It’s 1903 all over again, and with so many companies flooding our inbox with electric motorcycle news, The Current channel on is presenting a weekly roundup by our EV Editor Tim Huber.  Dig it!

The Bird Electric Moped

The concept sketch of the Bird two-seater e-scoot [Bird]
Bird, the company who’s sharable electric scooters litter the sidewalks of almost every major city, has just revealed its latest offering; a rentable, fully-electric, two-up-friendly moped, simply known as “The Cruiser”. The design has what’s surely an intentionally old-school feel to it with oversized fenders and chunky tires, though it also sports hydraulic disc brakes fore and aft, LED lighting, a two-passenger bench seat, LCD matrix display, and modern 12-arm rims.
Rear suspension consists of a classic dual-shock setup, while the front-end appears to be rigid, though several outlets have reported that it’s, in fact, a functional unit.

An extremely simple chassis and readily available battery/motor tech makes for a very scalable manufacturing solution for Bird. How well it succeeds may impact the whole motorcycle industry. [Bird]
Bird says the “seated vehicle” will give riders the option of using either pegs or pedals, and utilizes a 52V battery that will offer a claimed range of 50-miles on a single charge. It did however reveal
that in addition to renting out the two-wheeler, Bird also plans to sell them directly to the public for $1,299. The mopeds are slated to be released in a handful of test cities this summer so keep an eye out. With an estimated top speed of around 30mph, these things seriously have the potential to be some fun little runners, and will likely serve as a gateway to motorcycling for many who’re unacquainted with travel on a motorized two-wheeler. Not to mention the clutchless twist-and-go setup will definitely diminish the intimidation factor for a lot of people, helping to bring new riders into the fold.

Tempus Unveils New “Titan R”

The Titan R pushes all the right buttons with its retro/Brat charms. [Tempus]
After first unveiling its retro-themed CRT1 ebike, Tempus is back with another vintage-styled model, the “Titan R”. A 1,000W rear-hub motor paired with a 52V 12Ah Lithium-ion battery powers the lightweight bike. The powertrain is good for a top speed of 28mph (45km/h), offers a range of 40-miles, and requires between four and five hours to fully charge. Other features include a round LED headlight and a pair of circular LED taillights, digital instrumentation, front suspension, and front and rear disc brakes. The Titan definitely has a brat/café vibe to it, with a thin, flat, ribbed leather saddle and a knee-dented faux-fuel-cell. The components are said to be fairly high-end, and the bike uses some quality materials like aircraft-grade steel, which helps to explain the $2,899 price-tag.

None More Black

All Black Everything: the new Sur-Ron LB-X RS series [Sur-Ron]
Half downhill mountain bike and half-electric motocrosser, the new Sur-Ron LB X-Series RS Black Edition is a surprisingly trick yet rugged ebike. As the name suggests, the model comes in an all blacked-out color scheme, though the limited edition two-wheeler also gets Rock Shox Debonair Forks which are highly adjustable and upgradable, weigh only 5.8lbs, and offer 7.8” of travel.

Just like 1903: a jockey shaft translates the Sur-Ron’s motor power to the final drive system of the. [Sur-Ron]
Powering the 110lb (50kg) Black Edition is an 8hp (6kW) mid-drive motor that affords a 45mph (72km/h) top speed. A number of independent outfits are also currently working on bringing homologation kits to market for the Sur-Ron that include all the necessary bits to make the bike fully street-legal. So far there’s been no word on pricing, but we can assume the LB X-Series RS Black Edition to be priced towards the higher end of Sur-Ron’s wares, which typically run in the $3.5-4.5K ballpark.

The Thin Line Between Bicycle & Motorcycle

The Delfast Top 2.0 is a boundary-blurring e-moto of the sort we expect to transform the motorcycle industry. [Delfast]
Another example of a bike that blurs the line between motocrosser and a mountain bike is the new Delfast Top 2.0. Though the 2.0 does have pedals, chances are they won’t get much use, as the off-road-oriented sled boasts a top speed of 50mph (80km/h). The gen-one’s 3kW motor has been replaced by a more powerful 5kW unit on the 2.0, which is also said to offer better heat management/dissipation than its predecessor. The new unit also benefits from a more advanced controller. The larger motor pulls power from a surprisingly large, 72V 48Ah battery that yields a whopping 3.5kWh of juice. The Top Two also gets improved stopping power thanks to dual hydraulic disc brakes out front, and soaking up bumps in the trail is a beefy set of inverted forks and a rear monoshock, with all of this riding on what looks like off-road appropriate sized spoked rims. The thing also gets a pretty trick color display and some cool MX-inspired aesthetic bits. The price has been set around $3,900 and deliveries are expected to commence in the final quarter of 2019.

