BMW VISION NEXT 100 Self-Balanced Electric Motorcycle Unveiled – Videos

3 months ago by Mark Kane 17

BMW’s motorcycle arm BMW Motorrad unveiled in Los Angeles its zero-emission concept for the next 100 years – VISION NEXT 100.

Earlier this year BMW presented also VISION NEXT 100 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce.

Fortunately for BMW CEO Harald Krüger, the Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 is 'self-balancing'

Fortunately for BMW CEO Harald Krüger, the Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 is ‘self-balancing’

The VISION NEXT 100 family gives us a glimpses of BMW design directions for the next decade, both in cars, and now bikes.

There are no specific details about the abilities of the powertrain, besides the use of electric motor and being “zero emission”. But interestingly the motorcycle is also self-balancing – probably a big plus for BMW CEO Harald Krüger.

Check out the full (and huge) press release with lots more images below.

“Normally, when we develop a motorcycle, we tend to think 5 to 10 years in advance. On this occasion, we looked much further ahead and found the experience especially exciting. There are some very attractive prospects.

I firmly believe the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 sets out a coherent future scenario for the BMW Motorrad brand,” explains Edgar Heinrich Head of Design at BMW Motorrad.

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Group THE NEXT 100 YEARS

BMW Group THE NEXT 100 YEARS

Press blast:

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100: The Great Escape

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

Munich/Los Angeles. In 2016, its centenary year, the BMW Group is looking further into the future than ever before and developing a series of Vision Vehicles to address people’s mobility needs in about three decades from now. Its solutions are based on the assumption that mobility is set to become increasingly multifaceted and connected.

Following the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Vision Vehicles, the BMW Group has now revealed its next progressive solution, this time for the world of motorcycling: the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100. It was unveiled on 11 October at the “Iconic Impulses. The BMW Group Future Experience” exhibition in Los Angeles.

The Great Escape

“The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 embodies the BMW Group’s vision of biking in a connected world – an analogue experience in a digital age. Motorcycling is about escaping from the everyday: the moment you straddle your bike, you are absolutely free. Your bike is The Great Escape,” says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad, outlining the core principles underlying his brand’s Vision Vehicle.

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 stands for the ultimate riding experience. Liberated from the need to wear a helmet and protective clothing, the rider is able to enjoy the forces. Acceleration, wind and nature as in touch with the surrounding world, savouring every moment. The design of the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 represents the essence of the motorcycle: the perfect synthesis between human and machine. Every detail is of the highest quality and the design incorporates all the most striking visual aspects of BMW Motorrad bikes across the ages. These elements, however, have a contemporary twist, both visually and in terms of function.

The iconic elements in the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 make it immediately recognisable as a “genuine BMW” and include the black frame triangle, white lines and classic, boxer engine forms. The bike itself, however, is powered by a zero-emissions solution.

The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 unites the past of the BMW Motorrad brand with its future and is a powerful expression of both.

The frame triangle – a classic icon reinvented

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

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 bike, 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.

Viewed from the side, the frame of the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 lends it the character of a naked bike, with ergonomics to match and a seat in the roadster position. The clever arrangement of surfaces protects the rider from wind and weather as effectively as a full fairing. The surface of the frame is covered in matt black textile, its silky sheen and fine lines highlighting the characteristic forms and representing a contemporary reinterpretation of this classic BMW detail. The BMW logo is optimally displayed on the dark frame. It is illuminated in the familiar blue and white colours while driving.

Flexframe – frame-assisted steering

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

The Flexframe appears as a single, integrated whole that extends from the front to the rear wheel of the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100. Being flexible, it allows the bike to be steered without the various joints found on today’s motorcycles. Turning the handlebar adjusts the entire frame, changing the direction of the bike. The amount of strength needed to steer depends on the situation: at standstill, the Flexframe allows a light steering whereas at higher speeds it remains very rigid.

Powertrain – inspired by the BMW boxer engine

In the middle of the triangle frame sits a style feature and historical reminder: the power unit. Designed and created in the image of the traditional BMW boxer engine, it actually consists of a zero-emissions drive unit. Its outward appearance changes depending on the circumstances: when the bike is resting, the power unit is compact, extending outwards only when the bike sets off, to enhance aerodynamics and protect the rider from the elements. Its polished aluminium finish confirms the superior quality of this component.

Minimalist form, maximum quality of details

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

The slender-looking BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 clearly expresses its qualities as a riding machine. The front is minimalist in design and enhanced with high-quality details. Integrated into the frame above the front wheel is a large metal reflector incorporating the two vertically positioned, U-shaped elements that make up the daytime running light. It also acts as a wind deflector and, in combination with the small, integrated windshield, helps to optimise the air flows.

 Body elements such as the seat, upper frame cover and wings are made of carbon.

Beneath the seat shell, two fine, red, illuminated strips form the rear light and indicators – picking up on the typical double-C form of the rear lights on today’s BMW Motorrad bikes – but with a new, futuristic twist.

