BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster concept charts path for electric motorcycles

BMW may be focused on electrifying its cars, but BMW Motorrad has the same idea for its motorcycles. The division revealed the Vision DC Roadster concept alongside BMW’s Vision M Next concept on Tuesday, and BMW Motorrad said it points to a future that honors the company’s past but completely integrates future technologies.

At its core, BMW Motorrad is known for its 2-cylinder boxer engines. The company’s goal was to preserve the look and identity of the boxer engine but implement an electric powertrain. With that in mind, the division designed the bike to carefully mimic what’s often the centerpiece of any motorcycle: the engine. Instead of an engine, a vertically fitted, longitudinally oriented battery takes up the most space for the powertrain. The electric motor is integrated underneath the battery and connects directly to the universal shaft.

BMW Motorrad Vision DC electric motorcycle concept

BMW Motorrad Vision DC electric motorcycle concept

In another nod to the past, the battery features two side elements with cooling ribs and integrated ventilators for cooling purposes. Just like boxer engines of the past, the two elements sit directly in the air stream.

The overall stance of the motorcycle is rather sexy. The front is low, while the rear kicks up higher, which BMW Motorrad said was meant to convey a sense of agility. Where a fuel tank normally sits, BMW’s Vision DC Roadster concept instead includes a tubular structure that helps create the motorcycle’s modern-looking form. Materials used include aluminum and carbon fiber to keep the weight down, though BMW Motorrad didn’t say what the concept weighs with the beefy battery onboard.

BMW Motorrad Vision DC electric motorcycle concept

BMW Motorrad Vision DC electric motorcycle concept

The battery doesn’t skimp on design details, either. The company noted it sits in a frame milled from aluminum and features 3D surfacing. Those retro cooling elements that support battery temperatures also flare outward when the rider starts the motorcycle to indicate the bike is ready for take-off.

BMW Motorrad Vision DC electric motorcycle concept

BMW Motorrad Vision DC electric motorcycle concept

Throughout the body, red accents highlight various style lines and play well with brushed aluminum surfacing. Up front, a signature BMW motorcycle LED lighting element features a flat U shape for the daytime running light with two small LEDs flanking it for low and high beams. The rear light somewhat inverts the look with two C-style LEDs. Five fluorescent elements also jazz up the exterior and help make motorcyclists more noticeable in the dark, according to BMW.

We don’t know when BMW Motorrad will flip the switch and start making electric motorcycles, but the Vision DC Roadster concept promises a—pardon the pun—electrifying future, to say the least.


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