BMW is no stranger to low-volume, exotically-built, track-special vehicles. Cars like the BMW M4 GTS, M3 GTS, M3 CSL and 3.0 CSL have all be cars throughout the brand’s history that were sold in limited numbers and designed specifically for race tracks. However, it seems that BMW’s desire to create track-ready, high-tech vehicles is not limited to four-wheels. The BMW HP4 Race is an exotic, non street-legal, carbon fiber superbike that costs more than a loaded BMW M4.
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The star of the car isn’t its price, its power or its performance but its frame. Made from a single piece of carbon fiber, with all of its metal attachments pre-installed, the HP4 Race’s carbon fiber frame is a stunning piece of mechanical art. It’s beautiful. Combined with carbon fiber subframe components, carbon wheels and titanium bolts, with a lithium-ion battery, the entire wet weight of the bike is just 378 lbs. Forty percent of Americans weigh more than that.
Combine that low curb weight with a 999cc, 215 hp, four-cylinder engine and the BMW HP4 Race is quick, to say the least. Thanks to its forged crankshaft, it can rev to 14,500 rpm, an astonishing number to car enthusiasts. It’s proper superbike fast and it’s incredibly precise and stable.
In this review, Motorcycle.com claims the BMW Hp4 Race to be “the most capable I’ve ever ridden”. I’m not a big bike guy but this seems like a proper weapon. Its engineering and technology seem unparalleled in the superbike world and its performance seems like it’s from another planet. However, there are a few catches.
First, the price. At $85,000, you can have a fully loaded BMW M3 Competition Package or even a nicely equipped BMW X5. So, in terms of value, the BMW HP4 Race isn’t great. Exacerbating that is the fact that the HP4 isn’t road-legal. So it can only be legally driven on a race track, making it an $85,000 track toy to only be used occasionally. Also, at 5,000 km, it require a full engine replacement, costing an additional $17,000. So not only is it incredibly expensive but it’s expensive to maintain and own while only being available to drive occasionally.
Still, if you have deep pockets and want a superbike for the track and one that can embarrass most other superbikes, it’s hard to look past the BMW HP4 Race.