BMW C evolution: Maxi-Scooter with Non-Liquid Juice
Unquestionably, the majority of testosterone-loaded male riders shudder at the prospect of being seen aboard a scooter of any size, shape, or form, but trust me, there’s nothing wimpy, or to be ashamed of, about riding the BMW C evolution scoot.
The fuel economy delivered by the BMW C evolution can’t be beat because it uses no fuel — it’s electric. There’s no oil to change, no coolant to worry about, and clutch or foot brake to concern yourself with either.
Come to think of it, there’s also no transmission, per se; the power delivery is direct drive by a toothed belt and ring gear transmission to the rear axle. It has four different ride modes that may be selected on the fly. The modes are: Eco Pro, Road, Sail, and Dynamic; Eco Pro is pretty self explanatory, in that it limits acceleration.
— ELECTRIFICATION NOTES
Propulsion for the BMW C evolution comes from a single-sided swingarm drivetrain with liquid-cooled alternator joined with a permanently excited synchronous motor with surface magnets and internal rotor. It’s powered by a 94Ah traction battery with high-voltage technology, central cooling air duct, and three battery modules with 12 lithium-ion battery cells per module. The stated range is 99 miles on a full charge, which will vary based on ride mode, terrain, speed, temperature, and load weight.
— FUTURISTIC STYLING
All of this is attached to a hybrid chassis with a die-cast aluminum, load-bearing battery casing, and bolt-on tubular steering head carrier and rear frame assembly, with a low center of gravity based on the gas-powered BMW C 650 GT.
Visually, the BMW C evolution is a futuristic-looking affair that resembles a sport bike when viewed head-on with its sleek Ionic silver metallic fairing and cat-eye headlights mounted in a gloss-black housing. The high-positioned mirrors are flat black and conveniently fold inward for storage.
— COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
In profile, you become instantly aware that this is not a motorcycle, but indeed a scooter, with its low cut-away stepthrough. Seating is for two, with the passenger pillion portion set higher; it also serves as locking cover for a large illuminated storage compartment, suitable for a full-face helmet. Foot pegs and grab handles are available for the companion, while the rider gets floorboards that happen to be awkwardly angled for longer-legged individuals (like me). The front fender is also silver metallic, as is the seating platform. The tail assembly and rear fender are finished in flat black. A large, bright, neon-like Electric Green panel appears in a mid position, making the C evolution instantly recognizable. BMW roundelle logo badges appear on both fairing sides.
The IP features two compartments flanking the ignition switch. The left compartment contains the charge port, while the right compartment serves as a locking glove compartment. Ahead and above the handlebars is a multifunction TFT display screen with an on-board computer. Info displayed includes a digital clock, multiple trip info, odometer, graphic digital speedometer with power and charge level bar charts, temperature, range balance, and percentage of charge remaining (in both analog and digital readouts), and ride mode selected. Visibility is ideal even in bright sunlight.
Other features include a side kickstand with a parking brake actuator, a center stand, steering fork lock, a high windshield, and a tool kit.
The BMW C evolution is a premium electric scooter. Our test scoot’s base sticker was set at $13,995, which could have dealer prep and handling charges added that are variable per dealer.
Riding presents a superbly balanced feel at both low and higher speeds, but the optimal speed for the ultimate level of comfort is in the 60- to 70-mph realm. More is certainly possible, but less is more economical as far as electrical consumption is concerned, and “hypermiling” can actually be a fun exercise. Acceleration off the line is incredible and braking is positive. I tried all of the drive modes and settled on the Dynamic as the most enjoyable in all circumstances. Power is at the maximum with no restraints and the regenerative factor negates having to actually use the brakes, except to make a complete stop.
If you’re the manly sort who can get past the potential threat of emasculation by riding a scooter, or a female, give it a try; I’m sure that you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s actually a lot of fun, and isn’t in the least gender- or age-specific. It has more power to offer than many motorcycles, is more comfortable, and more economical to operate as well.
This is not low-cost transportation, mind you, considering the initially high purchase price. The addition of an accessory plug-in outlet, an adjustable position passenger pillion, a revised footboard angle, and a taller stock windshield (an optional touring windshield is available along with other convenience accessories) would perhaps make the price more palatable for potential consumers.
In the final analysis, motor scooters — especially the electric variety and in particular, the BMW C evolution — make good sense, are fun to ride, and serve as sustainable transportation.