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Livewire: a plug for a whole new generation of Harley-Davidson bikes

By | General Posts

By Mathieu Day-Gillett from https://www.driven.co.nz

Who on earth expected that it would be Harley-Davidson that would become the first major motorcycle manufacturer to bring to market a fully electric bike?

Okay, all cards on the table, I’ve really been looking forward to riding Harley’s Livewire on behalf of DRIVEN and www.onthrottle.co.nz. In fact, I was lucky enough to have ridden the Livewire’s precursor – 2014’s Project Livewire – and I was so blown away by the bike that I gave it my Bike Of The Year gong for that year.

For the production model, all the rough edges have vanished and Harley has given the bike a charging port in the traditional fuel filler location.

The lightweight alloy frame no longer has a rough finish to it, and while I was at first sad to see the cool textured finish of the concept bike make way for the smooth new frame, I can appreciate that owners of the Livewire would struggle to clean such a thing. Imagine the damage to your trusty old sponge if you had to wipe it over the sandpaper-like finish of Project Livewire?

Other minor changes come in the form of a small fairing around the LED headlight unit, a new sub-frame with space for a pillion, a variety of colour options (our pick is the Yellow Fuse colour scheme), and rather importantly the addition of a numberplate carrier which integrates the rear tail light and indicators also.

Most importantly, however, the Livewire now has functioning rear-view mirrors. Yup, as cool looking as the mirrors on Project Livewire were, in terms of function all they gave you a good view of was your kneecaps.
But what we really want to know is how it rides. Thankfully, Harley-Davidson sorted us out with a guided ride around Portland, with some wicked twisty back roads thrown in for good measure to help us see what it is like to ride the Livewire in the real world.

While it was only a taste of what the ownership experience will be like, riding the Livewire was easily a highlight of my year in motorcycling.

The bike has four pre-loaded rider modes (Road, Sport, Rain and Range) which can be toggled on the fly and each gives the bike a noticeably different throttle response.

Make no mistake, this bike is FAST. With all its power and torque (78kW/105hp and 116Nm) available from 0rpm this thing accelerates like nothing else. Just twist the throttle and the bike shoots off at warp speed.

Linked into the Livewire’s systems is Harley’s first traction control system, which is connected with a six-axis IMU and the ABS brakes. The result is a system that offers the necessary safety net for a bike that has its full power capability from the touch of the throttle.

Our ride route took us from the stop-go of central Portland, out into the hills through some incredibly twisty roads before looping back at the end of the day.

I’ll admit that I was slightly worried about setting off immediately into traffic at the start of the day.

My biggest memory of Project Livewire was nearly dropping the bike in low speed conditions, but Harley has really dialled in the throttle response of Livewire to the point that you can roll along as slow as you like without feeling like you need to slip the non-existent clutch.

In fact, the Livewire is actually an incredibly easy bike to ride in general. It’s well set up with fully adjustable Showa suspension, Brembo brakes and that host of adaptable nanny aids which alter their settings depending on which rider mode you have selected.

Rain is the most constrained with the slowest throttle response, while sport is an absolute riot and actually lets the real wheel slip a bit.

I did feel adjusting the settings on the suspension would have been helpful when really pushing it, as the bike wasn’t quite happy with my fat ass and some of the rougher road surfaces (contrary to popular belief, the roads in the US have their fair share of potholes).

The bike never instilled any sense of being out of my control though and was incredibly confidence inspiring.

Can it wheelie? Probably, I’ll admit I didn’t really try. I will say I’m pretty sure you can do burnouts and annihilate the rear tyre with the traction control off (I will neither confirm or deny trying). Either way having full power from the touch of the throttle is a sensation that quickly becomes addictive.

I did find myself only really using two of the rider modes, Sport (for obvious reasons) and when the riding mellowed out I would switch to Range mode which allows the most battery regeneration when either braking or coasting.

Riding like a loon will obviously drastically reduce your battery range, and I arrived back at base with 32 per cent left, while a much more sensible Australian rider arrived back with nearly 50 per cent!

