Technically, it’s BMW’s first electric motorcycle, as their previous battery bike was actually a step-through, the C Evolution scooter. But no matter how you’re counting things, the new BMW eRR concept bike could point to an interesting future for BMW.
BMW was one of the first of the major OEMs to debut an all-electric two-wheeler, when they brought the C Evolution to market last year. This week’s announcement of their eRR concept bike, an electric sportbike built around an S1000RR platform, once again pioneers into the electric segment. The Big Four, Ducati, Triumph, and the rest don’t have anything like this floating around currently, even in concept form; the closest equivalent from them would be Yamaha’s PES1 concept bike.
Of course, Harley-Davidson has been running the Diavel-esque Livewire around at demo rides for a couple summers, but that’s hardly a sportbike. The closest thing to the eRR that’s available from a major manufacturer would be Victory’s Empulse TT, but even that’s a naked bike, not really a sportbike.
Honda did unveil the RCe prototype in 2012, but since then, despite their involvement with the IOMTT’s electric race, they don’t seem to have much interest in bringing that development to market. At least, they’re not talking about it.
BMW isn’t giving away many details about the eRR. Surely, if it’s placed in the premium segment, we can expect range greater than the C Evolution (100 km), as well as faster charging times (four hours from a 220V wall socket) and a similar electronics package (stability control, regenerative braking, selectable engine modes for optimizing power and efficiency).
It’s also possible this bike will never get beyond the concept stage, but we’re sure to learn more about it either way in coming days. The timing of this release is intriguing; it almost seems as if BMW rushed the news out (the photo shoot is a little less dramatic than usual). Typically, just before EICMA, the Euro manufacturers try to keep their cards as close to their vest as possible; however, they also don’t to have their news eclipsed by a competitor. As a result, the last days leading up to EICMA are often a case of manufacturers staring each other down in an effort to keep their secrets, but hurriedly spilling the story once they see reason to.
Which makes us wonder: Is some other manufacturer about to announce the same sort of bike?
Check out all the pics that go with this story! Click on the main sized pic to transition to the next or just press play to show in a slideshow.
All new.. but nothing new. Electric bikes are the biggest opportunity motorcycle manufacturers have had in 60 years to really do something different and incorporate new tech *everywhere* in the machine, not just the powertrain.. but they don’t.
Hmmm, “clutch lever” but no gear pedal? Could it be an extra back brake for stand on the seat wheelies?… Thoughtful.
BMW is *far* from first in this area, Zac.
Honda debuted the RCe back in 2012. Unlike this conversion of a standard gasoline powered bike, that was a genuine design concept made from scratch to be electric.
You’re right, Michael. I’d forgotten about it since they basically haven’t done anything with it since on the show circuit. Yamaha had their PE electric bikes updated for Tokyo this year, but Honda seems to be letting their story develop more through third parties.