topbanner ad

Tuesday 7 March 2023

LM Creations

Electric BMW Boxer Conversion By Ben Purvis 

The question of how classic bike owners will adapt as and when new models switch to electric power is one that most of us still ignore - but while petrol will still be available for decades to come, it is still an issue that will one day need to be addressed.

Although options like carbon-neutral synthetic e-fuels promise to make even existing combustion engines much greener in future, there's already a movement that's seeing classic cars get converted to electric power. Now there's a motorcycle equivalent courtesy of kits from Dutch company LM Creations.

The company's first offering is an electric conversion for BMW boxers made between 1969 and 1995. To achieve the transformation, LM Creations has created a cast alloy casing that holds the electric motor while mimicking the appearance of the original boxer twin. 

For a modern twist, the prototype isn't fitted with the original bike's now unnecessary cylinders, and simply has the original BMW rocker covers mounted on long studs to put them in the right position, leaving a gap between them and the engine cases.

The motor itself is a 20 kW unit, making 72 Nm of torque and revving to 7,500 rpm. So, when it's bolted to the original BMW transmission, its rev range isn't dissimilar to the original combustion engine it replaces, allowing the gears and clutch to be used conventionally.

To avoid spoiling the bike's look, the battery is a relatively small 4.3 kWh pack, mounted inside the 'fuel tank' - which is actually a purpose-made, fiberglass replica that also houses the control electronics and charger. The frame, brakes and suspension are all unaltered from the original bike.

Since the small battery only weighs 24 kg, and the electric motor is lighter than the petrol engine, the resulting bike isn't much heavier than the BMW it's based on. But it hasn't got a lot of range - LM Creations says it's good for about 80 km between charges at urban speeds, which will equate to rather less than that if you go faster.

Price-wise, each of the components can be had separately, but there are discounts for buying a complete kit. With a slower 1.8 kW charger, the full kit is € 8,950, rising to € 9,450 for a version with a faster 3.3 kWh charger. You'll need a 1969-1995 BMW, too, of course.

In the future, LM Creations intends to make additional kits for other pre-unit bikes including Harley-Davidsons, Urals, Moto Guzzis and Triumphs.