Munich/Los Angeles -
October 11, 2016... 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.
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
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
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
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
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
Damping is provided by the tyres, whose variable tread actively adjusts
to suit ground conditions and ensure the best possible grip in any
Analogue elements in the digital age
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
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
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
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
The Digital Companion – Connected. Ubiquitous. Discreet.
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
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
"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
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 weatherwear. 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."