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MD Readers Respond to the BMW Lo Rider Concept – Part 2

We had an exceptional number of responses to our November 8, 2008 article on the BMW Lo Rider concept bike. While most of our readers responded positively, there were a few readers who simply did not like the concept bike. Here in their unedited form are the responses, part 2:

  • BMW builds a bobber. What a pleasant surprise. The concept looks fresh, attractive and has few compromises to achieve it design and functionality goals. The coventional USD fork is a must. The exhaust system is as unique as it is likely to fry the rider’s legs. One compromise to style is the steel rimmed spoke wheels. As a Ducati Sport Classic owner, I know those wheel are heavy and flats not roadside rapairable. Too bad they didn’t go with their excellent GS design wire wheels.

    Still, kudos to BMW for bringing a fresh and attractive concept to the show. Whether it will be embraced by the BMW faithful or bring new riders into the BMW fold is a gamble. Harley doesn’t have to look over it’s shoulder just yet.

  • As a current BMW R1200RT owner I must say, I love the bike, but changes I would make to my personal model would be;
    Red anodized rims, Lose the number plate, a carbon fiber fly screen windshield. To me, this looks like the Red Baron unleashed with modern technology. The perfect Teutonic hooligan bike!

  • just what we needed, another ‘cool’ bike to impress the geezers at the coffee shop! I wanna see what happens the first time somebody bungies a six pack to that ‘luggage rack’.

  • In one word, “Frikkin’ awesome”.

  • My thoughts, are they doing a re-make of Road Warrior? If so this beemer would fit the lead role well! Very cool concept, but I’d be surprised if they go through with it, and if they do will they provide more support than they did for the owners of the James Bond bike, the R1200C? Very interesting to see the outcome of this, although not the bike for me, I’ll stick with my Montauk.

  • I think maybe I’m too old to appreciate the BMW Lo Rider although I bet 20 somethings will think it’s phat (or something like that). To me it’s hideous. And here I thought that BMW cruiser thingy they brought out a few years ago was the ugliest motorcycle BMW could come up with.

  • I’m 54 & have owned about 65 bikes.

    It may be the most desirable bike ever. My next door neighbor w/ a $35k Big Dog would be green w/ envy (another of many good reasons to love it). It promises superior overall balance & performance lacking in every other so-called custom or cruiser. The piggish weight, stupid-long wheelbase & low-cornering capability of every cuiser to date make them completely unacceptable, despite any perceived artsy sex appeal. Would be so lovely to fly by an ’09 V-Max or V-Rod “power cruiser” on my favorite canyon road. Straightline power is boring compared to a superior balance of power + cornering prowess.

    Then there’s the benefit of swapping parts for a makeover & almost new bike whenever you desire.

    The rock-solid reliability of BMW’s boxer twin, 200k mile service life, model & parts longevity, superior dealer network, the quality of fellow BMW enthusiasts, & BMW’s routine long-term support put this bike over the top vs. Milwaukee’s crap (sorry for bluntness). The Lo-Rider’s balance of style & performance might convert even the most die-hard sport bike fanatic.

    BMW need to satisfy my frenzy fort this thing. What can I do to convince BMW to sell it? Tell BMW I’ll send money now to finance it, just like Yamaha does w/ the FJ1300 & V-Max (deposits before manufacture).

  • Wow! BMW has got the Bobber concept down right. It beats the hell out of Harley’s recent attempt to emulate that genre. I like the idea of customization options for headlights, wheels, etc. The only problem seeing as it’s a BMW….I know I could never afford one.

  • Very cool…A great looking street standard from BMW.

  • I think it’s an interesting look. If I could afford to add one to my collection, I believe I would purchase one. I have a Ducati ST4s and A Kawasaki KLX 300R.

  • Awesome! I love this bike! Hope it makes it to production.

  • I didn’t think BMW could come up with something uglier than the F650CS and then they came up with the green and orange Rocksters. Last week they showed the F800R and I thought it would be a long time before they came up with a bike uglier than that one. It only took a couple of days. I don’t think anyone can ever beat this the Lo Rider for ugly.

  • Just when you think BMW has its head out of its ass (they seem to have finally fixed the oilhead’s multitude of designed in failings and the F800s look really interesting) they show this mess. If this bike is released it will rival the R1200ST for short production life. BMW seems to have made great progress in engineering in the last few years (final drive failures aside), now they need to fire David Robb just like Ducati need to get rid of Pierre Terblanche.