On merit alone I feel the bike will certainly attract its fair share of buyers. New Zealand pricing is $53,995, which may lock out much of the younger market Harley-Davidson is working hard to attract to its brand.

However, the Livewire is not a bike which Harley expects to sell like hotcakes. It is, instead, the halo product of a much wider range of electric motorcycles from the iconic brand.

In theory, there are another four bikes scheduled to debut below the Livewire in terms of spec and price point in the next two years or so and that is a really exciting prospect.

Is the Livewire another orphan from Harley? Hell no! This is the shock the motorcycling market needs.

A Mono-wheel EV That’s Basically a Motorcycle Cut in Half – The Ryno

By | General Posts

by Cristian Curmei from https://www.autoevolution.com/

It’s simply called the RYNO and it looks like the front end of my motorcycle got ripped off and you have to wheelie it home. No biggie. This thing is built like this and even functions on only this one wheel. This one-wheeled EV has no CO2 emissions and is designed for tight inner-city travels.

Designed by Christopher Hoffmann, the Ryno sports a robot-welded steel frame offering the strength needed for both components and rider. Using balance technology similar to the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 and Segways, all the rider needs to do is lean forward to move forward, and lean back to slow it down or stop. Sensors detect the unicycle’s center of gravity and control a motor once a sense of direction is activated. A lot like life, wouldn’t you say?

The front of the Ryno sports a classic handle-bar setup but with no front fork present, the bars are somehow glued into the frame. That same part of the frame extends forward with two rubber bumpers at the end that act as supports for the cycle when at rest. At rest, the thingamagig looks similarly to a horse that lowers its neck to the ground in order to allow its rider to mount. Also, underneath the handlebars sits a 12V DC power socket to allow you to charge your device on the go.

At the rear of the vehicle, underneath the adjustable seat, you’ll find a shock absorber that offers a smooth ride and a parking brake component. Also at the rear, you’ll find a baggage rack suitable for your groceries or a backpack. Including your baggage, this contraption can carry 260 lbs (118Kg).

One benefit of this vehicle is that it keeps the rider nearly upright. The rider is positioned more upright than on a regular street-bike due to the use of field-tested motorcycle ergonomics, offering a near walking position.

Now, remember when I mentioned that she is electric? Yeah, she does have a motor in there somewhere. Actually, she has two electric powered motors that offer the necessary torque to climb up hills, but to slow it down on a descent as well.

The juice for this puppy comes from two high output SLA batteries with an option for Lithium-Ion. On a single charge, which takes up to six hours, this unicycle can travel up to 15 miles (24km). Sure, it may not seem like much, but you have to take into consideration that it’s made to relieve traffic congestion in your hood, making it perfect for a Sunday ride through the park or around office buildings within the city.

With a top speed of 10 mph (16kph) it’s not really meant to zip you around town, rather it’s made to be able to integrate with other riders of urban mobility devices to allow similar cruising speeds. This unicycle would be perfect in leading a group of Olympic speed-walkers. But you’ll never see it leading the Tour de France.


A Look at the New Electric Motorcycles from Soriano

By | General Posts

by Andrew Wheeler from https://www.engineering.com

The Giaguaro motorcycles come with a three-speed manual gearbox and 15 or 20kWh battery packs.

Most electric vehicles (EVs) propel themselves with electric motors that use energy from battery-stored electricity collected from a charging station.

And electric automobiles are steadily gaining in popularity among mainstream automotive manufacturers and automobile customers. In 2020, you can buy the Chrysler Fiat 500e, which has an all-electric powertrain, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Hyundai Kona, the Honda Clarity Electric, the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Model X and so on.

But what about electric motorcycles?

There are more than a few to choose from, and that list now includes the V1-R, V1-S and V1-Gara series motorcycle from Soriano Motori Corp. The company was founded in 2020 and was spun off from its parent company Soriano Motori Factory SpA, which was founded in Madrid in 1939.

