BMW aftermarket parts specialist Wunderlich really knows how to promote itself. The German company is known for its one-off machines and concepts, some which have tipped BMW’s hand when it comes to new models. For a boutique German brand, it is impressive that it is known around the world.
So, it shouldn’t surprise us that Wunderlich is grabbing headlines once again, this time with an intriguing concept: a two-wheel drive BMW R1200GS that uses a hybrid drivetrain with an electric front-end that was developed with Italy’s electric specialist Evolt.
Wunderlich calls its creation the BMW R1200GS LC, and it features a 10 kW hub motor on its front wheel, in addition to the GS’s boxer-twin gas engine. The electric motor has regenerative braking, which helps charge its modest battery pack (located under the front beak, to our eye).
The front wheel motor is good for roughly 12 mph when used by itself, and can even go in reverse – handy for when you’re parking your nearly 600 lbs on a slope.
Like other two-wheel drive off-roaders, namely the bikes made by Christini, the 2WD system has advantages when riding in the dirt, namely that the front-wheel drive can help pull the motorcycle through a turn, and add drive in slippery conditions.
While the benefit is namely greater for greener riders, we would imagine that the Wunderlich system would be a boon to a bike as heavy and cumbersome as the BMW R1200GS when in the thick stuff, no matter the rider’s skill level.
We’re not sure how the 2WD system knows how much power to give and when, but the idea is certainly a clever addition of a future technology. Now, the big question is: how long will it take before we see a brand like BMW or KTM adopt it?