Electric motorcycles, like their automotive counterparts, are becoming more widely accepted modes of travel. Pioneers such as Zero Motorcycles have made two-wheeled electric motoring a viable option for commuting and recreation. As with any emerging tech, the limits are constantly tested, and manufacturers look to the track to develop and hone their vehicles. BMW Motorrad, the motorcycle arm of the Bavarian manufacturer, is pushing the limits of alternative power with its eRR concept, a supersport motorcycle powered by batteries.
BMW’s current lineup of plug-in vehicles inclues the i3 electric car, i8 hybrid sports car, and the C evolution electric scooter. In developing the experimental eRR, BMW Motorrad teamed up with the Technical University of Munich.
The eRR was built to showcase the potential of an all-electric superbike. It takes its chassis and design from BMW’s S1000RR, a technical masterpiece that haunts the dreams of speed-addicted cyclists. “Since their market launch, the RR is giving the creeps to motorsport athletes … acceleration, handling or topspeed — the RR is setting standards,” said Stephan Schaller, Head of BMW Motorrad. However, he goes on to state that the 199-horsepower superbike is bested in acceleration from 50-60 kph by the little C evolution scooter.
Domestic interest in electric sportbikes has been fueled by the mass produced Zero SR and the upcoming Victory Empulse. Lightning Motorcycles touts its electric LS-218 as the fastest production motorcycle in the world. On the European front, the Italian Energica EGO can hit 60 mph from a standstill in 3 seconds, and continue all the way to 150 mph.
In 2010, the famed Isle of Man TT race event hosted the TT Zero, an all-electric motorsport event. Participating machines were developed by MIT, Kingston University, and Portland-based MotoCzysz.
So the market is ripe for a high performance electric entry from BMW. Details are slim at the moment, but tech specs for the eRR will be announced soon.