In a groundbreaking move, BMW is currently in the process of developing illuminated winglets for their S 1000 RR and M 1000 RR motorcycles. Traditionally, turn signals have been integrated into mirrors on these models, eliminating the need for additional protrusions on the sides of the bikes.
However, this integration has come with added weight and increased costs. To address these concerns, BMW is now exploring the concept of utilizing the winglets themselves as turn signals. By incorporating LED strips into the winglets, BMW aims to reduce weight and enhance cost efficiency. Moreover, the strategic placement of the LED strips in the winglets results in a lower and more forward mass distribution, providing a slight advantage in terms of weight distribution.
The illuminated winglets serve a dual purpose, functioning as both daytime running lights (DRLs) and turn signals. When the turn signals are not in use, the DRLs remain illuminated, automatically switching off on one side only when the turn signal is activated.
This innovative arrangement significantly improves visibility, particularly in low-light conditions, making the motorcycle more conspicuous to oncoming traffic. The wider separation of the DRLs also helps define the bike's widest part, enabling easier estimation of its speed.
In addition to the lighting elements, BMW's patent includes a projector light mounted on the lower surface of the winglets. This projector light is designed to cast a puddle of light onto the ground, similar to the puddle lights commonly found in cars. This feature enhances visibility when the motorcycle is stationary, providing a better view of the surface where the sidestand is placed.
Remarkably, the patent even hints at the possibility of incorporating a transparent liquid-crystal display into the projector light, allowing for customizable patterns to be projected onto the ground.
While the winglets primarily serve an aerodynamic purpose, BMW's groundbreaking lighting innovation has the potential to significantly enhance rider safety. With its combination of improved visibility and ground projection lighting, these illuminated winglets could offer substantial benefits to motorcyclists in the near future.
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