BMW C Evolution Electric Scooter

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by Eddy Alvarez, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. cpallen

    cpallen Nearly Adventurer

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    @timblanch - You're right the leg room is a bit more restrictive than on the C650GT, and most likely the C Evo already has the comfort seat option - I read somewhere that all the C Evos shipped to the USA are the Long Range version, with comfort seat and heated grips. For me the legroom isn't really that restrictive I just had to adapt a little bit. I can still put my feet up - for reference I'm pretty close to you in size 5'-9" ish with about a 31-32" inseam (I haven't seen 190# for a while but that's my goal weight) . It's actually a very comfortable position for me - palms flat, elbows slightly bent. None of that wind push from behind. I posted this picture early in the thread but I'll put it up here again. There is a standard motorcycle style handlebar under the plastic - I wouldn't rule out being able to add a riser to bring the bars slightly up and back if necessary.

    Day 1 Ride.PNG
    Too bad about your dealership experience. You'd think they would be willing to go the extra mile especially in the off-season. I'm sure my dealer here in Seattle would stay open late if they had to to close a sale. When I bought my GSA in January 2 years ago, there was a week of bad weather and they delivered it to my house and picked up my trade with their service truck.

    Good luck Tim, keep us posted!
  2. timblanch

    timblanch Adventurer

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    yes, they have rules. but i think it was more laziness. there are many nights i work late when something needs to be done, and i'm not in sales. so it's a different philosophy than my personal one, to turn out the lights and go home at closing regardless of a potential sale. it felt downright weird, especially since i'm already a customer with a similar bike and know more about the C Evo than they do and they know that. but it's not my business. it's Bob's, and he can run it the way he wants. i guess they believe i'll be back. and who know's, maybe i will.

    thanks for the pic, Court. your legs look pretty stretched out. as far as the comfort seat, all i know is the bike i'm considering has two (2) factory options listed: heated grips and alarm. i could ask, but they won't know and to find out would take some effort. maybe i have the wrong salesman. tim
  3. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator Super Moderator

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    It's not laziness. Did you have an appointment for your test ride? Probably not because if you did, and unless you had made special arrangements, your sales rep would have told you about the 3PM cut off.

    Our dealership has the same cutoff and for the reasons I cited earlier and while you may be more familiar with the C Evo (most customers already know quite a bit about the vehicle before they come in), our sales folks still go over the vehicle with you because it's a part of the process. Same with the purchase, that process takes time and is the same for all customers as is the walk around. idk if Bob's PDI's the bike before or after-but if it's after the sale, that takes time as well especially the battery charging part).

    And if you're trading in, chances are the service department will be asked to look at your bike. It's not a 10 minute process.

    That you weren't able to test ride in the last 20 minutes or so is not laziness. It's making sure you have the best experience and that folks are available to answer questions should you have any. Laziness would have been bikes pushed inside and sales reps unwilling to speak with you because they were too busy gearing up for the ride home-I doubt Bob's is like that.
  4. cpallen

    cpallen Nearly Adventurer

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    @ian408 - you make many valid points about the process from the dealer's perspective. It's tough though when you are a buyer. Ideally showing up at 10 am on Tuesday would allow plenty of time to get it all done but not everybody can do that.
  5. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator Super Moderator

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    No doubt. Which is why most dealers are open Saturday. And as I suggested, an appointment is a great way to make the most of the time you have.
  6. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    BMW knows how to build quality, but that's not the point here. BMW is building in serious volume, which Zero is not. It gives them a huge advantage. Virtually all of the power-system-related lessons learned on the i3 apply directly to the C Evo. Many of the components do too.
    True, the nickel and iron electrodes in the old Edison batteries are not consumed or degraded during use, so they have a theoretically infinite life. You had to replace the potassium hydroxide (KOH) electrolyte occasionally, but other than that they were - and are - 'forever' batteries. But they had pretty low capacity and charge retention by today's standards.
    Well, battery tech is still racing forward. So by the time your pack is toast it's likely the hot battery du jour will be new and different and your original might not even be available. Worst case, different batteries would require changes to BMS, controller, but more likely you can adjust the new pack to suit. There will likely be someone who has addressed the issue before you and posted online how to do it. And different batteries would likely be smaller for the same power and/or capacity (otherwise what's the point?), making the adaptation easier.
    Underappreciated by most, but not all. In fact, this is a big enough advantage that it is a very real threat to manufacturers. It will be de-emphasized and even actively prevented by policy and hardware. It's an issue now and will grow to a bigger one. Pay attention to stories about Right to Repair, and these ever-more-connected products being bricked by their manufacturers.

