If you’re looking at a 2019+ BMW S 1000 RR (the latest in the series of the S 1000 RR… see the buyers guide), you should check to see if the recall was done.
For the 2019 model, BMW switched vendors from Brembo to Hayes, an American brake manufacturer that actually has been owned by Brembo since 2007.
I found all the info on this recall scattered between recall docs, press releases, and forum posts (mostly on S1000RRforum.com), and so just collated it all as part of my own research — many thanks to everyone who contributed (especially to the long 35 page thread on the recall, linked below).
Because there are many forum posts and then pages later a correction (e.g. in the 100 / 108 mm confusion) which might go missed, I’m collecting everything here in this summary for anyone who might find it useful.
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About the BMW S 1000 RR Brake Caliper Recall
From launch until 2018, BMW used the same Brembo caliper on all its BMW S 1000 RR bikes. They had the same part number all the way through.
Then, for the 2019 model year, BMW changed the caliper manufacturer from Brembo to Hayes. Hayes is an American manufacturer of brake calipers which is majority owned by Brembo (and has been since 2007, when they acquired the brake divisions of Hayes for $58M).
See here for our faq on motorcycle braking systems, including a discussion of the major brands.
BMW just change to Hayes calipers on the 2019 S 1000 RR superbike (and a few other 1250 boxer bikes). The streetfighter/naked S 1000 R kept its Brembo calipers when it was revised in 2020.
Owners and fans were confused. Why change from Brembo? Brembo is synonymous with braking excellence. Many of the greatest bikes in the world use Brembo brakes. Not just Italian bikes, but even the top motorcycles from Japanese manufacturers.
According to BMW, they made this change based on extensive blind testing by users. There is unconfirmed speculation by forum members that it was related to cost issues (as is always possible), but that doesn’t explain why BMW still uses Brembo calipers on other motorcycles, nor why BMW would choose to use Nissin calipers on its M 1000 RR, a motorcycle which doesn’t seem constrained by costs.
Unfortunately, despite apparently good intentions, users quickly found out that sometimes the new Hayes brake caliper would leak slightly. This resulted in a recall (20V476, 13 Aug 2020). This didn’t just affect the S 1000 RR; it also affected the newer R 1250 bikes (including the R 1250 RT and R 1250 GS / GSA).
According to the recall document:
This recall involves the front brake calipers which may start to show signs of weeping when parked. The weeping is caused by a small incompatibility between the seal groove of the brake caliper and the inner seal.
This is a low-pressure condition that does not occur with brake actuation. This effect will not cause a spontaneous and unexpected loss of brake pressure. BMW does not see any immediate safety risk because it is a low-pressure minor fluid loss (weeping).
However, over a very long period of time, it is possible that if the rider does not check the brake fluid reservoir and does not notice a reduction in the fluid volume, then eventually, when the reservoir is empty, this could affect brake performance.
Riders may notice the start of front brake caliper weeping by brake fluid sweat marks on the caliper. Riders may also notice fluid marks on the front rim, tire, and/or on the ground. Additionally, if this condition continued to occur over a long period of time, riders would also observe this condition via the brake fluid reservoir window mounted on the handlebars.NHTSA document 20V476, lightly edited for clarity / emphasis
So BMW recalled all these motorcycles and replaced the brake calipers with Nissin calipers.
“What?” cried the internet. “Why not just go back to Brembo!” Well, Nissin, a company majority owned by Honda, makes some pretty good calipers. They make brakes for lots of Hondas… though even Honda uses Brembo Stylema calipers on their CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. But the calipers on the track-focused BMW M 1000 RR are also by Nissin.
So if you’re buying a 2019 BMW S 1000 RR, you want to know if the recall has been done.
BMW S 1000 RR Brake Caliper Recall — Visual Cues
Here’s what the 2019 Hayes brake caliper looks like — before the recall.
You can see that the original Hayes caliper is “stamped” with the BMW logo. It’s likely that future calipers that are Nissin will be stamped too, but the recall / replacement calipers appear to NOT be stamped (see below)
Here’s a photo from a showroom floor of a 2021 BMW S 1000 RR (with a few carbon components) that I saw posted online with the new caliper. I’ve outlined the replaced caliper.
The angle in that photo makes detials hard to see, so here’s another photo of the caliper, from an owner who had the recall done:
I noticed in other pictures people showed of their replaced calipers that the replacement is not embossed. The BMW logo is just printed on. The caliper is still coloured black.
It’s also important to note that the calipers on the 2020+ BMW 1000 RR are at least visually different from the calipers on the BMW M 1000 RR, even though they’re both made by Nissin.
They look different and have different part numbers.
Here’s a photo of the blue M 1000 RR caliper from BMW’s official press packs.
Zoom and enhance on the caliper:
They look pretty similar. Bu tthe calipers on the M 1000 RR are blue, have an anodized sheen, and say “///M” on them. Obviously they’re different calipers!
I kid, but BMW calls them out as being “M brakes for the first time at BMW Motorrad”. Given the press release was issued on 23 Sep 2020 (after the recall), that’s an indication that BMW believes they’re different.
The part numbers are different, too. Below are the part numbers for BMW S 1000 RR (2019+) and M 1000 RR calipers:
|Model / Year||Manufacturer||Left||Right|
|2009-2019 BMW S 1000 RR (Brembo)||Brembo||34117714783||34117714784|
|2019 to 2020 BMW S 1000 RR||Hayes||34118405107|
|2020+ BMW S 1000 RR||Nissin||34111614797||34111614798|
|2021+ BMW M 1000 RR||Nissin||34111542305||34111542306|
Of course, part number differences between the 2020 + S and 2021+ M models could refer to outside appearance.
So are these the same caliper? I’d be speculating, just as many others have. Many users have claimed (or guessed) that they’re the same caliper, just painted differently. Dealers around the world have claimed the same too — that the replacement BMW S 1000 RR caliper is just a black version of the M 1000 RR caliper. But dealers don’t always know.
I don’t have an official source as to whether the Nissin calipers on the new S 1000 RR and M 1000 RR are the same, just painted differently — and BMW sources will tell you they’re different (unless you’re best friends with the product manager) — so I can only cite the above speculation.
There was some confusion on the internet, too, about whether the bolt spacing on the M 1000 RR was different. But it’s not; brake calipers are interchangeable between the M 1000 RR and all years of the S 1000 RR. They’re all 100 mm bolt spacing. See this thread on s1000rrforum.com for posts from users who change the calipers.
Do The Brembo, Hayes, and Nissin calipers perform differently?
As to whether the Brembo, Hayes, and Nissin calipers perform differently — despite my research, I don’t know. I think this is because
- Very few people (probably none outside testers in BMW or race teams) do back-to-back tests
- Different riders have different preferences
- There is brand predisposition (e.g. towards Brembo) which can supersede the other differences
Some track / race teams do say they swap out the Hayes/Nissin calipers on the S 1000 RR for Brembo brakes. I’m sure they know what they’re doing for their use cases.
I’m confident that at my modest track day riding levels I’d be happy with any of the calipers on my S 1000 RR (or M 1000 RR, should I one day have the pleasure, if a lot of things in my life change). Just as long as they’re not leaking/weeping!