The Giaguaro (Italian for Jaguar) V1 Gara goes from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and runs from a 75kW electric motor with 100 horsepower. Propulsion engineers from the United States and the European Union worked together to create the series. With a 72kW motor and 96 horsepower, the Giaguaro V1S is still powerful, but accelerates a bit more slowly than the V1 Gara. With 96 horsepower, the V1S accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, as does the third new model, the Giaguaro V1R, though it has a less powerful motor (60kW) with less horsepower (80).

Bottom Line

Each Soriano Giaguaro comes with a manual three-speed gearbox. They range in price from $28,000-$34,000, which is expensive for motorcycles. Part of the increased cost is due to the limited number of units available. The current plan, according to Soriano, is for a production run of 100 units. The company is currently taking preorders.

The Yamaha Civante is the company’s first 28mph e-bike in the US

By | General Posts

by Napier Lopez from https://thenextweb.com/

Yamaha might be best known for its instruments and motorcycles, but it was also the first company to introduce modern e-bikes, way back in 1993. While it may not be as big in the modern e-bike world as the likes of Bosch or Bafang, the company’s motors have made their name with brands such as Giant and Haibike, and the company has recently been expanding its own first-party line-up too. Today, the company is taking a big step forward in the e-bike world by announcing its first 28mph (Class 3) e-bike to available in the US market, the Yamaha Civante.

Previous Yamaha e-bikes in the US Market were Class 1 bikes, limited to 20 mph like most e-bikes. While that’s good enough for many users, some feel safer being able to keep up with faster traffic, and riders with longer commutes want to arrive at their destinations more quickly. Of course, others just have the need for speed.

The bicycle is certainly built for speed. It has an aggressive geometry and omits fenders, racks, or a kickstand – though there are mounting points should you want to install them later, and front light is included (Yamaha‘s rear rack has an integrated rear light). It also comes with flat-resistant, e-bike rated tires, mid-depth wheels, hydraulic disc brakes and a Shimano 10-speed drivetrain with a double chainring. Importantly, it’s actually fairly light for an e-bike, coming in at 43.4 lb on the medium frame despite the high-power motor and battery.

The bike uses Yamaha‘s 500W PWSeries SE Motor, capable of of 70nm torque and supporting cadences up to 110rpm; Yamaha promises that even if you exceed the motor’s baked in speed-limit, it won’t just cut off power suddenly, instead providing a smooth transition for your own pedaling power. The bike includes four assist modes ranging from a 50 percent boost on Eco mode to a 280 percent boost on the high setting. The bike also comes with a removable 500 watt-hour battery.

Yamaha doesn’t provide a range estimate, perhaps because it can vary dramatically with your riding speed, assist level, weight, and terrain, but a 500Wh battery with a mid-drive motor should have no trouble dealing with most commutes. If I had to guess, I’d put it in the ballpark of estimate 30 to 60 miles for an average weight rider in higher assist modes, but I’ve reached out to Yamaha for more information. And as with all e-bikes, you can always ride them like a (heavy) normal bike should the battery run out.

I also appreciate that Yamaha‘s high-speed charger can fill up the battery to 80 percent in just one hour — great for longer trips. Most e-bike chargers are painfully slow — more of an overnight affair.

he bike is available in three frame sizes and one color(white with black and blue accents), and is priced at a $3,399. While certainly expensive, that’s actually on the lower end of the price spectrum for a 28mph e-bike with a high-end and high-torque mid-drive motor. Moreover, Yamaha provides a 3-year warranty on the electronics, compared to the 1 or 2 years offered by most competitors.

The bike will be available “this summer” at Yamaha dealers throughout the states.

Voxan Wattman set to be world’s fastest electric motorcycle

By | General Posts

Voxan Motors unveils their first excessive-efficiency electric motorcycle, Wattman.

The Voxan Wattman is specifically designed for the bikemaker’s world velocity document mission. The Wattman will be trying to set a brand new world velocity document in Bolivia subsequent 12 months. Six-time motorcycle racing world champion Max Biaggi will be using this highly effective machine whereas making the try.

The bikemaker unveiled the streamliner model of the Wattman after months of design work and laptop simulations and a quantity of wind tunnel test.

