Bombardier Recreational Products announced Can-Am is returning to the motorcycle business with a new range of electric two-wheelers. A teaser video suggests at least four different models are in the works, with BRP expecting to reveal the full lineup in mid-2024.
The teaser offered several glimpses of one model, a naked motorcycle with upright bars, a large digital display and a single-sided swingarm. At the end of the video, the roadster is joined by three other models. Though they are shrouded in darkness, we see enough of their silhouettes to infer the range will include an adventure bike, a bobber and a touring or sport-touring model. In a press release (included in full below), BRP says “riders can expect these new state-of-the-art electric Can-Am motorcycles to be perfect for everyday commuting and, to stay true to the track & trail heritage of the brand, recreational on- and off-road riding.”
The press release is a little short on details, however, but we can makes some educated guesses about what to expect.
We expect that the electric powertrains and batteries will be built upon Alta Motors’ technology. BRP acquired the rights to certain assets including intellectual property and patents of Alta in early 2019, after the upstart electric brand ended operations. At the time, BRP said it had no interest in restarting Alta, but wanted the assets to “complement its ongoing research and development”.
In 2020, BRP filed a patent application for a “method for assembling motorcycles of a family of motorcycles and corresponding motorcycles.” The patent describes a modular construction that would allow for a number of different configurations for different types of motorcycles.
The patent describes how these different models can share a common core assembly consisting of a frame, battery, and swingarm-mounted electric motor. Different suspension assemblies, wheels, and ergonomic packages can be attached tot his common core to produce multiple models.
The patent also included illustrations of a naked bike that shares some similarities with the motorcycle in the teaser video. The bodywork on the pseudo-tank and tail, single-sided swingarm, and the split eight-spoke wheel design all look very similar to the glimpses we got from the video.
There are some changes, however, including a tail-mounted plate holder (the video shows a tire-hugging plate holder), mirrors, and a much smaller instrument cluster. The original patent was filed on Aug. 31, 2020, or about 19 months before today’s announcement, and it’s not unusual to expect some changes over that period, or between now and the mid-2024 target launch.
Here is the common core assembly shown in a dual-sport configuration:
The teaser video shows four very different motorcycles, but the patent shows at least five different setups: street, trail, cruiser, heritage, and supersport. They’re depicted in the drawing below, (we added the three horizontal red lines ourselves to better illustrate the differences in wheel sizes and ergonomics).
Most of those descriptions are straightforward, except for the “heritage” type. Based on the illustrations and the descriptions in the patent, BRP describes the heritage model as having knobby tires and an upright riding position. Its wheelbase is longer than on the street model but shorter than the trail bike and cruiser. The seat height, rake angle and trail are described as being “approximately equal” to the street bike’s dimensions, so it’s likely more of a retro roadster or possibly a scrambler.
The patent doesn’t provide much detail about the battery or motor, beyond how they are arranged. Those details will likely emerge closer to the mid-2024 target launch date.
Begin Press Release:
BRP ANNOUNCES THE RETURN OF THE CAN-AM MOTORCYCLE WITH AN ALL-ELECTRIC LINEUP
Riders can expect these new state-of-the-art electric Can-Am motorcycles to be perfect for everyday commuting and, to stay true to the track & trail heritage of the brand, recreational on- and off-road riding.
BRP Inc. (TSX:DOO; NASDAQ:DOOO) announces today that the iconic Can-Am brand is returning to its motorcycle roots with a product line-up that will be completely electric. To mark the 50th anniversary of the beloved Can-Am brand, the Company will launch a family of electric 2-wheel motorcycles.
“With the motorcycle industry shifting to electric, we saw an opportunity to reclaim our motorcycle heritage and to re-enter the market. This new product category is extremely important to us, and we are thrilled that Can-Am motorcycles are the first EV models in BRP’s electric lineup to be confirmed to consumers. Many of us have very fond memories of riding the early dirt bike models, and now we look forward to building on the rich history of the Can-Am brand to inspire and impress a new generation of motorcyclists and electric vehicle enthusiasts”, said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP.
The first Can-Am motorcycle was introduced in 1973 and immediately reigned over motocross and endurance racing. The instant success elevated the brand to an iconic status right from the start. Half a century later, the new products have been developed with many different riders in mind, more specifically for those who crave adventure, seek the thrill of the open road, long for a quiet ride in the country or want to liven up the city streets. Riders can expect these new state-of-the-art electric Can-Am motorcycles to be perfect for everyday commuting and, to stay true to the track & trail
Such a product category has been highly anticipated and expected from BRP’s customers and dealer network. The Company is therefore looking forward to bringing this new electric product lineup to its dealers’ showroom floors, further solidifying their financial strength and reach in key markets. The first models of the complete lineup are expected to be available in mid-2024.
BRP’s existing dealers who are interested in carrying this new product line should contact their District Sales Managers. Those who are interested in becoming a BRP dealer for electric motorcycles are invited to submit a request on the Company website.
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