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Author Topic: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter  (Read 960 times)

JaimeC

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My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« on: June 10, 2017, 02:58:19 AM »

I had a chance to demo this beast today at Americade.  From a quick walk around compared to my C650GT scooter it has far less storage capacity.  The majority of the underseat area is the massive battery pack.  I was informed it is two cells from the BMW i3 electric automobile.  The passenger seat lifts up and has a storage area big enough to hold one full face helmet.  HOWEVER the BMW rep said that if you carry the charging cables in there, there won't be enough room for a full face helmet (perhaps a 3/4 would fit?).

What looks like two glove boxes on either side of the fairing is deceptive.  Only the right side cover hides a storage area.  The left side covers up the J1772 charging port.

The low windshield is non-adjustable.  It keeps the majority of the wind off of your chest to reduce fatigue but your head is completely in the airflow.  I'm 5'10" and there was no buffeting, it was essentially "clean" airflow.

The riding position is more reminiscent of the Yamaha TMAX than the C650GT.  I could not straighten out my legs for a stretch like I can on the C650GT, or as I was able on the C650 Sport.  The passenger has fold-away foot pegs, not a running board like the GT scooter.

Now comes the part most of you will be interested in hearing.  Starting the scooter is reminiscent of the Victory Empulse TT.  Besides turning the key, you have to hold in the brake and press the "Start" button.  I have NO idea why they feel this is necessary but there you have it.  Once you press the "Start" button a whole array of displays appears on the front dash panels.  It has several driving modes.  "Dynamic" was full power and full regen.  Compared to the Zero S, the full regen felt like you dropped an anchor.  It really does slow the scooter down, and not gently either.  I switched it into "Road" mode and that felt more like my "Custom" setting on the Zero S.  They also have a mode called "Sail" which has no regen at all... cutting the throttle just causes the bike to coast like a 600 lbs bicycle.  There is also an "Eco" mode but I didn't try that so I don't know how it feels.  It looks like it provides full regen and limits your top end power.

As for that power:  If you have an "R" model Zero you'll know what I'm talking about.  This thing pulls like a FREIGHT TRAIN right on the get-go.  I was seriously impressed by that, let me tell you!  Despite the weight, it handled very well as all the weight is carried very low.

The BMW reps said they're not sure when it'll go on sale in the United States, or how much they'd charge for it.  They told me in Europe their biggest customers were not individual buyers but corporate fleet orders.  So I don't know when you might see these in the dealerships.  It was nice, but I'm more than happy with my Zero S.
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2016 Zero S: Short trips in traffic
2013 BMW C650GT: Long trips in traffic
1999 BMW K1200LT: For everything else

Mike Werner

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2017, 11:41:33 PM »

Was it the LR version, or the original model? The LR comes with a very tall, optional, windshield. I'm quite tall, and compared to the initial model, the LR's tall windshield is perfect. No wind, no buffeting and I can ride with visor open.

Almost all C's here are fitted with a matching topcase, and indeed the under-seat area has all the charging cables, and in my case a rain outfit.

The range is what makes the LR interesting. Last week I did a record; 180 km on a single charge, but it did require some eco riding.

Glad you liked it. BTW, I heard the LR is coming to the USA...

JaimeC

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2017, 04:37:28 AM »

I have no idea what model it was, all they said was it was the "C-Evolution."  There was no top box, and the windshield was rather short.
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2016 Zero S: Short trips in traffic
2013 BMW C650GT: Long trips in traffic
1999 BMW K1200LT: For everything else

Mike Werner

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2017, 10:41:20 AM »

If the scoot was white, it's the oldmmodel, grey is the new model.

JaimeC

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2017, 06:19:50 PM »

If the scoot was white, it's the oldmmodel, grey is the new model.

According to the tag on the key, it said "2018."  Here's a photo I snapped Monday morning: http://tinyurl.com/y9faybwh
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2016 Zero S: Short trips in traffic
2013 BMW C650GT: Long trips in traffic
1999 BMW K1200LT: For everything else

Mike Werner

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2017, 11:02:21 PM »

That is indeed the latest model, the Long Range model.

Richard230

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2017, 09:49:13 PM »

Here is a short review of the C Evolution by Motorcycle.com.  Nothing new, though. But when they finally get to test ride one, it should be interesting as they plan to hammer the scooter and when they do that, I bet it won't get 99 miles from its battery pack  :)http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/bmw/2018-bmw-c-evolution-scooter.html
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2018 16.6 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.

