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back to article BMW to ride in with 115-mile range e-scooter?

BMW has cracked the electric scooter nut and will start to sell what appears to be a genuinely usable electric bike in 2011. That's assuming a report in overseas magazine Solo Scooter is correct, of course. The putative BMW machine will apparently have a top speed of 120kph (75mph) and a range on a full charge of its lithium- …

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Why design by Bertone?

Let it be designed by Apple - call it the Twatmobile and watch egg salesrocket as jobstards get pelted on a Global scale - what merriment!

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Anonymous Coward

C1

Something like this makes a lot of sense, but it'll take support from government to make the insurance costs palatable. That's not good because the C1 was effectively killed off by mandatory helmet regulations.

I never managed to park a C1 - it had this silly internal prop stand that you couldn't use whilst moving and the thing toppled over when you stopped.

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I'd Buy One

I've always had a soft spot or the C1 (despite the scorn of 'real bikers') as it solves the problems of both being stuck in traffic in a car and getting soaked on a bike - an electric one is an even better proposition as running costs and maintenance will be absurdly low. Sadly, purchase price is bound to be high...

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Happy

Ah the C1..........

All the beauty of German design with the reliability of Italian engineering, how could it have failed?

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C1 is 20% of a C5

the c1 was the perfect combination of the disadvantages of both car and motorcycle. Add to that the lame performance and poor range inherent to 'leccy tec ... and it's a sure loser.

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FAIL

Nice name

C1? Is it made by Citroen?

BMW1 would have been slightly less stupid.

I'm looking forward to when their Small, urban vehicle hits the hallowed C5.

Pedal-power!

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The C1 is hideous, to say the least.

Of course, revolting design alone would not have put off potential buyers, this was achived by a mind-boggeling pricetag.

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Megaphone

Bet I'd beat it in a race

Sounds almost as good as my old 2001 R1. Top speed of 175mph & range of ~150 miles before a 2 minute "recharge" cycle at a purpose build petro-chemical recharge station. (Your mileage may vary - depending on usage of the right hand fuel & tyre wear twist grip control)

Electric bikes seem pointless to me & anyone who has ever broken down/run out of fuel/been caught in rain on a bike would agree I'm sure. Even a 1000cc superbike will do 50-60mpg when cruising. I'd love to see a _genuinely impartial_ total carbon impact study on a superbike vs. a Prius, g-whizz or heaven forefend a hybrid Escalade (you know those really "green" vehicles) through manufacture use and required infrastructure.

The cynic in me knows that western governments have simply realised that they can bolster their economies and raise taxes in the name of "green policies". The sad thing is that this won't produce genuinely sensible legislation for the planets sake in the future. Won't somebody please think of the children?

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Curious looking beast

Looks as if can take a passenger, but they get wet if it rains.

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Grenade

Most Deadliest thing on the Road.

I ride a great deal, and I see a number of these on the road. The law allows the rider to use the bike without a helmet, ARE YOU CRAZY? Is the road softer because the bike has a roll bar, are cars less likely to hit you as you have a roll bar fitted. I don't think so, These people must be suicidal OK most have a seat belt, but really, They are mad if they feel that will help when the bike is on its side sliding down the road.

Back to the technology of the bike, Good range and speed, starting to come close that is usable on a daily basis for the commute plus a good amount or redundancy,

Now just get in something to looks OK that is also at a price that is on a par with a internal combustion engine bike and I may consider it. Its the kind of thing that governments should really get behind.

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Not a fan of the C1

As its enclosed nature could encourage people to stop wearing a helmet etc. while riding on a bike.

Saying that, it is quite possibly the most practical use of 'leccy tech I've seen- you'd not want to go long distances on it (so the range is perfectly adequate for most urbanites), you don't need to go that fast (20, 30,40, maybe 50 limits are most likely to be encountered by urbanites)

Shame there isn't a cost

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I'll take one!

Provided it looks absolutely nothing like the C1. No roof please.

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Syd
FAIL

There was a REASON...

... why nobody bought 'em - all the disadvantages of a bike... combined with all the disadvantages of a car. Oh... and they look silly!

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WTF?

Urban Speed?

75mph seems a bit fast for an 'urban-specific' bike, doesn't it??

Oh, wait, it was designed by Italians..I guess it makes sense, then!

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Pint

Si si!

Somewhat off-topic, but I suspect it's a Spanish magazine. Although in all fairness climate, lifestyle and driving habits are quite similar.

(Icon choice is pure by association)

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IT Angle

I don't read Italian...

...is the proposal for a traditional scoot, or a fully-enclosed C1 style thing?