    After having owned more then a dozen BMWs between my ’81 R65 and my ’99 K1200LT I gave up on the brand due to poor engineering, the ugly styling of many of the new BMW just made the decision easier. Having left the brand I discovered more exciting, more reliable, cheaper and just plain more fun bikes. Two friends who also left the BMW world have had the same experience. The only thing the three of us miss is BMW “scene”. BMW rallies seem to have just the right combination of riding during the day and beer and BS around the campfire in the evening.

  • Looks cartoonish and like it’s made of leftover parts. That description fits a lot of bikes that have come out in the last ten years, but this is the worst. These comments come from a BMW fan and owner. At least it looks like it would keep your thighs warm.

  • Build it and I will buy it … And yes, I’ve owned and ridden three BMW’s. Just make sure there’ll be leather bags available for this baby.


  • I am your stereotypical GS adventure rider. But I LOVE this new concept. Gritty, Fresh, different but not in a weird way.
    I hope they put it into production.

  • If its a LoRider where do you hang the fuzzy dice?

  • As soon as I saw the press releases for the Lo Rider I wrote to BMW -“If this is available at a price between $13 -$15K sign me up”. The bike is incredible!!! This would be a great bike to grow old with. Basically a new rat bike waiting for the countless miles of use/abuse to age it to perfection. It reminds me (in terms of class) of a Confederate. A bike I admire but could never afford. If I can’t have it (Lo Rider) I would probably buy an older monster and customize it accordingly.

  • Please BMW put it into production, one tough functional machine and a blast to ride I,m sure. I really like the idea of customer customisation, high-rise exhaust, cafe seat, great design; I,ll put a deposit down now.

  • YUCK!!!! You’re kidding, right??? Thats pretty much one of the worst looking motorcycles I have seen in 30+ years of riding. I’m glad my name isn’t on the tank.

  • That has got to be one of the coolest naked bikes I have ever seen! It looks very ‘Road Warrior’ while at the same time remains hi-tech. I could almost see the German Army riding these with a side car…lol! The exhaust looks good, but also looks hot. Interesting and pleasing placement of the license plate and rear turn signals. I would take the number plate off.
    Thanks for posting the news, you guys rock!

  • I’m not a Beemer fan but I like it. I love that street scramble style exhaust but that right side pipe sure took the long way around. Unfortunately it didn’t end well. The cannister looks a little too car-like to be so prominently displayed. The headlight(s) is sort of the Transformers meet Will Robinson’s Robot. I’d prefer a more retro headlight. Get a new color for the calipers please; something a bit more in tune with the rest of the color scheme. I love the exposed tubular frame, or what
    little of that exists.

  • Great and Beautiful! This is the Bobber-retro-you-look-sexy-concept! All bikes look good. But some have SOUL…!

  • Would I ride one? Yes. Do I like it? Yes. Would I buy one? No.

    While I congratulate BMW for thinking outside it’s box, it’s too radical a departure from the traditional values of a BMW customer. May I remind you of the failure of the 1200C cruiser? The Lo Rider is young. BWM is expensive. Why would someone spend their soon to be limited cash on something like this when there are so many bikes that could be individualized into something similar?

    When I think of BMW I think of quality and dependability for the long haul. This looks like a sports bike after the stunt crew is finished with it.

  • That’s a BMW someone under 40 might actually buy in the States. Still rocking that outdated engine though.

  • Build it; I’ll buy one. This thing rocks !!!

  • To me it looks like a Bavarian take on the Confederate Hellcat. I do like it, but I would disagree that it is “a motorcycle which has not existed in a given form before.”

  • I am a long time dis-liker of most BMW, due to their strange Bird like designs (yeah I know they want to be different). Most of there dule purpose bikes look like birds that have been run over or a Tuna that has been attacked by a shark….but I like this concept. It stays with the traditional BMW boxer and does a nice job with it. I have to admit though it looks to be more of a cafe racer styling thatn a “lo rider”, see they get a concept right but screw up the name.

  • I notice that the rear end photo shows an Australian licence plate. Does this mean that the bike was an Australian design, or at least had some AUSTRALIAN INPUT? It would just like those wild and crazy Aussies to come up with a bike like this. (think Mad Max).

