Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: San Diego
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BMW Rep came by with only S1000 on west coast last night to bike night.
A BMW Rep rode a charcoal grey S1000 to the Mira Mesa Bike night last night with some young female play toy in order to get attention and interest in the bike, as if he needed to.
So the guy went to a press release about the bike with the BMW designers and learned about the design cues on the bodywork and why it looks so funky. SO here is what I learned.
The reason why the side fairings are different has to do with pressure changes behind the fairings. They used wind tunnel testing and advice from Formula 1 engineers to learn how air pressure works inside the bodywork. They found that by using the fin design on the right side, they could create slightly positive yet stagnant air that would resist a vacuum on that side of the bike. They then figured out that if they used a large gaped opening on the other side, it would work like a super vacuum and pull air very efficiently. By combining the 2 designs on the bike, they worked out this sort of super flow of air that would whip past the front of the motor and the radiator. The right side would charge the air pressure and the left side would pull the air from the right constantly over the motor and out the left side of the bike, which also is designed to dump out away from the riders body.
Now, the headlights. They wanted the bike to have a Suzuka Endurance racing feel to the front headlight assembly. Much like how race bikes that run 8 hours at Suzuka usually get a big hole drilled into the fairings and a PIAA light scewed into place, that's how they wanted the front headlight on the right to look. They knew that the left headlight would get covered by a number block, so they left it looking standard as it would get deleted anyway. Also, by not using the large headlight from the left on the right side, they saved a pound and a half from the bike's total weight. Thus, they get an endurance racing headlight setup right out the box with the left headlight easily deleted for a number plate.
The windscreen on the bike dips into the ram air molding on the front to help provide a blade of plastic that cuts through incoming air and creates a swirling effect to the air as it enters the airbox. This design cue in the wind tunnel supposedly added 7hp at top speed.
The bodywork of the bike, made from plastic, is also varying in thickness across the whole design. In order to save weight, the bike's bodywork is thick where it needs to be, and paper-thin when it doesn't have to be strong. They, again, saved a fair amount of weight in doing this. All of it adds up to low weight and a better power-to-weight ratio.
Now that I know all of the design ideas were done to shave weight, provide more efficient design for power and cooling, and to make the bike as amazing as possible. I like it.