BMW has unveiled a new concept bike, Motorrad Vision Next 100, that keeps itself upright while driving or when not in use. The unveiling rounded off BMW's vision for vehicles of the future after it revealed futuristic concepts of its family brands Rolls Royce, BMW and Mini marking the completion of its 100 years in the transportation business.
The BMW concept motorcycle of the future, though not self-driving, comes close to it, and helps the rider stay upright even as it adjusts continuously to road conditions. According to BMW, the motorcycle is so safe, the rider does not need a helmet or protective clothing.
To take a right or left turn, the driver turns the handlebar which makes the frame itself flex and changes shape. To turn the bike at higher speeds requires more effort, which improves stability. With the Flexframe as BMW calls it, there is also no suspension, springs, shock absorbers or swingarm, as the two wheels absorb the bumps.
Thanks to the technology suite of stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes the bike stays up at all times, which makes it an ideal bike for beginners and adds a measure of safety for long-term riders.
To lend the motorcycle an unmistakably BMW look, the creation team led by Motorrad design chief Edgar Heinrich, has incorporated the classic black triangular frame from BMW bikes of the 1930s, and the white pinstriping and horizontally opposed boxer jugs, long identified with BMW.
The rider wears a special body suit and a data display visor, called Digital Companion. The motorcycle has no gauges and all relevant data is projected on the visor. The rider tilts down the visor to view the bike gauges or a scrolling map; and on looking up gets a cleaner view of the road ahead.