ABS will be standard on all BMW motorcycles in 2013.
The move comes as the EU moves towards its 2016 deadline. At that point, all new Euro bikes will be required to have ABS – BMW is just getting a a head start.
Of course, BMW was the first manufacturer to feature ABS on a motorcycle, all the way back in 1988 – this isn’t exactly revolutionary new technology, even though many bikes still don’t have it.
Reports also say BMW is eyeing the booming Indian motorcycle market.
The Indian motorcycle market is booming these days; a rising middle class, a need for cheap transportation and a favourable climate means millions of bikes are sold on the sub-continent every year, on a scale unimaginable to North Americans. Figures vary, but estimates say between 10 per cent and 16 per cent of Indian households own a motorcycle.
Euro manufacturer KTM is already heavily tied into the market – mainly because Indian motorcycle giant Bajaj owns almost 50 per cent of the company. Hero, another major Indian manufacturer, recently broke free of a long-term deal with Honda and is now working in conjunction with Erik Buell Racing instead.
The word on the street is that BMW is interested in doing business with TVS. No, that’s not a cable television company, it’s India’s fourth-largest motorcycle company. They used to have a partnership with Suzuki, but that ended about ten years ago. Now, BMW supposedly wants to talk to them about developing bikes for the Indian market.
Would a move like this make sense for BMW? BMW has already dabbled with Asian manufacturing, with their G650 and G450X thumper motors; the G650 is assembled in China from parts made in Austria, and the now-discontinued G450X was made in Taiwan.
While sales of higher-end motorcycle brand continue to outperform their more modestly priced counterparts, there’s no question there’s lots of money to be made in India. If BMW can figure out how to do that, it’ll give them a much better position in motorcycling’s future, whatever that looks like.