BMW Self-Balancing Motorcycle - Never Put Feet On Road
BMW has unveiled its Motorrad Vision Next 100, a futuristic self-balancing prototype the company released as part of its 100th anniversary celebrations. The zero-emissions bike has self-balancing wheels designed to stand upright even at a complete stop, stability that the company says will allow riders to forgo riding a helmet.
(BMW self-driving motorcycle concept video)
'Its self-balancing system will help protect the rider at any time,' said Edgar Heinrich, the design director of BMW's motorcycle division.
'Any late reaction from the driver will trigger and the vehicle will balance out.'
'In the future, motorcycle riders will be able to enjoy riding without protective gear.'
According to BMW, the 'flexframe' extends from the front to the rear wheel of the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100.
This means the bike can be steered without the various joints found on today's motorcycles.
Turning the handlebar adjusts the entire frame, changing the direction of the bike.
The bike also rights itself while even stationary, remaining upright when the rider has dismounted.
The balancing systems will ensure a particularly agile and dynamic riding experience with even lighter handling.
SF fans may remember the smart bike in Bruce Sterlings 1998 novel Distraction, which he describes as having onboard steering and balance systems:
Norman, as always, drove like a maniac. Norman was young. He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems. He rode the bike with an intense lack of physical grace, as if trying to do algebra with his legs.
...[they] buzzed up along the road shoulder, the smart bike and sidecar scrunching over the oyster shells with oozy cybernetic ease.
This is not the first self-balancing motorcycle concept: