Why carbon frames are the future
Lightweight frames with added rigidity – is carbon the future?
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.
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.