BMW HP2 Sport against BMW S 1000 RR in comparison test

Concept comparison BMW athletes

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Recently, BMW caused a sensation with two extremely different sports motorcycles: the high-end boxer HP2 Sport and the powerful S 1000 RR. PS juxtaposes the two exceptional motorcycles.

BMW steps on the gas. This is shown not least by the most recent PS tests in which the S. 1000 RR won superior victories. This gain in performance is accompanied by a sportsman image for the road, which begins with one of the most extraordinary motorcycles of this decade: the BMW HP2 Sport. Extraordinary because BMW, with great effort and attention to detail, created a sports motorcycle that, with Telelever and boxer engine, is actually unsuitable for sports – and with 22,515 euros in the year of publication 2008, it also tore at the wallet. What made the Munich motorcycle manufacturer take this unusual step?

BMW itself justifies the elaborate conception and construction of the HP model series, which includes the Sport, the Enduro and the Megamoto, with an approximation of the image of the motorcycle division to the automotive sector. Marketing there has always represented the maxims of dynamism and sportiness. Two properties that only partially applied to the boxer models before the HP series.

With this image shift, the HP2 Sport made it easier to enter the supersport segment with the S 1000 RR, the development of which was decided by the Bavarians in 2004 – one year before the introduction of the Enduro HP model.

But while the HP2 Sport, as a finely built, small-series bike, appeals to collectors rather than racers, the overly powerful S 1000 RR is found much more often on the racetrack. Where does this paradigm shift at BMW come from? What is the difference between the two motorcycles, what do they have in common??



BMW developed the HP2 Sport in order to bring the hitherto rather conservative image of the motorcycle division closer to the automotive sector.

The idea behind the HP2 Sport is simple: Bayern wanted to get the most out of the boxer concept, throw a technical treat for the fans and at the same time demonstrate their know-how. Costs? Minor matter!

Quite different with the S 1000 RR. In view of the technical and electronic highlights, the price of the new Superbike star is surprisingly moderate. Including all the technical gadgets and special blue and white paintwork, the Bavarian athlete costs 17 555 euros and ranks in the superbike horde between Japan and Italy in terms of price.

With this tactic "High-end technology at an affordable price" BMW tries for the first time to reach the masses of sports drivers. A comprehensible decision in view of the fact that the previous core segments of Bayern – Tourer, Sport Tourer and Enduro – hardly offer any growth potential.



With an in-line four-cylinder, upside-down fork and chain, the S 1000 RR is the first BMW to target the broad mass of sports riders.

The S 1000 RR is intended to attract prospective buyers for whom a BMW was previously out of the question. This is one of the reasons why BMW relied on the combination of inline four-cylinder, chain drive and upside-down fork, which is common in superbike circles. If you take a closer look, you will find further purchase incentives. In the everyday usability category, this includes, for example, the chassis, the setting of which can be read off a ten-point scale and for its adjustment – if a screwdriver is not at hand – the pilot can use the ignition key. For use on the racetrack, the S 1000 RR has a long swing arm with a variable pivot point, an anti-hopping clutch and an automatic gearshift.

The latter can also be found on the HP2. With the use of a gearshift assistant in a production motorcycle, BMW pioneered the HP2 Sport. Although the component was newly developed for the S 1000 RR, the original version of the HP2 Sport already impressed in the practical test. Regardless of whether on the racetrack or on the road: the clutch-free shifting not only provides a certain race feeling, but also, above all, comfort and underlines the smooth handling for a boxer, apart from load changes. The HP2 owes its extra power compared to the standard boxer to the optimized engine design: two overhead camshafts open four radially arranged valves via rocker arms and enable speeds of up to 9500 rpm and 133 hp peak power. Record boxer.

How much effort BMW put into developing the HP2 Sport is shown by almost all of the other components in addition to the engine. The carbon license plate holder alone is an optical icing on the cake. The rear and front panels of the HP2-Sport, both also made of carbon, were designed by BMW as self-supporting components. The 2D dashboard provides all the information you need to know. In racetrack mode, this includes not only top speed and lap time, but also braking and full throttle. Even the extensively equipped cockpit of the S 1000 RR cannot keep up with this wealth of information.



The sporty pioneer HP2 Sport is totally different from the high-flyer S 1000 RR, but both are outstanding in terms of innovation and independence.

In general, the four-cylinder superbike lags behind the HP in some points in technical terms. The reasons for this are the high price pressure and large-scale production. Problems that BMW deliberately ignored with the HP2 Sport. This distinction between affordable but high-quality S 1000 RR components and exclusive HP2 delicacies runs through all areas. Both brakes come from Brembo, but expensive monoblocs in the noble boxer slow down, while the superbike has to make do with split brake pads. Other differences concern the footrest system of the S 1000 RR, which can be adjusted, but does not achieve the elegance of the HP2 system, which can be adjusted with an eccentric. The S 1000 RR differs most clearly, however, in the move away from the boxer, cardan and telelever in favor of a modern, compact four-cylinder concept. BMW justified the decision in favor of an upside-down fork on the S 1000 RR with the fact that there was no space for the Telelever due to the tight layout. Not necessarily a disadvantage. The anti-hopping clutch on the S 1000 RR has just as little negative effect, as it allows wonderful braking drifts in slick mode, while the sports boxer’s rear wheel begins to trample early without a slip clutch.

