Introduced earlier this week at EICMA, the BMW Lo Rider concept is fascinating and, to us at least, quite attractive. The concept includes individualization by the customer. For example, different headlamp units are available, as well as a customer choice of exhaust position, solo or dual seat, etc. As BMW indicates in the press release below, the Lo Rider combines both classic design elements and modern high performance technology. Please email us with your thoughts on the Lo Rider.
1. The facts in brief.
The BMW Lo Rider – sporty, purist roadster study with an individually
Purist, powerful, unfaired and reduced to the absolute essentials – these
few words provide an incomplete description of the BMW Lo Rider, the new
concept study by BMW Motorrad. At fi rst sight, the focus would seem to be
on the creation of a roadster with a muscular appearance, openly displayed
technology and powerful flat twin engine for pure emotion and maximum
motorcycling fun. But behind all this is in fact a completely new custom
The bike’s low weight, the powerful and high-torque fl at twin engine and
high-quality chassis technology give it a high level of sporty riding dynamics,
while the lowered chassis and the relaxed yet active seating position with the
broad handlebars are more of a loan from cruisers and naked bikes.
The concept is such that, for the first time, the customer can be involved
in the design of the BMW Lo Rider to an extent which goes beyond what
has previously been possible to date. Numerous options including different
exhaust systems, seats, headlamp units and paint finish variations allow for
a level of customisation which is far greater than the familiar individualisation
by means of special equipment features and accessories. This means that
the entire character of the vehicle can be adapted to the customer’s individual
taste: the customer can take full pleasure in assembling a machine just as he
wants it – from a cool cruiser to an aggressive muscle bike.
2. An overview of the conceptual highlights.
- Combines current technology with modern and classic stylistic elements.
- Design elements can be individually combined by the customer.
- Raised or lowered exhaust system, as preferred.
- Seat for one or two as preferred, or aluminium perch seat.
- Headlamp unit in classic shape or in streetfighter style, as preferred.
- Fuel tank with or without aluminium trim, as preferred.
- Four paint finishes for the fuel tank.
- Three paint finishes for the engine casing.
- Front and rear wheel wings finished either in black or chrome, as preferred.
3. The idea in detail.
Leading the way with concept studies – a BMW Motorrad tradition.
BMW Motorrad has a tradition of coming up with new ways and ideas when it
comes to motorcycling. Fascinating studies and designs have been produced
in the past using ideas which then found their way into serial production.
But studies by BMW Motorrad are about more than just trying to develop
a motorcycle which has not existed in a given form before. In addition to
functions and quality, BMW developers focus on the emotional component –
the connection between man and motorcycle. The guiding principle is that
a motorcycle should not just function perfectly but should also appeal to all
the riders’ senses simultaneously, arouse an emotional response in him and fill
him with enthusiasm at every moment – when stationary and when moving,
as a whole and in its detail. In short: it has to light the fire.
Emotion through interaction – individualisation made-to-measure.
With the BMW Lo Rider study presented at the EICMA in Milan, BMW
Motorrad is not just demonstrating a continuation of this policy but is in fact
taking a significant step forward in focusing on the interaction between man
and motorcycle. The idea is that for the first time, the customer should be
interactively involved in the design of his BMW – going far beyond the familiar
adding of special equipment features and accessories. The customer is to be
given the opportunity to be much more deeply involved in the design of the
Lo Rider from the outset, creating a customised, made-to-measure machine
based around the principal components such as engine and chassis.
Classic meets modern – a combination of stylistic elements from
The study Lo Rider does not fi t into any of the classic motorcycle segments –
and it is not supposed to. It combines the latest technical attributes of high
performance sports motorcycles with the traditional, classic principles of
motorcycle construction. State-of-the-art chassis components from sports
motorcycle construction such as the powerful upside-down fork, 6-piston
brake calipers with real bite and wide 17-inch tyres are combined with styledefining
elements of motorcycle construction from the fifties and sixties. For
example, with the exhaust system in a more traditional lower position in side
pipe style creates a classic roadster or cool cruiser look, while a raised exhaust
system is reminiscent of legendary racing machines or typical scrambler
models of days gone by. Together with a range of variously designed seat
concepts, also based on styles of the fifties and sixties, as well as differing
paint finish versions, the BMW Lo Rider offers the motorcycle fan a wealth
of possibilities by means of which to interpret the roadster theme in a highly
individual way according to his own personal taste founded on a single
basic motorcycle. In fact the Lo Rider gives the creativity of its rider almost
completely free rein.
