Sophia Vassiliadis

Current News: Easter Quarantine Edition

Welcome to the New World Disorder. We hope you’re healthy, safe, and taking care. In these times, motorcycles and scooters feel like the answer to not only our social distancing requirements but also some much-needed time away from the onslaught of negative news about the state of our planet. To help keep your mind distracted, check out this selection of electric eye-candy on two or four wheels – EVs pushing the envelope in the areas of design, performance, technological competence, and affordability. A Zero launch and its constant collaborations, more spectacular stylings from everywhere and a lot of videos to watch while you wait it out.

Make The “Switch” To An eSCRAMBLER

The Switch scrambler has generated significant media attention for its street scrambler styling and simple, balanced forms. [Switch]
New Zealand builder Matthew Waddick has built an electric Scrambler that easily checks so many boxes. The collaboration with former Danish Flat Track racing and industrial designer Michel Riis has resulted in this simple, mid-sized, and carefully curated creation branded by Waddick’s own Switch Motorcycles.

The Switch street scrambler with contemporary appeal. [Switch]
For this pared down eScrambler, the design team conscientiously packaged the powerful belt-driven, mid-mounted motor, with pre-existing information gleaned from the design of Riis’ concept eTRACKER. The performance promises to be quite impressive for a mid-sized electric motorcycle. The eSCRAMBLER has a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph), 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 3.2 seconds, and a real-world range of 150 km (93 miles). The bike is powered by a 50kW (67hp) electric motor which offers 11 - 13kWh of power - quite generous for this size of e-bike. (comparable to the Zero SR). Also, as Waddick explained to electrek, the cells that are part of this proprietary battery box design, “are cooled using aluminum and copper heat transfer plates inside the box which dissipate the heat out through the box, covers and cooling fins.”

Perfectly Pursang

The Pursang E-Track and E-Street. [Pursang]
I haven’t looked into it, but I suspect that there is a pod of purists and dedicated designers who think that old should never be new again. Thankfully Pursang Motorcycle doesn’t agree, which is why their eagerly awaited retro revision is production ready. Reserve one now and you will have, in your very own garage, an electric edition of the Bultaco Pursang, legendary in all its gasoline glory from 1967 to 1984.

The Pursang E-Tracker: a tidy and stylish machine - well done! [Pursang]
In September of 2020 the “legend will come back to life” when the first 72 units of the Pursang E-Track will be set for delivery. First customers even receive a special edition which has “elegant carbon finishes.” The feisty-er E-Track will retail for 13.700 € (about $15,000 USD), while the more reserved but equally exciting E-street will claim 9,700 € (aprox 10,700 USD, assuming the bikes get an American retailer.

Everybody Wants To Be A Zero: The 2020 Zero SR/S, And Its Custom Cousin

The new Zero SR-S: looking more like the big OEMs every day. [Zero]
It would be easy to devote an entire edition of The Current to the collaborations – both actual and aspirational - between bike builders around the globe, and a selection of pulse-propelling Zero Motorcycles. This latest sampling of design-delights is no exception. However, before we look at the variations-on-a-bike that are such a joy to feature, we must first acknowledge the most recent revelation direct from the esteemed source – the 2020 Zero SR/S. It’s here and it surpasses its predecessors, not only by being dressed in either sleek blue or black colour ways, but also for its updated insides.

If you're tired of color, there's always the Charcoal option of the SR-S. [Zero]
Housed within both the Standard and Premium versions of the SR/S are 140 ft/lb of peak torque, 110hp and top speeds of 124 mph. What differs between the two newest members of the feisty fleet is the impressive Optimal Rapid Charge times of only 80 or 60 minutes, respectively thanks to the 30kW or more powerful 60 kW integrated charger. This, in concert with the 109 to 161-mile ranges are the tech specs that are often of the most interest to consumers – the ability of an electric bike to go further and with a faster charging capability. Zero isn’t just listening, it’s delivering.

Meet Greta: The Indonesian Offspring

Greetings from Greta in Indonesia. [Greta Barang]
The Indonesian International Motor Show (IIMS) is having a contest, and Baran Design Studio and Magnetwo & Co have a contender. Greta-EV (named after the popular young activist?), is a hybrid cruiser and cafe racer whose appearance is a blend of modern and vintage lines meant to clearly communicate its identity. The rendering, produced by junior industrial designer Ganang Al-Rasyid captures the “classic elements of a motorcycle such as a gas tank,” which, as envisioned by the project pair “are slowly translated as new design elements, which maintain the ergonomic function, but at the same time give a clear message, that this is not a gas tank.” The sassy start-up even tagged Los Angeles-based superstar Zero Motorcycle sellers Hollywood Electrics with the pitch to turn their concept into a custom kit for the Zero SR. Good idea?

