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BMW C EVOLUTION (2014-on) Review

Published: 02 April 2015

Updated: 06 May 2015

The BMW C Evolution is a serious high-end electric maxi-scoot from a major manufacturer

BMW C EVOLUTION  (2014-on)

The BMW C Evolution is a serious high-end electric maxi-scoot from a major manufacturer

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Final decisions over practicality and cost will ultimately be left to personal circumstance but the BMW C evolution is an excellent - if marginally compromised - maxi-scooter, well worth your consideration if you’re looking for the ultimate in clean urban refinement. And as a statement of BMW's intent, the C evolution is a fascinating debut.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The handling is firm, but forgivingly fun when you manage to break free from the traffic and attempt a more ambitious ride. The weight of the batteries makes for a solid centre of gravity and despite the front end feeling a little light and skittish on occasion, there are no real complaints. The brakes do an admirable job of keeping the bike’s 265kg in check and no part of the equation feels under-delivered. Torque Control Assist (TCA) is a welcome addition, keeping the rampant torque delivery under control at low speeds, and there's a handy reverse gear too, useful when paddling it back into a tight parking spot.

Engine 4 out of 5

The thump of instant acceleration from the 53ft/lb of instant torque on tap - which surges you forward to the electronically restricted 75mph limit with decent gusto and nothing but an electric whine for company - is a real joy. It's like riding a child's toy, but with the daunting task of negotiating city traffic in rush hour.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Reliability is a bit of a grey area since electric bikes are still in their very early stages, but it's a BMW so it should be built to a very high standard.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

You can’t consider an electric vehicle of any type without taking the dreaded spectre of battery charging into account. BMW quote four hours as the official duration for a full charge of the lithium-ion cells, but the charge time of this type of battery is not strictly linear. In truth the first 50% of the capacity charges quicker than the final half, so whilst four hours would deliver full range, you could be ready to ride 30 miles in less than half that time. Final decisions over practicality and cost will ultimately be left to personal circumstance.

Equipment 3 out of 5

As you turn the key, a stunning colour LCD display flashes into life and you're greeted with a mesmerising blast of numbers and graphs – all suitably Star Trek – before being asked to start the motor. The regenerative braking system offers at least some familiarity by acting like engine braking, especially in 'Dynamic Mode' where speed can be scrubbed-off quickly by just releasing the throttle. 'Road' and 'Eco Pro' settings do the same, but with 'Road' offering less regenerational charge back into the batteries, while 'Eco Pro' restricts the rate of acceleration, improving battery life. The most peculiar feeling comes in 'Sail' mode, which removes all regenerative return, allowing you to coast down hills like you’re riding a massive skateboard.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2014
Year discontinued -
New price £13,529
Used price £8,000 to £10,500
Warranty term -
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax -
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 47 bhp
Max torque 53 ft-lb
Top speed 75 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range 62 miles
Specification
Engine size -
Engine type Electric drive via drivetrain swingarm, liquid-cooled permanent magnet synchronous motor, toothed belt and ring gearing, prismatic lithium-ion cells
Frame type Hybrid chassis, load-bearing die-cast aluminium battery casing, steel-tubed rear frame
Fuel capacity -
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 265kg
Front suspension 40mm inverted telescopic forks
Rear suspension Single-sided swing arm with directly controlled spring strut, 7-stage adjustable preload.
Front brake 2 x 270mm discs with twin-piston floating calipers, BMW Motorrad ABS as standard
Rear brake Single 270mm disc with single-piston floating caliper, BMW Motorrad ABS as standard
Front tyre size 120/70-15
Rear tyre size 160/60-15

History & Versions

Model history

Released in 2014 as the first electric bike produced by a major traditional motorcycle manufacturer

Other versions

None

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their BMW C EVOLUTION (2014-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW C EVOLUTION (2014-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Perfect commuter for many

26 June 2018 by David P

Brilliant. If you have a garage and commute less than 40-50 miles a day nothing will put a bigger smile on your face!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
It's a very firm ride given the weight of the bike, so you feel bigger potholes, however it does make it a fun ride when you are out on good roads at speed.
Engine
5 out of 5
The torque is like no other bike or vehicle. The silence makes it feel faster. It's probably the faster bike you can buy for urban driving.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
BMW built, all feels well made and high quality. Feels much more solid than my previous Japanese motorbikes.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Absolute pennies to run. A full charge probably costs about £1. No fluids to change. Brakes barely get used because of the regen braking, few moving parts or chain. Tyres are pretty much the only thing you ever need to change.
Equipment
5 out of 5
The riding modes are great - I find myself using sail for open roadsand dynamic in town in particular. Colour screen looks great, and I love the single sided swing arm which isn't blocked an exhaust! Some sort of connected app would have been nice but realise this is a 14 reg bike.

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  • BMW C EVOLUTION  (2014-on)
  • BMW C EVOLUTION  (2014-on)
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