After teasing us with a prototype last year BMW has finally revealed the final version of the most extreme production bike it’s ever made – the HP4 Race.
And you’re unlikely to be disappointed. Let’s cut straight to the chase; the carbon-framed, track-only wonder is kicking out 215hp from its race-tuned S1000RR engine at a towering 13,900rpm, backed up by 120Nm of torque at 10,000rpm. Those are impressive figures, but not as astounding as the bike’s weight. BMW is claiming a dry weight of just 146kg, and even track-ready with a full 17.5l of fuel in the tank, it’s just 171.4kg.
That means it’s about as light as a MotoGP bike (157kg without fuel), and not a million miles away in terms of power, either. A WSB bike is heavier than the HP4, with a minimum of 168kg before fuel is added.
One other number that counts is 750. That’s how many of the bikes BMW will be making. Price? That'll be £68,000.
The key to the bike’s light weight is its use of carbon fibre for the frame, subframe, bodywork and wheels. Made using production processes developed to eliminate the usual carbon drawback of labour-intensive manufacture and to address the oft-cited criticism that carbon fibre is too rigid for a bike chassis, it’s the most advanced carbon fibre frame seen to date.
In weight terms, the chassis is just 7.8kg, which is 4kg less than the latest S1000RR’s aluminium chassis. The wheels are similarly around 30% lighter than their alloy equivalents, reducing gyroscopic forces by 40% to make the bike turn much faster.
BMW has introduced three forms of carbon manufacturing for different parts of the bike. The first – dubbed ‘Carbonview’ is a fairly traditional hand lay-up method, and is used for cosmetic, non-structural parts like the bodywork. The second, ‘Carboncore’, is a Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) system that injects resin into carbon fabrics that are in a mould. And finally there’s ‘Carbondrive’ which combines RTM with non-woven, bonded carbon fabrics with continuous fibres to give a balance of flexibility, strength and weight. It’s the last of these that’s used for the frame and wheels.
At the back, there’s a carbon subframe that allows the whole tail to be mounted at three different heights to suit the rider’s size and preference, and everything else is similarly adjustable. The steering head angle, swingarm pivot point, fork offset and of course the footpegs can all be adjusted to suit your needs.Moving away from the chassis, the engine is more than just a straight S1000RR unit. It’s modified enough to get its own series of engine numbers. New camshafts, milled con-rods, a balanced and lightened crankshaft and all new injection settings give the performance boost. Behind it there’s a race-spec gearbox with a reversed shift pattern (up for first, down for the rest), and revised gear ratios. Each HP4 gets a selection of different sprockets to adjust the gearing. HP Shift Assistant Pro, giving clutchless up and down-shifts with an auto-blip, is standard.
Which brings us to the bike’s electronics package. As you’d expect, it gets the full suite of traction control, engine brake control, wheelie control and launch control, with race-spec switchgear on the bars to operate it all. There’s even a pit lane speed limiter.
The dashboard is again race-spec, revealing lap times, electronics settings, gear position and water temperature but not fussing about details like speed. In the pits, it can give even more info including front and rear brake pressures, spring travel, throttle position, front and rear wheel speeds and bank angles. Basically, it’s a race-style datalogger.
Aside from all the HP4’s USPs, there’s a solid backing of high-spec parts from other manufacturers. Like the Ohlins FGR 300 forks and TTX 36 GP rear shock – the same stuff that’s used in WSB and MotoGP. Or the Brembo GP4 PR Monobloc brakes, which again are Superbike racing refugees. Basically, the HP4’s spec means that if you’re not the fastest guy at the track day, you’ve only got yourself to blame.
