LEGO Technic BMW M 1000 RR K66 – A massive motorcycle for ultimate collectors! [Review]

LEGO has been making buildable motorcycles for ages. The first one, in fact, came in 1978 with 603 Motorbike, a 26-piece, minifigure-scale System model. Suffice to say, the company has come a long way since then. Sets are becoming decisively more giant and complex with each passing year. And the 44-year-old Technic theme has worked its way into a significant portion of all current sets. Flagship models in this theme have been fancy for a while, but now the theme is giving the “adult” VIP treatment to a collectors-style motorcycle. The company has teamed up with BMW Motorrad to bring their new superbike into homes everywhere with LEGO Technic 42130 BMW M 1000 RR. The 1920-piece set will be available January 1st and will retail for US $229.99 | CAN $299.00 | UK £174.99. Come along as we run it through its paces!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Unboxing the parts, instructions, and sticker sheet

The box front with the grownup black theme looks pretty slick with this model. It sets off the bike nicely, especially with the blue at the bottom, and certainly gives the feel of exclusivity they’re going for. Right away you can tell this is going to be a classy kit. Along with the BMW and Motorrad logos, there’s a “1:5” scale indicator in the top right. That makes this the largest motorcycle LEGO has ever done. In fact, I believe 1:5 is also the largest scale comparison of any LEGO Technic vehicle to date!

This may sound odd, but the box back looks like how a fancy set should look. It’s nice to see an entirely different angle of the bike, as well as additional pictures including the real thing. It seems like too often these days the back of the box is simply boring, with no added visual information compared to the front. Of course, the more you pay, the more you get…

Inside there’s another box, as well as 12 numbered polybags starting with step 2(x3), then 3(x4), 4(x2), and 5(x3). Additionally, there’s an unnumbered bag with some exciting larger elements as well.

As expected, the inner box holds the polybags labeled “1” (3 in total) in addition to the instructions, stickers, and wheels. Both these and several other elements are new, but we’ll talk more about them in a bit, don’t worry!

The instruction manual is certainly thick! It is 382 pages long! Some of the recent fancier sets, like the giant AT-AT, feature several thinner instructions protected in cardboard sleeves. In this case, they have opted to put everything in one giant book with a plastic wrap – but it does look cool! The stickers are, well, plentiful. As annoying as stickers are sometimes, they couldn’t exactly get away with making a ton of printed panels here, so it makes sense. That said, it’s hard to not get dizzy at the prospect of placing a whopping 83 of them – and on difficult surfaces too!

The first several pages of the instruction manual are dedicated to information about the collaboration and the work that went into the model, engineered by one of LEGO’s excellent Technic designers, Samuel Tacchi. As someone who previously designed real motorcycles, he was the perfect guy for the job. Apparently, this model was still particularly difficult to create, though, pushing the limits of what Technic can do at this scale. The pages don’t share a ton of detail, but what is there is definitely interesting, and the pictures are excellent!

*For better closeups of each of these pages, take a look at our gallery below!

The build

Starting the build has you jumping right into the thick of it – literally. Within the first handful of steps, it’s already densely packed with gears. Right away you can tell this is going to be some cool LEGO engineering!

Like a real bike, this model has a paddle stepper mechanism that acts as the toe-shifter. (The photos below show the system on its side so it’s easier for you to see.) In this instance, the actual motorcycle has a 6-speed engine. The mini version, on the other hand, only has a 4-speed gearbox. As you can imagine, under the constraints of the size of the parts, four was the most they could possibly achieve at this scale. It’s still really cool and totally forgivable. It’s also the first time they’ve done this kind of mechanism. The LEGO Ducati Panigale V4 R motorcycle also has a gearbox, but the gearing is very different.

Enclosing the gearbox was a bit tough. Essentially you’re trying to put a combination of at least 11 axles and pins through a bunch of holes at once. If you have ever built a Technic model (or even System models with some Technic elements), you know it can be hard to line up just a few of these, let alone convince them to behave and go in together. That said, the new perpendicular beams come in really handy in this model in terms of keeping it compact.

Making a reappearance after a solid 15 years is the trans clear engine cylinder element. How did this thing disappear for so long? It looks excellent here! Unfortunately, this gets buried pretty quickly. Still, it’s a great addition to the set.

The end of bag 1 sees us putting on the front grill as well as the 62 link-long chain. And yes, it’s pearl gold – a new color! Don’t worry, this set comes with a few extra in case you lose one.

