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Author Topic: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?  (Read 433 times)

MostlyBonkers

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An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« on: April 09, 2017, 01:50:19 PM »

I rode a GS for the first time a few weeks ago during an event at my local BMW dealership.

As soon as I got on it, I could see what makes them so popular; a commanding bike that is planted and goes around corners much better than it seems to have any right to. All very confidence inspiring, which is my new acid test for any bike I ride.

There were two areas it was let down by:

Agricultural gearbox
Vibration at certain revs

Both of those could be fixed by making an electric GS. Keep the overall look and change the boxer cylinders into battery compartments. There's also a big lump in the middle that could hold more cells. Slap a motor in where the gearbox lives and see how it runs!

Easier said than done, I know. I wonder how much power that shaft drive saps. A belt drive might help, but then is it still a GS?

Another challenge would be to install CHAdeMO or CCS rapid charging as standard. Or even better, partner with Tesla and use their Supercharger network. People like to ride long distances on their GS's, so as much range as possible and rapid charging would be a must.

Could BMW make all this happen for around 15,000 GBP which is the cost of the petrol bike?

I sent an email to BMW customer services with this idea. I hope it's not a new idea within the halls and corridors of BMW HQ.

What do you folks think? Good, bad or just crazy?
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MajorMajor

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2017, 02:47:13 PM »

Wouldn't all motorcycles be better if they were electric?

At the current state of the technology, an electric version will:
a. Cost more
b. Have less range
c. Take longer to refuel
d. Weigh more
c. Have lower top speed

The benefits would be:
Less maintenance (is this true if critical electric component's fail?)
Less pollution
Lower refuel costs
Much more low end torque
Easier to use

So as for  "Good, bad or just crazy?"
None of the above, it's a cost vs benefit calculation.
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Richard230

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2017, 07:33:51 PM »

I have no doubt that BMW is thinking about marketing, and probably developing, an electric motorcycle (along with their reasonably successful C-Evolution electric scooter, which I believe sells for around 15,000 Euros).  But right now I doubt most of the customers are interested in such a vehicle and I don't think they, or any of the other major motorcycle manufacturers, are going to start selling electric motorcycles until they perceive the market becoming much larger, to the point where they can make a profit on the venture.

BMW has said that they will be marketing the C-Evolution scooter in the U.S. this year, but so far I haven't heard a peep about it in our national magazines, in BMW ads, or from my dealer's sales staff.  At my local BMW dealer, they were so turned off about their experience testing the Brammo Enertia during a couple of weekends in 2009, when they were asked by Brammo to become a dealer, that they don't even want to think about selling electric vehicles.  Their position seems to be e-scooters will require a lot of retraining of their service, parts and sales staff, while they see the potential for sales to be very low. 

I might add that my BMW dealership was asked by Zero last year to sell their brand, but after some negotiations, the proposal was rejected, apparently due to, training, reliability and parts supply concerns.  The shop owner just didn't want to take the financial risk.  :(  Personally, I sure wish he had, though.  ;)
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2014 14.2 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

MostlyBonkers

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2017, 08:09:44 PM »

Wouldn't all motorcycles be better if they were electric?

Good question. I suppose it depends on the individual. Trying to convince your average biker to go electric is a bit like trying to persuade somebody who is tucking into a bacon sandwich to go vegetarian!

Amongst the enlightened folk here, then the answer could still be: It depends.

I think it might take a generation or two to get the sound of an ICE bike with a decent exhaust out of our blood.  The only way to shift it will be to relegate the internal combustion engine to the Sunday league - when people start to realise that all that noise is just a lot of fuss over nothing.  That's a tough one though. Take your favourite Superbike, for example. If you're having some fun with it, you'll be hard pushed to need anything over second gear.  First gear is pretty frightening for all but the most experienced, so once you're rolling, second gear it is. There you can stay on all the twisties you care to throw at it.  Third gear and above is for the insane or perhaps a track day if the circuit has a decent straight.

