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Kelly's Cars.Net | BMW StreetCarver

Thanks for coming by and checking out my site. Every time I take my skateboard out for a ride, I always get the same questions, what is it, who makes it, so on and so forth. BMW started manufacturing StreetCarvers in 2001, and discontinued manufacting them in 2005 (obviously the $500 asking price made lots of people balk, but are more than worth it).

What are they?

The streetcarvers were designed at BMW's Southern California design center by Stephen Augustin, and were manufactured in Germany. The skateboard (dare it be called that) is extremely agile, and replicated snowboarding and surfing on pavement. This is not a mountain board, even though it closely resembles one. These things utilize rear stabilizer links off a 5-Series, and those links can't handle a lot of stress, like being dropped, or landing a jump.

StreetCarver Evolution

Before the StreetCarver was unleashed in the fall of 2000, it went through several design changes from the Irvine design studio. A quick search of the internet will show the preproduction models, but they are also all documented here.

These four drafts have StreetCarver elements we are all familiar with, but are more closely related to the boards at skate parks all across America.

This silver board is the skateboard that was officially called the "StreetCarver" by BMW in offical press releases. This was late 1999, early 2000. It even shares the same swingarms as the 2001 StreetCarvers.

This is getting ready for production! Notice the wheels and swing arms are different. Now why would they make a silver one closer to the actual production models, then make this blue one? Who knows!

First Series StreetCarvers

The 2001 StreetCarvers are unique in their own right, as they carry subtle differences from the 2002-2005 models, namely in swingarm design, and lack of a BIN number.

This is a close up of a first series StreetCarver. Notice the integrated wheel mount, and "X" bracing on backside of swingarm.

A not so-common malady for the StreetCarver. A broken swing-arm is a sign of a well used board, but its owner, Christina isn't having a good day! Note the break at the edge of the "X" bracing, shown in better detail. While the scuff marks at the bottom of the trucks, are another sign of a well used board, care must be taken going across speed bumps and driveways. The StreetCarver only has about eight millimeters of ground clearance. Photo Courtesy of Christina Gourel.

Later Models

The 2002-2005 Streetcarvers have a revised swingarm assembly, and a Board Identification Number stamped in to the deck. The revised swingarm consists of deletion of the "X" cross-bracing, and the wheels being mounted on an axle bolt, as opposed to a stud integrated into the swingarm. The head-on StreetCarver picture, and the first photo at the very top of the page show the "cast-in" axles.

So on to my StreetCarver, a 2003 Second Series. Yep, they have individual model years. Notice it has no gusseting in the back of the swingarms, and the wheels are attached by a removeable Metric Allen head bolt.

Speaking of axles...This photo clearly shows the Grade Eight Allen head bolt axle upgrade, and the BIN number.

Speaking of BIN numbers... My first board carried the BIN 292A25601, and the StreetCarver in the photo above obviously carries the BIN 303A25692. Take the comparisons from the 2002 board (292A) and the 2003 board (303A). Either the first or the third digit denotes model year. Can anybody else out there clarify the BIN mystery? Also, there is still a finder's ransom if anyone can locate 292A25601. It was stolen from Old Town Torrance California, on September 21, 2003. Here is a photo of the BIN number on my board. Some StreetCarvers had the Warning label placed underneath the name on the deck, either way, dig the Bavarian Grammar "Do not use skateboard streets or roads with vehicular traffic". Dude, I am a pedestrian, get outta my way!

The BIN numbers were assigned to complete skateboards on second series StreetCarvers. Replacement decks didn't carry the numbers.

Construction

The deck itself is constructed by an outside vendor for BMW, consisting of Bavarian Pine and fiberglass. The truck assemblies are cast aluminum, the wheels are two-piece five spoke alloys patterned after the X5, and the tires are a rubber-polymer compound. The StreetCarver has eight 6000z bearings, shortly after getting my second board, I replaced with the stock bearings 6000rs types. The RS bearings have a rubber insert, which can make repacking the bearings a lot easier.

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are advantages and disadvantages to this board. The advantages are the increased agility and the outright cool factor only afforded by an eighties Lambo Countach.

The StreetCarver also won several design awards, including Red dot 2000, I.D. Magazine Award iF Award 2001, Good Design Award, 2000 Design Award and the Baden-Württemberg 2001.

