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Motorcycle of the Year 2013: BMW HP4

Friday, December 27, 2013
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Motorcycle USA Best of 2013 Awards Street Video
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Motorcycle USA recaps the best and brightest of the 2013 riding season in its annual Best of Awards Street video – including best street bike, sportbike and coveted Motorcycle of the Year.
Every year, a new crop of bikes raise the performance benchmark. In 2013 the production sportbike class saw a handful of new models, all featuring sophisticated race-derived upgrades – including traction control. Notable entries include Ducati’s Panigale and Kawasaki’s ZX-6R, but no bike impressed us more than BMW’s HP4, MotoUSA’s 2013 Bike of the Year.

While a very strong case can be made for highlighting the many smaller-displacement mounts that debuted in 2013 as deserving Bike of the Year honors, we can’t help but take the opposite tack. Access to affordable, easy-to-ride mounts is critical to the industry’s future, without question. But present-day riders have never enjoyed more power and performance than they do now - with the HP4 the perfect embodiment of this fact.

The BMW HP4 represents the pinnacle of production-based performance, a Superbike that mates raw power with refined control. BMW added extra oomph to an already frighteningly powerful engine, then enhanced the electronic aids and added a dynamic suspension package to exploit the Beemer’s wicked potential. The S1000RR has helped shift the BMW Motorrad image away from stodgy “pipes and slippers” conservatism to that of high-performance class leader – and the HP4 furthers that end.

The HP4 proves how incredible bikes can get even better – earning MotoUSA’s selection for 2013 Bike of the Year.



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MCUSA Bart   January 2, 2014 08:27 AM
As we mention in the story, the development of the entry-level class was a top candidate for Bike of the Year honors, including the CB500 models. Best bike for the money is a great idea, and MotoUSA is always open to adding more categories for 2014 and beyond.
pacman52   January 2, 2014 08:04 AM
I must admit that the HP4 is the ultimate sport bike in 2013! Like some have said, you should have ''the best motorcycle of the year for day to day riding'' or ''best motorcycle of the year for public roads'' or ''best bike for the money''... We have to agree that not everyone can afford an HP4...
motousa_adam   December 30, 2013 09:10 AM
Hey everyone, selecting the HP4 as Motorcycle of the Year was bound to ruffle some feathers. And although it is expensive and made in limited numbers the HP4 by BMW embodies the spirit of an ultimate motorcycle. It employs technologies we’ve never experienced on a road going motorcycle... and the gizmos actually work and help the rider operate the motorcycle in a safer way without losing that ‘thrill’ factor that is at the core of motorcycling. This allows any rider to feel like an absolute hero whether they race professionally or prefer racing to the grocery store. There were a lot of other great bikes for 2013, but none were as game changing as the HP4, regardless of price.
Piglet2010   December 29, 2013 10:38 PM
Should have been a joint award to the Honda CB500F/CBR500R/CB500X - real world motorcycles that people working real world jobs can afford. Most of the HP4's will end up in the garages of multimillionaire collectors.
teknic   December 29, 2013 09:18 AM
This may be the best motorcycle but most can't afford. You should create another category, Consumer Bike of the year or something.
jbutrus   December 29, 2013 08:36 AM
I cannot argue with the HP4s qualifications for this award, however, I would not choose a limited production model as motorcycle of the year. Moreover, the HP4 is NOT the ideal motorcycle for 98% of riders or 98% of riding environments. Few American riders will ever see a HP4 let alone ride or own one. What percentage of motorcycle miles ridden in America occur at a track?
mchale2020   December 28, 2013 07:30 PM
Really would like to give the HP4 a spin at Barber. The standard S1000RR makes for a really entertaining track machine. Some may complain of its lack of charisma and electronic nannies, but I'm going too fast to care. It's truly an iron hand in a velvet glove as far as refinement and accessibility are concerned for casual track enthusiasts.
RENDELL   December 28, 2013 01:05 PM
If a rider needs all those electronic aids maybe they should ride something smaller than a 1000cc sportbike. You can state your philosophy on this but the fact remains motorcycles are becoming like cars when laden with excessive electronics and a MSRP out of reach for most consumers. Enjoy...
proheli   December 28, 2013 08:44 AM
MOTY: I had a good test ride on the Pani and the BMW. It was not at the track and the suspension was not tuned specifically for me, but in this case the Pani was an easy performance winner, the aspect of SOUL, or lack of it was also readily apparent. I'm continually surprised how much individual bikes differ when they are new out of the box and also how much difference some set-up makes. Not trying to be contrary, love M-USA
DocNick   December 28, 2013 07:26 AM
Very few riders can get all of the HP4's performance, but all of them can be inconvenienced by its cramped track ergonomics, lack of passenger seating or storage, and high price to buy and insure. I would have gone with the FZ9, myself.