BMW Motorrad is always one step ahead of the competition in regards to innovative motorcycle technology.The Bavarian company released the first ABS system for a motorcycle back in 1988. With the release of the 2009 S 1000 RR superbike, it brought the first motorcycle to market with both ABS and dynamic traction control.
BMW Motorrad followed this in 2014 with the release of cornering ABS on its S 1000 RR.All this technology was quickly imitated across the motorcycle industry, and made for much safer riding on both roads and race tracks across the world. And it was all spearheaded by BMW Motorrad’s technological innovations that basically disrupted the status quo.BMW has once again broken the status quo by demonstrating its first fully autonomous motorcycle during last week’s BMW Motorrad Techday 2018.What better bike to choose than the R 1200 GS – the adventure tourer that is BMW’s top-selling motorcycle?Before a crowd of journalist, the self-driving R 1200 GS performed flawlessly at the BMW Group testing ground in Miramas, southern France.“Developed by graduate engineer Stefan Hans and his team, the vehicle independently drives off, accelerates, circles a winding test track and independently slows down to a stop,” BMW Motorad reports.The video above shows the bike in action.This may bring back some memories of Yamaha’s MotoBot, which is a humanoid robot that is being developed to pilot a motorcycle competently on a racetrack. But that bike was powered by the humanoid robot, and not fully autonomous on its own.BMW Motorrad says its autonomous project is “by no means” aiming for a completely independent motorbike.“Rather, the underlying technology should serve as a platform for development of future systems and functions to make motorcycling even safer, more comfortable and increase the riding pleasure. The aim of the prototype is to gather additional knowledge with regards driving dynamics in order to detect dangerous situations early on and thus support the driver with appropriate safety systems while turning at intersections or when braking suddenly, for example,” BMW says.Besides the autonomous motorcycle presentation, BMW Motorrad also exposed some other technical moto goodies, including:
Luminous motorcycle headlights cornering lights
A motorcycle frame manufactured completely using a 3D printing process, including the rear swinging arm.
BMW Motorad also offered some words on the face-paced advancement of digitization that will change the future of motorcycling:“BMW Motorrad is taking two-wheeler needs into consideration for tomorrow’s world of transport and preparing for it technically. Above all, the V2V communication between vehicles are in the foreground further enhancing safety and comfort for the motorcyclist through digital networking. Here, too, BMW Motorrad benefits from close cooperation with BMW Automobiles.”For more, visit BMW Motorrad.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the much anticipated Yamaha MT-10 SP. That’s the model with the Ohlins semi-active suspension. It’s only been available in Europe for the last couple of years, but finally the good news is, that it’s coming to America. The big question is, whether the extra 3k you’re going to have to pony up for the Ohlins is actually worth it, or perhaps there’s just not that much improvement over the stock KYB suspension that has suited the Yamaha MT-10 so well until now?
In the second segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with Val Collins. Val grew up on motorcycles and learned to love speed, however her real love is Formula 1 tunnel-boat racing. These are the guys and gals that are strapped into a tiny cockpit and then hurtle down the straights at 120 mile per hour and pull 5G in the corners. We attended the recent season finale in Lake Havasu and watched our friend Mike Quindazzi try to take the win. Val chats with Teejay about her love for two-wheels and tunnel-boats. Yeah, it’s crazy stuff.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode and have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!