This spy photo, snapped by German moto media giant Motorrad, shows a funky tracker/bobber/cafe type thing equipped with telescopic forks and based around the iconic boxer-twin. Where have we seen that before? Oh right, in 2008 with the BMW Lo Rider Concept. BMW’s play at showroom customization, corporate’s drive to produce it was allegedly responsible for designer David Robb’s departure from the company.
The idea behind the Low Rider is simple and proven. When a customer rides out of a Harley Dealer with a SoftBob XXL or whatever, he doesn’t do so on a stock bike, but on one fitted with thousands of dollars worth of conchos or tassels or chrome skulls or whatever. It’s a proven model for increasing the spend along with increasing the margin both for dealers and the parent company. By packaging in those accessories with a monthly finance payment, the price of said accessory can be massively inflated. BMW’s new bike is about doing the same thing, just with accessories and customization parts tailored to a slight different demographic. Think street tracker seats instead of airbrushed flames or high mount scrambler pipes instead of low slash cuts.
According to reports, design chief Robb wasn’t happy with with this reduced utility, inflated price approach and boss Hendrik Von Kuenheim’s insistence on pursuing it was one of the reason’s Robb quit earlier this year.
Motorrad’s spy photos show a bike shockingly similar to the concept. The whacky headlight is gone, but the pairing of conventional forks with paralever single-sided shaft drive at the rear remains, as does the exposed subframe and shapely tank.
Shot alongside a naked version of the S1000RR, it seems as if naked bikes will dominate BMW’s new model lineup for 2013 when they’re unveiled at Germany’s Intermot bike show in October.