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Thread: First US Review of the new C-Evolution Electric Maxi-Scooter!

  1. #1

    First US Review of the new C-Evolution Electric Maxi-Scooter!

    All-

    Motorcycle Consumer News received the very first C-Evolution for press review in the entire country, and I just wrapped up my 3 week review period with it. What's it like to ride electric? What about range? How long does it take to charge? What if it runs out of juice? Everything you ever wanted to know about the C-Evo is in this video, the US press' very first in-depth review on this important new model from BMW. Tune in for the nitty gritty!

    -MKL

    Moshe K. Levy
    Moto Mouth Moshe https://www.youtube.com/c/motomouthmoshe
    1973 BMW R75/5 / 1987 Yamaha YSR50 / 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer / 2015 BMW R1200RT

  2. #2
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    That was a good, very comprehensive review - thanks!

    While an all-electric motorcycle does not fit my needs at the moment, I am not a Luddite like many around here. I do not fear electric vehicles. My car is a plug-in hybrid. I love tooling around town in EV (electric vehicle) mode. As you mentioned, the only sound is a muted whine. And there is nothing smoother than an electric motor. I have also noticed that in EV mode, the car is "peppier" than in HV (hybrid vehicle mode) when the conventional motor is running.The range is around 40 miles, which works out very well, and is better than the claimed 25 mile range. Charge time is five and a half hours, but only if the electric range (the "plug-in partition") is fully used up.

    In the last nine days, I drove over to the gas station in EV mode, filled up, and have not used a drop of gas since, despite having the car out every day to run errands and other nearby trips.

    The benefit of a plug-in hybrid is of course the fact that there are no range issues - when the electric range runs out, the conventional motor is there, and being a hybrid, it will continue to switch that motor off at every opportunity and will regenerate charge. A trick I have learned is to save some electric range in the plug-in partition by choosing HV mode, so that that partition will re-charge while going downhill or slowing to exit an Interstate.
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by AKsuited View Post
    That was a good, very comprehensive review - thanks!

    While an all-electric motorcycle does not fit my needs at the moment, I am not a Luddite like many around here. I do not fear electric vehicles. My car is a plug-in hybrid. I love tooling around town in EV (electric vehicle) mode. As you mentioned, the only sound is a muted whine. And there is nothing smoother than an electric motor. I have also noticed that in EV mode, the car is "peppier" than in HV (hybrid vehicle mode) when the conventional motor is running.The range is around 40 miles, which works out very well, and is better than the claimed 25 mile range. Charge time is five and a half hours, but only if the electric range (the "plug-in partition") is fully used up.

    In the last nine days, I drove over to the gas station in EV mode, filled up, and have not used a drop of gas since, despite having the car out every day to run errands and other nearby trips.

    The benefit of a plug-in hybrid is of course the fact that there are no range issues - when the electric range runs out, the conventional motor is there, and being a hybrid, it will continue to switch that motor off at every opportunity and will regenerate charge. A trick I have learned is to save some electric range in the plug-in partition by choosing HV mode, so that that partition will re-charge while going downhill or slowing to exit an Interstate.
    Thanks!
    Moshe K. Levy
    Moto Mouth Moshe https://www.youtube.com/c/motomouthmoshe
    1973 BMW R75/5 / 1987 Yamaha YSR50 / 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer / 2015 BMW R1200RT

  4. #4
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    SW Iowa
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    Thanks for the good review.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  5. #5

    C Evolution Scooter

    I'm a (former) C650GT owner. At that time I also owned a K1600GTL and a G650X Challenge and therefore the scooter saw duty pretty much as a commuter and grocery-getter. It didn't have to be a tourer (or a dirt bike!) but after a few years the maintenance expenses of the scooter, as well as the registration and insurance costs of multiple vehicles started getting me down. One day I made the mistake of test-riding a low suspension GSA and decided to trade off the GT and GTL on the GSA. Since that day almost 2 years ago I have barely ridden the X Challenge and have missed the scooter every time I needed to run to the store or commute to work in Downtown Seattle, or even just go for a little ride after dinner or on the weekend after working in the yard. I started thinking that I probably needed to sell the X and get another scooter.

