New metal – BMW HP4 RACE


Meet the BMW’s HP4 RACE carbon superbike – the first BMW motorcycle to feature a full carbon fibre frame.

The HP4 RACE will be strictly limited, and just 750 bikes will be produced.

BMW’s engineers have gone to town making the bike as light as possible, and to this end the bike uses a monocoque construction frame which weighs just 7.8kg and has carbon wheels, which BMW says are 30 per cent lighter than those made of conventional materials.

This weight saving programme means the bike weighs just 171kg fully-fuelled – about the same weight as a MotoGP bike – no mean feat for a bike making 212bhp.

This bike has been designed solely for the track and it shows in its impressive spec, much of which is the same spec as the BW WSBK machines: Öhlins FGR 300 upside-down forks and TTX 36 GP rear suspension, Brembo GP4 PR monoblock brake calipers, 320 T-type racing steel brake disks, Dynamic Traction Control DTC (programmable for selected gears at 15 levels), Engine Brake EBR (programmable for selected gears at 15 levels) and Wheelie Control (programmable for selected gears).

Then there’s the 2D dash complete with data logger, a weight-optimised electrical system featuring light lithium-ion battery with 5 Ah, and self-supporting carbon fibre rear frame with three-stage height adjustment function.

This is a very trick bike, essentially a customer version of the BMW WSBK machine, and this is reflected in the price tag; the HP4 RACE will cost £68,000 when it hits the market in September. Bikes will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and can be ordered at all BMW Motorrad Centres in the UK.

BMW unveils vision of the future – the VISION NEXT 100 Motorrad concept


BMW has unveiled its vision of how it thinks motorcycling could look in 100 years with its VISION NEXT 100 Motorrad concept.

BMW envisions a future where two-wheel vehicles have enough onboard intelligence to make it possible for riders to use them without protective clothing, and while the emphasis here is still on the thrill of the ride, the concept’s intelligent rider aids means safety is paramount.

BMW claims the Motorrad’s systems will be smart enough to anticipate the road ahead and offer guidance on what to do to avoid incidents, and it can even step in and take over to prevent anything from happening if necessary. However, the really clever part is the use a self-balancing system that absolutely prevents the possibility of the bike toppling over, either when in motion or when standing still.