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Two-wheeled motorcycle concept with a ‘roof’ and electric power unveiled by BMW

October 7, 2009

Two-wheeled motorcycle concept with a ‘roof’ and electric power unveiled by BMW

Electric half-car, half-bike: no fuel, no helmet

Two-wheeled motorcycle concept with a ‘roof’ and electric power unveiled by BMW. 


October 6, 20096:00PM

It looks like a bike but uses no fuel and you don’t need a helmet.

BMW has unveiled a two-wheeler concept that is designed to be safer and even more environmentally friendly than a motorcycle thanks to an electric motor.

The zero-emissions C1-E has been developed for a European motorcycle safety project that is researching ways to reduce the number of motorbike and scooter accidents that happen predominantly in city traffic.

The BMW concept is based on the C1 two-wheeler sold in Europe between 2000 and 2002 as the first motorbike featuring a roof that formed part of a protective cell.

It also features a roll-over bar that spans most of the length of the two-wheeler, while an energy-absorbing nose and super-large windscreen are designed to protect the rider in a front-on collision.

The C1-E also shares its seatbelt system with the original that was exempt from mandatory-helmet laws in most of Europe but never made it to Australia because the Government insisted on the C1 complying with the same laws as motorcycles.

While the C1 was propelled by a choice of small-capacity petrol engines, the E version uses an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery.

BMW says a fuel-efficient internal combustion engine could be used as an alternative, though adds the concept – complete with luggage area and side stand – is not intended to go into production.

The company says findings from the project will instead be used for future development of two-wheeled vehicles.

BMW says its motorcycle division, Motorrad, is also working on new rider-assistance technologies, including a warning system for impending dangers such as wet weather, road obstacles or approaching emergency vehicles.

The European Safer Urban Motorcycling project is a joint collaboration between BMW, fellow motorbike manufacturer Piaggio, and the cities of Barcelona, London, Paris and Rome.

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