Tag Archives: BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad serious about hybrid drive

BMW Motorrad seems pretty serious about building a two-wheeled version of the hybrid Toyota Prius with yet another patent filing for hybrid drive.

Their latest patent filing shows the hybrid-drive battery for the electric motor located in the fuel tank.two=whee-drive patent serious

While that would sacrifice fuel range, the hybrid drive system would make up for some of the range.

It also appears the battery may be removable so you can make full use of the tank’s full capacity.

In 2017, BMW filed these simplistic hybrid patent drawings with the German patent office, although they were not released until February this year.Hybrid drive serious

These two patent filings would make the motorcycle a two-wheeled version of the hybrid Toyota Prius which is powered by both an electric motor and a conventional fuel-powered engine.

The first filing was for an electric motor and boxer engine both delivering power to the rear wheel.

Hybrid drive serious
Hybrid drive patent drawing

They would be connected by a planetary gear system with a torque-limiting slip clutch on the electric motor driving the crank.

The electric motor would also function as a starter motor and generator, converting mechanical power from the boxer engine into electricity.

Being a hybrid-drive system, BMW could reduce the size of the boxer engine and appease stringent Euro 5 emissions targets due in 2020.

Serious pranksters

On April Fool’s Day, 2017, BMW announced a two-wheel-drive version of its R 1200 GS Adventure.

They called it xDrive Hybrid, but it was for a two-wheel-drive motorcycle, not a hybrid-powered bike.

At the time, BMW Motorrad Australia GM Andreas Lundgren said there was a “very thin border between fact and fiction in their pranks … the concept is plausible”.

The Bavarian jokesters are famous for their April Fool’s Day jokes, having begun running spoof advertisements on April 1 in the early 1980s.

BMW’s marketing department says April Fool jokes are “designed to teeter on the verge of credibility” and often focus on a new and revolutionary piece of technology, but “push the idea just beyond the plausible.”

Some of their other April 1 pranks were a self-cleaning car, remote-inflatable tyres, dog-repellent bumpers, tyres that melted snow and a self-driving car that follows you when you go for a jog.

However, BMW may still be serious about a two-wheel-drive adventure motorcycle in the future.

There have been several other two-wheel-drive motorcycles before, most notably Yamaha’s 2WD system called 2-TRAC. They used it to tackle the Dakar Rally but it never made it into mass production.

The idea is not dead yet with Yamaha, either. Their PES2 electric bike is 2WD and the Japanese company has filed a patent for a new 2WD system with an electric motor driving the front wheel.

Other 2WD products and concepts include the Christini dirt bikes, Suzuki Nuda concept, Rokon, Ural 2WD outfits and Australia’s own Drysdale stroker which was intended for the Australian Army.

But the biggest hint that BMW may actually be considering a 2WD bike comes from BMW accessories company Wunderlich

In 2016, they developed an electronic two-wheel-drive system for the R 1200 GS that also gives it a reverse gear.

The Wunderlich invention is basically a 7.6kW electric hub motor in the front wheel that neatly fits inside the ABS ring.

It sounds very similar to what BMW proposed in their 2017 April 1 press release and their patent filings.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Facebook patents robotic electric ‘motorcycle’

Facebook has applied for a patent for what they call a robotic self-balancing electric motorcycle, although it looks more like a mobility skateboard than a motorcycle.

However, that doesn’t mean that the company won’t move into the motorcycle industry at some later stage.

After all, most electric motorcycle companies are basically technology start-ups, not traditional motorcycle companies which are dragging the chain on electric bikes.

The Facebook patent is for the gyroscopic drive system and the machine does not yet have any steering mechanism or body.

Robotic  bikes

Honda's self-balancing motorcycle - short season damon last
Honda’s self-balancing motorcycle

However, Facebook is not the first to consider self-riding motorcycles.

Honda, Yamaha and BMW Motorrad have also developed self-balancing robotic motorcycle prototypes.

While many riders are horrified by the prospect of self-riding motorcycles, there could be a use for them in the courier and delivery industries.

