BMW is making strides in motorcycle technology with the development of illuminated winglets, according to their latest patent.
- This innovation could potentially be incorporated into future BMW Motorrad models, including the M 1000 RR and M 1000 R.
- The illuminated aero is aimed at reducing weight whilst enhancing visibility.
Currently, BMW’s S 1000 RR and M 1000 RR motorcycles feature turn signals integrated into their mirrors, eliminating the need for additional protrusions on the sides of the bike.
However, this solution adds weight and cost. By utilizing the winglets as turn signals, BMW aims to reduce weight and improve cost-efficiency. The LED strips in the winglets have a lower and more forward mass distribution, providing a slight advantage in terms of weight distribution.
The illuminated winglets serve a dual purpose, combining daytime running lights (DRLs) and turn signals. When the turn signals are not in use, the DRLs remain illuminated, turning off on one side only when the turn signal is activated.
This arrangement enhances visibility, especially in low-light conditions, making the motorcycle more noticeable to oncoming traffic. The wider separation of the DRLs defines the bike’s widest part, allowing for easier estimation of its speed.
In addition to the lighting elements, BMW’s patent also includes a projector light mounted on the lower surface of the winglets. This light is designed to project a puddle of light onto the ground, similar to the puddle lights found in cars. This feature enhances visibility when stopped, providing a better view of the surface on which the motorcycle’s sidestand is placed.
The patent even suggests the possibility of incorporating a transparent liquid-crystal display into the projector light, allowing for customizable patterns to be projected onto the ground.
While the primary purpose of the winglets is aerodynamic, BMW’s lighting innovation could prove to be more advantageous for riders in terms of safety. With the combination of enhanced visibility and the projection of light onto the ground, these illuminated winglets could offer significant benefits to motorcyclists in the future.
(source: Cycle World)