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Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by Eddy Alvarez, Jan 12, 2018.
Be sure and post pictures of the new bike!
something that court talked about is really resonating with me. that is that the C evo is based on the i3 electrical system. i think court is right, this is a big deal and almost certainly means that it is designed and manufactured at a higher quality than other e-bikes like the zero. looking at the naked C evo, it's actually a fantastic design using the battery casings for the chassis. court talks about the sense of quality, the lack of creaks and groans compared to the C650GT and i think that bodes well for long term ownership. there are 100 year old electric cars that still work fine on the original batteries. with the air cooling, i can see this scoot lasting 20 years pretty easily. and if the batteries fail, hopefully they could be replaced using the existing casings and voila, new bike. again, i think this is an under-appreciated factor. bmw is spending massive $$$ on car ev's. their e bikes get to benefit. and so do we. i don't know why us four guys are the only ones that see all this. not trying to be arrogant but that happens to me a lot in life ... falling ... tim
"there are 100 year old electric cars that still work fine on the original batteries."
hard to believe. tim
Tim, hopefully I am not being redundant but have you seen this video?
The C Evo is hand-built in Germany in the same plant as the i3. Not in Thailand, China, or India. They build something like 10 per day, and are adding a second shift. There is an active C Evolution facebook group dominated by European members (naturally) and they comment that there is a waiting list of 3+ months to get a new C Evo because of the production schedule. Here's a link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BMWCEvolution/
They are used as taxis in Paris (if you can believe that!) and by the Police in Spain.
I don't necessarily believe that the C Evo is designed as higher quality, it's just that BMW has put a ton of money and engineering into EVs and have a relatively large number of vehicles on the road so this experience impacts reliability (IMHO). In addition to my other BMW MC, I also have a BMW automobile and it's hands down the best car I have ever owned. If I could justify it I would have an i3 in my garage too!
Choosing between this and the Zero is just a matter of preference - a bike with a battery, or a battery with a bike.
If i get you, the difference is standard style mc versus max scooter. And as owner of both types, the max scooter IS a better commuter. So that is my pic.
Just a bit off target -- meant that Zero has a loong way to go before it can build something like in the production video above. So basically your riding on a battery with two wheels. Having this battery almost everyone can build any Zero model around it . And on the contrary, Beemer knows how to build bikes, but despite larger dimensional size its batteries still can't boast capacity of Zero's. So in this case your riding a good bike with 'want to be a battery some day'. Together they both could make the future now, but instead each of them wants to hit the jackpot alone.
I finally got around to doing a test ride on a C Evo this past weekend. About mid-30F temps. At 100% battery, dash "guessometer" showed about 70 miles of range. Since I drive an i3, I translated that to at least 95 miles of range if driven at law-abiding speeds and style in mixed riding. BMW is usually very conservative with range estimates. I've driven my i3 past 0 range into --- dashes displayed so I'm quite familiar with taking range to the limit. Anyway, after a few minutes of familiarization, the throttle, power, balance, weight, braking, turning became second nature. The seat is tall, taller than the C650. I learned to scoot forward on the seat when stopping (5'7", 30 inch inseam). Tried the different modes with Dynamic being my fave. Almost never touched the brake lever. Regen was nice and strong. I went on a quick run on I-287 up to an easily achieved 83 mph. Very stable at speed. I think it was more relaxed reaching 80 mph than my K1600GTL. Heated grips were hot! Could use a taller windscreen but not necessary. Tried the reverse and that made things a lot easier especially if you are short or have weak legs. Everything was well made. Wish it had LED headlights. While I prefer the C Evo over the Zeros, the C Evo did not excite me like the Zeros did. Also, the Zeros do not really compel me to look back and admire them after getting off. I think the C Evo had a more comfortable ride and seat. I really want to get an electric motorcycle, but I don't have to. I have 2 EV cages for commuting already and an electric commuting bike seems to be a benefit from the Department of Redundancy Department.
@Shaolin, thanks for your great review and appreciate your being able to contrast with your EV experience. I've found that the 'guess-o-meter' range is predicated on the selected mode and how you have been riding in the last few minutes. I believe it to be pretty accurate, although I have never needed to run it down to even close to zero. I have the tall windscreen and it's nice in cold weather, induces very little turbulence (for me @ 5'9" ish), and it actually helps the range a small amount. But I will probably switch back to the original in the spring. I love the clean breeze
I agree about the headlamps and am going to retrofit the H7 headlights with LEDs one of these days. I've already replaced the rear turnsignals lamps with LEDS. Hopefully they will incorporate some of the technology features found in the C400X and the new 120 AH batteries in the next version of the C Evo. I've been really pleased with the scooter so far and look forward to many years of riding this one.
I have a 35 mile commute one-way, with a couple of evenings about 44 miles. Level 2 charging at home and at work. So my i3 already provides me with oil-free commuting for the last 2 years. A C Evo or a Zero would not provide me with a "low cost" alternative to an already low cost mode of travel. I would not benefit from an electric motorcycle/scooter from a purely economic angle. If anything, it would be a money-losing proposition since I cannot recoup my costs from "savings". Conceptually, I still would like to ride electric.
@Shaolin - Don't you ever ride your Big K to work or take it for a spin around town or out to the beach on a warm spring day? Feel guilty about riding it up to the grocery store which barely warns up the motor?
