BMW Motorrad Releases HP4 Superbike

Motorcycles / Comments

Homologation special motorbike has twice the power-to-weight ratio of a Bugatti Veyron. Better hold on tight.

There are more things that make a motorcycle and a car alike than what separates them. They both have engines, wheels, gas tanks, exhausts, brakes, mirrors, lights...and of course both are made to transport mankind from Point A to Point B. It's just how it does so that's different. Yet there aren't many companies that make both motorcycles and cars. Peugeot is one. Honda is another. So is BMW, and this is its latest and most extreme model.

The all-new HP4 is an homologation special. That is, like the Ferrari 250 GTO or the Porsche 911 Strassenversion, it's built to comply with the regulations of the series in which the racing version competes. That means a rather extreme performance machine with an engine that would put some cars to shame. At the heart of the HP4 is a 1000cc (that's 1.0 liter) inline-four with a massive 193 horsepower and 82 lb-ft of torque. That's as much as you'd find in some hot hatches, only without the extra weight: measured dry, the HP4 weighs in at less than 372 lbs, or 438 lbs with a 90-percent full tank.

Even wet, that gives the HP4 a power-to-weight ratio of just 2.27 lbs/hp. That's nearly twice as potent as a Veyron. In other words, the Bugatti would need to have nearly 2,000 horsepower (or weigh half as much) to match the relative thrust of the BMW HP4. To get its weight down, BMW Motorrad gave the HP4 lightweight forged wheels, a titanium exhaust and even a lighter battery. Launch control, dynamic dampers, ABS and traction control are all part of the package as well, but don't expect it to come cheap: $25,000, which may seem cheap for that kind of performance in car terms, but that's a hunk of change and a half for a motorbike.

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