BMW Vision Next 100: Batman Meets Mad Max

BMW is deep in thought about the future. Earlier this year is presented its Vision Next 100 sedan concept, a car meant to commemorate the company’s first 100 years in business and offer a glimpse at what the future of transportation might look like. Now BMW has applied the same treatment to motorcycles. The result is the Motorrad Vision Next 100, a two wheeled tour de force that looks like it is leaping toward a distant apex while standing still.

BMW Vision Next 100 motorcycle

To begin with, this bike is 100% electric, yet BMW designers have carefully replicated the essence of the company’s signature boxer twin engine. It is meant to be a  “pure, unbounded ride experience,” says the company. The Vision Next 100 will connect the rider, the machine, and the outside world together by means of a helmet visor that incorporates a digital heads up display. The concept also features self balancing technology that will keep bike and rider upright under all conditions. That will make the bike ideal for inexperienced riders as well as dedicated canyon racers.

But those features are just the beginning. The black frame triangle of the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 is a deliberate reference to the first ever BMW motorcycle, the R32, made in 1923. On the Vision 100, however, it has been reinterpreted to form a functional sculpture linking the front and rear wheels with a dynamic sweep. Bearings and joints are nowhere to be seen. Instead the frame appears as a single, integrated whole. The clever arrangement of surfaces protects the rider from wind and weather as effectively as a full fairing.

The rigidity of the frame itself changes in keeping with the speed of the bike. At rest, it is flexible to allow easy maneuverability. As speeds increase, the frame becomes completely rigid to provide excellent handling characteristics. What looks like a stylized BMW twin cylinder engine is actually a movable element. At rest, it snuggles close to the centerline of the bike. Once underway, it extends outward to enhance aerodynamics and protect the rider from the elements.

The concept bike is made almost completely from carbon fiber. It has no springs or shock absorbers. Whatever damping is required is provided by the tires, whose variable tread actively adjusts to suit ground conditions and ensure the best possible grip in any situation.

Will this bike ever see production? That’s highly unlikely. But it does make me want to go down in the basement and find where I stored my leathers, helmet and gloves. Riding the Motorrad Vision Next 100 would truly be a transformative experience.

Source: Electric Cars Report


Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.