This is the BMW eRR, an electric superbike built using the BMW S1000RR framework. This is the first electric sportbike from a major OEM, which is why it’s so surprising that it’s a little lackluster.

Like many of you my first thought was BMW + S1000RR + Electric Power = World Domination. Unfortunately, after mulling it over a bit and talking things through with the dog camping guy - I’m actually disappointed.

BMW Motorrad head honcho Stephan Schaller says the idea comes as an attempt to mate the high speed performance of their superbike with the BMW with the fastest 0-30 mph times: the BMW C evolution electric scooter.

The thing about electric motorcycles is that they use electric motors, which are much different than gas ones (duh) - so using a chassis designed for a gas bike does a huge disservice to an electric bike. On a gas bike, the motor is the heaviest component on the bike but, on an electric bike, it’s the battery pack(s).

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With the motor in front of/below the swingarm pivot, you have to add a reduction gear to keep the driveshaft in the same place as on the gas bike which eats up space in the middle of the bike where more batteries should go. This means smaller batteries and less range, as well as a decreased ability to move the weight lower on the bike.

Granted, there are some benefits as well, as this method will allow BMW to use existing data for suspension tuning, but bikes from smaller brands like Brammo, MotoCzysz, and Enrgica are all far better realized. In comparison, this is more like a college-level engineering project than the game changer I’d hoped it would be.

The BMW eRR is being called an “experimental” vehicle for now, and BMW say they’ll release the technical details at a later date.

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Photos: BMW Motorrad

Contact the author at sean.macdonald@jalopnik.com. Follow Lanesplitter on Facebook and Twitter.