“We proudly present: the electrical awakening of the boxer engine. The Vision DC Roadster.”

So declares BMW Motorrad via Instagram after unveiling its avant-garde electric motorcycle concept, the Vision DC Roadster. While the design of BMW’s electric roadster is indeed visionary, it’s also distinctly BMW, and retaining signature traits, particularly its Boxer engine, was as important to the company as putting its engineering expertise on display.

“The boxer engine is the heart of BMW Motorrad – an absolute stalwart of its character,” stated Edgar Hienrich, Head of Design for BMW Motorrad. “But BMW Motorrad stands for visionary zero-emissions vehicle concepts, too. In view of this, one question that arises is: what would happen if we were to replace the boxer engine with an electric motor and the required battery? The Vision Bike shows how we’re able to retain the identity and iconic appearance of BMW Motorrad in distinctive form while at the same time presenting an exciting new type of riding pleasure.”

Instead of its iconic engine, the BMW Vision DC Roadster features a “vertically fitted, longitudinally oriented battery” teamed to a cylinder-shaped electric motor. The large battery is centrally located in an aluminum, grooved frame with a trellis backbone while the electric motor resides below it and is directly connected to a shaft drive. The shaft drive is exposed as it runs through the single-sided swingarm. The front is anchored by a girder Duolever fork, another reimagining of classic BMW design elements.

On the contemporary side, two cooling “ribs” with integrated ventilators protrude from each side of the battery. When the electric motor is started, the cooling elements flare out slightly. The lighting on BMW’s electric motorcycle concept is straight sci-fi, its U-shaped LED headlamp with two compact LED lenses on each side for low and high beam has Tron-like appeal. The taillight is composed of two C-shaped LEDs integrated into the aluminum tail. Even the tires are trick. The BMW Vision DC Roadster rolls on exclusive Metzeler rubber and the tires have five fluorescent strips on the sidewall that will undoubtedly look like one reflective strip at night when the motorcycle’s in motion, further validating the Tron analogy. While the big battery is undoubtedly heavy, BMW seeks to counter its weight with its blend of carbon fiber and aluminum in the bike’s construction.

“Anyone who’s ever tried it out in practice knows very well that riding on two wheels is just as exciting when its electrically powered! The high level of torque right at set-off makes for breathtaking acceleration. This almost brutal power delivery creates a whole new experience of dynamic performance. And the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster puts a face to this experience,” added Heinrich in BMW’s official announcement.

BMW touts its e-roadster as “A completely new motorcycle with a stalwart heart. The Vision DC Roadster combines the DNA of BMW Motorrad with a vision of the future.”

When that vision evolves from prototype to production remains to be seen, but count us among the curious when that day comes.