Krautmotors BMW R60 is an electric motorcycle

Krautmotors electric 1976 BMW R 60/6 we'd own

You wouldn’t believe this classic 1976 BMW R 60/6, built by German customiser Rolf Rieck of Krautmotors, is actually an electric motorcycle.

It’s a work of art and absolutely beautiful.

While most electric scooters and motorcycles look a little odd or cartoonish, this classic is something we’d actually like to own and be proud to be seen riding.

Johammer J1 electric motorcycle hydrogen - own
Cartoonish electric Johammer J1 motorcycle

However, we would miss the lovely side-to-side throb of the boxer engine and the burbling sound from the torpedo mufflers!

The bike looks almost identical to the 1976 model, even retaining the tainted badge, drum brakes and twin mufflers which would be pointless extra weight.

However, Krautmotors has given it modern “classic tyres” and an LED taillight.

Krautmotors has BMW factory help

There is no word on whether BMW plans to make something similar, although Rolf confirms that “the BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin was involved in the conversion process” with Krautmotors.

Managing director Stephan Schaller recently said electric motorcycles are not in their immediate future, but electric scooters are.

However, he is retiring in May and being replaced by Markus Schramm who may have a different view.

The company does plan to start making an electric scooter similar to their Concept Link in 2021 to join the C-Evolution electric scooter. 

BMW Concept Link electric scooter - own
BMW Concept Link electric scooter

Their previous electric motorcycle concepts have been more futuristic than retro like this.

BMW’s electric S 1000 RR concept was revealed in 2015 and the electric Vision Next 100 concept revealed in 2016. Neither is yet scheduled for production.

Press release

We contacted Rolf at Krautmotors for more details about the bike, but he referred us to a PR company which sent us the BMW Motorrad official press release which you can read here:

Reick kept the bike’s engine as a frame. Then came the control unit, DC converter and batteries in the original tank of the 130-kilogram bike. The motorcycle is powered by a wheel hub motor installed at the front wheel. A programmable controller and an electronic throttle have also been added. The old BMW Motorrad line will be visually preserved, yet refreshed and reduced. The exhaust pipe and frame tail were shortened accordingly.Krautmotors electric 1976 BMW R 60/6 we'd own

Silver as a color works very well on the stage with all the light reflections and supports the balanced BMW Motorrad shape,” says Rolf Reick. He trusted the finishing to lacquerer Michael Schönen. The customizer put two months of work into the bike, equipping it for stage-suitable 25 km/h. “I don’t just build motorcycles as a profession; there’s always something a little bit personal in it as well. I always have to be drawn to what I do,” Reick continues. 

Krautmotors 1976 BMW R 60/6 we'd own
This cork replaces where the speedometer cable would have gone.

Reick has battled bad design ever since he became a product designer, and runs the iconic label and workshop “Krautmotors” in Heidelberg. “At Krautmotors, we’re about enjoying life, not fearing it,” explains Reick. The industrial design graduate was recognized in 1996 by the magazine now known as “Custombike” for his best converted Café Racer. “Mo” motorcycle magazine named his BMW Motorrad Bobber German Custom Bike of the Year in 2003.

Krautmotors 1976 BMW R 60/6 we'd own
Rolf Reick (left) Hans Hoffman of the Berlin State Opera where then bike was shown

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