The robotic bikes are also being used to test interaction with self-driving vehicles without endangering the lives of test riders.

Facebook patent

Facebook robotic electric motorcycle
Facebook robotic electric motorcycle patent drawing

The Facebook device has small wheels that can turn 360 degrees, so it wouldn’t be suitable for road speeds.

However, it could be useful for helping couriers or fast food deliverers to operate in an urban environment.

The patent application says: “The control loop stabiliser may include sensors for detecting balancing input. The balancing input may include information indicative of the linear velocity and angular velocity of the robotic motorcycle, the linear velocity and angular velocity of each wheel, and/or the orientation of each wheel.”

The technology could also underpin future electric two-wheelers.

It features two electric motors that belt drive the wheels, so it’s two-wheel-drive and two-wheel-steer.

Since it’s a Facebook product, it will probably also track where you go!

  • What do you think of the development of self-riding motorcycles and scooters? Leave your comments below. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW patents electric scooter with roof

BMW’s infamous C1 scooter with a roof looks like it might be back on the drawing board, according to these 2017 patent drawings which have just surfaced.

The German company currently has five scooters: the C 650 GT, C 650 Sport, C 400 X and C 400 GT, plus the C Evolution electric scooter which has not yet been imported to Australia.

BMW C evolution electric scooter emissions
BMW C Evolution electric scooter

These patent drawings show what looks like a detachable roof with rear storage area on the electric scooter, but it may also be adapted for the petrol-powered models.

It could even be retrofitted to current models.

BMW patents scooter with roof
Retrofit roof

This is not the first time BMW has thought about bringing back the scooter roof. In 2009, BMW’s first electric scooter was the roofed C1-E concept, powered by a Vectrix motor.

BMW patents scooter with roof
C1-E concept

Roof failure

The whole idea of a motorcycle or scooter is to experience freedom from the cage of cars.

Adding a roof to a motorcycle or scooter not only looks ridiculous, but also makes it heavier and more unwieldy to ride because of its high centre of gravity.

Old C1 scooters can still be seen in crowded European cities such as Paris, but it was a dismal flop around the rest of the civilised world.

BMW patents scooter with roof
C1

The idea was to attract car drivers to two wheels. In some countries, riders of the C1 were even allowed to go helmet-less!

Given the sales flop of the C1 which was only built from 2000 to 2002, you have to ask why BMW would consider its reintroduction?

Hopefully, the BMW patent doesn’t give safety nannies the idea that the introduction of a scooter with a protective cage and seatbelt is the answer to two-wheeled injuries and deaths.

BMW patents scooter with roof
Riderless C1 being tested

British company AB Dynamics has already used an old BMW C1 to develop by a self-riding scooter to “help improve motorcycle safety” and prove that motorcycles can interact with autonomous vehicles. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Motorrad Concept R18 | Big Boxer Custom

BMW Concept R18 – Big Boxer Custom


BMW Motorrad have unveiled the third custom creation based around the new 1800cc Big Boxer powerplant, this time offering a modern interpretation of the classic 1960s boxer powerplant, alongside an R5 inspired overall theme. The bike was unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

BMW Motorrad Concept R Big Boxer
BMW Concept R18 ‘Big Boxer’concept art
Edgar Heinrich – Head of BMW Motorrad Design

“With its clear aesthetics openly on display, the Concept R18 embodies for me what motorcycling, at its core, is really about. It is all about feeling instead of thinking, and not using technology for self-staging, instead giving space for imagination. This concept bike appeals to something deep down – you just want to just get on it and ride off. But when you get off it again, you don’t just put it in the garage and walk away – you turn around again and give it a final parting glance.”

BMW Motorrad Concept R Big Boxer
BMW Concept R18 ‘Big Boxer’
Bart Janssen Groesbeek – Designer

“The biggest challenge in the design is to render everything visible. Every part has a functional purpose. There are not many who would dare to take such an absolutely honest approach.”