I am wondering because the UK law is an ass with regards to the C1. Any moron can easily see that one rides *on* a motorcycle, but *in* a C1; but that is not how the law sees it. Far too logical.

So you are still forced to wear a helmet in a C1 and that helmet offers no extra protection (you are fully strapped into a safety cage) and the 1.5kgs just places extra strain on the neck in the event of an accident. So rather than improve safety, the law makes riding a C1 more dangerous!

Yes, I know rally drivers etc wear helmets and they too are in a safety cage; but they also wear neck harnesses! If wearing a helmet in a C1 is actually safer (and I doubt that, see above) then it should be mandatory to wear a helmet in the car.

Whatever BMW produce, I hope it is a success. More 2 wheeled vehicles (and I include push cycles) on the road might make cagers actually LOOK before performing a manoeuvre (the cager is the likely cause of a collision with a 2 wheeled vehicle in the urban environment, and it's usually SMIDSY - Sorry Mate I Didn't See You). I doubt people on scoots are going to fire themselves through the nearest hedge, which is the other major cause of bikes crashes (rural areas and 100% rider error).

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Could go far

I feel a bit of a traitor to my biking roots for saying this but it's the original was a damned good little bit of kit, and a battery powered version could go down well. The range is decent for once and performance should be absolutely fine too, top whack is more than enough for a scooter even if it does have a windscreen and a seatbelt.

My sources say it wil be a single seater though. I think that's a mistake, but it's also lighter than the original and the centre of gravity is lower too; the old versions were a bit tippy at low speed. So you win some and lose some too.

Please let it be priced reasonably. It may have a chance then.

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Badgers

Rain shield...

Designed for the British weather I see.

What's with the two handles where your shoulders would be if you sat upright?

Maybe these will kill off those little electric cars around London, except that riding anything less than a Humvee is suicidal given the driving I see every day. Maybe offices should have a little scooter garage in the now unused space from redundancies.

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Boffin

So...

Is this the C2? And after 3 more iterations we have...

(Hmm... Where's the 'Uncle Clive' icon?)

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The problem with the C1

The problem with the C1 wasn't the bike itself. I had long considered a small bike as a replacement for my car for my 10 mile commute to work every day but was put off by safety concerns and the thought of turning up to work like a drowned rat.

The C1 seemed like a good solution. It had (BMW claimed) similar safety in an accident to a small car and you were protected against the worst of the weather. Its more a 2-wheel car than a bike.

And that's where the problem occurs.

The C1 is a bike for car drivers. I believe most of the people who would want one would have been people, like me, without an existing bike licence. The trouble is you *cannot* use a C1 to take a bike test (CBT or full), so you have to beg/borrow/hire a conventional bike to do the course and take the test. Its all a lot of hassle and costs money.

So, like me, I guess a lot of people looked at getting a C1 and decided that when the cost overheads and hassle were taken into consideration it was better to stick to the car.

Actually this isn't a problem with the C1 itself but with the UK DSA who decided that the C1 was unsuitable for practical tests.

I imagine that if the new bike is an electric C1 it will suffer from the same problems. Bikers won't be interested and car drivers will find it too much hassle to get a licence.

There's also the cost issue. The C1 was bloody expensive for a 125, I imagine that, in common with other electric vehicles, the price of the new one will be £crazy.

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Go

Plenty of room?

If they got plenty of room to shove the li-ion batteries in the frame, along with a tiny 2bhp - eletric engine, then we have a autonomy winner here. Provided the 100+ mile range is true... it seems to be it.

Plus, you can always push it through your kitchen's backdoor to recharge, provided you live in a house, no need to long extensions. Prepare a space to park it in the backyard.

If you live in an apartment, you gonna need a rather large elevator, or mains sockets available in the garage.

A solar cell in the parking lot (with a larger battery attached to it) came to mind, for some reason.

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Brilliant

The scooter is one class of vehicle where it doesn't matter that the top speed and range are quite low, what's important is acceleration, which you get tons of with electric motor. Also scooters are mostly used in cities, so it makes sense to be reducing emissions at the point where it impacts most on people. The one big question here is price. Scooters are very price sensitive, and adding an extra k to the price will not go down well with th epublic

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Anonymous Coward

You have to WANT to sell them...

I would have bought a C1 if they were made available here (Canada). I think the vehicle manufacturers underestimate the market on this side of the pond. Their surveys quite often seem to be out of wack with what actually transpires (smart estimated a first year sales figure for the fortwo of around 900 units for Canada. They sold almost 3 times that and had little in the way of mass-media marketing!)

Like many such things the manufacturer has to WANT to sell the product.

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Saw one in Rome...

