Wunderlich Hybrid BMW R1200GS LC with Electric 2WD

11/19/2015 @ 2:37 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS


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?









Source: Wunderlich

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  • coreyvwc

    Would be a very nice asset for getting that lumbering beast out of a tight spot.

  • Mark Thefieldguy

    …a tight spot such as Starbucks…

  • paulus

    Öhlins had a great system back in the late 80’s. It is a shame it is not updated and released. modern manufacture and electronics could make it even better. It would be perfect for the new adventure crowd. 2WD would really help off-road for sand, mud and on-road for wet conditions. The extra weight and cost would be in line with what these riders spend in accessories and touring aids… awesome

  • Brian

    I’ve never seen a 1200GS look so small. How tall is that test rider!?!

  • Bob Krzeszkiewicz

    2WD on a big adv would be awesome, provided you are the type that actually goes somewhere where it’s needed. A guy on ADVrider made a modded Christini system for his KTM 950 or 990 Adv and he loves it.

    I wish I knew how they were adding the power at any given time and how much.

    I have a Christini and it’s amazing where I ride. It’s deep sand and slippery red Texas mud. It pulls me straight and true and stays on top with the front wheel adding the pull. No plowing the earth. And what I like about the Christini is that there’s a gear ratio that allows the rear wheel to slip X amount before the front kicks in and helps out. I use a taller double countershaft sprock on mine because there is sand and muck over 80% of the trails I ride. So, I want it to engage more often and sooner. A plus is that with less wheel slippage, I use less fuel over the same distance. A bigger plus is I’m not exhausting myself with muscling the bike around trying to stay straight and upright.

    Of coourse the drawback is extra weight so it’s more difficult to loft the front over a log but when the front lands on the other side, it will pull you over rather than staying high centered. The extra maintenance sucks too but it isn’t too hard. If you own a dirtbike, you need to be a pretty good wrencher anyway.

  • I’d be interested in knowing how much unsprung mass this adds to the front wheel and how ride quality is affected. Beyond that, it sounds neat.

  • Brett Lewis

    The beak DOES have a purpose, now.

  • Figure 10 to 15 pounds.

  • appliance5000

    and the question was?

  • The real coup would be to have the system packaged inside the fork legs, which are essentially hollow stanchions on a Telelever design.

  • Nickr

    Holy god, your right! Every picture looks shopped, the GS looks so teeny, its so cute!

  • Singletrack

    Looks like a brilliant use of electric technology. On demand 2WD makes a lot of sense for the large ADV bike category. I can see this adopted by all brands within 5 years.