MOTORCYCLES FLYING INTO THE FUTURE
The future is already out there in some form or another whether it is as a one-off design model or limited edition for spacey future motorbikes and attendant futuristic motorcycle gear. I think it is always right to think of the future as spacey because the technologies intersect and form symbiotic relationships for positive developments; I would rather have spacey relationships than those necessitated between military and civilian advancements of the past.
The futuristic generation may even escape the title motorcycle at all as they will essentially be flying machines, Family Jetsons’ style. We already have the functional Hover Scooter built by Aotearoa New Zealander Chris Malloy who has a contract to create and build ground hugging, but not touching, reconnaissance vehicles over the next years.
San Francisco Designer Norio Fujikawa vividly depicts another hover scooter designed for all while.
Marko Lukovic says his Moonrider “new kind of transportation is much more applicable and functional in urban environments like big crowded cities.” In the jet bike world of Dario Cavaliere plasma-jet engines already exist in the development phase, and they will be much more powerful than current jet-power engines.
When it comes to motorcycle gear, “Smart helmets” of the future may not only have integrated GPS, Bluetooth, communication systems, and the head-up display currently available. Noise-cancelling technology and air pollution alerts will also be incorporated son into motorcycle helmets. This is real reality- not virtual.
Designer and their manufacturers are utilizing smartphone apps that may even ensure you have a GPS coordinates recorded to ensure you don’t lose your bike while out wandering the city or the forest, not to mention chin-operated red flashing lights to alert others of your deceleration even if not applying the brakes. Some of these features may make their way into snowmobile helmet designs for that next time you are lost in a snow drift.
At first glance, new designs seem so far away from those which the populace ride today, it is easy to forget that the motorcycle companies are actually designing for us. Of course, the initial test models are not released for Joe public but ultimately the motorbikes of the future will be ridden everywhere.
We currently have some models on show that have extraordinary design features. If the latest vision from BMW is anything to go by, motorcycles will be so savvy in their design there will be no need of helmets, motorcycle boots or other specific motorcycle gear, when it comes to safety demands anyway.
“You have to try to imagine the future in order to give you a chance of creating it.” van Hooydonk, the Senior Vice President of Design for the whole BMW Group. The technology of a self-balancing system via digital technology ensures there will be no longer any need for specialized protective motorcycle gear or motorcycle helmets. BMW assure all that the motorbike cannot topple over.
BMW’s latest vision for motorbikes also incorporate an electric engine will be zero emission, a flexi frame for maximum responsiveness, terrain responsive tyres and a self-stabilizing system that means it never falls over when running and therefore will require minimum safety equipment, maybe some sexy motorcycle boots to look good stretch out on the road.
However, they don’t mention the always threatening risk from being crashed into by other road users. Perhaps this is where the research into the possibility for integrated airbag into clothing would be also a bonus. This airbag clothing if able to expand prior impact would lessen shock considerably. This technology is already applied in horse riding but not prior to impact so developments are still required for motorcycle riding.
BMW reflects an ethos from Easy Rider, with its move towards lifestyle choice and spirit of adventure. Back to the days of the wind blowing through your hair with the pilot glasses replaced by a sleek visor but nothing else to limit the assault of your senses as you tour through the countryside. However, as far as the not too distant future is concerned motorbike helmets are a legal requirement just as other motorbike gear is sensible for safety.
All I can say is, Bring it on! In the words of Steppenwolf, “Take the world in a love embrace, Fire all of your guns at once, and explode into space.”
Over the past 10 years, Laura Knight has been a motorcycle rider. She has built up an incredible passion for travelling by motorbike and always wishes to contribute to motorcyclist and traveler community. This is the reason why she created MotorManner.com where her passion is turned into useful and interesting information to the motorcyclists and travel lovers. Visit her blog to read more articles about motorcycle traveling gear reviews and helpful tips!