BMW reveals the Vision DC Roadster

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By Nicholas Yekikian

BMW has been making a lot of noise at its NextGen event this week. First the stunning Vision M Next broke cover and yesterday the Bavarian automaker announced that it was going to move up its plans for electrification by two years. Now BMW Motorrad – its motorcycle division – has taken a crack at electrification.

Meet the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster, the company’s first foyer into the world of electric motorcycles. While smaller companies have been exploring electrifying the world of two-wheeled travel, bigger firms have been slower on the uptake. BMW is the first major automaker to step into the fray of electrified bikes. 

The Vision DC Concept is, well, just that – for now. BMW didn't specify the battery capacity or any range target. Instead it’s a way for BMW designers to explore how they might keep BMW rich motorcycle heritage present in their designs as the company moves forward with electrification. 

To that end, the Vision DC Concept features circular cooling fins sticking out the sides to ape the cylindrical jugs on BMW's classic flat-twin bikes. The batter is mounted between the driver's knees, much like where a conventional bikes fuel tank might be, but lower down. The cooling elements for the battery are placed in the air stream, just like they were on the BMW R 32 from the 1920’s. The electric motor is mounted underneath the battery and is connected directly to the driveshaft. 

BMW says, “the overall appearance of the BMW Motorrad Vision DC conveys a sense of lightness so as to emphasise driving dynamics.” Lightweight materials like aluminum and carbon fiber were used throughout the bike to help keep weight down and give the bike what BMW calls a “technical aesthetic.” What all that jargon really means is that BMW wanted the bike to look fast, even while it’s sitting still. 

You can find the full press release and get into the real nitty-gritty of what this design concept means to BMW and its heritage here. With BMW entering the electric motorcycle space, it’s safe to say that these E-Bikes are on their way, and with the Harley Davidson Livewire due in dealerships in August, they may be closer than you think. 


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