BMW Motorrad's Vision Next 100 Concept culminates BMW Group's centenary celebrations

The BMW Group is 100 years old. As part of its centenary celebrations, each brand in the group has been unveiling wild and snazzy concepts under the moniker 'Vision Next 100' that anticipates how their vehicles will look like 100 years from now. With BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini having successfully completed their attempts at making the auto enthusiasts go ooh and aah, it is now BMW Motorrad's turn to do the same.

Needless to say, the German motorcycle manufacturer has done it with aplomb. Ladies and gentlemen, here is how a motorcycle will look like 100 years from now according to the folks at BMW Motorrad.

Yes, it looks straight out of a high-budget Hollywood sci-fi movie but the truth is it isn't. 

Drafted with a futuristic thinking to represent how motorcycling could evolve in the next 100 years, the Vision Next 100 Concept is minimalist and gets rid of most things that make a motorcycle a motorcycle today. 

The switch gear, for instance, is gone and all that's present is a red rocker button on the right handle bar, the sole mechanical element that blocks the throttle grip or releases it. The frame, as we know it, has lost its functionality. We've gone mad, you think? No, we haven't! BMW calls this a 'Flexframe' that, as the name indicates, is flexible and devoid of mechanical joints we are familiar with. If the handlebars are moved, the entire frame changes shape and facilitates change in direction. The frame surface is made of matt-black textile while the upper frame cover, front wheel cover and seats are made of carbon. The tyres have a damping function and adapts to the terrain on the move, effectively doing what the front and rear suspensions do today.

Interestingly, BMW Motorrad claims the Vision Next 100 Concept will never fall over - neither in motion nor at standstill - thanks to it's Self-balancing system. Folks at BMW are so confident that this motorcycle won't ever tip over that they want us to stop wearing helmets and protective riding gear. A snazzy suit with inbuilt heating and cooling functions and a data glass are what we get instead. The latter is where the real drama is. It is just a visor when worn normally. When it tracks eye movements or when it senses a hazard, it transforms into a digital companion displaying a plethora of data. Gazing up enables the rear-view function while lowering the gaze brings up a menu with functions that can be triggered through finger gestures. Looking further down opens up the map view, apparently. 

Phew, we never imagined our eye balls could do so much!  

Though no specifications have been released, the engine is said to be a zero-emission unit with an opposed-twin cylinder layout.

Despite it's futuristic intent, the concept still has a fitting reference to BMW Motorrad's past. Where's the past in this, you ask? Click on the picture above and you will know the 2016 Vision Next 100 Concept borrows a whole lot from the 1923 R32, the first-ever motorcycle made by BMW. The black triangular frame, the white trim lines and the horizontally-opposed configuration of the engine are all inspired by the 1923 classic.

Now that we've traversed from 1923 to 2116 in a span of few paragraphs, let's get back to 2016, shall we? And lest you forget, all that you read in this post is BMW's fantasy right now!

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