Just a few years ago, a BMW motorcycle wouldn’t necessarily have been the first choice for a computer software company to include as one of the star machines in its racing video game but the recent arrival of lighter, faster, more powerful machines from BMW such as the K 1200 R haven’t gone unnoticed by the video game developers.
The 163 hp four-cylinder machine – currently the most powerful production naked roadster in the world – was always designed to make a statement, rather than blend in with the multitude of mass-produced, plastic covered race replicas. Its aggressive looks, muscular dimensions and raw potential have brought it to the attention of Bizarre Creations Ltd – the developers of the latest instalment of the blockbusting Project Gotham Racing (PGR) franchise – who have decided to use it in the PGR4 Xbox 360 video game.
With a choice of more than 120 cars and – for the first time – motorcycles, PGR4 puts gamers behind the wheel of some of the world’s most iconic machines, including the BMW M1 pro car, the 507 hp BMW M5 , and classics such as the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray and the 1978 Lamborghini Countach LP400. Players can choose to race two motorcycles side by side or race with a combination of cars and motorcycles. The game’s unique physics engine enables drivers and riders to pull off incredible manoeuvres not found in any other racing game.
Whether on two wheels or four, players must perform daring and stylistic moves to win over their fans, who will cheer them on as they follow their road to racing notoriety. A dramatic new PGR4 ‘weather system’ provides a new layer of thrill and excitement to the racing experience by exposing drivers and riders to dynamic weather conditions.
An improved ‘Kudos’ reward system has been designed specifically for motorcycles and cars to provide gamers with more incentives to show off their distinctive driving and riding styles. Participants can catch air, wheelie, endo and powerslide their way to victory to gain access to better garages and special races, and win fans all over the world.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates allegedly described the original Project Gotham Racing as his favourite video game, and the latest instalment in the PGR franchise certainly takes the racing to new levels of thrill and excitement.
Speaking of thrills and excitement, BMW Motorrad doesn’t actually quote a top speed for the K 1200 R, but American racer Brian Parriott was timed at an average speed of approximately 164 mph (263 km/h) on a K 1200 R in 2005 on the Bonneville Salt Flats in the USA. Reaching that speed on an unfaired bike takes a combination of strength, bravery and determination and shouldn’t be attempted unless under controlled conditions. A far easier (and safer!) option would be to buy PGR4, learn the game and be among the first to wheelie and powerslide the K 1200 R to victory.