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BMW Concept Roadster Displays Boldness of Design With Function

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BMW has once again used the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este to introduce a concept that likely points to a very similar production model in development. This time it is the BMW Concept Roadster (BMW previously used this venue to unveil the Concept Ninety). Again, it features that BMW trademark engine configuration, the boxer twin.

The 1170 cc engine produces 125 hp with bags of low rpm torque. The spare, lightweight design is, in our opinion at least, stunning.

From the LED headlight design through to the minimalist milled aluminum tail, BMW has seemingly removed every non-functional part, while incorporating striking aesthetics.

The concept wears top notch Ohlins suspension and Brembo radial brakes.

Here is the full announcement from BMW:

The BMW “Concept Roadster”

The aspirations of BMW Motorrad with regard to future generations of boxer-powered roadsters take concrete, emotionally charged shape at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 in the form of the BMW Concept Roadster. It was here that BMW Motorrad presented the BMW Concept Ninety last year – a modern interpretation of a classic BMW motorcycle with boxer engine that demonstrated just how emotional a 90-year BMW Motorrad retrospective can be. By contrast, the BMW Concept Roadster embodies the future of the BMW boxer-powered roadster: “The BMW Concept Roadster shows that as far as BMW is concerned, motorcycling is about far more than just perfect function. This concept bike is a symbol of how modern and emotional a boxer-powered BMW roadster can be,” explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design.

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Classic values interpreted in modern style.
The BMW Concept Roadster is a typical BMW roadster with a powerful 2-cylinder flat-twin engine, single-sided swing arm with shaft drive and a light tubular space frame. It interprets these classic elements in the most state-of-the-art, dynamic form. “The BMW Concept Roadster embodies the powerful essence of a BMW roadster. It is exciting to look at and at least as exciting to ride. This roadster will make motorcycling a little more revolutionary again for BMW,” says Head of BMW Motorrad Vehicle Design Ola Stenegard of the BMW Concept Roadster.

The BMW boxer engine has always promised impressive performance and supreme power delivery across the entire engine speed range. In its latest generation it generates 92 kW (125 bhp) at 7,750 rpm from 1,170 cc with a maximum torque of 125 Nm at 6,500 rpm. The engine is also visually mid-point of the BMW Concept Roadster. The compact proportions with low front and high rear form a wedge-shaped silhouette around it which accelerates the bike even when stationary. The crouching posture with a powerful focus on the front wheel and the very short rear promise agile, light-footed handling. Split colouring makes for a visual separation of the dark engine area below and the light seating area above with the fuel tank and rear section. The dark bottom section moves the BMW Concept Roadster visually closer to the road surface, thereby emphasising a road-oriented riding experience. Meanwhile the light upper section conveys lightness and a low visual centre of gravity.

The headlamp presents a modern, dynamic interpretation of the classic circular headlamp. Matted LED light banks shape the distinctive “face” of the BMW Concept Roadster, giving it an extremely technical look. What is more, the LED technology makes the headlamp mask flat and very light-looking from the side perspective. Behind it, a reduced instrument panel provides all the relevant information in exclusive, high-end style.

Emotional surface configuration.
The interplay between the fuel tank, seat and radiator is modelled to perfection in flowing style. The experienced hands of the BMW modellers have given the surfaces an emotional quality that no computer would be capable of recreating. The surfaces provide a detailed reflection of the characteristics of the BMW Concept Roadster: the sculpturally designed fuel tank in Sparkling Light White expresses the forward-looking orientation and dynamic performance of the BMW Concept Roadster with its precise modelling. Its shape also provides an ergonomically perfect knee grip for optimum handling. A cover made of matted stainless steel adds a high-end yet robust accentuation at the centre of the fuel tank.

Light and finely wrought – the aluminium rear. 
A striking highlight develops out of the fuel tank: the steep rear section made of gloss milled aluminium. The self-supporting rear structure is fashioned from a single piece, thereby enabling a very reduced and finely wrought rear element. The deliberately visible milling marks create a rough, almost industrial look which contrasts with the painted and anodised surfaces. The expressively modelled surfacing on the top and bottom of the rear element finely translates the emotional aspirations of the BMW Concept Roadster. The integrated single seat is borrowed visually from motor racing – a stylish interpretation of the bike’s dynamic ambitions. Meanwhile a Neon Yellow accent in the lower area of the seat cushion adds a bold dash of colour contrast underneath the perforated Alcantara leather. Additional colour accents in Neon Yellow are to be found on the valve covers and on the cooling ribs inside the air inlets of the side trim, further breaking up the overall view from the side. The tubular space frame provides a visual highlight as a load-bearing element in Sparkling Racing Blue – a highly expressive finish that lends a touch of modern sporty style to a traditional element of a boxer-powered BMW roadster. With the interplay of the typical BMW Motorrad white on the fuel tank along with the radiant blue, the tank and frame present a characteristic yet also contemporary interpretation of the traditional BMW Motorrad colours.

