Longtime BMW riders would hardly recognize the motorcycles coming from the Bavarian bike maker these days. Starting with the redesign of the R-Series models and their bump in displacement to 1200cc's a few years ago, BMW has been making a statement that it's going to be moving the brand up in the performance ranks. The four cylinder K1200 series has given BMW an image-bike that further cements it into the high performance race, and now the R1200S HP2 Sport will take the BMW brand back to the race track in style.
Starting with the R1200S as its base, already BMW's sportiest model, the HP2 adds new 4-valve heads sporting dual overhead cams. Redlining at around 9,500 RPM, the power output of the engine has been increased to 128 horsepower, and the 85 ft-lb. of torque makes this engine very powerful for an air-cooled boxer-twin. Routing that muscle to the rear wheel is a six-speed gearbox featuring a quick-shifter that allows the bike to survive full-throttle up-shifts and performs quicker than what can be done using your hands and feet.
[Source: BMW, Bikes in the Fast Lane]
Not content to leave well-enough alone, BMW has added Ohlins shocks to its Telelever front and Paralever rear suspension systems. The brakes are Brembo monoblocks with radial-mounting and feature rider-defeatable ABS. Bodywork has been revised with various carbon fiber bits and pieces and the wheels are forged units. Racers and track-day specialists will welcome the fact that all of the lights on the bike are quickly removable for competition, as well.
Want one? Join the club! But be prepared to pay dearly, 'cause this one is not likely to come cheap. The new HP2 Sport appears fully competitive with the best from Italy and Japan. To prove it can compete, BMW developed this bike through racing in the form of the World Endurance Championship, and it performed quite well, especially for the company's first effort with a new bike. It's officially time to start taking BMW sportbikes seriously, scraping valve-covers (!) and all.
THE NEW HP2 SPORT
Concept, Requirements and Features.
The dream of many Boxer fans has come true: With the new BMW HP2 Sport, BMW Motorrad is putting the sportiest, most powerful and lightest Boxer series of all times on the road. The third model of the HP model range was designed for the ambitious sports rider and enthrals with numerous exclusive details that were previously restricted to racing, some making their first appearance in series vehicle production.
Examples of these include the self-supporting and aerodynamically optimised fairings made completely of CFK, the gear shift assistant, a dashboard like that used in the MotoGP, the forged aluminium wheels and the racing brakes with radially bolted calipers. Wherever the eye of the spectator wanders, it sees pure racing technology that delights every enthusiast. It is unmistakably athletic, a vehicle that inspires on country roads as well as on the racing circuit.
Regardless of the limits for the engine output as a result of the principle and the aerodynamic disadvantages from the cylinder configuration of a Boxer, BMW Motorrad deliberately decided to further develop this historic engine concept for a road racer with racing circuit talent. The key engine data are very respectable: the engine achieves more than 96 kW/128 hp at 8750 min–1 compared with the significantly modified engine of the BMW R 1200 S. The maximum torque lies at 115 Nm at 6000 min–1, the highest revs of the
engine reaches a peak value at 9500 min–1.
Technically, the BMW HP2 Sport is based on the BMW R 1200 S. Customised to meet the requirements of the ambitious sports rider down to the last detail, the BMW HP2 Sport is however a completely independent and absolutely exceptional motorcycle. Many detailed solutions are based on the experiences gained in long-distance races.
The most striking difference of the BMW HP2 Sport from the endurance racing Boxer is the brand new cylinder heads: Each of the double overhead camshafts (DOHC) uses a drag lever to actuate the valves that are larger than in the BMW R 1200 S. Further modifications such as the flow-optimised intake and outlet, new forged pistons and adapted connecting rod help the engine to achieve the necessary higher output compared to the basic engine.
The new stainless steel exhaust system is placed below the engine for the first time. This keeps the construction of the lower area of the motorcycle extremely slim, enabling great freedom of movement for the familiar 'hanging off' riding position, and the fitting of a CFK engine spoiler is advantageous to the aero-dynamics. An inimitable boxer sound with new acoustic quality is generated by the exhaust system and the striking design of the rear silencer is impressive. Another exclusive racing feature is the gearshift assistant together with the narrow ratios of the 6-speed gearbox to enable fast gear changes without having to ease off the gas and operate the clutch. This technology is offered for the first time in a series vehicle. In order to adapt the gearshift pattern for the racing circuit, a suitable replacement pressure sensor is available as special equipment if necessary. The fully adjustable Öhlins sports chassis also has a Brembo monoblock brake system with radially mounted, four-piston fixed calipers at the front. Optimum ergonomics are ensured by the adjustable forged aluminium footrests, the adjustable stock handlebar and the Magura brake levers with radial mounted brake actuators. The series dashboard that comes directly from MotoGP sport provides the rider with important information and can also deliver lap times plus other racing relevant data as well as the usual displays.
Attention was paid consistently to the lightweight construction of all com-ponents. This includes not only the self-supporting front fairing and the likewise self-supporting carbon rear or the weight-optimised forged wheels, but also hidden details such as the lightweight generator from the racing world. That's how it was possible to reduce the unladen weight of the HP2 Sport to DIN standard with full tank (90%) to 199 kilos. The dry weight is a mere 178 kilos. The interplay of variable ergonomic design, increased engine output and the favourable centre of gravity of the Boxer guarantees superb handling and racing potential. Even if racing fascination is clearly at the forefront of the BMW HP2 Sport, it does not have to forego the safety design feature of ABS. The sophisticated anti-blocking system specially adapted to the HP2 Sport is available as an option and is configured so it can be switched off for the racetrack.
The market introduction of the BMW HP2 Sport is scheduled for 2008.