One is more like an electric motorcycle, both have top speeds of 37 mph.
BMW brought all manner of two- and four-wheel transportation to the Munich auto show this week, in addition to the BMW iX and other electrified wares. After revealing the electric Concept CE 02 motorbike it introduced the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY and the BMW I Vision AMBY. They both have three speeds, but the i Vision AMBY needs to be pedaled while the Motorrad Vision AMBY goes like a motorcycle, with a twist throttle.
Unlike the Polestar Re:Move concept, this scooter is for transporting people. AMBY stands for adaptive mobility and these two concepts are the company's "interpretation of the fundamental idea of adaptive urban mobility on two wheels." And to be clear, these are not rental options like the Lime scooters. These are meant to be bought and paid for privately, but you do get some of the benefits of shared mobility.
Both EV bikes have three levels of speed. The slowest velocity, for bike paths, is up to 15 miles per hour. The second level is up to 28 mph for inner-city roads. The top cruising speed when on multilane roads and out of town is 37 mph, which feels like flying on a pedal bike, motorized or not.
BMW notes that helmet, insurance license plates and the relevant driving license are required to be able to travel at those higher speeds. Those modes are stored on your smartphone app, which uses geofencing technology to unlock those higher speeds. We'll guess it will take about five minutes for customizers to fiddle with that lockout and eliminate it.
There are no laws governing electric bikes at those speeds, and BMW says that "the idea behind the AMBY vision vehicles is to prompt legislation that will enable this kind of set-up. In this way, the BMW Group is demonstrating that it will continue to be involved in providing mobility options in big cities in the future and offers innovative solutions."
The Motorrad Vision AMBY looks slender, and features chunky treads on both the front 26-inch wheel, and the rear 24-inch wheel with a more rounded profile. It has a typical seat height of 32 inches while the energy storage and drive unit sit in the center of the frame. A large front fork widens the look of the front while a small U-shaped headlight sits in the center.
Moving to the i Vision AMBY, it features a larger frame than your average bike, giving the impression of greater strength and durability, according to BMW. The upper frame tube is made from four sculptural aluminum profiles. It has space for storage or a backpack and a smartphone integration pad, which holds your phone using magnets. It has 27.5-inch wheels at both ends. The rear wheel and battery can both be removed for easier transport.
You'll need a smartphone to ride, which shouldn't be a problem. An app takes the place of a key and like with its automobiles, it can show location, charge status and other information. The app also keeps track of your locations for the speed limiters. The Motorrad bike has a range of 68 miles while the i Vision bike has a range of 186 miles at its slowest of the three speeds.
These are both concepts, so there's no pricing to talk about. We will say that we were allowed to test one of the RAD electric bikes a few years ago. It had a top speed of about 25 mph and cost about $1,200. It had pedals too, but we spent all of our time zipping along using electricity. If it were our choice, we're going with the twist-throttle Motorrad. Who needs more exercise, right?