Colin sits on a C evo Plus (2016)

Long time Voyager owner and current caretaker of the 1987 Ecomobile, (which he rode to the show) Colin Russell tries the revised BMW C evolution Plus for size at Motorcycle Live 2016. The 'Plus' is a reference to the increased range of the new model, while the original version stays on sale as one of the most powerful learner-legal PTWs you can buy, thanks to the perversity of the EU method of measuring the power of electric vehicles. Colin pointed out that while the space under the seat is full of electrical gubbins, it would still be possible to convert the C evo to pseudo-FF mode if you didn't mind sacrificing most of the fairing. You could sit in the lowest part of the 'step over' section with your back against what is the front of the standard seat. The fairing would have to be completely revised so that you could put your feet right out front, somewhere near the front of the mudguard. This would actually be quite similar to the two ComforTmaxes, but a little more extreme. See here, but bear in mind that there probably isn't room for a full-size Volvo seat back:
Note that the C evolution uses the same size 15inch front wheel as the post-2008 Mk3 Tmax PNB
Photo: © Paul Blezard

Colin sits on a C evo Plus (2016)

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Some basic details would be good - weight? power (KW), some dimensions etc. I guess it' still fairly moderate if it's an update of a learner bike? Any pics without bodywork? "Electrical Gubbins" isn't very imformative when considering if any of them can be moved...

I recall that the original offering had a lump of battery right where a lower seat would need to go (Clever BMW), leading to considering turning the whole battery pack around. But really the power rating was too low to bother with. "Horribly pedestrian" or something like that.

C evolution's surprising statistics

As I've said elsewhere, the C evo benefits from the bizarre EU electric regs which allow a learner-legal machine, with 11kw of continuous power, to put out 35kw peak, which translates as 48bhp. Except it's madder than that. On the same dyno that my Burgman 650 made 42bhp at the rear wheel (from 55bhp, claimed, at the crank) the C evo put out 51bhp at the rear wheel! (On the self-same dyno, my Mk2 Tmax made just 36bhp at the rear wheel, compared to 44bhp claimed, at the crank; Yamaha don't claim any more power for the Mk3 Tmax, and only 2bhp more for the Mk4 Tmax530).
It's heavy, at 265kgs, but still lighter than a Burgman 650, and also lighter than the much less powerful Voyager.
BMW themselves boast that the C evo can beat their 200mph supersports S1000RR off the mark from 0-30mph.
In short, the C evo has plenty of power, while it lasts. As standard, it is governed to 75mph.
The only significant difference with the new Plus model, as far as I can ascertain, is that it has more battery.
More here, but at the time of writing, (November 2016) the spec for the Plus doesn't seem to have been put on the website:
PS This is the UK government announcement in October 2016 which relaunched the Plug-in Motorcycle Grant (PiMG) which has been moribund since it was first announced by the coalition government back in March 2015:
If all goes according to plan, the 20% or £1500 rebate (whichever is the lesser amount) should be available to buyers of BMWs and Zeroes by January 2017 and perhaps, for some other makes as well.

Interesting stuff

Thanks for that. I'll have to study the link to get the details when they put them up. Presumably goverened to keep the range looking respectable. 75 is not enough!

Interesting how much faster the 'horribly pedestrian' Voyagers are, given their lower power at back wheel figures, around 10 bhp less than most of these quoted - according to one dyno session some time ago*. Points up the huge difference a lower frontal area and reasonable aero's make. Cmax is governed of course but noticably slower at the top end.

Very much makes the case that the FF layout alone would make this scooter usable - once the governer had been hacked. Of course better aero's eauals better range and or speed. Something the motorcycle industry and particularly the e-racers have been studiously ignoring for some years now.

