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Is BMW about to launch a raft of new ‘M’ models?

Trademark filings are pointing to BMW turning its naming convention on its head and introducing 'M’ models for some of its road and off-road motorcycles

BMW has filed trademark applications that could see their normal naming conventions changed and a new line of ‘M’ models launched for their S 1000 RR, S 1000 XR and R 1250 GS.

The ‘M’ brand represents BMW’s motorsports division that has long been used as a breeding ground for high-performance cars and motorcycles, vehicles like the BMW M3, and S 1000 RR M edition sportsbike.

For now though, the S 1000 RR M edition has been as far into the product line the division has delved, although that could be about to change.

If the trademark applications are anything to go by, we could also see ‘M’ versions of the S 1000 XR sports touring machine and the R 1250 GS adventure motorcycle. As yet there is no indication as to how the models will differ from the standard fare, although it’s safe to assume they will adopt BMW’s iconic red, white and blue motorsport livery, as well as some high-performance trinkets along the way.

Another change could be that BMW could drop its usual naming convention for these high-spec models, replacing the first letter of the bikes name simply with the letter ‘M’. This change would mean the S 1000 RR M would becomes the M 1000 RR, the S 1000 XR would become the M 1000 XR, and the R 1250 GS would become the M 1250 GS. The move does make sense on paper and would bring the motorcycle naming convention in line with that of BMW’s four-wheeled offerings.

How does BMW’s current naming convention work?

For years now, BMW has stuck to a tried and tested method of naming its bikes. The first letter always refers to the engine configuration of the machine. ‘K’ and ‘S’ were reserved for inline engines of four-cylinders or more. ‘G’ was for single-cylinder machines. ‘R’ was the Bavarian maker's boxer-twin models and ‘F’ represented the parallel twins like the F 850.

The last letters of the bikes name told you its preferred use, the ‘R’ of the S 1000 RR is thought to stand for rennsport – racing in German. The ‘GS’ at the end of R 1250 GS means either Gelände/Straße (off-road/road) or Gelände Sport, with Gelände meaning terrain.

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