In addition, the superbike distances itself from its sporty pioneer with innovative technical solutions such as traction control, various mappings and variable intake funnel lengths.


Although this does not skimp on innovations either. With the automatic gearshift and the racing ABS on the HP2 Sport, there are two technical highlights that are also used in the S 1000 RR. The biggest thing the two bikes have in common, however, is the huge amount of effort that BMW put into development and production. When asked what was more difficult to train a boxer for sport or to stamp a 200-horsepower superbike, even BMW has no answer. One thing is certain, however: BMW will continue to accelerate.

Conclusion: Even if BMW sees the HP2 Sport as the sporty pioneer of the S 1000 RR, the Bavarian women differ technically in almost every respect. At a higher level, however, there are some similarities: Both motorcycles are characterized by a high degree of independence, innovation and target group orientation. And of emotionality.

Technical specifications

Drawing: archive

The performance diagram of the two BMWs.

The different engine concepts of the two BMW athletes are reflected in the performance curves. The HP delivers its power earlier and more wavily than the short-stroke S 1000 RR. Although BMW got the maximum out of the 1170 cm³ engine of the HP2 Sport with speeds of up to 9500 rpm and 133 hp, the boxer goes under in comparison with the powerful superbike. When it comes to torque, however, there is a tie. Both Bavarians press a maximum of 118 Nm on the test stand roller. However, the rather wavy rise of the HP2 curve is also noticeable here, which suddenly increases sharply at almost 6000 rpm. In return, the boxer always has more than 100 Nm ready from 3500 rpm, which is especially fun on country roads. The S 1000 RR only reaches the 100 mark at just under 8000 rpm.

BMW HP2 Sport


The noble boxer leaves the cushioning to fine Öhlins components.

Two-cylinder boxer engine, 4 valves / cylinder, 97.3 kW (133 hp) at 8750 / min *, 115 Nm at 6000 / min *, 1170 cm³, bore / stroke: 101.0 / 73.0 mm, compression ratio: 12, 5: 1, ignition / injection system, 52 mm throttle valves, hydraulically operated single-plate dry clutch, six-speed gearbox, gimbal

landing gear:
Load-bearing motor-gear unit with steel tubular subframe, steering head angle: 66.0 degrees, caster: 86 mm, wheelbase: 1487 mm, steering damper, telescopic arm guided telescopic fork, Ø inner fork tube: 41 mm, adjustable in spring base , rebound and compression stage. Central spring strut, adjustable in spring base, rebound and compression. Suspension travel front / rear: 105/120 mm

Wheels and brakes:
Cast light alloy wheels, 3.50 x 17 / 6.00 x 17, front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 190/55 ZR 17. First tires: Metzeler Racetec K3, 320 mm double disc brakes with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 265 mm Single disc with two-piston floating caliper at the rear

Measurements and weight:
Length / width / height: 2120/720/190 mm, seat / handlebar height: 830/910 mm, handlebar width: 710 mm, 206 kg fully fueled, front / rear: 52.0 / 48.0%

Rear wheel power in last gear: 93.4 kW (127 PS) at 247 km / h

Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h: 3.1 s / 5.4 s / 9.3 s
Pulling speed 50-100 / 100-150 km / h: 4.8 s / 5.1 s

Top speed: 260 km / h *

fuel: Super Plus lead-free. Tank capacity / of which reserve: 16/4 liters

Base price: 21,600 euros (more ancillary costs, Race ABS 915 euros, special paintwork 600 euros

BMW S 1000 RR


Practical: the setting of the shock absorber can be read directly.

Four-cylinder in-line engine, 4 valves / cylinder, 142 kW (193 hp) at 13,000 rpm *, 112 Nm at 9750 rpm *, 999 cm³, boron / stroke: 80.0 / 49.7 mm, compression ratio: 13.0: 1, ignition / injection system, 48 mm throttle valves, mechanically operated multi-disc anti-hopping oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, chain

Landing gear:
Light alloy bridge frame, steering head angle: 66.1 degrees, caster: 96 mm, wheelbase: 1432 mm, upside-down fork, Ø fork inner tube: 46 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression level. Central spring strut with deflection, adjustable in spring base, rebound and compression level (high / low), spring travel front / rear: 120/130 mm

Wheels and brakes:
Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17"/6.00 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 190/55 ZR 17, initial tires: Metzeler Racetec Interact K3, 320 mm double disc brake with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 220 mm single disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear

Measurements and weight:
Length / width / height: 2080/785/1110 mm, seat / handlebar height: 810/865 mm, handlebar width: 660 mm, 208 kg fully fueled, v./h .: 52.0 / 48.0%

Rear wheel power in last gear: 137.5 kW (187 hp) at 282 km / h

Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h: 3.1 / 5.0 / 7.0 s
Draft 50-100 / 100-150 km / h: 4.3 / 4.1 s

Top speed: 299 km / h *

fuel: Super unleaded. Tank capacity / of which reserve: 17.5 / 4 liters

Base price: 15,500 euros (plus ancillary costs, shift assistant 360 euros, Race ABS + DTC 1220 euros)

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