The Filial Forest Scout By Filson Outfitters

OMG, motorcycles and chainsaws: something elemental, masculine, and probably contradictory about this, but the point is taken - it's a practical device. [Filson / Zero]
Filson started outfitting American pioneers and prospectors since the start of the Gold Rush in 1897. Since then, the customer base has grown to include “hunters and anglers, engineers and explorers, mariners and miners,” and in 2020: rugged motorcycle riders. Filson recently launched motorcycle apparel and accessories alongside a customized Zero DSR Dualsport to blast through the forest canopy in style. In addition to the existing 200+ mile range, 116ft-lbs of torque fed through a carbon belt drive, the best Showa suspension the dirt destroyer has extra lighting mounted to its crash bars and classic Filson finery – a luggage set made from their signature Tin Cloth that matches the seat cover detail. Oh, and in case you think they forgot why you’re going riding in the woods, they didn’t. Also included is a specially designed rack that can carry a hatchet and a chainsaw.

The Filson Zero: motorcycle, moto, trail, bike, everywhere. [Filson / Zero]
This mighty e-bike is ready for anything - perfectly equipped to slip through the trees, undetected until it’s time to tackle a tree. From “Zero” to hero on one impressive electric Enduro.

Droog Moto’s Problem Child You Love

Everyone's favorite Droog, now in E-Fighter mode. [Droog]
In the midst of the Pandemic Pandemonium, rougher-looking rides seem like the most appropriate aesthetic, and this Mad Max e-moto is a fine fit. Not to contribute to any of the already circulating COVID conspiracy conjecture but Droog Moto customised this 2020 Zero FX into the DM-016 E-Fighter moments before riding is likely to become the most socially acceptable, distancing mode of motorized movement.

The Droog FX-RS conversion. [Droog]
Thanks to Zero’s motorcycle technology this custom creature comes with a 550 Amp high efficiency controller with regenerative deceleration, and optional modular 3.6 or 7.2 set up. The high-performance brushless motor offers instant acceleration, and multiple ride modes including one that is fully customizable. With 46hp and 78 ft. lbs of peak torque the “stealthy and sleek” E-Fighter will claim an easy win.

The hub motor of the Droog E-Fighter. [Droog]
Other features of this modern street scrapper include upgraded suspension and wheel options that will ensure that off-road routes will be effortless, and extra visible thanks to the illuminating power of front and rear LED lights. With its fierce finishing touches, this e-Droog is definitely on brand.

The Falcon Elevates The Urban E-Bike

The Cleveland Cyclewerks Falcon in its element. [CCW]
This might have been one the more eagerly anticipated e-bike thanks to some plenty prolonged, and mystery-filled marketing. Cleveland Cyclewerks from – you guessed it – Cleveland, Ohio has earned its loyal and growing fan base because they have consistently delivered on their promise to put riders in touch with “Fun bikes,” which are “beautifully packaged,” and “affordably priced.” The Falcon Electric Motorcycle is on brand. Like its combustion cousins, the Falcon 01 and Falcon BLK look cool. Both blend minimalism and modernism with their machine-molded, exposed chassis that effortlessly supports the two attractively packaged 2.3 KW battery packs. This same 2-piece bottom bracket allows for easy adjustment of pegs or pedals. Additionally, the on-board connectivity will keep up with rider whims.

The Falcon with easily replaceable battery. [Falcon]
The Falcons are snappy city rides. With a curb weight of only 150 lbs, peak torque of 29ft/lbs, and speeds that can reach past 85 miles per hour for up to 180, the Falcon BLK would easily make travelling between the daily grind and good times (we could only WISH right now) an addictive activity all on its own. While you’re trapped inside waiting for the world to return, have a look. This is their loud and proud video showing a Falcon rising, and riding. https://youtu.be/QzgSImWaPJ0

THE Newest CAKE KALKs Go Curbside

The Cake Kalk Ink, an inexpensive off-roader in black. [Cake]
Here’s one more in the coolest collection of e-bikes that is the entire CAKE Motorcycle line-up. I won’t even bother to hide my fandom. In the fall of last year, we met the Ösa+ and Ösa Lite, both wildly fun and functional utility EV bikes/battle stations.

Still the most succinct design expression of an off-road ebike, the Kalk Ink. [Cake]
Now CAKE is back with enhanced versions of their original off-road rebels, the KALK INK and KALK INK SL (Street Legal), which are almost identical to their predecessors, the KALK OR and the KALK& respectively. The INK SL has “slightly heavier and stable wheels and a simplified and yet sturdier suspension,” and is ready to dig through the dirt or sear through the streets. The lithe and lighter 121 lb INK effortlessly takes to the trail for some 3 hours at up to 50 mph. Look!

Watch for them. Delivery dates are still posted as June 1st and July 1st.

“Z” Bike Designed By A Young Transportation Student

Z concept rendering. [Joseph Robinson]
It may look like the last letter of the alphabet, but it is certainly at the forefront of design. This is the Electric “Z” motorcycle concept by the Britain-born California-based designer Joseph Robinson. The naked unibody blends the head(light) into the tail(arm) conveying an impression of perpetual motion. To enhance the mystery of this minimalist e-motorcycle Robinson’s design also includes fold-away handlebars and foot pegs. The charging port is concealed in the seat, and the 30kW/h interchangeable battery pack rests on the chassis tray, seamlessly incorporated into the organic form of the frame.

