BMW Motorrad Concept Link is a smart e-scooter from the future

Connected electric scooter comes with its own futuristic clothing, too.

Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
2 min read

Last fall, BMW announced that an updated version of its C Evolution electric scooter will finally be offered in the US. Powered by a 94-Ah battery borrowed from its i3 city car, the C Evolution looks like a conventional electric scooter, barring its alien green midsection.

But this -- this is something different. Unveiled at this week's ultra-posh Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este at Lake Como, Italy, this is the BMW Motorrad Concept Link, and it looks like it zoomed right out of Tron. In fact, it bears close kinship to another electric two-wheeler from BMW, last year's Motorrad Vision Next 100, a self-balancing motorcycle concept.

The sleek e-scooter isn't just different stylistically, it's connected -- the Concept Link "knows what's in the rider's calendar and therefore his next destinations." This allows the two-wheeler to plan the quickest route (or the most scenic, if that's what's called for) and also select appropriate music for the occasion.

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Seriously sexy single-side swing-arm slipstream scooter sensation.

BMW Motorrad

Unlike on the C Evolution and other scooters , there's no traditional instrument cluster. The rider keeps tabs on primary information such as speed, range and navigation using the windscreen's head-up display while a secondary panel affords access to additional functions. Programmable buttons on the handlebars can be set like macros on your keyboard to save frequently used functions.

At least for now, BMW isn't sharing much about the Concept Link's propulsion system. But it does note that its flat-pack batteries are stored underfloor and that there's a reverse gear for when you need to back out.

BMW Motorrad Concept Link looks like it came from Tron

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Interestingly, the Concept Link comes with specific connected clothing for the rider. A specific motion of the jacket, for instance, opens and closes the bike's sliding cargo door.

No word yet on the production possibilities for this battery-powered Beemer, but I'd welcome seeing its handsome, long-wheelbase form on my city's streets -- perhaps parked right alongside BMW's new Concept 8 Series, its other splashy Villa d'Este debut this week.