Patents have been filed by BMW for a new flexible fuel tank, which all but confirm that there’s a hybrid motorcycle on the way from the German giant.

Of course, this isn’t the first we’ve heard about the Bavarian factories forays into the hybrid world. Remember Wunderlich’s BMW R 1200 GS which was powered by a 7.6 kW electric motor in the front wheel hub, in addition to its usual Boxer lump? Well now it looks like things are getting official.

The new patents show a “variable capacity” tank – with the lower part made of a flexible material; to make it easy modify its shape and accommodate (in a non-permanent way) an additional battery designed to power an electric motor. Clever stuff.


The main advantage of the supposed system would be that you could take advantage of its hybrid capabilities when you’re in and around town – and then remove the extra battery expand the traditional fuel tank for longer journeys. Admittedly, the patent doesn’t go into the specifics of the hybrid system itself, it’s not too much of a stretch to assume the purpose of the new technology.

Ross Mowbray
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