BMW recently made a surprise reveal of a new all-electric concept bike called the Vision DC Roadster which is the first electric motorcycle the German firm has shown.
BMW were one of the first major manufacturers to bring a fully-electric production model to showrooms when it introduced the C evolution scooter back in 2014 but this is the first time the company has done anything with a motorcycle directly.
BMW did once show an electric version of the BMW S1000RR superbike but that was a technological cooperation with a local university and after being shown once, has never been seen since!
The Vision DC Roadster is, BMW says, an electric interpretation of a conventional BMW roadster powered by the now famous boxer engine configuration that has been the foundation of the BMW model range since the first one in 1923.
While this is an electric bike, BMW is pushing the fact it will be a performance motorcycle as well as a zero-emission model and while it remains a concept bike for the time being, it’s hard not to see something derived from the technology underneath being brought to a showroom in the next couple of years.
Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad said: “The boxer engine is the heart of BMW Motorrad – an absolute stalwart of its character. But BMW Motorrad stands for visionary zero-emissions vehicle concepts, too.
“In view of this, one question that arises is: what would happen if we were to replace the boxer engine with an electric motor and the required battery? The Vision bike shows how we’re able to retain the identity and iconic appearance of BMW Motorrad in distinctive form while at the same time presenting an exciting new type of riding pleasure.
“After all, anyone who’s ever tried it out in practice knows very well that riding on two wheels is just as exciting when its electrically powered! The high level of torque right at set-off makes for breath-taking acceleration.
“This almost brutal power delivery creates a whole new experience of dynamic performance. And the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster puts a face to this experience.”
Replacing what would previously have been the engine, there is now a vertical but longitudinally mounted battery. For cooling purposes, two side elements protrude with cooling fins and integrated ventilators. Overall, this gives a shape similar to the conventional combustion boxer engine.
The cylinder-shaped electric motor is positioned underneath the battery and is directly connected to the drive shaft.
The overall effect is one that keeps a traditional BMW look but mixes in the very latest electric battery and motor technology.