.. it was an ugly brute.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_CbvAIVzmFFM/RmdAwjY1_-I/AAAAAAAAGHg/j-vCY34jcW0/IMGP0117.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_CbvAIVzmFFM/RmRjpCb8ssI/AAAAAAAAFAg/EZb-5x9wTHE/DSC05347.JPG

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Go

Yeah

And bikes are the best format for such a vehicle, much more efficient than a big steel box.

Really hope they manage to do this properly, although I'm unlikely to buy one as a pedal cycle seems quite capable of getting me pretty much as far as I need to go...

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Coat

Meh

I'll wait for the C5.

Oh, wait...

http://www.nvg.ntnu.no/sinclair/images/c5onroad.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

@fnkyfnstr

"The law allows the rider to use the bike without a helmet"

No, it does not; not in the UK at any rate (only in Spain, Germany, Israel and a few other countries)

"Is the road softer because the bike has a roll bar"

Technically, yes. The roll cage and harness make it much less likely that your cranium will strike road surface. Just like in a car. If you advocate wearing a helmet in a C1, logically you must also advocate wearing a helmet in a car (especially a convertible). And if you do so, then you also need to advocate neck braces etc to cope with the increased weight on the neck.

Electric bikes will not succeed in Europe as the central goal of European road safety ("Vision Zero") is to remove all powered two wheeled vehicles from the road.

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Anonymous Coward

Top_Heavy?

Looks top heavy to me. Kind of bad for a 2-wheeler.

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C1 was an interesting bike

The C1 was a good commuter bike, kept you reasonably dry no matter how bad the rain, was pretty nippy, could cruise along nicely on the motorway and the topbox would comfortably hold three bags of shopping. I also like having heated grips in winter, ABS and knowing I'd live if some idiot decided to crash into me.

The bike wasn't perfect, riding in high winds was interesting, the height of the bike acted like a sail, it was expensive and having no garage found that it could be reluctant to start on a cold winter's morning.

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Unhappy

C1's failure

The C1 is a brilliant bike (I'm a "real biker", btw), and I'd love to have one, if the government would allow it to be used as it was intended to be used.

BMW had designed it with a crash cell (cue Smart ForOne), and *drumroll* seat belts. Yes, two seat belts. From one side of your shoulder to the other side's hip, and then the other one across. They even came with electrically heated seat and grips. The coolest ones even came with CD Player.

The problem occurred when the riders wanted to use it as BMW intended; without a helmet. Because it had seatbelts and a crash cell a helmet wasn't needed. In fact, the padding of the helmet was "built-in" behind your head. So when you had an accident you'd be "as safe as in a car", without the dreaded helmet-hair. The grand idea was city-commuting in a suit, without getting wet or having helmet-hair.

Sadly you're required to wear a helmet on all, no exceptions, two wheelers. Ergo, you got the bad stuff from a bike, with the bad stuff of a car (= cage).

Bring on a legislation change and let people ride these without a helmet - should they choose. Add leccytech to make it grean.

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WTF?

Good Grief

The C1 was designed to be used WITHOUT a helmet. It's designed to fall on its side WITHOUT dropping the rider on the road. It is NOT designed to be fast nor beautiful, it was designed to COMMUTE and be safer and more practical than a 'bike. If you need a cock extension, a C1 s not your ideal transport.

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Next C1 bound to be a trike

When the Waterloo & City line was closed for a year, I got a BMW C1 to commute.. and it was fantastic, embarrassment was gone on my first trip in… when dry comfortable smugness spread from the other 20 C1’s going my way.

You do not get wet when driving in the rain.. as long as keep moving.. so you only need light waterproof trousers for the time you spend waiting at the front of traffic lights, and the windscreen wiper clears the rain from view. In a country with so much rain.. the roof & wiper should be a no-brainer.

The next C1 is bound address the faults:

• Helmets are a good idea.. good idea for open-top sports cars. The next C1 should not try to get round the law.. plus they can make the roof lighter making it more stable.

• They can make it a trike like the Piaggo MP3 making it more stable and obviating the need to lift all those batteries onto a stand.

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Happy

BMW CLEVER Concept Vehicle

BMW was heavily involved along with Bath University in developing this rather cool three-wheel tilting vehicle:

http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2006/04/bmw-clever-concept_20.html

It's pretty much identical to the Vandenbrink Carver One but it's greener and a lot cheaper... if they ever bring it to market which I very much hope they do...

Check out the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfmg53kPJMg

The projects website doesn't seem to have been updated in ages so I'm not sure whether it's been mothballed: http://www.clever-project.net/

I would defo swap my motorcycle for one

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