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Custom BMW R nineT Is a Two-Wheeled Lost in Space Robot

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

BMW’s latest motorcycle wonder, the R 18, is the freshest Bavarian creation, and the world keeps talking about it even days after it was launched by the Germans. But there are other BMW motorcycles worth talking about, both factory-made and custome, like the R nineT we have here.

When BMW announced it is building a cruiser motorcycle based on the new Big Boxer engine it developed, it did so by tasking custom builders with advertising the powerplant. This is how with about a year left until the actual unveiling of the R 18, we got the Custom Works Zon R18, and later the Revival Birdcage. But the R nineT is even more tunable as the R 18, it seems.

The bike pictured here is the result of work conducted in Moscow by a builder called Zillers Garage, allegedly with the support of BMW Motorrad Russia. It is, in essence, a tuned-up, futuristic version of a stock R nineT.

Officially scheduled to have been shown at the now canceled Moscow motorcycle show, the bike made its online premiere this week. It presents itself as a stock two-wheeled Bimmer that sheds its skin and wrapps itself in a shell of aluminum, one that ends at the front with a large HID lamp that brings back memories of Lost in Space’s Robot.

According to the information available, the modifications made to the standard motorcycle include altering the suspension to bring the body closer to the ground, some changes to the brake and clutch levers, and the additions of buttons required to control the air suspension.

The engine of the R nineT remains the original one, and no modifications have been made to it. That translates into a 1,170cc powerplant, developing 110 hp and controlled by means of a six-speed transmission.

There is no word yet from Russia whether this concept is just a show motorcycle, or some production run is planned for those able and willing to pay.

BMW S1000RR review: The latest version of the super superbike is, well, quite superb

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by Fraser Addecott from https://www.mirror.co.uk

Fraser puts the German firm’s hugely popular thousand to the test – just before the lockdown kicked in – and finds he runs out of superbike superlatives

As someone who grew up riding Japanese sportsbikes, I still find it a little surprising that the definitive model for the past few years has not derived from the Land of the Rising Sun.

No, it’s German manufacturer BMW Motorrad which has, arguably, dominated the supersports market – in the form of its S1000RR.

The bike was first introduced in 2009, when just 1,000 were produced in order to meet homologation requirements for the firm’s new World Superbike Championship machine.

Since then, it has racked up successes in that series, the Superstock 100 competition and the Macau Grand Prix – not to mention multiple Isle of Man TT wins.

The S1000RR was given updates in 2012 and again in 2015.

This latest version I am testing here came out last year and represents a major overhaul.

Claudio De Martino, BMW’s vehicle technology team leader, told Mirror Motorcycling: “Our brief was to take the predecessor model – which has been a dominating force in all disciplines for 10 years – and significantly improve on its performance.

“This we translated into straightforward targets – one second faster on the track, more than 10kg lighter and easier to control.

“These targets were taken as the basis for every decision.”

Claudio and has team were true to their brief – the new engine produces a whopping 207bhp, an increase of 8bhp on its predecessor and the bike has dropped from 208kg to 197kg.

It is also more controllable with an enhanced ride due to a redesigned main frame, even better suspension and improved technology, such as traction and wheelie control.

The red model I tested looked superb – sleek, powerful and classy.

On board, the ride position is surprisingly comfortable.

Yes, its a sportsbike and the ergonomics leave you in no doubt of that, but it is less tucked-up and cramped than some others.

There are four ride modes – Rain, Road, Dynamic and Race.

For track fans, there’s also an optional Pro mode, which offers individual tweaking of the throttle, engine braking, traction control, wheelie control and ABS.

Everything is beautifully displayed on the 6.5in TFT screen, which has multiple view options, all adjusted via the intuitive switch gear.

Out on the road, the power on tap is simply awesome.

Whereas previously most of this tended to be up towards the redline, now it is much more broad and linear, with plenty available in the mid-range.

This is made possible by BMW’s variable valve timing system, plus hollo-bored titanium valves – a world first.

Handling is superb thanks to the new Flex Frame, improved suspension and dynamic damping control.

Braking, employing Hayes calipers and 320mm front discs and a 220mm rear is pleasingly subtle at first and reassuringly powerful when needed.

