The Great Escape.

VISION NEXT 100: the motorcycle of the future.

The futuristic two-wheeler glides through the auditorium, the jet-black triangular frame illuminates the blue and white BMW logo. The female driver only wears a visor, which looks like a pair of glasses from the next century, instead of a helmet. She stops and stands up from the seat, without taking either foot off the pegs. The vision bike presented at the ‘Iconic Impulses’ exhibition. ‘The BMW Group Future Experience’ that is celebrating its world premiere in Los Angeles, transports the viewer to the year 2130.

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A time when mobility is yet more diverse and interconnected; a time when digitisation takes on a shape which we today perceive to be surreal; a time when motorcycling becomes an analogue, and at the same time extraordinarily emotional, experience. “The motorcycle provides my escape from everyday life. From the moment I climb on board, I experience nothing but absolute freedom – the great escape,” says Edgar Heinrich, head of design at BMW Motorrad.

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Absolute freedom.

Absolute freedom.

Together with his design team, Edgar Heinrich drafted this future scenario and designed the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT vision vehicle based on that. “When we develop a motorcycle, we are usually thinking around five to ten years in the future. So taking a look further into the future was especially exciting for us and highly appealing,” Edgar Heinrich paints the picture. Designers are assuming that, in 30 years, most vehicles will be driving around autonomously. Life is crammed up in cities and organised by means of digital services. More and more digitalised, more and more interconnected, more and more automated. During this presentation, the importance of analogue ‘oases’, which give people the feeling of freedom back, becomes apparent.

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Freedom means experiencing the environment with all your senses, and feeling centrifugal forces, acceleration and the wind. Ideally without a helmet or protective clothing. The BMW motorcycle VISION NEXT 100 doesn’t need that either. Because the ‘digital companion’ – a functional unit consisting of the motorcycle and our own version of rider’s equipment – ensures a high degree of safety. The digital companion acts imperceptibly in the background and always intervenes when required or desired. “It was important to us that the analogue riding experience would remain undisturbed. The display and operating concept acts so discreetly that it creates a natural and familiar movement,” explains Holger Hampf, head of design, customer experience, at the BMW Group.

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"
The motorcycle provides my escape from everyday life. From the moment I get on, I experience total freedom – the great escape.
"

Edgar Heinrich

Head of BMW Motorcycle Design

It's still a roadster.

It's still a roadster.

All new – and yet the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 still captures elements from the BMW Motorrad timeline: black triangular frame, white lines, classical opposed-twin engine type. In the side-on view, the vision vehicle looks naked. Accordingly, ergonomics and seat position are set up like a roadster. The design of the front is minimalistic and refined with high-quality detailing. Above the front wheel, a large metallic reflector is integrated in the frame. It serves as a wind guide and, together with the integrated windscreen, ensures aerodynamically optimised airflow.

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Body elements like the seat, the upper frame cover and the front-wheel cover are made of carbon. Two delicate red lights under the body serve as tail light and turn signal. The tyres have a damping function and actively adapt to the terrain. The red rocker arm on the right handlebar stands out. Designed as a consciously mechanical element, it blocks the throttle grip or releases it.

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The frame follows the wheel.

The black triangular frame is visually reminiscent of the R 32 from 1923 – the first BMW motorcycle. However, the frame has functionally little to do with the original. The Flexframe is flexible and allows steering manoeuvres without the joints we are familiar with today. If the handlebars are moved, the entire frame changes shape and facilitates the change in direction. Depending on the traffic situation, the forces required for this vary: steering manoeuvres are especially easy at a standstill, while the frame firms up at high speeds. The surfaces are attached so that they offer the wind and weather protection of a fully enclosed motorcycle. The surface of the frame is made of matt black textile.

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Opposed-twin engine with emissionless drive.

Opposed-twin engine with emissionless drive.

A special engine is mounted in the middle of the frame. It is simultaneously a style element and a memory of things long past. In form and performance it resembles the traditional BMW Boxer engine, but houses the emission-free drive unit. Depending on the riding situation, the exterior shape of the opposed-twin engine changes. At a standstill, it lies tight.

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As soon as you begin riding, the engine block protrudes out of the sides. In doing so, it optimises the aerodynamics and the motorcycle's weather protection during the ride. Polished aluminium in this area exudes that high-quality vibe.

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Self-balancing: no chance of tilting over.

A motorcycle doesn’t need a stand. Not when assistance systems ensure perfect balance. Self-balancing enables the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 to remain stable both during the ride and at a standstill. This enhances safety for the driver. It also makes it easier for beginners, because they are led safely through every riding situation and cannot fall over. But experienced bikers can also profit from self-balancing. Because the motorcycle becomes even more agile, making the riding experience even more dynamic. The assistance systems also expand the rider’s capabilities. Regardless of ability and practice, riders are able to constantly expand their boundaries and positively intensify the riding experiences. Making every ride an experience of pure freedom from start to finish.

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"
When we develop a motorcycle, we are usually thinking around five to ten years in the future. Looking further ahead is particularly exciting for us and very appealing.
"

Edgar Heinrich

Head of BMW Motorcycle Design

Data glasses instead of a helmet.

Data glasses instead of a helmet.

With the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100, rider and motorcycle are engaged in a direct exchange. Relevant information is collected from the environment, which the visor – essentially data goggles that cover the driver’s field of vision and block wind – projects directly into the driver’s field of vision. If the rider looks straight ahead, no data is displayed, so as not to impinge on the riding experience. Only when action is required – for instance in case of hazards – or if the rider requests information, does the visor become active. In this case, the symbol of the digital companion appears in the lower third of the glasses: an upturned triangle forming two horizontal lines. The display is similar to that in an aircraft cockpit. It shows the current angle of lean and the ideal line. If there is any deviation, the rider can correct this. If the rider fails to react or does so too late, the motorcycle corrects itself. Looking up will have a rearview mirror function. If the rider lowers their gaze a little below the normal viewpoint, a menu opens where each function can be triggered using finger gesture control. By lowering the gaze even more, the map view opens, showing the rider their selected route.

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Fashion statement instead of heavy protective clothing.

Fashion statement instead of heavy protective clothing.

Light fabrics instead of leathers and accessories. The rider apparel from BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 is a fashion statement and offers protection against wind and weather, thus contributing significantly to the overall driving experience. An A/C function either cools or warms the rider as desired. Heavy clothes that are too hot or too cold are a thing of the past. The flexible band structure of the clothing and footwear was inspired by muscle strands. It actively supports the rider depending on the riding situation and in so doing relieves him of the burden. The neck region of the rider clothing can be filled with air at higher speeds. It then relieves the cervical spine and increases the level of comfort. With vibrating elements on the arms and legs, the clothing provides navigational signals or indicates when a limiting tilt angle is reached. A safety function of the rider clothing is not required due to the intelligent assistance systems.

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