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BMW HP2 Sport, the production of the sports boxer has been discontinued.
The BMW HP2 Sport
Production discontinued: BMW HP2 Sport
BMW has stopped building the HP2 Sport. Without fuss. But the idea lives on. In the memory of those who developed the first modern sports boxer. In the cylinder heads of every current dohc boxer. And last but not least, in every S 1000 RR. The story of an extraordinary motorcycle.
The young Swiss man in the paddock in Brno can’t get enough of the HP2 Sport: “Beautiful, simply beautiful! Just look at this rest system. And this fork bridge! The switching machine. And the whole thing from BMW. Incredible. ”Does he know that the rear frame and fairing are made entirely of carbon and can do without any supporting accessories? Does he suspect that the wheels are forged and super light? That the cockpit comes straight from the Moto GP? Probably not. He probably just marveled at the sparkling clean structure, the shapely rear frame with perfectly integrated exhaust, the mighty manifolds. And is surprised to find himself dreaming of a boxer.
The sad thing is: it will stay with this dream. The HP2 Sport, the sportiest BMW boxer ever, is no longer built. “The production of the HP2 Sport began in January 2008 and ended in 2010,” explains press spokesman Rudi Probst. But only on request.
Admittedly, the end of the HP2 suits its nature. Because she is a rather quiet star. Here in Brno, too, it does not roar and screech around the course, but rather impresses with its efficiency. It marches terrific for an air-cooled boxer without reaching the performance of modern two-cylinder engines. Its handling and its tight chassis set-up open up new dimensions for the sports boxer without breaking the usual limits. Its ergonomics fit perfectly on the racetrack, its brakes pull a crest on the Czech asphalt at the end of the start-finish straight, the first series-production automatic gearshift in the world of two-wheelers makes the (often necessary) gear changes an entertaining affair. Indeed, the HP2 Sport is an amazing sport bike. It is not outstanding. She never was. But: “She” was the initial spark, the first step on the way to a sportier BMW future.
Flashback. Spring 2004. In Munich, people have settled in with new quotations from the old topic. It’s the boxer, of course. The MOTORRAD catalog at that time counted 13 different derivatives alone, groundbreaking developments such as the R 1200 C Monthauk should delight the aging BMW clientele. For Munich, supersport is synonymous with boxer cup. That means: dogged duels between ambitious old stars as part of the supporting program of the Grands Prix on the staid R 1100 S, which embodies as much top-class sport with a higher chassis and a laser exhaust as Rainer Calmund does in the hurdles. The K 1200 S is about to be launched on the market, is powerful with a nominal 167 hp, but at just under 250 kilograms it is also not a lightweight. Too difficult, in any case, to fall seriously into the “super athlete” category, even if one in Munich falls into this diction for a short time. At that time, this field was dominated by completely different calibers. Kawasaki brings the super-strong, feather-light ZX-10 R (175 PS, 196 kg), Honda presents a technically radically new Fireblade. This is what the world of athletes speaks of. Nobody speaks of BMW.
You can imagine that. In a situation like this, motorcycle boss Herbert Diess prepares for a liberation. The mission: to dynamize the brand image. Concrete ideas? Nothing! Except the usual. The budget is very limited and a new design is out of the question. So, gentlemen, who can think of something?
Always worth a round: the HP2 Sport is already a rarity.
In retrospect, it borders on a miracle that the number didn’t end like the thing with the flags in the savings bank advertising. Jointly responsible for this were two who, through their professional past, were closer to the subject of sports bikes than was usual at BMW at the time. Gerhard “Gegesch” Lindner and Rainer Baumel, both former -MOTORRAD editors, accepted the challenge. Also because they were in the right place. Lindner as product manager for sporty vehicles, Baumel as project manager in the boxer series. Both were inspired by a plan. “Back then we just wanted to build the hottest boxer of all time,” Lindner enthuses about the spirit of optimism. When asked why it should be the boxer who didn’t exactly offer ideal conditions for a high-performance athlete, memories drift apart. “Because the boxer embodied the brand image,” says Baumel, who today heads the BMW Superbike team as race director, diplomatically. “Because even the new K 1200 S was simply too heavy for what we had in mind,” remembers Lindner, who today as head of testing and his team checks every single development step of every BMW up to series production readiness. “Just imagine: a self-supporting carbon tail on a 250 kilo bike! That would have been silly. “
Anyone who is lucky enough to own or drive an HP2 Sport today (which is an exclusive pleasure in view of the new price of around 22,000 euros and the expected price development) registers a boxer all-time record with sincere admiration. Even years later, 206 kilograms of full tank are still a serious number for such a large, tall motorcycle with cardan drive. The way it was created is just as astonishing, because in the end nothing could be changed in terms of the foundations, i.e. engine and frame dimensions, and the starting point at that time, the R 1100 S, still weighed a massive 229 kilograms even in the boxer cup configuration. Baumel and Lindner therefore had no choice but to go the radical route of classic tuning, i.e. save over 20 kilograms by using lighter parts. It turned out to be far easier to work out a wish list than to synchronize internal BMW processes. Baumel remembers: “On our list was practically everything that we realized, namely forged wheels, front and rear Ohlins struts, self-supporting carbon for the fairing and rear frame, an automatic gearshift, a Grand Prix dashboard, a racing ABS and fully adjustable , high-quality milled parts for fork bridge and footrest system. ”What even sworn race fans at the sight of the perfectly crafted details elicits a sigh of delight and makes Italian luxury manufacturers blush in the face, brought the BMW controllers to the edge of despair. “From an economic point of view, there was no way to check this,” remembers Baumel, “because of course there were neither the parts nor the suppliers at the time.”