I’ll leave the overall verdict to Claudio himself, who said: “The result is a fascinating new motorcycle that exceeds the targets we set ourselves and will once again set the benchmark.”

The Facts: BMW S1000RR

Stylish: Available in three colours

Engine: 999cc in-line four

Power: 207bhp @ 13,500rpm

Torque: 83 ft lb @ 11,000rpm

Colours: White/blue/red; silver; red

Price: £15,585

BMW’s prewar-inspired R18 boxer motorcycle makes its production debut

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by Kyle Hyatt from https://www.cnet.com/

We loved the concept at Villa d’Este, and now the production version will haunt our dreams until it’s released.

I’ve been looking forward to a production version of BMW’s R18 concept since it debuted last year at Villa d’Este, and now it’s finally here. How close does the production model get to the utterly gorgeous prewar-inspired concept?

Well, pretty close, actually. Sure, there will be plenty who argue that it should be closer, that the production bike’s front wheel is too small or that BMW should have retained the concept’s fork covers, but I’m not one of those people. This thing is a handsome-as-hell cruiser-bobber style motorcycle, and I badly want to ride it already.

The R18’s headline feature is its massive 1.8-liter horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engine. This is the biggest boxer that BMW has ever offered — by over half a liter — and it’s still air-cooled. This lump outputs a 91 horsepower and a whopping 116 pound-feet of torque. It’s got four valves per cylinder with dual overhead camshafts on each cylinder, and it promises to be a characterful old thing, in the best traditions of the brand.

The bike also features the classic BMW boxer large single-disc dry clutch and a six-speed gearbox. Unusual for the BMW though (these days, at least) is the decision to leave the bike’s driveshaft exposed. This was done in homage to the prewar Beemers like the R5 and R51 from which the R18 takes much of its inspiration. A reverse gear ala Honda’s Goldwing is available as an option.

The R18 is probably closest in spirit to the R NineT, at least as far as current production motorcycles go, and like that bike, it’s been designed with easy customization in mind. To that end, BMW has partnered with the likes of Roland Sands Design and Mustang Seats to offer factory-approved accessories to help make the R18 more your own.

Unlike the R NineT, the R18 features multiple ride modes which include Rock, Roll and Rain. The former being the most aggressive ride mode, with access to the bike’s full power and torque. Roll mode is analogous to most motorcycles’ Road mode, while Rain offers softer throttle response and more limited power and torque.

The bike’s suspension is pretty neat in that it looks very much like a hardtail (aka no rear suspension) but, in fact, is merely hiding its rear suspension bits. The bike’s front fork legs are each a whopping 49 millimeters in diameter and look suitably old-timey — though I’d have loved to see a modern BMW interpretation of the classic Earles fork design that it used in the 1920s and 30s.

The R18 will be available in two flavors at launch: the standard version and the First Edition, and it’s the latter one that really gets my attention. The First Edition pays the closest homage to the classic Beemers with all kinds of pinstriping and chrome. It also comes with some neat extras like historically accurate tank emblems, slotted screws (to look period correct while also annoying your mechanic), a leather belt, a screwdriver, gloves and a book celebrating the BMW motorcycles’ 97-year history.

The standard R18 will set you back a surprisingly reasonable $17,495, while the First Edition will go for $19,870. Bikes are currently slated to hit dealers later on in 2020, but given the dramatic effect that the coronavirus outbreak has had on the industry, that could be pushed back.

BMW Goes After Harley-Davidson with Stunning R 18 Big Boxer Cruiser

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Despite being at the top of sales charts in the motorcycle industry, BMW hasn’t had an entry in the cruiser segment since the R1200 RC . That changed with the introduction of the brand new R 18 this week.

Featuring the Big Boxer engine, the “most powerful 2-cylinder boxer engine ever used in motorcycle series production,” the R18 is described as a bike that blends the classic lines of older BMW bikes with modern day technology.

The design of the motorcycle, and parts of its construction, like the rear swingarm, are reminiscent of the R 5, a bike designed way back in the 1930s as the first BMW motorcycle to use a foot-operated four-speed gearbox. Cues to that resemblance are also the double-loop frame, the pear-drop tank, the open-running driveshaft, the pinstriped paintwork, and of course the exposed drive-shaft.

