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2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 First Ride

Monday, September 10, 2012

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2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 First Ride Video
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BMW releases a premium up-spec ‘HP’ version of its S1000RR Superbike and we test ride it in this exclusive First Ride video from Jerez, Spain. Learn more in the 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 First Ride Video.
Eager to capitalize on the success of other sportbike brand’s premium grade and limited edition offerings, BMW has bestowed its up-spec ‘HP’ (high-performance) designation to the S1000RR superbike. In addition to exclusivity, the 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 offers superior road performance and control.


The function of the motorcycle’s electronics is a big part of the HP4 package. It’s highlighted by the use of a semi-active suspension—a first for a production sportbike. Dubbed, Dynamic Damping Control (DDC), both the fork and shock automatically adjust damping while riding based on data received from sensors and control inputs from the rider.

Furthermore the compression and rebound circuits can be adjusted electronically with a push of the button. Spring preload however is still tuned manually albeit a simple and easy-to-access knob on the shock body. Shims are used to raise ride height based on tire geometry or rider preference. A conventional nut-type collar atop the right fork leg is used for front adjustment.
Stability continues to be a strong attribute of the BMW S1000RR.
This diagram shows the components of BMWs Dynamic Traction Control - a first for a production sportbike.
Baseline compression and rebound suspension changes can be made in the menu.
(Top) The HP4 S1000RR steers much easier than a standard model due to the wheel upgrade. (Center) This diagram shows the components of BMW’s Dynamic Traction Control – a first for a production sportbike. (Bottom) Baseline compression and rebound suspension changes can be made in the menu.

Out on Jerez circuit the damping characteristics felt near perfectly calibrated for a quick track rider. Both the fork and shock read road conditions accurately and were plush and controlled as each component moved through its stroke. When either end was loaded heavily with the throttle (shock) or brakes (fork) damping was sufficient to not cause excessive chassis pitch.

Although it didn’t offer the responsive ‘feel every pebble in the pavement’ of a properly tuned racebike it still performed at a very high-level even during more assertive control inputs during the afternoon session with the fitment of Pirelli’s fabulous Diablo Supercorsa racing slick. The true test will be how the system reacts on bumpy, stop-and-go U.S. circuits, however, at Jerez it performed without flaw.


The engine control and power modes also benefit from new programming. Like the standard S1000RR, the HP4 employs four unique power/throttle maps: Rain, Sport, Race and Slick (for use with tread-less racing tires). Rain mode now offers access to full engine power, albeit with a smoother torque delivery for use on wet or limited traction surfaces. The remaining three settings all feature fresh maps for more accurate throttle response and linear power delivery through its 14,200 rpm rev range. Furthermore the engine torque curve has been broadened between 6000 and 9750 revs for improved acceleration.

Although throttle response and engine fueling was never a problem with the standard ’12 model, the new HP4 offers greater refinement than before. Flat out, it’s the smoothest, most linear-feeling powerband we’ve ever experienced on a S1000RR. It’s crazy because the bike almost feels slower due to its less aggressive top-end hit. But it’s not as the bike still wheelies on the power in the first four gears. Mid-range power also seemed to be beefier, which certainly helps the bike accelerate off corners where the engine isn’t spinning above 10 grand.

The S1000RR HP4 cockpit works well for riders that are taller than average.
The HP4s instrument display has a tachometer font and functionality for the added electronic features.
The HP4 S1000RR steers much easier than a standard model due to the wheel upgrade.
(Top) Launch control allows for more consistent launches from a road or drag racing start. (Center) The HP4’s instrument display has a tachometer font and functionality for the added electronic features. (Below)

Calibration of the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) was also modified based on data gained from the BMW World Superbike team. Revised parameters allow for more accurate engine torque reduction when excessive wheel spin is detected. Furthermore the actuation of the DTC offers more finite adjustment (14-way and on-the-fly) via button on the left handlebar.

The wheelie control settings were also tweaked to provide smoother and more precise response when power wheelies are detected. The electronics now incorporate launch control and come standard with Gear Shift Assist (aka electronic quickshifter). Lastly, the Race ABS system has been re-coded with settings learned from the Bavarian marque’s participation in its national IDM Superbike racing series. The instrument display gets a new font inside the analog style tachometer as well as added functionality for the new launch control, DDC and DTC adjustments in Slick mode. The new menu options are intuitive and easy to access.

Just like the ’12 machine, BMW has managed to further refine the actuation of the DTC on the HP4. It was more precise when excessive wheel spin was detected and modulated engine torque with added discretion. The ability to fine tune DTC in Slick mode is also enormous benefit allowing the rider to compensate for tire wear, track temperature and rider fatigue.

