When BMW unveiled the Lo Rider Concept at the Milan motorcycle show in 2008 (Roundup, January, 2009), that design exercise was met with much enthusiasm. The idea was to produce a motorcycle that would not only break away from the company’s conservative image (a goal that the S1000RR has since clearly achieved) but also allow customers to select from a wide range of options. Among suggested styling choices were different headlights, tailsections and exhaust systems (high or low pipes) that would significantly alter the bike’s appearance.
These spy photographs are of a new roadster-style Twin—which our German source refers to as the Lo Rider or “Sport Boxer”—caught being tested. That source believes only a few of these prototypes are currently in existence. He also indicated that another retro-type bike is in development, one that will provide seating for two and a more-relaxed riding position. Could it be a power cruiser à la Ducati Diavel?
One clue that distinguishes the Lo Rider/Sport Boxer from the similar and current R1200R Classic is that the prototype (like the Milan concept) uses an inverted telescopic fork instead of BMW’s usual Telelever system. Also fitted are radial-mount front brake calipers, pieces not used on any current R-series Beemer (they were, however, on the 2008 HP2 Sport). The gas tank is camouflaged, masking final styling.
But one thing BMW can’t hide from prying eyes is the engine. The unit powering the bike in these images appears to be the current air/oil-cooled, 1170cc, dohc opposed-Twin found in the rest of BMW’s 2012 R line. Our source said that the bike in the photos sounded fantastic, with a booming “bass” rumbling from its exhaust. A distinct feature of the Lo Rider Concept was its twin underseat exhaust pipes, but this bike obviously is not equipped with such a system. We suspect that instead, it has a low-mount silencer(s) on the left side as on the R Classic.
When questioned about this prototype, BMW representatives declined to comment. But even though these photos raise as many questions as they answer, they nonetheless make it clear that BMW is working on a new variation of the Boxer platform.
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