I put a lot of miles on the K16 (2013 with 65k miles) but my yearly mileage went down recently to 10k, then 7k because of free charging at work so I only took out the K16 on the really nice days and on weekends. ICE BMWs do have expensive maintenance costs so I was more than happy to drive my electric cars for the garbage commuting mileage.
I feel the same way about riding my R1200GSA - it's in the shop now for an oil change and brake fluid change. $550. Gotta love the C Evo which I can for the most part ride 11 mos of the year.
@Shaolin - Great information, thank you. I have put 100,000 miles on my Chevy Volt so understand the basics on e stuff similar to you with your i3. You commented the C Evo may be more relaxing at 80 mph but is less exciting than a Zero. I have an Africa Twin DCT and C650GT. I have a 38-40 mile commute each way and have alternated between the AT and GT a lot. What I found is that the GT is clearly better for commuting than the AT ... but the AT is more fun! Seems similar to your comments about the C Evo vs. Zero. I found I would naturally gravitate to the GT, but would have to make a conscious decision to ride the AT. So ... I'm pretty confident the C Evo will be near perfect for my use. Better than the GT in a couple of critical areas, namely engine smoothness and tip in throttle response. Plus I just love electrics. Agree it's not really about economics, but no gas, brakes, $550-600 tune-ups, oil and air filters, etc. will definitely lower operating costs long into the future. At work, we have 50 year old electric pump motors running just fine.
Not sure the exact timing of my impending purchase, due to this bad weather making it hard to get my GT to Bob's for a trade price. But it will happen soon enough. Thanks, Tim
Hi Tim, I had a 2013 Volt that I "sold" to my mother in law (she had to turn in her leased Nissan Leaf). I put 80+k miles on the Volt with no problems other than an initial problem with what they call charging modules maybe 2 weeks into ownership. Here again with the contrast: the Volt was a nicer riding car while the i3 (all battery) was capable of being a rocketship. Since I have several opportunities for an impromptu drag race along my commute, the i3 keeps me entertained despite long spells of driving economically. But I do miss the Volt!
BTW, I had a 1999 10th Anniv Mazda Miata that I immensely enjoyed. It was beautiful and ran like a Swiss watch. In my experience, the perfect driver's car. Once we picked up our BMW Active E (an electric prototype of what was to become the i3), my Miata sat idle. Bought a couple of new batteries for the Miata because it just sat. I predict the same fate for my beloved K1600 once I get an electric bike. I'm guessing, those who go electric have similar stories.
Thanks to you all for adding your stories to this thread. It has been very quiet here for too long.
Tim's update - So after more snow on Friday and below freezing temps Saturday morning, the weather "broke" early afternoon, i.e. sunny and nudging 40F. I took my Volt out and the roads were mostly dry. So I decided to scramble and get the C650GT cleaned up for a ride. Found the title, got out my gear (longer than expected since I haven't rode in months), tried to think what the heck I was going to do when I got to Bob's. Off I go, running 80 ish to get to Bob's before it closes at 4:00 P.M. BTW, loving the ride on the GT. I forgot how comfortable the seating position is with my feet way out there on the inclined part of the running boards. Anyway, I arrive at Bob's at exactly 3:40 P.M. Roll inside and tell the salesman I've been dealing with (and whom I purchased the GT from two years ago) I want to test the C Evo. "Nope, too late, it's after 3:00 P.M." "What? I drove over an hour to get here. I'm in my gear, get the keys and let me take it out." "No we don't allow test rides in the snow." "There is no snow on the roads. If there was, I wouldn't have ridden over an hour to get here." "Sorry, that's the rules." "Please ask your boss." ... off he goes ... "Sorry, no ride." "Don't you want to sell a bike?" "Sorry, man." "Well, can you at least give me a trade value on my GT?" "No, that has to be scheduled." "I'll just keep my bike." And I left.
He sent me an email apologizing for not being able to let me test ride the C Evo, but then asked when I could come back for a test ride and schedule the evaluation of the GT for trade. I wrote back this morning and said, "I think your sign should say SOME Business 9:00 A.M to 4:00 P.M., ALL Business 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M."
Drama aside, there was one thing I noticed that I didn't like about the C Evo. Compared to my GT, there was noticeably less leg room. With my feet furthest forward, my knees were higher and bent at more of an angel. Then I noticed how close my knees looked to the bars, closer than my GT. So I'm sitting on it wondering if the loss of leg room will bother me. This is while the salesman is away talking to his manager. So I decided I wasn't really sure if I wanted the C Evo, after all. I remember someone saying the "comfort" seat is taller and improves the leg room. So that might work.
Bottom line, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I still want it, but must have a decent test ride to get a better feel for the riding position. I love the rangy position of the GT and don't wan't to lose that.
But, I also think the GT is too vibey on the highway. After 45 minutes or so, I wish it was smoother. So ... do I trade some leg comfort for the hands and whole body comfort of a smooth electric motor?
Sorry for the length. BTW, I'm 5'-10" 190#. Pretty normal sized. Tim (phew!)
Most dealers don’t test ride for the last hour of business because of the time it takes to go over the bike so that you’re familiar with the features, allow for a proper test ride, etc. Even if all you did was ride around the block, there isn’t enough time to test ride and complete the deal in twenty minutes. And it’s not fair to you or the dealer to rush the process. Especially if, during the walk through, something was missed leaving you stranded or with important questions unanswered.
Dealers in Los Angeles will stay open after closing to make a deal, sounds like that dealer was just being lazy