There is currently a competition among superbike manufacturers to deliver more power, improved electronic aids, advanced aerodynamics, and other features to make motorcycles faster on race tracks. BMW Motorrad has come up with a new idea: active aerodynamics for their M or S 1000 RR models.
BMW's patent suggests transforming the static aerodynamic winglets commonly found on superbikes into active ones. Static winglets are effective in stabilizing motorcycles and reducing wheelies, which improves grip. However, they are not helpful in corners where airflow becomes unpredictable, causing issues for riders and those behind them.
By making these winglets dynamic, BMW's engineers can address the airflow problems and direct it to increase the bike's downforce through corners without compromising stability. The patent reveals that the system is designed to keep the winglets parallel to the road's surface regardless of the bike's lean angle. This ensures that the downforce is always directed in the right way.
It is important to note that this technology is primarily intended for professional racing, specifically WSBK. While it may eventually be available on the S 1000 RR, similar to the interesting technologies seen in MotoGP from other manufacturers, active aerodynamics is not allowed in MotoGP and is designed for professional riders only.
For average consumers, it is likely that we will see a homologation special version of this technology, similar to Ducati's Panigale V4 SP2, Honda's Fireblade SP, BMW's M 1000 RR, or the legendary Group B era in WRC where manufacturers had to create high-performance cars that the public could purchase.
Details about how BMW's system will work are still undisclosed in the patent, but it mentions that the winglets are hinged with actuators. Considering that lean-angle sensors are already standard on most modern motorcycles and are used for traction control, stability control, and drift modes, it is possible that BMW will integrate the active aerodynamics system with these existing systems.
Regardless of how this aerodynamic system is implemented in the future, it is expected to be impressive. While most people outside of professional racing, such as WSBK, Isle of Man, and MotoGP, may not be able to fully utilize its capabilities, it will still be an exciting development.