Perhaps the biggest improvement is the actuation of the wheelie control. Like before the BMW does a great job of sensing front wheel lift but where the old system cut power so abruptly it made the front wheel slam to the ground the new electronics put the wheel back to the tarmac smoothly. This allows the rider to bury the throttle full pinned on corner exit without having to worry about the motorcycle looping out during power wheelies.

For use during road or drag race starts the HP4 now features launch control. The system modulates engine torque in first gear to optimize acceleration from a dead stop. Compared to other systems, the HP4’s is simple to use
BMW S1000RR Suspension Settings:
(From full stiff)
Preload: 3 lines showing
Compression: 0
Rebound: 0
Preload: open
Compression: 3
Rebound: 3
with the rider holding down the starter button for a few seconds with the engine running in neutral. The dash shows that the mode has been activated. Drop the shift lever into first gear and pin the throttle and the electronics hold engine rpm at 8000 revs. Feed out the clutch quickly and the bike gets moving forward cleanly without the worry of the engine bogging excessively, or the clutch wearing prematurely. Overall the system worked great, however, the engine did bog ever-so-slightly. A skilled rider could get a better launch manually, but it will be difficult to match the consistency offered by the electronic system.

If BMW competed in our recently published 2012 Superbike Traction Control Comparison there is a high probability that it would have been deemed superior—the electronics are that good now.

The HP4 spec S1000RR is equipped with an full titanium Akrapovic exhaust that is said to weigh 10 pounds less than stock. It is street legal in the U.S.
The HP4 spec S1000RR is equipped with an full titanium Akrapovic exhaust that is said to weigh 10 pounds less than stock. It is street legal in the U.S.

With the exception of the fresh ECU programming and engine/fuel-injection maps the HP4’s liquid-cooled 999cc Inline Four motor is identical to the class-leading unit in the S1000RR. However, the HP4 comes fitted from the factory with a full Akrapovic titanium exhaust. The pipe shaves more than 10 pounds from the stock set-up even with the fitment of a noise isolation valve and catalytic convertor. As always, the S1000RR impresses with the psychotic performance of its engine. But as we alluded to earlier the biggest feature is how much smoother it is at all rpm as well as its added mid-range below 10,000 revs. Worry not though as the engine still has a fair amount of character for an Inline Four, and it still makes all the right noises when you’re wailing around the track with the tach needle fluttering near the red zone.

The HP4 kit includes new 320mm brake discs and Brembo monobloc brake calipers. The new braking components offer more consistent feel.
The right knob atop the fork modifies spring preload.
The HP4 kit includes new 320mm brake discs and Brembo monobloc brake calipers. The new braking components offer more consistent feel.

BMW made some subtle but important tweaks to the 2012 S1000RR frame and triple clamps in an effort to increase its handling prowess (see 2012 BMW S1000RR First Ride). The propeller brand continues to refine steering on the HP4 by fitting a pair of lighter seven-spoke forged aluminum wheels anodized in black. Also of note is the use of a lighter rear sprocket carrier. This along with a smaller battery sheds another six pounds off the weight of the motorcycle.

Aside from the electronics this is one of the biggest areas of improvement. The lighter wheels do wonders in terms of steering effort with the HP4 able to change directions far more responsively in spite of the new slightly, wider profile Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP back tire (200/55-17). It’s so much more agile that rider’s familiar with the S1000RR need some time to acclimate to how quick it maneuvers—especially mid-corner.

The older generation two-piece Brembo front brake calipers are swapped for more robust monobloc-style calipers paired with a new set of floating nine-button discs (320mm diameter) with a custom pad friction material engineered to BMW’s spec. The standard S1000RR was never lacking in the stopping department, but the new brakes facilitate added feel as well as consistency whether you’re on Lap 1 or 10. As far as the function of the ABS, we weren’t lapping at a fast enough pace to cause it to activate proving how unobtrusive the system is more most track day riders.

Only a few BMW HP4 S1000RRs are coming stateside. MSRP hasnt yet been announced but expect the cost to be around  25 000.
The HP4 S1000RR comes fitted with Pirellis fantastic Diablo Supercorsa SP tire.
The HP4 S1000RR has the performance, sophistication and refinement to be at the top of the class for the ’13 motorcycling season.

