- BMW Motorrad Concept Link’ uses electric battery packs, and even features a reverse gear
- Has a touchscreen dashboard, and can be paired with a new smart motorcycles jacket that can change settings on the bike with a swipe on its sleeve
- Can integrate with online calenders to automatically set destinations, and project directions onto windscreen
BMW has super-charged the race towards zero-emission biking by unveiling its latest concept electric motorcycle.
The BMW Motorrad Concept Link uses radical electric battery packs stored in its base, features a reverse gear to make parking easier, and a seat that adjusts itself to suit each rider’s bottom.
Its touchscreen dashboard can even be connected to the rider’s online calendar so it always knows where it needs to go every time it is started.
BMW claims the concept is “extremely fast” though designers have not yet revealed stats to back up the claim.
Concept electric motorcycle could kickstart new era of biking
The German automotive superpower hopes the concept could kickstart a new era of motorcycle design.
BMW Motorrad’s Alexander Buckan said: “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.”
BMW says the concept blends fast acceleration and easy handling.
Due to its low overall height, getting on is easy too, 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.
Electric motorcycle projects data onto windshield
Instead of a classic instrument cluster, speed, navigation and battery information is projected onto the windshield directly in the rider’s field of vision.
Secondary information is displayed on a panel below the handlebars.
Programmable, touch-enabled buttons on the handlebars allow the rider to access functions without having to loosen grip.
The concept is the latest in a series of vehicles designed by BMW to showcase the future of transport.
It’s the benchmark. The yardstick. The trendsetter. And that makes each generation of VW Camper very important. The iconic splitties and bays of the mid 20th century went on to bear new generations of cult-creators and it comes to the 21st century and the – slightly reserved – T5 and T6.
Incredibly well respected, the most modern camper is still the epitome of a usable motorhome – the vehicle you can use day to day to pop to the shops and do a school run, yet still go for a week away in the far reaches of Unreachistan. It’s compact enough to go under the radar when exploring single-track roads and not disrespect the white lines of the supermarket car park, yet spacious enough to support human life.
The next generation, the T7, is sure to take those traits and bring them even further into the future. At the moment it’s hard to hear much from VW itself (just watch, the day this goes live, VW will probably launch a T7…) but plenty of talented designers have had a stab at guessing the style of the next icon, like this T1 Revival from David Obendorfer.
In terms of size and space, the formula works now – so don’t expect T7 to be any greedier with its personal space than the T6. Safety for pedestrians and occupants will be a way to step up so expect more crash and impact protection, more autonomy and sophisticated driver aids.
In terms of powertrain it’d be prudent to look to alternative fuels soonish, and expect the T7 to embrace hybrid power. VW created a ‘Buzz’ with their electric van called, er, I.D BUZZ, and the Bulli and Budd-e concepts, but range anxiety for those attempting to explore the depths of what the world has to offer would probably appreciate a petrol engine – there aren’t many fast charging docks available in the third world – and although diesel probably makes sense it would be bold of VW to make it the only option and cower from the backlash as everyone reminds them of their emission issues of the past few years.
Having said all that, it’ll probably be the practicality and looks that get it off the forecourt. Practicality is almost a given – layouts have been well-established since the first camper was proposed in the late ‘40s. The looks, however, are a tricky one. The T7 has to look super cool and yet not alienate purists. This blend of retro style with modern application, thankfully, works very well. VW did it first with the front-engined Beetle in the late ‘90s, and sold bugloads of them. BMW soon jumped on that bandwagon with the MINI, and Fiat whipped up a 500, and the young drivers of Europe practically sold limbs and organs to get them.
Great designs are already popping up from speculators with great graphic designs skills, VW look like they will end up with a sales hit in the T7 unless they somehow manage to cock it up.
How bold will VW go? The T7 could be the most iconic of them all, or it could be the generation that nobody likes to talk about in a few decades’ time.
When the “fasten seat belt” sign flashes on in airplanes, with its familiar accompanying ding, it’s often met with passengers’ equal parts annoyance and resignation, when it’s acknowledged at all. Like, “What? Again? Really? Do I have to …?”
