Motorbike or bicycle? BMW reinvents two-wheeler with Amby
At the IAA in Münich, BMW doesn’t fail to meet the middle name ‘Mobility’ that the show carries. The German car brand and its motorbike department Motorrad both showed their take on the future for two-wheelers.
And that’s apart from the Concept CE2 that toes the line between a scooter and a motorbike. So yes, there’s something brewing in the kitchen where BMW is designing and fabricating their two-wheelers.
Aiming for the new trends in urban mobility, Amby is an acronym for Adaptive Mobility. The Motorrad Vision Amby is a sturdy concept, crossing a motorbike and a bicycle. It is flanked by the i Vision Amby (the ‘i’ makes the difference), which you could call a super speed pedelec for city dwellers with a nose for a premium image – and price tag, we suppose. BMW calls it “a visionary two-wheeled solution for the urban mobility of tomorrow”.
One with pedals, one not
Basically, these two ‘hyper bicycles’ rely on the same electric driveline, but they are propelled differently. The i bike needs to be pedaled by its owner, while the motorbike concept uses a classic handle on the steering and footrests. The difference is also reflected in the design, with one resembling a bicycle and the other a motorbike. Both are sturdy propositions, though.
The different speed settings of the two concepts are intelligent. Through geofencing, these two-wheelers can vary their speed, ranging from 25 kph on cycle tracks, up to 45 kph on city-center roads, and up to 60 kph (37 mph) on multi-lane roads and outside urban areas.
An appropriate helmet and insurance are applicable for the higher speeds. There’s also a manual mode for the speed settings. However, it needs to be noted that there’s no legal framework yet for mobility solutions with variable speeds.
Breaking down barriers
The battery sits in the middle of the frame and has a capacity of 2 kWh. It enables a range of no less than 300 kilometers on a full charge. Recharging it should be possible in three hours. Both speed-pedelecs also have larger tires than usual, ensuring more comfort and safety at higher speeds.
These concepts want to break down barriers. “In the future, classifications such as ‘car’, ‘bicycle’ and ‘motorcycle’ should not determine the nature of the products we think up, develop and offer,” explains Werner Haumayr, Vice President BMW Group Design Conception. And he continues: ‘The modes and clever route selection are intended to make it one of the fastest travel options through a city.”
“For us, the focus is on user behavior,” says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad. “So the question is, how does the customer want to get around in the future? What demands do they place on their vehicle? This is exactly where we started our considerations,” he concludes.