The BMW HP4 Race is one of the most unique production motorcycles in the world. Everything from the materials used to build the frame to the engine itself is cause for an old-fashioned eyebrow-raise. Hop on and let us explain exactly what we mean!
BMW Motorrad has been producing motorcycles for almost a century, beginning with the BMW R 32 in 1923. Before then, however, the company (under other names) was known for producing aircraft engines. Fortunately, after the end of the year, profit incentives shifted to less destructive enterprises.
Flash forward 95 years and you have a massive, international corporation constantly putting out new designs and engineering new ways for people the world over to enjoy their lives. The BMW HP4 Race is yet another example of the high-quality engineering and design to be found at BMW.
An Ultra Lightweight Design
When you think “racing superbike,” what kind of weight bracket and frame structure comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you’ll probably say something along the lines of 400 to 500 pounds in a steel trellis frame. If you were talking about the BMW HP4 Race, you would be dead wrong.
The BMW HP4 Race, weighing only 322 pounds (dry) despite having a 999cc engine, is the first motorcycle in the history of the world to have a fully carbon-fiber frame.
Specifically, the unique first-time-ever design uses a carbon monocoque RTM frame with steering head angle and swinging-arm pivot adjustment, stacked high on a load-bearing engine casing.
One of a Kind
Yes, the BMW HP4 Race is still available for purchase on BMW Motorrad’s website, but don’t let the market years confuse you. This superbike is a limited edition version only produced during 2018.
- BMW HP4 Race (2018)
Much to the dismay of many superbike enthusiasts, the BMW HP4 Race isn’t going to be around forever. As of 2019, BMW has already ceased production of this limited-time-only motorcycle.
Because of the limited edition production time and the unique technology that went into the motorcycle, you might be able to get away with referring to the BMW HP4 Race as a concept motorcycle.
Inside its purely carbon fiber frame is a load-bearing, four-stroke, transverse four-cylinder, DOHC engine with 16 valves, 215 horsepower at 13,900 rpm, and a 13.9:1 compression ratio. There are few, if any motorcycles with as high a compression ratio as this, and even fewer of those incorporate load-bearing engines.
As of August, 2019, the BMW HP4 Race is still on the open market and going for about $78,000. If you need one, get it soon. If past limited edition motorcycles like the Ducati PS1000LE have taught us anything, it’s that “LEs” skyrocket in price once they’re off the market.
A 2013 BMW HP4 was featured in an episode of Fifth Gear, but the 2018 BMW HP4 Race has yet to make its way onto any film or TV sets.
BMW is more common in Europe than in the United States, but if you’re an American determined to find a BMW motorcycle group on social media, you’re not totally alone. The BMW Riders Association, in the US, has more than 5,000 followers.
BMW HP4 Race – the First Carbon-Fiber Superbike
Riders the world over are hoping that the lightweight, carbon fiber design of the BMW HP4 Race is a sign that the high-tech, space-age technology has finally found its way into the world of motorcycles, superbikes, and scooters. Given the limited edition nature, it’s hard to tell, but here’s to hoping!