Motorcycles

BMW Motorrad's futuristic motorcycle concept keeps the rider in control

BMW Motorrad's futuristic moto...
The Motorrad Vision Next 100 requires no safety equipment for the rider
The Motorrad Vision Next 100 requires no safety equipment for the rider
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The motorcycle is a "Great Escape" from the world, says BMW
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The motorcycle is a "Great Escape" from the world, says BMW
The Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept is unique in its world because most vehicles drive themselves whereas the Vision motorcycle allows the driver to take control
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The Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept is unique in its world because most vehicles drive themselves whereas the Vision motorcycle allows the driver to take control
The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 is designed to evoke nostalgic thoughts of BMW two-wheelers of the past
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The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 is designed to evoke nostalgic thoughts of BMW two-wheelers of the past
Although the engine cover appears to be over a boxer-style engine, in reality it’s a zero-emissions powertrain
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Although the engine cover appears to be over a boxer-style engine, in reality it’s a zero-emissions powertrain
The polished aluminum finish of the engine covers is dynamic, moving outward during use to add aerodynamics around the rider’s legs, sucking in when the bike is at rest for a slim, simplistic profile
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The polished aluminum finish of the engine covers is dynamic, moving outward during use to add aerodynamics around the rider’s legs, sucking in when the bike is at rest for a slim, simplistic profile
The Motorrad Vision Next 100 requires no safety equipment for the rider
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The Motorrad Vision Next 100 requires no safety equipment for the rider
Turning the handlebars to steer the bike bends the frame rather than just the front wheel
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Turning the handlebars to steer the bike bends the frame rather than just the front wheel
The engine cover is part of the overall Motorrad Vision Next 100’s Flexframe structure, a futuristic, flexible construct
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The engine cover is part of the overall Motorrad Vision Next 100’s Flexframe structure, a futuristic, flexible construct
The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 can stand on its own and never tips over, whether moving or stationary
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The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 can stand on its own and never tips over, whether moving or stationary
A look at the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 shows that there are few joints and no visible bolts, screws, springs, or shocks
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A look at the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 shows that there are few joints and no visible bolts, screws, springs, or shocks
The motorcycle is a "Great Escape" from the world, says BMW
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The motorcycle is a "Great Escape" from the world, says BMW
The rider would also wear the Vision Next 100’s companion suit, which is tuned to not only provide thermal support (adjusting to provide ventilation or heat) but also extra support while riding
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The rider would also wear the Vision Next 100’s companion suit, which is tuned to not only provide thermal support (adjusting to provide ventilation or heat) but also extra support while riding
Analog controls on the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 are limited to a rocker switch that activates the throttle
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Analog controls on the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 are limited to a rocker switch that activates the throttle
The one-piece frame is enhanced with lighting built into the works
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The one-piece frame is enhanced with lighting built into the works
The windscreen and front elements of the Motorrad Vision Next 100 are designed to include daytime running lights
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The windscreen and front elements of the Motorrad Vision Next 100 are designed to include daytime running lights
The BMW Group’s futurists see a world in which self-driving cars are the norm
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The BMW Group’s futurists see a world in which self-driving cars are the norm
Design sketches of the Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept motorcycle
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Design sketches of the Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept motorcycle
The Motorrad design team strove for simplicity with a nostalgic look towards BMW's motorbiking past
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The Motorrad design team strove for simplicity with a nostalgic look towards BMW's motorbiking past
The sculpture of the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 required hours of painstaking design to find the right vision for the concept
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The sculpture of the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 required hours of painstaking design to find the right vision for the concept
Some elements, such as the dynamically changing engine housing, were designed based on current motorcycles in BMW's line
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Some elements, such as the dynamically changing engine housing, were designed based on current motorcycles in BMW's line
The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 is on display in Los Angeles at the Iconic Impulses: BMW Group Future Experience exhibition
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The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 is on display in Los Angeles at the Iconic Impulses: BMW Group Future Experience exhibition
View gallery - 21 images

The BMW Group celebrates its centenary this year and is showcasing several concepts that look forward to the company's next 100 years. Following in the tire treads of the BMW Vision Next 100, Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 and Mini Vision Next 100, the company has unveiled its latest vision of the motoring future in Los Angeles. The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 is a concept motorcycle that keeps the rider in control in an autonomous world.

Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad, describes a motorcycle as a "Great Escape" from the mundane world. This Steve McQueen vision is apparently at the heart of the Vision Next 100's design. Added to that are several futuristic ideas about where motoring will be, in general, in 100 years and how those changes will affect motorcycles and those who ride them.

Unsurprisingly, safety concerns are first and foremost in the design. Illustrating this, BMW says no protective clothing, not even a helmet, is required by the rider as assistive systems will keep them safe. Chief among these is a self-balancing mechanism that keeps the bike upright, even when parked, but allows for riding angles suited to the skill level of the rider, tilting into turns and leaning fore and aft when braking or accelerating just as a motorcycle of today would, but without the risk of laying the bike down.