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Premium-quality milled aluminium parts. 
In addition to the rear structure, there are other milled aluminium parts which underscore the technically sculptured look from the side perspective. The most prominent features here are the lateral air intakes. They are also made of gloss aluminium with milling marks and are shown to excellent effect against the black surfaces of the radiator. They trace a triangle open to the front which is formally based on the “gill” elements of the BMW supersports motorcycles. Performing the function of channelling air to the radiator, they also emphasise the dynamic gesture of the side. The cooling ribs in Neon Yellow inside them are only seen on closer inspection.

One particular detail is the valve covers made of milled aluminium: their three-dimensional shaping lends a forward orientation to the fuel tank surfaces, giving the BMW boxer engine a highly athletic look. In addition, a protection pad on the valve covers indicates that the BMW Concept Roadster can and should be taken round bends at an extreme banking angle. Inspired by the knee pads of a racing suit, it gives the BMW Concept Roadster a touch of motor racing flair. An accent in Neon Yellow further underscores this radical element.

Innovation in form and function – the engine spoiler.
Form and function are innovatively combined in the future-oriented engine spoiler. In the BMW Concept Roadster, it not only performs an aerodynamic function but also incorporates the entire front exhaust silencer with a view to meeting future noise prevention requirements. Along with the short, steep tailpipe of the exhaust system, the engine spoiler concentrates form and function around the engine. In doing so it emphasises the compact, dynamic statement of the side as well as the short rear. Over and above the high-end milled parts, the BMW Concept Roadster comprises nothing but the very best quality high-performance components. The fork tubes, rear shock absorber and brakes are elegantly set apart by their anodized, giving the BMW Concept Roadster an exclusive touch of sporty flair.

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49 Comments

  1. Sensible Rider says:

    If they build this, I will buy it. I love this concept. Great job

  2. Mars says:

    WHo is gonna buy it?

    Aren’t hi-dollar bikes all going to us geezers?

    Are the kids buying $20,000.00 bikes with their McDonalds paychecks?

    Ah well, at least they are trying. I mean – how much variation can you have in a motorcycle that must have certain mechanical features and cannot have much more?

    Seat, tank, wheels, suspension, engine, lights. Minor model-year tweaks and “bold new graphics”.

    They have to work pretty hard to make a bike look new without alienating customers, and motorcyclists are among the most conservative of consumers (we like bikes to look “right” which means “not very different from what we already know”).

    Points to BMW (and KTM)for trying. It’s up to us to validate their efforts or to keep guying the same old same old.

    Me?

    Waiting for e-bikes tha actually work.

    Not holding my breath.

  3. Jim says:

    The 9T is selling well and BMW is committed to building it through the 2016 model year. After that the oil head motor will no longer be compliant with Euro emissions controls and it will be an old design. Is this, or something like it the replacement?

  4. stinkywheels says:

    I like it. Considering how the NineT made it to market at a decent price and still bore a resemblance to it’s concept. Maybe it’ll be an affordable(?) HP2.

  5. Norm G. says:

    re: “With the interplay of the typical BMW Motorrad white on the fuel tank along with the radiant blue, the tank and frame present a characteristic yet also contemporary interpretation of the traditional BMW Motorrad colours.”

    HP2 “part deux” ladies and gentleman. which ironically, I just so happen to see somebody with a Sport out on my ride this past sunday. first one ever seen in the wild. strange coincidence.

  6. Fabio Quadrana says:

    Absolutely UGLY

  7. Tank says:

    FOR SALE – BMW project bike, 90% complete.

  8. John says:

    It seems to me that the tank could be located below the seat and either a trunk added or slimmed way down to keep it from looking so front heavy.

