BMW’s latest concept motorbike claims to make accidents “a thing of the past”.
The zero-emissions BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 incorporates a self-balancing system that BMW claims will protect the rider from any accidents and liberate them from the need to wear a helmet.
As a concept vehicle, it represents the company’s prediction for the future of motorcycle design.
“We imagine all the downsides of riding a motorcycle to be gone,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president at BMW Group Design.
“The vehicle will be so safe that you cannot fall over, and accidents will be a thing of the past.”
The ultra-safe system works in a number of ways. A self-balancing system keeps the bike upright, by automatically adjusting banking angles, while a set of “smart glasses” scan for hazards ahead and alert the driver in advance.
To steer the bike, the rider moves the handlebars. Instead of turning just the front wheel, this moves the entire frame, while the stabilisation system ensures that it doesn’t topple over.
The design of the bike is largely based on the BMW R32, which was designed in 1923. The R32’s triangular frame has been reinterpreted, with bearings and joints hidden to make the frame appear as a singular volume.
The surface of the frame is covered in matt black textile, while body elements such as the seat, upper frame cover and wings are made of carbon fibre.
The BMW logo is illuminated in blue and white colours while the bike is being driven, and red strips under the seat form the rear light and indicators.
Suspension is provided by the tyres, whose variable tread adjusts to suit different ground conditions.
Displays, cables and buttons are kept to a minimum, with the exception of a red switch on the right-hand side of the handlebar.
This is the fourth and final concept vehicle to be released by BMW as part of its 100th anniversary celebrations.
The first, a shapeshifting car with built-in computers that could predict driver desires and behaviour, was unveiled in March 2016.
Since then, the German company has released a car that changes colour depending on the driver’s mood, and a luxury vehicle with a built-in red carpet.