When BMW invited me in to their studio in Munich in 2015 to talk about the Graphic design for a top secret new project I was more than a little excited and curious about what the project might be. As they started briefing me about the bike, I think my eyes grew wider and wider. Yea, I was stoked to do the color and graphics for it, but what I really wanted to do was ride the thing!
Limited to just 750 units and available at a price of £68,000, or 80k euros, and for closed circuit use only, this is one seriously special and exclusive superbike, complete with a carbon fibre frame and full race spec!
The design is really just a blend of the BMW SP4 and classic HP Styling they use on limited edition models.
Below you can see the feedback they gave me on the concept they chose from the first versions I presented..
which lead to this version of the graphics:
My work was done on the project at this stage and the internal team at BMW took over and kept refining and tuning the design to the final version you see below. I think they did a really great job, especially with the iconic front mask, tank and tail and adding some red into the mix. Such a sick bike from A to Z!
“Fascinating technical solutions for maximum performance on the race track have always been the hallmark of hand-picked factory racing motorcycles modified to perfection down to the last detail. With the new HP4 RACE, BMW Motorrad presents a purebred racing bike in a production run of 750. It is individually crafted by a small, highly specialised team, ensuring the very highest level of quality.
The new BMW HP4 RACE: individually crafted high-tech and innovation for top performance on the race track.
Fascinating technical solutions for maximum performance on the race track have always been the hallmark of hand-picked factory racing motorcycles modified to perfection down to the last detail. With the new HP4 RACE, BMW Motorrad presents a purebred racing bike in a production run of 750. It is individually crafted by a small, highly specialised team, ensuring the very highest level of quality.
In terms of engine, electronics and spring elements, the new HP4 RACE is in the same category as current superbike factory racing machines, even surpassing this level in the area of suspension with its carbon fibre frame.
Weighing 171 kilograms when fully fuelled and road ready, the new HP4 RACE is even lighter than the factory racing bikes currently used in the Superbike World Championship and is only slightly above the MotoGP factory racers in terms of weight.
Industrially manufactured carbon fibre main frame in monocoque construction, self-supporting rear frame and wheels made of carbon fibre.
With the HP4 RACE, BMW Motorrad is the first motorcycle manufacturer in the world to present a main frame made entirely of carbon fibre and weighing just 7.8 kilograms that is produced industrially in small series, thereby making this future-oriented technology available for anyone to purchase. The front and rear wheel are also made of this high-tech material, enabling a weight reduction of approximately 30 per cent as compared to light alloy forged wheels while retaining a deliberately rigid design.
Öhlins spring elements, light alloy underslung swingarm and Brembo monoblock brake calipers from the Superbike World Championship.
The new HP4 RACE likewise meets the highest demands of racing technology in the area of spring elements and brakes. Both the FGR 300 upside-down fork and the TTX 36 GP spring strut are supplied by the Swedish manufacturer Öhlins, with identical parts being used both in the Superbike World Championship and in MotoGP. The light alloy underslung swingarm made of milled and sheet metal parts is also a component used in the Superbike World Cup.
Featuring two Brembo GP4 PR monoblock brake calipers, the brake system of new HP4 RACE also has parts otherwise only to be found in World Cup machines. Coated titanium pistons and single-piece aluminium calipers with chemically nickel-plated surface make for what is currently the very best combination of materials available. In conjunction with 6.75 mm thick 320 millimetre T-type racing steel brakes, the system ensures stunning brake performance.
Purebred racing engine and close-ratio racing gearbox with adapted transmission ratios according to World Cup specifications.
The new HP4 RACE has a purebred racing engine similar to specifications 6.2 and 7.2 as in the Endurance and Superbike World Championships. The peak output is 158 kW (215 hp) at 13 900 rpm. The maximum torque of 120 Nm is reached at 10000 rpm. The maximum engine speed has been increased as compared to the engine of the S 1000 RR from 14 200 rpm to 14 500 rpm. With the aim of achieving the best possible performance, a 6‑speed close-ratio racing gearbox is used with optimised transmission ratios and various secondary ratios (diverse pinions and chain sprockets included).
Weight-optimised electrical system, 2D dashboard along with Dynamic Traction Control DTC, Engine Brake EBR, Wheelie Control and other electronic features.
The new BMW HP4 RACE comes with an extensive package of electronic control and assistance systems as well as a weight-optimised on-board electrical system which has been optimised to meet racing needs. A wealth of information is available on the 2D dashboard with transferable data memory (2D logger).
Wide-ranging set-up options for different track layouts and road surface conditions are provided by the audibly perceptible Dynamic Traction Control controlled by ignition cut, Engine Brake EBR and Wheelie Control. These can be programmed selectively for each gear according to rider preference, allowing optimum use of the enormous riding dynamics potential offered by the new HP4 RACE. Other electronic features are the Pit Lane Limiter for observing speed limits in the pit lane and Launch Control for perfect race starts.
Light trim carbon fibre trim parts and hand-brushed aluminium fuel tank.
The carbon fibre trim, the intake silencer cover and the seat hump in the new HP4 RACE feature the BMW HP Motorsport colours. A hand-brushed aluminium fuel tank sealed with a clear finish underscores the bike’s high-quality racing look.”
An overview of the highlights of the new BMW HP4 RACE:
Carbon fibre main frame in monocoque construction weighing just 7.8 kilograms.
Self-supporting carbon fibre rear frame with three-stage height adjustment function.
Carbon fibre wheels offering a weight reduction of some 30 per cent as compared to light alloy forged wheels.
Öhlins FGR 300 upside-down fork.
Öhlins TTX 36 GP spring strut.
Brembo GP4 PR monoblock brake calipers with 320 T-type racing steel brake disks (thickness: 6.75 mm) at the front.
Racing engine at World Cup level with an output of 158 kW (215 hp) at 13 900 rpm and a maximum torque of 120 Nm at 10 000 rpm.
Close-ratio racing gearbox with adapted transmission ratios.
Weight-optimised electrical system featuring light lithium-ion battery with 5 Ah.
2D dashboard and 2D data recording including logger.
Dynamic Traction Control DTC (programmable for selected gears at 15 levels).
Engine Brake EBR (programmable for selected gears at 15 levels).
Wheelie Control (programmable for selected gears).
Pit Lane Limiter.
Light trim parts made of carbon fibre with snap fasteners.
Paint finish in BMW HP Motorsport colours.
Production run of 750 units, each individually crafted.