BMW’s newly revealed all-electric Motorrad Concept Link scooter concept is probably worth giving a bit of time, despite being only a concept. The rather stylish-looking “zero-emissions” scooter was revealed at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2017 in Italy, and looks as though it was designed with the event in mind.
While based on the previously revealed Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept, this offering is of course an all-electric scooter that’s perhaps better suited to the audience here. Hopefully something not too dissimilar to the concept makes it to the market eventually, as it could be a popular electric that expands BMW’s presence as an EV-serious manufacturer — and there could really be a market for this.
“The BMW Motorrad Concept Link is not based on today’s concepts, but rather meets the basic functionality needs, the technical architecture and the digital reality of today’s users,” stated Alexander Buckan, Head of Vehicle Design at BMW Motorrad. “The technical realities of electric drive — such as the flat energy packs in the underfloor and the compact drive on the rear wheel — allowed us to create a highly distinctive design which shapes a new segment.”
Steve Hanley provides more on sister site Gas2:
“Everything about the Concept Zero scooter is as futuristic as BMW engineers could make it. Although it is not intended for production, some of its features could show up on BMW products in years to come. There is no traditional gauge cluster, for instance. Instead, information about speed and range are displayed directly onto the windscreen via a heads up display. All other features of the bike are controlled by a touchscreen.
“A special connected ‘rider’s jacket’ allows communication with the scooter using hand gestures. The Concept Zero also knows what is in a rider’s calendar and will choose music for the journey it considers appropriate for the rider’s mood and tastes. Is it possible it could play Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf once it breaks free of traffic and gets out of the city and onto a two lane road?”
When I was talking about there being a potential market, I of course wasn’t talking about features like that (included in concept designs but never production ones), but otherwise it would certainly be good to see more electric scooter options out there. Though, low-cost options would probably be where the real sales potential is, rather than with BMW-priced offerings.
Here’s BMW’s full press release on the BMW Motorrad Concept Link if you want to read about it more in BMW’s words:
BMW Motorrad Concept Link. The reinvention of urban mobility on two wheels.
Munich. At the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2017, the BMW Group is presenting its vision of zero-emission urban mobility on two wheels: the BMW Motorrad Concept Link. Inspired by the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100, the design study unites digital connectivity with the demands of urban mobility on two wheels. It treads new paths and moves beyond established conventions both with regard to design and technology.
“The BMW Motorrad Concept Link stands for a new understanding of urban mobility. It links the digital and analogue world and places the focus on the rider and his mobility needs. In the way it links functionality and digitalisation it performs both as a means of transport as well as a communication device. For me the BMW Motorrad Concept Link, with its timeless and reduced style, is more than a concept – it is rather a symbol for a new era.” explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design of BMW Motorrad.
Design as a distinguishing and segment-defining feature.
The special character of the concept vehicle becomes clear right away thanks to the completely new design language. “The BMW Motorrad Concept Link is not based on today’s concepts, but rather meets the basic functionality needs, the technical architecture and the digital reality of today’s users. The technical realities of electric drive – such as the flat energy packs in the underfloor and the compact drive on the rear wheel – allowed us to create a highly distinctive design which shapes a new segment. The resulting expressive power of the vehicle is absolutely new for BMW Motorrad and breaks with all conventional viewing patterns.” explains Alexander Buckan, Head of Vehicle Design at BMW Motorrad.
The low-slung, stretched body and the flat seat combined with the diagonally rising front section create a modern yet distinctive silhouette. The use of colours emphasises this even further: the front trim in Liquid Metal Titanium contrasts with the semi-matt black body. The colours are oriented diagonally which underlines the dynamic potential of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link.
Tailor-made for the requirements of urban mobility.
The new and emphatically function-driven architecture provides a high level of riding pleasure due to the E-drive. The BMW Motorrad Concept Link is ideally suited to meet the requirements of modern urban mobility with fast acceleration and easy handling. Due to its low overall height, getting on is easy from the side or even from the back. A reverse gear ensures that it is easy to manoeuvre, making it ideal to park in tight city spaces.
