BMW Unveils Boxer-powered Concept Roadster
Rider Magazine Staff
May 28, 2014
Filed under BMW Motorcycle Road Tests: Reviews on BMW Motorcycles, Road Tests, Sport + Sport Touring Motorcycle Reviews, Top Stories
At the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014, held on the edge of Lake Como in Italy, BMW Motorrad unveiled its latest design exercise, the BMW Concept Roadster. Last year the German manufacturer presented its Concept Ninety, a modern interpretation of a classic boxer-twin motorcycle, at the same event. “By contrast, the contemporary emotional appeal of the BMW Concept Roadster shows that, as far as BMW is concerned, motorcycling is much more than just perfect function,” explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design.
The BMW Concept Roadster is a typical BMW roadster in that it features a twin-cylinder flat opposed “boxer” engine, a single-sided swingarm with shaft final drive and a tubular-steel space frame, but these classic elements are interpreted in a radical new way. “The BMW Concept Roadster is exciting to look at and at least as exciting to ride,” says Ola Stenegard, Head of Vehicle Design BMW Motorrad.
Powered by the latest air/liquid-cooled, 1,170cc version of BMW’s venerable boxer twin, the Concept Roadster makes a claimed 125 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque. The engine serves as the visual midpoint of a wedge-shaped silhouette that appears in motion even when stationary, and a short, crouching posture emphasizing with a low visual center of gravity suggests agile handling. Split coloring visually separates the dark engine area from the lighter colored seating area, fuel tank and rear section. The dark bottom section moves the machine closer to the road surface, conveying a road-oriented riding experience, while the Sparkling Light White upper section appears light and purposeful.
The innovative headlight uses matte LED light banks to give the Concept Roadster a distinctive “face.” Behind it, a small instrument panel provides relevant information in a stylish, compact format. The interplay between the sculpted fuel tank, seat and radiator are meant to convey a forward-looking orientation and dynamic performance. The steep tail section is made from a single piece of gloss-milled aluminum, and a neon yellow accent in the lower area of the seat adds a bold dash of color below the perforated Alcantara saddle. Additional neon yellow color accents are on the valve covers and the cooling ribs inside the side air inlets. The tubular-steel space frame is finished in Sparkling Racing Blue, and, along with the bodywork, honors the blue and white of BMW’s roundel badge. Milled aluminum air intakes, valve covers and chin spoiler add to the Concept Roadster’s high-end, exclusive appearance, while top-shelf components speak to the performance potential of the machine.
BMW Motorrad has yet to confirm whether the Concept Roadster foreshadows a future model, but since last year’s Concept Ninety paved the way for the all-new R nineT, a production version could be on the horizon.