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Return of the Cafe Racers - BMW Roadster Revolution

BMW Roadster Revolution

I love a good concept bike. An open brief and an aim to push the boundaries, breach new territory and who can forget the multi million dollar budgets behind them. It's not often that concepts go on to be production models though and if they do, they are usually watered down husks…


I love a good concept bike. An open brief and an aim to push the boundaries, breach new territory and who can forget the multi million dollar budgets behind them. It’s not often that concepts go on to be production models though and if they do, they are usually watered down husks of the original design. In the case of BMW Motorrad’s Roadster Revolution though this trend may be about to be broken.

Looking at other recent additions to the BMW Roadster lineup such as the R Nine T the radical looking Revolution isn’t too far removed from their current styling trends. While certain elements such as the headlight, rear fender (or lack of) and that sexy exhaust may get revised due to different countries compliance laws, we could be seeing a very similar version of the Revolution up for sale in 2014. As with all of BMW’s bikes there’s much more to the Revolution than it’s tricked out looks that make it something really special.

This concept bike is a symbol of how modern and emotional a boxer-powered BMW roadster can be.” 

Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design.

The Roadster is powered a 1170cc version of BMW’s classic flat twin, which produces around 125bhp and 125Nm of torque. With all that power and it’s unmistakable Street Fighter looks it’s easy to see why the photo above is part of BMW Motorrad’s media release photography for the Revolution. The days of hinting this type of shenanigans on a motorcycle are a thing of the past, manufacturers now know what their target audience want and aren’t afraid to prove their bikes can deliver.

Another classic BMW feature found on the Revolution is the single sided swingarm and shaft drive managed by an adjustable Ohlins monshock positioned directly beneath the rider. The bright blue tubular frame not only look great it’s a specially designed load bearing design that BMW have decided to highlight rather than blend into the engine, an aesthetic decision that I will happily applaud as it looks freaking hot.

Raw, milled aluminium is another key feature of the Revolutions design. On the big triangular air intakes the mill marks are still visible to add to the bikes aggressive street fighter looks and the sleek tail section is a single piece of alloy; strong, light and sleek. Milled alloy also surrounds the instrument cluster and the LED headlight lens, holds the headlight in position on the forks and forms the main body of the Revolution’s underslung “engine spoiler”.

A good balance of light and dark colours help to reduce the bulk of the horizontally opposed boxer engine and also draw the bike closer to the ground for an even more aggressive look. Flaked metallic white paint, neon yellow highlights, raw alloy and carbon fiber bodywork make the Revolution look like something from the latest Tom Cruise sci-fi flick, but if the rumours are true the Revolution isn’t a concept for the future, it’s a bike for today.


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