Deliveries to the lucky 750 buyers are due to start later this year, and the bikes are expected to sell out just as quickly as they perform on track.
|Output||158kW/215hp/212bhp @ 13,900 rpm|
|Torque||120Nm/88.5ft lb @ 10,000rpm|
|Type||Water-cooled in-line 4-cylinder engine|
|Compression/fuel||13.7-13.9:1/min Super Unleaded, min. octane number 98 (RON)|
|Valve/accelerator actuation||DOHC (double overhead camshaft)|
|Valve activation||via individual rocker arms|
|Valves per cylinder||4|
|Ø intake/outlet mm||33.5/27.2|
|Throttle valve diameter||48mm|
|Battery||12/5 V/Ah, Li-ion maintenance-free|
|POWER TRANSMISSION - GEARBOX|
|Clutch||Multi-plate anti-hopping wet clutch, mechanically activated|
|Gearbox||Constant-mesh 6-speed racing gearbox (EVO) with spur toothing (gear 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 optimised)|
|Transmission ratios||1st 2.388
|Rear wheel drive||Chain|
|Traction control||DTC 15-level adjustment|
|Engine brake||EBR 15-level adjustment|
|Frame construction type||Carbon fibre monocoque RTM frame with adjustable steering head angle and swingarm centre of rotation, load-bearing engine|
|Front wheel control||Öhlins FGR 300 Superbike World Cup fork, adjustable rebound and compression damping, adjustable spring preload, adjustable Öhlins SD052 steering damper, quick front wheel changing system by means of rotating forklegs with mounted front wheel cover (brake calipers do not have to be dismounted to change wheels)|
|Rear wheel control||Aluminium underslung double-sided swingarm, Öhlins TTX 36 GP central spring strut, adjustable rebound and compression damping, adjustable spring preload, spring strut attachment point adjustable at the top (0/3 mm), adjustable spring strut deflection (tension strut length), support surfaces for wheel spacer sleeve on chain tensioners for simple/hands-free wheel mounting, titanium chain tensioner on the outside, aluminium on the inside, CFRP assembly stand mountings on the swingarm|
|Spring travel||front/rear mm 130/120|
|Wheel castor||102.5mm (adjustable from 95-112)|
|Steering head angle||65.5° (adjustable by 0.0°, +-0.5°, +-1°)|
|Tension strut||113 mm (variably adjustable +- 5mm)|
|Fork bridge offset||30 mm (adjustable to 26 mm, 28 mm, 32 mm)|
|Wheels||Carbon fibre wheels incl. firmly fitted wheel spacer sleeves for simple wheel mounting|
|Wheel size||front 3.50 x 17"
rear 6.00 x 17"
|Tyres||front 120/70 ZR 17 Pirelli Diabolo Superbike Slick SC2
rear 200/60 ZR 17 Pirelli Diabolo Superbike Slick SC2
|Brake (front)||Brembo Racing twin disc brake , T-floated racing brake discs, diameter 320 x 6.75 mm, 4-piston monoblock Superbike World Cup fixed caliper GP4-PR with titanium pistons, Brembo Racing handbrake pump RCS19x18 incl. adjustable Brembo Racing brake lever, Brembo Racing clutch lever (without clutch switch)|
|Brake (rear)||Brembo Racing single disc brake, 4-piston Superbike World Cup fixed caliper with titanium pistons, brake disc diameter 220 x 4.0 mm|
|Footrest system||Rigid footrest system in milled aluminium, adjustable to eight positions|
|DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT|
|Seat height at unladen weight||816 mm (lowest position), 831 mm (delivery state), 846 mm (highest position)|
|Usable fuel tank volume||17.5 l (incl. reserve approx. 4 l)|
|Unladen weight, road ready, fully fuelled)||171.4kg|
|Standard equipment||BMW Motorrad Race Dynamic Traction Control +/-7; Engine Brake Regulation +/-7, 4 riding modes (WET, INT, Dry1, Dry2), 2D data recording/stick logger/lap timing/GPS, 2D dashboard, 2D data recording prepared for spring travel sensors / brake pressure sensors, Pit Lane Limiter, Launch Control, adjustable footrest (8 levels), adjustable handlebars (tapering), fork bridge with offset adjustment (variable using accessory kit), seat height adjustment, steering head angle adjustment (variable using accessory kit), swingarm centre of rotation adjustment (variable using accessory kit), HP4 Race Shift Assistant (Up/ Down), shift pattern reversed as delivered, Superbike World Cup button unit, HP Race Brake lever guard, secondary ratio variable using accessory kit (pinion 15, 16, 17 / chain ring 41, 42, 43, 44, 45)|