Freestyle stunt riding legend Chris Pfeiffer concluded a busy week at the International Motorcycle, Scooter and Bicycle Fair (INTERMOT) in Cologne, Germany with a victory in the Electric Scooter World Championship Series race on Sunday, October 7. Taking on a whole range of scooters powered by alternative drives, Pfeiffer entered and won on a BMW C evolution prototype machine that had been used for marketing and customer test rides.
Designed to showcase some of the latest developments in e-mobility, the Electric Scooter World Championship race series aims to deliver top-notch racing on scooters powered by alternative drives. Taking place on the same Intermot racetrack where a number of sporting events had earlier thrilled racing fans – including the Supermoto Endurance World Championship series – the Electric Scooter World Championship saw a wide range of production and prototype e-scooters going head-to-head to entertain the crowds on their clean, green, and in some cases pretty quick machines!
For Chris, who had only had a chance of a quick test ride on the BMW C evolution in Munich prior to the race, the real surprise was just how much fun the BMW e-scooter actually was on the tight, twisty Supermoto track.
“It was a real blast riding the C evolution on Sunday at Intermot,” he said. “I have to admit that it was by far the fastest e-scooter out there but I was seriously impressed by how it performed, especially its acceleration from low speeds. The track was great to ride, and I was able to reach speeds of up to 110 km/h [68 mph] on the fast sections. Mostly it consisted of tight corners, interspersed with short sections, so you were either hard on the throttle or hard on the brakes! I could feel the ABS working in every corner and I had the traction control switched almost off so I could enjoy ‘drifting’ the C evolution.
“Because of the tight and twisty nature of the track, I had to be a bit careful of not touching the bodywork of the C evolution down while cornering hard. That said, my lap times were only about 8 seconds slower than the amateur Supermoto riders who had been racing on the same track. I had to hang off the C evolution – Superbike style – to get the best weight distribution, which must have looked quite funny for the spectators, but it was the fastest way to get around the track.
“What impressed me most of all though was that at the end of the ‘endurance’ race – which lasted for half-an-hour, plus two laps – I still had 37 percent battery power remaining, unlike many of the other machines which were already on low battery. Having so much battery power left really surprised me because I had ridden the C evolution to the maximum everywhere I could, with no consideration whatsoever for battery life. Even though it’s still a prototype, it feels ready to me. It’s a seriously sporty e-scooter that seems similar to the C600 Sport or C650GT maxi-scooters. This one was the same model that customers were using for test rides, so it was hardly modified at all for the race. We just changed the tires for some grippier Pirellis and modified the traction control to suit my riding style. The rest was stock!”
Sunday’s race brought an end to a successful week at Intermot for Chris, where he had performed many stunt shows and also had the honor of being among a trio of riders who unveiled the all-new R1200GS to the world’s media at the BMW Motorrad press conference on Tuesday, October 2. Having to ride the new GS down some slippery, steep steps onto the conference stage had been nerve-wracking for Chris, but fortunately he controlled things to perfection on the new GS, of which he is already a big fan.
“Honestly, I was nervous before I rode the GS down those steps, because I was worried about all the things that can go wrong in these situations,” he said. “I didn’t want to touch the engine or bash plate down on the steps. We had rehearsed it just once – with the old GS – and the engine had scraped the steps. However, the new GS is 1cm higher, so I had enough ground clearance to get down safely. Since then, I’ve been using it in some of my stunt shows at Intermot from Friday to Sunday. You can’t compare it to the old GS at all. It’s so easy to ride, but really powerful. I’ve already fallen in love with it and have got one on order!”
Since returning from Intermot, Chris has a few days of welcome rest before hitting the road again with trips to Belgium and Russia, then jetting off to South America for a series of shows and performances with BMW Motorrad Brazil. He’ll be back in Europe again next month, in time for the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, November 15 to 18.