An electric vision.

We are now a step closer to getting an electric BMW motorcycle. Three years ago, the Motorrad divison of the Bavarian manufacturer showed the Vision Next 100 concept. The Tron-looking vehicle looked more like designers flexing their creative muscles than a serious attempt at a proper electric motorcycle. Now, amidst rumors of hybrid powertrains, the company launches its most recent vision of what an electric motorcycle should be like. Introducing the Vision DC Roadster.

BMW has already integrated the hybrid and electric car markets with its I-series, but has yet to do the same on the motorcycle side of things. Granted, the manufacturer introduced the C Evolution electric scooter about five years ago with pretty decent specs, the model hasn’t gained much traction on the e-market. An electric motorcycle would be a push in the right direction. We’re not quite there yet, but BMW is making baby steps.   

The Vision DC Roadster still looks pretty much like it was pulled from a science fiction novel than it looks ready for the market, but it looks more like a motorcycle than the Next 100 did. We can see a progression the way the company thinks about electric motorcycles. The design of the central block of the Vision is meant to emulate the look of the famous horizontal heads of the BMW Boxer twin.

Gallery: BMW Vision DC Roadster Concept

At the core, instead of the two cylinders, a battery set vertically within the frame, flanked on each sides by cooling elements meant to reproduce the brand’s signature Boxer profile. Arches imitate the curves of a gas tank in the absence of an actual one. The use of lines to create illusions replacing familiar components help create a recognizable silhouette, but also keep the weight low. In this design, power is sent to the back using a low-maintenance shaft drive. The rider sits on an upward floating saddle that gives the design a dynamic stance and creates an arrow-like silhouette, pointing forward.

More interestingly, with the Vision DC Roadster concept, BMW also introduces the concept of smart gear. The clothing is minimalistic and doesn’t look like the usually bulky gear we’re used to—in fact, BMW describes “hidden protectors” that give the gear very clean lines. There’s also mention of a magnetic rucksack that simply “snaps” onto the vest without having to wiggle your arms out of shoulder straps.

Of course, just like the Vision Next 100 before, the DC Roadster is but a vision of the future, but it looks like BMW is getting a clearer idea of what it wants its e-future to look like.