yet tossed a leg over it!

2023 BMW M 1000 R INFO MOTO

So, let’s stop with the effusive blubbery and fire the beastie up. Get ready. We are about to blast off on the very best motorcycle I have ever ridden. Yep. Done, dusted. It’s a game-changer. Sorry, more flowery ebullience, but I bloody-well can’t help it, alright?

Powering all this perfection is the same 999cc, four-cylinder, latitudinal engine we find in the brand’s all-conquering S 1000 RR. Yep, the same, full-power uncompromising powerplant found fitted to the flagship sporty of the Bavarian fleet. It uses BMW’s Shiftcam technology, which in simple terms, delivers an increase in torque in the lower to medium rev range, while simultaneously presenting a gain in peak power delivery.

Yes, it slingshots you from 0 to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds. That’s roughly the same time as a Formula 1 car. Again, digest that.

Power starts on a friendly basis and builds to a visor melting, surrealist painting all the way to the 14,600rpm redline. Trust me, you go backwards in time when you really let take this thing anywhere near its optimum performance. I don’t have words to describe how fast this bike is. It just… is.

2023 BMW M 1000 R INFO MOTO

Now, this is the area that I worried about. How the flying ferk was BMW going to be able to deliver a package, for the average experienced rider, to deal with all that. Well, it’s in the incredible electronic-suite that handles just about everything for you. Power delivery is assessed on a nanosecond incremental basis to give you everything it can with complete confidence, traction control talks to those parameters to optimise grip, with Rain, Road, Dynamic, Race and Race Pro riding modes available.

Here’s the tech: Those five different riding modes – Rain, Road, Dynamic, and Race, plus Race Pro which also gets three levels of throttle response and engine braking options. These, combined with a six-axis IMU control the suite of rider aids, most of which are switchable: Cornering ABS Pro, multi-stage DTC, engine braking adjustment, anti-wheelie, hill start assistance, launch control, cruise control, a lap timer, three-stage heated grips, a pit lane speed limiter, engine braking torque control (MSR), and the Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), which offers additional assistance during emergency braking.

2023 BMW M 1000 R INFO MOTO

Suspension is a fully adjustable Marzocchi arrangement, including a blacked out 45mm upside-down fork a rear monoshock on both of which electronic Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) is standard, linked to the bike’s riding modes.

Got all that? If so, can you explain it to me?

Good news here is that you get all that mumbo in a much more rideable and user-friendly roadster set-up.

2023 BMW M 1000 R INFO MOTO

My old bones appreciated that, but it’s not all business class comfy. You still bung a bit of weight on the wrists and there is a definite bias towards the front wheel when it comes to rider weight distribution. It’s much better than the S 1000 RR stance, but if you have all that power and sports prowess, well they ain’t gonna have you in an armchair. A good comfort/sports compromise here.

The gearbox with its up/down quickshifter (dubbed Shift assistance Pro) is just spot-on. If there is a better action on a production bike, buy it. It’s an engineering marvel and a tactile delight. Incidentally, compared with the RR there is 47 instead of 46 teeth on the rear sprocket and a shorter gear ratio in fourth, fifth and sixth gear – read as, ‘better for roadgoing shenanigans’.

BMW M 1000 R review

All that power needs brakes that are sophisticated and competent. Top marks here. You get Nissin monoblock fixed radial brake calipers anodised in blue with the “M” (Motorsport) logo neatly on show, grabbing 320mm floating front discs, with a single-piston floating rear caliper on a 220mm rear disc.

Now to those M winglets. The science suggests they generate aerodynamic downforce. At a speed of 220km/h, they increase the front-wheel load by 11kg. Now, that’s probably right, but for the sake of real world operation, they are pretty well simple decoration and that’s about it. If, however, (yuk, yuk) you are a track day bandit and you are finding your front downforce a tad lacking at 220km/h, well good for you. This is your answer. Well, for your riding needs that is, sadly not your wanker-status.

Whatever, I reckon they look grouse and I applaud BMW for the boldness.

2023 BMW M 1000 R INFO MOTO

The cockpit is comfortable and finished beautifully. Peg-to-seat reach is good to very good, bar placement low but comfortably so. Ergonomics are great given the sort of sports operations that this thing will definitely have thrown its way.

For the theatre-goers amongst us, the 6.5-inch TFT display welcomes you with M start-up animation. One of four screen variants appears automatically after having started up. Gee-whiz!

The widened tubular handlebars give off a streetfighter feel and come complete with very tidy, lasered “BMW M 1000 R” lettering.

2023 BMW M 1000 R INFO MOTO

Toss in the sexy bar-end mirrors and it’s all a bit special at the helm.

Of course, there’s a big catalogue of even sexier gear available for the M 1000 R. I suggest you bring your cheque book though. The gear is promo kit, but BMW doesn’t miss you on pricing of extras.

2023 BMW M 1000 R review

So… This is the most complete bike I have ever ridden. Massive call and I’m well aware of the gravity of such a bold statement.

The chassis, steering, power, brakes and ergos come together to create something special indeed. Everything is working for the rider and that’s rare stuff. It’s a masterpiece of engineering, design and operation. Yep, I absolutely love this bike.

A caveat… Be warned. You may as well grab a stick of gelignite and tape your license to it if you struggle at all with impulse control. Yes. You go from zero-to-astronaut in a poofteenth of a second on the M. Track day it Buster!

Yep, it may have taken a minute to get used to me, but just like a good rottweiler, it was this man’s best friend in no time. I just wish Mum would let me keep it…

ENGINE: 10/10 – A guts factory. A piece of perfectly engineered and thought-through wonder.
GEARBOX: 9/10 – Snicks like the tumblers in a precision bank vault. Fast operation, smart ratios.
CHASSIS: 10/10 – The best of everything. What else is there to say?
BUILD QUALITY: 9/10. Second-to-none.
APPOINTMENTS: 9/10 – Smart tech that is well presented. Good ergos.
PRICE: 8/10 – Not cheap ($34,715 rideaway), but you get plenty of the best here.
TOTAL: 55/60

2023 BMW M 1000 R INFO MOTO
Photo: Jack Lytras, Ruthless Visuals
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11 months ago

Gees…. 😳🙈😜