Cyclists are talking about the futuristic BMW self-balancing motorcycle prototype that was unveiled this past week in Santa Monica. Thousands showed up to be stupefied by the concept vehicle.

The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100

This conceptual motorcycle must be seen to be believed.

The model looks more like something out of a Batman movie than any cycle that went before it. It truly is a super concept:

  • It doesn’t use gasoline.
  • It requires no helmet – just goggles.
  • Protective padded clothing also not necessary.
  • It doesn’t need shock absorbers – the tires do that work.
  • The flexible no-joints frame actually helps steer.
  • Turning the handlebar adjusts the entire frame, changing the bike’s direction.
  • The bike is powered by a zero-emissions solution.
  • The cycle stops without the rider planting feet on the ground.
  • There’s no need for a kickstand until you park it at the curb.
  • The bike includes an electronic safety cage that continuously communicates its presence to other traffic.
  • Road sensors tell it when to stop or steer around.

What does “self-balancing” mean?

It means the bike has a sensor-based system allowing it to stay upright when standing or in motion. The first is a blessing for new riders, who often have trouble keeping a cycle upright at stops. The second is an amazing leap forward for experienced riders.

A cycle smarter than most of us

Will the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 put an end to motorcycle injury lawsuits?

No – because the current prototype cycle will probably never make it to the showroom. But it represents one more design trend that will change cycling and make it safer for everyone.