The Wattman took to the observe for the primary time in March this 12 months however the testing programme was interrupted by the Covid Disaster. The Wattman’s styling is full and the motorcycle has a definitive look now, however Voxan will proceed to develop the software program half of the machine which can decide the motorcycle’s pure efficiency and thermal stability.

The Venturi Group, to which Voxan belongs, has already set a quantity of world velocity data. The newest, 549 km/h, was set in 2016 by the Venturi VBB-3 (Venturi Buckeye Bullet). It stands to today.

The World Is Not Ready for a Suzuki Electric Motorcycle, Suzuki Says

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

For the past couple of years, at the very least, we’ve been hearing the phrase “the electric revolution is coming” a lot. Suzuki Motorcycle has been hearing it too, but it’s yet to see actual signs of the arrival.

As of right now, electric motorcycle offers are scarce and leave a lot to be desired: those with prices in the same range as ICE counterparts underwhelm in terms of performance, and those that do deliver on the performance come with astronomical price tags. The market is not yet ready for an electric motorcycle, Suzuki has decided.

Speaking with the Financial Express, Suzuki VP of Marketing and Sales for India Devashish Handa says that the focus is not on an electric motorcycle right now. It’s not on new models, either, as the ongoing health crisis is forcing the maker to adapt to the new way of sales.

That doesn’t mean that Suzuki Motorcycle is not preparing for the electric, noiseless and pollution-free future we’ve been hearing so much about. It is; it’s just not ready to show us what it’s been working on.

“We are watching the space very carefully, but the journey of electric two-wheelers has not been consistent,” Handa says in the interview, which mostly focuses on Suzuki sales in the new, no-direct-personal-contact stage of our life. Video of the interview is available at the bottom of the page.

“The cost of acquisition in comparison to ICE vehicles continues to be a concern. As and when the buyer is ready, Suzuki will be present in the market as it already has the technology,” Handa adds.

In other words, e-bikes are too expensive right now and people aren’t buying them, so Suzuki won’t be making one. At least for the time being.

Harley-Davidson is perhaps the best example of a big bike manufacturer going down the electric route and stumbling across the premium price obstacle. A LiveWire is priced around $30,000, which has proved a major turn-off even for diehard H-D supporters. Clearly, Suzuki is not willing to take this chance, not in the current context of already low sales.

Triumph Trekker GT Is the First e-Bike Designed by the Maker of the Rocket 3

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

For years two-wheeled electro mobility has been creeping up toward the light at the end of its tunnel until it finally exploded into our world with dozens of startups throwing all sorts of weird designs at us. And a clear sign electric bikes are here to stay is how attentive established motorcycle makers started being to the segment.

Harley-Davidson made no secret of its plans to expand into the e-bike segment ever since the LiveWire was unwrapped and new bikes were announced. But now it’s time for a response from across the ocean, with shots coming from Triumph Motorcycles.

The company behind the motorcycle with the largest engine currently available on the market, the Rocket 3, is officially joining the e-mobility party with a brand new e-bike it calls Trekker GT.

“In a business originating with bicycles, and world-famous for making motorcycles for 118 years, Triumph is now entering the e-bicycle market with the ‘Trekker GT’: a stunning new bicycle that incorporates Triumph’s everlasting passion for performance and riding fun,” the company said in a statement.

“The Trekker GT, the first e-cycle designed by Triumph, combines performance engineering with the latest iteration of Shimano’s battery technology and drive train, offering customers the best in style, comfort, quality and finish.”

The bike is light, it’s nimble, and it should make quite an impression. At 2.88 kg (6.3 lbs), it is made of a hydro-formed aluminum frame that integrates the 504Wh battery and the Shimano Steps electric motor.

The battery, aided by the pedal-assist system, can help power the bike along for as much as 150 km (93 miles) while making use of the 60 Nm of torque available.

Design-wise, there’s nothing really spectacular about the Trekker except perhaps for the Matt Silver Ice and Matt Jet Black that you usually see deployed on motorcycles. Available equipment includes LED lighting, full length matt-black mudguards, blacked-out pannier rack, side stand and ABUS pro-shield integrated lock.