Damping is provided by the tyres, whose variable tread actively adjusts to suit ground conditions and ensure the best possible grip in any situation.

Analogue elements in the digital age

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

Overall, displays, cables and buttons are a rare sight on the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100. But amid the clear forms of its front is one element that immediately stands out: a red rocker-switch on the right-hand end of the handlebar. This obviously mechanical element blocks or releases the throttle grip and is a homage to the analogue days of original biking.

The hand levers with their outward-facing joints are also a reminder of days gone by.

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100:

What kind of world will be home to the motorcycle of the future?

“Normally, when we develop a motorcycle, we tend to think 5 to 10 years in advance. On this occasion, we looked much further ahead and found the experience especially exciting. There are some very attractive prospects. I firmly believe the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 sets out a coherent future scenario for the BMW Motorrad brand,” explains Edgar Heinrich.

When designing the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100, the team was thinking decades in advance. In tomorrow’s world, connectivity and digitalisation will be all-encompassing. Most vehicles will be driverless, and life will be organised largely by digital services. More and more of the world’s population will be living in urban areas.

Digital technologies for an analogue experience

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

Building on the benefits of the digital world, the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 takes the analogue riding experience to a completely new level. The unique sensation of freedom is made possible by intelligent connectivity between rider, bike and the outside world – a combination that also allows the prediction of critical situations on the roads. In conjunction with the active assistance systems, these connected elements help keep riders of the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 in complete control of their ride. As well as anticipating what lies ahead and alerting the user when action is needed, they offer active rider protection and will consign the helmets and body protectors of today to the history books.

“Self-balancing” – active, intelligent assistant systems

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

In certain situations, the active assistance systems of the future will also enhance stability and safety by automatically balancing the motorcycle, both out on the road and when stationary. Novice riders will benefit from additional guidance in all riding situations and from a bike that will never tip over.

The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 rights itself while even stationary, remaining upright when the rider has dismounted. The balancing systems also work out on the road to ensure a particularly agile and dynamic riding experience with even lighter handling, which seasoned riders will appreciate, and all the benefits of assistance systems to enhance their capabilities even further. The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 helps every biker become more proficient and enjoy an even more positive riding experience. Every trip becomes a journey of freedom, from beginning to end.

The Digital Companion – Connected. Ubiquitous. Discreet.

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

When combined, the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 bike and the special rider’s gear that has been designed to accompany it form a single functional unit: a Digital Companion that provides the situational information and active support the rider needs. But because biking is essentially about the experience, the Digital Companion remains in the background: though constantly active, it works away unnoticed until required to issue an alert via the user interface or provide active assistance, for instance. Unless the rider or circumstances require it, the Digital Companion remains silent.

“A key point with the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 was to make sure the constant digital presence doesn’t undermine the analogue riding experience. The display and operating concept works so subtly that the rider can enjoy an entirely natural biking experience, trusting the bike completely and enjoying complete freedom and ease. As interface designers, our job is to deliver the right amount of the right information at the best possible time and place,” explains Holger Hampf, Head of User Experience at the BMW Group.

The visor – the right information at the right time

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

Information exchanges between rider and bike take place largely via the visor. This essentially consists of a pair of data glasses that extends across the wearer’s entire field of vision. As well as providing wind protection, it shows relevant data in one of four designated display areas. These are controlled by the rider’s eye movements: looking up or down changes the content that appears, and looking straight ahead switches the information off completely, leaving the rider to focus even more fully on biking experience. Information is only projected onto the visor on request, or to alert the rider to the fact that action is needed.

“The bike has the full range of connected data from its surroundings and a set of intelligent systems working in the background, so it knows exactly what lies ahead. By collating the data it has gathered, it can suggest ideal lines and banking angles, or warn riders of hazards ahead,” Hampf continues. When suggesting lines and angles, the Digital Companion appears in the lower third of the field of view, represented by an upturned triangle from which two horizontal lines extend outwards. Like the display in an aeroplane cockpit, this symbol indicates the current banking angle and ideal lines. If the bike’s current position does not match what is suggested, the rider can correct it as necessary. If he or she responds too late or not at all, the bike will correct itself. The Digital Companion’s advice not only helps novices to learn more about what they and their bikes can do. It also supports experienced riders by allowing them to challenge themselves and continuously improve their skills.

Looking upwards activates the rear-view function in the visor, allowing the rider to see what is going on on the road behind. Lowering the eyes to normal levels opens a menu from which the rider can select an option by pointing a finger. Looking further down opens the map view showing the rider’s chosen route.

Smart. Active. Flexible – rider’s equipment

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

The rider’s gear accompanying the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 is integral to the unique overall experience. In classic black and white, the airy suit enhances the sense of freedom and is both fashion statement and weather-wear. Depending on conditions, it warms or cools the user. While the diagonal zipper across the chest is reminiscent of traditional motorcycle clothing, the flexible, banded structure of the suit and shoes is inspired by the muscle areas of the human body and provides body support and relief whenever needed.