Richard230

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2017, 04:36:15 AM »

I spoke with the owner of CalMoto in Mountain View, CA, today.  He told me that one C-Evolution scooter should be arriving at their shop in a couple of weeks. He mentioned that not every shop will be getting even one and they will need to be special ordered, like is done with Zeros. I gathered that test rides of the scooter would not be offered. You will have to close your eyes, cross your fingers, and pay for the bike without a test ride. He also mentioned that the shop needed to purchase $30K worth of special equipment to work on the C-Evolution and it was likely that there would be only one shop in the SF Bay Area that would have this equipment and it would be shared by other shops.  He also mentioned that their technicians were being trained to work on the scooter and that they would not be working on the power train, electronics or battery systems.  Mostly just the chassis.  Any major systems work that might need to be performed would be done at a central BMW service center located somewhere in the state.  I got the feeling that this location had not yet been established.
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2018 16.6 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.

moshe_levy

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2017, 06:31:08 PM »

Hello All-

My name is Moshe K. Levy, and I'm a contributing columnist for Motorcycle Consumer News, BMW Owner's News, Rider, On The Level, Thunder Press, and a few other magazines. I learned of this forum from a member here, because a few weeks ago I was given the very first press BMW C-Evolution to review on behalf of Motorcycle Consumer News. The article will be out in the January 2018 issue, and the video version is here

I'd really be interested in getting my hands on a Zero to test on the same "Commuter Cycle" type program I just put the C-Evo through. I think our readership would like to learn about a true electric motorcycle, in addition to the scooter. The issue is, I'm in NJ, and I think most of Zero's fleet is in CA. If anyone has any reach within Zero, please let me know because I think an east coast test, especially in fall, would serve to put many of the misconceptions at rest. Thanks!

-Moshe
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Richard230

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2017, 08:05:36 PM »

Moshe, Motorcycle Consumer News tested the Zero SR in their September 2014 issue. While the suspension and brakes have been improved since then, the basic level of performance has stayed pretty much the same (maybe a 10% increase).  If you haven't read that review yet, you might want to check it out. I think you will find that Zero's range predictions for the government's city EV cycle is pretty accurate.  In any case, if there is a Zero dealer near you, they usually have at least one demonstrator that you could likely borrow for a day of testing.  Also, I am sure that MCN has connections with Zero as they have tested three of their models in the past.  It is likely that they could work out some sort of 2017 loaner for you to test, supplied by a local dealer.  But if you want to test a 2018 model, that may be a little more difficult as I don't think the new bikes are being shipped out to dealers yet.
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2018 16.6 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.

Mike Werner

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2017, 08:09:31 PM »

Moshe, Motorcycle Consumer News tested the Zero SR in their September 2014 issue. While the suspension and brakes have been improved since then, the basic level of performance has stayed pretty much the same (maybe a 10% increase).  If you haven't read that review yet, you might want to check it out. I think you will find that Zero's range predictions for the government's city EV cycle is pretty accurate.  In any case, if there is a Zero dealer near you, they usually have at least one demonstrator that you could likely borrow for a day of testing.  Also, I am sure that MCN has connections with Zero as they have tested three of their models in the past.  It is likely that they could work out some sort of 2017 loaner for you to test, supplied by a local dealer.  But if you want to test a 2018 model, that may be a little more difficult as I don't think the new bikes are being shipped out to dealers yet.

A few years back when I was still writing motorcycle stuff, Zero France loaned me a brand new Zero DS for a month. I contacted their PR agency, and 2 weeks later the bike was in my garage.

moshe_levy

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2017, 09:03:42 PM »

Yes, I remember that 2014 test. That was more a road test. What I wanted to do was outfit a Zero for commuting duty - bags and shield and such - and then use it on my commute for a season or so, and then compare the experience and cost to my usual commuter (BMW R1200RT.) I think this would be interesting to readers. The editor of MCN and I have reached out to Zero a few times, but I don't think they have much fleet out here in NJ.

-MKL
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Richard230

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2017, 04:05:54 AM »

Yes, I remember that 2014 test. That was more a road test. What I wanted to do was outfit a Zero for commuting duty - bags and shield and such - and then use it on my commute for a season or so, and then compare the experience and cost to my usual commuter (BMW R1200RT.) I think this would be interesting to readers. The editor of MCN and I have reached out to Zero a few times, but I don't think they have much fleet out here in NJ.

-MKL

Good luck with that request.  ::) Zero demonstrators seem to be few and far between.  If you want to obtain a Zero for a long-term ride I suspect that you will have to buy one - although Aerostitch got an FX for an entire winter. But something like that doesn't happen very often.  ;) And Aerostitch did publish a book about that experience, which Zero was passing out during their 10th anniversary factory open house last year. So they got some good press with that winter loan.
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2018 16.6 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.

moshe_levy

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2017, 06:43:03 PM »

Indeed, it may be difficult. But if I were in Zero Marketing's shoes, I'd strongly consider it. Testing range in Southern California's perfect weather isn't exactly a realistic environment for most of the rest of the country.

-MKL
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Richard230

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Re: My review of the BMW C-Evolution eScooter
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2017, 08:31:23 PM »

Indeed, it may be difficult. But if I were in Zero Marketing's shoes, I'd strongly consider it. Testing range in Southern California's perfect weather isn't exactly a realistic environment for most of the rest of the country.

-MKL

Personally, I am not convinced that Zero has much of a marketing department.  Most of their marketing seems to be via posting videos and ads on the internet.  Anything physical, that can't be accomplished with a push of a button, seems to happen (very) infrequently.
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2018 16.6 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.
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