BMW Motorrad Concept Link is a smart and zero-emission scooter from the future, that BMW says will reinvent two-wheeled urban mobility.
BMW’s motorcycle division has unveiled a new concept bike called the BMW Motorrad Concept Link at this week’s ultra-posh Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como, Italy. And while it’s far more tame than the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept that the company flaunted last year, it’s a much more realistic take on what the near-future of Beemers could look like.
The BMW Concept Link is a zero-emission scooter that BMW says will reinvent two-wheeled urban mobility, which ticks all the right boxes in an era full of emissions scandals. But it’s not all just talk — you can see from the bike’s low, long profile that it’s clearly been designed with a floor full of batteries in mind.
There are a few impractically fun futuristic touches, too.
BMW imagines the rider wearing a connected jacket (which sounds somewhat similar to the one that Google is making) that can open the luggage compartment with a wave of the hand. And the design is aggressively post-modern. The neon orange windscreen, seat stitching, and cabling all make it look like it’d be right at home in a sci-fi movie like Blade Runner. (The cavernous cement locations in the concept renderings certainly help that notion.)
At the heart of the new Concept Link is a compact electric motor driven that is powered by large, flat batteries in the underfloor area of the bike. This not only allows BMW to place the weight low down, it has also allowed them to create a distinctive look, which is further enhanced by the silver and matt black body.
Due to the shape of the bike, BMW says it’s ideally suited for urban riding. It’s low overall height make it easy to hop and off, while the electric motor provides fast acceleration and easy handling along with urban indulgences such as a reverse gear. To make it suitable for all, the seat can be adjusted from a sport single seater to a comfortable two-person bench, while hidden underneath is a large storage area accessed through a sliding hatch.
The Concept Link has a completely new design style with its mixture of covered and uncovered parts. The completely covered wheels strike an interesting juxtaposition against the partially covered rear side section, revealing technical elements like drive unit, cooling ribs, single-sided swing arm, spring strut and tooth belt. At the same time, BMW says they help improve aerodynamic air flow.
BMW is also touting a few features that sound like they could eventually make it into future vehicles, despite the fact that this bike will never hit the road (at least not as-is). The Concept Link ditches the traditional instrument cluster in favor of projecting things like speed and battery information onto the windshield. A touchscreen sits between and below the handlebars for controlling everything else.
The company also says the Concept Link “knows what’s in the rider’s calendar” and is able to plan routes accordingly. It can also select “suitable music” for the trip, which sounds clever even if I’m not sure how useful it would be in the real world.