Chassis and engine – state-of-the-art technology based
on classic principles.
The mixture of classic and modern stylistic elements of motorcycle
construction combined with state-of-the-art technology is what gives the
Lo Rider its defining look from all angles. A torsionally stiff space frame of
sophisticated architecture openly displays the bike’s technology and together
with the upside-down telescopic fork at the front and Paralever rear-wheel
swing arm provides the modern basis in terms of chassis technology – just
as it is to be found in some current models of the BMW Boxer series. What
is more, the chassis of the Lo Rider has been lowered as compared to
In terms of tyre dimensions, the 17-inch wheels represent the current state of
the art for sports motorcycles, though with their chrome wire spokes, black
hubs and steel rims they ingeniously echo the characteristic stylistic elements
and flair of a past era. By contrast, contemporary technology and a high level
of riding dynamics is provided by elements such as the high performance dual
brake disk with powerful 6-piston calipers, together with wave brake discs
borrowed from motor racing at the front and the single disc brake at the rear.
In terms of its engine, the Lo Rider also relies on technology which is both
contemporary and full of character – the legendary, highly responsive BMW
flat twin “Boxer” engine. For 85 years, the construction principle of this
engine has stood for unmistakable, authentic design, a full torque curve and
unique sound and power. In its current version with an output of over 100 bhp,
overhead camshafts, electronic fuel injection and exhaust gas purification, the
powerful response of this dynamic and distinctive 2-cylinder is simply perfect
for the BMW Lo Rider.
The customer as designer – individual designs and paint finishes.
The concept study Lo Rider is mainly focused on the two essential
component groups of a motorcycle, the engine and the chassis. Any
superfluous decoration is omitted. Instead, variable components such as the
exhaust system, seat, headlamp unit and paint finishes determine the
bike’s outward appearance, at the same time defi ning its conceptual style.
The combination of these classic and modern components is entirely subject
to the personal taste of the customer. For example, he can initially express
the dominating character of the BMW Lo Rider through the placement of the
exhaust system, creating either a sporty style or opting for a more roadsterlike
look by having it lowered.
A very sporty effect is created by the classic perch seat made of aluminium
sheet metal, while the simple single seat reduced to the absolute minimum
will appeal to purist motorcycle fans. The single seat can also be optionally
extended to include a pillion passenger module.
The specification laid down for the development team led by David Robb,
Head of Design Development at BMW Motorrad, was that all the conceivable
combination options of these components should produce different end
results but that the bike should always retain a rounded, coherent character
in itself. Whether with a raised or lowered exhaust system, with sporty perch
seat or seat bench for one or two people: the Lo Rider comes over differently
every time but always makes an impression.
The same applies to the selection options in creating the front section of the
Lo Rider. With their aggressive, modern design, the vertically arranged dual
headlamps give it a touch of the streetfighter, while the classic, semicircular
headlamp provides an echo of past times. Once again, the same principle
applies: however different the styles thus created might be, they always have
a consistent emotional appeal for the rider.
Further possibilities for individual design are available to the customer in the
choice of paint fi nish. There are four different colours available for the fuel
tank, and with the three different paint finishes for the engine casing this
allows the customer to create a very distinctive, personal look, defi ning the
character of the Lo Rider as anything from refi ned to sporty. These always
harmonise perfectly with the deliberately classic, high-quality aluminium parts
such as fuel tank trim, seat holder and wing struts. Different styles can also
be created with the front and rear wings which are available either in black or
Finally, another element which harmonises perfectly with the overall concept
of the Lo Rider is the individually adaptable range of rider equipment. This
includes classic leather jackets, protector jeans, boots, gloves and authentic
jet and integral helmets. This ensures that not only the appearance of the Lo
Rider is perfect but that the rider has just the right look, too.