At the center of the motorcycle lies the Big Boxer BMW has been teasing for more than a year now. The 2-cylinder engine is 1,802 cc in displacement, develops 91 hp at 4,750 rpm, and provides a maximum of 158 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm.

The motorcycle comes with three driving modes – Rain, Roll and Rock – and is equipped with automatic stability control (can be disengaged) and drag torque control as standard. Optionally, reverse assist and hill start control can be specified.

BMW did not announce yet when the motorcycle will become available and how much it will charge for it. When it hits the market though, it will be available in First Edition guise, adding a few unique extras like a classic black finish with white pinstriped paintwork, chrome highlights and First Edition badges.

Additionally, for the U.S. market BMW partnered with several companies to give the bike a local flavor. The customization program there includes parts from Roland Sands Design, Mustang Seat, or Vance & Hines.

Full details on the BMW R 18 can be found in the press release section below.

 

BMW F900 R review: Nothing like a naked roadster on a freezing day

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by Geoff Hill from https://www.mirror.co.uk

Starring in his own remake of Freezy Rider, our man Hill tackles the elements to see if the Beemer has what it takes in the tough middleweight sector and finds it’s close, but not quite a cigar

It was freezing, raining and blowing a gale – and I was on a bike with zero miles and new tyres.

Perfect conditions, then, for pushing the limits of the Bavarian firm’s naked roadster whose mission, should it choose to accept it, was to give a good spanking to Triumph’s new Tiger 900 and the established and very popular Yamaha MT-09.

“Mmmm. I’d start in Rain mode if I was you,” said Ian at the dealership, slapping me cheerily on the back and going back to his nice warm office, the swine.

Oh well, I was obviously being punished after getting home from back to back launches in southern Spain and Morocco, and at least first impressions of the Beemer were good – compact but comfortable riding position, tilting you forward in a mildly sporty fashion on to the bars to give you a view of decent mirrors and a fairly simple but informative TFT screen.

A quick toggle of the Mode button through Road, Dynamic and Dynamic Pro into Rain, another toggle of the Electronic Suspension Adjustment to solo rider with luggage to take account of the fact that I’m heavier than the average ride, three presses of the heated grips button to get them up to the maximum setting – and I was off.

The fuelling at low revs was slightly snatchy and acceleration in Rain mode was a stately affair, and was never going to set my pants on fire, particularly since they were now soggy anyway.

Why BMW designs very expensive suits with the waterproof lining on the inside is a mystery to me. I wore one for a round-the-world trip and, in heavy rain, everything in the outside pockets got soaked.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, on the F900 R in the rain.

Good points so far – the quickshifter on the SE model I was riding was perfect, snicking seamlessly through the six-speed box both up and down, and handling was light and neutral, although I was still taking it relatively gently on those shiny new tyres, even though with traction control, I was unlikely to come a serious cropper.

With Brembos and big twin discs up front, stopping was linear and progressive, with cornering ABS on the SE model to give me a nice warm feeling of safety.

Oh, wait, that nice warm feeling wasn’t the ABS – it was the heated grips, which were so good that even in the sub-zero temperatures, my pinkies were in danger of bursting into flames and I had to wind them back to the 2 setting.

Right, that was it – I was bored with Rain mode, and the roads were drying out a bit anyway, so it was toggle time again, to Road mode, and while I was at, changing the suspension mode from Road to Dynamic.

That was more like it – progress became satisfyingly swift, accompanied by a meaty rasp from the exhaust and, with the bike hunkered down and firmed up, it flung itself into corners with a nice combination of enthusiasm and precision.

Things got even better in Dynamic mode and I think once the tyres were scrubbed in, I’d leave it in that all the time and use Road if it was raining.

On the base model, you only get Rain and Road riding modes, sadly, and no Electronic Suspension Adjustment.

The verdict? The Yamaha MT-09 is more powerful and aggressive, but the BMW makes peak power and torque at lower revs. It’s also cheaper and has more tech, including the electronically adjustable suspension, which makes it more user-friendly and a slightly plusher ride, and with BMW luggage attached, more suitable for touring.

