BMW Motorrad is looking for new ways to get motorcyclists on the German brand’s two-wheelers, and as such BMW has created its “Rent a Ride” program. The name sort of gives things away, as the BMW “Rent a Ride” service is a short-term rental program that will be based out of BMW dealerships.
The concept is in its pilot phase right now, and focused on the German, Austrian, and French markets, with two dealers from each of these markets having a small fleet of motorcycles that renters can choose from.
If successful, the BMW “Rent a Ride” program will be rolled out to all BMW Motorrad dealers, effectively giving the German brand the largest motorcycle rental network in the world.
I know all you old-timers haven’t heard of it, but all the cool kids are using an app called Waze to get from Point A to Point B these days.
For motorcyclists, the popular “live map” program just a got a bit friendlier too, announcing today that it was adding motorcycles to its selectable vehicle types.
Don’t know what this means? Think of Waze like a social version of Google Maps. In fact, Google owns Waze and uses its data to power Google Maps’ route selector.
Unlike the users of Google Maps and the like though, Wazers (that’s the preferred nomenclature, dude) can report things to the app, like traffic jams, fuel prices, and our personal favorite: police speed traps.
Those of you with Sena intercoms on your helmets and motorcycles will be pleased to hear that your headsets just got a major range extension, thanks to a new smartphone app that connects to Sena’s communications system.
The idea is pretty simple, really, as the RideConnected App connects your headset via bluetooth, and to your smartphone’s internet connection, and then uses either that wifi or a cellular network to create a talk group.
This means that Sena users can communicate at an infinite range with multiple riders, so long as they have either wireless service available to them. It also means that non-riders can connect to the group talk, with their own smartphone app.
Motorcyclists probably recognize the name Continental for its work in the tire industry, but the company has its fingers in a number of key elements in the motorcycle industry.
Continental is the third largest automotive parts supplier worldwide, and there is a good chance that more than a few parts on your motorcycle (ABS, dash, suspension, etc) comes from the German brand.
So, we shouldn’t be too surprised to hear that Continental is developing what it calls “swarm intelligence” for motorcycles, through the Continental eHorizon platform. If you have no idea what that means, it’s cool. More simply put, Continental is trying to make Waze for motorcyclists.
Rever, the popular motorcycle route tracking app for smartphones, just got a serious boost today. The news sees BMW’s investing arm, BMW i Ventures, investing in the social media company, while BMW Motorrad will form a strategic partnership with Rever as well.
Details about the deal are a bit vague beyond the aforementioned, though one can logically deduce that BMW will be able to use the Rever platform for its riders, adding a connected social element for BMW Motorrad.
Of course for Rever, this means the startup has the backing of one of the strongest motorcycle brands in the world, along with a strategic investment – a two-fer for the Colorado company.
The idea of a motorcycle taxi sounds like a novelty in the Western World, but in Southeast Asia they are an effective and affordable way to cut through the massive traffic jams that occur in these developing countries.
It is only logical then that we see disruptive services appearing in this already lucrative space, so enter into the scheme UberMOTO.
The concept is as simple as the name, UberMOTO is just like Uber’s citizen-based taxi cab system, which allows you to hail a cab from the comfort of your smartphone, except instead of cars, it utilizing motorcycles.
Continuing today’s theme on fairly useless cellphone knowledge for motorcyclists, the good people at The Unicode Consortium (the people who run the industry standard on computer text and symbols) have released a new batch of emojis.
We understand if you may not know what an emoji is, but you’ve likely encountered one if you text message or use social media like Facebook or Twitter — think of it as a sophisticated smilie that is built into your operating system’s language code (a smilie being a group of punctuation that is meant to look like a picture, which is meant to convey emotion).
Popularized by teenagers, emjois saw explosive use after text and instant messaging applications gave access to them. Surprisingly though, there has been no motorcycle emoji for motorcyclists to use…until now.
If you are like me, you dread the moment when your alarm clock jolts you to life with its slumber-shattering tones – there is nothing I hate more than an early morning wake up, unless a Sunday Morning Ride is attached to it…and even then I will have some under-the-covers curses to say before I embrace the morning. Luckily, there’s an app for that.
Yamaha has gotten on board with this amazing new age device called “the iPhone”. You may have heard about this crazy thing that kids are using, and perhaps even seen a segment about it on 60 Minutes. Helping fuel the addiction, Yamaha’s application brings riding a Yamaha street bike or dirt bike into the palm of your hand…we think. Our Japanese is admittedly not so good…as in, no one here at the A&R office speaks it.
Despite this setback, we’re fairly certain the idea behind this iPhone application from Yamaha has to do with reving a make believe motorcycle with one’s closed hand, and pretending that an YZF-R1 or YZ450F is blowing your hair back, all while wearing a black Alpinestars glove. If that’s still not clear, check out this video after the jump for a demonstration of how to use the iPhone application from various angles and riding modes. You can download the application and try it your self here.