Tag Archives: sidecar

Electric outfit for long-distance riding

Spanish design student Iago Valino imagines an electric future with a BMW outfit with a batteries house in the sidecar for long-distance riding.

His BMW concept drawing is not sanctioned by BMW Motorrad, but they must surely be paying some attention.BMW electric outfit

One of the biggest problems with electric motorcycles is fitting a big enough battery in such a small machine to provide suitable range.

Housing a battery in a sidecar would provide extra range for long-distance travel.BMW electric outfit

Electric outfit

Iago isn’t the first to think of an electric outfit.

Last year Russian company Ural Motorcycles built a prototype. There is no word on when — or if — the finished product will come to market.

URAL electric sidecar prototypeURAL electric sidecar prototype

Like the Ural, Iago also sees the potential for not only long-distance travel, but some off-road applications.

His original project was an on-road focused model but he has also drawn one with off-road looks, without modifying ground clearance.BMW electric outfit

“Maybe, the ‘off-road’ adjective doesn’t fit quite well, but I was thinking on traveling around the world without having to avoid bad condition or dirt roads (Morocco for example), not dunes or similar pure off-road conditions,” he says.

“Either way, this was originally a really quick project and I had no time to approach technical solutions, the main proportions and front suspension system come, slightly modified, from the BMW DC Vision, an official concept, more or less as undriveable as this one could be.”

The DC Vision is the authorised BMW Motorrad vision of what their electric future may look like with its boxer-style electric motor.

BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster electric boxerBMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster electric boxer

Not that BMW is getting close to an electric motorcycle just yet.

In 2018, managing director Stephan Schaller said electric motorcycles are “not in their immediate future”.

Yet last year the company applied for a patent for an electric motorcycle with the motor and battery making up the bulk of the frame, linked via upside down forks and a single 45-degree mono shock to the swingarm.

bmw serious about electric motorcycleBMW patent drawing

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ural Motorcycles unveils first electric sidecar

The iconic boxer heads sticking out the side are missing on the first electric sidecar prototype from Ural Motorcycles.

Ural Electric Prototype is just the first development phase and there is no word on when — or if — the finished product will come to market.

The Russian company estimates it would take about two years to ramp up serial production upon final design approval.

Electric sidecarURAL electric sidecar prototype

An electric sidecar makes a lot more sense than an electric bike because there is so much more space to fit batteries.

While this prototype doesn’t have the traditional Ural (previously BMW) boxer engine, or clutch lever, gear shifter or instruments, it does still have a fuel cap where you stick the cord in to charge the vehicle.

The electric prototype is based on the one-wheel drive cT chassis with batteries, controller and other components from Californian electric motorcycles company Zero Motorcycles.

However, it seems they have used the previous model batteries with 165km of range, not the new Zero batteries with about 330km in the city and 155km on the highway.

Ural does not specify how that 165km of range was achieved. However, they say tech specs will change before this outfit comes to market as they will use the latest battery technology available.URAL electric sidecar prototype

Ural says the electric sidecar prototype will be shown at North American motorcycle shows and demo-ride events to collect feedback “before moving to the next phase of this project”.

Ural Australia spokesman Matthew Hodge says they are discussing the opportunity to bring it to Australia. Stay tuned for updates!

That’s a similar approach Harley-Davidson took with their 2014 electric LiveWire which will come to market next year.

Fellow California company ICG designed and fabricated the prototype for Ural while Zero provided engineering support during development and testing.

‘Perfect’ platformURAL electric sidecar prototype

Ural President and CEO Ilya Khait says a sidecar is “the perfect platform to build an electric motorcycle because it can offer what regular two-wheeled motorcycles can’t: passenger comfort, stability and safety, not to mention more space for batteries”.

“We’re very happy with the results,” he says.

“At a glance it’s still a Ural, but the electric bike offers a totally new experience.”

It is believed the baterries are in the floor of the sidecar which would provide a very low centre of gravity for better handling.

Actually, at first glance, it looks very little like a Ural from any angle thanks to the lack of boxer heads and the big “B” shaped aluminium motor frame.

Ilya points out another difference from the traditional Ural: “It accelerates very quickly – for a Ural.”

Company operations VP Jason Rae says their main goal with the prototype was achieving  “proof of concept”.

“We went through several iterations, searching for the best configuration of the electric powertrain package,” he says.

“One of the main challenges was to find the optimal location for the batteries while maintaining passenger comfort, storage capacity and stability distinctive to Ural sidecars.URAL electric sidecar prototype

“The bike was tested intensively in real-world conditions – in the rain and snow, on cold and hot days, on the highway and city streets. We accumulated a lot of data that will be used in the next phase of the project.

“Admittedly, I was apprehensive in the beginning that an electric Ural was something worth putting our resources into, but now I’m totally convinced and looking forward to development of our production intent prototype.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com