BMW's M badge is making its way to Motorrad

The motorcycle division's previous HP designation is getting kicked to the curb in favor of the more recognizable M.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read
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BMW's highest-performing motorcycles will soon be wearing M badges like their four-wheeled cousins.

BMW Motorrad

Apart from sharing most of a name and all of a logo, and BMW Motorrad don't have a whole lot in common. BMW cars have a reputation for being complicated and expensive to repair while BMW motorcycles … well, actually, they have that same reputation.

Still, apart from that, the two entities rarely cross streams. That all is changing though with BMW Motorrad's decision to ditch the "HP" moniker for its highest-performing (we see what you did there!) models and race specials, and instead adopt the globally recognized M badge, according to European patent filings dug up by Visordown on Thursday.

Why would it do that? Well, according to representatives from BMW -- who confirmed the rumors to Roadshow -- it's precisely because the M designation carries with it such name recognition and gravitas. Also, maybe if people are going to spend $80,000 on a gussied-up 4-series, then they'll drop $30,000 on a motorcycle that's way faster?

Now, will the M division actually turn their evil-genius engineers loose on future generations of the GS or the R NineT? Or will this all end up being a big branding exercise with no significant tangible performance changes? You know, kind of like what's been happening to BMW's cars for the last few years.

Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, we should remember that M has dipped its toes into Motorrad's waters before, specifically with the 2019 S 1000 RR, which had an available M-Sport package and some optional M-designed equipment, and that thing was a truly wild machine. 

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