BMW’s Vision DC Roadster concept shows a possible future for the company

BMW continues to drop hints about future electric motorcycle production, with released photos of a new concept bike called the Vision DC Roadster.

BMW calls this machine the “The electrical awakening of the boxer engine,” but really, there’s nothing boxerish about it. The Vision DC Roadster just has an electric motor in the position that normally houses an internal combustion engine, and it’s shaped to vaguely look like a flat twin. As per BMW’s press release:

“Replacing what would previously have been the engine, there is now a vertically fitted, longitudinally oriented battery. For cooling purposes, two side elements protrude with cooling ribs and integrated ventilators. As in the boxer engine of the BMW R 32 – the development of which was masterminded by Max Friz in 1923 – the cooling elements are placed in the air stream. The cylinder-shaped electric motor is positioned underneath the battery and is directly connected to the universal shaft. The BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster thus demonstrates a clever drive architecture that visually echoes the history of BMW Motorrad while at the same time taking it a step further.

In other words, they’ve jigged the electronic components around to make it look like a boxer, but it really has nothing in common with the flat twin internal combustion engine. It does have a cool function in which it flares in and out of the bike during usage, to change airflow dynamics.

The rest of the press release reveals little more; there’s talk about styling and high-end materials like carbon-fibre, but no tech specs. If you’re curious about horsepower or battery range, you’ll have to wait for that information.

However, the Vision DC Roadster does exist; it’s not just an artist’s rendering, thrown out to appease the masses. The bike was unveiled in the flesh (so to speak) at  BMW’s NextGen event in Munich. Is that a guarantee of production? No, no more so than it was for the other electric BMW concepts that have been unveiled so far.


Check out all the pics that go with this story!


  1. While interesting in a design exercise I can’t help but wondering if BMW is placing too much emphasis and corporate identity (brand) on their iconic engine configuration. Kind of reminds me of another motorcycle company that seems to have painted itself into a corner and are now looking for a lifeline.

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