Which, in retrospect, must be regarded as luck, because at least at the beginning it was possible to pile a little deep on the cost side. This also included shortening the development time and adapting development processes. “Back then at BMW we usually had prototypes for all areas. That dragged on forever. At HP2 Sport, on the other hand, we did everything at once and then had very short distances. Once a year we went to Sicily, tested all components together with Jurgen Fuchs and our designer Ola Stenegard in Siracusa and Racalmuto, from the prototype to the pre-series to the series, ”Baumel swears.
So far, so compact. Far more difficult than working as efficiently as possible in a small team, was the persuasive work in the large BMW apparatus. “The development processes at HP2 Sport were groundbreaking, we learned a lot,” says Lindner, also with a view to later projects such as the S 1000 RR. And Baumel remembers how difficult it was to leave some of the well-trodden BMW paths: “Where the load-bearing capacity of frame rear frames has been geared for decades to the needs of crossing Africa with a full load, it is difficult to suddenly increase to a maximum of 200 kilograms accept. And if the manifolds traditionally run under the cylinders on all boxers, there are manufacturing problems when they suddenly move under the oil pan. But that’s where they had to go because otherwise the lean angle would not have been sufficient. In this regard, a lot of persuasion was necessary in Berlin, where the HP2 Sport rolled off the assembly line like all the other boxers. “
That won’t happen again: perfect, multifunctional Moto GP dashboard.
But there were also a lot of doubts when it came to motor skills. Not only because the crankshaft would digest the increased speeds of over 7500 / min (R 1100 S from 2004) to 9500 / min due to the critical bending vibrations. Also, many did not believe that the boxer could develop higher speeds and more temperament at all. “The biggest problem was the valve train,” Baumel looks back, “that couldn’t be done with one camshaft per cylinder head, that was quickly clear. When we came up with our plans, everyone in engine development said we were crazy. “
But the small group also had advocates, above all boss Herbert Diess and the then engine boss Wolfgang Nehse. So, without further ado, a cylinder head with two horizontally arranged camshafts was designed, in which the four radially arranged valves are controlled by rocker arms. Baumel: “Of course the costs for such a small project were high. But in retrospect one can say that the engine development for the boxer series, which later took over the dohc head, was a gift. “
The bottom line was that the HP2 Sport mobilized 133 hp on the MOTORRAD test bench when it was released in 2008. For an air-cooled boxer it was an unknown world that many BMW tuners had struggled with for years.
It is astonishing that now that the HP2 Sport is history, the chapter engine and power does not take up the space that the developers allocated to it. It wasn’t so much the strongest boxer ever that made the HP2 Sport so impressive. It was the unexpected clarity with which the people of Munich expressed themselves on the subject of sports bikes and which was also reflected in the radical consistency. A consequence that continued. In the S 1000 RR, the most successful super athlete of the past two years.
PS: A total of 2259 units of the HP2 Sport were produced, 2022 are in customer hands. 575 motorcycles were sold in Germany. According to BMW, there are still 20 to 25 vehicles on the market in this country – new and used.
Valve cover made of carbon and with abrasion protection.
air / oil-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke boxer engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, rocker arm, injection, Ø 52 mm, regulated catalytic converter, bore x stroke 101.0 x 73.0 mm, displacement 1170 cm³, compression ratio 12.5: 1,
Rated output 97.8 kW (133 hp) at 8750 rpm,
max.torque 115 Nm at 6000 rpm
load-bearing engine-gearbox combination, telescopic fork guided by trailing arm, Ø 41 mm, two-joint single-sided swing arm, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, forged wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17, tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17, tires: Metzeler RaceTec K3
Measurements and weight:
Wheelbase 1487 mm, steering head angle 66.0 degrees, caster 86 mm, spring travel f / r 105/120 mm, seat height * 830 mm, weight with a full tank * 206 kg
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