More models in the roadster and heritage vein to join the new R nineT have been hinted at in recent times by BMW staff, heralding a new product line for the German marque that, of late, seems to do little wrong. Clearly the Roadster Revolution ‘concept’ showcased here will become a reality, obviously with some changes to appease various registration authorities, but essentially the bike we see here is certain to become a reality with BMW once again taking the concept approach to whet people’s attitude and gauge reaction.
The aspirations of BMW Motorrad with regard to future generations of boxer-powered roadsters have now been officially presented 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 as a 90-year anniversary BMW Motorrad retrospective. 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.
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. “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.
In its latest generation the BMW Bioxer pumps out 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. 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 interpretation of the classic circular headlamp. Matted LED light banks shape the distinctive “face” of the BMW Concept Roadster. Behind it, a reduced instrument panel provides all the relevant information.
The sculpturally designed fuel tank shape provides an ergonomica knee grip for optimum handling while a cover made of matted stainless steel adds accentuation at the centre of the fuel tank.
The steep rear section made of gloss milled aluminium, fashioned from a single piece. The deliberately visible milling marks create a rough, almost industrial look which contrasts with the painted and anodised surfaces. 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.
The lateral air intakes 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 while performing the function of channelling air to the radiator.
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.
Form and function are innovatively combined in the 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. 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.