BMW’s i4 Electric Concept Comes With a Hans Zimmer Score

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Composer Hans Zimmer (right) and his collaborator, BMW sound designer Renzo Vitale, are creating new sounds for the German automaker’s coming wave of electric cars.

 

by Brett Berk from https://www.wired.com

To fill the aural vacuum left by the disappearance of the engine, BMW brought in a ringer.

Thelma & Louise. Rain Man. The Lion King. True Romance. Interstellar. Dunkirk. Each film works to take its viewers on an emotional journey, and each leans on a shared tool: a Hans Zimmer score that serves as a guide, signaling joy, grief, conflict, passion, and more in turn. Now, though, the Oscar-winning composer has turned his talents away from the silver screen and toward the windscreen, where he’s found a new vehicle that could use a touch of emotional direction: the electric car.

Along with more than 500 horsepower and a range of 370 miles, BMW’s all-electric Concept i4 comes with music by Zimmer. These mini scores, which BMW calls “sound worlds,” will ripple out their smoothly vibrant vibrato—think Lionel Hampton on the theremin—when the doors open, as the car starts up, and as the car drives along the road.

On the i4, a concept four-door coupe BMW unveiled earlier this month, the composition morphs slightly based the car’s current driving modes, whether “core,” “sport,” or “efficient.” Zimmer and his collaborator, BMW sound designer Renzo Vitale, call the i4’s soundtrack “Limen,” the word for the threshold below which a stimuli can’t be perceived. It’s all about connecting sound to an emotional experience, which in this case happens to be driving on battery power instead of watching Rafiki hoist Simba into the air.

“We are at a moment in time, with electric cars, when we get to change the whole sonic landscape of everything in a vehicle,” Zimmer says. “We can allow the interiors of cars to set moods and give people an experience, to let people devise their own experience, not be forced into the rumbling of a petrol engine anymore.”

Zimmer’s BMW sound worlds are in concept form now, but the company intends to roll them out over the next few years on more than two dozen electric vehicles. That will start with the production version of the i4, later in 2021.

The key here is that by replacing a rumbling engine with a silent battery and whirring motors, BMW and every other automaker are ditching the sonic experience that has been part of the automobile for more than a century. Car lovers may miss the angry sewing machine clack of a Porsche 911’s flat-six, the throaty grumble and whine of a supercharged Dodge Hemi V8, or the cranial wail of a Ferrari V-12. So might unsuspecting new EV buyers. Without the rumpus of an internal combustion engine, wind roar and tire slap sound all the louder. Zimmer and Vitale strive not just to mask those perturbances but to add delight and uplift to the driving experience.

“Think about your morning, where you have to go and start your car and go to your job,” Zimmer says. “Wouldn’t it be nice if the starting sound was something beautiful, something that put a smile on your face, something that makes your day better?”

The score does sound energizing and engaging, especially in the symphonically crescendoing “sport” mode. It definitely doesn’t sound “rumbling.” But it has some additional, and perhaps questionable, 1970s sci-fi movie overtones.

“There’s this idea that all battery electric cars should sound like a spaceship,” says Jonathan Price, senior research and development manager for Harman, a sound engineering firm that supplies the automotive industry with stereo systems, speakers, noise-cancellation equipment, and electric vehicle soundtracks–both internal and external. “Unfortunately, we don’t know what a spaceship sounds like, right? None of us have ever heard a spaceship before.”

Price is working with consumers as well as client automakers to create a relevant vocabulary for the sounds they will soon be adding to the interiors and—as regulation requires—exteriors of electric vehicles. Following recent research, his team came up with 40 different terms ranging from, as Price says, “something really progressive and futuristic—the pulsing, the whirring, the droning—all the way up to something more aggressive.”

The goal here is not just to update our terminology for car sounds, but to assist with their identification and branding. And there, Price’s work aligns with Zimmer’s. The composer’s parents always drove BMWs, and he could pick out the unique tone of their Bimmer from the balcony. “When I heard that sound,” he says, “everything was fine. Safety. Mom and Dad were home.”

Likewise, contemporary carmakers want to create soundtracks that will help people identify, and identify with, their vehicles. And because this sound is no longer tied to a physical source, like an engine, the potential choices are boundless. Which presents automakers with a new kind of quandary.

