Is BMW’s HP2 Sport the ultimate Boxer, or just an over-priced showman? We spent a day on the road with the £15,000 BMW that floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
Click to read: BMW HP2 Sport owners reviews, BMW HP2 Sport specs and to see the BMW HP2 Sport image gallery.
Flicking the ignition on the impossibly trick 2D digital display glows into life while an array of LED lights illuminate the inside of the cowling. This is race track kudos on a grand scale. “Which dash have you got?” “Oh this? It’s the 2008 World Superbike dash by 2D, only the top teams are using it. And owners of BMW’s HP2 Sport.” Well you would expect a bit of special treatment if you had just forked out £15k for what is merely a tweaked up Boxer engine in a fairly normal-looking frame with a splattering of carbon fibre.
Except the HP2 Sport is far from just a tweaked R1200S. This is, quite simply, the best and most high-tech Boxer-engined BMW that the company will ever produce. And I know this for a fact. BMW have just launched their S1000RR superbike, using a brand new 1,000cc inline four engine that is destined to compete in World Superbikes in 2009. This move effectively makes the HP2 Sport redundant when it comes to racing. Well, all apart from a few ‘special interest’ classes. What would the point be in BMW racing this bike when they have a purpose-built race bike? But that is missing the point of the HP2 Sport.
It isn’t really meant to be a race bike, this is BMW showing what they could do with the Boxer engine if given free rein and they gave their technical boffins in the R&D department carte blanche and an open cheque book. I just wish they’d decided to do this about five years ago because the HP2 Sport is a glorious machine and if parts of this bike had filtered down to production bikes it would certainly have completely changed the way many riders still look at BMW today.
Push the ugly standard fitment BMW starter/kill switch and the Sport barks into life. It doesn’t burble like other Boxers, this bike snaps with a much sharper note. The LED lights stay illuminated as you blip the throttle to get some heat into the engine, slowly counting down from red through yellow to green. Only when the last of the green lights is out will the bike run properly, that’s when the onboard diagnostic systems have run their checks and decided that the engine is up to temperature and ready for the off. Although you can still pull away, up until that point it won’t allow you access to full power for fear of harming the engine.
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