BMW joins the carbon fiber party with the new HP4 RACE (with video)

"Advanced prototype" of latest generation S 1000 RR-based HP4 equipped with carbon main frame and wheels...sorry Ducati, you're not the only one

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BMW unveiled its "advanced prototype" of the new HP4 RACE model sporting a carbon fiber main frame and wheels.Photography courtesy of BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad unveiled an “advanced prototype” of its HP4 called the “HP4 RACE” at EICMA, with the S 1000 RR-based machine sporting a full carbon fiber main frame and wheels. There were no details on the new HP4 released by BMW, other than BMW CEO Stephan Schaller stating that, “The HP4 RACE will feature the full carbon fiber main frame and carbon fiber rims as shown here. We will reveal more about this model next spring.” The press release also stated that the bike will be “manufactured by hand in an exclusive limited series and supplied in the second half of 2017.”

The photos show the HP4 RACE to be equipped with the latest Öhlins GP-spec FGR fork and TTX shock components, as well as Brembo’s M50 monoblock calipers and T-Drive rotors. The carbon main frame (the swingarm is still aluminum), self-supporting tail section, and wheels, as well as the bodywork, were likely made in-house by BMW at one of its three manufacturing plants in Landshut, Leipzig, and Dingolfing that also produce the parts for the company’s i-series and 7-series automobiles that employ extensive use of the ultra-lightweight but super-strong material. BMW was one of the first auto manufacturers to make significant investment into its own carbon fiber manufacturing capabilities, instead of out-sourcing the component manufacturing like most others do.

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The 2017 HP4 RACE is the latest version of the HP4 that debuted in 2013 with one of the first semi-active suspension systems on the market.Photo courtesy of BMW Motorrad
2017, bmw, hp4 race, carbon fiber frame, carbon fiber wheels
Unlike the original HP4 that came with its then-ground-breaking DDC (Dynamic Damping Control) semi-active suspension, the HP4 RACE will come with the latest top shelf Öhlins suspension and Brembo braking components.Photo courtesy of BMW Motorrad
2017, bmw, hp4 race, carbon fiber frame, carbon fiber wheels
Unlike the Ducati Superleggera, the HP4 RACE's carbon construction doesn't extend to the swingarm, which is aluminum like the standard HP4. Apparently BMW couldn't get the rigidity characteristics it wanted with the carbon setup.Photo courtesy of BMW Motorrad
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The self-supporting tail section and seat of the HP4 RACE is also constructed entirely from carbon fiber.Photo courtesy of BMW Motorrad
2017, bmw, hp4 race, carbon fiber frame, carbon fiber wheels
BMW already has a lot of experience with carbon fiber manufacturing for stress-loaded components with its 7-series and i-series hybrid automobiles, with several facilities in Germany making the parts in-house. The main frame for the HP4 RACE looks beautiful.Photo courtesy of BMW Motorrad
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The carbon front wheel of the HP4 RACE shows the different fabric layering and content in its construction.Photo courtesy of BMW Motorrad
2017, bmw, hp4 race, carbon fiber frame, carbon fiber wheels
The rear carbon fiber wheel of the HP4 RACE looks plenty wide, possibly a 6.00-inch unit meant for a 200-series tire?Photo courtesy of BMW Motorrad