Last fall, BMW Motorrad introduced Vision Next 100, a concept for future motorcycle design the company described at the time as “the ultimate riding experience.” Now we get a first look at BMW’s view for the future of urban mobility, the BMW Motorrad Concept Link.
The overriding theme of the Concept Link design is uniting digital connectivity with two-wheeled urban mobility demands. Keeping in mind that Concept Link is a thought piece, not an actual product announcement or preview, the future scooter demonstrates how electric-powered motor scooters open functional opportunities not possible with internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered bikes. Gas-engine bikes dedicate a lot of space to the motor, exhaust system, and fuel tank.
The Concept Link’s electric motor is on the back wheel and its flat, heavy energy packs are mounted in the scooter’s underfloor. This battery placement lowers the center of gravity, always a good thing, and opens up the remaining space between the seat and the bottom of the scooter for storage. A sliding door allows access to storage under the seat without having to flip up or remove the seat.
According to BMW Motorrad, the Concept Link’s edrive will deliver fast acceleration and be easy to handle. The scooter concept has a reverse gear to help maneuver in tight spaces.
“The BMW Motorrad Concept Link stands for a new understanding of urban mobility. It links the digital and analog world and places the focus on the rider and his mobility needs. In the way it links functionality and digitalization it performs both as a means of transport as well as a communication device,” said Edgar Heinrich, the head of design of BMW Motorrad.
Instead of a traditional instrument cluster, the Concept Link has a touch-sensitive display panel. Speed, navigation, and battery life data project onto a small windshield in the driver’s field of vision. Other information for interacting and communicating with the world appear directly on the display panel. The driver will not have to touch the panel for frequent access information but can use touch-enabled buttons on the handlebars to navigate and access information. BMW Motorrad envisions the driver interacting with infotainment, connectivity, and routing applications via the handlebar buttons.
BMW Motorrad’s Concept Link rider apparel extends the rider’s connection to the vehicle and digital connectivity. The clothing does not look like traditional biker leathers, but in addition to integrated protector pads in vulnerable areas such as elbows and shoulders, the Concept Link jacket arm can open and close the luggage compartment’s sliding door, for example.
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