Bimmer Of The Future

October 12, 2016

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Bimmer Of The Future

Yesterday afternoon in Santa Monica, BMW introduced the world to a concept motorcycle called the Motorrad Vision Next 100. At first glance, it looks like the motorcycle the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had in mind when it announced its “Road to Zero Initiative” last week.

In case you missed it, the Road to Zero formalized the government goal of eliminating  all traffic deaths in 30 years. The American Motorcyclist Association objected to the propaganda that accompanied the announcement because “no mention was made of motorcycles or motorcyclists.”

The new plan to make us all accident proof leans on a transition from motor vehicles with drivers to vehicles that don’t need no stinking drivers. And that inspired Wayne Allard, who is vice president of government relations for the AMA, to wonder in writing, “Was the exclusion of motorcycles intentional? Is a ban on motorcycles part of the plan to get to zero road deaths? It is hard to imagine how you could eliminate all human decision making from the operation of a vehicle, especially a motorcycle. If autonomous motorcycles were ever developed, no one would ride them.”

BMW Disagrees

The bike BMW rolled out yesterday seeks the fine line between a bike that is ridden and one that is merely sat on. According to the 2,300 word press release that appeared with the bike, “The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 unites the best of both worlds – digital and analogue – for the ultimate emotional experience: The Great Escape.”

The phrase “The Great Escape” appears multiple times in the release. “‘The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 embodies the BMW Group’s vision of biking in a connected world – an analogue experience in a digital age. Motorcycling is about escaping from the everyday: the moment you straddle your bike, you are absolutely free. Your bike is The Great Escape,’ says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad, outlining the core principles underlying his brand’s Vision Vehicle.” Before it was a core principle, The Great Escape was movie about British and American pilots escaping from a German prison camp. Steve McQueen tried to escape on a stolen, German Army BMW.

The new German bike is self- balancing. It isn’t the first self-balancing motorcycle. Lit Motors of San Francisco built a self-balanced electric two wheeler four years ago. But BMW is the first major manufacturer to build a bike that doesn’t make you put your feet down when you stop.

Who’s Riding Who

“In certain situations,” the press release gushes, “the active assistance systems of the future will also enhance stability and safety by automatically balancing the motorcycle, both out on the road and when stationary. Novice riders will benefit from additional guidance in all riding situations and from a bike that will never tip over” even after you dismount this thing. “The balancing systems also work out on the road to ensure a particularly agile and dynamic riding experience with even lighter handling, which seasoned riders will appreciate, and all the benefits of assistance systems to enhance their capabilities even further. The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 helps every biker become more proficient and enjoy an even more positive riding experience. Every trip becomes a journey of freedom, from beginning to end.”

The bike features frame-assisted steering. “Turning the handlebar adjusts the entire frame, changing the direction of the bike. The amount of strength needed to steer depends on the situation: At standstill, the Flexframe allows a light steering whereas at higher speeds it remains very rigid.”

And, it has something that looks like a boxer engine. “In the middle of the triangle frame sits a style feature and historical reminder: the power unit. Designed and created in the image of the traditional BMW boxer engine, it actually consists of a zero-emissions drive unit. Its outward appearance changes depending on the circumstances: when the bike is resting, the power unit is compact, extending outwards only when the bike sets off, to enhance aerodynamics and protect the rider from the elements. Its polished aluminum finish confirms the superior quality of this component.”

BMW did not reveal how much horsepower the thing that looks like a boxer engine but isn’t will make, or how fast this motorcycle will go.

Assist

The motorcycle uses a variety of sensors to “assist” the rider: “The bike has the full range of connected data from its surroundings and a set of intelligent systems working in the background, so it knows exactly what lies ahead,” the release says. “By collating the data it has gathered, it can suggest ideal lines and banking angles, or warn riders of hazards ahead,”

It has something called a “Digital Companion” that “appears in the lower third of the field of view, represented by an upturned triangle from which two horizontal lines extend outwards. Like the display in an airplane cockpit, this symbol indicates the current banking angle and ideal lines. If the bike’s current position does not match what is suggested, the rider can correct it as necessary. If he or she responds too late or not at all, the bike will correct itself. The Digital Companion’s advice not only helps novices to learn more about what they and their bikes can do. It also supports experienced riders by allowing them to challenge themselves and continuously improve their skills.”

