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,
technology and powerful flat twin engine for pure
emotion and maximum motorcycling fun. But
behind all this is in fact a completely new custom
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 naked bikes.
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 to date.
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 bike.
some of the details of the BMW Lo Rider concept:
current technology with modern and classic
elements can be individually combined by the
or lowered exhaust system, as preferred.
one or two as preferred, or aluminum perch seat.
unit in classic shape or in streetfighter style,
tank with or without aluminum trim, as
paint finishes for the fuel tank.
paint finishes for the engine casing.
and rear wheel wings finished either in black or
chrome, as preferred.
An Overview of the Conceptual Highlights
BMW 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
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 motorcycle.
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 and accessories.
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 chassis.
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
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 conventional roadsters.
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
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 style.
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 an impression.
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.
Date of Publication: November
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