Pushing boundaries has always been a part of BMW Motorrad. The future of mobility is full of surprises – as can be seen from the floating boxer. A construction kit was the start.
The LEGO designers have tasted blood. They are looking for their next adventure. The Danes have already built the miniature construction kit of the R 1200 GS from colourful bricks. "You can create anything with LEGO Technic, even the future", says designer Lars Thygesen, confidently. From these inspired thoughts, the LEGO team and BMW Motorrad set themselves a new challenge.
The ambitious goal: develop a futuristic bike that will answer the question of what motorcycle riding will be like in the future. Topsy-turvy world: the LEGO designers use their own construction kit as a basis for creating a concept bike. What happened next is phenomenal. The bike of the future is made up of the exact same parts as the LEGO Technic R 1200 GS Adventure, which presented a massive problem for designers at BMW Motorrad.
BMW gives you wings.
They achieve the impossible. The employees in Munich bring the Danish vision to life and develop a real hover bike from the construction kit – a flying motorcycle that floats above the tarmac. Hover Ride. Alexander Buckan, Head of BMW Motorrad Vehicle Design, is fascinated by this vision of the future: "Creating a fictitious, visionary model fro parts of the LEGO Technic BMW R 1200 GS Adventure construction set was an excellent idea and a great creative challenge.
The concept incorporated design DNA from BMW Motorrad with typical elements such as the boxer engine and the characteristic GS silhouette, while also being influenced by the design vocabulary of LEGO Technic". Go everywhere and create the future. It looks as though LEGO Technic and BMW Motorrad are spiritual brothers.
A BIKE IN BRICKS.
The two project partners have already proven in the past that they share common ground: we can assume that the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure has been almost everywhere on this planet, but never before in the office of Lars, in the town Billund in Denmark. Lars is sitting at his desk; next to him sits the magnificent 260 kilo, 125 HP strong machine. The Dane observes the motorcycle; his eyes scan the fork, then he turns his gaze back to his intricate illustration.
The fantasy is set to become a reality.
The GS satisfies all the requirements.
In the idea's early stages, several bikes were considered. But the Adventure came out on top in the selection process.It ranked all the models in the three areas important to LEGO Technic when designing a new model: functionality, authenticity and challenge to build. The R 1200 GS Adventure unites all these qualities.
Why is this motorcycle in this office of all places? The Dane has been a designer at the LEGO Group for almost 25 years. He has been drafting vehicles for LEGO Technic for over five years, He has BMW Motorrad to thank for the fact that the machine is next to his desk. In August 2015, the Munich-based company first got in touch with the creative building block architect from Billund. The idea: create a LEGO Technic model from a real machine. The Danish toy company had already worked with the BMW Group to implement the MINI Cooper in the LEGO Creator range. The technical handicraft enthusiasts had also already designed motorcycles. But these had only been virtual models up until now. Now, a real motorcycle will be "posing as the model".
Stirring up ambition.
When Lars heard about the idea, one thing became clear to him: this would be his project. "I am very passionate about motorcycles, and what I found special was designing these machines with a meticulous attention to detail", the designer explains. But despite his vast experience, this project is nevertheless posing new challenges. "It is a special motorcycle with many unconventional properties.
The fork, the rocker arm and the single rocker on the rear wheel. I have designed many motorcycles with LEGO Technic in the past, but never with special features like these", Lars tells us. The challenge arouses his ambition, and he immediately gets to work.
Working like a translator.
The big meeting with BMW Motorrad takes place one month after initially making contact. There is already an initial prototype of the miniature Adventure on the conference table. The model is impressive, the partners are in agreement, and the project gets underway. Lars hits the ground running. With the motorcycle, the most important tool, next to his desk during the drafting stage. "It was a great help because I was able to see the parts in great detail and measure the proportions." Lars' work is similar to that of a translator. He listens to the original machine, records the words uttered by the metal bike, mulls them over and translates them into the language of LEGO Technic. And this is how several models came into being, which are now on their way down to Munich.
Everyone plays with LEGO bricks.
When meeting with the responsible designers at BMW Motorrad, Lars demonstrates his prototypes. The contacts are delighted that their machine is being used by LEGO Technic. But the path to the perfect replica has not yet been closed. It remains under discussion, details are being commented on and of course – played with.
Freed from constraints and regulations, the Bavarians build their very own virtual models as well, and the building block fever quickly spreads like wildfire through surrounding departments.
The most difficult task.
Lars flies back to Denmark with fresh impetus. His detailed knowledge about the machine has also grown. It's the little things like the fact that the logo on the machine is crooked until the rider mounts the saddle; only then does it become straight. The direction of Lars' drafts is correct. "It was a really creative discussion, but we still all had the same train of thought", the LEGO designer says, describing his visit. Back in Denmark, the single-sided swing-arm tests Lars' ability to the max. "It was difficult to make it stable, because it is only plastic. Nevertheless, the Dane managed to build the all-important part out of existing bricks. Not one single LEGO element had to be made specially for his GS model. "I didn't have to make any compromises", Lars tells us about the most difficult task during implementation.
The final test.
His perseverance pays off in the end. When the designers at BMW Motorrad come to visit the LEGO headquarters in March 2016, the finishing touches are being made to the model. After this, it must then pass through the strict LEGO design assessments. But when the guardians of suitability didn't find any faults and gave it their thumbs up, "everyone is happy", as Lars puts it. For now he is getting ready for his next GS adventure: offroad biking at the Enduropark Hechlingen.