Meet BMW and BMW Motorrad’s Vision AMBY models and their thoughtful design process

BMW is on a path to redefine our vision of what automotive design looks like with their BMW Group keynote 2021. Focusing on their two-wheeler concepts that blur the boundary between bicycle and motorbike, meet the BMW i Vision AMBY and the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY.

These are two of five different concept vehicles that the BMW Group will use at the IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich to showcase its vision of individual mobility in and around the urban setting. The theme of the event focuses on electric mobility, digitalization, and sustainability, these concepts provide a diverse range of solutions designed to encourage every type of user.

Sleek, modern, and distinctly edgy (the battery pack seems to take a suspicious inspiration from the angular design trend made popular by Tesla Cybertruck) – the BMW i Vision AMBY takes its role to inspire the design world seriously. The pedelec defies the standard dominant hues of black, blue, and silver for a refreshing metallic gold finish that is sure to turn heads.

AMBY stands for ‘Adaptive Mobility’ and each of these designs has its own interpretation of the adaptive user behavior. Both vehicles are electrically powered with three-speed levels for different types of road. The drive allows up to 25 km/h on cycle paths, up to 45 km/h on inner-city roads, and up to a top speed of 60 km/h on multi-lane roads and out of town. A helmet, insurance license plates, and a relevant driving license are required when you want to travel at higher speeds.

BMW i Vision AMBY

Speaking of the design of the BMW i Vision AMBY, the team explains, “The design of the BMW i Vision AMBY is defined by visual lightness and powerful athleticism. And every detail promises that it is capable of more than a regular e-bike. The frame structure is larger and the impression is one of greater strength and stability in every respect. The modern frame geometry feels like a mixture of a racing bike and a sporty e-bike. The upper frame tube, crafted from four sculptural aluminum profiles, represents an expressive and modern statement of intent – and not only in visual terms. A slightly rising sweep to its design underscores the dynamic intent. The space between the profiles also offers a storage room for a backpack or laptop bag. Located just before the handlebars is the smartphone integration pad, which holds the device safely in place using magnets and ensures it is highly visible.”

The battery is positioned in the center of the bike frame with its 2,000 Wh capacity enabling a range of up to 300 km (186 miles). The design of the handlebar stem includes a slim, horizontal LED light strip that is integrated into the wide handlebars and underscores the cutting-edge, technical look of this frame section. Being a pedal-driven device, the design automatically becomes a zero-emissions design, keeping in tune with the circular economy messaging for the BMW i Vision Circular.

“The frame can be clearly recognized as being made from the same anodized secondary aluminum as the main body of the BMW i Vision Circular. Added to which, parts of the handlebars and battery cover are manufactured from “floating grey polymers”, a recycled plastic also employed in the bumpers of the Vision Vehicle. These materials can be fed back into the BMW Group materials cycle more easily once the product has reached the end of its life. An oil derived from rapeseed is used as brake fluid. And the BMW Group was also careful to ensure the components of the BMW i Vision AMBY were produced locally in Germany and – with the supply chain in mind – transportation distances for them were kept to a minimum.”

BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY

A completely new concept between bicycle and motorbike, the concept focuses on the emotional connection between the user and the vehicle, taking it beyond a simple machine to a ‘partner in crime’. With its graphic yet dirtbike-like design, the sleekness of the concept focuses on the bicycle-like aesthetics with the functionality and soul of a BMW Enduro motorbike. It is this balancing act that makes it the perfect urban bike as well as a design that can go farther/longer ahead with you when you need it to.

“The BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY takes us into new territory. For us, the focus is on user behavior – the question is: how will customers want to get around in the future? What will they expect their vehicle to be capable of? This was precisely the starting point of our deliberations. Our aim was to develop an extremely emotional vehicle for smart mobility in and around the city that offered maximum freedom. The BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY really does enable our customers to experience urban life in a whole new way, cover distances more flexibly and “break free” of the city from time to time, too. At the same time, BMW Motorrad is consistently pursuing its electromobility strategy for urban conurbations. It’s a fascinating introduction to the world of BMW Motorrad that also promises maximum riding pleasure,” explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad.

