Technology / BMW, Triumph, KTM Team Up To Create Adventure-Riding NFTs

OK, we confess … if it wasn’t immediately obvious, yeah, this is an April Fool’s Day joke!

Tired of flipping through Instagram pix on your phone, looking at other riders living their Best Life Now, while you’re stuck with your lame desk job and a Saturday morning ride to Starbucks? Good news—a consortium of motorcycle manufacturers has announced a plan to create NFTs that allow you to look like you’re out there living on the edge, even if you aren’t.

If you’re not sure what an NFT is, you should click here to find out—basically, it’s a way of using modern blockchain technology to assign individual ownership of data. This means that you can buy specific riding footage, or a photo, or digital art, and it’s registered under your ownership. In other words: Nobody else can claim that footage of your GS shredding up the dunes … even if you aren’t actually the rider!

The NFT consortium is a partnership between BMW, Triumph and KTM, similar to the multi-manufacturer battery development program announced earlier this year. It’s called the Virtual Adventure Partnership In Danger (VAPID, for short). Under this program, riders will pay money to have their digital likeness placed into a motorcycle riding video, or Photoshopped into epic scenery, to be posted to social media. The exact mechanism of how this works isn’t exactly clear yet, but VAPID’s press release says it’s all based on blockchain technology, and all will be revealed in coming weeks—today’s April 1 announcement is just the beginning. Here’s a quote from VAPID’s managing director that explains the program:

We realize today’s adventure bike owner has many reasons to stay at home: Rising fuel prices, COVID-19 lockdowns and a demanding job that doesn’t allow them to take time off, or at least doesn’t allow them to travel outside cell range. Plus, we also know that the public has an increasing aversion to risk. With all that said, riders still want their friends on social media to see them out testing their limits. That’s where our program comes in. It gives riders the virtual edge, showing the public they’re in a dangerous situation, but the rider can remain home on their couch, or even update their adventures from the comfort of a local wine bar or coffeehouse. VAPID is safe, and VAPID is the way of the future.

The press release goes on to say that while virtual adventures are the start of VAPID’s plans, the consortium has a second rollout planned, in which riders can also purchase “virtual motorcycles” to be used in their NFT creations, even virtual farkles, with special-edition paint jobs available for extra money, if you can handle added wait times. The program won’t be cheap, but as big-bore adventure bike prices continue to climb, it’s the closest many riders will get to affording a new machine. The press release also promises limited availability for “elite riding destinations.” If you’ve got the money, you could be the first rider to conquer Mount Everest!

Who knows? This sort of thing just might take off, as gas prices rise. One thing’s for sure: If we’re only seeing the beginning of VAPID today, there’s no telling where this program might lead.

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