Carbon Fiber BMW HP4 Race Debuts in China

04/19/2017 @ 8:18 am, by Jensen Beeler28 COMMENTS

As we predicted, the BMW HP4 Race carbon fiber superbike debuted today in China, at the Auto Shanghai 2017 expo. This is the production version of the prototype that BMW Motorrad teased at last year’s EIMCA show in Milan.

Details were scarce in Italy, but now BMW is ready to tell us all about its halo bike. The numbers? Only 750 units of the BMW HP4 Race will be produced. Each one will make 212hp, and weigh 377 lbs when fully fueled and ready to ride – which is lighter than BMW’s WorldSBK-spec S1000RR racing machine.

Of course the main feature of the BMW HP4 Race is that it drips in carbon fiber. The bodywork, main frame, and wheels are made of this composite material, with the tail section being a self-supporting carbon fiber unit.

BMW Motorrad has interestingly chosen an aluminum swingarm for the HP4 Race though, a departure from the show bike, likely for rigidity/handling reasons.

With the HP4 Race, BMW touts the fact that it is the first manufacturer to make a “main frame” entirely of carbon fiber, which is a lawyerly dig at the carbon fiber chassis of the Ducati 1299 Superleggera, which debut last year in Milan, just ahead of the HP4 Race.

BMW’s claims a 17 lbs figure for its carbon fiber frame design, and it appears from the language in the press release that the carbon fiber frame will be available for sale to S1000RR owners, thus explaining why its shape mimics the design of the original aluminum chassis. No word on price for that, though.

For the wheels, BMW is claiming a staggering 30% weight reduction over the already light forged aluminum wheels found on the BMW S1000RR. Other tasty bits include Öhlins FGR 300 forks and an Öhlins TTX 36 GP rear shock – some of the best suspension money can buy.

Brakes are by Brembo, of course, and feature two Brembo GP4 PR monoblock brake calipers up front, which have coated titanium pistons and single-piece aluminium calipers, with chemically nickel-plated surfaces. Brembo 320mm T-type steel disc brakes are also used.

With all the upgrades to the chassis, BMW Motorrad made sure not to neglect the engine on the HP4 Race, building it to similar spec as their “6.2” & “7.2” options in the BMW Racing catalog.

This means a peak horsepower figure of 212hp at 13,900 rpm, and a peak torque figure of 89 lbs•ft at 10,000 rpm. Helping this power gain is the fact that the redline has been moved on the HP4 Race to 14,500 rpm, from 14,200 rpm found on the S1000RR.

Of course, all that power would be wasted if their wasn’t an electronics package to match, and BMW has kitted the HP4 Race as if it was a racing machine. Thus, the BMW HP4 Race uses a 2D dashboard, with a full-racing electronics suite.

As such, riders will be able to adjust a bevy of electronics, including dynamic traction control, engine braking, and wheelie control. There is also a pit lane limiter, and launch control feature, thus showing the HP4 Race’s track-only focus.

We haven’t seen pricing details from BMW Motorrad USA thus far, but European pricing seems set at £68,000 / €80,000 for the UK and EU markets, respectively.

Source: BMW Motorrad

  • Adam Creer

    No carbon fiber kickstand for Quentin’s puns. Pass…

  • Chocodog

    Insane, for a streetbike, moderately insane for a track bike. They upped the ante a lot.

  • He will be all the sads.

  • Dustin Nisbet-Jones

    They’re saving the carbon fibre automatic kickstand for the HP4 Race 2EP Edition

  • Rob

    I dont get the pun at ducati…

  • KyleM

    Riding around on one of those would significantly increase the size of my carbon footprint.

  • Jack Meoph

    Bring me my brown leathers.

  • Shinigami

    No way those photos were taken in China. You can see the sky in some of them!

    And this is an odd turn of phrase:

    “chemically nickel-plated surfaces”

    …as opposed to what? Magically??

  • Those photos look like a track in Spain, the bike was unveiled at the Shanghai show though.

  • mikstr


  • darren636

    exquisitely​ finished

  • a miner oversight

  • NortNad

    I dig it, but the alloy swing arm doesn’t make sense? So what are they saying about carbon fibre?

  • Shinigami

    Yeah, I was just kidding around there.

  • coreyvwc

    So it’s heavier, less powerful, and more expensive than the Ducati Superleggera, and it’s not street legal either? I think it looks pretty damn amazing, but aside from that what is the incentive to buy one?

  • Jack Meoph

    Ducati retails at $89,225 and at current exchange rates the BMW will retail at $85,740. Ducati: 344 dry. BMW: 377 wet. 1 gal. of gasoline weighs a bit more than 6 lbs. Oil around 2 lbs a quart. Ducati: 500 units. BMW 750 units. The comparo tests will be interesting.
    I would buy the Ducati if I had stupid money, because you can pose at *$’s on the Duc.

  • coreyvwc

    I think they would be VERY close on overall performance/lap times, but the fact that the BMW is track only is a pretty big downside in my eyes.

  • durandal1

    Why would you ever ride a machine like this on the street instead of a bike that has a chassis made for street riding?

  • paulus

    Ducati is not really a main frame… only a bolt on headstock and seat support.

  • paulus

    An alternative method to Electro-nickel plated.
    As the reasons and benefits… I have no idea, but there are different methods for getting nickel onto surfaces.

  • paulus

    I would guess safety/liability. There are some countries where this will be road registered, regardless. Roads are much harsher environments than race tracks. Not all roads are glassy smooth and climate factors are more extreme. With the design on the swing arm and the forces involved, maybe a CF swing arm had too much risk of potential issues. Better safe then sorry when selling to rich people with the funds to sue you (or get pi$$ed and not buy any of your future halo bikes).

  • NortNad

    you make total sense, but what about the carbon fibre frame then? swing arm pivot points on the frame? I really like carbon fibre anything, but for me, this stinks like a gimmick.

  • Ducmadness

    @durandal1 Exactly!! but you should know most of these people are posers!

  • Ducmadness

    easy!!! YOU RACE!!! that’s what its made for. you don’t race go buy a vespa

  • gildasd
  • paulus

    CF has aluminium or other inserts bonded into it for mountings. A frame’s stresses are not as extreme as a swing arm, even at the pivot. There are 2 uses for CF, cosmetic (panels and show pieces only for looks) and structural (frames, sub frames and functional items). Structural CF is much more complicated and expensive to produce… hence less of it in the market. Personally, I would not use CF wheels or other critical parts for a daily driver… they are sexy as hell, but not as ‘forgiving’ of abuse as metal.

  • Mak Kah Heng

    Exactly. Agreed.

  • Mak Kah Heng

    Rad !