BMW has filed designs for an electrically-driven front wheel that is likely to appear on the next generation of big bikes from the German bike builder. 

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The drawings show an all-in-one unit mounted around a front wheel hub that is used to drive the front wheel when needed in particularly gnarly off-road conditions or up steep inclines.

There’s only a couple of drawings of the mechanism but in the patent’s description BMW clearly stated that the electric drive can be fitted to motorcycles as well as three and four-wheeled vehicles with the drive unit working to support a standard rear wheel drive (so, no front wheel only driven motorcycles in the future).

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Here’s what BMW itself says about the patent design and what it’s purpose is on future vehicles:

 

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The unit looks very similar to the hybrid R1200GS with independent front and rear-wheel drives which we brought you first in 2015 (below). At the time the prototype, built by German company Wunderlich, also featured a braking regen system to power the hybrid electric motor but there’s no mention of a similar set-up on the new motorcycle from BMW.

Tony Carter

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