“In keeping with the unexpected, self-assured character of the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY, its two sides have deliberately been designed distinctively. On both sides, the white “AMBY” lettering catches the eye above the light-colored drive unit, making a striking statement as a stylized graphic on the trim of the energy storage unit. While the lettering on the left gains additional visual depth from a colorfully shimmering, iridescent drop shadow, the inscription on the right appears deliberately without a drop shadow. Below the energy storage unit, there are two iridescent elements that add a further accentuation. On the right-hand side of the vehicle, three small turquoise blue tubes visibly emerge from the silhouette, clearly alluding to the electric heart of the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY. Next to this is a quote by Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad: „Electro-mobility will be very significant for the future of motorcycling.

Both the designs focus on using your smartphone as a Digital Key and geofencing to keep your rides safe. The focus on this entire experience is to cement BMW’s position as a game-changer, as a design brand that is staying true to its promise to sustainability and also shows that being sustainable is not a compromise. We are eagerly awaiting to experience these designs!

Designer: BMW and BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad Concept CE 02 is a skateboard-inspired stylized urban e-bike for Generation Z!

I have a hard time breaking it to the average millennial, but your time is over. The BMW Motorrad Concept CE 02 bike is aimed at the Generation Z crowd and this design encapsulates that futuristic feel in an instant!

With the backing of some exceptional concepts in the past, the German manufacturer is now turning its attention towards stylish electric vehicles, and this one is the perfect beginning. BMW Motorrad has announced the mini-bike ahead of its debut at IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich next week!

Being more than just a mere cool toy, this electric two-wheeler is a futuristic yet simple solution for urban mobility, focusing on city tours to be precise. According to the head of vehicle design, BMW Motorrad, the bike is a skateboard on wheels, developed for anyone who likes to be mobile and independent. The Concept CE 02 has a very minimalist footprint and a low center of gravity – in line with the company’s aspiration to bring a level of design innovation honed by the emotional element, and most of all, the riding fun.

The CE 02 ebike comes with an 11kW belt-driven motor that hurls the two-wheeler to a maximum speed of 56 miles per hour and a range of 90 kilometers on a single charge. According to BMW Group, the bike weighs 265 pounds in total which is lightweight and maneuverable for city riding fun.  The seat on this one is designed to give the rider the freedom to drive it in an upright or leaning forward position. In between the free space between the seat and the frame is space to keep small things secured by elastic bands. Also, the bracket under the batteries stores a skateboard and doubles as a footrest.

To display all the vital telemetry like speed or remaining battery life, the bike has a colored screen on the handlebars. To keep the minimalist theme, BMW Group chooses small black colored headlights having four LED lighting elements for enough illumination during the nighttime.

Among all this, we have to remember, this is still a concept electric bike and when it will actually be commercialized into production is not known yet. If it does, will it look like what we are seeing is also uncertain. Nonetheless, the BMW CE 02 is an urban commuter worth every rider’s time.

Designer: BMW Group

This BMW-inspired café rider predicts that batteries will dominate the design language of future e-bikes

BMW Motorrad concepts have caught our eye in the past for their absolute design prowess and futuristic appeal. Think BMW Vision Next 100. Such is the weight of the brand that industrial designers are drawn towards BMW Motorrad namesake for their two-wheeled inspirations. The KF33 electric motorcycle by Rodrigo Magro Mañas is a cyber bike that gives a purview of the automotive industry a decade into the future. Rodrigo provides the motorbike with a fat belly to accommodate all the mechanical parts and, of course, the battery. 

Looking at this bike, the first thought that struck my mind was the above-mentioned battery/motor compartment. It is humongous! Given that the designer intended it to be a  café racer, I’d imagine the “fuel tank” to be much smaller. You will need the bike to bounce from one café to another with plenty of time in between to charge it, while you hang out with your café buds (or bud-lights). Given the availability of rapid battery chargers already, I’m sure an arrangement can be made to compromise the form of the tank. 

