The electric vehicle, or EV, has been slow to take hold in the motorcycle world. Power to weight ratio is the biggest problem, but with the continued advancement in battery and fast charging technology, this is slowly being alleviated.
Righteousness is another major hurdle that green riding needs to overcome. Having the beating heart of a fire-breathing beast beneath you is as much a part of motorcycling as running a cheaper and faster mode of transport.
One road to mainstream EV acceptance might be going retro. There is a growing trend of installing electric motors into classic cars, and while an expensive undertaking, some of the more environmentally minded motorists are choosing the luxury of electrifying their classic cars.
Now there is an option for motorcyclists too.
LMC B.V. is a Dutch motor company. More of an engineering firm that manufactures one-off customs and after-market parts, but a new line for them is a supplying electric motor conversions for classic bikes.
LM Creations now offers a conversion kit for BMW R series bikes. In their promo they state that in converted cars they have the advantage of hiding the ‘ugly’ electric motor beneath the bodywork, and I guess seeing as the BMW already has an ugly outside motor it was easier to incorporate as a design feature.
LM Conversions also find it easier to work with pre-unit bikes like the BMW, Moto Guzzi, vintage Triumphs, Harley Davidsons, Urals and early English brands. Keeping the gearbox allows the motor to be kept separate from the drivetrain and makes the conversion easier.
Keeping the gearbox also offered other advantages. Shifting through the gears not only gives a sense of continuity in riding style, it also provides the aural and haptic feedback of traditional biking.
While most electric motorcycles are clutch-less, keeping the gearbox gives the added advantage of greater range. Running through the gears pulls less load from the battery and thus increases range, even though you can still put it in one gear and just ride all day without using the clutch at all.
In fact you can even pull wheelies on the converted BMW.
The battery is placed where the fuel tank sits on the R series. The low opposed cylinders of the BMW might seem a perfect place to put the extra weight, but the idea of the batteries being the first point of contact in a spill put paid to that idea. The batteries weigh just a little more than a full tank.
The conversion kits should bolt onto any of the R45 R60 R65 R75 R80 R90 and R100 from 1969 to 1995, and are priced from €8950 to €9450, depending on the charger you specify.
They also offer installation for an additional €1450, though that can vary according to the bike and customer preferences.
And if you’re still staying with the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine), LM Creations do some pretty wicked things to Moto Guzzis and Indians and have a range of aftermarket parts, as well as offering 3D scanning.
Check out their website at: https://lmcreations.eu/