By TJ Hinton
Some call it evil… sort of. What we actually have here are three separate items from BMW. First up, we have BMW’s S1000XR adventure–sport bike hob-knobbing in Hollywood as it plays a supporting role (literally) in “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.” Next, it looks like the Bayerische Motoren Werke is entering the bagger market in 2017 alongside rides such as the H-D Street Glide and Honda Gold Wing just to name a few. Beemer’s vanguard into this new territory will be the K1600B; a full-fairing, six-cylinder, hard-bag boulevard bruiser. Lastly, we have news for the electric sector that is more car-centric in nature, but is cool and will eventually benefit bikes too.
As always with BMW, it’s the technology that sets the bike apart from its competition. Naturally, the base model doesn’t come with all the cream, but in the K1600B, we are looking at a ride that can be had with electronically controlled dynamic suspension adjustment, shifting assist that helps move up and down through the range sans clutch, and an electric reverse. Granted, it’s the old style reverse that uses the starter motor for locomotion, but whatever, it’s better than nothing. Best of all, starting price is below 20K, which poses a real threat to the competition.
ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRESS
I’ve long said that lack of infrastructure (and oil lobbyists) are the main impediments to electric vehicles, and BMW is leading the charge into the U.S. mainland with a partnership with ChargeNow / EVgo. According to the factory, up to 92-percent of American BMW i3, i8 and iPerformance owners will be able to enroll in a custom-tailored charging program designed to deliver more flexibility and convenience to their electric vehicle customers. EVgo looks to expand its charging network with another 50 quick-charger DC stations this year in order to make “e-mobility” more viable, and I got to say that I know they have to start somewhere, but until we have service to every podunk little town across the States, it’s going to be hard to convince some people to cross over to the light side. Still, it’s progress.