To further emphasize the HP4’s track pedigree it does away with passenger accommodations and adds a lower fairing that extends closer to the back tire. Not only does it look more racy, it improves aerodynamics, too. LED turn signals are also integrated, as is a tinted windshield. Each bike features a special HP Racing Blue Metallic / Light colorway. And for those looking for something even more exotic looking, the Competition Package adds carbon fiber body components, Racing blue metallic-anodized rims and a sticker kit to make the bike’s resemble the factory World Superbikes. It also comes fitted with racing-style adjustable rider foot controls, and hinged brake in clutch levers that are less susceptible to damage in a crash.
Indeed the HP4 formula improves function around the racetrack. But the aspect we’re most captivated by is how much more refined of a motorcycle it is as a package. The synergy of the powertrain, chassis, and electronics allow the rider to lap at a pace they might not be as comfortable on another brand. And that’s what sets the HP4 apart from anything else on the market. Considering the technology and astronomically high-level of performance this machine is capable of, its going to be an absolute steal if BMW is able to sell it for anywhere close to its $25,000 estimate in the U.S.

MSRP for the HP4 was announced during Intermot in early October 2012. The Base Model HP4 is listed at $19,990. The Standard Package comes in at $20,525 and the Premium Package is offered at $24,995.
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2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 Specs
The BMW S1000RR HP4
Engine: Liquid-cooled 999cc Inline Four, 16-valves
Bore and Stroke: 80.0 x 49.7mm
Compression Ratio: 13.1:1
Fuel Delivery: Dual Stage Fuel Injection
Clutch: Wet multi-plate slipper clutch; Cable actuation
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: Chain 17F/45R
Frame: Twin spar aluminum
Front Suspension: 46mm inverted fork; 3-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Gas-charged shock absorber; 4-way adjustable for spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound; 5.1 in. travel
Front Brakes: 320mm discs with radial-mount Brembo Monobloc four-piston calipers
Rear Brake: 220mm disc with single-piston caliper
Tires: Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP; 120/70R17, 200/55R17
Wheelbase: 56.0 in.
Rake: 23.2 deg. Trail: 3.8 in.
Seat Height: 32.3 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal.
MSRP: Starting at $19,990
Colors: HP Racing Blue Metallic / Light colorway
Warranty: Three year
BMW S1000RR HP4 Highs & Lows
  • Best production sportbike money can buy
  • Fastest literbike on the road
  • Excellent electronics
  • Tinted windshield impairs vision
2012 BMW S1000RR First Ride
The S1000RR sports a 20  larger air intake for 12.
When BMW introduced its S1000RR sportbike in the fall of ’09 it instantly became the benchmark in the ultra-competitive Superbike class. Considering its prodigious level of performance engineers could have very well left it alone for 2012. Instead they bestowed it with its first technical update. The enhancements are intended to make it a friendlier and more effective racetrack weapon...

Read the review in the 2012 BMW S1000RR First Ride
Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP Tire
Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires.
The fourth A Group tire in our tire comparison is the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP. This is the Italian tire conglomerates top-tier street tire. It is modeled after its World Supersport-spec Diablo Supercorsa road racing tire and comes as standard fitment on a few new sportbike models including the Ducati 1198 Superbike and Triumph Daytona 675...
Read the review in the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP Tire Comparison Review
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motousa_adam   December 17, 2013 12:32 PM
Hi - it is indeed a Shoei X-Twelve.
Ludachris   November 8, 2013 04:31 AM
I don't have the HP4 but, I do have a 2013 BMW S 1000RR. I haven't been able to run it to hard until it's first service which I will do at the end of the month.All I can say is- IT's one easy bike to ride!!It handles and performs exellent.I also have a 2012 Ducati 848 EVO and a 2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale.I love the looks of the Ducati's but,when it comes to performance and handling- The BMW rains supreme.Not to mention, I paid about 10K more for the Panigale than the BMW. I'm going to put 5K into the BMW at the end of the month and will be breaking 200 MPH and close to 9 second quarter mile.That's without an extended swing arm!
blur   June 7, 2013 07:09 AM
Hey Adam,

Hope you are doing well. I wanted to know what helmet is that.
I think its the Shoei X twelve.

Have a great day ahead.

