BMW reveals motorcycle so safe riders don't need helmet

By: Dominic Licorish on October 14, 2016

As fun as it may be to ride a motorcycle, there’s also a much higher risk of injury should anything happen. However, that could all change soon as BMW reveals a new motorcycle that will supposedly eliminate the need for helmets and leather.

They call it the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 and it joins three other futuristic concept vehicles by the German automaker, which is celebrating its hundredth year. The Motorrad is a machine chock full of the absolute latest automotive technology, and comes off looking less like a motorcycle and more like the light cycles of the Tron franchise. It boasts full cloud connectivity to keep it in constant communication with other vehicles on the road, a flexible frame, and a zero-emissions engine

The Motorrad will not only detect traffic to prevent collisions, but assess its traction and control the amount of lean needed for upcoming corners. It’s this driver assistance that BMW says will make current protective gear unnecessary because the bike will never tip. Instead of a helmet, BMW showcased an augmented reality visor that would feed necessary data to the driver without them having to take their attention off the road.

If that sounds like something out of a science fiction story it’s because it more or less is, but that’s not the whole story. Much like autonomous cars are poised to drastically change what it means to be a driver, BMW’s head motorcycle designer wants to change what it means to be a motorcyclist. He envisions a future in which the bike assesses and compensates for drivers skill levels, giving more experienced drivers more control than less experienced drivers. While the technology described shies away from being fully autonomous, it sounds like the tech BMW is working on could mean big changes for motorcycle insurance.

The Motorrad Vision Next 100 is just that: a vision. There’s no word on when we’ll see a consumer vehicle, but some of the tech, like augmented reality glasses and connectivity, have already been implemented in other products before. Chances are high they’ll make their way onto motorcycles in the near future, but it’ll probably be a long time before you get to ride an uncrashable motorcycle.

Take a look at BMW’s promotional video for the motorcycle below: