BMW HP4

HP4
Manufacturer
Category
Available from
2012

User Reviews

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Submitted by John Stell on Tue, 09/09/2014 - 13:48

Overall Review

Not beating about the bush here, if you're serious about performance, and having a super exclusive bike then the HP4 is the best contender. If you're in it for the ride and the emotion then similar bikes can deliver a great package with arguably better looks and cutting edge design. The question is what do you want. The good folks at BMW have take a well established formula, added brains, exclusivity and mountains of silky smooth power and torque. And if starts first time, won't break the bank to service and doesn't drink oil or fuel excessively. Shame about the appetite it has for tyres.... But it will always turn heads on the road, track or behind your couch.

Strengths

Speed, speed, control and a tad more speed. Nimble despite its apparent size, in you face looks and accomplished at everything. Comfortable and practical, well built no nonsense German engineering. Accomplished on the road as well as the track. Hats off to the electronics engineers who developed the brains. The wheels are beautiful...... The heated grips a godsend, and on the fly traction control will really pay dividends as the tyres warm and then go off around your favourite track. Don't worry about suspension adjustment at the track, it's smarter than you.

Weaknesses

Maybe not the top draw when it comes to the fine detail of frame welds and finishes, but the quality of the bits that really matter shine through. And if it only had the soul of a big V twin to go with the planet moving power.

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Overall Review

I have had the opportunity to ride the HP4 several times. Each experience has taught me something new about the special edition BMW. My first encounter with the HP4 was a 2013 model without the competition pack. I took it on one of my favorite loops in the area of Germany, where I currently live, and was simply astounded by the ease in which this bike can be ridden, fast or slow. In city traffic this bike can be very docile, well-mannered and very natural feeling. The truly inspiring part is when you twist the throttle and the bike comes to life. My daily bike is a 2006 CBR1000RR, a very well-rounded bike and class-of winner in its own time. I've never thought that the CBR was a slow bike, and I still don't, but now I see how far we've come with ever-increasing horsepower figures and rider aids. In the twisty sections the HP4 is sure-footed and gives the rider loads of confidence, you simply need to relax and let the DDC do its job and try not to counter any perceived change in suspension setup. This bike is, simply put, very easy to ride fast! I have also had the chance to ride the 2014 HP4 with competition pack. By way of comparison, both bikes feel very similar, but the competition pack does feel, ever-so-slightly, lighter on its feet. The S1000RR and HP4 both feel slightly over-damped at slower speeds but that stability is very comforting when the pace quickens. BMW has a winning formula. I can't wait to ride the 2015 model in the spring!

Strengths

DDC, DTC, riding modes, massive power, amazingly powerful brakes, and launch control, etc., etc., etc.

Weaknesses

The steering can feel slightly over-damped at initial turn-in but also makes the bike feel extremely well planted once leant over. The amazingly powerful brakes mentioned already can call you out if you forget that you only have to breathe on the lever to actuate the mighty Brembos.

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
Click for more details

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