pacman52   January 16, 2013 08:05 AM
The S1000RR HP4, what a bike!!! The S1000R HP4 is not for me as I don't need the top notch liter bike and I don't want to pay that much money but I must say, the HP4 is such a refined motorcycle. It will be at the top of its class for several years...
Shogun   October 23, 2012 12:25 PM
For ANYONE here to say the BMW is a "copy" is like saying that ALL bikes are copies of the first big inline 4 - the Honda CB750. After all - after that bike, what's changed? Oh, the cams, displacement, seats, handlebars, suspension, frame... Gee - what else makes UP a bike? yep - you're right - they're all just copies - NOT! If you want to talk about COPIES - look at one of the bikes you're all pointing at - Aprilia - Aprilia CERTAINLY wasn't the first one to come up with a configuration like they show - so why don't you go rag on them - or any other manufacturer for that matter. As far as I'm concerned - BMW has done a FANTASTIC job on this bike and, if you look at how Beemers hold value as compared to, saw, a Yamaha or Suzuki, you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal. Personally - I LOVE Kawasaki's - in fact I have one myself and have been a die-hard Kawi fan for many many years - probably more years than many of you have been alive, but I can certainly appreciate the engineering and technology that went into the BMW. Would I buy one? Hmmm - not sure - the price is steep, but, it is definitely a nice bike. I'll probably just keep riding my Kawi for now.
EvelKnievel   October 5, 2012 08:59 AM
It's nice to have so many options out there in buying motorcycles, all at what are reasonable prices compared to other modes of transportation. The bottom line, and one thing that makes motorcycling such a great endeavor, is that the most influential variable in the equation is not the bike, but the rider. I'd bet the fastest rider who reads this is faster around the track on a 125 than the average guy who reads this is on his choice of ZX10, CBR, RSV4R, etc. For the average guy, these bikes have more capability than they will ever use and no amount of electronic gadgetry will make them turn quick laps. Sure, it might save their ass in certain situations, but most certainly not all. The best bike is the one you turn your laps on and that builds your experience. This thread would actually be more interesting if you guys argued among yourselves about which one of you is fastest. Not really, but if you do please list track, lap time, and bike.
Superlight   September 19, 2012 09:18 AM
fkranich23, sorry to burst your BMW bubble, but that S1000RR is, in fact, a copy of a Japanese superbike, including most of the bodywork (excepting the fairing assymmetry). Transverse inline 4, alloy frame, double-sided swingarm, etc. I don't think I'm "moronic" for pointing out the obvious.
I give full props to BMW for making more power than its competitors, but not every litrebike buyer makes their buying decision on power alone.
motousa_adam   September 18, 2012 07:06 AM
i like R90S's post pretty much sums things up hahaha:) in the two and four wheel scene
haoheomap   September 17, 2012 11:43 AM
here we go, it's a pissing contest again. it's just a personal opinion when it comes to bike, no need for "mine's is the best, yours is a piece of S..". with all the respect to all the litter bikes, i dont think there are a bad bike out there, that said, after putting on 7,000 mikes on my '10 CBR1K, i was bored with it (was very fast and reliable, just not an exciting bike to me anymore), i was shopping for the next bike, and didnt even consider the BMW to be a contender on my list, it was either the 848 EVO or the RSV4 that i was choosing, then my dealer told me about the 1199, then after 6 months of waiting, it's in my garage. the recall list was long, tons of things to be adjusted, it leaks oil here and there, but GUESS WHAT: i could not be happier, every times i swing my legs over, i know im going for a treat, on my 2nd set of tire after 1,600 miles and continue to pile up the miles long story short, i NEVER even consider the BMW...
wildpig   September 16, 2012 06:57 PM
fact o the matter is -- u take a zx -10 an the money u saved on buyin one vs a 1000rr -- and you can smoke an rr in resale value and most likely performance-- what sled said is totally correct bmw riders would rahter die than admit the MANY And NUMEROUS FAILURES bmw's have-- then try to sale that muther -- see the LOSS you WILL incurr. I"ll take the japan. italy bike over a bmw any day o the week.
Sledrider   September 16, 2012 06:18 AM
BMW owners and riders often remind me of the typical Harley owner in that they would sooner die than say their respective machine isn't the best thing on two wheels. In this case the S1000 is surely a fine mount. The first time I saw it in a shootout was 2011 from Motorcyclist Magazine where it faced the Ducati 1098, Aprilia RSV4 and Kawasaki ZX-10. Clearly, the S1000 had more brake horsepower than any of the others. It also had the greatest wet weight by over 10 pounds. However, when it came to putting that into numbers on the track by 4 separate professional test riders it wasn't there. Those test riders posted their best times on the Aprilia across the board. Also interesting was the fact the S1000 posted the fastest single lap but that cheap Japanese ZX-10 posted a lap 1 tenth slower. Those test riders offered the following, “Despite its plebian parts, the Kawasaki’s performance feels equal to any of its European counterparts.” Please note, missing were the GSXR 1000, Honda 1000RR and R1. My point is relative to price v. preformance and the same held true as Cadillac said put up or shut up to BMW when they set an all out record on the outer ring at Nuremburg with a 4 door CTS-V automatic for crying out loud. BMW and the mighty M5 are still choking over getting beat up in their own back yard from that one too. So, having said all this and giving the S1000 a nod for its engineering prowess, it still can't beat up on bikes costing thousands less. Therefore, what's the point in buying one if all you seek is flat out preformance because the numbers it posts by a variety of professional test riders don't prove out.