The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 features a boxer engine, cradle frame, exposed shaft and drop-shaped fuel tank. Its black paintwork and hand-applied contrast lines are typical design icons of BMW Motorrad classics

BMW Motorrad Concept R Big Boxer
BMW Concept R18 ‘Big Boxer’

Balanced proportions are reminiscent of classics like the BMW R5, and convey – even from a distance – the look that comes about whenever things are consistently reduced to their bare essentials. The frame and tank create a common line all the way from the steering head to the rear wheel hub and lend a somewhat flowing elegance to the side view.

BMW Motorrad Concept R Big Boxer
BMW Concept R18 ‘Big Boxer’

The large spoked rims (21-inch front and 18-inch rear) provide a particular stance and balance around that hulking big-bore power unit.

The heart of the BMW Motorrad Concept R18 is the Big Boxer, a newly designed, two-cylinder 1800cc flat-twin, a layout synonymous with BMW and its history. Its outward appearance is consciously reminiscent of the engines that BMW Motorrad used to build up until the end of the 1960s – but with a considerably bigger displacement and modern air/oil cooling.

BMW Motorrad Concept R Big Boxer
BMW Concept R18 ‘Big Boxer’

The engine block and transmission are made of glass bead-blasted aluminium, providing an ideal stage on which to present the hand-polished aluminium components as well as the belt guard and valve covers.

The engine badge bears the name of the concept bike. In addition, Solex dual carburettors – similar to those used in the famous BMW 2002 sports cars – also hark back to the brand’s history.

BMW Motorrad Concept R Big Boxer
BMW Concept R18 ‘Big Boxer’

A chrome-plated universal shaft connects the back wheel to the drive. There are no further covers anywhere on the motorcycle. Similarly, the electronics of the concept bike are reduced to no more than starter and lights.

As for its colour design, the BMW Motorrad Concept R18 shows itself to be a classic. The theme is typical BMW: the white, hand-applied lines on the fork and fuel tank in combination with the black base colour represent the classic BMW colour theme.

BMW Motorrad Concept R Big Boxer
BMW Concept R18 ‘Big Boxer’

A discreet yellow-gold varnish effect lends the bright twin lines an exclusive touch, and the black effect paintwork on the tank and fork rods similarly reveal, in the best custom style, an unusual depth when the sunlight strikes the large metallic particles in the various layers of the paintwork.

The visual design of the imprinted single leather seat is borrowed from the classics of the 1950s. Reinterpreted and somewhat more comfortable.

BMW Motorrad Concept R Big Boxer
BMW Concept R18 ‘Big Boxer’

The cantilever spring strut is integrated beneath the seat. The graphics of the headlamp design are also reminiscent of the 1950s. The classic U shape of the original glass cover components are now interpreted as LED lamp elements.


Big Boxer Concepts

The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 is the third in-house interpretation of the large-capacity boxer engine to come from BMW Motorrad. Last December the model created by the Japanese customisers, Custom Works Zon was presented at the Yokohama Hot Rod Show, on the basis of this new prototype engine.

BMW Boxer Zon
Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda with the Custom Works Zon

The ‘Departed’ won the biggest accolade of the event, the ’Best of Show Motorcycle’ award, thrilling motorcycle fans with its classic forms, modern production techniques and all manner of manual art and craft in the details.

The next round was the interpretation by Revival Cycles. The customisers from Austin, Texas created a spectacular bike with their ‘Revival Birdcage’ model, an ideal presentation platform for the Big Boxer. The specially developed titanium frame features an unobstructed view of the engine and drive from all angles. This American design created a furore at last month’s Handbuilt Show in Texas.

BMW Cruiser Big Boxer
Revival Cyles showcase the new BMW Big Boxer cruiser engine in their showpiece

Edgar Heinrich – Head of BMW Motorrad Design

“For me, motorcycles like the BMW Motorrad Concept R18 are a response to a growing need among the motorcycling community: instead of technology, the focus here is on simplification, authenticity and transparency. I observe an almost romantic yearning for real mechanical engineering. Our aim with this concept bike is to address this need and turn it into an analogue statement in a digital age. We have a rich history of iconic motorcycles, and they all bear the same design characteristics. We believe that this can still work well together today with the current technology.”