  • Finally, a BMW for those to embarassed to visit Hooters on Bike Night with their existing mounts.

  • You’re kidding right? Attractive? That has got to be the most homely bike I’ve ever seen. It might be a good thing for those that want a readymade rat bike though, otherwise, as far as I’m concerned, no thank you!

  • I was planning on buying a triumph speed triple soon, but if that came out, i’d buy it in a second. It looks sweet.

  • It is very Confederate hellcat meets BMW design. If they build it I would seriously consider buying one. It would be a viable competitor to Ducati’s new monster given they can price it accordingly.

  • I view your site several times daily & can’t get enough; a major pain in the arse distraction, w/ all due respect.

    Another valid viewpoint of BMW’s Lo-Rider: the raw visceral appeal of Bloor’s Triumph Thruxton, w/ several high-value twists: estimated lower weight (looks lighter than the current R1200R which is lighter than the Thruxton), far more performance (susp, brakes, hp, torque, chassis stability, etc, etc, etc), more raw retro looks (tank & freight train cues, in a good way). It screams pure James Dean/Marlon Brando mythological coolness w/ modern performance balance untouchable by every other OEM cruiser. IMO, & I say this w/o one trace of bigotry (I’m part Asian Islander), no Japanese OEM could envision the Lo-Rider even if its life depended on it. The Japanese OEM lack creativity & daring for this endeaver, they lack trust & always aim only for the most common denominator. Leave it to a German factory to out-design & out-engineer a type of bike created by Americans. The Lo-Rider is an earthquake in the motorcycle universe.

    The squeeky-clean ultra-low-maintenance shaft drive puts it way over the top.

    I must have this bike.

  • I instantly loved the look. A look that says form follows function, but with elegant execution. It is a quintessential bike, like a Norton, a Yamaha Vmax or a Kawasaki KZ. I’ll be trolling the bmw motorcycles site for it.

  • I think BMW is onto something here. Love the pipe/muffler setup as long as my butt doesn’t fry on a hot day in the desert. Love the clean/muscular new/old style!

  • While I like the concept (pun intended) of owning a BMW bike, my pocketbook demands a less expensive alternative, especially since I own multiple motorcycles.

    It seems strange that I can’t buy a customized motorcycle directly from a manufacturer, similar to ordering a customized computer from Dell. I should even be able to have it shipped directly to my door.

    If this bike was actually in production, and sold in the U.S. and I had the money, I’d order one. Preferably without spoke wire wheels, and with a lower scoop or some kind of engine guard.

  • Okay, my first thought was…fugly…and I currently own a K1200LT and an R1200GS, so that’s sayin’ somethin’! Something that you would build out of a Beemer junkyard. But I thought about it, and decided to go back and look at some older BMW’s…it’s certainly no uglier than some of the 50’s and 60’s beemers. It has some styling elements vaguely reminiscent of the toaster tanks. Then, it hit me…it needs some white pinstriping! I also noticed that it does not use the tubeless wheels with the spoke nipples outside the tire beads; wonder if these rims are sealed/tubeless? It doesn’t make me think Low Rider; it reminds me more of the Buell Lightnings or the Triumph Speed Triple, sort of the Streetfighter look, but maybe that’s just the headlights? Interesting design exercise, just don’t think I’d own one (but then, I’m an old fart).

  • My first impression of the leading pic is “ugliest bike of the century.” After reading the article and BMW’s approach, I now see what they are doing: another H-D marketing model clone to sell parts and accessories at high profit through the dealer network. Thanks but no thanks BMW. I could do an oilhead GSXR 1100 streetfighter in rattle can black for 1/5 the price of that thing.

  • Without seeing the dual seat version: You had me till the seat, where’s the rest of it? Ick.

  • I don’t get this bike. It’s way too sporty in appearance & seating position to appeal to cruiser riders. I like the idea of extensive customization, & it looks like nothing will scrape when leaned over. But just looking at the handlebars makes my upper back hurt. And to what does the “Lo” in Lo-Rider refer? The seat height looks a bit tall to me. I suppose that’s customizable, too, but BMW thinks 32″ is a “low” seat height. I also suspect that the price for a “personalized” BMW bike will be beyond what most of us can afford.

  • COOL! BMW is on a role, with expanding market share, bikes sold etc. and interesting new models, unlike some of the Japanese manufacturers who shall remain anonymous.

