BMW Motorrad has patented a new front wheel drive technology which is likely to be showcased at the 2019 EICMA Motor Show in Milan. According to the patent images, the front wheel drive motor is electric with the motor mounted in the hub of the motorcycle’s wheel. BMW Motorrad has a successful off-road capable motorcycle from their GS line-up and the motorcycle manufacturer is planning to up the game by equipping the bike with an electrically driven front wheel. The company has filed patents for this and the future generation GS motorcycles may have this feature.
While most of the time the motorcycle will be powered by a conventional engine, the front wheel drive will be used to help the motorcycle to get through rough terrains and while tackling steep gradients on loose surfaces, where grip is of utmost importance. It will also give the rider better control in off-road situations like sand and slush. The electric motor will also allow the rider better control over the big motorcycle at slower speeds. Also, for safety it is expected that the system will only operate at lower speeds and is expected to be bi-directional which will allow the rider to reverse out with ease.
The electric drive will be integrated into the hub and it will be coupled with a reduction gearbox, to further enhance the peak torque which is likely to be around 150-200 Nm. Other mechanicals such as the brakes and suspension are expected to remain unchanged. It is also speculated that the hub integrated wheel can be sold as an accessory upgrade for BMW GS series touring bikes.
The technology is expected to be showcased on the BMW R 1250 GS, at the EICMA Motor Show which will be held in November.