Motorcycles

BMW Concept Link envisions the future of urban mobility

BMW Concept Link envisions the...
BMW Motorrad's Concept Link is the fifth model under the Vision Next 100 banner
BMW Motorrad's Concept Link is the fifth model under the Vision Next 100 banner
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BMW Motorrad unveiled the Concept Link as a study on the future of urban mobility
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BMW Motorrad unveiled the Concept Link as a study on the future of urban mobility
BMW Motorrad's Concept Link is the fifth model under the Vision Next 100 banner
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BMW Motorrad's Concept Link is the fifth model under the Vision Next 100 banner
The BMW Motorrad Concept Link pushes the design of the C 650 scooter to the future
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The BMW Motorrad Concept Link pushes the design of the C 650 scooter to the future
The BMW Motorrad Concept Link incorporates the orange battery wiring as part of its styling
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The BMW Motorrad Concept Link incorporates the orange battery wiring as part of its styling
The BMW Motorrad Concept Link uses two discrete LEC (Light Emitting Ceramic) headlights
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The BMW Motorrad Concept Link uses two discrete LEC (Light Emitting Ceramic) headlights
The bodywork of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link is designed with maximum aerodynamic protection in mind
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The bodywork of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link is designed with maximum aerodynamic protection in mind
Rear shock absorber and belt drive of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link
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Rear shock absorber and belt drive of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link
The seat of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link looks nice, but maybe a little too thin for comfort
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The seat of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link looks nice, but maybe a little too thin for comfort
The single-sided swingarm of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link
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The single-sided swingarm of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link
With a low center of mass, the BMW Motorrad Concept Link should have very easy handling
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With a low center of mass, the BMW Motorrad Concept Link should have very easy handling
Access to the storage compartment of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link is achieved from a sliding door on the right-hand side
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Access to the storage compartment of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link is achieved from a sliding door on the right-hand side
A wide touch screen below the BMW Motorrad Concept Link's handlebars displays a wealth of information
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A wide touch screen below the BMW Motorrad Concept Link's handlebars displays a wealth of information
The C Evolution is the only electric two-wheeler in BMW's current lineup, running on a battery pack from the i3 car
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The C Evolution is the only electric two-wheeler in BMW's current lineup, running on a battery pack from the i3 car

BMW Motorrad created the Vision Next 100 series of concept machines to demonstrate its take on the next century of personal mobility. The Concept Link joins its ranks, showcasing technologies that are likely to dominate future city streets, like electric powertrains and extended connectivity.

BMW launched the Vision Next 100 platform last year, as part of its centenary celebration, with a series of concepts that cuts across the group's brands; BMW motorcycles and cars, as well as Mini and Rolls Royce. Today, on the opening day of the annual Concorso d'Eleganza at the Grand Hotel Villa d'Este on the Italian shores of Lake Como, BMW returns with the Concept Link, a two-wheeler looking like a C 650 scooter that just returned from the future.

As expected, the concept relies on an electric propulsion system, with a flat battery pack laid horizontally along the scooter's floor, and an electric motor transferring power to the rear wheel via belt drive.

The Concept Link's styling retains a visual connection with BMW's contemporary C 650 scooters, enriched with overhanging side panels that double as aerodynamic protections. The design proposes covered wheels – a feature common to all Vision Next 100 concepts – and incorporates elements like the orange electrical wiring into the styling.

A wide touch screen below the BMW Motorrad Concept Link's handlebars displays a wealth of information
A wide touch screen below the BMW Motorrad Concept Link's handlebars displays a wealth of information

The typical instrument panel will be a thing of the past according to BMW, with a touchscreen displaying a wide range of information. This programmable display can be controlled with buttons on the handlebars, so that the rider's hands will never need to let go of the controls. Crucial bits of information such as speed, navigation and battery status will also be projected on the windscreen, directly into the rider's field of view – although we might as well assume that by the time the Concept Link hits the streets, head-up display systems will also be common ground in motorcycle helmets.

The absence of an internal combustion engine and all of its paraphernalia – like, for instance, the fuel tank – leaves a lot of useful space over the scooter's battery pack. This allows for a spacious underseat storage compartment, which is accessible through a sliding door on the right side. And, since we're at it, this cover will be controlled with hand gestures, thanks to some innovative riding gear.

Access to the storage compartment of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link is achieved from a sliding door on the right-hand side
Access to the storage compartment of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link is achieved from a sliding door on the right-hand side

The coat displayed in the photos is what BMW considers as tomorrow's motorcycle clothing. Made from water-repellent wool, the casual-looking jacket will incorporate very discrete and thin shoulder and elbow protectors, as well as active areas on the sleeves that connect to the bike's electronics, allowing for actions like controlling the storage access panel.

Although the BMW Motorrad Concept Link does appear to be quite ahead of its time, it's neither the self-balancing motorcycle that will render helmets obsolete, nor the shape-shifting autonomous car of the future. Smartphone connectivity is hardly a novelty in our time, already offered as standard in a wide array of two-wheelers, from KTM's Adventure to Kymco's AK 550 scooter, and windshield display is also on the way.

With most of its technology already commercially available, maybe only the clothing tech that BMW proposes sounds too advanced. Instead, what really keeps the Concept Link from becoming a mass-produced reality is its power source. A look at the i3-derived battery pack of the current C Evolution scooter is enough to explain why BMW's latest design can be nothing more than a futuristic concept – at least, as long as decent range remains a popular requirement.

To see more of the Concept Link, check out the following animation.

Source: BMW

BMW Motorrad Concept Link - BMW Group

5 comments
JamesMichaelKrause
Does it fly? =D
Nik
It will need a new 'concept' backside to sit on it, cos, mine wont!
Stephen N Russell
Id ride this scootter, need side packs for groceries etc alone. Nice ride, Produce this BMW.
Jinpa
Lousy design aspect: no rear wheel cover, will throw dirt and water on rider(s) and all vehicles behind. Extremely rude.
ljaques
Not only is this scooter ugly, it will soil the rider because of the truncated fender. The plastic parts on the outside are sure to be a massive source of income for BMW and other mfgrs down the road, too, at an increase in insurance costs. Just Say No!