2017-04-20 12:26:38+0000 - Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China

BMW Announces Specs for HP4 Race

BMW's new HP4 Race is one of many exclusive and elite homologation specials available right now but the German manufacturer has truly delivered a marvel of engineering, mechanics and metallurgy culminating in track machine that impresses in just about every way possible.

Last year at EICMA BMW Motorrad unveiled the HP4 Race, a concept version of a homolagation special of their already impressive S1000RR, a model that's been adored by sport and track enthusiasts since its debut eight years ago. Not much information was available about the new ultra-lightweight superbike but it appeared to be an answer to Ducati's 1299 SuperLeggera, (BMW happened to unveil the concept when Ducati debuted the 1299 SL) with the HP4 boasting a carbon fiber frame, swing-arm, wheels and bodywork. Yesterday at the Shanghai Autoshow the folks over at BMW have just announced details surrounding their new carbon-clad track beast.

Only 750 units will be made, all of which by hand. Even if you have the roughly $85k (£68,000) the HP4 Race will set you back, unless you're on an exclusive list of riders the folks at Beemer have deemed worthy of ownership of this fine machine, you probably won't be tossing a leg over one of them anytime soon. However that doesn't mean we can't fawn over photos of this machine along with its absurd specs.

The new HP4 Race makes 215hp at 13,900rpm and 120Nm at 10,000rpm. All that power comes from its 16-valve inline-four engine with double overhead cams and the S1000RR's typical 999cc displacement, only tuned to produce an additional 16hp. What makes this all the more impressive is the bike's power plant is wrapped in a carbon monocoque frame with adjustable steering-head angle. The frame by itself weighs only 7.8kgs. The swing-arm is also fully adjustable and made of carbon fiber, as are the bike's wheels. Further lightweight precious metals found on BMW's latest offering include titanium valves, an aluminum tank and a carbon Akrapovic race exhaust system. All together you're left with a total weight of only 378lbs, _wet! _(That's lighter than a WSBK spec S1000RR!)

From the time the S1000RR was first released in 2009, its strongest selling point has without question been its power plant. Legendary motorcycle designer Massimo Tamburini chose the S1KRR's engine to power his final project, the ultra-exclusive T12 Massimo. Keith Code, author of 'Twist of the Wrist' (1&2) and arguably the most respected motorcycle instructor in North America has opted to use BMW's sportbike for his cutting edge 'California Superbike School'.

Another part of what made the S1000RR so special was its advanced electronics systems that worked in tandem with the bike's incredible engine to deliver an exceptional riding experience, especially when doing so aggressively. (I've had the pleasure of riding a 2012 S1KRR and wow.....just, wow). Those electronics haven't been lost on the new HP4 Race, Dynamic Traction Control, Engine Braking and Wheelie Control can be set for every gear based on the rider's preference all come on the HP4 Race. It also comes equipped with built-in data logger and launch control. On top of that it further strives to justify its price tag with the addition of a top-shelf 2D brand race display housed in carbon. The 2D screen isn't color or TFT but is instead a true race display which shows speed, gear, rpm, temp, lap times and electronics settings. It wouldn't look at all out of place on a MotoGP bike.

To soak up the imperfections and elevation changes of the track is a top of the line suspension system made up of Öhlins components. Up front is the Öhlins FGR 300 Fork with adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping along with the Öhlins SD052 adjustable steering-damper. The rear gets the Öhlins TTX 36 GP central spring strut with adjustable preload, rebound, compression damping, top spring strut pivot point and spring strut deflection.

Unsurprisingly the HP4 Race also gets top of the line brakes with Brembo Racing twin floating 320mm discs with four-piston monobloc with WSBK GP4-PR fixed caliper with titanium pistons up front and a Brembo Racing single 220mm disc with four-piston WSBK fixed caliper with titanium pistons in back. The 17" carbon wheels are sporting Pirelli Diabolo SuperBike Slicks (SC2). This thing is beyond race-ready.

As far as the bike's aesthetics, you'd have a hard time finding anything to complain about. It has a closer resemblance to something you'd see on the grid of a professional race more than it does a recreational track bike. The sometimes controversial asymmetrical headlight set-up is instead replaced by carbon race/track fairings. Although I'm a sucker for carbon fiber I do believe there's such thing as over doing it, so I was glad to see they gave the HP4 Race a new livery in the company's iconic white, blue and red M-color scheme. The exposed carbon in some areas is a nice touch to remind you of all the carbon hiding underneath the paint and bodywork, as well as carbon accents like the housing on the 2D display. While I actually liked the existing tail section in the S1000RR, I do really like the redesign the tail section has received for the HP4 Race.

It's pretty clear BMW knocked this one out of the park. They've been capable of developing some mechanic magic for production models and based on the remarkable performance of the lesser exclusive (but still pretty incredible) S1000RR, the HP4 (just HP4, not HP4 Race), the German manufacturer's new carbon fiber Superbike is almost certainly going to be something truly special.

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