BMW has been a leading innovator in the performance motorcycle world for decades and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. While all bicycle manufacturers try to make their bikes as light as possible, BMW Motorrad has borrowed MotoGP technology and applied it to their road bikes. The Bavarians have filed a patent for new carbon fiber reinforcement panels to be mounted on the aluminum frame of their bikes, thereby reducing weight and increasing stiffness.

Carbon fiber motorcycle frames are incredibly expensive, due to the cost of producing very complex carbon structures, which is why only the most expensive bikes in the world have such things. Most bike frames are aluminum or steel, and BMW’s won’t be much different. This new patent shows an aluminum frame but aluminum much thinner than usual. The carbon fiber panels will then be attached to the aluminum frame to create the necessary stiffness and increase it from a typical aluminum frame.

This is not a new technique, as MotoGP motorcycles have been using it for some time. However, BMW’s patent is for on-road use and BMW has developed a way to make it cost effective enough that it can be used on a mid-performance bike, not a very expensive bike.

BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster 26 from 47 830x587

Another of the advantages of the new system from BMW is that the carbon fiber panels are removable and replaceable. So if one or more need to be replaced, for whatever reason, they can be quite easily, as they are just bolted parts.

BMW is uniquely positioned to make great strides in carbon fiber motorcycle technology as it is one of the leading carbon fiber automobile manufacturers. Its experience with the i3 and developing carbon fiber structures is lagging behind only a handful of the world’s most advanced supercar makers, such as McLaren. Thus, its ability to offer a cost effective carbon fiber reinforced structure for its motorcycles could be extremely popular among enthusiasts.

[Source: Cycle World]