According to Edgar Heinrich, the head of motorcycle design at BMW, the “vehicle will act with foresight and is able to protect the rider at any time.” That seems to mean that of the motorcycle doesn’t like how you’re riding, it will take over control. “Any late reaction from the driver will trigger and the vehicle will balance out,” Heinrich said.

BMW calls a motorcycle that takes you for a ride, instead of you taking the bike out for a spin, “the ultimate riding experience. Liberated from the need to wear a helmet and protective clothing, the rider is able to enjoy the forces. Acceleration, wind and nature as in touch with the surrounding world, savoring every moment.”

Just like Steve McQueen in The Great Escape.

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29 Responses to “Bimmer Of The Future”

  1. LenGoveia Says:

    No doubt the bike will evolve,combustion engine is soon to go the way of the t-rex..Times are a-changing to quote Dylan…It’s all good..

  2. Paladin Says:

    For decades, The European establishment has been all about the collective control of its inhabitants. The European basic mindset is that decisions one makes that affect one’s life their pursuit of happiness are far too important to be left to the mere individual and should therefore be decided by those wiser and more learned.

    It would never occur to BMW that part of the freedom associated with motorcycling is to be free to make one’s own decisions and to be unencumbered (even if only temporarily) by societies dictates, constraints and values. By purchasing one of BMW’s “motorcycles”, one has once again agreed that one’s pursuit of happiness and one’s personal decisions are better left to others.

    Long May You Ride (to those that deserve to),

    Paladin

  3. Catfish Says:

    No.

  4. fallendesperado Says:

    I’d have to ride one of those at least once….just to see what it’s like. But shit I thought I reached nirvana when I bought a bagger with a radio in it that I still can’t figure out how to run half the time ;-)

  5. Phuquehed Says:

    As I say about my guns – whoever comes to try and taqke them, gets them bullets first…I’ll say about this piece of shit $900/tire sight to make eyes sore – they day they say I can’t ride a REAL motorcycle, is the day I run into the cocksuckers at 120 mph on my bike on purpose.

    Bunch of fucking pansies and flower sniffing faggots come up with these bullshit kinds of vehicles…the kind of pussies who are afraid of their own shadows and think everyone else should be too. It should be called the BMW Motard.

  6. stroker Says:

    Yeah….it sounds….”interesting.” I might want to ride one to see what all the hype is about…..but personally, I WANT a bike I can control! I don’t want no stinkin’ electric gizmos taking ANY control away from me!

  7. NCRider Says:

    Just imagine being in a room with the engineers that designed this thing.

    Respectfully,

    Cathy

  8. StarvinLarry Says:

    WTF are they thinking?No one will ride this thing-hell who would pay for something that looks like that?
    That’s not a bike-I don’t know what it is,but it ain’t a bike anyone I know would would even think about riding around town on.
    Respects,
    StarvinLarry

  9. ak rack Says:

    NCRider — Thanks!

  10. BMW Says:

    I learned to ride on an old bike where my left hand controlled the advance. It took skill and experience to control the ’51EL, and I highsided it a few times over the first few years. I learned to keep front and back crashbars on, just to make it easier to pick up after screwing up. Riding the edge means going over the edge sometimes. Luckily, I was young as well as stupid,and I survived.

    I love the wind in my face, and 49 years later I still ride.

    I had been thinking of getting a sidehack as I get older and have difficulty keeping my balance — but, I may end up riding for decades after all, being chauffeured by my 2035 Hardly Davidson SuperSlide electric monowheeler. I suppose this may cause the end of DWI cases, after all, I would not be driving. The motor-unicycle would be doing the driving. I could sit back in my reclining seat, sipping a brewski, checking out my YouTube, chatting on the phone, following the sunset. In fact, given automatic recharging stations, maybe I would be riding long after my death — but would I know that I was no longer alive?
    BMW

  11. Okey Dokey Says:

    @ Hold_The_Phone
    “Make something idiot proof and someone will build a better idiot”

    How true.

