BMW Motorrad has made many electric motorcycles in the past, but none quite like this. Their latest concept, the Vision DC Roadster, imagines what a boxer engine electric motorcycle would look like. Taking inspiration from historic boxer motorcycles like the R32 and R90, the Vision DC Roadster pays homage with its battery cooling system to recreate the boxer look.
Conventional motorcycles typically have the engine as the centerpiece of the bike. Yet with electric motorcycles, the motor is typically much more compact. Taking up more space are the batteries. In the Vision DC Roadster, there is now a vertically fitted, longitudinally-oriented battery. The cylinder-shaped electric motor is positioned underneath the battery and is directly connected to the universal shaft.
For cooling purposes, two side elements protrude with cooling ribs and integrated ventilators. These simulate the look of the protruding cylinder heads of the original boxer engine. When starting the electric motor, these cooling elements move out slightly, indicating that the bike is ready to go.
The rest of the bike was designed with a low front section and short, high rear to convey a sense of agility. Instead of the fuel tank, a flat, finely-wrought tubular structure spans the top. Its shaping integrates the seat to create the silhouette of a sporty roadster.
The large battery with its laterally protruding cooling system is positioned at the center of a frame milled from aluminum. Designers decided to expose the universal shaft and the Duolever fork to add striking accentuations. The rest of the bike is made with high-tech materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum to reduce the overall weight and give it a technical aesthetic.
The minimalist design of the front and rear lights were designed with minimalism in mind. The headlamp shows the LED daytime riding light in a dynamic, flat U shape, while two compact LED lenses on each side provide the low and high beam.
The rear light consists of two C-shaped LED elements which are integrated in the aluminum rear carrier in minimalist, technically high-quality form.
The bike rides on tires exclusively made by Metzeler for the Vision Bike. It has five fluorescent elements, each about the size of a postage stamp, to make the bike more visible and appear more dynamic, whether standing or moving.
The concept was also designed to be used with a functional two-piece suit. While it does not resemble typical protective clothing, they integrate key safety features. The light jacket with large graphics in iridescent colouring and the casually styled black trousers have protectors that are sewn in almost invisibly. They also integrate various light functions as well as the digital connectivity of the future. An asymmetrical rucksack vest rounds off the rider equipment. It is fixed to the jacket with magnets. These make it quick to put on and take off. They also provides storage space and additional functionality.
The BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster is a visionary symbol of the future of BMW Motorrad with alternative drive forms. It showcases the electrically powered driving experience in honest, authentic form, in particular creating a new, distinctive aesthetic appeal that is still firmly rooted in the finest BMW tradition.
“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 pleasure,” explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad. “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!”