For smaller capacity sports bikes, there is a lot of satisfaction attached to changing gears and getting it right.

I thought of the GS as a good candidate because it is a torque monster already and riders like being able to pull away from 40 in top gear effortlessly. They aren't expecting tons of horsepower either.  The Lightning LS-218 provides both torque and horses, but at close to $40,000 it isn't very accessible. The GS can get away with carrying a bit more weight too.

At the moment, an electric GS is probably not achievable at the right cost with rapid charging and decent range.  I'd love to see BMW try though. I'm sure some would buy it even if it costs more than its petrol equivalent.  Much like with Zeros really!
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MostlyBonkers

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2017, 08:20:14 PM »

I have no doubt that BMW is thinking about marketing, and probably developing, an electric motorcycle (along with their reasonably successful C-Evolution electric scooter, which I believe sells for around 15,000 Euros).  But right now I doubt most of the customers are interested in such a vehicle and I don't think they, or any of the other major motorcycle manufacturers, are going to start selling electric motorcycles until they perceive the market becoming much larger, to the point where they can make a profit on the venture.

BMW has said that they will be marketing the C-Evolution scooter in the U.S. this year, but so far I haven't heard a peep about it in our national magazines, in BMW ads, or from my dealer's sales staff.  At my local BMW dealer, they were so turned off about their experience testing the Brammo Enertia during a couple of weekends in 2009, when they were asked by Brammo to become a dealer, that they don't even want to think about selling electric vehicles.  Their position seems to be e-scooters will require a lot of retraining of their service, parts and sales staff, while they see the potential for sales to be very low. 

I might add that my BMW dealership was asked by Zero last year to sell their brand, but after some negotiations, the proposal was rejected, apparently due to, training, reliability and parts supply concerns.  The shop owner just didn't want to take the financial risk.  :(  Personally, I sure wish he had, though.  ;)

I'm sure BMW's scooter would sell pretty well in your neck of the woods Richard. Stocking a few Zeros could be fun and might help sell some of the scooters. No excuse for parts supply issues in California! I think you should try and persuade your local dealer. All they need is a couple of mechanics who are interested in learning the new technology and it could be a success.  Tell them they need to start investing in the future! Their current attitude just leaves them stale. :-)

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Richard230

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 04:35:59 AM »

I have no doubt that BMW is thinking about marketing, and probably developing, an electric motorcycle (along with their reasonably successful C-Evolution electric scooter, which I believe sells for around 15,000 Euros).  But right now I doubt most of the customers are interested in such a vehicle and I don't think they, or any of the other major motorcycle manufacturers, are going to start selling electric motorcycles until they perceive the market becoming much larger, to the point where they can make a profit on the venture.

BMW has said that they will be marketing the C-Evolution scooter in the U.S. this year, but so far I haven't heard a peep about it in our national magazines, in BMW ads, or from my dealer's sales staff.  At my local BMW dealer, they were so turned off about their experience testing the Brammo Enertia during a couple of weekends in 2009, when they were asked by Brammo to become a dealer, that they don't even want to think about selling electric vehicles.  Their position seems to be e-scooters will require a lot of retraining of their service, parts and sales staff, while they see the potential for sales to be very low. 

I might add that my BMW dealership was asked by Zero last year to sell their brand, but after some negotiations, the proposal was rejected, apparently due to, training, reliability and parts supply concerns.  The shop owner just didn't want to take the financial risk.  :(  Personally, I sure wish he had, though.  ;)

I'm sure BMW's scooter would sell pretty well in your neck of the woods Richard. Stocking a few Zeros could be fun and might help sell some of the scooters. No excuse for parts supply issues in California! I think you should try and persuade your local dealer. All they need is a couple of mechanics who are interested in learning the new technology and it could be a success.  Tell them they need to start investing in the future! Their current attitude just leaves them stale. :-)