The answer, of course, is yes. You really have to. As mom would say, “it’s for your own good.”
“I think it’s the old, ‘It’s not going to happen to me,’ syndrome,” Richard McSpadden, the executive director of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association‘s Air Safety Institute, says of the typical flyer’s attitude toward buckling up. “Aviation accidents are so rare that people say, ‘What are the odds it’s going to happen to me?’ And I would agree with them that the odds are extremely low.
“But I would then add that even though the odds are low, the consequences of something happening can be pretty significant, even if it’s just a bump in turbulence. If you’re not strapped in right, your head could hit the top of that airplane. That can result in a serious injury [see Now That’s Interesting, below]. And it’s so effortless to strap a seat belt around you.” (That’s true for average-size people anyway.)
A simple lap belt — or even other restraints, like shoulder harnesses — may not be enough to save a life if an airliner drops from the sky from 35,000 feet (10,668 meters), or undergoes a catastrophic mid-air failure. A seat belt wasn’t enough in the tragic death of Jennifer Riordan, who reportedly was wearing her seat belt when a part from a failed engine in a Southwest Airline 737 blew out the window next to her seat on April 17, 2018. She was nearly sucked out of the airplane when the air in the pressurized cabin rushed out of the window.
The rare accidents like that, though, or the more conventional plane-hits-ground type, are not the only reasons for seat belts on airplanes. They’re designed to protect you from the airplane during flight, too.
The Case for Seat Belts
“The reason you must wear a seat belt, flight crew included,” Heather Poole, an American Airlines flight attendant and author, told The Telegraph in 2015, “is because you don’t want the plane coming down on you. People think they’re lifted up in the air during turbulence. The truth is the plane drops. It comes down hard and it comes down fast and that’s how passengers get injured — by getting hit on the head by an airplane.”
It’s simple physics, Newton’s first law of motion: A body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it.
Think of it this way: If you’re not wearing a seat belt on an airplane that drops suddenly — which often happens with turbulence — you’re the one at rest. You’ll stay at rest as the plane, very literally, drops out from under you. If you’re strapped in, the seat belt serves as an outside force acting on you, taking you with the plane as it drops and saving you from bonking your head on that overhead bin above you.
“It allows you to stay in place and ride along with the airplane,” McSpadden says. “It’s just that added safety margin that if something unexpected happens, you’re still going to stay with the airplane.”
Are Shoulder Harnesses Better?
A little reasoning might suggest that if a lap belt is good while flying, a shoulder harness — like those in cars and those in smaller so-called general aviation planes — would be even better. Indeed, shoulder belts or harnesses might help, McFadden and others say.
But they would be costly to install, and trickier to get to work correctly on bigger commercial planes, experts say. They’d probably be uncomfortable on longer flights. And wearing shoulder harnesses might meet a lot of resistance from the flying public, too.
“The answer would be, yes, it certainly would help, because it would prevent the movement of the upper torso aggressively in terms of some kind of sudden impact,” McSpadden says. “How you can do that is another question entirely.”
Some wonder whether shoulder belts are needed on commercial airlines, considering lap belts — when they’re used — seem to do the trick. “Clearly for the vertical deceleration [typical] of an airplane crash, the lap belt seems to be the most important restraint,” David King, a trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Time after the July 2013 wreck of Asiana Airlines flight 214 in San Francisco killed three people. (Noted in the official National Transportation Safety Board report of that accident: “The two ejected passengers (one of whom was later rolled over by two firefighting vehicles) were not wearing their seatbelts and would likely have remained in the cabin and survived if they had been wearing them.”)
In smaller aircraft, though, shoulder harnesses — which are required for all seats in all small airplanes manufactured since Dec. 12, 1986 — work and work well. Used with lap belts, shoulder harnesses in smaller planes have been shown to reduce serious injuries from accidents by 88 percent and fatalities by 20 percent, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Ironically, the safety record of commercial airlines may be the overwhelming reason that shoulder harnesses have not been required of large passenger planes. In 2017, no one was killed in a commercial jet airliner incident anywhere in the world, making it the safest year ever for big passenger planes. In its Civil Aviation Safety Review for 2017, which examined accidents on large passenger aircraft, the Dutch aviation consulting firm To70 estimated that there were “0.08 fatal accidents per million flights [in 2017]. That is a rate of one fatal accident for every 12 million flights.”