    Making products that last forever, which is possible now more than ever, is NOT the way to increase profits. So manufacturers will do everything they can to get you to buy the latest tech when what you have works just fine. We will be land-filling and recycling perfectly usable products and buying new tech that is not really better, just new, for the sole purpose of handing money over to corporations. Even the sheep will eventually see that they're being had, and there will be a big reckoning. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for genuine advances, but some 'advances' really aren't. People are going to get better at determining the difference between new and better. (Do you really need a new phone? Mine's 6 years old and does everything I want just fine.) All just an interesting twist in the path of disruptive technology.
    I guess with me that makes five. And counting.
    Jay is a rabid motorhead, but he doesn't really have a deep understanding of EVs. (And apparently, neither does the PM reporter or his editor.) He knows what he has, not much of the underlying tech, and no clue where that tech is going or why. He's quoted as saying the batteries have lead electrodes. No. Nickel Iron (NiFe) means nickel and iron electrodes, no lead. He says they have acid. No. They have KOH electrolyte, which is basic, not acidic.

    He also apparently doesn't know that Edison was not really much of a scientist - but he was a relentless experimenter. He came upon the nickel-iron-KOH chemistry and decided it was good enough. It was. But if he had had the vision and curiosity of a scientist, he might have taken NiFe further and come up with the beginnings of today's nickel-metal-hydride batteries half a century sooner. Think about where today's transportation might be if he had.

    There is so much more development ahead of us. And since there's money behind it now, the scientists are on it.
    Mofrid, MJSfoto1956 and ian408 like this.
  7. timblanch

    timblanch Adventurer

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    upload_2019-2-6_7-12-49.png
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  8. timblanch

    timblanch Adventurer

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  9. cpallen

    cpallen Nearly Adventurer

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  10. MarylandStrom

    MarylandStrom Long timer

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    Thanks timblanch for reposting it.

    I am always leery of these science sites that post articles about promising technology. Especially when it comes to new battery tech. A lot of the stuff never materializes beyond the lab. But this article seems to show there is some hope for this company. And if so, their electric motor would be perfect for motorcycles and scooters. I hope it works out for them.
  11. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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    This keeps popping up. This type of electric motor design was covered when I was studying electrical engineering in the 80s, so it is definitely not new. Almost every claim they make is carefully worded to sound impressive. For example "low-maintenance". Almost all electric motors are low maintenance. "can continuously make nearly 70 percent of its peak power, suggesting superior cooling" Almost all electric motors are designed to work continuously (and have greatest efficiency) at around 75% of maximum power. I could go on. :-)
  12. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    Agreed. Axial flux has been around awhile. Briggs & Stratton had one that did around 15 hp continuous, seemed like they were going to do more with it, but then they sold it off. It was attractive for converting motorcycles as low-power runabouts. The big selling point was the relatively high power/weight ratio.

    But inevitably people would try to run them too hard. If you do that to a conventional 100+ lb. industrial motor, it heats up a few degrees because it has so much thermal mass. And back then with lead acid batteries, the range was short enough you couldn't run hard long enough to hurt it too much. But do that on an axial motor and temp rise can get catastrophic really fast. The B&S motors had little clips at the periphery of the rotor that were soldered between coils. The heat would soften the solder and it would spit clips. Spit too many too fast in the small space between rotor and housing, and they would jamb and lock the wheel. One of the CAD model pics in the Magnax article suggests similar clips. They might be fine if they're mechanically crimped as well as soldered.

    The point is that this motor type does have great potential, and terrific power/weight. Just make sure you compensate for that lack of thermal mass with appropriate cooling. Many of the TTXGP racers at IoM run axial flux quite successfully, so it does work great if you do your homework. The main downside is cost.
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  13. cpallen

    cpallen Nearly Adventurer

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    Some smart people on this forum.
  14. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen Supporter

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    The BMW C-scooter makes a lot of sense to me, especially for the US commuter market because we still largely prefer to commute one person per vehicle and not be burdened by arranging pickup times, being limited to post work errand choices, being on your own schedule. Parking would be easy. E-scooters would reduce the space required per commuter in traffic. An electric scooter would not be a pooch in traffic. But, a scooter is no less dangerous than a motorcycle to the operator. As such the rider needs just as much traffic skills. As an electric vehicle, a scooter makes sense because the battery pack can be low on the chassis, and big enough to provide ample power/range without making a motorcycle style electric bike look odd (huge battery pack higher on the chassis). If I were a daily commuter of less than 30 miles one way I'd definitely consider the C.
    Mofrid and cpallen like this.
  15. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen Supporter

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    Up here in Green Bay WI the new Meiers store has a line of eight Tesla charging stations in the parking lot. No doubt Tesla drivers prefer Meiers for all their family home and food needs.
  16. Mofrid

    Mofrid Been here awhile Supporter

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    What's a Meiers?
  17. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen Supporter

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  18. Shaolin

    Shaolin Been here awhile

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    Here's a little ride write up that I will be submitting to my club newsletter:

    Kicking Tires: The BMW C Evolution Electric Scooter



    At the recent New York International Motorcycle Show, I saw BMW again displaying the C Evolution scooter. I cut to the chase and asked one of the BMW Motorrad attendants if the scooter is now available in New Jersey. Yes, he said. I spotted Maire from Cross Country Motorsports and she confirmed that the dealership has one in stock.



