Electric motors are supposed to be the successor to the internal combustion engine and manufacturers are making the transition towards the electric mobility on both two and four wheels. BMW Motorrad, largely known for its evocative motorcycles is also working on an electric future for itself and is offering a glimpse of the future with its new Vision DC Roadster concept. BMW calls the ‘electrical awakening’ of the twin-cylinder Boxer engine that has powered the bike maker’s motorcycles for over 90 years. The BMW Vision DC Roadster is only a concept for now but could just preview a future Rnine T model with an electric drive.
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 a 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 is built around a completely new architecture with the battery as its centerpiece. The manufacturer retains the iconic Boxer appearance with its concept of the future, which can be determined as an electric on closer inspection. The bike uses a vertically fitted, longitudinally oriented battery and is mounted in place of the conventional engine, while two side elements protrude with cooling ribs and integrated ventilators, which are quite similar to the 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 states that the Vision DC Roadster demonstrates a clever drive architecture that visually echoes the history of BMW Motorrad while taking it a step further.
The design language on the BMW Vision DC Roadster is dynamic with the low front section and the short high rear. The design gives a sense of agility on the motorcycle, while a very interesting bit is the tubular structure that shows up like the skeleton of the motorcycle, replacing where a fuel tank would be placed. The aluminium frame structure also plays a key factor in the with the battery at the centre of the frame. Given the silence that comes along with electric motors, BMW has worked an innovative to denote that the bike is ready with the side cooling elements moving out slightly when the electric motor is turned on.
The BMW Vision DC Roadster uses extensive cabon fibre and aluminium in its construction that further adds to its visual appeal. The red contrast elements and brushed aluminium around the battery, frame and cooling systems further emphasise on the bike geometry. There’s extensive attention to detail as well with the use of high quality materials throughout the concept. Details like the exposed universal shaft and the Duolever fork add a striking mechanical look to the motorcycle, while the flat U-shaped LED headlight with two compact lenses looks menacing. The taillight comprises two C-shaped LED elements that carry a minimalist look on the motorcycle. BMW says the Vision bike uses tyres exclusively made by Metzeler, while there are five fluorescent elements, each about the size of a postage stamp, integrated in the design for added visibility and graphic effect.
In addition, BMW also revealed protective riding gear along with the Vision DC Roadster concept with integrated lighting and connectivity aspects. BMW Motorrad conveys the new concept is a symbol of the future of the manufacturer with alternate drive forms. The manufacturer has not yet revealed details on if and when there will be a production version to the concept, but we do see it coming in a torque-filled future closer than ever. And sure looks exciting!