BMW’s Continued Foray Into EVs

BMW’s current e-scooter, the C-Evolution [BMW]
These days it’s not just startups like Lime and Bird (and Uber and Lyft) that are getting into the rentable scooter game, you also have a number of major auto manufacturers tossing their hats in the shared scoot ring. The most recent automotive powerhouse to unveil a standup electric scooter was none other than BMW.

Patent plans for the new BMW shared e-scoot collaboration with Micro. [BMW]
Dubbed the “BMW E-Scooter”, the machine was born out of a joint venture between BMW and the German outfit, Micro (the force behind the Micro Scooter). The BMW scooter is pretty unremarkable however, at least on paper. A 150W motor with a 12mph (20km/h) top speed, and a 7.5-mile (12km) range. Charging takes two-hours, and pricing has been set at $890, which is pretty damn steep considering what else is out there. The reality is people will probably still buy it, largely thanks to having a few Roundels on it alone. BMW and Micro are also offering a $225 push-powered version called the “City Scooter”, and a toddler push “scooter” (vehicle?) for $135.

BMW’s IC C-1 scooter, which could be ridden without a helmet due to its roll cage. [BMW]
Earlier this week it was also revealed that BMW has filed a series of patents in its native Germany for an enclosed/roofed version of its popular C Evolution scooter. The images show a roof supported by what looks like a roll-cage of sorts, as well as a backrest, and a seatbelt. It may be easy to scoff at this idea from sunny California, but in regions that receive heavy rain throughout the year, this could actually be a major selling point.

BMW’s kiddie City Scooter. [BMW]
It’s unclear if the roof will be sold as an option for the existing C Evo, if it will be a separate model, or if it will be offered as a bolt-on addition to the current generation of C Evolutions. Because this is merely a patent, there’s no way of knowing if this will ever see the light of production, however, this wouldn’t be the first time the Bavarian brand has dabbled with roofed, seat-belted scooter offerings. Back in 2000, BMW introduced the C1 scooter, followed by an electric concept version of a model known as the C1-E back in 2009. A decade later and here we are again, discussing the possibility of an electric, roofed BMW scooter. Oh, how history repeats itself.

22Motors’ “Hill Assist”

The 22Motors Flow scooter. [22Motors]
22Motors — makers of the Flow electric scooter — have just received approval for a patent for what the Indian outfit is calling “Hill Assist”. This is supposedly a first for the scooter world. Essentially the feature will prevent the scooter from rolling backward when facing uphill. With an electric motor having maximum torque on tap at any moment, I’m a little unsure as to why this feature is entirely necessary (and I was also born and raised in San Francisco so I think I might know a thing or two about negotiating hills).

The Flow’s display screen. [22Motors]
Arguably the bigger news regarding 22Motors this week is its recent partnership with established player, Kymco. The two companies are joining forces to develop their “Ionex” swappable battery charging stations — an early step in a larger push to introduce a more robust urban EV infrastructure. These stations would allow riders to pull up, swap out a used battery, plug it in, and exchange it for a fully charged cell, eliminating wait/charge times. This also speaks to the even bigger societal embrace of EV technology as a whole.

AMA Supercross Ushers In An Electric Generation

While we weep for the loss of Alta as a competitor, we’re excited to see e-MX racing at the National level  [AMA]
Despite superior performance figures on paper, convincing some riders/racers and fans to embrace EV technology is a major uphill battle. Nonetheless, as electric motorcycles continue to permeate every aspect of the two-wheeled world, race organizers are hustling to get in early on the action. Knowing the change may be controversial, AMA Supercross has formulated a rather clever, low-risk means of running an electric class as early as next season. The plan is to convert the current Junior Race Program to an electric class for 2020. KTM is currently the primary sponsor of the class, and the Ready To Race brand just so happens to have recently released its first electric kid’s dirtbike, the SX-E5 (plus Husqvarna, which is owned by KTM, also released its EE 5). These mini 50cc equivalent MXers will be raced by riders in the seven-to-eight-year-old class.

The Husqvarna mini-moto e-MX racer. [AMA]
The idea appears to be to create a new norm for the next generation of racers. These kids will start on electric bikes, and move up to larger electric offerings, as they get older. By the time some of them are racing at the top-level on full-size electric bikes, it’ll be all they’ll ever have known. And in all fairness, with their ample torque and relatively low top-speeds, electric powertrains seem like something of a perfect fit for dirtbikes, and hopefully, this is something AMA Supercross will be able to shine a light on. This is a long-term plan, so don’t expect to see Cooper Webb winning races on an electric anytime soon, though in a decade’s time, don’t be surprised if the best riders are earning titles aboard electrics. The seed has been planted.