BMW HP4 Race Gets a Carbon Fiber Chassis for 2017

11/08/2016 @ 2:53 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS


We already had a pretty good idea what to expect from BMW Motorrad at the 2016 EIMCA show, but it is good to see that the Germans can still surprise us – and what a surprise it was, indeed.

Sort of a “one more thing” moment in Milan, the BMW HP4 Race was teased to the assembled EICMA press – giving us a look at their ultra-premium version of the BMW S1000RR Superbike, and it drips in carbon fiber.

Of course what really sets the BMW HP4 Race apart is the fact that it uses a twin-spar carbon fiber frame, making it, and the recently debuted Ducati 1299 Superleggera, the only production motorcycles with such a feature.

Details beyond what we can see are very scarce from BMW Motorrad, though we do know that we can expect the BMW HP4 Race to debut in the second-half of 2017. The name suggests that the bike might not be homologated for street use, but time will have to tell on that.

From looking at the concept bike in Milan, we can see that the carbon fiber chassis is joined by carbon fiber wheels and carbon fiber fairings. As such, we would expect a 20 lbs weight reduction, or more, from HP4 Race compared to the older HP4 model.

That should make the BMW HP4 Race one of the lightest superbikes on the market, though that ultimate title will likely stay with its Italian counterpart.

Other items we see are an Akrapovic exhaust, Brembo brakes, and Öhlins FGR forks (likely paired with an Öhlins TTX rear shock) – all standard items for a track-focused machine that spares no expense.

You have to feel bad for BMW in a way though, debuting such a bombshell of a bike, just a day after Ducati dropped the 1299 Superleggera, sort of steals the thunder from such a spectacular machine. Still, the S1000RR is one of the best superbikes on the market, and it only got better in its HP4 trim.

As such, we expect great things from the BMW HP4 Race once it officially debuts. The question is though, how many will be built, and how much will they cost? We need to start finding new homes for some of our organs…
















Source: BMW; Details Photos: MotoFire

As always, Asphalt & Rubber will be covering all the new bikes debuting at EICMA this year. Be sure to follow our coverage for the most recent news and photos.

  • ColonelClaw

    What’s the deal with carbon frames? I thought they were basically rejected after Ducati couldn’t get their GP bike to work with it? Or was that never the issue?
    On the one hand, zero MotoGP teams using carbon frames makes me think aluminium is better, but on the other hand I’m pretty sure Ducati and BMW wouldn’t use carbon frames if they didn’t think there was something meaningful to gain.

  • paulus

    It’s a point of difference to other offers (and for bragging rights by buyers). It’s a great point to market your halo track focused bike.
    Carbon is great where weight is critical and performance can be paid for at a premium… but not so good on the road. For all it’s strength, carbon can fail in spectacular ways… especially on normal road usage.

  • Armando Aj Marini

    Again, no adjustable rearsets. What gives?

  • Nicko55

    For machines available to the public, whether aluminum or carbon works better is irrelevant. Carbon is sexier, more exclusive and the wealthy will pony up the cash for it. Don’t expect to see MotoGP or WSB teams running carbon frames or swingarms anytime soon. “Tuned flex” is the term, and it’s clear aluminum is a much better material suited to that task (and it crashes better:).

  • NoIDEA

    You should do a bit more research before you write anything. Ducati is currently running a carbon fibre swingarm

  • Nicko55

    Edited for accuracy, forgot about that.

  • Erik Luke

    Ducati never had a carbon twin spar frame.

    There are plenty of things that can be changed to make the motorcycles better and more efficient, the problem is feel. Riders have graduated on machines that all give the same general feed back, to make drastic changes means the riders have to take the time to learn the new feelings the bike gives back. No top tier rider (Rossi, Lorenzo, Marquez, Pedrosa etc) will make that jump to be the testing mule for new ideas when all they want to do is win.

  • Teanau

    They also have minimum weights to consider in motogp, no point adding a carbon frame then needing to add lead weights.

  • Superlight

    Trouble is those “rules” mean that new technology is slow to emerge on motorcycles. Carbon fiber should have been used extensively on superbikes by now, just as it is in bicycles.

  • D3

    I just posted this in the other BMW thread.

    They changed to an ally twin spar as it allowed them to make greater adjustments and modifications to their frame/setup without being restricted by the engine cases.
    The rules in the GP limit tge number of engines per season, plus they need to be sealed at the start of the season. This meant a stressed member engine was a PIA to race and test with

    In regards to the ally frame, it might be the experience that the teams have with it, or maybe it might just be easier to test and prototype pieces in ally, rather than having to lay up a whole new frame each time. Dunno.
    Or maybe the race budget can be better spent elsewhere, with the weight of the frame being pretty close to center mass (not as much impact to reduce it), and the bikes already coming in at the min weight limit.

  • Dan Weaver

    They look 4 way adjustable at the peg.