BMW Motorrad Concept R Big Boxer
BMW Concept R18 ‘Big Boxer’

Source: MCNews.com.au

BMW set for big 1800cc R18 cruiser?

A third BMW R18 cruiser concept model seems to confirm that the German company is returning to the cruiser market with an 1800cc boxer engine.

In December, a Japanese custom shop wheels out an R18 with a mysterious new BMW engine and last month a second cruiser concept with the engine was rolled out by a Texan custom shop.

Concept R18 cruiser

Now BMW Motorrad has revealed its Concept R18 cruiser at the 90th the Concorso d’Eleganza show at Lake Como in Italy.BMW Concept R8 cruiser

Surely this confirms that BMW will return to the cruiser market it abandoned 15 years ago.

BMW built the R 1200 C cruiser from 1997 to 2004. It was a flop, but in recent years has become a collector and customiser favourite.

BMW R 1200 C R18 cruiser
BMW R 1200 C

Concept R18 cruiser was built for BMW Motorrad by Unique Custom Cycles of Sweden, so it’s not the final version that BMW is expected to release.

This is a simplistic model with minimalist design.

No doubt the Germans will give it some Bavarian hi-tech and quirky design as they did with the R nineT after Roland Sands designed the Concept 90.

The R18 cruiser will be powered by the biggest boxer engine they have produced, believed to be 1798.4cc in an over-square configuration (107 x 100mm) which means the pistons are wider than they are long.

Otherwise, the heads would hang out so far you couldn’t lane filter!

It also means it should rev better than other big-bore cruisers.

Interestingly, it is not liquid cooled, but is likely to be twin spark to meet Euro 5 emissions standards coming in 2020.

Don’t be fooled by the Solex carburettors. They may just be dummies like when Triumph’s Bonnevilles went EFI.BMW Concept R8 cruiser

As for the rest of the Concept R18 and a likely BMW production model, we should regard these words from BMW:

The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 is immediately recognizable as a genuine BMW: boxer engine, cradle frame, exposed universal shaft, and drop-shaped fuel tank with its black paintwork and hand-applied contrast lines interpret typical design icons of BMW Motorrad classics, while displaying confidence along with modern-style linearity.BMW Concept R8 cruiser

Will BMW build it?

The market is ageing and mature riders love their cruisers.

Yet BMW has been reaching out to younger riders over the past 15 years with its adventure models, S 1000 derivatives and trendy R nineT.

But why should they not pay in a sector that continues to attract riders?

Over the years I have asked BMW executives whether they would return to the cruiser market and they have never said they wouldn’t.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Which motorcycles have the most comfortable ride?

A combination of stiffly sprung modern motorcycles and old war wounds have many mature-aged riders searching for motorcycles with the most comfortable ride.

I’ve ridden a lot of different bikes over the years and what stands out is how soft old bikes were and how stiff modern bikes are.

This trend is to improve handling and cope with larger and heavier riders. However, it presents problems for riders who suffer from old motorcycle injuries or arthritis.

You could buy an old bike with sagging springs for a softer ride, but they handle poorly. The soft springs also mean you hit the bump stops which pounds your body every time you clout a reasonably sized bump or pothole. And isn’t that a too-frequent occurrence!

If you want a bike that handles yet still has a plush ride, there are some modern motorcycles that offer both.

But first let’s rule out bikes that are uncomfortable.

Uncomfortable bikes

 comfortable
Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali with a Panigale V4 R

That means just about every over-sprung, under-damped Ducati and most sports bikes, except those special editions with uprated suspension from experts such as Ohlins, Sachs, Kayaba, etc.

It also means ruling out “slammed” cruisers such as many of Harley’s line-up, especially anything with the word “Lo” in the model name.

In fact, many cruisers that are considered comfortable have short rear springs that won’t save your spine if you hit a big bump.

Making a bike more comfortable

If you can’t find a comfy bike, get one with decent-length springs and fit better suspension with decent damping.

You can also buy aftermarket comfort seats or get the seat reupholstered.

