BMW motorcycles are typically pretty powerful machines, but none of the previous models can hold a candle to the latest addition to their sport bike lineup - the 2013 S1000RR HP4. The newest member of the high performance (HP) family is lightweight with a powerful engine, making me wonder how it was even deemed legal for private use at all. BMW really should have called the RR a prototype, as the bike is stocked with loads of features and technology never before used on a street-legal motorcycle.
What's new on the bike? Well, for starters it has a four-cylinder engine. I know that's not uncommon on a motorcycle, but it is the first time BMW has used one for an HP bike. Another street bike first is the Dynamic Damping Control - this is a system that is used by racers, and has never been implemented in serial motorcycles. The bike will automatically adjust the spring strut and the upside-down fork depending on the road surface. The system actually detects your driving conditions so you don't have to worry as much about traction control.
Speaking of control, the RR also features the Race ABS, which is designed for riders who like to race rain or shine. Just as in previous models, there are four settings on the ABS - Rain, Sport, Race, Slick. Whether you want to ride on the track or the road, you'll have the optimal brake settings when you do. Plus, the Slick setting also features Dynamic Traction Control. When you're sitting on the RR, getting ready to fire the engine up and tear off down the track, the last thing you want to happen is a false or a sloppy start.
BMW equipped the bike with sport bike accessories that make it difficult to botch a start or shift poorly. When you're in Slick mode, Launch Control helps you get the most out of the engine acceleration, so you can get a good head start early into the race. This function also limits engine torque, so instead of relying on the throttle to accelerate, you can do a lot more with the clutch. And you won't have to worry about popping a wheelie if you accelerate too quickly.
2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 Image Gallery
(Click for full size images)