“Everybody wants to have something iconic,” Price says, pointing to how Harley Davidson attempted to patent the sound of its motorcycles’ exhaust note. So he wants his team to create the tones that will distinguish a Ford EV from a Hyundai EV. “These need to not only be very unique sounds, they need to be pleasing,” Price says. “Almost like a piece of jewelry that you wear and you hope other people envy.”

Maybe you’re wondering if all of this runs counter to one of the core promises of electric cars, the luxury of silence at speed. But Zimmer argues that for many, silence is unnerving, especially at speed. It can feel uncanny, unmoored from the physical processes that provide acceleration. When Zimmer scored Interstellar, he played on that feeling to convey the awe of rocket travel. The blastoff was the loudest moment of the film, and he blew out a few speaker systems before getting it right. But then the score goes silent. “That’s when everything was at astronomical speeds,” Zimmer says.

In any case, people aren’t seeking total silence. As automakers got better at isolating their customers from engine noise with better insulation, double-paned windows, and active noise cancellation, some customers complained. So manufacturers started piping engine noise into the cabin. BMW went further, playing artificial tunes through the stereo system. Some of this desire for sound at speed, or sound correlated to speed, may be out of habit, a generational quest for the familiar, the way that the keyboards on smart phones still make typing noises, or the cameras on smart phones still make shutter clicks. Zimmer thinks that this may vanish over time. “I think it’s sort of important to leave nostalgia behind,” he says.

Then he reconsiders. “As I said that, I suddenly remembered that every sci-fi movie we have ever seen is incredibly nostalgic.” He points to Blade Runner and Interstellar. Perhaps our dreams of the future are always enmeshed with our fantasies of the past. And our dream cars will always sound like the vehicles from our outmoded idea of the future, like something out of The Jetsons, because that’s what reassures us.

Zimmer sees his automotive work as fostering the way a car catalyzes this kind of big-picture thinking. “A car is such a great place to think, it’s such a great place to dream and have your own thoughts,” he says. “The car is the perfect private place to have constantly great ideas.”

Upcoming BMW R18 cruiser spied undisguised ahead of 3rd April debut

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by Pradeep Shah from https://www.financialexpress.com

The upcoming BMW R18 will draw power from a 1,800cc, boxer-twin engine that is the biggest motor ever produced by BMW for any of its mass production motorcycles.

BMW R18 is all set for its global debut on the 3rd of April. Ahead of the official unveiling, the full-sized cruiser has been snapped completely undisguised, image courtesy MCN. Starting off with the front, the upcoming BMW R18 cruiser will get a rounded headlamp with chrome bezel. The rounded rear view mirrors are also chrome plated and so are the brake and clutch levers. The R18 gets a large windscreen up front that not only will serve the purpose but gels well with the overall design language. The motorcycle also gets soft-box panniers with buckles and the turn indicators have quite an interesting shape too. The pictures also reveal the instrument cluster of the cruiser, which will be a single piece analogue unit with a small digital readout.

Speaking of powertrain, the upcoming BMW R18 will draw power from a 1,800cc, boxer-twin engine that will be good for developing respective power and torque outputs of 91hp and 158Nm. This is the biggest engine ever produced by BMW for any of its mass production motorcycles. The bike is expected to get multiple riding modes along with a traction control system and cruise control as well. Braking will be taken care of with the help of dual discs up front along with a single disc at the rear. A dual-channel ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) will be offered as standard equipment.

Apart from a cruiser, BMW will also be coming up with an R18 touring model that will get a more fancy equipment list and loads of other features. The upcoming BMW R18 will rub shoulders against the likes of the cruisers from Indian Motorcycle and Harley-Davidson. Expect India launch to take place by the end of this year or early 2021.

BMW R 18 Motorcycle with Monster Big Boxer Engine to Be Unveiled on April 3

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

It’s been a long time in the making, but BMW Motorrad’s newest entry to the cruiser segment, a bike aptly called the R 18, is just around the corner. On Friday, April 3, the Germans will pull the wraps off what is to become one of the most potent motorcycles in its segment.

