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Posted On :2/4/2010
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BMW C1E Motor Scooter Redefines SafeTwo-Wheeling
Article :BMW C1E Motor Scooter Redefines SafeTwo-Wheeling
In the early 2000s, BMW marketed the C-1, an enclosed motor scooter with many innovative features to protect the rider in an accident. Built by Bertone for BMW, a total of about 12,600 C1s were sold in 2001 and 2002. They were never sold in the U.S.

Now, BMW Motorad, BMW’s motorcycle division, has resurrected the two-wheel safety scooter as the C1-E, the “E’ standing for its electric power. An electric motor replaces the 124 cc, 15 horsepower four-stroke engine in the ‘125’ and the similar 176 cc, 18 horsepower Rotax engine in the ‘200’ model . Both water-cooled, fuel injected models had a continuously variable transmission.

The C1-E’s electric drive system uses components supplied by electric motor scooter manufacturer Vertrix. The electric motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery and has sufficient power for most inner-city traffic driving conditions. Series production is currently not planned, but many of its safety features could be incorporated into future BMW two-wheel products.

The C1-E is BMW’s contribution to the eSUM project, which stands for European Safer Urban Motorcycling. This is a cooperative effort between motorcycle manufacturers BMW and Piaggio as well as several European cities including Paris, Rome, Barcelona, and London. The vast majority of accidents occur in urban traffic in areas where 80 percent of the population live. The eSUM objective is to develop technology for safer motorcycle and motor scooter travel in the inner-cities of the future and then demonstrate it in the four cities.

The BMW C1-E retains the C1’s excellent driver protection. This includes a safety cell with a substantial roll-over bar covering the rider seat. Up front, there is an energy-absorbing nose end. The C1 and C1-E rider wears a four-point safety harness. The windshield includes a wiper and washer. In most but not all European countries, riders are exempt from mandatory helmet laws when driving the C1.

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