With a safety record like that, it’s hard to argue that shoulder harnesses would lower the risk of flying enough to offset the costs, the effort and the resistance such a major change would generate.
Lap belts, though? They help. They help a lot. So when flying, it’s probably best to buckle up and stay that way. For your own good.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better than this, you find out that car manufacturers have begun to branch out into bikes. In reality, carmakers have been producing and branding bikes for over 15 years. Mercedes-Benz started this trend by branding an AMP mountain bike.
The bike could be folded into a suitcase and put in the trunk of a car. Back in 1997, which was when this happened, the bike weighed 24 pounds. This wasn’t a bad weight at all for that day and age. The price wasn’t that out of this world either. It was just £3,300.
Soon, other car companies had begun to follow suit, with BMW creating an Olympic Games mountain bike that only cost $800. This was in 1997 as well. However, as car manufacturers began to rise in worth over the subsequent years, the cost of all their products increased as well.
Indeed, a Ferrari branded keychain soon cost as much as £30. This is a pretty big deal, considering that a keychain usually costs around £5. However, car companies actually began to make bikes for the wealthier consumer market.
They felt that this allowed them to promote their brand as caring about the environment. After all, it doesn’t get any greener than a bicycle. After a few years of creating mountain and road bikes, companies began to branch out into a relatively new technology.
This was the electric bike. The manufacturers did anything they could in order to appear environmentally friendly. Now, nearly all major automotive brands have manufactured bicycles that sport their logos. Sometimes, these bikes even share the same technology as the cars made by the automaker.
Of course, you aren’t going to find a bike from a major car company that costs £800 anymore. Today, most of the bikes from car manufacturers cost more than your family vehicle. They completely deserve the price tag, at times. Sometimes though it feels like the bike is only expensive because of the brand name.
Some people still go for these bikes as well, purely so that they can show off the flashy, premium logos that the bike features. While it is not recommended that you blow your retirement savings on a road bike made by Lamborghini that costs roughly the same as a mid-range sports car you can if you want to.
Without further ado, here are 10 bikes made by car companies, in recent years that are among the most expensive and innovative in the world. You can always find many more to come in the near future, as there are a number of concept auto bikes out there that may or may not be shelved later.
1 – BMC Lamborghini Limited Edition Road Bike
Lamborghini has collaborated with BMC in order to design and produce this limited edition beauty of the streets. BMC is a Swiss company that is known for producing some of the best bikes in the world. One of their sub-brands, impec, is known for some of the best BMC bikes in the world.
Lamborghini has worked with impec to create a road bike that is definitely a step into the future. Exactly 50 of these premium bikes were made, in celebration of 50 years of Lamborghini. The bike is one of Lamborghini’s finest creations, and released with the Veneno supercar.
The frame, designed by impec, is made out of bespoke carbon fiber. It has been woven by robots and joined by their very own Shell Nodes. It features a 22 gear drivetrain, and Campagnolo Bora deep-section wheels. The bike is a truly sleek beauty, and is definitely one of the most exclusive out there.
It is true that the Lamborghini logo in itself is part of what imparts such a huge price on a road bike. However, it can’t be denied that the technology used to build the bike, as well as the branding on the build kit (Campagnolo Super Record EPS) make for a bike that is very nice indeed.
Price: £23,000 (on release)
2 – Porsche Bike RS
Porsche is one of the most famous brands of automobiles anywhere. It is the first bike with 2 accelerators to have been made by Porsche, which has actually been creating bikes for quite a while. Their bikes generally aren’t as expensive as you would expect, although they do still cost big bucks.
The bike frame is made out of high-end carbon, with carbon handlebars, stem and seat posts. All of these are ergonomically designed. The bike also features premium Shimano XTR drive, with 20 speed gears. The brakes are Magura MT8s, and the wheels are Crankbrothers Cobalt 3 wheels with Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Performance road tires.