  12. ipsick Says:

    I don’t want my car to brake for me and I certainly don’t want anything other than myself driving my motorcycle.

    Pretty soon the CPU’s on the newer bikes will not let aftermarket cams and exhaust be put on. It’ll stop the bike from running with anything other than stock equipment.

  13. Chief Says:

    Welcome to the game grid, Tron.

    Same as with the Google cars and anything else that is “Foolproof.”
    Nothing is foolproof to a talented fool.

    Respects,
    AATW
    Chief

  14. Hold_The_Phone Says:

    I think they are all forgetting rule number 1 of human nature: For good or ill, if we can do something, we will find a way.

    That’s the problem with Road to Zero and BMW…Make something idiot proof and someone will build a better idiot.

  15. TX_Biker Says:

    With my luck I’d get the blue screen of death and the bike would just self destruct…but put a couple mini guns and rocket launchers on that thing and it would definitely have a place in the next Marvel comics movie…..

  16. Okey Dokey Says:

    Ah yes, the open road with the wind in my hair. I can ride along with a drink in one hand and a cigar in the other.

  17. Johnny Rotten Says:

    Looks like a rokon
    And unfortunately…. those are pretty cool
    Da fuck are they thinking ?
    Respects
    Johnny

  18. Bubblehead Says:

    Just shut-up and plug into the matrix!

  19. popeye Says:

    I rode on something similar as a kid at the carnival. A bunch of plastic motorcycles that went round and round all the while playing pop goes the weasel.

  20. chromedome Says:

    looks like something the queefing devils and their sister clubs the strap on order and the iron cry babies would tear down the neighborhood roads at a blistering 25 mph in. they prolly think they are tuff shit now they dont have to have fucking training wheels no more haha. but i bet 100 dollars one of those jock strap smelling penis wrinkles will find a way to lay one of em down. i swear on the grave of my first pit bull jaws that going down 101 in clarksville the other day i seen one of these pee wee herman of bikers cock suckers ridin a late 80s goldwing with a cyndi lauper sticker on the side i rode up to get next to him and told him his tail light was out so he would slow down at keast to jus check it so i wouldnt have to share even the furthest distance on the same road with that joe dirt mixed with jax teller with a pinch of wheres waldo lookin motherfucker. sure enough like a dog lickin a cats ass he pulled over to the shoulder and i left him in my fumes laughing my ass off.

    …supportyourlocalwhiteboy…

  21. NCRider Says:

    I can visualize a pack of IO coming down the road on this thing. More appropriate for those that just don’t “get it”.

    ak rack – Hilarious!

    Respectfully,

    Cathy

  22. tiopirata Says:

    $40k and no miles yet you too can be a biker.

  23. ak rack Says:

    This sounds like about as much fun as climbing on a bike that is strapped down in the back of your pickup and having your wife drive you to the mall so you can help her pick out a new pair of shoes. Plus it’s butt ugly to my tastes; I like motorcycles that look more like bicycles with engines and less like jet skis with wheels.

    If this is where the future of motorcycles is headed, I’m glad I’m running out of road …

  24. Nobody Important Says:

    You know, I ride BMW, old airheads specifically. and -damn- that thing is ugly. Not touching it.

  25. Ben Says:

    Is HAL in that thing?

  26. Hangaround Says:

    “regulating banking angles for inexperienced riders”

    So if you come into a corner hot do you just drift into the ditch cause you cant lean anymore? I love safely!

  27. Bone Head Says:

    Excuse the double post please.

  28. Bone Head Says:

    Does it automatically post your jaunt on Facebook?

    No thanks.

  29. Bone Head Says:

    And I guess it automatically posts your jaunt on Facebook?

    No thanks.

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