According to Spanish magazine SoloMoto, these 80˚ Rotax v-twins could be used to power the new BMW maxi-scooters rumored to be coming for the 2010 model year. With capacities of 500, 650 and 800cc, the engines will offer a range of power outputs ranging from a European first license tier-friendly 33bhp all the way up to 75bhp for the 800cc, putting it on par with the Gilera GP 800.
Currently used in BRP (which owns Rotax) quads, these engines
will require extensive reworking in order to be mounted on the swingarm of a
one-wheel-drive scooter instead of in the middle of a 4wd ATV. SoloMoto
reports that the modification of the engines to this spec and their
delivery to BMW as prototypes is what caused this information to leak
out. All three engines are liquid-cooled, fuel-injected four-strokes
using counter-rotating crankshafts to reduce vibrations. Transmissions
will be continuously variable.
Little else is known about the rumored scooters, but speculation tends
to run towards them using Paralever front suspension in an effort to
link them as strongly as possible with BMW motorcycles.
Maxi-scooters are growing increasingly popular with European commuters
and city dwellers, offering them motorcycle-like speed with the ease of
use of a scooter and luggage capacity and weather protection that
trumps both. People living in congested city centers are increasingly
finding that it makes more sense for them to own one of these instead
of a car, allowing them to breeze through traffic while still carrying
groceries, shopping or similar in the machines’ capacious trunks.