Ducati GT1000 carbon wheels farkle project tall used comfortable
Ergo Seats added more padding to my hard Ducati GT1000 seat

Some people swear by seat cushions such as Airhawks and sheepskins. However, I find they slip and move around which tends to divorce you from what the bike is doing.

That’s fine if comfort is your only consideration, but I like to be able to feel the bike so I can control it.

It’s not just the rear suspension that causes problems. Harsh forks can have a jackhammer effect on your hands.

You can overcome this with thicker aftermarket grips or “Grip Puppies” which are thick coverings for the existing grips.

Soft Grip for chronic pain comfortable
Soft Grip 

Comfortable bikes

So which bikes are comfortable straight off the showroom floor?

You can’t tell from just pushing down on the forks or jumping on the bike in the shop. You need to go for a long test ride over bumpy stretches of road.

Look for bikes that have suspension adjustment and then get it professionally set up for your weight.

There are also many models that come with electronic suspension that you can adjust on the fly from “sport” mode to “touring” or “comfort”.

Electronic suspension comfortable
Electronic suspension

Obviously, touring bikes often come with plusher suspension, more adjustment and well-padded seats.

Adventure motorbikes also have a good ride on bad roads with their extended suspension, although that makes them very tall in the saddle.

Top 10 comfy bikes

Here is our top 10 most comfortable bikes.

1 BMW R 1250 GS: The telelever front suspension sets this apart from other adventure models. It also has ride-ranging electronic suspension adjustment.

BMW R 1250 GS Ballina Motorcycles comfortable
BMW R 1250 GS

2 Honda Gold Wing: This has long been known as a lounge chair for the open road. Not only does it soak up the bumps, but cossets the rider in a bubble of luxury.

2018 GL1800 Goldwing Tour - Grand America comfortable
Honda GL1800 Goldwing

3 BMW K 1600 GTL: Like the Gold Wing, this bike has all the luxuries.

BMW K 1600 GTL Motorrad comfortable
BMW K 1600 GTL

4 Indian Chief: The entire range of Chief models ride on plush suspension and high-profile tyres.

Indian Chiefs comfortable
Indian Chief Classic, Vintage and Chieftain

5 KTM 1290 Super Adventure: Four damping settings make this suitable for the roughest terrain.

KTM 1290 Super Adventure comfortable
KTM 1290 Super Adventure

6 Triumph Tiger 800XCx: Seat and suspenders are plush enough to cope with the toughest off-road terrain.

Triumph Tiger 800 XCx comfortable
Triumph Tiger 800 XCx

7 Suzuki V-Strom 650 and 1000: Always a great adventure favourite it now rides even better with more padding in the seat.

Suzuki V-Strom 1000 comfortable
Suzuki V-Strom 1000

8 Yamaha FJR1300A: Rider and pillion will enjoy the ride and thermal comforts, although it’s best for tall riders. Cops love ’em!

Riding the Yamaha FJR1300Aat launch comfortable
Yamaha FJR1300A

9 Kawasaki GTR1400: There are good reasons why many Iron Butt riders choose this highway mile-muncher. Ergos and ride are great for long distances at high speeds.

Malcolm Milne has more than 300,000km on the odo on his 2007 Kawasaki 1400GTR
Malcolm Milne has more than 300,000km on the odo on his 2007 Kawasaki GTR1400

10 Moto Guzzi California: The Italians are not known for comfy riding positions, but this is a rare exception.

Moto Guzzi California comfortable
Moto Guzzi California

What’s the most comfortable motorcycle in your view? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW R 1250 GS: World’s best bike now even better

The world’s best motorcycle is now even better with the BMW R 1250 GS getting a bigger, cleaner and more powerful engine and a range of useful technology.

My impression was confirmed after Ballina Motorcycles owners Andy and Steve Fisher recently invited me to ride the new GS around their beautiful neck of the woods.

BMW R 1250 GS Steve and Andy Fisher Ballina Motorcycles
Steve and Andy of Ballina Motorcycles

GS models

I’ve owned every GS model since the R 1150 GS, except for the first of the liquid-cooled models, although I have ridden them on several occasions.

