Towards the start of the 1980s, BMW tasked a small group of designers and engineers to deliver what eventually became the R80G/S — a model that came to define a genre and lead to some of the best-selling models from the Bavarian brand. A quarter-century-later BMW Motorrad greenlit yet another skunkworks project, this time focused on creating the ultimate big-bore dual-sport.
Using the proven R1200GS as the basis for the project, the suits at BMW went about stripping down the GS to its power plant. The boxer twin was massaged to squeeze out an additional five ponies, before being dropped in a trick steel trellis “space frame” chassis. The revised 105 hp, air/oil-cooled 1,170cc mill afforded the new model — dubbed the HP2 (reportedly short for “High Performance 2-Cylinder”) — a top-speed of 125mph and a 0-60mph time of only 3.2-seconds.
Cycle World’s Ryan Dudek praised the modified boxer twin upon the HP2’s release, stating, “This is smooth, controllable, useable power, and a boatload of it. Chug along a gear (or two) too high, or downshift and rev the wee out of it, the Beemer simply doesn’t care.”
The dedicated team behind the HP2 jettisoned the R1200GS’s A-arm telelever front-end in favor of a 45mm inverted fork from WP with more than 10.5” of travel. Out in back the enduro utilized BMW’s paralever setup that was more than an inch longer than the unit found on the GS. The rear suspension also employed an adjustable bladder shock created specially for the HP2. The changes to the frame and suspenders allowed the HP2 to tip the scales at just 386lbs dry (plus another 44lbs fully fueled and ready-to-go) — 50lbs less than the R1200GS.
In an effort to prove the HP2’s off-road prowess, BMW planned to enter the then-new enduro into various big-name competitions like the Baja 500 and 1000, the German Cross Country Championship, and even campaigning the HP2 at the notoriously grueling Erzberg Rodeo. Of course with an MSRP of roughly $20K ($19,990 to be exact), it makes sense that BMW wanted to prove that the HP2 was the real deal and not just a styling exercise.
On top of the massaged mill, trellis frame, and trick suspenders, your approximately $20K also got you a full stainless exhaust, magnesium cylinder head covers, aluminum bars, and adjustable levers, as well as the rest of the top-shelf amenities riders have come to expect on one of BMW’s ADV mounts (immobilizer, outlet, etc). It’s also probably worth mentioning that when the HP2 first debuted, it was the biggest and most powerful production enduro on the market by a pretty substantial margin.
Reportedly only around 1,000 HP2 units left the factory, though I’m not sure if that refers to its first year of production, or the entire run from 2005 to 2008. Either way, resale values have remained surprisingly strong. This particular low-mile (5,500) example has been kept in remarkable condition. Making this specimen all the more attractive is the fact it’s received a myriad of upgrades. This includes a Scotts steering stabilizer, Ti footpegs and skid-plate, Touratech engine protection, supplementary underseat fuel-cell (with pump), and a full Akrapovic exhaust with bash-plate). The seller says a number of mods haven’t been included in the ad, such as the aftermarket luggage rack, foot-pegs, auxiliary lighting, or Excel rims seen in the photos.
Though the asking price is admittedly a bit steep, you’d be hard pressed to find another example in better condition. You can find this upgraded, low-mile (unspecified model year) BMW HP2 Enduro for sale here on Craigslist in Lake Oswego, Oregon with a price of $18,000.