No helmets when you have vision
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Now this is more like it.
Whereas BMW’s Vision Next 100 concept car was underwhelming and somehow looked dated — like a concept car from the late-1990s — within 10 minutes of the silk cover being pulled off, the manufacturer’s motorcycle arm has come up with something truly awesome.
This’ll be what two-wheeled fans will be riding in 2116.
Well, according to BMW’s bike division, anyway. And yes we agree; surely someone must have stayed up late watching Tron the night before the design process began.
Fantastical features? There are plenty.
And because this is all just theoretical stuff, there is no need to stick to any template.
You’ll notice if you pore over the brilliant photos that arrived with the press release, the model rider doesn’t wear a helmet for example.
“We hope to create ways to avoid the crash altogether and eliminate the need for a helmet,” says BMW Motorrad. Ah, okay then. Guess that’s an easy one to check off.
But even though some of the engineering is the stuff of fantasy, there are some interesting ideas here, not least the absence of front forks.
That’s because the Vision Next 100 bike’s entire frame flexes to change direction with the front wheels, giving it — in theory — smooth and linear cornering abilities.
Do the physics add up? Who cares, it sounds cool.
Also, it features tyres that are airless and act as dampers.
Apparently this tech already exists: Michelin has invented a tyre-and-wheel-in-one concept where the rim can absorb bumps.
How it would be adapted to a performance bike like this remains to be discovered however.
Also, there are no instruments in the conventional sense, but rather the rider would have a full-colour Head-Up Display projected from within a pair of riding goggles (no helmet, remember).
Again this sounds cool, although we hope the production model will feature some sort of integrated bug zapper, or next century’s motorcyclists will be pulling bugs from their teeth upon arrival anywhere.