It’s not that manufacturers haven’t tried to use technology, 360 virtual tours of new models fill websites and advanced displays travel around the country to motorcycle shows and rallies. But local dealerships tend to rely on knowledgeable staff and shiny new motorcycles to encourage riders into the saddle of the latest models.
Taking a popular attraction at motorcycle shows and rallies, Long Beach BMW Motorcycles is now offering the first BMW Virtual Reality Experience in their Long Beach showroom, providing an opportunity to virtually test ride on a variety of BMW motorcycles.
Clutch and Chrome enjoyed this Virtual Reality Experience first-hand at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show, as seen in the video below at the 13’20 mark.
“We are always looking for ways to get more non-riders interested in motorcycles,” explained David Lindahl, owner and sales manager. “There is certainly no substitute for the feeling you get when you’re on a bike, but for people who haven’t yet learned how to ride it’s a fun way for them to see what they’re missing.”
Long Beach BMW Motorcycles is taking advantage of this technology to give non-riders and riders the opportunity to take a ride without leaving the showroom. Users wear an Oculus Gear VR headset for 360-degree visuals, while over-ear headphones provide high-quality sound. A Subpac wearable subwoofer completes the fully immersive experience by transmitting the feeling of the roaring engine to the user.
Students of local California Motorcyclist Safety Programs are already taking advantage of the setup, taking fully immersive rides around the track on a BMW S 1000 RR, venturing into the dirt aboard a BMW R 1200 GS, and cruising around country roads on a BMW R nineT.
“The virtual reality experience definitely appeals to non-riders, but even seasoned motorcyclists are enjoying it,” Long Beach BMW Motorcycles owner and general manager Charles Berthon added. “For a lot of people this is their first time experiencing media in this format, so we’re excited to be able to offer this program and get people excited about riding motorcycles.”