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2009 BMW HP2 Sport First Impressions


by Pascal Bastien ,

The new electronic "Quick Shift" comes directly from racing, and allows for quicker upshifts without having to use the clutch or shut the throttle. The system detect the movement from the shift lever and cuts the ignition momentarily to ease the meshing of gears - a first on a production street bike.

The tubular steel frame, derived from the R1200S, has been redesigned in the rear to accommodate a self-supporting carbon seat, saving 12 kilos in the process. The Paralever and Telelever suspensions use Öhlins adjustable shocks specially tuned for comfort as well as track use.

The engine's roar and the faultless cornering behavior encourage riders to push a little harder.

An Unforgettable Day
I rode the HP2 Sport at a BMW Motorrad Track Day held at Shannonville Motorsport Park, near Kingston, Ontario. My first impressions: An exclusive ride on the undisputed king of the R family!

At speed, the HP2 Sport remains stable, never deviating from the chosen path during corner entry, where the Telelever front suspension manages forward weight transfer to maximize grip. The brakes, featuring Brembo components, are powerful and easy to modulate, while the optional ABS system can be disabled gy the rider when appropriate. The driving position is not as radical as on some Japanese high-performance bike, and greatly contributes to the confidence felt by this rider aboard such a impressive machine.

One Step Further
While the HP2 Sport shows undeniable links to the R1200S, the riding experience of the Sport goes well beyond the older model. The inertia we felt in transitions on the R1200S has disappeared, replaced by a lighter feel coming from a sophisticated cycle portion fully capable of managing the more powerful motor as well as the increased cornering capability of the machine. This HP2 Sport is beyond doubt the best Boxer ever, period! Better yet, the carbon, aluminum and titanium components lend an exotic air that sets it apart from other Boxer models as well as from other high end machines on the market.

The only catch? The price. On the other hand, lucky owners will certainly get their money's worth, as the HP2 Sport is a true technology showcase that offers a temperament-efficiency ratio that's hard to equal.

Easy-to-use torque and power
Exclusive engine
High-quality components
On-track efficiency
Great styling
Electronic Quick Shift assist

No fuel gauge
High price

Solo riding only

Photo Credit : BMW
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