At higher speeds, the neck section inflates to provide extra support for the upper vertebrae and improve overall comfort. Variable openings offer additional ventilation. Unlike present-day suits, however, the futuristic outfit for riders of the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 offers no safety features, because the bike’s intelligent assistance systems make them superfluous. Instead, sensors in the suit keep track of the wearer’s pulse rate and body temperature and provide the right level of heat or cold. The suit also delivers navigation instructions via the vibrating elements in the arms and legs, and alerts the rider when the banking angle is becoming critical. Rider and machine form a single functional unit to offer a more intense riding experience than ever before. Edgar Heinrich sums up: “The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 unites the best of both worlds – digital and analogue – for the ultimate emotional experience: The Great Escape.”

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17 responses to "BMW VISION NEXT 100 Self-Balanced Electric Motorcycle Unveiled – Videos"

  1. DJ says:

    I read about this yesterday.

    My favorite part was “Liberated from the need to wear a helmet and protective clothing, the rider is able to enjoy the forces.”

    Ya, all goes well until some jackass plows in to you, then I bet you’ll be wishing you had your helmet and protective gear on. I don’t even get how they can say such a thing…

  2. John says:

    I will take mine in black.
    My wife, being the pickier of the two of us, will taker hers, in black.

    That is all.

    1. John says:

      Further, will it be connected and capable to the point that it will have a summon feature?

  3. Phaedrus says:

    Autonomous, anyone?

  4. Someone out there says:

    That thing is ugly! An a manual kick stand? Isn’t this supposed to be the bike of the future?

    1. SJC says:

      It looks like the cycle in Batman.

  5. wavelet says:

    I’ve had a sufficiently bad experience with a modern BMW bike to be very wary of the brand at this point (and I rode the old airhead twins for many happy years & miles)… Reliability has gotten pretty uniformly horrid since they started producing 10x the designs they have the capacity for.

    This, however, takes the cake… Promoting riding without passive safety gear is completely irresponsible, stupid and shows an utter ignorance of risk management.
    Worth boycotting the brand for this alone.

  6. Pete says:

    It’s designed for the future when all cars on the road are autonomous, removing any chance of you as the rider being hit by another car. This is why you wouldn’t need a helmet or protective clothing.

    1. wavelet says:

      I suspect you don’t know much about motorcycles…

      1. Just_Chris says:

        It’s supposed to be a view into the future 30 or 50 years from now where you can ride your motorcycle as hard as you like safe in the knowledge that if something goes wrong your fancy motorcycle will take over and bring you safely to a stop. In this future all cars are autonomous making the likelihood of a road accident so slim that you wouldn’t need protection.

        This is absolutely about BMW showing their business model makes sense in the future. In the other future, too scary for BMW to even consider, everyone uses self driving cars like people use taxis today. You jump in and the car takes you where you tell it. In that future self driving cars are cheaper to use on a pay per mile model than to own. In that future why would you own a car? let alone a sports car or a motorcycle, you’d just pay the cheapest subscription that gets you where you want to go. Would BMW exist in that future? Unlikey, the car would be made in China, the interface would be made by apple and the whole service would come as part of your mobile phone contract.

        In my opinion this, and all the other things we see happening in the auto space, is the beginning of a massive disruption. I expect BMW to spend billions trying to condition the next generations that they are lesser beings if the don’t love the “thrill” of controlling a vehicle…. I also expect the next generations not to be able to afford a car and for car companies like BMW to become increasingly irrelevant.

        1. Future says:

          Well thought out!

          Prediction is difficult, especially when it is about the future…😉

  7. Drake says:

    I really like the idea of a self balancing bike, but if that technology really is close to a reality, why not make a concept bike that’s based off of one of your current models, like the GS or 1000RR? The bike shown above is almost as unrealistic as the Dodge Tomahawk.

    1. flashpoint says:

      it is a reality. litmotors.com. they stole the idea from LIT Motors. gyroscopic stabilization.

  8. Kosh says:

    I really like the curves on that bike… (wink wink, nudge nudge). 😉

  9. Brian says:

    I just want to know when it comes out and with Price tag will be

  10. Tim Cummings says:

    Very interesting. I’m a Harley rider but like the lines on this. Would love to take a test ride on one. I ride in a helmet free state but don’t think “no helmet needed” is a good selling point. Still gotta protect yourself from the unforeseen on the road, especially on two wheels. Wonder if it will have varying degrees of autonomous assistance you can choose?

  11. Nowdamitnow says:

    I don’t understand why people post comments like “that thing is ugly”. Why would you assume everyone shares your tastes or even cares about yours? The no protective gear needed threw me for a loop at first but if you consider it existing in a world with other vehicles like it, it makes more Sense. Why not build a commercially viable E-motorbike now? Old farts holding us back.. And yes I ride a Harley

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