2012-09-28 10:26:40+0000
  • Make:
  • BMW
  • Model:
  • Futuro
  • Year:
  • 1980

The BMW Futuro was a one of a kind German motorcycle built in 1980. It has a flat twin, four stroke 785 cc engine; with a top speed of 125 mph (201.2 km/h).

‟The Futuro was unveiled at the Cologne Show in September 1980, a show that saw the debut of the Honda CX Turbo, the Suzuki Katana and the first Yamaha V-twins. Naturally, these "real-world" machines overshadowed BMW's "dream bike" built around the old flat-twin engine.

Turbocharger High Point

But the Futuro was worthy of better things, and the Ki, launched eight years later by BMW, was obviously indebted to it on both the aesthetic and the technical fronts. Of course, the Ki had outgrown the turbo technologies that were all the rage when the Futuro was developed, but it represented a high point in turbo development that has rarely been equalled.

Parallelogram Suspension

If the girder frame of the Futuro has not yet paid off, this show bike did mark the first use of the parallelogram rear suspension that has become commonplace on BMWs since 1987. It was in terms of style, however, that the Futuro most foreshadowed contemporary motorcycles. With its disc wheels (often found on custom machines), its saddle wrapped around the fuel tank, its rear trunk (which inspired the Honda Pacific Coast), its wraparound cowling, and its integrated rearview mirrors, it was a forecast of bike shapes for the Nineties. Though its first showing was also its last, it still cleared the way for successors.


  • Engine: 785cc flat-twin four-stroke
  • Power output: 75 hp @ 7250 rpm
  • Valves: overhead valves
  • Fuel system: Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and KKK turbocharger with air/air interchanger and controlled "overboost" at low speeds
  • Transmission: shaft final drive
  • Suspension: (front) telescopic forks; (rear) parallel-linkage swinging frame
  • Brakes: (front) disc; (rear) disc
  • Wheels: alloy disc
  • Weight: 397 lb
  • Maximum speed: 125 mph


Gaze into the future… Maybe the Futuro was too far ahead of its time, but it gave a pretty good idea of the shape of things to come.

*This Atlas extra-large trading card is part of the EatSleepRIDE motorcycle stuff collection.

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