During my trip to Wales, I had the pleasure of testing a BMW HP4, and I must say, this bike is a dream. A DREAM!
At 820mm seat height it is unnoticeably higher than my lowered R6 (815mm), however it is noticeably lighter. To a short rider, it makes all the difference!
I could easily put it on the side stand and manoeuvre it around petrol station or car park.
I always say, the one benefit to being short is just how comfortable I am on my R6. Being only 5’4 means most of my weight is on my bum, and barely any weight rests on my wrists, which means I don’t ever experience the oh-so-common wrist ache. My size came in handy, riding the HP4 too, as I was just so unbelievably comfortable!
One of the most exciting features is the Dynamic Damping Control. It’s an electric suspension which pulls data from sensors and continuously adjusts itself as you go.
Correct suspension set up is, in my humble opinion, single most important and beneficial modification. It can tremendously improve handling and therefore rider’s confidence. And the HP4 does it for you, whilst you’re riding. Add quickshifter, brilliant brakes, traction control and 4 riding modes to the mix (Rain, Sport, Race & Slick), and suddenly you’re not just confident, you’re cocky! And still can get away with it, as the HP4 has got your back.
The biggest surprise for me, was how tame this bike is at low end, especially considering it is a 1000cc, 193bhp beast. If you’re gentle with it, you can trust it to be gentle with you. It’s the most smooth, effortless and forgiving bike I have ever ridden. What a breath of fresh air, compared to the jerky and intimidating 1199, or even my R6. Both of these bikes are very unhappy at low speeds/revs, whereas the HP4 is just so impressively accommodating.
Looking from my unexperienced point of view, I find it controversial that people try to compare the HP4 and the 1199 Panigale.
The 1199 is the most violent thing I’ve ever ridden and I personally think it’s a waste of a bike, to keep it on the road. That beast belongs on the track, and only a very experienced rider will truly explore it’s abilities.
The HP4 on the other hand, as wild as it can be on the track, seems like a perfect choice of a road bike.
It literally ticks all the boxes for me.
You can go slow.
You can go fast.
You can go far.
It all just seems too easy and too good to be true. And yet it is.
I will even go as far as as saying, the price tag is completely justified.
If you consider this bike is a road, track and touring bike all in one, it actually seems fairly cheap.
Yes, I will be buying one. The only thing stopping me, is the new S1000RR being released at the beginning of next year. I might wait and see what’s that all about…