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BMW Won’t Build Its Epic Electric Motorcycle. There’s a Really Good Reason for That

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BMW Motorrad

BMW Won’t Build Its Epic Electric Motorcycle. There’s a Really Good Reason for That

Waiting for a world-beating BMW electric motorcycles? You’ll have to keep waiting.


Back in 2019, BMW presented the stunning Motorrad Vision DC Roadster. The brand described the all-electric motorcycle as “a visionary symbol of the future of BMW Motorrad.” Five years later, though … we’re still waiting for that future. The brand sells electric scooters, but we’re lacking for a full-on electric BMW motorcycle.

And there’s a good reason for that.

Recently, BMW Blog uncovered BMW Motorrad head Markus Flasch telling a German outlet that BMW has the technology to build a 124-mile range electric motorcycle. However, the project is being pushed back until 2027 at the earliest — as BMW is not seeing demand for an electric motorcycle in any market.

That observation tracks what’s happening in the broader market; EV moto maker Cake just filed for bankruptcy, for example. There are reasons to like electric motorcycles, such as the joy of quiet riding and instant torque. And we’ve ridden some seriously cool ones. But there are also several reasons buyers and manufacturers like BMW are skeptical of them.

Electric motorcycles are way more expensive than combustion bikes

EVs are pricer than combustion cars. However, electric motorcycles can be multiple times more expensive than conventional motorcycles. Savings from not having to gas up your G-Wagen with premium add up over time. But those numbers will never add up for an already efficient motorcycle earning more than 50 mpg.

And the weight and charging difficulty of electric motorcycles limits the fun

Battery packs weigh down electric cars; we still haven’t seen a great option for making sporty EVs. That effect is even more pronounced with motorcycles; the Zero DSR/X checks in at 545 pounds. Broadly, heaviness affects how fun a motorcycle can be, and fun — in a vehicle seldom used for commuting — is the entire point.

The Zero Motorcycles DSR/X checks in at 545 pounds.Zero Motorcycles

Add in charging. Public infrastructure is a massive pain point for any electric vehicle. And electric motorcycles tend not to have the same sophisticated charging tech some electric cars have.

We suspect BMW and other manufacturers will have electric motorcycles eventually

But to an even greater extent than cars, mass adoption will require advances in battery tech — which will require a lot of time and money. For now, it seems as though internal combustion will remain king of the moto world.