Cycle News Staff | August 1, 2012
The HP4 is BMWs first four-cylinder in the HP family and - with a dry weight of 373 pounds including ABS - the HP4 is five pounds lighter than the S 1000 RR that its based on.

BMW has introduced its HP4, the company’s first four-cylinder in the HP family and – with a dry weight of 373 pounds, including ABS –  the HP4 is five pounds lighter than the S 1000 RR that it’s based on.

Weighing just 439 pounds with a 90 percent full fuel tank, BMW claims the HP4 is the lightest four-cylinder supersports bike in the 1000cc class. The HP4 joins the boxer model HP2 Enduro, HP2 Megamoto and HP2 Sport in the HP (as in High Performance) family that started in 2005.

The new HP4 gets what BMW calls a first for production motorcycles: Dynamic Damping Control (DDC). The DDC is a semi-active suspension system that changes the front and rear damping based on the mode selected, lean angle and speed.

In addition to the DDC, the HP4 gets a more developed and refined Race ABS system that works in conjunction with Brembo monoblock brakes. The ABS has four different modes for wet surfaces (Rain), roads (Sport), racetrack with DOT tires (Race) and racetrack with slicks (Slick). In “Slick” mode, a new IDM setting (based on experience gained from racing in the Germany Championship) with “refined regulation impulses now gives the skilled rider the option of maximum possible deceleration.” The Slick mode features an additional adjustment range of minus 7 to plus 7 and it’s all controlled via a paddle on the left handlebar.

The HP4 is also the first BMW motorcycle to have a Launch Control function which provides active support for the rider in “Slick” mode to achieve maximum acceleration from standing – for example on race starts. The system limits torque so the rider basically controls acceleration by the clutch and not the throttle. The system also has wheelie control.

The HP4 also has a quickshifter the shift assistant so you can bang upshifts on the racetrack.

The HP4 also has a quickshifter (the shift assistant) so you can bang upshifts on the racetrack.

A lot of the weight loss comes via new seven-spoke wheels made from lighter forged alloy and a lighter sprocket carrier. The exhaust system is made entirely of titanium with a weight savings of 9.9 pounds over the S 1000 RR. The new exhaust system has a resonance pipe between cylinders two and three, a controlled acoustic valve and a closed-loop catalytic converter. BMW says the torque curve has been improved thanks to the new system.

Unlike the S 1000 RR, the inline four-cylinder engine in the HP4 provides the full output of 193 horsepower at 13,000 rpm in all modes – “Rain,” “Sport,” “Race” and “Slick” – with an identical throttle curve.

A “Competition Package” is also available for the HP4, which features carbon parts – including a long, closed HP engine spoiler in carbon. It also features an adjustable HP rider footpeg system, folding HP brake and clutch levers, wheels finished in Racing Blue Metallic and a factory sponsor sticker kit provide additional enhancement of the new HP4.

Here’s BMW’s breakdown of the technical highlights of the new HP4:

•                Fork bridge with engraved number and HP4 logo.

•                Lightest 1000 supersports bike with four cylinders: 439 lbs (199 kg)

(90% DIN unladen weight).

•                Innovative suspension with Dynamic Damping Control (DDC).

•                Race ABS with IDM setting.

•                Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with fine tune adjustment in “Slick” mode.

•                Launch Control.

•                Adapted wheelie detection.

•                New rear wheel tires, 200/55 ZR 17.

•                Shift assistant as standard equipment.

•                Light titanium exhaust system with controlled acoustic valve and resonance pipe.

•                Forged light alloy wheels, anodized in black.

•                Radial monoblock brake calipers by Brembo with special brake pads.

•                9x floating brake discs at front.

•                Extended, dual-section engine spoiler.

•                Seat in monoposto look with passenger seat cover.

•                Lighter 7 Ah battery.

•                Performance-oriented engine set-up.

•                Increased torque in the medium engine speed range.

And The Competition Package:

•                Long, closed engine spoiler made of carbon.

•                Sponsor sticker kit included.

•                Wheels in Racing Blue Metallic.

•                HP Carbon badge carrier.

•                HP Carbon tank cover.

•                HP brake lever, hinged.

•                HP clutch lever, hinged.

•                HP rider footrest system, adjustable.

For more Cycle News Sport Bike motorcycle reviews, click HERE.

For more BMW motorcycle reviews, click HERE.