“The boxer engine is the heart of BMW Motorrad—an absolute stalwart of its character,” states Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad when speaking of the new BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster. Henrich continues, explaining, “But BMW Motorrad stands for visionary zero-emissions vehicle concepts, too. In view of this, one question that arises is: 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 the iconic appearance of BMW Motorrad in distinctive form while at the same time presenting an exciting new type of riding pleasure. 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! The high level of torque right at the set-off makes for breath taking acceleration. This almost brutal power delivery creates a whole new experience of dynamic performance. And the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster puts a face to this experience.”
BMW hasn’t provided any information on the bike’s performance, but when it comes to looks, they’ve definitely hit the mark. Motorcycle design is dominated by two things: the engine and the gas tank. An electric bike, however, has a much smaller engine and no need for a gas tank, so designs for electric bikes often slant toward more future-esque, even sci-fi stylings. Admittedly, there is some of that look and feel to the Vision, but the bike still maintains a lot of the boxer style. While gas bikes feature a large engine, an electric bike needs room for a battery. On the Vision, the battery is “vertically fitted” and “longitudinally oriented.” Two cooling ribs and integrated ventilators jut from the side of the battery so as to make use of the air stream. The electric motor is just under the battery where it connects directly with the universal shaft.
In its press release, BMW states that the Vision “showcases the electrically powered driving experience in honest, authentic form, in particular creating a new, distinct aesthetic appeal that is firmly rooted in the finest BMW tradition.” That tradition is worth holding onto, and the Vision does that by staying true to the Boxer look.