I tried that last year and they weren't buying it, especially the shop owner, who is the only one that really counts.  :( The shop also sells Vespa scooters.  You would think that with Stanford University just a few miles away they would be a big seller, but I think Lamborghini's are more popular at the University than Vespa scooters. Vespa scooters sell well enough to keep them on the showroom floor, but they don't exactly fly out of the door the way the BMW GS does - at a price of $22,000, plus fees and taxes.  :o  The sales staff tells me that they send much of their sportbike S1000RR inventory down to LA, where sportbikes are a hot item and the LA shops send their GS's up to the Bay Area.  Each market area seems to be kind of unique.
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2014 14.2 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

BrianTRice

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2017, 10:01:30 PM »

Yes, of course. Zero's frame is holding it back; the DSR power train is (demonstrably through the recent report via FB) enough for an F800GS conversion.
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tigerbike

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2017, 04:46:39 AM »

BMW could develop a fuel cell-GS with technology of nanoflowcell.com The flow cells will be in the "tits" ;D ;D, so the standard GS-Owner will not have to adapt to a new lookalike, the motor will be inline with the propeller shaft, and tank and air-box are enough for the tanks of the 2 bi-ionic fluids.
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Erasmo

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2017, 11:25:29 AM »

Why is everybody so focused on fake boxer engines?
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MajorMajor

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2017, 01:36:50 PM »

BMW could develop a fuel cell-GS with technology of nanoflowcell.com The flow cells will be in the "tits" ;D ;D, so the standard GS-Owner will not have to adapt to a new lookalike, the motor will be inline with the propeller shaft, and tank and air-box are enough for the tanks of the 2 bi-ionic fluids.

I thought flow batteries had a fraction of the capacity of Li-ion batteries.
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tigerbike

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2017, 01:57:39 PM »

BMW could develop a fuel cell-GS with technology of nanoflowcell.com The flow cells will be in the "tits" ;D ;D, so the standard GS-Owner will not have to adapt to a new lookalike, the motor will be inline with the propeller shaft, and tank and air-box are enough for the tanks of the 2 bi-ionic fluids.

I thought flow batteries had a fraction of the capacity of Li-ion batteries.
[/quote]
What is a flow-battery? I was talking about a flow-cell or fuel-cell, which generates electricity by two fluids or by hydrogen and oxygen.
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MajorMajor

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2017, 03:17:18 PM »

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Justin Andrews

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2017, 06:38:44 PM »

BMW could develop a fuel cell-GS with technology of nanoflowcell.com The flow cells will be in the "tits" ;D ;D, so the standard GS-Owner will not have to adapt to a new lookalike, the motor will be inline with the propeller shaft, and tank and air-box are enough for the tanks of the 2 bi-ionic fluids.


Nanoflow? You'd have a better chance of running a bike on pure snakeoil...

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Nanoflowcell
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 06:40:32 PM by Justin Andrews »
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MostlyBonkers

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2017, 01:54:35 PM »

Why is everybody so focused on fake boxer engines?

I think it would be cool to make an electric GS look exactly like a petrol one.  Keep the weight distribution the same and so on. I'm sure millions have been spent fine tuning it all over the years.

That way you've got an electric bike that would compete directly with the original. Traditional GS riders would be more inclined to take one for a test ride at least.  As we all know, once you've tried a proper electric motorcycle, it's an experience that stays with you.

I wouldn't expect an electric GS to sell as well as the petrol version. However, it would be an interesting experiment that could provide a gateway to an electric motorcycle developed from scratch.

Thinking about it a little more, an electric GS would probably not sell well at all.  GS owners like going long distances, unhindered by current charging limitations. They are wealthy enough not to worry about the cost of petrol.

It'll be a few more years before the infrastructure and range improved to the point where BMW could create a compelling alternative to the GS.
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MostlyBonkers

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Re: An Electric BMW GS Anyone?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2017, 01:56:08 PM »

I spoke too soon...


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