With the rise of the electric powertrain we’ve seen all manner of electrified two-wheelers, however we’ve never seen anything quite like the Novus before. Constructed around a trick, hollow carbon fiber monocoque chassis with integral bodywork, the elite runner boasts gobs of power, striking modern looks, and freeway-capable speeds, all in a sub-90lb package.

It’s the darling of the new-tech mobility press, with aggressive styling, and techology akin to F1 cars [Novus]
Based in Brunswick, Germany, Novus was founded by Réne Renger and Marcus Weidig, a pair of diehard motorcycle and engineering enthusiasts who met at university. Rather than simply design a new motorcycle — granted that’s no easy task — the Deutsche duo set out with the goal of ‘changing mobility perceptions.’ And you gotta hand it to them, the Novus is a pretty sexy little scoot, and at 86lbs ready-to-ride, it requires very little energy compared to a two-ton electric car, offering riders one of the least impactful mobility options available, that still allows for some fun in the corners.

While attending CES 2019 to promote their new e-Bike, co-founder and co-CEO Marcus Weidig took some time out of his hectic day in Vegas to talk to The Current about the Novus.

Novus was co-founded by Réne Renger and Marcus Weidig [Novus]
On the spectrum between full-on electric motorcycle and e-bicycle, where would you say your bike resides?
“With its 60mph top-speed it’s definitely a proper motorcycle. No pedals, not a bicycle. There are more powerful motorcycles for sure, but with the Novus’ power-to-weight-ratio, it’s a blast to ride.

Where was this bike designed to be ridden?
Based on its range and suspension setup, it’s primarily meant to be piloted in cities and urban areas. Thanks to its weight of only 85lbs, it’s possible for people to put the Novus in an elevator to get it to an apartment living room, to charge or store. It’s also ideal for yacht owners who’d probably never consider bringing their 350lb Ducati onto their boat, but could with the Novus. It’s not meant to replace walking or bicycling, it’s more for leaving your eight or ten-cylinder car in the garage without sacrificing in the style department.

The sculptural qualities of carbon fiber are infinite, and are here used to create a hollow monocoque chassis [Novus]
What were your primary objectives when designing the Novus? Is there a particular gap in the market that you see it filling?
Well, an electric drivetrain is a completely new technology, however most of what we see with electric motorbikes is a combustion engine being replaced with an electric motor and batteries. Instead, we tried to clean the slate of all known ideas of what motorcycle is in our heads, take inspiration from the bicycle world, and design a two-wheeled vehicle from the ground up around an electric powertrain. In our eyes, electric drive makes the most sense in a lightweight package like a motorbike, much more so than in a 4,000lb car.

Can you tell me a bit about the frame?
The Frame is a monocoque, completely made of carbon fibre composites, which is unique for a motorcycle. It’s completely hollow so all the technical components can be placed inside. The frame is both the outer skin/bodywork and a load-bearing structure that affords ample rigidity and significantly reduces weight. There’s no motorcycle like it on the market today. It requires an enormous effort, even supercars aren’t doing it like this. We took away everything that wasn’t necessary in order to keep it clean, like a sculpture.

The suspension on the Novus was designed in-house specifically for this project. Can you elaborate on the suspendsion?
Because the Novus falls in a spot between a motorcycle and a bicycle in terms of weight, we had to design a system that could compensate for the Novus’ light weight, and the speeds it’s capable of achieving.

The claimed 147.5ft-lbs of torque is pretty bonkers. Is that 200Nm figure accurate? If so, why does this 85lb two-wheeler need so much oomph?
That figure doesn’t directly translate to the amount of torque in a combustion bike — there are e-Scooters with similar power, but Novus is weighs considerably less, allowing for a unique and agile riding experience.

Scale: about like a 125cc motocrosser, but much lighter, and much cooler [Novus]
What else about the Novus is unique?
In terms of quality, Novus is more than a collection of expensive parts and materials. Its quality is such that it’s designed and engineered to be a long-term product, expected to last — and function — for years, ultimately adding greatly to the sustainability of the product. This largely justifies the need for quality and the extensive efforts involved in its development.

A closeup up the custom disc brake rotor, and the carbon fiber forks [Novus]
It probably goes without saying that the Novus’ price tag is pretty steep – $39,500. Can you tell me a little bit about how you landed on that MSRP?
To produce a high-quality bike completely in composites that’s limited to 1,000 units takes an extraordinary amount of labor. Just setting up the tooling alone is pretty exorbitant. Also, the phase where we combine the frame and exterior is particularly costly. The high level of integration of its components brings up costs too. Developing a motorcycle with no superfluous parts was a massive design and engineering challenge that we think customers will appreciate.

If we filled the empty center with batteries, could we quadruple the 60 mile range? [Novus]
What are your future plans for the Novus?
We want to change the perception of the motorcycle and to show that it’s possible to do things differently. Not just to be different – to create something new with an added value. We have many ideas in our minds, many focused on sustainability, such as natural fiber composites, and we’ve got some non-motorcycle ideas in the works.”

Weidig credits his passion for mechanical quality and precision to his birthplace of Glashütte, in Eastern Saxony, Germany, and his upbringing as the son of a toolmaker.  With Novus pitched as an ideal option for yacht owners or to replace your 10-cylinder car, it’s abundantly clear the German outfit is targeting an affluent demographic, but with its wicked performance, radical-tech styling, and ultralight package, this cutting-edge machine creates its own niche, and could become a must-have for the Tesla set.

What we want: a ride on this ultralight superbike [Novus]
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