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BMW Concept Roadster First Look

Friday, May 23, 2014
BMW Motorrad once again chose the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este to debut a Boxer-powered motorcycle concept. The historic car show, hosted at the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este by the shores of Lake Como, saw BMW pull the wraps off its Concept Roadster.

Last year’s Concorso entry from BMW was the retro-themed Concept Ninety, which the Bavarian marque designed and built in partnership with Roland Sands Design. This year das Motorrad crew went a completely different direction with the Concept Roadster sporting a more contemporary, high-performance aesthetic.


The more modern bent starts with the powerplant, as this year’s Concept sources the water-cooled Boxer Twin. BMW claims the familiar 125 horsepower/92 lb-ft torque power numbers from the Water Boxer, which has migrated from the 2013 R1200GS onto the 2014 GS Adventure and R1200RT. But the iconic Boxer engine is perhaps the least visually engaging element on this new Roadster, and that’s saying something considering the prominent neon yellow R stamped on the valve covers.

Overall the profile of the bike is quite aggressive, with BMW touting the Roasters crouched posture from its low-in-front/tall-in-back styling lines. The rear section of the bike is the most attention-grabbing. Milled from a single piece of aluminum, BMW press materials state “the deliberately visible milling marks create a rough, almost industrial look which contrasts with the painted and anodized surfaces.”

Integrated into the rear section is a racing inspired seat. It continues the neon yellow accent, with the color underlying the perforated leather surface. The seat is surrounded by its metallic base, and also melds with a stainless steel stripe which runs down the center of the Beemer’s sculpted tank.

Further metallic accents are the aluminum air intakes, flanking the black radiators. Like the seat, the intake is underscored with those neon yellow accents. More sleek-looking metal bits incorporate the instrumentation and headlight assembly. Speaking of which, the LED headlamp array is full-bore futurist in its design – a headlight that doesn’t look anything like a light.

Somehow the tubular frame stands out amidst everything else going on visually, courtesy of its triangular shape and bright blue color (BMW dubs it Sparkling Racing Blue). Another eye-catching element is the engine spoiler. BMW claims aerodynamic benefit from the spoiler, which also routes the exhaust headers that terminate into the dramatically upswept right-side tailpipe.

The high-performance element is cemented with the Roadster’s top-shelf Brembo radial-mount stoppers up front. Similar high-spec Ohlins suspension bits are also sourced, with the outer fork tubes anodized black. Concept bikes are a fun distraction, because it always invites the obvious question of whether there’s a production bike in the works. This Beemer seems more design study than assembly line-bound, by this author’s reckoning anyway. But the Boxer-powered R nineT reached production as a 2014 model, and is an amalgam, of sorts, of previous concept models – like the Lo Rider and aforementioned Concept Ninety. But those concepts and subsequent NineT are far more traditional designs than the brash-looking Roadster.

A pipes and slippers bike this is not! 

2014 BMW Concept Roadster Photos
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wd8cyv   July 23, 2014 09:09 PM
proof there is still life in the flat twin engine and hope they will build one thats a daily driver for use fellows that just ride without going real fast wd8cyv
RaptorFA   May 28, 2014 06:20 PM
Wow, not like anything I have seen BMW do before. The tail piece is just radical. Looking at it from the front is intersting, with those 2 jugs there! They tie it all in pretty nicely, though. They will have to be careful when adding the required running gear to make it street legal, as poor choices could ruin the line. So I wonder what the criteria is for them to decide if they want to actually build this machine or not. I mean, they put all of the time, effort and creative energy into making the protoype, dance it out in front of the world at a prestigious event, and then just give everyone the figer and say "Just Kidding?" Perhaps they were looking for a specific reaction to it, and if they got it they would consider it. Not sure, but if they do build it it's gong to be expensive. That tail piece alone is going to push the price well past what one would normally pay for a machine of this type, not to mention the top shelf componentry. I tend to agree with Bart, I think this was a fun design exercise and nothing more. I do like it though!
V8Thrasher   May 27, 2014 08:58 PM
This is a great looking bike, from the side view. Whats with BMW and having ugly front ends?
AnthonyD   May 27, 2014 01:14 PM
I have to agree. MV beat them to the punch on this one. Still, they are pretty great looking bikes, both of them. I wouldn't throw the keys back if someone handed them to me.
wildpig   May 26, 2014 06:51 PM
put lipstick on a PIG and you still have a PIG. sorry to insult pigs. bmw= big money wasted.
harleybro   May 25, 2014 06:32 PM
Looks like what you'd get if the Alien impregnated a Ducati Monster.
DanPan   May 24, 2014 01:32 PM
Nice..... But I see alot of styling coming from MV, espacialy from the Dragster...
Gray22   May 23, 2014 07:53 PM
WOW!! looks awesome.