Wednesday, 19 April 2017


The new BMW HP4 RACE has carbon fibre monocoque chassis

BMW has released details for its much anticipated new HP4 race bike, with 750 models planned to be “individually crafted for top performance on the race track”.

The company says that “fascinating technical solutions for maximum performance on the race track have always been the hallmark of hand-picked factory racing motorcycles modified to perfection down to the last detail. With the new HP4 RACE, BMW Motorrad presents a purebred racing bike in a production run of 750. It is individually crafted by a small, highly specialised team, ensuring the very highest level of quality.
“In terms of engine, electronics and spring elements, the new HP4 RACE is in the same category as current superbike factory racing machines, even surpassing this level in the area of suspension with its carbon fibre frame. Weighing 171 kilograms when fully fuelled and road ready, the new HP4 RACE is even lighter than the factory racing bikes currently used in the Superbike World Championship and is only slightly above the MotoGP factory racers in terms of weight.
BMW had been known to be working on carbon fibre chassis technology, and with the HP4 RACE BMW say they are “the first motorcycle manufacturer in the world to present a main frame made entirely of carbon fibre and produced industrially in small series, thereby making this future-oriented technology available for anyone to purchase”.
The frame weighs just 7.8 kg, with front and rear wheels also in carbon fibre, enabling a weight reduction of approximately 30 per cent as compared to light alloy forged wheels, while retaining a “deliberately rigid” design.
BMW say the HP4 RACE has a “purebred racing engine similar to specifications 6.2 and 7.2 of the Endurance and Superbike World Championships. The peak output is 158 kW (215 hp) at 13,900 rpm. The maximum torque of 120 Nm is reached at 10,000 rpm. The maximum engine speed has been increased compared to the engine of the S 1000 RR from 14,200 rpm to 14,500 rpm. With the aim of achieving the best possible performance, a 6‑speed close-ratio racing gearbox is used with optimised transmission ratios and various secondary ratios (diverse pinions and chain sprockets included).
Additional features include Öhlins spring elements, light alloy underslung swingarm and Brembo monoblock brake calipers from the Superbike World Championship, weight-optimised electrical system, 2D dashboard along with Dynamic Traction Control DTC, Engine Brake EBR, Wheelie Control and other electronic features.

An overview of the highlights of the new BMW HP4 RACE …

  • Carbon fibre main frame in monocoque construction, weighing just 7.8 kilograms
  • Self-supporting carbon fibre rear frame with three-stage height adjustment function
  • Carbon fibre wheels offering a weight reduction of some 30 per cent as compared to light alloy forged wheels
  • Öhlins FGR 300 upside-down fork
  • Öhlins TTX 36 GP spring strut
  • Brembo GP4 PR monoblock brake calipers with 320 T-type racing steel brake discs (thickness 6.75 mm) at the front
  • Racing engine at World Cup level with an output of 158 kW (215 hp) at 13,900 rpm and a maximum torque of 120 Nm at 10,000 rpm
  • Close-ratio racing gearbox with adapted transmission ratios
  • Weight-optimised electrical system featuring light lithium-ion battery with 5 Ah
  • 2D dashboard and 2D data recording, including logger
  • Dynamic Traction Control DTC (programmable for selected gears at 15 levels)
  • Engine Brake EBR (programmable for selected gears at 15 levels)
  • Wheelie Control (programmable for selected gears)
  • Launch Control
  • Pit Lane Limiter
  • Light trim parts made of carbon fibre with snap fasteners
  • Paint finish in BMW HP Motorsport colours
  • Production run of 750 units, each individually crafted


New Honda R&D centre for ‘Cooperative Intelligence’ systems

Honda has announced the establishment of a new research and development unit with responsibility for commercialising ‘new value’ areas that include robotics, artificial intelligence, connected mobility systems and energy management. 

Honda Riding Assist

Named ‘R&D Centre X’, the unit will have a particular focus on the developing of new products driven by the convergence of these areas.
R&D Centre X will “harness Honda’s expertise in manufacturing inherently reliable hardware and its passion for helping people to realise their hopes and dreams. The remit of the new unit is distinct from Honda’s existing R&D operations that focus on specific business areas such as automobiles, motorcycles, power products and aircraft engines.
“Central to the development of innovations in the fields of robotics and advanced mobility is the goal of creating systems with ‘Cooperative Intelligence’ – artificial intelligence that can relate to and work cooperatively with people. Honda envisages a ‘truly human-centred intelligent robotics society’ in which robotics can empower, gain experience from and empathise with human beings”.

Centre X will combine core strengths with the latest advancements in data and artificial intelligence

Since its foundation, Honda says it has “realised the expanding possibility to create new value from rapidly-advancing digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and ‘big data’. Responding to such changes, Honda will empower R&D Centre X to combine its core strengths with the latest advancements in data and artificial intelligence to continue to create products and experiences that can improve the quality of people’s lives”.