A concept bike typically encapsulates a unified design and a strong silhouette. The bike looks too front-heavy compared to the section from the rear swingarm and beyond. Just scroll down to the second picture below and cover the rear half with your hand to see what I mean. Given our love for BMW-inspired futuristic bike designs, Rodrigo’s imagination of an evolved café racer is a hit and miss. His focus also lies in a bold design since the motorcycle is envisioned for a future where reliable electric rides will dominate the industry. Of course, it will be a performance motorbike because who wouldn’t want one? Hence the sleek body encapsulates a powerful engine and a high-performance battery. The combination of power and performance means a lot of heat is generated. As a solution, Rodrigo has reinterpreted the famous BMW boxer engine shape for heat dissipation where the body cover is designed to release heat, with the telescopic fork and the Cardan cover protection also assisting in heat dissipation. The designer has imagined separate sections for the battery and engine while having a wishbone front fork and the Cardan integrated with the body. 

With some tweaks, this could be a BMW cyber bike that could become the design inspiration for a future BMW Motorrad café racer, and we are excited to see it come to life!

Designer: Rodrigo Magro Mañas

Custom BMW S1000RR ‘Phantom’ is the most unreal looking motorcycle you’ll see today!

It’s almost as if the Motorcycle Gods speak through Mehmet Doruk Erdem’s work. If you’ve seen any of Erdem’s custom designs before, they’re best described as otherworldly, bordering on celestial. Erdem has a tendency to visualize forms and surfaces quite unlike any other designer, creating modern monsters instead of motorcycles. Each of his custom BMW bikes have a distinct persona and features a front-heavy design that almost looks like the torso of a jungle cat leaping towards its unassuming prey. Seat yourself on top and you almost feel like He-Man riding his majestic and ferocious Battle Cat (a slightly outdated yet absolutely perfect analogy).

The Phantom is one of Erdem’s more recent works, surfacing on his portfolio page just a few days prior. Designed using the BMW S1000RR superbike as its base, the Phantom builds on the sinister appeal of the bike, amplifying it to almost a ‘cyberpunk executioner’ level. The bike comes with a crouching stance, sticking to the ground as much as possible. There’s hardly any ground clearance on the front, but most of Erdem’s bikes fall within the ‘salt flats racer’ category, making it a non-issue, really. The bike comes with some spectacular panel-work that looks Cybertruck-esque, with its edgy angular design. Designed more in the vein of a moving sculpture than a production bike, the Phantom doesn’t really sport a dashboard, rear-view mirrors, or even a seat! However, for what it lacks in functional details, it definitely makes up with its bold, brutish design!

Designer: Mehmet Doruk Erdem

BMW Motorrad’s “Spirit of Passion” custom motorcycle is an Art-Deco masterpiece!

Looking at this customized BMW Motorrad R18, the one word that comes to mind is ‘Chariot’. That massive fairing, courtesy Kingston Custom is instantly visible, recognizable, and authoritative… sort of something you’d expect Batman to ride in the 1930s.

Dubbed the “Spirit of Passion”, BMW Motorrad recently collaborated with Kingston Custom for the second custom edition of BMW R18 in the ‘SoulFuel’ series. However, unlike the standard practice with most custom bikes, Dirk Oehlerking of Kingston Customs didn’t pull apart the entire thing to build a new chassis and body from scratch. “The BMW R 18 is so perfect that I left the technology as it is. The frame is 100% original and so sophisticated that nothing should be changed here”, said Oehlerking. Instead, he built on the existing design, creating what one can only describe as ‘difficult to miss’. The front of the Spirit of Passion is massive, yet elegant. Styled from head to toe in an art-deco inspired aesthetic, the bike is hand-finished to perfection, complete with that elongated kidney-grille on the front mudguard, which extends all the way from the dashboard, over the headlight, and near the twin-engine setup. Similarly, the rear mudguard of the motorcycle is an exquisitely designed piece that almost extends all the way to the ground, and integrates the taillight into itself rather beautifully.

The BMW R 18 exhaust has been modified in the Kingston Roadster style, while the saddle is taken from a range of universal accessories. For the most part, the custom bike maintains the same paintjob as the original R18, with the linework on the black body. Although if you ask me, it’s a stellar combination of BMW’s engineering and brand DNA with Kingston Custom’s eccentric ‘Bruce Wayne meets Great Gatsby’ style!

