Motorcycle Radio Infotainment System Design & Manufacture


Pi Innovo was subcontracted by Alpine to design and manufacture an advanced radio infotainment module as an OEM option fit to BMW’s latest range of high-end motorcycles.

While the project had two years to go from a leading edge concept to start of production (SOP) the specification at launch had to be compatible with current developments in consumer media electronics.

The mechanical design of the product had to be waterproof to IP56 and meet the harshest automotive electrical and environmental standards and be globally certified for both EMC and Bluetooth.


Pi Innovo’s direct customer was Alpine, with a technical center in Asia and a project management center in Europe. The Pi Innovo team, based in the UK, rapidly established a close working relationship with both centers, and with BMW, also based in Europe.

Pi Innovo took the lead in converting the initial concepts into a detailed product specification, during which several prototype systems were delivered and evaluated by BMW.

The final specification called for an AM/dual-FM RDS tuner with traffic message channel (TMC), mp3 music playback from USB memory stick and iPod connectivity. The specification also included the option to easily upgrade the design to include a satellite tuner. The audio output needed to connect to multiple Bluetooth enabled cycle helmets and include a Class-D amplifier for direct drive to speakers.

As an OEM option fit, the unit was designed to integrate with the vehicle CAN bus to communicate with the existing display cluster and user controls on the motorcycle.

All detailed electronics, software and mechanical designs were created by Pi Innovo engineers to automotive quality and safety standards. Having responsibility and control both the design and production engineering process allowed our engineers to continue to incorporate new technology developments into the design until late in the project.

The project required a completely new mechanical design; however, the UK design team was able to engage the manufacturing engineering experts early in the process. This ensured that even the first revision designs were fully manufacturable and minimized the project duration.

During the extensive testing, validation and certification phases of the project, Pi Innovo engineers worked closely with Alpine and BMW at various sites in Europe to ensure timely completion.

Results and Impact

Pi Innovo delivered fully certified product in time for BMW’s motorcycle product launch. The product is an OEM infotainment option that has state-of-the-art specifications equaling that of rapidly evolving consumer products.

Project Features

Requirements Capture
Project Management
APQP development
Bluetooth Software integration
Embedded Real Time software development
DSP software development – audio tuning
Mechanical Design & integration
Electrical Design & integration
Design & Process Validation
Production launch
Safe Launch planning
System testing