It is a hybrid road bike, and is very beautifully made indeed. Although Porsche seems to have forgotten that roads have tiny bumps in them, leading to a noticeable lack of comfort, the lightweight fun to ride bike has definitely earned its place among the high rollers. The top speed of this bike has not been assessed, but it is definitely a speedster.
3 – Specialized S-Works McLaren Tarmac
Specialized is a very famous premium sport bike manufacturing company. They have consistently been rated as one of the top bike manufacturers in the world. The bike maker and the world famous McLaren car company have joined forces to create the S-Works McLaren Tarmac road bike, which is one beautiful machine.
It comes in as a big brother to the S-Works Tarmac, one of the faster road bikes you will ever have the joy of riding. It offers 10% less weight than the standard bike, and uses a McLaren patented carbon fiber layup technology (FACT construction).
The handlebars are custom made by AeroFly, and the wheelset is a specially selected CLX40R tubular wheelset. The hubs and crankset are ceramic coated to reduce friction and make for a sleek, superfast road bike overall. The bike is limited edition, so only 250 are being made by Specialized.
The painting is done at the same location where the McLaren P1 is painted, and comes with an exclusive McLaren branded paint job. The bike comes with a custom fitted helmet, cycling shoes, and a name plate and wall plaque that are personalized to each buyer. This is definitely a bike worth buying, if you have the money for it.
4 – Aston Martin One-77 Bike
The Aston Martin One 77 was one of the “sexiest cars ever made”. It sold out in record time after being released into the market. The British car manufacturer had truly outdone itself. Then, to celebrate the success of the car that was made famous for being James Bond’s ride of choice, they decided to go a step further.
Aston Martin partnered with Factor Bikes, one of the most premium bike makers in the UK, with a reputation for speed and elegant design. Together, they created and launched the Aston Martin One77 superbike. They called it the “most technologically advanced road bike ever”.
Like its namesake car, the One 77 bike also uses a carbon fiber build in order to minimize the weight, and features a high-end onboard computer to give riders a taste of the sheer luxury that the coupe offered when it was being sold.
The computer uses a range of sensors including those in the crank, rear wheel and GPS, in order to calculate and deliver accurate performance results to the cyclist. These results include a wide spectrum of calculations, including crank torque and force in each leg separately, along with wasted power, acceleration, friction, rate of climb and thrust.
5 – Montante Maserati
In 1940, Wilbur Shaw of the Maserati Racing Team won the Indy 500 with a crushing victory over 200 laps. 70 years later, Maserati decided to fly their colors by working with the Italian bike builders Montante Cicli to produce a truly retro road bike.
200 models of the bike were made, and all of them feature detailing that matched the Maserati 8CTF interior, as well as having a unique chassis plate for each example of the bike. The bikes aren’t even that expensive, for their carbon fiber frames and Maserati logo.
6 – BMW Cruise e-bike
BMW has been producing electric bicycles for a while now, and they have always been top notch. The latest edition of the Cruise electric bike features a Bosch 400Wh battery, which is used in conjunction with the pedaling motion.
The top speed of this bike is 54kmph, which for a bike is downright fast. It boasts a gorgeous design, with the BMW logo adding a premium feel to an already great looking bike. It uses a lightweight aluminum frame and Shimano BR disc brakes. The bike is shipped only within Europe.
Price: £ 2800
7 – Ford Super Cruiser e-bike
This bike was built by Pedego, and was designed by Tony Ellsworth himself. It is a gorgeous example of classic Ford quality. It uses a 500W motor to cruise around all day in the epitome of luxury and class. The throttle and the gear selector both have a very premium look and feel.
Unlike most of the bikes built by car companies, the Ford Super Cruiser isn’t your typical road bike. While most of the company’s focus on sleek, lightweight sports bikes or technological advancements like onboard computers, the super cruiser is a more humble electric cruiser, with some very cool looking Schwalbe Big Ben fat tires on it and the Ford logo sewn into the seat and emblazoned on the bike.
