As a completely new concept between bicycle and motorbike, the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY taps into fresh possibilities for the innovative, urban mobility of the future. It is one 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.
Under the common umbrella of electric mobility, digitalisation and sustainability, these five pioneering concepts form a versatile and sustainably conceived mobility mix on two and four wheels that comprehensively addresses a highly diverse range of mobility needs.
BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY and BMW i Vision AMBY
AMBY stands for “Adaptive Mobility”. The BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY and the BMW i Vision AMBY interpret the fundamental idea of adaptive urban mobility on two wheels based on differing facets. 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 licence plates and the relevant driving licence are required to be able to travel at higher speeds, however. While the BMW i Vision AMBY as a high-speed pedelec requires constant pedalling in order to gain assistance from the electric drive, the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY is accelerated using the throttle grip and has footrests instead of pedals, as is typical of a motorcycle.
The modes available to the rider are stored in the app on the smartphone that connects to the respective AMBY vision vehicle.
Manual selection of the speed level is conceivable, as is detection of the road by means of geofencing technology, thereby allowing automatic adjustment of the top speed. As there is currently no legal basis for such a vehicle with a modular speed concept, the idea behind the AMBY vision vehicles is to prompt legislation that will enable this kind of set-up. In this way, the BMW Group is demonstrating that it will continue to be involved in providing mobility options in big cities in the future and offers innovative solutions.
New stimuli for emotional mobility on two wheels
“The BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY takes us into new territory. For us, the focus is on user behaviour – 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.
The design – the DNA of BMW Motorrad
The BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY defies all existing categories: visually akin to the world of bicycles, it is a motorbike at heart. Its slender proportions promise ruggedness and adventure, while its design suggests clear echoes of the expressive style and layout of an BMW Enduro motorbike. With chunky treads on both the 26-inch front wheel, which has a thinner tyre, and the 24-inch rear wheel with its more rounded tyre, the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY clearly shows that it is both willing and able to go anywhere. The firmly integrated seat with a height of 830 mm is just as typical a motorbike feature as the fixed footrests.
The seat also acts as a design element over the flat, rising upper frame section, creating a striking flyline. This produces a completely new, fresh look for BMW Motorrad – a link between the e-bike and motorbike world. The large energy storage unit and drive unit form a dark graphic block at the centre of the frame.
The large-dimensioned bicycle fork on the front wheel features protectors and gives the entire front section a more massive, powerful look. A small headlight with the U-shaped BMW Motorrad light signature is a clear reference to the roots of the concept, as is the double LED element as a tail light. Another BMW Motorrad feature is that the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY is accelerated from the handlebars, as is customary on a motorbike.
With a total weight of just 65 kg, the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY is significantly lighter than other motorbikes, ensuring it offers excellent manoeuvrability and agility.
Colour and material concept featuring depth and unexpected details
As compared to a conventional combustion engine, the concept of the electric drive in the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY means there is little in the way of visible mechanics.
For this reason, its technical heart is deliberately disguised and showcased in a striking machine-like style. This accentuates the highly elaborated colour and material concept, which goes well beyond the traditional dark underlying colour scheme and use of white highlights.
In its use of materials, the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY cross-references two other concept vehicles that will also see their world premiere at the IAA Mobility 2021: The BMW i Vision Circular and the BMW i Vision AMBY. The trim material used on the energy storage unit – known as “floating grey polymers” – is also used in the bumper of the BMW i Vision Circular. It consists of recycled plastic and can itself be fed back into the material cycle at the end of the product lifecycle. Meanwhile the material used for the seat is also to be found in the saddle of the BMW i Vision AMBY and in the tyres of the BMW i Vision Circular. Based on recycled plastic granulate and sporting a fascinating terrazzo look, it demonstrates how several materials can be given a second life with a new form and function.
Asymmetrical design of the sides of the vehicle
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-coloured drive unit, making a striking statement as a stylised graphic on the trim of the energy storage unit. While the lettering on the left gains additional visual depth from a colourfully 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. We foresee a slew of upcoming products with a focus on electric propulsion, particularly in the field of urban mobility. And I’m not only thinking of classic scooters here, but also of alternative modern, emotional products. Electro-mobility on two wheels needs to be really fun and adventurous and BMW is committed to developing corresponding products.”
On closer inspection, the interplay between the technoid pixel font with the classic serif font reflects a great attention to detail at several points: together these bridge the gap between the past and the future – just like the vision vehicle itself. The coordinates on the right are a reference to the BMW Motorrad Design Studio in Munich, where the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY came into being. On the opposite side, the letters “AMBY” also appear in Morse code, but with dashes visualising the dots. In their perfect interplay, all these carefully conceived details create a unique graphic and a highly contemporary sense of style.
The smartphone as the key
The specially developed app enables the user to activate the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY for riding, read in their stored driving licence classes and make use of the appropriate insurance cover on an on-demand basis as required. In this way, the app performs the classic key function while also making use of the customary identification options provided by the smartphone such as Face ID. Basic functions and status queries (e.g. current charge status) are available as in the BMW App. Further developments and adjustments to the software can be provided to customers at any time via over-the-air updates.
The smartphone shown in the vision vehicle charges inductively on the magnetic holder in the rider’s lower field of vision. These connectivity options would also allow anti-theft protection and the freely programmable immobiliser to be offered as basic functions.
And the answer to the question “Where is my BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY?” would be just a click away on the smartphone, too.
Geofencing as a key technology
Instead of choosing the riding mode yourself, geofencing technology combined with the detailed HERE map service could provide the required parameters for automatically adjusting speed levels (25/45/60 km/h) and the matching insurance cover. This technology enables the vehicle to detect the type of road, cycle path or slow-traffic area currently being used so that the maximum permitted speed can be automatically adjusted. In this way, the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY would transform from a vehicle similar to an S-pedelec to something that is more motorcycle-inspired. The user cannot override the mode. The required licence plate takes the form of an innovative display surface, so the mode selected at any given time can be easily recognised and read by other road users.
Additional technological innovations are conceivable for the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY, too: an optimised ABS system could further increase safety, as could an automatic high beam or brake light assistant, as well as daytime running lights. A tyre pressure monitoring system such as the one already available as an optional extra in BMW Group motorcycles is also conceivable. Finally, potential safety features could also include a distance radar with a range of up to 140 m to provide a visual and acoustic warning in the app when there is a vehicle approaching from behind.
The BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY shows one possible manifestation of what the modern, urban mobility of tomorrow might look like. It is intended as a blueprint to drive forward conversations about future-oriented travel in cities.