There are numerous disadvantages to the StreetCarver as well. Like any high performance sports car, it comes with its price and maintainance. The axles that the wheels ride on are stainless steel allen head bolts. The stainless bolts can bend if hit hard enough. I replaced the axle bolts early on after a run-in with a curb not too far away from my family's house in Hermosa Beach. That was about five or so years ago, and those hardened bolts are holding up just fine.

The biggest problem with the StreetCarver is the failure of the swing support assembly (remember how I was saying this isn't a mountain board?). The swing supports are originally intended as rear stabilzer links for the rear anti-roll bar on the 5-series, and are not designed to withstand the shock of skating. The link is a dog-bone shaped apparaus with two opposite facing threaded studs that sit in a teflon socket. They offer a high degree of flexiblity, but the studs can break off in the cast aluminum control arm. I have had to replace LOTS of links on this board, and once the threaded stud on a link breaks in the swing arm, a drill can back it right out.

Another drawback to the skateboard is the tires. When they are new, they have a concave cross section, but as they wear, they become less concave, which is a bad thing because of the high degree of caster and camber they see on a regular basis. The contact patch gets smaller and smaller, which in turn translates into less and less traction. I still have scars on my back from a downhill incident eight years after a nasty still on my first board! The best thing to do before replacing the tires is take them off the board, pair the tires according to closest wear and reinstall on the same ends.

The most signifigant drawback to the BMW is its outright weight! All this technology comes with its weight. A Sector Nine weighs a svelte three pounds, while the Big Buford tips the scales at a whopping eleven pounds. That doesn't seem like much, but when skating on level ground with a slight headwind, it adds up. The weight does come in handy devouring hills though, but after close to ten years of pushing my skateboard all over Southern California, it has taken a toll on my pushing knee.

Any aftermarket parts exist?

Nothing for the StreetCarver exists, with the exception of standard things such as bearings and bolts, and the stabilizer links themselves. When I was stationed in Panama City, I was able to go to a CarQuest and buy an aftermarket stabilizer link (Wells brand) for it, and the Razor Scooter branded Go-Kart utilizes the replacement wheels. I tried harassing BMW for a long time to get my hands on those molds to repop the tires, but Razor beat me to it. C'est la vie. My Email

I found this company Urban Mover that makes electric skateboards directly lifted from the StreetCarver! Stay tuned, as this might mean StreetCarver owners again have a source for wheels and tires!

Does this mean we have a source for tires again??



REPLACEMENT WHEELS HAVE BEEN FOUND!


I can't claim I found this, Christian in Germany was the detective that turned me on to the ORIGINAL SUPPLIER to BMW, who still makes wheels for our skateboards! These are new, not reproductions, or a just found NOS horde, but real-deal StreetCarver rollers! They are 57 Euro (about $77 USD)EACH, but compared to the going rate for NOS '71 'Cuda grilles, these are a steal!

BUY THEM HERE!

A cheaper alternative to the OE wheels are the front wheels off the Razor Ground Force Drifter Go-Kart. These are what I roll on. While they are made in China (boo, hiss) about thirty bucks a pair are a little easier on the pocket. You will need to order 609-RS bearings, the bearing ID is smaller on the Razor Wheel than the StreetCarver units.

BUY THESE WHEELS HERE!!

*When ordering, specify the FRONT wheels.




Useful Part Numbers

SWING SUPPORTS:33-55-1-0-95-532 ($28-$50)

TIRES:80-93-9-418-143 (OUT OF PRODUCTION)

BEARINGS (6000RS):80-93-9-418-143 ($4-$15)

DECK:80-93-9-418-144 (OUT OF PRODUCTION)

These parts (except for the still-in-production stabilizer links) are no long being manufactured. However if you come across a NOS horde of BMW StreetCarver parts, let me know!!!!

The StreetCarver on TV!

The Streetcarver made a cameo in the 2003 film "Cody Banks", starring Frankie Munoz. It was a series 1 board, but if you look in a few scenes, a second board with a truncated wheelbase was used.






Copyright© 2012 Kelly Doke
Kelly's Cars is no way affiliated with Chrysler LLC, General Motors, or any automotive manufacturers mentioned. "Dodge", "Mopar", "Challenger", "Coronet", "'Cuda" and "Hemi" are registered trademarks of Chrysler, LLC.
"StreetCarver", Registered trademark of Bavarian Motor Works.
"Aprilia", "RSV", and "Mille" are registered trademarks of Piaggo, S.p.a.