After the bulk of the motorcycle body is done, it’s time to mount it on a platform. Perhaps, similar to one you would work on in real life. And this is where the model really becomes a UCS (Ultimate Collector Series) set. The first sticker is probably the most fitting one, as it shows off the specs of the full-scale bike. The model sits on the platform via 3 axles slipped through pin-holes – which makes for sturdy yet easy attachment and separation whenever needed. Next up is the bike frame.

At this point, the model is already getting a little heavy and cumbersome (not a bad thing) so it’s a great time to have the platform come in. With the chain in and some engine decoration on the side, we come to the end of bag 2.

Next up is the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Remember those new elements mentioned at the beginning of this review? Well, it’s time to break those babies out of their bag. And boy are they pretty! By the time the kit is all built, it weighs around 3lbs. That’s a heavy model! So in order to support all that weight, the suspension system has to be tough. Introducing three new molds, starting with giant front suspension springs and their holders, which attach to the front wheels via Technic steering hubs. Also, a gorgeous, true-to-life back suspension spring.

That blue coil on the spring is epic, and once in place, the whole thing is really starting to take on the look and feel of a fancy bike. Aside from ogling over the suspension, it’s important to note that at this point, things get tricky. (As if they weren’t already.) We’re at a point in the model where everything starts to look very complicated, and finding out which pin/axle goes in which hole is a little troublesome at times. Fortunately the manual has closeups, but it would be great if the new additions were outlined, which they aren’t. Side note: hidden in the pictures below are a pair of #1 and #2 Technic flair panels in light bluish-grey. This is the first time they’ve appeared in that color.

Want more new parts? Of course, you do! In addition to those mentioned before, we also have two new tires (big for back and small for front) and a pair of new wheels. The latter of those, like the blue shock absorber, are beautiful. They have a super pretty, luxurious look to them.

The tires are fairly difficult to attach to the wheels. You have to have patience and a little elbow grease. Pro tip if you find yourself picking up this set: pop the tire over one side, into the center of the wheel, then the other, and then, one side at a time, use your thumbs to work in a circle to get it aligned on the rim properly. It should be smooth, without a lip. Once that is worked out, attaching the back wheel to the bike is a piece of cake.

Next, those long shocks get built out to create the front end. Time for our next new mold! The new disk brake element that came out in the aforementioned Ducati (and later seen in 71741 Ninjago City Gardens as a decorative element) is used on the back wheel. It’s pictured here as a reference for how giant the new disc brake mold is. This element is also more complex than its smaller counterpart. It’s dual-molded, and the inner portion is both more decorative and dimensional.

In addition to the wheels and disc brakes, brake lines also find their way in at this point. They’re cleverly composed of flat silver zipline elements. This versatile element was most recently used as wires in the amp from the LEGO Ideas 21329 Fender Stratocaster An extra of these is also given with the spare parts! And as we come to the end of bag three, our motorcycle is looking very dirt-bikey. But it means we’re close to the finish line!

Moving right along, we come to the final new mold of the bunch. A transparent shark head! Okay, it’s the windscreen but it certainly looks fishy to me… In seriousness, of course, it closely matches the real one, but I bet you can’t un-see a sea creature now.

An interesting interchangeable element in the whole set is the 2×4 tile used as the control panel. Presumably, the real motorcycle has a display that includes all of these images or can flip between them. In our case, we have to choose one to put on the model. It would’ve been nice if at least these were printed, but alas, they are also stickered.

Bag four brings us to the installment of our seat, gas tank, and windscreen. This is one of those moments where it gets a little funky trying to make sure everything lines up right, and you don’t accidentally pop something off.  The tediousness is worth it though, as the shapes are very satisfying.

Now for bag five – the final umbrella step of the lot! Of all the tricky parts, doing the paneling on the body is certainly the hardest. It’s interwoven, dense, and a little awkward. This set is not for the faint of heart. It’s not awful or insurmountable but definitely requires patience. Not only patience but the ability to pick out a pinhole and pin in the middle of a chaotic picture and then line them up in real life. Forget a piece somewhere before this point and now you’re in big trouble. You also need agile, unshaking fingers. Plus, let’s not forget that you have to also put stickers on all those parts!

Another side note: the extra-large #17 and #18 black Technic flair elements on the bottom of the model (with the “GILLES” sticker) haven’t been in a set since 2014. The white ellipse element(s) in the center of the middle of the lower white panels is also new in that color.

