New Bikes

BMW unveils all-electric ‘Vision' for the future

BMW gives its clearest glimpse of yet of its electric motorbike revolution with the Vision DC Roadster

THE ELECTRIC MOTORBIKE movement has just taken a big step forward with the unveiling of this, the BMW Vision DC Roadster, a zero emissions concept from the German firm that previews its upcoming eco-friendly range of motorbikes.

Whilst the prospect of an electric motorbike has always been a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’, the BMW Vision DC Roadster is an enticing glimpse at the future with the manufacturer lavishing it with distinctive design touches that simultaneously reflect BMW Motorrad’s synonymous design traits with a contemporary twist wrapped around the idea of a green two-wheel machine.

The style language – which uncoincidentally incorporates flourishes of the BMW’s electric four-wheel i-Range – suggests this BMW Vision DC Roadster ‘concept’ will form a blueprint of a production model in terms of design.

Replacing the cylinders, the battery block is angled vertically and features active protruding cooling elements that imitate the Boxer profile. The familiar ‘petrol tank’ is just for appearances only to maintain familiar form but allows for more freedom in positioning the seat, which coupled to the low slung front-end provides a sharp profile.

Of course, the production version would temper some of these design elements for a mainstream audience but BMW has shown with the i3 and i8 that it isn’t afraid to go distinctive with any potential sub-brand, so we’d be surprised if the edgy, arrow-like frame isn’t maintained in some form.

So, what’s the timeframe on this? Well, it has taken three years for this to develop out of the BMW Next 100 Concept which was more ‘Tron’ than motorbike, so progress has been steady rather than frisky. Indeed, the fact BMW omits any notable powertrain details and performance figures suggests the actual sparky parts are not yet ready for public consumption. For now.

Either way, that linear torque will make it quicker away from the traffic lights than anything else that would be foolish enough to try and go up against it. 

Whilst the Vision DC Roadster is surely a glimpse at the e-future as a whole, as a concept it does showcase some nifty features which can be applied everywhere, notably its Metzeler tyres which feature small lights integrated into them, as well as riding gear which has been  re-imagined to provide maximum protection but look remarkably casual, including a magnetic attached rucksack.

These are the features that could make it to market first, but as a whole the Vision DC Roadster really does look like the most plausible ‘vision’ of what the mainstream motorbikes will look, sound and feel like in the coming decade.

 

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