Few bikes approach the HP4 Race’s ability to make its rider feel like a factory star. Apart from its almost ridiculous lightness, an abundance of carbon and the quality of its cycle parts, the cockpit view is pure racer. The digital instrument panel has the option of “mechanic’s” views for temperatures and other info and instantly switches to rider mode as the bike pulls away. The clip-on bars have Smartie-like coloured buttons for tweaking engine mode, traction control, anti-wheelie and other settings on the move.
There’s no race-replica pretence here: this is the real thing, a factory competition engine in an outrageously advanced and lavishly equipped chassis. You couldn’t enter a Superbike race because the BMW is not homologated. But for track days, many endurance races or the Senior TT it would be close to perfect. Talking of the TT, Peter Hickman christened the HP4 Race with a spectacular video lap of the Mountain Circuit, but the bike’s UK mainland debut will be at Goodwood when French ace Kenny Foray attacks the Festival of Speed hill. He may not have time to wave.
Price tag of our bike: £68,000
Photography by Markus Jahn and Daniel Kraus