  • It is a great looking bike, don’t change a thing. Nice bike for cruising around town with.

  • Reminds me of an old AMC Gremlin TV ad where the guy looks at the back of the car and asks where the rest of it is.

  • I just read about and viewed your pictures of the new BMW Bobber/cruiser concept. I’m no self-acclaimed expert and I don’t work for the motorcycle design police, but I would like to comment.

    The current trend by Triumph/Harley/Buell/chopper and street-fighter builders etc, is to hack the backend of the bike off very abruptly giving the impression that its design is not yet complete. When I first saw the Buell S-1 in the mid 90’s it looked to me as though Eric Buell spent months on the styling of the front ¾ and about 18 minutes on the rear ¼. I was convinced he needed to hire an Italian designer to add a hint of class to his final rendering, or at the least, eat a large plate of pasta before doing styling work.

    Since then it seems as though everyone has jumped on board to the point where it’s time for a new trend. Extreme ideas have their place and when mixed with the passing of time and numerous subtle changes and refinements usually settle in to what is referred to as “Style” or staying power. Like a Triumph Bonneville from the sixties. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a vintage bike freak, I’m just using that as an example. I’m also not a fan of choppers but a good example is some of the freaked-out stuff from the sixties. If a 10” over front end was good, how about an 18” over or 36”? Eventually they way out of wack in an effort to outdo each other.

    The “Street-fighter” look is another cool idea heavily overdone. First it was a sport bike with no fairing and Superbike bars. Cool! Then they started kicking the seat up in the air a little. Now they all look like they’ve rear-ended by a bus! To the point that they look freakish.

    So what’s my point? I really like the idea of the BMW “stripped” model without all the fluff. But the seat ending abruptly and the fender attached to the swingarm gives it an incomplete look. The beauty of concept bikes is that they are usually built to splash around some cutting edge ideas. See what the public thinks. And perhaps a few of these ideas will be incorporated into a production model down the road. Bikes with the back end chopped off fad have been built out. It’s run its course. Next thing you know, Walmart will be selling kits to make your bike have the chopped off tail-section look. Then you’ll know its way out of style or was a questionable trend in the first place.

    In the world of high end custom “Chopper” builders, everybody seems to be stuck on the “Board Tracker” look. That is, a springer front end, narrow, large diameter wheels front and rear, no fenders, upside down handlebars, a bicycle seat and 30 foot wheelbase. One or two was sort of interesting. Now every chopper book has one on the cover. I have to say that a real board tracker from the teens has an all-business look that cannot be disputed and was built for aerodynamics in the age of aerodynamic’s infancy. Not to ride on the street as a cruiser with feet sticking out the front and a Nazi helmet!

    Once again, I’m not the style police and my opinion doesn’t mean squat in the world of motorcycling, but I like the BMW otherwise and just wish they could maybe cross it with the Ducati Hypermottard which WAS designed by Italians with an eye for style!

    Keep up the good reporting.

  • I like it, like the exhaust, but put a round head light and a regular round tach and speedo cluster with needles, not digital readouts.

  • BMW is getting into World Superbike and showcasing this load? I’m
    not trading my HP2!

  • i want one…but here in the usa, will probably never see it

  • This stunning bike had me doing a double take as I took my usual stroll through the MotorcycleDaily offerings. I have had several “airhead” BMW bikes over the years and still have two now. The newer BMWs are nice and seem to progress with the times, but have never prompted Me to pull the trigger and pursue one. They just don’t grab my attention as much as their classic bikes.

    I have customized a ’74 R90 into something that this new (but classic somehow) Lo Rider resembles. Grey tank, black fenders, blue anodized calipers with a first year R100Rs fork setup, vintage two into one exhaust, cafe seat…. I could go on for pages but most of all the different finishes and subtle color differences make for a complicated but cohesive look. A mixture of similar era bike parts that all work together.

    The customization and downright simple plan of this bike is in contrast to the technical roads BMW has been traveling. This
    motorcycle speaks to the BMW enthusiast I have become, one that likes to change a bike but keep the heart of the company’s vision alive. I hope BMW sells this bike in the states.

  • I’m going to have to hand it to BMW this time. This bike is beautiful. NAKED, my favorite way to ride. I would love to see more of this bike, you know maybe like a 360 view. Anyway, let’s hope BMW puts it out there.

We’ll post part 3 later next week. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond.

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