And this bike owes it all to a new engine BMW likes to call the Big Boxer. First shown on a bike called the Concept R 18 at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in May 2019, the engine moved over to two custom builds, before getting the official thumbs up at the end of 2019.

The two-cylinder powerplant has a capacity of 1,802 cc, which should make it the highest-capacity engine ever used on a production motorcycle. According to the specs revealed by the Bavarians, the engine has a power output of 91 hp and 158 Nm of torque, and that should also make it the most powerful boxer ever built by BMW.

It’s the R 18 that will see the first application of the Big Boxer, and on the bike it will be linked to a single-disc dry clutch that sends torque to the 6-speed transmission. Although the power ratings have already been announced, the performance specs are still unknown.

“All of us at BMW Motorrad are very much looking forward to the absolute highlight of the year for us – the world premiere of the BMW R 18,” said in a statement Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad.

“BMW Motorrad achieved record sales for the ninth year in succession in 2019. With the R 18 and the associated entry into the cruiser segment, we are consistently pursuing our growth strategy with the clear goal of becoming the number one in the premium segment worldwide.”

More details and official photos of the bike will become available at the unveiling.

BMW Motorrad Charges the Mid-Range Segment With 2020 F 900 R and F 900 XR

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BMW thinks of the F 900 R and F 900 XR as two brothers. They may have different appearances, but in the end they have same heart (engine) and the same frame, with suspension adjustments for each model.

Basically the F 900 R is the little speedy brother, while the F 900 XR is the bigger, more pumped up brother. They both are made for specific riding situations, the R model being a roadster type for fun riding on the road, while the XR is a more touring oriented motorcycle, capable for off-road riding and keeping a good balance on the road as well.

The two models share the same inline-two cylinder 895 cc engine. It has been pumped up from 853 cc to achieve a power of 99 hp and 67 lb-ft (90 Nm) of torque. This makes the engine have a linear torque curve over most of the RPM range.

Regarding the safety measures, they both come as standard with two riding mode (Rain – lower power mode, and Road – normal power mode) as well as with ABS and ASC. An additional two riding modes (Dynamic and Dynamic Pro) can be “unlocked” as factory options, letting you customize the bikes’ electric assistance, like the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), ABS Pro, Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and engine drag torque control (MSR).

The frame of these models is made from steel, to achieve better stiffness and riding precision. Considering that the frame is a new design from BMW, the fuel tank had to be relocated to the classic position between the rider and the handle bars while also switching to plastic to keep the weight low. As a comparison, the previous generations had the fuel tank placed under the seat, which in theory made the bike easier to control as it got a lower center of gravity.

The suspension for the front wheel is an upside-down telescopic fork with 5.3 inches of travel for the R model and 6.7 inches travel for the XR. The rear wheel is articulated by a double-sided aluminum swing-arm with a central mono-shock. This is adjustable on both preload and rebound damping. The travel is 5.6 inches for the roadster and 6.8 inches for the tourer.

In addition, the BMWs will have a 6.5 inches TFT screen dashboard with BMW Motorrad connectivity as standard. The panel is easily readable and has tons of information you can access via a multi-controller mounted on the left side of the handle bar.

As factory options, they can also have keyless ride – no more awkward steel key introducing and turning, as the rider can keep the transmitter within his pockets, and Adaptive Cornering Light, which integrates more LED lights into the headlight that activate while banking over certain angles at speeds over 10 km/h (6 mph) to light up the road better and make the rider feel safer when riding at night.

BMW’s Riderless Motorcycle

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From the world of self-driving cars and drones comes the next step toward our Terminator/Matrix human-absent future … riderless motorcycles! Thanks to BMW, the future is now! The first thought I had when I saw the video is … WHY? If it’s used strictly to transport stuff in busy high-traffic areas, I can see it. Otherwise, what is the use of this? I can see driver-less cars transporting people … but with a bike, that is just one person! Even if it’s to transport someone who can’t drive or is drunk, they probably wouldn’t have the balance to handle it. Only thing this can possibly be used for (in my opinion) is to make faster drones for the terminators to gun us down like that one scene in “Terminator Salvation.” Luckily, this isn’t meant for roads, but for safety research.

Check out the promo video from BMW below.