For BMW Motorrad, the future is quite certainly electric with the world premier of the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster electric motorcycle (e-bike). Taking the design form of its iconic boxer-twin, BMW Motorrad set out to answer the question of, “what would a BMW motorcycle look like if it was electrically powered?”
Taking the place of the boxer engine is a battery, mounted vertically, with a cylindrical electric motor under the batter providing motive power though no power numbers were supplied by BMW Motorrad. The Vision DC Roadster gets power to the rear wheel via shaft drive.
With the need for cylinder heads, barrels and pistons gone, their place has been taken by a pair of cooling elements, visually filling the space taken by the boxer engine. The cooling elements are mounted in an aluminium frame, and move outwards slightly on startup to indicate the Vision DC Roadster is ready to go.
The traditional motorcycle frame is also gone, replaced with a milled aluminium frame and tube structure with openings machined in to reduce weight and to improve visual aesthetics. The top spar of the frame continues to the rear of the Vision DC Roadster to form the seat unit, with a kick up at the end to house the rear LED lights.
Contrasting elements in red at the battery, frame and cooling elements set off the overall black and silver colours of the Vision DC Roadster. The LED headlight is minimalist, with an LED DRL forming a ‘U’ and separate lenses for high and low beam.
Front suspension uses BMW Motorrad’s Duolever forks, otherwise known as a Hossak fork. The single absorber is mounted to the frame and fork legs with a pair of semi-trailing arms, giving movement that mimics the feel of traditional telescopic forks without the binding and stiction of sliders and fork tubes while incorporating a measure of anti-dive and more fork travel.
Tyres for the Vision DC Roadster are made by Metzeler that have five fluorescent postage stamp sized tabs set into the sidewall for visual impact during night riding. Also part of the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster package is a two-piece suit that functions both as riding safety gear and fashion statement.
The jacket, in grey and black, comes with iridescent elements with black trousers, with protective padding sewn in to be as unobtrusive as possible. Completing the ensemble is an asymmetrical ruck sack that attaches to the jacket with the use of permanent magnets.
While the Vision DC Roadster is very much a technology demonstrator for BMW Motorrad, showcasing what the Munich manufacturer is capable of in the e-bike arena, e-bikes are definitely on the horizon for riders. What do you think? are e-bikes merely a quick buzz or the wave of the future? Leave a comment in the section below.