Designers: BMW Motorrad in collaboration with Kingston Custom

Feast your eyes on this BMW Cafe Racer from the future!

It does seem outwardly reductionist to look at this BMW Café Racer as just a design exercise, but that’s what Concept Designer Sabino Leerentveld describes it as. The Netherlands-based designer decided it was time to work on a two-wheeler after a string of conceptual car projects, and the car DNA is very undeniably present in this café racer too! While the concept doesn’t have a formal name, Sabino likes to think of it as a cross between traditional café racers and futuristic bikes. After all, the concept’s silhouette clearly has an undeniably futuristic sports vibe.

The bike’s form is pretty linear on the top, with one single wave-shaped swooping line going from taillight to headlight; breaking just once for the dashboard visor. Its body-work is primarily a combination of metal and carbon-fiber, which makes for some interesting paint-jobs including one in Yellow, and another in Red which was lovingly dubbed as the Iron Man Edition on Instagram. The bike sports a BMW logo on its side, and in keeping with BMW’s tradition, opts for a split headlight instead of the iconic split kidney-grille. The edge-lit taillight sits on the end of the seat too, which cantilevers off the bike’s main body, creating an absolutely enchanting side-profile!

Designer: Sabino Leerentveld

Art Deco meets Automotive with this vintage-inspired custom BMW C400X scooter

Harkening back to the halcyon days of pre-war motoring when transportation was equal parts speed, style, and skill, the Golden Age captures this sentiment in a modern incarnation. The Golden Age is best described as a modified version of the BMW C400X, with its spiritual ancestor being the classic 1930 Henderson Model KJ Streamline. With a curvaceous design that’s highly reminiscent of the automobiles from a century ago, the Golden Age is just a vintage-inspired treat to look at… complete with chrome trims to punctuate the curved black volumes, a classic circular headlight, and a plush leather throne for the rider to sit on.

“The sleek streamliner will be powered by a 2020 BMW 350cc engine producing approximately 35hp and will employ all the modern convenience, technology and reliability built into the C400X. Coupled with a low center of gravity, the Golden Age is designed to be both powerful and nimble on city streets, not to mention supremely practical and rakishly handsome”, says Alexander Niznik, founder of NMOTO, the company producing the custom body for the bike.

Among other details that the Golden Age borrows from the Henderson KJ is its beautiful vertical grille. Adapting it, however, for the BMW machine, the custom bike sports the signature kidney-style split grille, reminiscent of the BMW 328 Roadster. Unlike the Henderson KJ, however, the Golden Age aims at being practical and comfortable to ride. The scooter-style seating arrangement gives the rider a lot of leg-space and makes it easy to mount or unmount the bike. Fold-out footrests are even built into the body for a pillion rider, and a conveniently located refueling inlet on the front means you can fill gas into the bike without needing to deboard. The Golden Age is expected to be unveiled in Spring 2021.

Designers: Tamas Jákus, Rostyslav Matiukhin, and NMOTO

The BMW Motorrad R Nine T-X shows that you can make a sexy superbike with simple geometry

Informed by bold, brutalist design cues found in urban setups and modern architecture, the R Nine T-X takes a different approach to designing a superior two-wheeler. Instead of an overly aggressive design, faceted paneling, brutish chassis, abundance of air-intakes, and saturated color-schemes, the BMW Motorrad R Nine T-X concept opts for simple shapes, a sensible design approach, and subtle palettes. The result is a remarkable bike that’s difficult to ignore. It’s commanding yet unaggressive, and clearly looks like the adult in the room.

An interesting part of the BMW Motorrad R Nine T-X is the way it’s built. Rather than having a standard chassis forming the frame for the entire bike, the R Nine T-X sports a central mass which holds all the bike’s innards, and acts as the supporting element for all of the bike’s parts, including the two wheels which branch out from it, and a snap-on frame that holds the seat/saddle. With a centralized hub so large, it would be pretty safe to assume that the R Nine T-X sports an electric heart, with a large battery pack to drive the beast. Despite its visually commanding central mass, the R Nine T-X is built like a café racer, with a relatively flat upper profile. The seat transitions pretty seamlessly all the way to the headlamp, with tight curves, and a simplistic LCD dashboard tops off the bike concept’s overall simple yet superior looking design.

