Thursday, March 28, 2013

New BMW HP4 gets Launch Control and active damping

The Star On-line Wednesday, March 27, 2013 3:09 PM

SEPANG: The new BMW HP4 was launched here today, featuring sophisticated engine capabilities and extensive technology for safety and riding dynamics.

Among advances in the bike are the inclusion of dynamic damping control and Launch Control.

The bike is available in two variants:  a standard HP4 priced (on the road, without insurance) at RM144,444 and a RM158,888 Competition Package version.

Taking the HP4 for a spin at Sepang.

The race package offers HP carbon parts such as the engine spoiler, rider footrest system, folding brake and clutch levers and wheels finished in Racing Blue Metallic with sponsor stickers.

Eighty percent of the 55 units allocated for Malaysia are the higher-end variant.

BMW Malaysia Motorrad chief Fazli Hisham Shukor said 42 units have already been booked, with half of them bought by S 1000 RR users upgrading to the HP4.

Featuring the water-cooled 4-cylinder inline engine of the S 1000 RR with a displacement of 999cc, the HP4 delivers 193hp at 13,000rpm. 

It has a top speed of more than 200kph and maximum torque of 112Nm at 9,750rpm. The 0 to 100kph sprint takes place in just 2.9s.

With a performance-oriented engine set-up, the All New HP4 also sees an increased torque delivery in the medium engine speed range. 

Unlike the S1000RR, the total output is the same across all modes available – “Rain”, “Sport”, “Race” and “Slick” – with an identical throttle curve and thus the same response, making it suitable for track use.

The “Rain” mode is said to deliver a smoother output and torque curve at between 2,500rpm and 8,000rpm.
Average fuel consumption is 5.9 l/100km at speeds of up to 120kph.

Sharing the same electrical system as other current Motorrad models, the HP4 is also fitted with a CAN bus (controller area network) electrical system which networks the instrument cluster, and engine controller as well as the electronic immobiliser and the anti-theft alarm system which are available as optional equipment. 

The instrument cluster has a newly designed dial face with HP4 inscription and provides an extended range of information and functions such as the Dynamic Damping Control set-up menus as well as the figures for Dynamic Traction Control fine adjustment and Launch Control Activation.

The Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) in the HP4 is a carryover from car technology. This model is the first motorcycle in the world to have DDC.

The system involves a dynamic adaptation of compression and rebound stage damping to suit the given situation especially on uneven stretches of road. 

The semi-active suspension system reacts automatically to manoeuvres such as braking, accelerating and cornering on various road surfaces and sets the correct level of damping by means of electrically actuated damping valves.

The basic settings of the DDC are linked to the all the modes available – “Rain” for wet surface, “Sport” for normal road, “Race” for race track with supersports tyres and “Slick” for race track with slick tyres, which can be conveniently selected at a press of a button. 

In the “Rain” and “Sport” modes, the DDC set-up focus is on a full, pleasant damping usually used on country roads whilst in the “Race” and “Slick” modes, however, the DDC set-up is geared more towards sporty riding style particularly suitable on race track. 

The damper set-up is tight and it gives the rider direct feedback at all times. 

The DDC unit provides maximum traction for optimum deployment of engine power during acceleration, allowing the HP4 to provide optimum setting for damper rebound and compression stage in every situation.

The Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) familiar from the RR motorcycle has also been optimised for supersports use in the HP4.

While riding in “Slick” mode, the adjustable DT provides riders with the option to respond flexibly to environmental conditions such as air and asphalt temperature, changes in tyre grip and road surface states.

The ABS is now even more refined particularly for use on the race track. 

In the “Rain”, “Sport” and “Race”, the Race ABS operates on a part integral basis where the brake on the rear wheel is automatically applied when the front wheel brake is activated. This ensures the motorcycle maintains its stability in the braking phase, permitting very short braking distances.

The new HP4 is also the first BMW motorcycle to introduce Launch Control as well as the adapted wheelie detection, supported by shift assistant for optimum acceleration and starts on the track. 

In order to ensure full acceleration from standing, Launch Control limits engine torque to allow maximum torque delivery to be transferred from the rear wheel whenever the front wheel is under no throttle conditions. 

This allows the rider to spend less focus on the throttle as the acceleration is controlled solely by the clutch. 

When Launch Control is activated, engine torque is reduced as soon as the system detects a lift on the front wheel to help prevent unwanted wheelies when accelerating. 

The HP4 also allows rider to perform quick gearshifts with no interruption of tractive force, courtesy of the shift assistant.

Besides a monoposto look, the HP4 is fitted with a dual-section engine spoiler, which is more elongated in comparison to the S 1000 RR with a tinted windshield.

The LED turn indicators are discreetly integrated and the laser-engraved serial number on the upper fork bridge underscores the motorcycle’s exclusive character. 

The bike is finish in a multiple colour paint finish of Racing Blue Metallic and Light White. The rear wheel is in the new 200/55 ZR 17” format.

Being the lightest four-cylinder supersports bike in the 1000cc class to date, the HP4 weighs 199kg (includes Race ABS and 90% full fuel tank). 

Contributing to the lightness are the 7-spoke forged alloy wheels, a new, lighter sprocket carrier, resulting to 2.4kg reduction compared to the S 1000 RR. 

Furthermore, the exhaust system is made entirely of titanium and saves 4.5kg whilst at the same time, contributing to the HP4’s improved handling.

Following the launch, members of the press were given a chance to ride the HP4 on the Sepang track.

A mix of the two HP4 variants on display.

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