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Old 09-20-2014, 12:51 AM   #1
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BMW Concept Roadster | UP TO SPEED

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Attendees at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Como, Italy, were given a special treat when BMW Motorrad revealed its latest prototype, the Concept Roadster. If the recently released R nineT is a modern interpretation of a classic BMW, the Concept Roadster foreshadows the future of BMW’s naked-bike designs.

The basics—a tubular space frame, the latest liquid-cooled boxer twin engine, single-sided shaft drive—are familiar enough, but the styling is all new, with a more organic, animalistic aesthetic than BMW’s usual hard-edged designs. A compact, wedge-shaped silhouette suggests dynamic energy, while a high-tech, “matted LED” headlamp mimics a low-profile number plate. Lots of machined aluminum, an Alcantara leather saddle, GP-style exhaust, and cylinder head guards that mimic plastic knee pucks are deliberate “emotional surface configurations,” BMW tells us.

We know better than to dismiss any BMW concept as a mere flight of fancy. Remember, last year’s R nineT was a remarkably faithful interpretation of the Lo Rider concept from 2008. Furthermore, BMW shows no fear of micro-slicing its lineup into ever-narrower niches—we have no trouble imaging this bike slotted between the retro R nineT and standard R1200R, as a twin cylinder complement to the sporty inline-four S1000R naked. Don’t be entirely surprised to find a variation of this Concept in your local showroom sooner than later.

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