8 – Smart ebike
Smart is a company known for its….well, its smart way of getting its cars to be the greenest anywhere. This company is quite well celebrated for its innovation. The smart ebike is a prime example of this grand thinking.
The bike features a 300W electric motor that works when you use the pedals. It weighs 57 pounds, and uses an aluminum alloy frame as well as a 3 speed SRAM gear system. The pedals are Ergon PC2 platforms, and the brakes are Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes. It is definitely a bike that is worth considering as a step into the future.
9 – Ferrari CX60 Mountain Bike
This is the perfect bicycle for any enthusiasts in the field of trail and MTB riding, who are also fans of the famous Italian automobile manufacturer. It comes with a Rock Shox suspension system, and Suntour Epicon forks. The derailleurs and shifters are Shimano LX, and the frame is made from aluminum.
The bike also features Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes and Continental Explorer 26 tires, along with high density Wellgo pedals, and a Ferrari design saddle made out of high quality microfiber. Produced by Turbo in association with Colnago, this exclusive Ferrari MTB is everything you will ever need for the trails.
10 – Volkswagen Bik.e electric bike
Volkswagen has come under a lot of fire recently because of “dieselgate”, a fiasco in which it was discovered that they had been using special devices to give false results on US emissions tests. The CEO of the company has already resigned, and it looks like there is no way out for what is the biggest automaker in the world.
Or is there? VW recently unveiled a concept electric bike in China called the Bik.e, which is a small, lightweight folding e-bike with rumored aluminum or magnesium construction and a weight of under 20 kilograms. Although not many details have been released concerning the bike, its release soon could coincide with the announcement of a new face for the company, one that is far greener.
Are car company bikes an advertising gimmick?
It is doubtful that the bikes produced by car companies will ever gain traction in a world where people are already struggling to make ends meet. The hefty prices of the bikes they make will make anyone have second thoughts about getting one.
However, it is perfect as a marketing strategy to make themselves look better in the eyes of the public. To companies like VW, this is very crucial right now. If you have the funds to buy one of these bikes, do so if you absolutely have to. And then send us pictures.
Lamborghini is venturing again into the bicycle business collaborating with Italtechnology for e-bikes with the raging bull branding. On at least a couple of occasions, Lamborghini has collaborated with bicycle manufacturers to create high-end racing bikes. Now, the automaker has teamed up with the Italian company to produce a line of Lamborghini-branded e-bikes.
The announcement was made at the Lamborghini museum in SantAgata Bolognese. The E-Bikes by Italtechnology for Automobili Lamborghini currently consist of two models – a mountain bike and a road bike (pictured here are only the mountain bike). This is, in fact, not the first time Lamborghini has teamed up with bicycle manufacturers to build high-end race bikes.
The electric bicycles, being a product with Lamborghini name and logo, can be customised through the Ad Personam program – which means you can order your electric bicycle in the same colour as a Lamborghini Huracan Performante or others reserved for Lamborghini cars.
Both models, Lamborghini mountain e-bike and road e-bike, feature eight speeds and an anti-theft PIN that locks the rear hub to prevent pedalling. The rear wheel is designed to be removed in five seconds to facilitate transport, and the lithium-ion battery is integrated into the frame. Battery life in Eco mode of the Lamborghini e-bikes, according to the manufacturer, will be around 145 kilometres.
Full details on the specifications of the Lamborghini e-bikes are not known yet, but the manufacturer has said that the bikes have been designed for “customers who want ultimate performance on the road, with a bike that can quickly reach the maximum speed allowed by current regulations.”
Slated to go on sale in May 2018, expect a hefty price tag on these babies – it’s Lamborghini, for Pete’s sake. Lambo e-bikes will only be available at select retailers and online stores.
Both e-bikes were reportedly conceived, designed and built entirely in Italy, are the result of over five years of research, and feature four international patents. Lamborghini’s business I diversified – from farm tractors to 2+2 land missiles to the soon-to-debut Aventador SVJ, they’ve done it all. And now, a go at green mobility, a nice blend of contrasts.