Apart from market cowardice BMW have no excuse, they made the C.1, saw 001 in 1985, and they make E-cars. What are they like? They're chicken! Still 'not first'

*This session on an uncorroborated 'acceleration dyno' involved one stock Voyager (SU carb, stock head etc.) and FJ, which turned out to be about to blow it's engine up. I make no claims, but point out that the 35bhp/39ft/lbs recorded then may not be definitive

A project for a rich person

Ok, been to the site. More promising than I thought. It uses the same power management approach as the i3 car, which is a very nice drive. I'd like to see the bare chassis but bolting a Voyager front onto it should be feasible (as is a 15" front wheel). Then with current FF open cockpit aero's you would expect a 20% increase in range - i.e. 120Km. And I see that the quoted speed in 80mph (120KPH) which means it wouldn't be too embarrassing on a motorway. I expect that is the motors continous max rev limit. Interesting reference to a 'ring gear' final drive - is it a shafty?. Obvious way to increase speed is to alter the gearing - belt drive pully, bigger rear wheel etc. Certainly got enough torque to cope with higher gearing! Subject to discovering exactly what the electrical 'gubbins' under the seat looks like it's an interesting option for an E-FF.

As long as you've got £14K to throw at a PTW... I just need Beemer to sell me one with no bodywork or front end - Oh, Wait. Isn't that what you get when you've crashed one?

Loved the ad-speak bit "and the paint finishes demonstrate innovative power".

120kph = 74.5mph

Simple point of information: 120kph = 74.5645, which is why I quoted 75mph in the first place. 130kph is closer to 80mph. (80.78mph to be more precise),
Also, when the electric grant finally comes in (hopefully in January 2017), price of a new machine should drop to £12K or £12,500 ish, provided BMW don't feel the need to increase the price again due to Brexit!

Price point

Jolly good, We still don't know what's under the seat, but we do know exactly how fast it goes. So it's currently too slow really to be safe on an English motorway, let alone a German one! Think that needs addressing. Wonder why BMW don't just alter the gearing at bit, it's got more than enough torque to cope. Probably the aero's are so bad the range collapses if it's driven any faster. Drag gets serious by 80. Maybe BMW should up their game a bit? Not too difficult for the Motorrad people to walk round the corner and talk to the car aero specialists surely? It's all the same air!

To put the £13.5K price in perspective, for another 1K you can get a Skoda Fabia Greenline, without a cheat fitted*, that does 60mpg at a steady 80mph (real figures), tops out at 100 plus, carries five people and luggage and has all the usual car features - heating, weatherproofing and so on. Naturally, as a Euro 6 it has particulate filters, and stop-start. OK. it's a carbon fuel vehicle, not a ZEV, but I think this does point up the single biggest problem of EV's. A lot of people who need transport for work can't afford them.

Would you pay £13K for a scooter, any scooter, when the same money will buy a perfectly nice second hand car, less then three years old, choice of colour etc.? Still, might make a nice E-FF conversion for the financially abled.

Assuming Brexit actually happens in terms of ending access to the free market, it will of course increase the cost of all BMWs (and Skoda's)- without BMW moving a muscle.

*the VW cheat on these 1.1 litre turbo-diesels amounts to preventing them revving past 2Krpm when the wheel speed senors detect the car isn't moving (eg on test) This prevents the test emnission software taking a reading, which it records as a 'pass'. So, uncorrected, it will never fail an MOT on emissions. Gosh. I must get that fixed. Etc.

Naked C evolution

I should point out that there has been a photo of the bare C evolution chassis, batteries and motor on this site, since I first put it up back in August 2012, in this self-same folder PNB. Here:

News? or Olds?

Pretty desparate lack of news about FFs when Olds like this need to be put up to show signs of life on the site.

Fortunately there are people out there doing real research on key FF technology - just not in public

Unfortunately I'm reasonably confident BMW/Honad/Et al are not among those people!

Rearrangement Brings 'Olds' to the front.

The only reason this 2016 photo has come to the front in 2024 is because I've just created a new folder for the C evolution to separate it out from the original electric C1-E of 2009. I had already created a separate folder for the newer CE04 so it was anomalous not to have a separate folder for the C evolutions (of which there were actually 3 versions, as named in the folder title: 1/ Prototype Cevo (2012) 2/ First production Cevo (A1-legal; 2014-on) and 3/ Cevolution Plus (2017-on)