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2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

After shocking the world in 2009 and raising the bar with a significantly improved version in 2012, BMW clearly has big plans for its S1000RR superbike, which returns for 2013 with a high-performance HP4 package that should knock out competitors for quite a while.

Making fools out of those who still questioned the Bavarian manufacturer's ability to offer a world-class superbike, the 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 is loaded with advanced technologies including the motorcycle industry's first intelligent suspension.

2013 BMW HP4

Same weight class as a 600
The use of lighter materials (carbon fibre fairing, forged aluminum wheels, titanium Akrapovic exhaust, etc.) has helped shave 10 kg off the S1000RR's weight. At 199 kg, it's actually just 5 kg heavier than the new Kawasaki ZX-6R 636.

At the same time, you wouldn't believe how long the list of features is. The 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 comes with a Gear Shift Assistant, Race ABS and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), Wheelie Control, Launch Control, a speed limiter, Engine Brake Control, programmable engine maps, and Dynamic Damping Control (DDC). That last system automatically matches front and rear compression and rebound to any given situation on the track in just a few milliseconds.

Intelligent suspension
According to BMW engineers, DDC actively adapts the suspension to track conditions in order to deliver the best damping characteristics and maximum grip control. When braking hard at the end of a long straightaway, it simultaneously increases compression and rebound (the right fork tube houses the spring, and the left one houses the shock) to mitigate body roll while preserving some of the forward weight transfer to enhance front tire grip. You can also adjust the suspension manually using a push-button (Slick mode only).

The 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4's suspension relies on information from various sensors (suspension travel, throttle position, speed, lean angle). The computer then defines suspension settings based on the riding mode selected.

2013 BMW HP4
Photo: BMW

Upgraded electronics
The inline four-cylinder may not have gained any horsepower, but it's still one of the most potent and productive engines in its class, with 193 horsepower at 13,000 rpm and 83 lb-ft of torque at 9,700 rpm. There's now a bit more juice at medium revs, mind you.

The braking system on the 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 gets new 320-mm discs, Brembo monoblock calipers, and new settings that adapt to the four modes. DTC has been revised to handle the extra performance, too.

In Rain, Sport or Race mode, the ABS works as an combine system, automatically applying the rear brake whenever the front is activated. The Rain mode offers a more progressive power curve and smoother engine operation, while the Sport mode makes the bike more explosive, with less intrusion by the ABS and DTC systems (suspension settings are the same as in Rain mode).

Next, the Race mode ups the ante by firming up the suspension, unleashing full power, and delivering maximum grip on the track. Finally, the Slick mode is best suited for expert riders: ABS now applies only to the front wheel, the suspension becomes super-stiff, and DTC can be adjusted on the fly using a handlebar-mounted paddle (15 levels of adjustment are available, from -7 to +7, with Level 0 being similar to the ''Slick'' mode on the standard S1000RR).

Confused? The instrument panel will help you out, displaying new data such as DTC and DDC settings, plus Launch Control activation. Moreover, the tachometer has a new white face and blue needle to make it easier to read, not to mention racier looking.

A piece of the WSBK in your local showroom
As if all that wasn't enough, the 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 comes with a USB connector and software tool for customizing the parameters of engine management and DTC (injection, ignition, traction control, shift response, shift assistant, speed limit for pit lane, deleting adaptation values). The configuration panel is comprehensive to say the least, and performs real-time data analysis to improve performance.

The 2013 BMW S1000RR HP4 is the product of the manufacturer's crafty racing engineers. Its sharp looks, top-notch components and exceptional specs point to an extremely advanced and purpose-built machine that's sure to excel on the biggest stage. You can practically hear the competition shaking at the knees.