    • John says:

      Though I suppose that would make the engine look gigantic.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “the tank could be located below the seat and either a trunk added”

      this is BMW, that will have morphed into a glove box by the time it hits production.

  9. MG3 says:

    OK, three things –

    1. looks like a homework assignment from a video-game addicted 12 year old.
    2. is so wickedly out of balance it looks like it’s going to slide right off the screen.
    3. just seeing it made my hemorrhoids twitch.

    other than that – it’s BRILLIANT!

  10. KenTfrom CA says:

    I’m so done with the mad mechanical mosquito look. Time for another direction..puleeeze!

  11. Norm G. says:

    and now for the money shot… err… money “sound”. wait for it, wait for it…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WddJI732hV0

  12. Phil says:

    finally, a BMW bike that i like AND comes with non-weird headlights.. don’t they know symmetrical is beauty? i can finally consider a beamer now

  13. Gronde says:

    Like this would ever make it to market.

    • Txomin15 says:

      This will morph into the 2015 R1200R. Obviously it’ll have a different subframe, headlight, suspension setup etc… But this will be the base.

      125hp and a big dollop of sexy is exactly what the brilliant-but-dull R1200R needs.

    • Blackcayman says:

      design concepts are meant to lead the way – they move the evolutionary design process further and faster than they would otherwise.

      You’re right though, this bike as it looks here won’t make it to production, and its a shame because if every dealer got one this year and next, they would be a hot commodity.

  14. TexinOhio says:

    Very nice! The pipe on this thing is sweet!

  15. Gary says:

    It does have a few nice styling queues, but overall with the present look, would not interest me. When I looked at it, it reminded me of a wasp- maybe a more fitting name for it.

  16. tuskerdu says:

    Too bad.

  17. Norm G. says:

    it’s okay, but the truth is should’ve just come off the deutsche mark for Roland Sands.

  18. Dave says:

    Looks a lot like the KTM 1290 Superduke to me! Of course the engine is totally different, but the overall shape is very similar.

    • xlayn says:

      I’ll have to agree, the tail section and the light.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Looks a lot like the KTM 1290 Superduke to me! Of course the engine is totally different”

      hmmmn, but it is water cooled now. dave I think you’ve cracked it. let’s finally push past the 1170 barrier and give it the big boy 1300cc engine. well done. (Anton Chigurh voice)

  19. beasty says:

    Uglier and uglier…………. Well, at least this one doesn’t have a beak.

  20. John says:

    And where does one sit? On that little strip of unpadded leather?

  21. ABQ says:

    I thought the new 900 would cover this concept, but I like the looks of this even more. I like that they made no real passenger seat, just a short place barely big enough for a lunch bag. I like that exhaust. But, I have always had problems with the height of BMWs. This one looks within reach.
    If they are still thinking of concepts, I wish that they would do a power cruiser. Something similar in size to a Diavel. That is a height I could live with.

    • ABQ says:

      Now do that with the F800

    • MG3 says:

      Didn’t they do that power cruiser thing somewhere back in the 90’s? I remember James Bond riding one (Pierce Brosnan??) back then. Looked pretty cool in the movie but I guess it didn’t sell that well to the general public.

  22. Blackcayman says:

    I Love it

  23. Hair says:

    The last time I bought a puffed rice snack the bag said 50% air by volume. Which isn’t that far off from what his bike has. I liked the retro Ducs that had a lot of empty space. And I like this bike too. If I remember correctly I am still carrying some of that puffed rice weight. Maybe this bike is fast enough to help me loose it.

  24. xlayn says:

    I wonder how they tied the front direction to the engine.

  25. motowarrior says:

    No matter what you think of this particular motorcycle, you have to hand it to BMW. They are really branching out to try and appeal to numerous segment of the market. This isn’t your father’s BMW.

  26. jim says:

    Does crank acceleration cause torque steer without the paralever ft end?

    • goose says:

      The torque effect is present in any case there the crankshaft (or any heavy, spinning part) is inline with the wheelbase. The only way to stop it is to spin another parts of the same amount of inertia at exactly the same speed and the oposite direction. Well, that or move the crank so it is transverse to the wheelbase.

      Goose

    • Brian says:

      The only way to stop it is to spin another parts of the same amount of inertia at exactly the same speed and the oposite direction–

      As the new multi-plate clutch does in this design.

  27. Jdilpkle says:

    I knew I left my blue swing-set piece somewhere…