The BMW Lo Rider Concept
Report - BMW Press Release Edited by webBikeWorld Staff
Purist, powerful, unfaired and reduced to the absolute
essentials – these few words provide an incomplete description
of the BMW Lo Rider, the new concept study released by BMW
Motorrad at the 2008 EICMA show in Milan.
At first sight, the focus would seem to be on the creation
of a roadster with a muscular appearance, openly displayed
technology and powerful flat twin engine for pure emotion
and maximum motorcycling fun. But behind all this is in
fact a completely new custom concept.
The bike’s low weight, the powerful and high-torque flat
twin engine and high-quality chassis technology give it
a high level of sporty riding dynamics, while the lowered
chassis and the relaxed yet active seating position with
the broad handlebars are more of a loan from cruisers and
The concept is such that, for the first time, the customer
can be involved in the design of the BMW Lo Rider to an
extent which goes beyond what has previously been possible
Numerous options including different exhaust systems,
seats, headlamp units and paint finish variations allow
for a level of customization which is far greater than the
more common individualization by means of special equipment
features and accessories.
This means that the entire character of the vehicle can
be adapted to the customer’s individual taste: the customer
can take full pleasure in assembling a machine just as he
or she wants it – from a cool cruiser to an aggressive muscle
Here are some of
the details of the BMW Lo Rider concept:
technology with modern and classic stylistic elements.
can be individually combined by the customer.
Raised or lowered
exhaust system, as preferred.
Seat for one
or two as preferred, or aluminum perch seat.
in classic shape or in streetfighter style, as preferred.
Fuel tank with
or without aluminum trim, as preferred.
Four paint finishes
for the fuel tank.
finishes for the engine casing.
and rear wheel wings finished either in black or chrome,
An Overview of the Conceptual Highlights
Motorrad has a tradition of coming up with new ways and
ideas when it comes to motorcycling. Fascinating studies
and designs have been produced in the past using ideas which
then found their way into serial production.
But studies by BMW Motorrad are about more than just
trying to develop a motorcycle which has not existed in
a given form before. In addition to functions and quality,
BMW developers focus on the emotional component – the connection
between man and motorcycle.
The guiding principle is that a motorcycle should not
just function perfectly but should also appeal to all the
riders’ senses simultaneously, arouse an emotional response
in him filled with enthusiasm at every moment – when stationary
and when moving, as a whole and in its detail. In short:
it has to light the fire.
With the BMW Lo Rider study presented at the EICMA in
Milan, BMW Motorrad is not just demonstrating a continuation
of this policy but is in fact taking a significant step
forward in focusing on the interaction between rider and
The idea is that for the first time, the customer should
be interactively involved in the design of the bike – going
far beyond the familiar adding of special equipment features
The customer is to be given the opportunity to be much
more deeply involved in the design of the Lo Rider from
the outset, creating a customized, made-to-measure machine
based around the principal components such as engine and
The study Lo Rider does not fit into any of the classic
motorcycle segments – and it is not supposed to. It combines
the latest technical attributes of high performance sports
motorcycles with the traditional, classic principles of
State-of-the-art chassis components from sports motorcycle
construction such as the powerful upside-down fork, 6-piston
brake calipers with real bite and wide 17-inch tires are
combined with style-defining elements of motorcycle construction
from the fifties and sixties.
For example, with the exhaust system in a more traditional
lower position in side pipe style creates a classic roadster
or cool cruiser look, while a raised exhaust system is reminiscent
of legendary racing machines or typical scrambler models
of days gone by.
Together with a range of variously designed seat concepts,
also based on styles of the fifties and sixties, as well
as differing paint finish versions, the BMW Lo Rider offers
the motorcycle fan a wealth of possibilities by means of
which to interpret the roadster theme in a highly individual
way according to his or her own personal taste founded on
a single basic motorcycle.
Chassis and Engine
The mixture of classic and
modern stylistic elements of motorcycle construction combined
with state-of-the-art technology is what gives the Lo Rider
its defining look from all angles.
A torsionally stiff space frame of sophisticated architecture
openly displays the bike’s technology and together with
the upside-down telescopic fork at the front and Paralever
rear-wheel swing arm provides the modern basis in terms
of chassis technology - just as it is to be found in some
current models of the BMW Boxer series. What is more, the
chassis of the Lo Rider has been lowered as compared to
In terms of tire dimensions, the 17-inch wheels represent
the current state of the art for sports motorcycles, though
with their chrome wire spokes, black hubs and steel rims
they ingeniously echo the characteristic stylistic elements
and flair of a past era.
By contrast, contemporary technology and a high level
of riding dynamics is provided by elements such as the high
performance dual brake disk with powerful 6-piston calipers,
together with wave brake discs borrowed from motor racing
at the front and the single disc brake at the rear.
In terms of its engine, the Lo Rider also relies on technology
which is both contemporary and full of character – the legendary,
highly responsive BMW fl at twin “Boxer” engine.
For 85 years, the construction principle of this engine
has stood for unmistakable, authentic design, a full torque
curve and unique sound and power. In its current version
with an output of over 100 bhp, overhead camshafts, electronic
fuel injection and exhaust gas purification, the powerful
response of this dynamic and distinctive 2-cylinder is simply
perfect for the BMW Lo Rider.
The customer as designer – individual designs and paint
finishes. The concept study Lo Rider is mainly focused on
the two essential component groups of a motorcycle, the
engine and the chassis. Any superfluous decoration is omitted.
Instead, variable components such as the exhaust system,
seat, headlamp unit and paint finishes determine the bike’s
outward appearance, at the same time defining its conceptual
The combination of these classic and modern components
is entirely subject to the personal taste of the customer.
For example, he can initially express the dominating character
of the BMW Lo Rider through the placement of the exhaust
system, creating either a sporty style or opting for a more
roadster-like look by having it lowered.
A very sporty effect is created by the classic perch
seat made of aluminum sheet metal, while the simple single
seat reduced to the absolute minimum will appeal to purist
motorcycle fans. The single seat can also be optionally
extended to include a pillion passenger module.
The specification was laid down for the development team
led by David Robb, Head of Design Development at BMW Motorrad.
The idea was that all the conceivable combination options
of these components should produce different end results
but that the bike should always retain a rounded, coherent
character in itself.
Whether with a raised or lowered exhaust system, with
sporty perch seat or seat bench for one or two people: the
Lo Rider comes over differently every time but always makes
The same applies to the selection options in creating
the front section of the Lo Rider. With their aggressive,
modern design, the vertically arranged dual headlamps give
it a touch of the streetfighter, while the classic, semicircular
headlamp provides an echo of past times. Once again, the
same principle applies: however different the styles thus
created might be, they always have a consistent emotional
appeal for the rider.
Further possibilities for individual design are available
to the customer in the choice of paint finish. There are
four different colors available for the fuel tank, and with
the three different paint finishes for the engine casing
this allows the customer to create a very distinctive, personal
look, defining the character of the Lo Rider as anything
from refined to sporty.
These always harmonize perfectly with the deliberately
classic, high-quality aluminum parts such as fuel tank trim,
seat holder and wing struts. Different styles can also be
created with the front and rear wings which are available
either in black or chrome finish.
Finally, another element which harmonizes perfectly with
the overall concept of the Lo Rider is the individually
adaptable range of rider equipment.
This includes classic leather jackets, protector jeans,
boots, gloves and authentic jet and integral helmets. This
ensures that not only the appearance of the Lo Rider is
perfect but that the rider has just the right look, too.
No word on whether or not the BMW Lo Rider will be produced;
BMW is probably first waiting to see what the reaction is
to this interesting concept.
Publication Date: November
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