By Douglas Black October 13, 2016
The BMW Group unveiled its vision of the future this week, and it looks fun. Following its launch of the Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 and Mini Vision Next 100, the iconic nameplate define the start of their second century delivering automotive excellence and style.
In a world where self-driving vehicles will be gliding riders along with subdued deliberate efficiency, the futurists at BMW Group envision an escape. Described by Head of Design Edgar Heinrich as a “Great Escape” from the mundane world, the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 is a concept motorcycle programed for an age of the symbiotic rider-machine experience with Steve McQueen style.
Futuristic ideas include a self-balancing mechanism that will keep the bike upright but allow for angles and banking suited to the riders skill. Special rider’s gear include a Visor that gives heads-up display with information like speed, directions, and connectivity directed by eye movement.
The machine comes with a companion suit that provides thermal support and structural support for the centrifugal pressures of performance riding, and the zero-emissions powertrain emulates a boxer-style engine. Turning the handlebars to steer the bike bends the frame rather than just the front wheel. The amount of force required for the rider to create a turn is adjusted according to the Motorrad Vision’s speed – the higher the speed, the more force that is required to make a turn, preventing over-steer and corrections.
The BMW Motorrad design team sees a future world in which digital elements are more common than are analog. In that respect, most aspects of human life are about virtual control and allowing robotic machines to do the mundane tasks of everyday living. In that world, a motorcycle that allows the rider to be in control would become a Great Escape.
The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 is on display in Los Angeles at the Iconic Impulses: BMW Group Future Experience exhibition until the 16th of October.
The author awkwardly aboard a BMW bike at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.
Douglas Black writes from a room high above the streets of Chicago. He is also a photographer, historian, amateur astrophysicist, and collector of snake oils (some of which he sells).