The BMW Group, famous worldwide for its luxury automobiles, unveiled yesterday, in Santa Monica, California, a new concept bike, Motorrad VISION NEXT 100. The event took place at the Barker Hangar, south of the Santa Monica airport, in Los Angeles territory.
The motorcycle is the last in a line of concepts presented by BMW in March, May, and June. The events were scheduled by the company to celebrate its hundred-year anniversary with an exposition of new ideas for the BMW automobile, the Rolls-Royce brand, and the BMW Mini.
According to the group’s official website, the ‘Iconic Impulses’ events, held in various locations around the world, looked to showcase what’s in store for the next hundred years of research and development the company plans to achieve, hence the name of this motorbike.
A design belonging to the distant future, but celebrating a long-lost past
The official website for the motorcycle says that is futuristic design, which allows it to stay upright when parked without extra support, comes from the classic black triangular frame the company introduced on their first motorcycle, the R23 from 1923.
The motorbike’s functionality, however, is entirely different, as BMW has made efforts to steer away as much as possible from the mechanical and into the digital and automatic. The Flexframe, as they call it, allows riders to steer the bike without the joints found in every other motorcycle in the world.
Steering movement from its handlebars causes the entire frame to change shape, allegedly aiding with a change of direction. The structure becomes more flexible when performing low-speed steering or cruising maneuvers, and becomes firmer while riding at high speeds.
A closer look at the VISION’s features
It holds an emisionless drive unit at the center of the frame, how is also capable of adapting to different situations. When standing still, the engine is a compact block, but when riding begins, it protrudes from the sides of the motorcycle, helping with aerodynamics and weather protection.
As stated above, the bike can stay upright when parked, when cruising, or when accelerating, thanks to its self-balancing systems. This feature keeps beginners from falling over when riding it for the first time and represents a significant safety improvement for all riders.
BMW also added a pair of smart glasses, only referred to as the ‘visor,’ which aids riders with their driving experience. It projects route and navigation data into the rider’s field of view and informs them about bike status, work as a rearview mirror, and allow them to conduct the bike through eye movements and finger gestures.