The BMW Group's futurists see a world in which self-driving cars are the norm, but the Motorrad concept keeps the rider in control. To help in this regard, special rider's gear has been designed to form a Digital Companion that supports the rider with situational information when required. This information is relayed via glasses worn by the rider, called the Visor. Content is triggered by the rider's eyes which, when looking up or down, cause it to display different content. Looking straight ahead clears the display so the rider can concentrate on the experience of riding. The exception being when alerts are required.

The rider would also wear the Vision Next 100’s companion suit, which is tuned to not only provide thermal support (adjusting to provide ventilation or heat) but also extra support while riding
The rider would also wear the Vision Next 100’s companion suit, which is tuned to not only provide thermal support (adjusting to provide ventilation or heat) but also extra support while riding

The rider would also wear the Vision Next 100's companion suit, which is tuned to provide thermal support by adjusting to provide ventilation or heat. The suit's external design is inspired by the musculature of the human body and bands in the suit can be adjusted by both rider preference and posture to allow for added or loosened support as needed. Riding speeds also adjust the suit, with higher speeds adding support to the upper vertebrae, for example.

The bike itself is designed to evoke nostalgic thoughts of BMW two-wheelers of the past, with a boxer-style engine cover in a naked bike style with outward-facing handle joints as homage to BMW's of days gone by. The black frame triangle is designed to be reminiscent of the very first BMW Motorrad motorcycle, the R32, built in 1923. Although the engine cover appears to be over a boxer-style engine, in reality it's a zero-emissions powertrain. The polished aluminum finish of the engine covers is dynamic, moving outward during use to add aerodynamics around the rider's legs, and sucking in when the bike is at rest for a slim, clean profile.

That engine cover is part of the overall Motorrad Vision Next 100's Flexframe structure. This is a futuristic, flexible construct that allows the entire one-piece frame to give a full-body steer for the motorcycle. Turning the handlebars to steer the bike bends the frame rather than just the front wheel. The amount of force required for the rider to create a turn is adjusted according to the Motorrad Vision's speed - the higher the speed, the more force that is required to make a turn. This is intended to prevent over-steer and corrections.

The polished aluminum finish of the engine covers is dynamic, moving outward during use to add aerodynamics around the rider’s legs, sucking in when the bike is at rest for a slim, simplistic profile
The polished aluminum finish of the engine covers is dynamic, moving outward during use to add aerodynamics around the rider’s legs, sucking in when the bike is at rest for a slim, simplistic profile

Integrated into that futuristic frame are the riding lights. A U-shaped element at front is the daytime running light and wind deflector in one piece. The integrated windshield protects the rider at speed and also acts as a heads-up display of information, as needed. Two red, illuminated strips beneath the seat shell are the rear lights and indicators in one piece, made to be reminiscent of Motorrad bikes of today.

A look at the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 shows that there are few joints and no visible bolts, screws, springs, or shocks. Damping is controlled by the tires, which feature a futuristic "variable tread" that actively adjusts to maximize grip and minimize impacts.

The BMW Motorrad design team sees a future world in which digital elements are more common than are analog. In that respect, most aspects of human life are about virtual control and allowing robotic machines to do the mundane tasks of everyday living. In that world, a motorcycle that allows the rider to be in control would become a Great Escape.

The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 is on display in Los Angeles at the Iconic Impulses: BMW Group Future Experience exhibition until the 16th of October.

Watch the motorcycle in action below.

Source: BMW Group


9890

View gallery - 21 images
15 comments
Mzungu_Mkubwa
Looks like a Honda Fat Cat from the '80s. Who's styling this thing? Fred Flintstone?
dax
Cool, and you don't need a helmet...
Future3000
looks great, but it's not electric and 2 WD, so thanks NO!
Techtwit
Read again Future3000 "in reality it's a zero-emissions powertrain". Let's hope it isn't electric, that is dead end. Maybe something giving useful power and range, such as an IC engine prodcing nothing worse than water and heat? "no protective clothing, not even a helmet, is required". Let's hope it's got a really good force field fitted to deflect road debris thrown up by the vehicle in front, not to mention flying insects determined to head but the rider.
Randy Moe
Crashing is at least part of the fun. I used to jump off my bike to practice falls. At age 66 I have stopped that, and now try to never fall again...
KeithPhillips
IMO bikes in a hundred years time will look nothing like this at all. This concept is a creation of 2016 designers. In a hundred years time this concept will be compared to the model A Ford. I won't be around to tell you I told you so neither will the designers and readers of this article. I would love to be a fly on the wall in 3016. If only to see what bikes will look like.
possum1
No helmet, really. I ride in rain, through clouds of bugs, behind trucks carrying live animals ( but not for long ). Helmets are really useful - long before the collision you hope will never happen - just for their comfort and protection against normal riding hazards. As a long distance rider, I am also interested in luggage carrying capability, and fuel range, also provision for a pillion. Perhaps the Motorrad should go talk to some real riders and ask what they want in their future bikes.
Stephen N Russell
Id ride this BIG Time but still need helmet anyway.
Noel K Frothingham
Don't misinterpret the companies statement Manufacturers saying that their product is so safe that customers no longer need head protection if consumers ride this particular bike are treading on very thin and melting ice. National, state, and local governments make the laws. Only they can change those laws.
Nik
Doesn't look like it would be much use for a camping holiday for two.