2018 BMW HP4 Race Video Review

Kevin Duke
by Kevin Duke

The ultra-exotic carbon-framed $78k wunderbike tested at COTA

Photos by Jon Beck | Videos by Video by JD Mitchell, Beck and Duke

BMW’s S1000RR knocked our socks off when it debuted in 2009, earning immediate praise and going on to win several of our superbike shootouts and repeated MOBO awards as it was updated in 2012 and again in 2015. And then there was the higher-spec HP4 version that we described as the most capable sportbike ever when we reviewed it late in 2012.

2017 Superbike Shootout

So it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that a new track-only HP4 Race version, with a carbon-fiber frame and wheels and upper-top-shelf componentry, like a Suter swingarm and and World Superbike-spec FGR300 Öhlins fork and nickel-plated Brembo GP4 PR brake calipers, was going to be one of the best sportbikes we’ve ever sampled.

BMW says the HP4 Race (which lacks any street equipment) scales in at 378 pounds with its aluminum tank filled with 4.6 gallons of fuel, this compared to the S1000RR’s curb weight claim of 459 pounds. That makes the HP4 genuinely lighter than a World Supers racebike! Of course, all this top-shelf equipment doesn’t come cheap: The MSRP is $78,000 for one of the 750 units BMW will produce.

We already delivered our review of the HP4 Race, but now we’ve put together a video for it that includes an interview with Josef Miechler, BMW’s Product Office Strategy and Product Management responsible for BMW’s 4- and 6-cylinder platforms. Sepp, Miechler’s nickname, is an avid trackday enthusiast who is faster than most riders, so his comments and descriptions aren’t just flowery words spat out by a PR flack. We hope you enjoy the video!

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  • Old MOron Old MOron on Nov 14, 2017

    Absolutely, absolutely, zat vas a kool video, ja.

    Okay seriously, cool vid. I don't think I discerned the audible TC signal, but I believe you. Only seven kilos heavier than a MotoGP bike, wow.

  • A. Freire A. Freire on Nov 14, 2017

    I have owned a 2010 S1000RR and own (and have raced) a 2015 S1000RR, so this is a dream bike. What's disappointing is the 3000 mile life of the engine. Of course that's a lot of races. But still. Kind of destroys the idea that this engine might find itself in the 2018 model. Oh, well.

    • See 4 previous
    • J Carne J Carne on Dec 01, 2017

      It would be interesting to know how many bearing changes the carbon fiber wheels will tolerate before the bore is shot. But I guess if you can afford to buy a couple of these to race with, maintenance parts are small change.