The quantum leap from the 1150 to 1200 convinced me that this was the best bike in the world.

It could tour and haul luggage comfortably, it could challenge sports bikes on twisting tarmac, it could tackle gravel, sand and mud, and I even enjoyed it as a commuter because it was so manoeuvrable with good height to see over the traffic.

The GS then received a twin cam engine which improved power and then went to liquid cooling.

Motorcycle sales: my BMW R 1200 GS Rallye 1250 gs
MotorbikeWriter’s BMW R 1200 GS Rallye

Each updated improved the world’s best motorcycle a little more.

However, there have been some issues:

  • The switchgear proved faulty when BMW moved from separate indicators to the conventional one-button system;
  • I had some scary tank-slapping moments on the first liquid-cooled model, until they added a steering damper as standard;
  • The liquid-cooled model’s soft spoked wheels could easily be dented; and
  • The new 1250 models had spokes working their way loose. They now have a quick fix for the problem.

Those issues aside, the GS is an astounding vehicle that makes bad riders look good, skilled riders look amazing and even caters for lazy riders!

R 1250 Shiftcam techBMW R 1250 GS Ballina Motorcycles

The latter is thanks to the new drivetrain.

BMW’s new 1254cc boxer engine comes with Shiftcam Technology which is a type of variable valve timing (VVT) similar to the systems used by Ducati and Honda.

VVT has been proven in cars for years. It not only boosts power, but also reduces emission and improves fuel economy.

It not only makes the Boxer engine cleaner and more powerful, especially through the all-important midrange, but also makes it so much more refined, mechanically quieter and smoother.

There has always been a coarse feel to these big Boxer engines and there is still plenty of “character” in the sideways thumping pistons, but it is now just so smooth with power and torque wherever you need it.

Transmission updateBMW R 1250 GS Ballina Motorcycles

But it’s not just the engine that has improved the drive.

Previous models have always had clunky gear shifts. In fact, I adapted to preloading the shifter before changing gears for a smoother shift.

Now the transmission its nearly as slick as on a four-cylinder Japanese superbike.

Gearbox and clutch are now integrated into the new engine housing to reduce weight and increase “torsional response”.

The multi-plate wet clutch has eight friction discs and the clutch system is fitted with an anti-hopping mechanism.

What that means is that gear changes now feel smoother and quieter and the up/down quickshifter makes shifts almost seamless.BMW R 1250 GS Ballina Motorcycles

Together with the 14% more torque and 9% more output, you can be the laziest rider around and still reap plenty from the powerplant.

Just quick shift through to fifth or sixth and leave it there like an automatic.

If you suddenly need to drop a gear or two for a tight corner, just slam it down without touching the clutch and there is no rear-wheel hop, just a planted feel as the rear hunkers down and tracks around the bend.

More tech

The GS range has gradually added more and more technology with each new model over the years.

Now it is simply a technological tour de force with a host of rider aids, engine modes, electronic suspension settings and connectivity functions too numerous to mention in a review.

It would take a book to learn about all the features. But there are two worth a special mention.

First is the fact that you can now customise your settings and save them with the optional “Riding Modes Pro” plug.

No more will you have to stop and fiddle with ABS and traction control settings when your wheels hit the dirt. Just change engine modes on the fly to the Pro setting.

The other is the magnificent 6.5-inch colour TFT instrument screen.BMW R 1250 GS Ballina Motorcycles

It’s like having a flat-screen TV in front of you.

The screen is so enormous with big, clear numbers and letters you can see them in your periphery vision without having to look away from the road.

Not that you have to look too far, as it is set further forward and higher.

We rode the Rallye model around the hills and valleys of the Northern Rivers region where you ride through thick forests that are almost like midnight even on a bright, sunny day.

Yet riding in and out of these lighting extremes, the screen was clear and easy to see.

Knobby tyresBMW R 1250 GS Ballina Motorcycles

Andy and Steve of Ballina Motorcycles let me ride the knobby-shod Rallye version, even though they say less than 10% of GS customers ever fit knobby tyres.

