BMW's electric future-scooter is going to production within months
BMW's wacky Concept Link electric scooter from 2017 is within a few months of becoming a super futuristic-looking production bike, and this new Definition CE 04 is the last time we'll see it without mirrors and a license plate.
This whole project takes BMW's angular, modular, layered design approach and pushes it into sci-fi territory in search of a smart, connected city commuting machine that delivers a few giggles as well through sharp handling and a punchy electric motor.
The battery pack – specified for somewhere around 120 km (75 mi) of range – sits low and flat, and the motor and belt drive system are pretty compact, so from the outset, the team had pretty much free reign to design something remarkable and challenging.
Hence, the long, flat, one-size-fits all seat, the odd underseat storage bin, the vast wheelbase and single-sided swingarm and the angular, almost sporty looking front fairing over a sawn-off front fender.
This is definitely a softening of the Concept Link bike, though; gone are the exposed high voltage wires down the side, the seat floats a little less lightly over the body, and the Link's angry shark visage with its wonderfully evil, squinty headlight slits have been replaced with something much more boring, friendly and scootery. The placement of an actual dash has moved the weird little orange flyscreen into a position that sucks all remaining cool out of the front end from certain angles.
This is all to be expected; such is the journey from concept to production. BMW seems keen to preserve at least some of this thing's weirdness, so here's hoping the final stage of production design doesn't file too many more edges. BMW says the production reveal is only a matter of months away.
Interestingly, the Link's weirdest feature remains thus far: connected clothing that talks to the bike, allowing your jacket to light up and act as a brake light augmentation. It looks great, and while this first implementation is a parka clearly only designed for urban riding, we can see this kind of thing ending up in touring jackets as well.
This jacket also has its own powerbank built in, with the capability of wirelessly charging your phone when it's in the pocket, and that's another nice touch. It's lightly armored and designed to be worn on and off the bike. Again it'll be interesting to see if, and how this gear makes it through the certification process.
Source: BMW Motorrad
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Of course the question of range comes into play - their previous e-scooter had a range of 100 miles as I recall. And perhaps a vest with the "integrated tail-lights" would be in order; after all, most riders have armored jackets already and I imagine most wouldn't want to give up what they have based on design and style.