BMW's latest addition to its HP range is certain to polarise opinions. On one hand it's a very expensive toy for immensely rich posh-boys only, on the other it's one of the most desirable and high-performance BMWs you can own. On specs alone the Megamoto is a fairly impressive package.
In keeping with BMW's HP ethos of producing lightweight bikes with quality components the Megamoto weighs just 179kg (20kg lighter than a GS), but comes with 113bhp and 85ft-lb of torque thanks to a tweaked and wonderfully revvy Boxer engine. Hand-built and balanced by BMW's special projects department at their Munich factory, the HP2 designers have specifically designed it for maximum responsiveness. This is a BMW brimming with character, technical know-how and trick parts.
The powder-blue chassis has an Öhlins shock, Marzocchi forks, carbon bodywork and the same lightened frame as the HP2 Enduro. On paper it all looks good, until you spot the price tag. £12,595 for a supermoto? You're going to have to really want a Megamoto to be prepared to shell out that much. Which is the problem I have with the bike, because although it's undoubtedly the rawest and most aggressive BMW out there, it's hard to justify that kind of money. Anything below £10,000 and I wouldn't have an issue, but above that and I'm struggling.
But let us forget the money issue for a minute. I never thought the day would come when I would describe a BMW's performance as explosive, but the Megamoto's certainly is. Right from the word go the Boxer motor has tons of torque, but it's the mule-like kick in the power delivery that's so surprising. The first hit is delivered between 2 and 4,000rpm before a dip due to the inevitable emissions laws, at which point you are rudely awoken by a whopping boot at 6,000rpm that catapults the motor towards its 8000rpm redline. Supermotos are all about explosive delivery and a feeling of brutish power, and although the Megamoto has a low top speed - by 110mph it's all over - it doesn't half get there in a hurry. And all the time the OE Akrapovic titanium exhaust gives a wonderfully sharp bark while revving and glorious pop on over-run. It's this aural treat that makes you want to rev the motor through its range just to hear what tune you can make it play, which is good because the engine does need to be worked as it's extremely low-geared.
On the open road 90mph equates to 5,000rpm and you sit there in the flat part of the power, but it's hammering through B-roads that the bike comes alive and does what it's supposed to. Keep it boiling between 6-8,000rpm, keep feeding the gears in and the BMW will fair rattle through the miles at electric speeds. The bars will be wriggling in your hands, the intoxicating noise from the exhaust in your ears, and it makes you grin ear to ear. There's proper passion in this motorcycle, and it even wheelies, on the power. When did you ever hear of a BMW doing that? Although in typical BMW fashion the Megamoto tends to lurch off to the side like a drunken tramp due to the torque reaction from the Boxer motor.