BMW Vision DC Roadster Electric Motorcycle Prototype

BMW goes from blue to green with its first all-electric motorcycle

BMW Vision DC Roadster Electric Motorcycle Prototype driving on road.
BMW Motorrad’s first all-electric prototype, the Vision DC Roadster, blends the future of technology and style with the character of 1923.Photos courtesy BMW Motorrad

The green wave of electric motorcycles has just gotten stronger with BMW's first electric motorcycle prototype: the Motorrad Vision DC Roadster. BMW's primary objective with its all-electric experiment was to retain the styling characteristics that have so closely followed the German brand since its inception in 1923.

BMW Vision DC Roadster Electric Motorcycle Prototype on sidewalk.
The Roadster’s forward lean places an emphasis on sport performance, leading one to believe a potential production version will have the motor performance to back it up.Courtesy BMW Motorrad

Indeed, the Vision DC Roadster harkens back to the original R32 motorcycle with its outboard mounted cooling systems that should remind Motorrad enthusiasts instantly of BMW’s famed horizontally-opposed boxer engine. The bike’s electric motor is positioned underneath the battery and connects to a traditional universal rear drive unit.

BMW Vision DC Roadster Electric Motorcycle Prototype with protruding side elements made up of cooling ribs and integrated ventilators.
The protruding side elements are made up of cooling ribs and integrated ventilators as a tribute to BMW’s famed boxer engines.Courtesy BMW Motorrad

In addition to the electric powerplant, the second main component of the Vision DC Roadster is the tubular frame structure that spreads the length of the motorcycle and adds additional rigidity where traditional motorcycle components—fuel tank, battery box, etc.—would otherwise be located. The frame itself has also been styled with milled grooves running the length of the bike, which not only creates a stunning visual effect but also once again ties back to BMW’s early aesthetic in the art-deco era. The bike’s unique frame structure allowed engineers extra room for design to further its streamlined, modern appearance.

BMW Vision DC Roadster Electric Motorcycle Prototype with tubular frame structure.
Engineers and designers placed a tubular frame structure where a bike’s fuel tank would otherwise be for further strength and style.Courtesy BMW Motorrad

BMW has formally placed the Vision DC Roadster into the naked bike class, differentiating it from the more commonplace standard electric bike on a performance level. Its front-wheel forward rake and short, high rear definitely scream sportbike more so than commuter bike as has often been the case with electrics. A traditional BMW Duolever fork—although redesigned for the Roadster—adds yet another striking element up front. Carbon fiber and aluminum are in widespread use on the Vision DC Roadster both for weight savings and strength purposes but also to further the bike’s modern performance aesthetic.

BMW Vision DC Roadster Electric Motorcycle Prototype sits on road in front of mountain.
The lighting scheme on the Roadster takes BMW’s already futuristic lighting a step further with additional side lighting for safety and nighttime aesthetic.Courtesy BMW Motorrad

The tech features don’t stop at the Roadster’s powerplant but extend out everywhere. The minimalist LED headlights and taillights offers a futuristic take on BMW’s already modern lighting schemes. Five fluorescent elements flank either side of the bespoke Metzeler rear tire to add additional safety and visual elements to the Vision DC Roadster.

BMW Vision DC Roadster Electric Motorcycle Prototype on sand.
Even from the top, the Roadster is all BMW. Even the front end—behind its futuristic design—is a traditional BMW Duolever fork.Courtesy BMW Motorrad

As of now there’s no word from BMW regarding its future intentions with the Vision DC Roadster or any performance specifications. Stay tuned to MotorcyclistOnline.com for further updates.