Italy’s motorcycle publication of record, Motociclismo, is reporting that BMW Motorrad is developing a 450cc race bike for youth racers. Said to be a ground-up design that centers around a single-cylinder motor that will likely be prepared by Husqvarna, the BMW race bike would feature a frame built in Bologna, Italy with “racing” suspension, forged wheels, and carbon fiber bodywork.
With pricing to be in the €20,000 range, BMW hopes that its 450cc cup bike will appeal to 15 to 18-year-old riders, and is formulating a racing series that will piggyback off six select World Superbike and British Superbike rounds. As such, BMW’s proposal appears to be in direct competition with the European Junior Cup (EJC), which will use the Honda CBR500R as its spec-machine for the 2013 season.
Originally slated to start in 2013 with the BSB opener at Brands Hatch (April 5-7th), Motociclismo says the project has suffered delays in its development, which leads to some speculation that the series may be pushed back to the 2014 season. At that point, it will be interesting to see if BMW keeps its separate race series format, or lobbies to have its cup bike take over duties from the Honda CBR500R for the EJC.
It also remains to be seen which BMW brand gets slapped onto the machine, especially since Husqvarna has been making inroads into the street bike segments with its latest offerings. An exotic small-displacement race bike might just be the thing to invigorate Husqvarna’s on-road presence. As always, time will tell.