The British bike maker says the Trekker GT is available “immediately” in the UK, United States and in Europe (with some exception there) but said nothing yet about pricing.

All-electric Indian FTR 1200 might be called EFTR

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by Pradeep Shah from https://www.financialexpress.com

Indian Motorcycle’s parent company Polaris used to own Victory Motorcycles and one interesting product under the collaboration was Empulse TT electric motorcycle. However, after the demise of the Victory in 2017, the Empulse saw the path to the graveyard too. As of now, it is not clear if the company would exploit the same platform as the Empulse for the EFTR.

Yes, you read that absolutely right! Indian Motorcycle might be working on an all-electric version of its street tracker FTR 1200. The company has recently filed a trademark for the name ‘EFTR’ that suggests an electric motorcycle could well be under development. The trademark application doesn’t spill much information about the ‘silent’ FTR, however, it does mention ‘Electric motorcycles and structural parts.’ The FTR 1200 is a brawny and handsome looking motorcycle and hence, the EFTR is expected to follow the same philosophy as well. At present, it would be too early to comment on the specifications and performance of the upcoming Indian EFTR. Nonetheless, you can expect the bike to come with some mind-boggling numbers including astonishing acceleration time and a decent top speed too. Moreover, the bike should come with a fast-charging feature as well to offer better convenience to the buyers. In terms of features, one can expect bits like coloured TFT instrument cluster with smartphone connectivity along with multiple riding modes, dual-channel ABS and more.

The Indian EFTR can be seen as a potential rival to the likes of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire. Indian Motorcycle’s parent company Polaris used to own Victory Motorcycles and one product under the collaboration was Empulse TT electric motorcycle. However, after the demise of the Victory in the year 2017, the Empulse saw the road to the graveyard too. As of now, it is not clear if the company would exploit the same Empulse platform on the EFTR.

The said trademark has been filed in the US, European and Australian continents and hence, the upcoming electric bike is expected to be a global offering. In terms of India launch, as the charging infrastructure and adoption of EVs is still at a quite nascent stage, the launch timeline of the Indian EFTR here in India cannot be predicted with surety at the moment. Stay tuned for more!

Indian Motorcycle Steps Up Electric Game With EFTR Trademark Application

by Janaki Jitchotvisut from https://www.rideapart.com/

It’s way too early to declare victory in the electric bike wars, though.

Update, 6/15/20: Indian Motorcycle’s PR firm reached out to us to clarify the nature of the EFTR trademark. It explicitly stated that said trademark “is related to a new youth-oriented product that will be unveiled later this year, and is not related to a new electric version of the FTR 1200.”

So, more comparable to the IronE bikes, perhaps. We’ll keep you posted as and when we know more.

Original article follows.

Well, that certainly didn’t take long. Back in December 2019, the Milwaukee Business Journal announced a major shakeup at Indian Motorcycle’s parent company Polaris. In a bid at least partly intended to step up Indian’s foray into the brave new world of electric bikes, Polaris played musical chairs with its top managers across its various divisions. Steve Menneto, then-Indian Motorcycle president, moved over to preside over Polaris’ off-road category. So, who replaced him at the top of Indian?

Michael Dougherty, who was previously president of Polaris’ international division, is now that man. Former off-road president Chris Musso moved into a newly-created position at Polaris, which likely speaks to where Indian is going. Musso became senior vice president of electrification strategy for all Polaris brands, after having previously had years of experience with EVs under Polaris’ Gem, Goupil, and Ranger off-road lines.

Lightning Motorcycles Is Working on a Fully-Enclosed Bike, Presumably

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

Californian electric motorcycle maker Lightning Motorcycles is presumably (hopefully) working on a new project, one that would considerably improve the range and overall comfort of an electric motorcycle.

The project doesn’t have a name and, for that matter, hasn’t even been confirmed yet. Renderings of it have emerged with a patent filing in China, obtained by Cycle World. It’s not that uncommon for U.S.-based companies to file patents in China even before they do back home, in a bid to prevent cheap imitations.

