BMW has introduced a concept bike that appears to hint strongly they’re planning to build their own scrambler soon.
The bike, dubbed the Concept Path 22, is based on the R NineT. The oddball name is derived from a European surfing hotspot, and the bike itself was unveiled at a surf party – just like that other scrambler, from that other company. The BMW scrambler was actually unveiled at the Wheels and Waves gathering, a hybrid surf/motorcycle part. The setting is fitting, since it was designed with artwork from Ornamental Conifer (a.k.a. Nico Sclater), whose work has been associated with Wheels and Waves for some time.
The bike itself fits into the party well, since it has an accessory surfboard strapped to the side. BMW’s press release says “all parts of the concept bike are necessary essentials.” We’re not sure how essential a surfboard is to riding – we’re guessing it makes crosswinds tricky – but it’s an eyegrabber for sure. Apparently, it can be folded down or removed when not in use. Mason Dyer of Dyer Brand made both a longboard and shortboard to go with the bike.
Will BMW make this concept into a reality? The company is hinting strongly that it will come in as a lower-priced version of the R NineT. There are lower-specced suspension bits fore and aft; USD forks are changed for conventional telescopic Ohlins units, and there’s a new piggyback shock. There’s also a set of cheaper Brembo calipers, instead of the radial-mount monobloc units on the R NineT.
The question is, can BMW lower the price enough to compete with existing scrambler models on the market? The R NineT costs $16,400 in Canada, while existing scrambler models from Ducati and Triumph start at $9,299 and $10,599 respectively.
However, BMW has two things going for it. Firstly, scramblers are hot right now – custom builders are cranking them out, and people want them – especially the youth market. Secondly, BMW already has a long-standing reputation for building top-rate adventure bikes. If they can make a decent big bike that combines off-road capability with classic styling, they could have a winner on their hands, no matter what the price tag.
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