Naturally, the first thing you do when you finish a model is play with the features as if you weren’t playing with them the entire time you were building it. I had to test the shifter over and over again, not just for the review, but because it’s fun. The audible ‘click’ and clunk feeling of the “toe” shifter when you press it is very satisfying. It may not be super easy to see in the GIF below, but you can definitely tell the difference between gears.

The final piece of the puzzle is the kickstand/cart thingy. I say it flippantly because I’m honestly not a fan. It’s great for one purpose: looking somewhat like the picture of the real bike in the manual while displaying it in a single spot. But it doesn’t look nearly as cool or like the real thing as the model does. Also, the building platform is far stronger than the cart because the base is sturdy and the 3 axles go into pinholes in a triangular array. Alternatively, this is not as sturdy, moves, and the axles go into grooves instead of precise holes. But I guess it could be worse.

So there you have it. Now that we got that part off our chest, let’s take a look at the whole shebang!

The completed model

Ooooh! Aahhhh! Isn’t that pretty?! If you only take a quick glance, you could maybe even mistake it for the real bike! It really does look impressive and is certainly ginormous – and heavy. As far as other noteworthy things go, you can actually pick it up in more than one way without it being an issue. You have to be a bit careful that you don’t knock off panels but you can grab the underside, either of the wheels, the seat, the handlebars, and even the gas tank if you’re extra careful.

Let’s also take a moment to go back and give some more love to those new suspension elements! Wowza! Look at that! There is a ton of give there for a track racing bike; it seems more like motocross. But I’m not complaining! It’s awesome! The only downside is that the steering range is very limited. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about racing bikes, though, so maybe that’s completely normal.

Conclusions and recommendations

In summary, I think you won’t be surprised to find that the bike gets a thumbs up here. You don’t have to be a fan of motorcycles or know anything about them to appreciate the coolness of this build. If you’re a sucker for new parts, 8 new molds and a few recolors are a big deal!

The only word of caution here is that, again, this set may not be for the newcomer or the faint of heart when it comes to LEGO, and particularly Technic. There are some pretty complicated areas, and there is a good reason why it’s intended for adults. Thinking about getting this as a gift for your kiddo? If they are not extremely well-accustomed to Technic, consider holding off until they are. Do you have shaky hands, a short fuse, or hate stickers? Again, maybe this isn’t your cup of tea. But if you’re ready for a challenge, this has that and “cool” written all over it.

While you’re here, stick around to check out some of our other motorcycle articles. If those aren’t your thing, take a look at the plethora of LEGO reviews coming out daily as we enter a new wave of awesome sets.

LEGO Technic 42130 BMW M 1000 RR will be available January 1st from the LEGO Shop and will retail for US $229.99 | CAN $299.00 | UK £174.99

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

4 comments on “LEGO Technic BMW M 1000 RR K66 – A massive motorcycle for ultimate collectors! [Review]

  1. Nate

    From what I understand, the rear shock is a blue plastic non-functional spring over an internal metal spring? This is SO frustrating. LEGO, just commit to a modular coilover shock already. Common ends, adjustable stroke and spring weight. These larger technic sets are making it inevitable!

  2. winstonheard

    This looks really impressive and I bet it’s a rewarding build. I hope this isn’t taking the slot for The Big Supercar we’ve gotten every two years.

  3. Jimmy

    Very cool! Thanks for the review.

    In my limited experience, superbikes like this do have pretty limited steering, though this set does seem even more limited than real life perhaps. For this set I’d totally not care, as unlike a technic car I’m very unlikely to be rolling this across the floor trying to steer it around furniture or something.

    Is the rear spring metal or plastic? Sure looks like plastic from the picture but hard to be sure.
    What’s the wheel diameter? It looks huge -like 16 studs or so!

    The clear engine cylinders are also in the new technic Batmobile 42127.

    IMO a couple of areas are definite styling misses: The front fender really needs to be less clunky and better shaped to hug the front tire. And the bottom of the radiator shroud should extend to a nicer point and connect the right and left sides (the black panels at the bottom of the body, just behind the front tire).

  4. Tobi

    Oh boy. I love you guys at TBB. I open your blog every day.
    But you are starting to frustrate me more and more.

    – Your advent calendar reviews this year are uninspiring and uninformed to a degree that makes them hard to enjoy.

    – With every odd reviewed model you make building mistakes that are so obvious to spot, easily avoidable and painful to look at. Here you attached the back wheel to wrong way round. Seriously…
    Pls work on your quality.

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