The seat bench can be adjusted lengthwise to suit every preference. The proportions also make room for new storage space. In the centre section, underneath the seat bench, a luggage compartment offers versatile storage opportunities. The rider can access this quickly and easily at all times using a sliding door. With its new architecture, the BMW Motorrad Concept Link combines riding pleasure and functionality in an ideal way.
Clear shapes and modern technology.
Taking a closer look, clear lines, large-area surfaces and simple, precise shapes emphasise the state-of-the-art look of the BMW Motorrad Concept Link. The two-tone colour design reinforces this further. A large matt black area, the technical heart, shapes the core of the concept. It stretches from the front to the rear, and in addition to the tyres and front lights, also integrating the drive unit and the suspension elements. The two iconic LEC front lights are characterised by minimalist design. Their clear-cut layout and the slim contours accentuate the modern and trail-blazing visual appeal of the front section.
The powerfully expressive contours of the side panels framing the dark core of the vehicle, optimise aerodynamics and also provide protection against wind and weather. The sides of the wheels are completely covered, underscoring the contemporary overall visual appeal.
The BMW Motorrad Concept Link also deliberately showcases the technology used as part of the design package. That is why the side panels don’t completely cover the side section at the rear. Instead they stretch across the vehicles side like little wings allowing views of the technical elements like drive unit, cooling ribs, single-sided swing arm, spring strut and tooth belt. At the same time they help improve aerodynamic air flow.
The iconic rear lights have been integrated into the rear side panels in the form of two C-shaped light elements.
Deliberate contrasts and numerous individualisation options.
Contrasts are deliberately played on in conjunction with the clear shapes of the BMW Concept Link to give it a powerful and impressive appearance. The orange-coloured cables connecting battery pack and drive on the right side are highly contrasting in appearance and make a clear and self-assured statement. Their diameter already hints at the power in the drive unit.
The seat bench also makes both a functional and visually powerful statement, the flat seat area being kept separate from the vehicles body. This emphasises the lightness of the side view thereby highlighting the agile and easy handling. The seat bench allows views of the aluminium structure within.
It can be adapted to suit different needs in numerous ways. It can be either a sporty single-seater, a seat bench for two or anything in between giving the concept vehicle a distinctive visual and functional character.
Further customisation options, such as side panels in different colours or different windshields, allow the rider to express his personality, making the BMW Motorrad Concept Link the ideal companion for any situation.
Connecting rider, vehicle and environment.
Inspired by the BMW Motorrad Vision NEXT 100, the BMW Motorrad Concept Link interprets the connection between rider, vehicle and the environment for urban use. It keeps the rider connected while riding, thereby expanding his mobile world by providing him with new opportunities. Among other things, the Concept vehicle knows what’s in the rider’s calendar and therefore his next destinations. As a result it can plan the fastest or most scenic route and even select the most suitable music if required.
The focus is also on being able to enjoy the riding experience without any distractions. The classic instrument cluster has been dropped. Instead speed, navigation and battery information is projected onto the windshield directly into the rider’s field of vision. Secondary information is displayed on the large-surface panel, which matches the design perfectly and is located below the handlebars. The panel enables a large number of possible ways of interacting with the outside world and for communicating with other vehicles. The touch sensitive surface of the large-size panel displays and controls extensive infotainment, connectivity and routing information. Freely programmable, touch-enabled buttons on the handlebars allow the rider to access preferred and frequently used functions without having to remove his hands from the handlebars.
Intelligent rider equipment.
The interaction between vehicle and rider wear holds great potential with regard to rider safety, comfort, functionality and riding experience. On the BMW Motorrad Concept Link, the rider equipment is also connected to the vehicle. To highlight this connection, a motion on the arm of the jacket opens and closes the sliding door of the luggage compartment.
A stitch on the arm signifies the active area. The rider wear is also a fashion statement and deliberately not recognisable as motorcycle gear. Light shoulder and elbow protectors have been integrated into the stylish short coat made of water-repellent loden cloth. However they are not visible in the modern cut of the coat.
With the combination of the emission-free, dynamic drive, a new design language, connectivity and fashionable yet functional rider equipment, the BMW Motorrad Concept Link embodies BMW Motorrad’s understanding of the future of urban mobility.
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