New Bikes

BMW is developing active aero, does it hint at racier BMW S1000RR?

Patents reveal BMW is working on active aerodynamic wing devices, which could make it way onto an upgraded BMW S1000RR it can homologate for WorldSBK

New patents filed in Germany reveal BMW is working on its own active aerodynamic system, joining the race with a number of manufacturers to bring such innovations to market… and the track.

Active aero looks set to be the next big when it comes to pushing the limit of motorcycles further and faster than ever before, a logical progression from the recent influx of machines with static winglets to increase downforce levels and ensure you remain sticky side down on the road.

Interestingly, the latest set of WorldSBK regulations revealed moveable bodywork will now be permitted for use on the race track, indicating a bright green light for manufacturers to begin developing their own take for its road machines.

BMW S1000RR Review 2019

We’ve already seen patents last year from Honda that suggest it is working on such a device, though it didn’t appear on the new CBR1000RR-R. However, that’s not to say a special racier version of the newly launched sportsbike isn’t on the horizon in the not too distant.

The same therefore applies to BMW, who are clearly working on a few potential solutions that could see the light of day in the coming months or years.

While Honda’s active aero patents clearly show a Fireblade, BMW’s is a generic motorcycle schematic  but interestingly reveals them placed on the front-fairing and also towards the rear, plus another set on the front forks.

Unlike the Honda, which retracts its wings when not needed, the BMW’s wings are continuously controlled by the on-board electronics, which means they can be moved independently of one another and are adjusted according to how you’re using the throttle, brake and lean angles.

As for what this means in the real world remains to be seen, but since wings are designed to increase downforce and assist braking, it suggests engineers can work on upping the power of the engine without so much fear of impacting the bike’s handling and stability dynamics. 

As such, we can educationally guess this could form the basis for a faster, more focused BMW S1000RR sportsbike, a machine that while accomplished on the road, has found itself lacking on track - particularly in the power stakes - against newer, faster models from Ducati and Honda especially.

The fact WorldSBK has paved the way for new models to be homologated with active aero provided they can be purchased from a showroom suggests this will be the next big technical advancement among the manufacturers competing at the moment - BMW, Honda, Ducati, Kawasaki, Yamaha and maybe even Aprilia if WorldSBK relents to allow 1100cc models.

If we’re thinking even more wildly, perhaps this will form the basis for the so-called MS1000RR that has been rumoured ever since the famed M Power performance subdivision was linked to BMW Motorrad last year...
 

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