BMW looks set to become the first of the recognized motorcycle brands to begin leveraging the unique advantages of the motorcycle in addressing the quickly changing landscape of urban mobility.
The Flying Propeller brand is to create a specialist "Urban Mobility" group, launch two premium, high-performance twin-cylinder maxi scooters before the end of the year, and will unveil a concept electro-scooter later today. Using the large volume of enclosed body space of a maxi scooter to contain all the necessaries, the 60 volt Concept e has a 100 kilometer (62 mile) range, recharges from flat inside three hours at a domestic power point, and the performance of a maxi scooter (expected to be equivalent to a 400-500cc commuter motorcycle).
The Concept e will be the first volume production two-wheeler without rear vision mirrors - twin rear-facing video cameras relay what's happening behind the vehicle to two LCD monitors in the cockpit.
The BMW Motorrad brand might only have sold 110,000 two-wheelers in the last year, but its premium values and the foresight of the brand's designers and custodians augers extremely well for the future, as can be seen by the Concept e electro-scooter which will break cover later this week in Frankfurt. At the same time the flying propeller is forcing its way to the forefront of enthusiast motorcycling, it has also superbly positioned itself to take two wheeled transport to the masses.
BMW Motorrad is to establish a new "Urban Mobility" group and will launch two premium, high-performance twin-cylinder maxi scooters before the end of the year. If the Concept e is any indication, we're going to see some very futuristic and environmentally-friendly two-wheelers in the near future.
Given that the Japanese have done almost nothing to retain their once-dominant share of the electric two wheel market, it's great that one of the established motorcycle brands is on the move.