IT'S JUST a toe in the water. But BMW is showing the way forward for 3-D printed parts on bikes, by actually producing bespoke fairing panels for competitors on the International GS Trophy event. The Munich massive has manufactured radiator scoops for each competitor with their name and start number, at the Asia GS trophy event. Even more impressive, these weren't just plastic parts, like eny fule kan make at home - these are real-deal aluminium parts, made by fusing metal powder into a panel with a laser beam. Wow. Some light milling finishes the parts off, and the look pretty smart to us.
The tech is so precise, there's even a paragraph of marketing bullshit made into the panels too, which points to a terrifyingly dystopian future possibility. Every part on your bike will be embossed with inspiring nonsense, like a GoPro ad made into metal and plastic. Eek.
Each rider gets the panels as a souvenir - nice - and BMW reckons the parts will easily last the tough 2,350km rally. It's not quite the firm's April Fool joke this year of having a topbox-mounted 3-D printer to make parts - but certainly shows how the 'additive manufacturing' technology is developing rapidly.