You may recall, almost three years ago, BMW showed us the Motorrad Vision Next 100 – a concept bike celebrating the marque’s centenary, and one that refused to topple over regardless of how incompetent its rider was. Well, the Motorrad dream factory has once again whirred into life and produced this – the Vision DC Roadster, a study on how an all-electric BMW bike could retain the barrel-chested look of its petrol-powered, boxer-engined siblings.
This in an exercise, then, in how you stack the batteries and motor to pay homage to your heritage, but also to prove that BMW is preparing to follow the Harley Davidson Livewire’s lead with a pure-EV, naked muscle bike of its own.
Back to those batteries. They’re stacked vertically and longitudinally orientated, which leaves space for a cylinder-shaped motor underneath connected via a shaft to the rear wheel. More important, aesthetically at least, are the ‘side elements’ fitted with cooling ribs and fans. These pop out when the bike is switched on, indicating you’re ready to ride, neatly echoing the trademark protruding cylinder heads on its boxer engine.
Unfortunately, BMW has chosen not to pull some power and performance figures out of a hat leaving us to speculate, but reminds us that with all electric bikes the ‘high level of torque right at set-off makes for breath-taking acceleration’. The use of aluminium for the frame and carbon-fibre for what fairing there is mean it shouldn’t be too much of a porker, either.
Other cool features, beside the Biker Mice From Mars silhouette, include bespoke Metzeler tyres with five, stamp-sized lights integrated into them to illuminate the wheels in the dark, and a two piece suit that provides maximum protection and looks maximum casual, with a magnetic rucksack for ease of taking it on and off.
So, what do we think? Is this electric BMW trying to be something its not, or is embracing the future while celebrating the past the way to go?