Rucuss54   September 15, 2012 09:50 AM
I've seen a few BMW's at tracks this year, cool bikes but this HP4 is the boss, 10+ for BMW.
jevan126   September 14, 2012 11:22 PM
Those of you who bad mouth this BIKE do not know your BIKES. I have a BMW S1000RR and it is without a doubt the baddest bike out there. I have owned an Aprilia, Kawasaki, and a Yamaha. Nothing and I mean nothing compares to this beast. And the best part is I can ride it all day and not be in PAIN when I get off. You haters need to ride one before you open your mouth and insert your foot. Also have you been watching FIM World SuperBike as of late. BMW #1 all other bikes not.
Sledrider   September 14, 2012 07:35 PM
I want to know how well it does with all its electronic garbage after 10 years of service and 100,000 miles. Bikes, much like HP cars are getting to the point the operator doesn't have to do the job anymore, the electronics does it for them and that's sad. I'd still go with the Japanese bike knowing in the end the service life will walk on by the German machine and for less per mile of operation.
R90S   September 14, 2012 06:28 PM
wildpig   September 14, 2012 05:21 PM
fk - you gotta be crasy-- the bmw rr is dam near an identical copy of a japanese inline 4-- just more radical cams, higer profile valve angles more agressive engineering for greater hoss power- more electronics/engine management no doubt -- bmw is famous for glitchy over engineeered electronics-- on all thier models-- bmw is a clone of a japanese bike -- YOU BETCHA -- 100% CLONE.
fkranich23   September 14, 2012 03:14 PM
@Superlight, I am a huge BMW enthusiasts of both their cars and motorrad and I have never heard anything as moronic or insulting towards BMW in my life... Saying the S1000RR is a copy of any Japanese liter bike is insane.
wildpig   September 14, 2012 02:31 PM
SUPERLIGHT- OH THE BMW IS DIFFERENT ALRIGHT--over priced, over repped, low dealer network zero re sale value --have you checked parts inventory and parts prices? hav you checked bmw reliability? it aint there.................... yea bmw is different alright., in the wrong way...
Superlight   September 14, 2012 06:24 AM
BMW's copying the Japanese superbike playbook may be simple, but I expect more from BMW. I know the bike has been a sales success, but at what price to BMW's unique brand image? This BMW is not "different".
wildpig   September 14, 2012 04:22 AM
japan copyied harley to build cruisers with great sucess and bmw COPIED japan to build the rr/hp4-- simple as that.
Superlight   September 12, 2012 06:07 PM
AM, let's face it - all the superbikes are great machines and it comes down to personal preferences when it's time to purchase. For me, the BMW is too "Japanese" in concept, but I understand how others would like it, especially if engine performance is at the top of your selection criteria. I'll ride Italian, thank you, either the Aprilia or Ducati would do just fine.
AM   September 11, 2012 10:45 AM
Maybe you ride a motorcycle because of the way it makes you feel on the top of it. If you feel good on the top of a 1199 that's fine. You probably like your butt hot when you ride, and that's OK too. The 1199 it's not a bike to ride everywhere. Like you said, he Ducati is something very special. I have to agree with that. But independent of what the 1199 is, represent or can make you or anybody feel on the top of it, the BMW HP4 is the better motorcycle. It's as simple as that. Just like ADAM put it: THE BEST PRODUCTION SPORTBIKE MONEY CAN BUY.

Drunkula   September 11, 2012 07:01 AM
I have to say when the S1000RR first came out I was bit confused by the looks of it even if it got great reviews. Maybe it's the colorway with that blue but I'm really liking how it looks now. Oh and the technical merits just makes it that much better.
motousa_adam   September 10, 2012 10:40 PM
@AM -- i'm building the videos on this one so it's taking me sometime to crank em' out -- should have two done this week -- hopefully they are insightful and entertaining...adam
glenn59   September 10, 2012 05:45 PM
Sure I still want a Ducati 1199. We ride motorbikes because of the way they make us feel not because of them having the best stats. The Ducati is a living, breathing beast and classically beautiful. The BMW is like many German vehicles - technically brilliant but sterile. Have owned both brands and admire both brands but the Ducati is something very special.

AM   September 10, 2012 03:08 PM
Adam, where is the video????
AnthonyD   September 10, 2012 02:25 PM
They should have an option where you can pick one up without street trim. Just give me the bike with factory race bodywork and I would be sold.
fkranich23   September 10, 2012 10:52 AM
Does anybody still want to buy a Ducati 1199? I didn't think so...