This appears to be yet another BMW April Fool’s Day joke.
However, the company never seems to stray too far from the unbelievable.
It is already possible to 3D-print parts and it is not inconceivable that sometime soon we will be able to print them on the run from a machine in our bike’s luggage.
The Bavarian jokesters are famous for their April Fool’s Day jokes, having begun running spoof advertisements on April 1 in the early 1980s.
BMW’s marketing department says April Fool jokes are “designed to teeter on the verge of credibility” and often focus on a new and revolutionary piece of technology, but “push the idea just beyond the plausible.”
Some of their other April 1 pranks were a self-cleaning car, remote-inflatable tyres, dog-repellent bumpers, tyres that melted snow and a self-driving car that follows you when you go for a jog. The last one is now becoming reality with self-driving cars!
This is their second motorcycle prank after the two-wheel-drive GS from last year.
Print parts on the go
BMW Motorrad’s press release says they have developed a 4.5kg lighter top box to house the printer.
The special top box would feature a layer of carbon reinforced polymer fibre to reduce noise and vibration and integrates the power supply so there are no visible cables.
The press release says riders could download the design and material specifications for the part from the “BMW iCloud” (something that doesn’t exist as far as we can find) using their phone, tablet or PC.
If they are heading into remote areas with no internet or phone signal can, they say riders could save on their phones the designs for parts they think they might need from the optional BMW Motorrad iParts Explorer before leaving home.
Parts would be able to be printed out in plastic, glass, aluminium, steel and even titanium using a process called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).
Imagine carrying all the spare materials just in case you broke something!
Here is the most ludicrous of the BMW Motorrad claims … they say they successfully tested the iPart 3D mobile printer in temperature extremes in the Australian Outback and even Antarctica.
Over summer, it was allegedly tested in the Australian outback at temperatures of more than 48C and with high volumes of dust. That’s entirely possible.
But they also say the mobile printer was tested in minus 50C in the Antarctic by riders on four BMW R 1200 GS motorcycles that went all the way to the South Pole.
The BMW Motorrad testing team allegedly followed in the footsteps of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, reaching the South Pole on December 16, 2017, exactly 106 years after Amundsen’s discovery.
The say the team even printed aluminium tent poles to create a shelter from blizzards!