SBS’ “Partners in Racing” concept supports product development

Danish brake pad manufacturer SBS has been involved in the motorcycle racing business for almost 25 years now, and every year they have cooperated with leading international and national race teams and top riders.
At SBS this concept is known as “Partners in Racing”, and it is central to their ability to test and develop new and existing product. “The programme plays an important role in our product development process”, says SBS Race Manager Allan Østli. 

Allan Østli, SBS Race Manager, with Kenan Sofuoglu’s Kawasaki – “our ‘Partners in Racing’ concept is important for our product development”
Photo: Lars Rulffs

“Brake pads are one of the most important components in motorcycle racing. In today’s racing, only a very few overtaking manoeuvres are the result of acceleration and pure engine power – the braking zone is where most of the action happens. With “Partners in Racing” we get our products tested under the toughest conditions, and we get very useful feedback from the people who really know what braking is about. This is an important add-on to our own test activities”.
The feedback from the world’s racetracks results in R&D engineering staff being able to improve and develop the company’s brake compounds, not only for race use, but also products that are used on the road – classic “track trickle down”, says Allan.
“Especially when it comes to riders’ preferences and feelings for the final “finger-tip” performance -   our race tests and our close partnerships with riders and their teams have a deep impact on our R&D work”.

 “the pad for podium positions”

Down the years some impressive names have contributed to the SBS mission – champions such as Carlos Checa, Kenan Sofuoglu, Andrew Pitt, Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes, Troy Corser, James Toseland, Michael Dunlop and many others are not the worst references to have when talking about racing and braking.
In 2017 the list of teams and riders that take part in World Championships as SBS’ partners “is more or less endless”, says Allan. Riders such as Nicki Hayden and Stefan Bradl (Ten Kate Honda World Superbike Team) and Marcus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres (BMW Althea Racing Team) in WSBK.
In Supersport SBS have Roberto Rolfo (Team Factory Vamag), Kenan Sofuoglu and Kyle Ride (Kawasaki Pucetti Racing) and Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) using their product, with Thomas Luthi (Car Expert Interwetten) in Moto GP2 and Philip Oettl (Südmetall Schedel GP Racing) in Moto GP3.
In the World Endurance Championship “where durability is the key parameter”, SBS has a long-lasting partnership with the Swiss Bolliger Team, who have a long record of world championship top 5 results, and French Superstock world champions Tati Team.
On a national level SBS has a test and development cooperation with Shane “Shakey” Byrne and Marvin Fritz, who both achieved 2016 championship wins in the British Superbike and IDM German Superbike Championship respectively.
SBS is also active in Motocross GP Championship racing - for 2017 the list of partners includes the ICE1 Husqvarna team owned by Finnish F1 driver Kimi Räikkönen, Wilvo Yamaha featuring Shawn Simpson and Gautier Paulin, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team, and others.
In June SBS will continue its history of involvement in the unique demands road racing, again supporting Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson at the Isle of Man, the NW 200 and other events.
For the race teams competing on asphalt, SBS typically offers the Dual Sinter compound for the front. Allan explains that “this compound was introduced 10 years ago, but we have developed it regularly since then based on the feedback from our partners – feedback that has allowed us to also be testing some new innovations this season. For the rear, we typically recommend a carbon tech or a sintered compound, depending on riding style and motorcycle”. For Motocross, SBS recommends special sintered racing compounds.


OptiMate 4 – Version 3 has landed

First introduced in 2008, TecMate’s OptiMate 4 quickly became established as one of the most popular battery chargers in their line-up. 

Version 2, introduced in 2010, had two major updates - high frequency, fully electronic power conversion (able to receive global 100 – 240Vac power) and a dual program feature. Program 1 gave direct charging to a 12V battery via the battery clips or permanent battery leads with M6 (1/4”) rings; program 2 allowed charging to be activated through the CAN bus controlled 12V power port on BMW motorcycles.
The OptiMate 4 dual program was the first to solve the problem of the BMW rider periodically having to turn on the key to re-activate their battery maintainer to prevent their battery running down; OptiMate 4’s keyless program communicated seamlessly with the BMW CAN bus control and guaranteed 24-7 maintenance without the need of supervision.
The keyless entry and additional features, such as the ability to save a battery from as low as 0.5V and pre- and post-charging testing (allowing the user to monitor charge progress), quickly made OptiMate 4 dual program the most popular and trusted charger in global powersport. 
The new Version 3 retains all these advantages and more. The more efficient power circuitry (California approved) now delivers 1 Amp of charge current and refinements in the software control further speeds charging - with the visual LED instructions on the charger itself helping keep the user informed of charge progress at a glance.
Two models of the Version 3 are available - the standard V3 OptiMate 4 model and a dedicated BMW CAN bus edition. 


