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2009 BMW HP2 Sport First Impressions


by Pascal Bastien ,

The 2009 HP2 Sport is the third offering in the HP2 lineup, after the Enduro and the Megamoto. The Sport is a first for the manufacturer, a unique and exceptional model when compared to the current Boxer street family, and a proud reminder of the race-winning R90S and R100S from previous Boxer generations. The new HP2 Sport is much more than a highly optimized R1200S however, as it is an exciting new model as well as a serious contender in the high-performance sportbike segment.

The new HP2 Sport raises the limits of performance of the Boxer engine, the chassis and the suspension.

An Historic Engine Configuration
As befits the image of BMW motorcycles, the new HP2 Sport is powered by a special engine - in terms of specifications, sensations and even culture. The unique Boxer engine configuration has been evolving for over 70 years, and has become a veritable emblem of the German brand as well as an important part of motorcycle history.

BMW wanted to further the Boxer concept, and developed an engine that produces 133 hp, the firm's most powerful production flat twin to date. To achieve this level of power, BMW engineers developed a double-overhead-cam cylinder head, featuring larger, radially mounted valves, fitted stronger forged aluminum pistons, lighter and stronger connecting rods, and optimized intake and exhaust porting in the new cylinder head design. These improvements helped raise the maximum rpm and thus increase power, while using the same bore and stroke as the R1200S engine.

Blessed Torque
The engine's flexibility becomes apparent as soon as you ride off; it pushes comfortably at lower revs, then harder from 6,000 rpm, without ever becoming brutal. Always easy to use, there was enough torque on tap to effectively cover up this novice track rider's minor mistakes. The motor launches the bike out of corners as hard as you want to, and delivers a surprising dose of power at high rpm, much more so than earlier R models.

The energetic throttle response throughout the rev range reduces the need to perform the usual tap dance with the shift lever that is usually required to keep things moving quickly on four cylinder engines. The new engine's lower inertia is the result of lighter moving parts, especially the flywheel, connecting rods and pistons, and results in quicker throttle response and less engine braking, and thus more precise corner entry and more exciting exits when riding harder.

The rear part of the tubular steel frame has been redesigned to accommodate a self-supporting carbon seat, as well as save 12 kg over the older all-steel frame.
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