In their neck off the woods, some of the tarmac roads are so poorly maintained they are like riding off-road, anyway.

The Karoo knobbies lack tar grip so the traction control light was constantly flashing as I rode around the region.

And at the end of the day’s ride, the knobs had been chewed substantially. These tyres really are designed for the dirt and you can expect low life if you do too much asphalt.

If you opt for this model and these tyres, you need to do about 80% of your riding on gravel.

RideBMW R 1250 GS Ballina Motorcycles

One of the biggest attractions of the GS range is the ride and handling.

The clever telelever front suspension is an amazing mix of plushness, precise steering and unflappable stability on the tar and dirt.

Together with the electronic suspension adjustment with an automatic preload mode that adjusts for load, you can select the right setting for every type of terrain.

At the end of our day riding some of the most jarring roads imaginable, my delicate rear end and my damaged back felt like they’d been to a day spa!

BMW R 1250 S model pricingBMW R 1250 GS Ballina Motorcycles

All that extra tech, engine capacity and power has added about $1600 to the starting price of the GS range.

But it’s worth it for the upgrade in sophistication and useful technology.

While many bikes are a jack of all trades and master of none, the GS range continues to master a variety of terrain and riding purposes.

(Plus on-road costs)

BMW R 1250 GS

$23,490

BMW R 1250 GS Rallye

$24,940

BMW R 1250 GS Rallye X

$29,890

BMW R 1250 GS Exclusive

$28,140

BMW R 1250 GS Spezial

$31,390

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW launches new C 400 scooters

BMW has added a the C 400 scooter range to its line-up, but has yet to add its electric scooter which was launched six years ago.

In 2013 the BMW C 600 Sport and C 600 GT scooters started at $13,990 and $15,990 plus on-road costs. Now they are $14,150 for the Sport and $14,490 for the GT.

When we rode them in 2013, we said you could be forgiven for forgetting you were on a scooter as they were so powerful and handled so well.

BMW has now added a range of 350cc scooters priced from $8990 for the C 400 X to $11,890 for the C 400 GT which adds a rider backrest, passenger footboards and a higher windshield.

2019 BMW C 400 GT
2019 BMW C 400 GT is fitted with a separate rider backrest and passenger footboards and a higher windshield.

That’s a lot to pay for a 350cc single-cylinder scooter, especially when BMW’s single-cylinder G 310 R and GS cost only $5790.

Maybe it’s because the latter is made in India, rather than Berlin like these scooters.

There is still no word on their electric scooter being introduced to Australia.

Oliver van Bilsen living with an electric BMW C evolution scooter
Oliver van Bilsen living with an electric BMW C evolution scooter in London

BMW C 400 scooters

The BMW C 400 X and GT also come in “ion” models featuring a 6.5-inch full colour TFT screen with handlebar-mounted Multi-Controller that allows riders to make phone calls and listen to music vi Bluetooth.

2019 BMW C 400 GT is fitted with a separate rider backrest and passenger footboards and a higher windshield.

The C 400 X ion is priced from $11,290 and includes a daytime running light while the C 400 GT ion starts at $11,890.

All C 400 scooters all powered by a single-cylinder with 25kW of power at 7500rpm and 35Nm of torque at 6000rpm, married to a Continuously Variable Transmission.

Features include LED lighting dual 265mm front discs, keyless ignition, traction control and a Flexcase storage system.

This patented under-seat storage space can be extended downward via a flap in the rear base.

It is waterproof and can fit a full-face and jet helmet.2019 BMW C 400 GT

There are two extra storage compartments in the front cowl operated via a button. The right-hand storage compartment includes a 12-volt power socket. A USB adapter is an optional accessory.

2019 BMW C 400 X comes with a newly developed single-cylinder 350 cc engine that is tuned for maximum efficiency.

The mid-sized scooter comes with a side stand and a “kinematic” centre stand that is easy to deploy.