    I was initially thinking about the soon to be released C 400 X. But I have also been intrigued by the C Evolution since it's initial European release back in 2014. I know there is much controversy about the environmental soundness of the general Hybrid and EV principle, but I also don't doubt that hydrocarbons and all that is also harmful, especially in the urban environment with it's traffic jams, long periods of idling engines, etc, etc. Seeing EVs on the road around here is pretty common and there are many charging stations around town and off the freeway. There are four EV charging spaces in the parking deck at work. This review by Moshe really got me thinking about how well the C Evolution could fit into my commuting and short-haul cycle needs. I had previously not even considered the maintenance cost aspect of the EV. As fate would have it, I had to go to Los Angeles for business last week and - as you all probably know - the C Evolution is being sold in California. I was able to check one out in the flesh and being suitably impressed was able to cut a pretty good deal on a 2017 at Long Beach BMW. I am now waiting for it to be shipped up here to Seattle where it will be one of the few, if not only C Evolution scooter in Washington State. I have my fingers crossed that repairs and maintenance will not pose a problem - but other than that I think that it will be the perfect urban mobility tool for me. Trips on the GSA, everything else on the scooter.

    Courtney in Seattle
    2016 R1200 GS Adventure
    2007 G650X Challenge
    New! 2017 C Evolution

  6. #6

    Very nice review; one thought on the math

    Quote Originally Posted by moshe_levy View Post
    All-

    Motorcycle Consumer News received the very first C-Evolution for press review in the entire country, and I just wrapped up my 3 week review period with it. What's it like to ride electric? What about range? How long does it take to charge? What if it runs out of juice? Everything you ever wanted to know about the C-Evo is in this video, the US press' very first in-depth review on this important new model from BMW. Tune in for the nitty gritty!

    -MKL

    Thanks for this comprehensive overview of the C_Evolution. It's not for me - I ride my C650GT upwards of 17K or more miles a year, often 400 miles or more in a given day (it's like a sport touring bike with automatic transmission, right?). But I can see how commuters who have a 30 or so mile distance to cover each way (or less) could make use of this nicely.

    However, a note on the math you laid out. I have found (over the course of 4 C650's and 90K miles in total in the past 4 years) that they need replacement every 6K miles - presumably the same will be true with the electric. So that's going to add $400 to each side - which is fine, but changes the ratio mathematically comparing the two.

    On the other hand, I realize that the ICE versions require more extensive maintenance at 12K and even more at 24K (golly that one is pricey!), which can put the advantage, cost-wise, back in the electric side.

    I realize battery tech will improve (as do all things technological) so when it's possible to do a 500 mile day with recharging (or battery pack replacement) times of under a few hours, I'll get in line to buy one. For now, though, I can't imaging trying to do an Ironbutt with any electric (and I have done it on the C650GT).

  7. #7
    Hi

    "However, a note on the math you laid out. I have found (over the course of 4 C650's and 90K miles in total in the past 4 years) that they need replacement every 6K miles - presumably the same will be true with the electric. So that's going to add $400 to each side - which is fine, but changes the ratio mathematically comparing the two."

    Curious what you're referring to here. I'm guessing tires?

    -MKL
    Moshe K. Levy
    Moto Mouth Moshe https://www.youtube.com/c/motomouthmoshe
    1973 BMW R75/5 / 1987 Yamaha YSR50 / 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer / 2015 BMW R1200RT

  8. #8

    C Evolution Scooter Review

    Hi Bob, thanks for your comment - I have been disappointed that no one has had much to say about my post or the C Evolution. You sure do rack up the miles and there is no EV short of (possibly) a Tesla that is going to be able to meet your needs. But the fact that you have owned four C650GTs is a testament to how good of a bike it really is all things considered and the C Evo has that very same DNA. In fact the front forks and rear suspension, wheels, tires and brakes are all straight off of the C650 Sport. I am fortunate to have a ICE bike when I have to go further or faster.

