Why car­bon frames are the fu­ture

Light­weight frames with added rigid­ity – is car­bon the fu­ture?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

BMW are now just months from the launch of their car­bon-framed, track-only S1000rr-based HP4 Race. As well as be­ing much lighter than tra­di­tional chas­sis ma­te­ri­als, a car­bon-fi­bre frame al­lows en­gi­neers to play with ev­ery ge­o­met­ri­cal item in an al­most un­re­stricted way, much more than they can with alu­minium.

The aim of the car­bon-fi­bre frame used in the HP4 Race is to pro­vide the stiff­ness of alu­minium with the hard­ness of steel. One ma­jor ben­e­fit is the abil­ity to make the frame to an ex­act tol­er­ance of just 0.4% de­viance when cal­cu­lat­ing stiff­ness, flex and tor­sion – a fig­ure far more ac­cu­rate than is pos­si­ble with alu­minium.

BMW have in­vested heav­ily in car­bon-fi­bre in re­cent years, buy­ing a 49% share in spe­cial­ist car­bon­fi­bre man­u­fac­turer SGL Group. The Ger­man brand al­ready pro­duce cars (the i3 and i8) that use car­bon fi­bre body struc­tures, so mass pro­duced car­bon fi­bre-framed bikes are a part of the firm’s fu­ture.

The pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the HP4 Race is ex­pected to go on sale to­wards the end of 2017, and will be avail­able in limited num­bers.

Josef Mäch­ler

The Prod­uct Man­ager for all four and six-cylin­der bikes in the BMW Mo­tor­rad range. He was part of the de­vel­op­ment team for the HP4 and all of the other S1000 mod­els.

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