Sifam Group

CNC-machined parts from Sifam

Based near Nice in southern France, the Sifam Group (founded in 1994 by Pierre Manuel) has a fast-growing own brand apparel range that we have featured in IDN recently (S-Line). They are also one of the largest France based distributors with a wide range of famous name and own brand hard parts available from their 3,900 sq m headquarters warehouse.

Seen here, these brake fluid reservoirs are made from CNC-machined aluminium and are available to fit all models with separate master cylinder reservoirs. A wide window allows the rider to check the fluid level easily, and they are said to be stronger, more resistant and more durable than the OE plastic reservoirs they replace and bring a “custom touch to the bike in a choice of model match or contrast highlight colourways”.

Also manufactured in machined aluminium, these ‘Easy Clutch’ fit on all cable clutch bikes and allow one finger pull. The aluminium case is very light and gives a factory look to off-road models.

A large range of CNC-machined aluminium lever protector sets are available from Sifam for all the latest road bikes. These lever protectors, in a choice of custom colourways, will avoid the lever touching any close car or bike and activating the front brakes; they also protect levers from damage in the case of an impact.



XVS 1300 Custom accessories

Well known German accessory manufacturer Fehling offers dealers access to one of the largest handlebar, luggage carrier system and engine protection ranges in the industry.

Seen here are new accessories for the Yamaha XVS 1300 Custom, a range which includes their 38mm tube protection guard, baggage holder, rear rack, mounting bar for additional spotlamps and tubular sissybar with pad and carrier.

Fehling design and make all their own products in-house at their factory near Dortmund in Germany. Founded in 1945 as specialist metal forming and processing engineers, the company specialises in motorcycle parts, currently employs around 25 people and is still in the founder's family ownership.



Specialist S 1000 RR parts programme

We first wrote about Modena, Italy based Jetprime last year, when they had released details of a complete range of ‘Plug & Play’ handlebar switches for most popular sportsbike makes and models.

This new carbon fibre oil pan is said to be over 150 grams lighter than the stock design and allows lower internal pressure

Suitable for race or road use, they are designed and manufactured in-house by Jetprime, who are a chosen technology partner to the Althea BMW Racing Team in the World Superbike Championship and the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup.
Now the collaboration has resulted in the availability of a range of new products for the S 1000 RR, and this new lightweight oil pan in carbon fibre has been manufactured in an autoclave using a special production cycle to guarantee maximum strength, even at temperatures higher than 250°C. The process is said to produce a design that is also resistant to the vibrations and movements created by the engine.
It allows to decrease the internal pressure of the engine so that it can contain more oil and lower the oil suction point; it is also equipped with an aluminium CNC-machined plug which inserts pressure onto a special titanium insert, which is inside the oil sump itself. Jetprime say that this unique technique makes it possible to decrease the weight by over 150 grams (compared to the stock unit), giving “macroscopic improvements in the dynamic qualities of the motorcycle”.
A larger CNC-machined aluminium oil pan is also available as part of a growing programme of specialist components for BMW’s popular superbike.


Ilmberger Carbonparts

Boxer LC valve cover

Respected German specialist Ilmberger Carbonparts is offering a new valve cover for all BMW Boxer LC models.

Owner and chief engineer Julius Illmberger said that “the cover was developed by us and has a weight of below 500 g, which makes it much lighter than the original part, having a positive effect on riding performance and handling. In addition the part is made from a carbon formulation that is more robust and resistant than others used in the motorcycle parts industry, and the protective properties of our special clear coating adds to the durability of its looks and service life”.
The kit contains both valve covers, spark plug covers and the injection jet covers, bringing a touch of contemporary high-tech styling to the water-cooled Boxer powertrain.
Other matching protective covers are available from Ilmberger for both sides of the LC models, offering additional personalisation and protection options.



Italian Rizoma detailing for
Germany’s R nineT Scrambler

Italian parts and accessory manufacturer Rizoma is always quick to cast its eye over new models, and the 2016 BMW R nineT Scrambler was a natural for their eye for detail to be able to scope out opportunities for customers to individualise their bike.

At the front is a Rizoma headlight fairing with billet aluminium adapter and a cross-bar for the OEM handlebar fork stabiliser, matching up with a rear fender for the undertail to achive the Enduro look.
For long range street and off-road riding, LED fog auxiliary lights with aluminium covers and supports for back and side bags make the Scrambler long-distance ready.

The headlight protection and engine protection bars are essentials, while ‘Rally’ rider pegs with replaceable steel teeth, an adjustable shift lever, adjustable ‘3D’ brake and clutch levers and grips (available for all R nineT models thanks to the specifically designed adapter) help deliver grip and control for all conditions.
Additional detailing can be added with a selection of head covers, engine covers and intake tips; brake and clutch fluid tank caps; exhaust tips for OEM exhaust and four different license plate support styles all deliver the kind of large visual impact and smaller, subtle detail refinements that define the concept of “personalisation”.