Writing about bikes for 20 years. Published in dozens of titles on five continents. Mildly obsessed with discovering how things work.
It’s emerged that BMW has trademarked three new motorcycle names and they all tie in to the firm’s legendary ‘M’ Motorsport brand.
The firm has registered the names ‘M 1000 RR’, ‘M 1000 XR’ and ‘M 1300 GS’ in Germany, suggesting the firm has ideas to launch a high-spec, high-performance ‘M’ range of machines sitting above the normal models in its line-up. In the four-wheeled arena, BMW’s ‘M’ models have been its flagship performance machines ever since the M1 supercar first appeared in 1978. Later models including the M3, M5 and M6 further established the range in the 1980s and now there are ‘M’ variants of almost every car in the firm’s range.
The new trademarks leave little doubt as to what the bikes concerned might be. The ‘M 1000 RR’ is clearly intended to be a higher-spec model derived from the S 1000 RR superbike. We’ve already seen BMW has ideas on that front; the old version of the S 1000 RR had the ‘HP4’ and ‘HP4 Race’ machines in the range, the latter debuting the firm’s new carbon-fibre frame technology. A carbon-framed, road-going version of the new-generation S 1000 RR would certainly be worthy of an ‘M’ badge, which carries far stronger motorsports links than the ‘HP’ title that’s previously been used on faster BMW bikes. We’ve also seen that the firm is working on the idea of an electrically-supercharged version of the S 1000 RR, which could also benefit from the ‘M’ name.
The ‘M 1000 XR’ would clearly be based on the S 1000 XR – a model that’s due to be completely revamped for 2020, inheriting the new S 1000 RR’s ShiftCam engine, a new chassis and new styling.
However, the most intriguing of the trademarked titles is M 1300 GS, since BMW currently has no ‘1300’ model in its range. Chances are that this M-machine would be based on the R 1250 GS, with the higher number either signifying a capacity increase or perhaps simply a performance boost.
It’s worth adding a note of caution, though. BMW has a long history of trademarking names that it never ends up using, so the trademarks alone are no guarantee that bikes will ever appear bearing these titles. Past trademarks for bikes that never made it include the HP1, HP3, HP5, HP6 and HP8 – all trademarked in 2004 when the HP2 first appeared – not to mention the incredibly intriguing ‘S 600 RR’ that was trademarked in 2008 alongside the S 1000 RR name.