The BMW R 1200 Hover Bike Concept - From Fiction to Reality?
BMW Looks To The Future With A Little Help From....Legoby TJ Hinton, on
“If man can dream it, man can build it...eventually.” These were my father’s words to me when, after seeing Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on the big screen, I asked if any of that was real or even possible. (I was seven years old, gimme a break.) Perhaps someone at the Bayerische Motoren Werke had a similar experience? LEGO has long been partnered with BMW to make block kits that reproduce real-world motorcycles through its unique medium, but it’s the visionary Hover Ride concept model that really has Beemer’s engineers, and the rest of us, all abuzz. The factory was excited enough to go to the trouble and expense of actually putting together a real-life-scale concept vehicle, and in the process, it even took steps to make it somewhat plausible. After all, what drives imagination more than fiction with a certain amount of suspension of disbelief?
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What’s The Buzz?
To those who think it’s not really all that plausible, I would refer you to the genius of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek series. Flip-open wireless communicators? A decade old now. Phasers on stun? Tasers are even older. Tricorders? Battlefield medics now have something like a hand-held, man-portable sonogram that can see into a casualty’s nether regions. I’m sure there are more, but I’m equally sure you get the point. Granted, it took around 50 years to make the jump from stage prop to real life, but these devices did make the jump. I don’t consider going from toy to truth to be any greater of a leap, especially with an entity like BMW working on it.
Looking at the model I can see plenty of currently available bits and bobs. The front fairing, boxer-twin powerplant and piggyback shocks are all familiar to mine eyes. My own understanding of engineering leaves me scratching my head at the shocks, and the position of the center-of-lift at the rear fan is well below the center of gravity, so the design as it stands is going to be quite unstable. But still, it’s a start. Maybe I’m too old-fashioned in my thinking? After all, pilots used to believe the sound barrier couldn’t be broken. Before that, it was believed if a train went faster than a mile-a-minute it would suffocate the passengers due to the air being sucked out of the cars. Before that, the earth was flat.
Exciting stuff, indeed.