BMW's HP4 is a Carbon Fibre Masterpiece


We've said it before, we don't care how many retros and standard motorcycles need to be sold, as long as it funds bikes like the new BMW HP4 RACE. And this one is a treat.
Working from the base model S1000RR, the HP4 RACE, is a limited edition production track weapon with a spec sheet built to impress.

Think, 215 hp wrapped up in a wet weight of 171kg.  A factory racing engine that’s built by hand and delivers revs to 14,500 rpm (rather than 14,200 rpm on the standard engine).

BMW Motorrad say the HP4 Race is the first time a production motorcycle's main frame is built entirely out of carbon-fiber. It weighs just 7.8kg; that's mountain bike territory. 

Both wheels are also carbon, and BMW claims they are 30-percent lighter than comparable light alloy forged wheels.

Brakes are Brembo, suspension is Öhlins’ FGR 300 fork and TTX 36 GP rear, the same used in “World Superbike and even MotoGP,” BMW says. 

Maximum torque of 88.5 lb-ft/120Nm is reached at 10,000 rpm and gearing is handled with a close-ratio, six-speed gearbox with honed racing ratios.

“Standard electronics” include Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with an adjustment range of -7 to +7, Engine Brake (EBR) with an adjustment range from -7 to +7, and Wheelie Control, with an adjustment range from level 1 to 5.

BMW says the systems, including the Engine Brake EBR, can be adjusted 15 ways to suit a specific rider's needs to get the most out of the bike, and that there is also Launch Control "for perfect race starts." 

If you're concerned by all that carbon fibre, the wizards at BMW have thought it through. BMW says that “The damage chain in the new HP4 RACE is structured in such a way that the carbon fiber frame and wheels are the last motorcycle components to fail in the event of a fall.” 

In rider mode, the display shows gives a host of information including lap time, traction control settings, engine brake control settings, and more.

The 2D data recording system records lap times through GPS, and is designed to be used with additional sensors for things like brake pressure and suspension travel, which you can add separately.

Incredibly each of these systems can be tuned for each gear, meaning that you can do things like set the traction control system to intervene in a certain way in first and second gear, but be less restrictive or off in higher gears.

The HP4 RACE's price tag is not for the feint of heart, but did you really think it would be? With 750 units planned it's priced at £68,000 and will be available from September 2017. But even if you never see one, or get the chance to ride one, it's worth remembering, the technology in these kind of bikes is what trickles down to us normal folk eventually.