The motorcyclist of the future needs no protective gear, no helmet, and very little riding experience—a least according to BMW Motorrad, which recently unveiled its Vision Next 100 concept bike as part of BMW’s yearlong centennial celebration. The bike is the last in a yearlong series of concept vehicles unveiled for the brand’s anniversary, beginning with the BMW Vision Next 100 concept car introduced in March.
A radical departure from traditional bikes, the Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept keeps the rider safe by preventing accidents before they happen. One way is through a self-balancing system, which uses gyroscopes to keep the bike upright in dicey situations (and also keeps it upright when stopped or parked). Another is through the bike’s accompanying visor, which acts as a virtual display, projecting the ideal riding line onto the road.
The bike’s black triangular frame and white lines pay homage to BMW’s first production bike, the R32, built in the 1920s and ’30s. Mechanically, the Vision Next 100 concept forgoes a front fork and traditional motorcycle suspension for a flex frame that is connected directly to the front wheel.
Although the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 Concept is only a study in what could be, some of the technology may appear on future bikes according to Edgar Heinrich, head of design for BMW Motorrad. “We love to do these kind of exercises,” says Heinrich. “If you ask the customer, ‘What do you want?’ [They will say] more speed, more comfort, and more horsepower. But this is not what drives visionary things. We like to look at the future. [This bike] looks beyond what we usually do. Usually we look four, five, six years into the future. This is like 30 years, which is crazy.” (bmwmotorcycles.com)