The renderings show a tear-shaped framing on what could be an electric motorcycle. They are included with the patent filed under the name of Lightning Motorcycle, with CEO Richard Hatfield named as designer. It wouldn’t be uncommon for a company (be it a car or a motorcycle maker) to file a patent for a possible product or tech they’re studying but might never release, but since Lightning has a reputation for thinking outside the box, it is assumed they’re really planning on releasing a fully-enclosed motorcycle.

Cycle World notes that, in addition to the direct link to Lightning in the patent, this… thing comes in the electric blue already seen on the Strike (aka the affordable sport e-bike still pending delivery) and the LS-218 (aka the world’s fastest e-bike, now in very limited production). The slanted headlight design is another common element between the three.

The shape of the enclosed e-bike suggests a driving position similar to cars, while the tear-shaped framing would improve range. As for how this thing would be able to not topple over at low speeds or when stationary, the renderings don’t offer a single clue. Extendable outrigger wheels or self-balancing technology could be used in this instance.

As of the moment of writing, Lightning Motorcycles would not comment on the new product they’re supposedly working on.

Future Of Connected, Autonomous, Shared, And Electric Performance Motor Bikes – The BMW Motorrad Way

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by Sarwant Singh from https://www.forbes.com

In 2023, BMW Motorrad will be celebrating a landmark event: its centenary as a motorcycle manufacturer. But it wasn’t really the past that interested me in my interview with BMW Motorrad CEO, Dr. Markus Schramm. It was more about understanding how this venerated German brand is engaging with the future. How is it approaching the connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE) revolution? What plans does this standard-bearer of all things innovative have in store to negotiate the next 100 years?

While the experiments of four wheeler manufacturers with CASE technologies have been well documented, there’s not been as much buzz about the progress made by their two wheeler counterparts. It was quite revealing, therefore, to get a perspective on how CASE is making motorcycles smarter, safer and (dare I say it?) sexier. In essence, we are talking of a whole new generation of bikes that weld performance, comfort and safety to take driving experiences to a completely different level.

To shed light on all this and much more, I turned to the consummate industry insider: Dr. Schramm, a BMW veteran of almost three decades standing whose passion for motorbikes is evident in the way he speaks (and the number of bikes he owns!). Here are some highlights from the interview:

Staying Connected

“The aim of our intelligent connected motorbikes is to make motorcycling more experience-oriented, more comfortable and also safer.”

Connected technologies have exploded among passenger and commercial four wheelers, enabling undreamed of new services, novel ways of engaging with the customer, hyper personalized experiences and lucrative monetization opportunities. But how are they playing out among two wheelers?

“Connectivity, assistance systems and the digital services are becoming increasingly important in motorcycling,” said Dr. Schramm. “Features like emergency call (e-Call) or our other connectivity offers are already an integral part of many BMW models today. The fundamental goal is to offer the intelligent e-Call function to as many customers as possible.”

And it’s clear that this objective resonates with customers. For instance, in Germany today, around 80% of BMW Motorrad’s customers opt for e-Call when purchasing a motorcycle. What is particularly interesting in this context is that such high take rates are unfolding against a backdrop where e-Call systems are legally mandated for cars in many countries but not for two wheelers. It also perhaps explains why BMW Motorrad is currently the only motorcycle manufacturer that offers an e-Call system ex-factory.

However, safety such as that offered by e-Call is only one aspect of connectivity. “As the company expands its range of intelligent connected motorcycles, the aim is to make motorcycling not only safer but also more experience-oriented and more comfortable,” added Dr. Schramm. “With the typical motorcycle customer in mind, BMW Motorrad’s connected app focuses on enhancing motorcycle-related experiences, including optimizing route planning, displaying navigation information directly in the bike’s thin-film-transistor (TFT) display, recording tours and riding performance statistics such as lean angles, acceleration and deceleration forces or altitude profiles.”

Connected helmets are another major theme in the industry and only getting bigger. Connecting the rider and the motorcycle via the helmet is already standard equipment in many of BMW’s current models. And if it’s any indication of how important connected helmets will be, BMW delivered almost 17,000 of its helmet communication systems to customers in 2019.

Being Autonomous

“We will use autonomous driving technologies not only to raise safety levels but also to take riding fun to a new level.”

