By Ross Sharp - 22 Jun 15
Having recently acquired a late seventies BMW R100 in a bid to understand the global penchant for the venerable R-series I came away from the first ride thinking that brakes and suspension that actually work are something of a necessity rather than a wistful daydream post country lane near-miss. One thing that did rekindle a flame was the engine, that deep, grunty torquemeister reminded me of a 1200 GS I had nearly a decade ago. Of course, nearly all R-series Beemers featured on these pages have had a host of upgrades and a degree of performance dialled in, and comparing a near 40 year old machine to the final stages of development for this air cooled engineering milestone is more than a tad unfair, so forgive me speaking slightly out of turn. Pierre from Motoieep morphs classic desires with modern greed for power and precision. His Paris workshop is turning out some fantastic builds where Paralevers and 4 valve heads are lavished over, rather than lambasted. They also transform air heads with big front ends and fat tyres, we like that. In fact we'll be bringing more from Motoieep very soon. In the meantime, this HP2 has been saved from the breakers yard after a smash and treated to a makeover, and from here it looks like a real B-road weapon. BMW's HP2 was essentially a re-framed R1200GS with more conventional forks and as a result, 20-odd kilos missing in the process, never a bad thing. Pierre weighed the bike in at 180kg, wet, properly wet with a full tank of fuel rather than the marginally moist that manufacturers figures often reflect. The HP2 motor has a bit more poke on offer and is also without a heavy balance shaft, so with a vibey 120hp on tap performance should be spirited to say the least. An in-house stainless exhaust deals with the unwanted hydrocarbons and a Tamburini end can converts raspy bark to a sweet bellow. The rear subframe has been modified and now supports a a subtly café-esque saddle, upholstered by Pierre's buddy Stéphane from Cognacaise. Pillion pegs now feature as the original frame made no provision for those wanting to share the fun. An Öhlins shock keeps the rear-end planted and hopefully plays a part in transmitting all that torque to the road. The lofty upside-down forks are by WP but heavily modified. Once the forks had been shortened by 50mm, the caliper mount was machined to accept a single radial Brembo set-up, the lugs on the other leg have been removed. The result is further weight saving, a visually improved stance and a wheelbase 40mm shorter than stock. Did someone say wheelie challenge? Just the basics for the cockpit, a good sized rev counter and token gesture GPS speedo; customised of course. A Ballistic battery and the rest of the wiring gubbins have been buried and hidden where possible. Stock hubs have been retained as BMW made perfectly good ones to start with. Spanish Morad alloy rims are an easy weight saving and at 17" front and rear allow for a wide range of rubber options, including full-on supermoto. In this case the increasingly popular Dunlops Mutants do the job, 120 up from and 160 out back. Anyone who knows the original HP2 will attest, it is quite the capable off-road tool but certainly here in the U.K. there are fewer and fewer places to enjoy muddy hooliganism, so why not take to the streets. We look forward to seeing what Pierre has in store later this year, for now keep an eye on Facebook and check out the Motorieep website in a few weeks when it's back online.