BMW preparing high-performance electric motorcycle

A high-performance electric motorcycle could be on the way from BMW, according to patents filed by the Bavarian manufacturer

the tank badge on the BMW R18 cruiser

BMW is no stranger to electric technology, be it in its two- or four-wheeled departments, but until now its electric bikes have been limited to scooters. However, that could be about to change.

The BMW CE 02 and CE 04 certainly stand out in the electric scooter market, with their large size and long wheelbase alluding to their performance that outdoes the standard 125cc equivalent.

Although BMW is reportedly working on a smaller electric motorcycle - patents last year showed they are working on something using components carried from its G 310 range - a more powerful electric motorcycle seems now to also be in the Bavarian works.

Patent filings published by Cycle World show the basis for an electric motorcycle of significantly more performance than a 300cc equivalent. It would be based on a similar philosophy to that exhibited by some other electric manufacturers, such as LiveWire, in that it would use an aluminium battery and electronics case effectively as a monocoque structure, with the parts around the monocoque being modular in nature, thus meaning the base could be adapted to a variety of categories. For example, the steering head bolts onto the front of the monocoque structure, and can therefore be removed and replaced with another steering head with a different design that suits a different category. 

Cycle World posits that BMW’s work in the four-wheeled electric segment puts it in an advantageous position in the two-wheeled market. Its work there on electric technology, and particularly on addressing the major drawback of electric powertrains - range - by playing a leading role in the development of lighter and longer-lasting solid-state batteries, means that, although BMW’s first electric motorcycles are likely to be relatively short-range models aimed at urban riding and commuting, the German company could be in a position to break new ground in electric touring and adventure motorcycles. 

These, of course, are markets which all manufacturers are interested in, as those which have the biggest consumer base in contemporary times. BMW, especially, feels the benefit of these categories, and especially the adventure class, hence its decision to build an all-new 1,300cc combustion engine to refresh its R GS range at the end of last year.

Find all the latest motorcycle news on Visordown.