BMW at the New York Cycle World Int'l Motorcycle Show

Fast Boxer.

Photography by Gregor Halenda

BMW at the New York Cycle World Int

BMW's pavilion at the New York City Cycle World International Motorcycle Show was brightened by not just by a plethora of new models but by the smiling and jovial face of factory racer Nate Kern, who makes his home in New Jersey, not too far from the show. Nate's new weapon, the HP2 Sport, is BMW's version of a production racer, drew a lot of attention on the track and is getting even more attention as a limited-production streetbike.

Kern first rode the bike last April when he provided the design team with feedback on the then still-in-development bike. Engineers made minor adjustments to the Telelever front suspension, which effected huge improvements in the handling of the new bike. "It’s razor sharp,” claimed Kern. "It takes less than half the effort to turn than my old R1200S." As for the engine, Kern is optimistic about the upcoming Daytona 200, which he’s always dreamed of riding. "The Sport has the same torque as the old motor but spins up so much faster. We’ve revved it up to 9600 rpm with no problems." In testing, Kern never had the benefit of a draft but still saw speeds in the mid-160s. He thinks that with a draft, the new Boxer could get close to 170 mph, a massive step up for the opposed-Twin. Of course, all that go is only trouble without the means to slow it back down, and Kern was particularly thrilled with the anchors of the German racebike. "The brakes are absolutely violent," he beamed, "the best I’ve ever experienced."

While BMW is sporting up its lineup with the HP series, it’s the GS adventure-bike models that keep the cash registers ringing for the German firm. The much-anticipated F800GS parallel-Twin made its debut, and the off-road set welcomed the bike with open arms. Looking mean and lean, the 392-pound bike puts out 85 hp in a narrow package that splits the ground between the popular R1200GS Boxer Twin and the equally venerable F650GS Single. The F800GS looks the business, and fans of the marque were practically wearing out the seat for a chance to sit behind the bars. BMW is doubtlessly hoping for as much enthusiasm in its showrooms during the upcoming season.

The BMW F800GS was a popular bike at the BMW display.

The stacked oval gauges of the F800GS are easy to read at a glance.

The new BMW HP2 Megamoto is the street-only version of the original HP2 and offers even more power in a lower-slung chassis.

Sam Cardea (front) and Daryl Stone (passenger) try out the new R1200GS.

Unlike most dirtbikes, the G450X hangs its engine from the frame rather than cradling it with any sort of front downtubes.

The Sport?s full carbon-fiber bodywork is stunning. Asymmetrical headlamps sit in a symmetrical housing.

The view from the command center of the HP2 sport is all business, with a massive machined triple-clamp, a huge digital dash, and radial-pump clutch and brake master cylinders.

The F800GS features the same kind of asymmetrical headlamp arrangement that has distinguished the brand since the R1200S.

The brakes on the HP2 Sport are one-piece radial-mount Brembos that look as though they could stop a truck.

One of the first things you notice about the new GS is the burly metal trim covering the front tank area.

Show-goer Jonathon Nabut tries the seating position of the K1200R.

The HP2 Sport features carbon-fiber valve covers that sport special sliders for hardcore cornering.

"Masculine" is the best way to describe the muscular frame and engine of the F800GS. This is the bike Mad Max might have ridden.

Another crowd pleaser was the new-from-the-ground-up G450X Single, BMW?s entry into the off-road enduro market.

BMW opted for a chain final drive on the new F800GS that will make gearing changes simpler but maintenance more frequent.

The frame of the G450X is simple and well triangulated, with the countershaft sprocket concentric with the swingarm pivot for constant chain tension.

The K1200R is available in a bold and very un-BMW color: Electric Green.