    I think you left out the word "tires" in your statement and it's true that does change the expense ratio (from 1/3 to 1/2), but still - the EV doesn't really need much in the way of maintenance. Also, I was never a fan of the CVT on my '13 C650GT and wished BMW would develop a dual-clutch transmission for the scooters. I never went for the aftermarket weights and springs and I understand that the CVT was improved for 2016 but the direct-drive of the C Evo is hard to beat. There is also no drive chain. I have put over 600 miles on it so far, and it continues to exceed my expectations in terms of range and performance. I compensated for it's only real shortcoming (lack of storage) with a top box. My commute is 31 miles round trip and even most weekends I am riding for pleasure 50-60 miles or less. Longer rides are usually less spontaneous and I can 'select' the GSA - which brings up another point that wearing out my knobbies commuting was really aggravating to me.

    Maintenance Schedule.jpg

    I will also take this opportunity to post a correction to Moshe Levy's review wrt the lack of auxiliary power ports. There is a DIN style power outlet in the right glove box (that works with the BMW can-bus compatible 12v battery charger by the way) and a standard BMW GPS Connector zip-tied to the handlebar cross bar under the center cover part.

    Thanks, and ride safe.

    Courtney

  9. #9

    Thanks Moshe

    Quote Originally Posted by moshe_levy View Post
    Hi

    "However, a note on the math you laid out. I have found (over the course of 4 C650's and 90K miles in total in the past 4 years) that they need replacement every 6K miles - presumably the same will be true with the electric. So that's going to add $400 to each side - which is fine, but changes the ratio mathematically comparing the two."

    Curious what you're referring to here. I'm guessing tires?

    -MKL
    Thanks for your review on the C Evolution Moshe, it was instrumental in my decision to buy one. I was once a subscriber to Motorcycle Consumer News and have read many of your articles and have a lot of trust in your observations and opinions. I had test ridden a couple of Zeros, but they just did not grab my interest like the C Evo did when they were first released. I'm comfortable with the 100 mile range - for me, that's the sweet spot that lets me ride pretty as much as I want/need to around town. I have been playing/practicing with the regenerative braking and I think I could probably come pretty close or even exceed the 100 mile range in certain circumstances - it definitely is not a gimmick and contributes significantly to the total charge. I would not dispute the claim that it could contribute as much as 20% to the range.

    Courtney

  10. #10
    Did you guys have an induced drop of the bike? On the plus side, with more solid state components it is way less likely for the motorcycle to sustain serious damage in the event of a drop. On the minus side, the bike will impact with greater force and be much harder to heft up when it falls.

    E-Scooter technology, imo, is not there yet; energy density is too low (40kWh for 400 mile range with present technology weighs around 600 pounds), cost is too high (the 8 kwh battery should cost around $2000 on the C-Evolution), and there's a lack of charging infrastructure. For a luxury electric grocery getter, I can see the point, but it's not a general-purpose tourer.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by cpallenjr View Post
    Thanks for your review on the C Evolution Moshe, it was instrumental in my decision to buy one. I was once a subscriber to Motorcycle Consumer News and have read many of your articles and have a lot of trust in your observations and opinions. I had test ridden a couple of Zeros, but they just did not grab my interest like the C Evo did when they were first released. I'm comfortable with the 100 mile range - for me, that's the sweet spot that lets me ride pretty as much as I want/need to around town. I have been playing/practicing with the regenerative braking and I think I could probably come pretty close or even exceed the 100 mile range in certain circumstances - it definitely is not a gimmick and contributes significantly to the total charge. I would not dispute the claim that it could contribute as much as 20% to the range.

    Courtney
    Thanks for the kind words, Courtney!

    -MKL
    Moshe K. Levy
    Moto Mouth Moshe https://www.youtube.com/c/motomouthmoshe
    1973 BMW R75/5 / 1987 Yamaha YSR50 / 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer / 2015 BMW R1200RT

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Inst View Post
    For a luxury electric grocery getter, I can see the point, but it's not a general-purpose tourer.
    Obviously, yes. It's not supposed to be a general purpose tourer. For what it is, with current technology, it's a fine machine. I miss it, to tell you the truth. But I may be on to my next electric test quite soon - stay tuned!

    -MKL
    Moshe K. Levy
    Moto Mouth Moshe https://www.youtube.com/c/motomouthmoshe
    1973 BMW R75/5 / 1987 Yamaha YSR50 / 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer / 2015 BMW R1200RT

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