BMW Motorrad reveals experimental eRR electric superbike
BMW has flagged its ambition to move beyond the C Evolution scooter and enter the top class of electric motorcycles with a battery powered alternate to its S 1000 RR superbike – the experimental eRR.
BMW has never been one to shy away from technological evolution, and when it comes to electric mobility the company is making a strong foray on the car front with the i3 electric town car and the sporty i8.
In the motorcycle sector BMW Motorrad rolled out the C Evolution scooter in 2014, equipped with an all-electric drivetrain and modeled after the C 650 scooter family. In similar fashion to the way the i8 evolved in its automobile division, BMW has now revealed a high-end electric sport bike that is based on the looks and running gear of the S 1000 RR superbike.
While technical details won't be revealed until "a later date," BMW says the experimental vehicle is designed to investigate the possibilities of applying an electric power source to a sport bike. Whether this means there is a production version in the near future remains to be seen – perhaps as soon as next week at EICMA in Milan.
"Since its market launch, the RR is giving the creeps to motorsport athletes," says Stephan Schaller, Head of BMW Motorrad. "In acceleration, handling or top speed the RR is setting standards. However, if acceleration on the first meters up to 50-60 km/h, is the point, the RR's 199 bhp have to admit defeat by another BMW product: the C evolution with its electric drive. We asked ourselves: What happens when combining a sport motorcycle and an electric drive? The experimental vehicle eRR brings the topic of zero emissions and electric drive on a new, more fascinating level."
In USA there are several motorcycle manufacturers with electric sport bikes in production. The Lightning LS-218 blew us away when we rode it earlier this year and there's more than enough electric racers going around to fill the starting grid in the Isle of Man TT Zero, spearheaded by Victory Motorcycles' very competitive debut in 2015. Honda appears to be close to developing a strong package with its Mugen electric superbike that has dominated TT Zero the last two years, while European factories have yet to enter this field.
This is a solid chance for BMW to become an early adopter, the first among European mainstream manufacturers to mass produce an electric sport bike. We wouldn't bet against a German racing team at the TT Zero in the near future, either.
We'll be on the floor at EICMA next week to bring you further details of the eRR as they are revealed.
Source: BMW Motorrad
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Indeed, if these machines are going to enjoy a long life, they had better be manufactured ready for such restrictions to be easily applied, one assumes by fitting a plug-in black box (that cannot be unplugged, sorry!