BMW has been a pioneer in driving innovation in autonomous technology with concepts like self-balancing, self-park and summon features. All very well for cars. But it’s that familiar conundrum of how autonomous driving and features will work in the motorcycle industry which is defined by motor-muscle connection? “Motorcycles will never ride autonomously; it doesn’t make sense. However, in a future world of autonomously driving cars, being connected will be an urgent requirement for all motorcycle segments,” said Dr. Schramm. “This will enhance safety and ensure that motorcycling remains future-proof.”

It is this idea of operating safely and seamlessly in future connected and autonomous environments that informed BMW Motorrad becoming a founder member, along with Honda and Yamaha, of the Connected Motorbike Consortium (CMC). One of the key motivations here has been to push forward on safety agendas—whether in terms of collision avoidance or warning drivers of dangerous situations—through the use of connected technologies. But this being BMW Motorrad, it’s also about having fun… safely. “We will use autonomous driving technologies in a concrete way,” noted Dr. Schramm. “Our mission will be to raise safety levels, on the one hand and, on the other, to take riding fun to a new level.”

Advancing Shared

“The biggest challenge in the shared space is that people don’t always handle other people’s property as carefully as their own.”

Barring a recent partnership with eCooltra in Barcelona, BMW Motorrad has not specifically focused on the shared mobility space. Given that growth is expected in bike sharing and other last mile mobility options post-COVID, what plans, if any, does the company have for expanding its presence in this space?

“When it comes to sharing we, as a society, don’t always handle other people’s property as carefully we do our own. This is the biggest challenge in this area,” observed Dr. Schramm. “However, BMW Motorrad is committed to the BMW Group’s vision of becoming a customer-focused mobility company. These two disparate threads are reconciled through our short-term bike rental service—Rent A Ride—that allows people the opportunity to ride almost any BMW motorcycle in many countries.”

Going Electric

“Electro-mobility on two wheels will be very significant for the future of motorcycling… it needs to be really fun and adventurous.”

With the C evolution, BMW Motorrad stamped its credentials as a forerunner in electric mobility. It has since made steady gains. A planned concept offering for the high growth urban mobility sector is in the works while the Vision DC Roadster represents a unique take on an e-Power Roadster.

“For me it’s quite clear: electro-mobility will be very significant for the future of motorcycling. We foresee a slew of upcoming products with a focus on electric propulsion, particularly in the field of urban mobility,” noted Dr. Schramm. “And I’m not only thinking of classic scooters here, but also of alternative modern, emotional products. Electro-mobility on two wheels needs to be really fun and adventurous and BMW is committed to developing corresponding products.”

BMW Motorrad is targeting an array of new all-electric products in the near-term. From an initial focus on electric mobility solutions for urban environments, the company plans to move to other segments as well. “And here our claim is to play a leading role in the motorcycle industry not only on the topic of range but also on the subject of speeding up the battery charging time and design. Our Vision DC Roadster shows how we see emotional, inspiring and authentic e-mobility in the motorcycle sector.”

Winning Customers

“Make Life a Ride’ is not limited to a particular product but puts people and emotions squarely in focus.”

And finally, of course, it’s all about the customer. “The overall aim of our brand approach – Make Life a Ride – is to attract new customers, irrespective of age, and to generate enthusiasm for motorcycling,” emphasized Dr. Schramm. “The point is to address not only real bikers but, equally importantly, people who currently don’t ride a motorcycle but maybe will one day. ‘Make Life a Ride’ is not limited to a particular product but puts people and emotions squarely in focus.”

Post Script

I have known Markus for almost a decade now. I first met him when he headed BMW’s Mobility Services division. It was his vision that saw the company transform from being a car manufacturer to becoming a mobility services provider. All these years later, I see his future-focused imprint on BMW’s two wheeler business as well. Highly driven, he thrives on challenges and is passionate about the things he does – his extreme marathons and 100 km ultra marathon in the Antarctic are now part of company lore. The perfect choice, really, to take on the challenge of cementing BMW’s legacy in the years ahead.