    Towards the end of January, during a break from the polar vortex, I drove up to Metuchen to see if I can take the C Evolution for a spin. There was a tall guy from Montenegro (country just north of Albania) who seemed like he also wanted to try it out, possibly even bidding up the price if it came down to who gets it. Anyway, since I asked first, I got first dibs.



    First, the numbers: $14k, 48 hp, 53 lb-ft torque, 606 lbs, 99 mile range, 2.8 sec 0-30, 80 mph max speed, 3.5 hours to fully charge with Level 2 charging station at 240 volts.



    I won’t mention anything about what it would be like to live with this bike other than running costs would be very low, and it would only make sense if your riding needs can be met by its capabilities.



    Now to the ride itself. So after the quick schpiel on operation and features (of which it has many), off I go onto public roads. I start off in Eco mode to familiarize myself with the throttle action, acceleration and handling. This would be the range maximizing mode so it curtails performance. It felt like maybe a 300cc motorcycle, totally adequate and non-threatening, with a remarkably well-tuned throttle. At about 37F degree ambient temperature, I noticed about 76 miles of range at 100% battery charge displayed on the colorful TFT dash. I rode through Metuchen’s downtown to check out low speed handling. Despite the heavy 600-pound weight, the batteries are situated low so it was easy to maneuver in traffic and parking lots. It has 15-inch wheels so it mimicked the feel of a motorcycle. I soon noticed at the first stop that the seat height is quite high. I needed to move forward to the front of the saddle to have any chance of flat-footing the scooter. I switched the mode to Dynamic at a stoplight once I felt confident that there were no surprises in riding the C Evo. Light turns green and zoom, I’m gone! As expected, acceleration was very brisk. Not as manic as a Zero SR, which will induce an involuntary “oh shit!” but quick enough to outrun most cars. The BMW features some form of traction control, something that Zero bikes don’t have. This feature would preserve one’s ego when foolishly wicking up acceleration whilst in a curve (I haven’t tried a Zero DSR adventure bike because another K1600 rider low-sided doing just that during a demo day).



    I decided to go on the highway to see what she’s got. I take the entrance to I-287 and quickly achieve max velocity. The speedo read over 80mph. I’ll go out on a limb and say it was more effortless getting to 85 than my K1600 (which, I’ve heard, has a much higher top end, wink wink). The C Evolution was very stable at speed with good mirrors to aid in merging. I think the turn signals were self-cancelling. Another thing I noticed were that my hands were borderline hot from the heated handgrips. The short windscreen threw air about shoulder height. I exited to Route 1N so I can repeat the highway run going the other way on I-287. This little portion highlighted the scooter’s regenerative braking. For the whole ride, I barely touched the brakes. Mikey K won’t be replacing pads too often on this bike. By the time I turned off back into Metuchen, the battery was down to 61 miles of range at 72% battery charge. I noticed faster battery depletion rates at high speeds.



    Back at Cross Country, I park the bike for the next guy. The C Evolution had one more delightful surprise: Reverse Assist. Even with the high seat and heavy weight, backing up was easy as pie. Just watch you throttle. I’m not so sure it won’t go 80-mph in reverse.



    Overall, I enjoyed riding the highest performing scooter in the world. It was comfortable, thrilling to ride and exuded quality BMW workmanship and materials. So the question everybody wants to ask: BMW or Zero? I think that the C Evolution meets my needs just as well as any Zero does for a lower price. The factor that might tip things in BMW’s favor is that I like looking at it more than a Zero. Oh, so the question you guys really want to ask: did I buy it? The answer is no. At least not yet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed though.
    ian408 likes this.
  19. cpallen

    cpallen Nearly Adventurer

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    As one who has owned a c evolution for the past eight months or so I would say this is a totally accurate assessment. I might add that it’s really calming to be blitzing the twisties with a little inverter whine being the only sound. Akin to sailing vs motoring, but faster.

    Also there is very little tech on the bike, other than what makes it stop and go. I personally miss only tire pressure monitors, and wish it had LED headlights.

    Now go back there and buy the damn thing we need some more representation on the street!
    Shaolin likes this.
  20. Shaolin

    Shaolin Been here awhile

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    I agree on TPM and LED lights. I'll add a electric windscreen too.