The BMW C 400 models can also be fitted with a luggage rack for a topcase.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW big boxer engine reappears

The possibility of BMW releasing a big Boxer engine with a capacity up to 1800cc has increased with the engine appearing in another amazing custom motorcycle.

The mystery engine first appeared last year when Japanese custom builders from Custom Works Zon rolled out what they called a the Departed R18.

BMW R18 custom concept 1800cc big boxer
R18 custom

R18 could have been a reference to the year 2018, but it could also be a reference to an engine capacity of 1800cc.

Big Boxer

Now the big boxer has re-appeared in this Revival Cycles custom with a birdcage frame like an intricate and expanded trellis frame.Revival Cycles Birdcage custom motorcycle big boxer

Naturally, it’s called The Birdcage and was inspired by the 1960s Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage race car.

Unlike the Japanese custom with cooling fins on the chromed head cover, this custom has a solid aluminium head.Revival Cycles Birdcage custom motorcycle big boxer

But the rest of the engine looks the same and it was also provided by BMW.

Unlike the new R 1250 ShiftCam models, it doesn’t appear to have liquid cooling, but oil and air-cooled heads.

BMW R 1250 GS and RT r18 1800cc
BMW R 1250 with CamShift

Click here for Aussie pricing on the new R 1250 models.

Here is a video that provides an audible clue to the big boxer. It sounds absolutely awesome!

At the end of the video the Japanese custom builders from Custom Works Zon speculate on what type of bike BMW will build around the engine.

BMW R18 custom concept 1800cc 1800cc

BMW said: “Further details about the engine and its possible future use will be communicated at a later point in time.”

There has been no further comment with the release of the Revival Cycles custom.

Custom history

The Bavarian company has a history of handing over custom builds to outside design houses that eventually turn into production models.

A prominent example is the R nineT which started as the Concept Ninety by Roland Sands Designs in LA.

BMW Concept Ninety Roland Sands Designs customised r18 1800cc
RSD Concept Ninety

These custom projects are pretty wild and we don’t expect BMW to produce bikes such as these.

However, we remain ever hopefully of a big 1.8-litre Boxer!

Nostalgia

These bikes follow the equally wild Nmoto Nostalgia based on the R nineT.

Nmoto has now started producing a limited number of these retro R nineT customs.

Nmoto Nostalgia BMW R nineT r18
Nmoto Nostalgia

Retro and nostalgia bikes are big business at the moment.

Triumph is having enormous success with its Bonneville dozen-model range, Ducati’s Scrambler has become their top seller, Kawasaki has won hearts with its Z900RS and BMW has had enormous success with its R nineT.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Spanish woman honoured for Africa ride

A Spanish woman who rode her Ducati Scrambler 15,000km through Africa has been honoured with the Spanish Geographical Society’s Journey of the Year 2018 award.

Alicia Sornosa set off on her bike down the backbone of East Africa to raise money for Amigos de Silva.

The Spanish non-government organisation provides humanitarian aid projects such as water supply and health care, initially in the Afar region of Ethiopia, but later extended to other African countries.

Alicia’s ride started in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and crossed Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Lesotho before finally arriving in Cape Town, South Africa.  

The only hiccup along the way for the Ducati ambassador was two punctures.

Round the world

It’s not Alicia’s first big adventure.

In 2011, she set off on her BMW F 650 GS on what would become a round-the-world ride that included Australia in 2012.

She rode from Spain to Asia, then Australia, North America down through South America and back to Europe in 2014.

Alicia became the first Spanish woman to circumnavigate the world on a BMW.

She has continued her travels through the Americas and Asia.

Other awards she has won include:

  • Illustrious Visitor of the City of Tarija, Bolivia;
  • The 2016 Penguin Honorific Award for “The Legend Continues”; and
  • In 2017, she took third prize at the I Madrid Motorbike Film Festival for “Adventure in India and Nepal” (below)

Epic adventures

Here at Motorbike Writer we love to share stories of epic riding adventures.

We also love to share stories of female riders and young riders to encourage others to join our pursuits.

If you have an epic adventure you would like to share, please click here to send photos and details via email.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com