For the third time in four years BMW has taken the top prize in the Australian Motorcycle News (AMCN) ‘Austest’, with the HP4 taking on and beating a strong line-up of high-performance machines for the 2013 title. Australian Motorcycle News gathered together the top ten sports bikes available in Australia and assembled an experienced panel of test riders to push these machines to their limits on the track as well as ‘real life’ riding on the road. Over two weeks the bikes were judged in detail over many criteria, including design brief, relevance of features, value for money, build quality and innovative design approach.
The judges were looking for the outright champion of three price classes (in Australian dollars): under $20,000, between $20,000 and $27,000, and over $27,000. The S1000RR followed up its victories in 2010 and 2012 by collecting the trophy in the $20,000-$27,000 class, but it was the new HP4 that stood at the top of the podium at the end of the fortnight of detailed riding and judging.
The HP4 was in direct competition against the Aprilia RSV4 Factory and the Ducati Panigale 1199S. Much to the amazement of the test-team, the HP4 beat the Italian thoroughbreds across the criteria – and on the dyno where a figure of 189 hp was recorded at the rear wheel. In fact, the more the AMCN journalists rode the HP4 the more they came to appreciate its attributes.
“It carves corners like few other bikes with a headlight and it stops better than any other bike, with the ABS brakes having simply supreme stopping force… The HP4 is the best roadbike because you can dial in the kind of suspension response you need to be comfortable – as well as fast – from the saddle. ‘Sport’ mode lets the bike shimmy its way over the bumps and corrugations without rattling your teeth out, while in ‘Slick’ mode for the track it is firmer. Better!” said AMCN.
The test-riding journalists found the HP4 both quick and surprisingly comfortable, and loved the Dynamic Damping Control active suspension. The ease of navigating the electronic controls and the heated grips just topped it off nicely.
“The new kid on the block has done it – its most formidable weapon the fact we discovered it wasn’t just better than its ‘standard’ sibling (S1000RR) on paper, but in the real world as well… Its one flaw is the lengthy waiting list, but the HP4 is Australia’s ultimate sport bike – power, finesse, excellent technology that works and a wicked price. It’s one special bike.”
General Manager BMW Motorrad Australia, Tony Sesto was delighted with this latest win, commenting, “Since its launch the S1000RR has taken all before it; on the track, ‘Bike of the Year’ awards, in comparative tests and importantly in the hands of very happy and excited owners. This AMCN Austest 2013 win for the HP4 is a highlight for us. The HP4 is the complete package of power, dynamic performance and technology on a motorcycle that is a delight to ride on the track or road. It is a landmark motorcycle in BMW Motorrad’s 90 year history and I am delighted to accept the award.”