In 2016 BMW unveiled their view of the future with a motorcycle that’s so safe you won’t need a helmet, the Motorrad VISION NEXT 100. Catchy name aside the bike’s technology is very impressive. The bike’s Flexframe means that when you turn the handlebar the entire frame turns rather than just the tires, while also removing the need for suspension.
The bike’s safety boast comes from it’s currently not-really-explained stabilisation system. The snazzy visor will show navigation information and by looking upward become a rear-view mirror. The Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 is unlikely to come into mass production in the next decade, so in the meantime keep your helmet on.
Off the back of the Motorrad VISION NEXT 100, BMW made a slightly more subdued, but still pretty sci-fi looking concept bike. It doesn’t have the cool safety features of its predecessor, or many features at all if truth be told (the luggage compartment looks quite exciting), but it does at least look like something that might be feasible within the next few years without us having to worry about the robots taking over before we get a chance to ride on it.
In 2013 Kawasaki revealed a concept bike that claimed to turn a convention of motorcycling on its head. The Kawasaki “Concept J” suggested that the bike should adapt to its rider, not the other way round. Futuristic razor appearances aside, the two front wheels on this Tron-esque tricycle are independently controlled through adjustable ‘arms’. These arms and the seat respond to the driver perfectly, matching their posture and position for the comfiest drive.
The two-wheel drive Yamaha PES2 is another sign of serious commitment to electric motorcycles from the industry and claims excellent road feel and silent running. The complete experience will stretch beyond the bike itself, the gloves and helmet will contain displays and even augmented reality features, which will hopefully help you avoid obstacles that might not hear you coming.
The Victory Ignition concept is more about the engine than the bike itself. The aptly named powerplant engine is based on the engine from the Pikes Peak racer ‘Project 156’. The new and improved liquid-cooled 1200cc monster engine needed a monster bike to contain it, and so enters Urs Erbacher, the designer of this seriously cool cruiser. Last time we heard it was scheduled for release in 2016, though we haven’t seen it yet, and we’re sure we would have heard that engine roar by now.
“The king of sportbikes is back!” claimed Suzuki when they announced the latest GSX-R1000 model, assumedly producing a conceptual crown for a conceptual king of very real sport bikes. The bike does have potential though, claiming to break new ground with it’s Broad Power System, making the ride easier no matter what speed you’re doing, along with a complete suite of high-end Suzuki electronics. As the bike was first revealed in 2015 and no specs have been released yet, a lot may have changed since, but previous models have always impressed.
The four-wheeled OR2T by Yamaha stays stable through each wheel being attached to its own arm, each with their own shock absorber and linkage. Technically classified as a leaning multi-wheeled suspension vehicle, the OR2T’s unique design will allow it to effortlessly handle uneven surfaces and tight corners. Very little information has been released about the bike’s specs but videos of prototypes confirmed that the LMV can move and successfully turn corners.
Kawasaki’s world record holding superbike would not look out of place in the Dark Knight trilogy and with it’s 998cc Incline-Four engine would be a reasonable choice for the caped crusader. This incredibly formidable machine is 100 per cent ready to go and road legal, though at this point we’re not convinced anyone would be able to stop you if it weren’t.
We’ve looked at three-wheel motorcycles and now we move to a one-wheel motorcycle, though calling it a motorunicycle just sounds weird. The RYNO by RYNO Motors uses gyroscopic technology and an electric motor to keep you moving upright at a blistering top speed of 10mph. Clearly designed as a convenient short-distance travel method for one, the RYNO aimed to revolutionise daily life. Unfortunately the RYNO never made it to market after 2014 due to high costs, but with its $5,000 price tag and 15-mile limit, it’s possible that potential customers would have decided to just jog instead.
Yamaha Tricity 155
The Yamaha Tricity 155 may at first appear to just be a scooter with an extra wheel, but it is purposely designed with urban commuters in mind. The three-wheel design will allow for tight leaning into corners and a smooth ride. The compact chassis, plentiful storage space and decent 155cc will make it a practical choice for anyone navigating the city. However it was supposed to arrive in September, so maybe it got caught in traffic.
The Suzuki SV650 has been a fairly standard line of motorcycles since 1999, but it isn’t afraid to innovate and evolve. The latest model is stronger and safer than ever before without having too many lights and buzzers. The 2016 model boasts Suzuki’s Dual Spark Technology and Dual Throttle Valve system, which both claim to boost efficiency and make for an easier and smoother drive. Bearing a light frame and V-twin engine, somewhere between a sports bike and a chopper in appearance, the Suzuki SV650 is a great way to get from A to B. Probably.
What’s the next step in Motorbike technology? Getting rid of the driver, of course! The Yamaha MotoBot as it stands is an incredible piece of technology: an independent driving robot that interacts directly with controls designed for us meat-bags. Data recorded from the MotoBot in action will likely be instrumental in creating and optimising products in the future, and Yamaha claim that by 2017 it will be able to exceed human driver capability – but right now we can’t help but notice the stabilisers.
Apparently based on the original Wright brothers’ biplane, the Suzuki biplane has clearly taking some liberties, abandoning the classic wooden plane look for a diamond-encrusted-solid-gold-with-a-leather-seat motif. Don’t be fooled by its slender and opulent aesthetic though, this bike packs a powerful V-type 4-cylinder engine that will still give you a flying sensation.