Electric mobility is already a reality now and motorcycle manufacturers have also been catching up lately. BMW Motarrad, known for making some of the most exciting motorcycles in the world, is also making the shift towards electric mobility. They have unveiled their vision for the future with its new BMW Vision DC Roadster concept. Its only a concept right now but BMW calls this the ‘electrical awakening’ of the twin-cylinder Boxer engine that has powered the bike maker’s motorcycles for over 90 years.
Speaking about the new BMW Vision DC Roadster, Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad explained, “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.”
The BMW Vision DC Roadster features a completely new architecture. The aim was to retain the iconic Boxer appearance. The heart is no more the engine but now the battery is at its center piece. Replacing what might have been the engine, there is now a vertically fitted, longitudinally oriented battery.
For cooling purposes, there are two side elements protruding with cooling ribs and integrated ventilators which look like cylinder heads on the Boxer engine. The cylinder-shaped electric motor itself is placed underneath the battery and is directly connected to the universal shaft. BMW Motorrad says that the Vision DC Roadster demonstrates a clever drive architecture that visually echoes the history of BMW Motorrad while taking it a step further.
Talking about the design, its certainly radical but identifiable as a BMW Motarrad immediately. The BMW Vision DC Roadster looks like a typical naked roadster with the low front section and the short high rear. With no need for a fuel tank, BMW has replaced it with a finely-wrought tubular structure that spans the vehicle corpus and its one of the key elements in the design.
The aluminum frame is also a key element in the design with the battery pack at its center. The battery trim has been given a beautiful three dimensional surface finish with contours and lines which give it a contemporary aesthetic appeal. The cooling side elements have a gimmick as well. They protrude out slightly when the electric motor has been switched on, signalling the bike is ready to go, in the absence of sound.
The BMW Vision DC Roadster makes extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum. The red contrast elements and brushed aluminium around the battery, frame and cooling systems emphasise the bike’s innovative geometry. And being a BMW, the attention to detail is crazy. The exposed universal shaft and the Duolever fork give a fantastic mehanical feel to the machine.
The flat U-shaped LED headlight with two compact lenses looks and the taillights comprising of two C-shaped LED elements are minimalistic but aggressive and mean at the same time. The bike uses bespoke tires by Metzeler which have five fluorescent elements, each about the size of a postage stamp, integrated in the design for added visibility and graphic effect.
BMW has also revealed protective riding gear along with the Vision DC Roadster concept with integrated lighting and connectivity aspects. BMW says that this is the vision of the future that the company would be heading for with electric technology. There has been no word on if and when there will be production version of this motorcycle, but with electric fervour taking over so rapidly, its certainly not far away.