Designer: Hyun Jik Song

BMW’s newest conceptual bike shows us zooming into the cyberpunk themed future!

The BMW Motorrad Concept Link seemed like a vision too distant, back in 2017; and now the Definition CE 04 scooter brings to life what BMW envisioned zero-emission mobility to be. This is the closest BMW is to designing an electric scooter for the production lines, as the final version is not going to much different from the Definition CE 04. Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad says, “ The BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 is the logical continuation of the electromobility strategy for urban conurbations and provides a concrete preview of what a contemporary production vehicle could look like, with which we will take two-wheel electric mobility in metropolitan areas to a new level, both technically and visually.”

The electric scooter designed for short city rides (approx. 12 km per day) is a true amalgam of urban styling and digitally connected aesthetics that will ultimately define the future. It is unlike any other scooter on the roads with a low profile, an elongated design that rises diagonally at the front to create a silhouette for a modern look. The low battery positioning gives more freedom for storing things like a helmet or a laptop bag. To give the cool ride its distinct character, there is the dual-tone –  Mineral White metallic and a matt black well complemented by the hints of orange. Interestingly, BMW Motorrad has left the drive unit, cooling ribs, single-sided swingarm, spring strut, and tooth belt exposed to give a sneak-peak into the innards. The U-shaped front LED lights and the C shaped rear lights also lend a distinct appeal to the Cyberpunk 2077 worthy look.

User-friendliness and practicality are always at the forefront for BMW Motorrad, hence, the Definition CE 04 is totally connected to the rider with a companion app and the 10.25-inch display. Even more interesting is the connected white-colored warm parka that has flexible protectors, integrated light guides in the sleeves, back, and hood for greater visibility. It also has an integrated wireless phone charger in the pocket. Isn’t that amazing, already!

As Julia Lein, Head of Rider Equipment Design at BMW Motorrad rightly explained, “We deliberately wanted to create a fashionable look that is urban yet highly functional rather than classic motorcycle clothing. We want to develop products with which you can get off the vehicle and go about your everyday business hassle-free. At the same time, the rider equipment offers the protection you are used to from BMW Motorrad and even becomes part of the vehicle communication to the outside world.” We are already imagining ourselves zooming into the future!

Designer: BMW Motorrad

This BMW Motorrad electric concept is bringing back retro with the WWII-era sidecar!

We love seeing designers get creative with electric bikes! Each one is unique with its features and our current favorite is this conceptual electric BMW Motorrad blended with El Solitario MC elements that is nothing like we’ve seen before in the e-bike world. It is bringing retro sidecars back with a cool new makeover!

This electric motorcycle is designed for long-distance journeys keeping in mind any tough conditions that can come up on the way. The aesthetic has been inspired by the iconic Ural motorcycles with the designer adding his own modern twist on the post-WWII BMW customs. Why is this e-bike different from the rest you ask? Because it swaps the traditional passenger cart for a sidecar which will be equipped with tools and essential gear. The extra storage space also includes straps to hold down the cargo or tools you are carrying and with a flat base, there is room for extra batteries too.

To assist with night vision during long off-road adventures, there are three LED spotlights in the front of the detachable sidecar. The designer gives a modern tribute to the Ural motorcycle with the detailed elements of the design. The smooth yet angular body of the e-bike sports a slate gray paint which gives it a minimal appeal despite its otherwise muscle-y build. The translucent mudguards placed above the thick threaded wheels help to slim down its physical form visually.

It also features a screen display with essential controls that make communication easier with its simple UI. The swingarm supports a slim brown saddle leather seat with handlebar grips. The whole motorcycle is powered by an 18.7 kWh battery supported by the cargo sidecar’s extra supplies. It is still a concept so the exact performance is not known but it was designed for long-range rides and is pretty neat for an electric bike that balances nostalgia with a futuristic build

Designer: Iago Valino