Yes, it's vaporware, but we support the investigation of new ideas! [Joseph Robinson]
As with most concepts, there are often a few “extras” that don’t suit the styling so they’re simply ignored. In this case, there is a notable absence of side-view mirrors and a laissez-splash attitude towards front and rear fenders, which is likely thanks to there being no traffic or weather to contend with in the concept-verse. The steering and suspension may also need some tweaking if fantasy becomes reality, but in the meantime this creation can continue to reveal what designers can conceive given the freedom of electric powertrains.

A Classic Electric Jaguar

Winner by default: using William Lyons' classic Jaguar XK120 coupe design as an EV is kinda cheating, but we still want it. [Lunaz]
England’s Lunaz Design breathes fresh fire into a vintage prize, in this case a 1953 Jaguar XK120. In keeping with their mandate of “Embracing the future, whilst preserving the past.” The British automotive engineering company “has designed and developed an electric powertrain to breathe new life into classic cars.” The effect is spectacular – a collection of fully restored gems from decades past that are now fully functioning on proprietary technology of the future.

Lunaz does classics. when you’re emissions free – like this Rolls Royce Cloud - flowers are fans too. [Lunaz]
Want to know about range and charge times? The Jaguar has gotten 275 of smiling miles. The fast charge capability with CHAdeMO for a full charge is under 2 hours, and a home charge at 7kw would take 12 hours.

When You Can’t Do, Watch

Home built? Big fun. [Frayer Brand]
We don’t often feature the DIY e-bikes that all you more skilled, or brave bike builders might be capable of assembling in your garage, but since most of us are stuck indoors and unable to escape this apocalypse on our own two wheels, here’s some home-spun e-bike movie magic.

The gas grinders are one Suzuki RM125 and one RMZ250 while the dirt-e-bike (see what I did there?) is fashioned out of a Honda CR injected with 40hp with the help of a 6.2 kWh battery passing power through a BAC8000 Electric controller to a ZF 75-7 motor. How long can this e-engineering last out on the trails? According to its owner, about 5-6 hours of foliage fun. Hope you enjoy the competitive e-edge in these dirty drag races and hilarious hill climbs.

The Newron Is Really On Its Way

The luxe Newron in white ash wood. [Newron]
Could just be that we wanted an excuse to show you this work of electric art one more time, or it could that that the French manufacturer Newron is ready to deliver its Dystopian dream-cycle to ready riders. If all goes according to plan, by the close of 2020 there should be twenty of these electric amazements on roads around the world.

The Newron in ebony: high sci-fi design influences. [Newron]
Keep your eyes peeled to catch sight of one of these sculpted wood frames wrapped around the atomic inspired 75 kW motor that look ready for blast-off. With a powertrain that delivers 0-62 mph in 3 seconds and peaks at 137 mph you might not have long to catch a glimpse. Equally unlikely is the chance that you’ll be able to spend quality time while it idles at home, thanks to the level d3 fast charging system that promises to deliver in 40-minutes (or it’s free?).

Newron specs. [Newron]

 


The Current News: February Edition

It’s been a while, and your EV editor has missed you, which is why she didn’t want all you fine readers of The Vintagent to miss out on anything. So, here are some gems that surfaced since we were last together – a comprehensive collection of eye-candy that may make your heart skip a braap. Oh, and read to the end: there’s some news.

An Electric Motorcycle Kite Kit For The Masses

 

The Gabriel Wartofsky Kite kit bike, a flat-pack concept that could save on build costs for the consumer. [Gabriel Wartofsky Design]
of Gabriel Wartofsky Design calls it “an erector set for adult commuters.” I call it too nice to scuff up, and quite possibly impossible to ride, though who really cares if something works when it is this much fun to look at?

The Kite Bike has a dramatic body and is a noble effort to grapple with how a totally new technology might be built. [Gabriel Wartofsky Design]
The Kite Bike is Warofsky’s bid to build an affordable electric motorcycle kit. The innovative American designer and co-founder of the clean-tech e-bikeshare start-up “Conscious Commuter” specializes in the future of mobility. Inspired by a tetrahedral kite and modular steel furniture, the folding, stamped, single-sheet design produces an attractive angular body that is more likely to capture the wind than deflect it. The seat is part of the electronics housing, the electric transmission powers a shaft drive that transfers the energy to wheels attached to a telelever suspension system. Too much, or not enough? No matter. This is how change happens; artists push the boundaries past what practicality cannot allow itself to imagine.

What's inside the Kite Bike? Fold it up and see! [Gabriel Wartofsky Design]
The same can be said about “ease of use.” Considering how often an IKEA assembly has been rumoured to terminate the healthiest of relationships, it’s a bit of diabolical fun to imagine the average commuter attempting to put together this ride; but success is a process and all part of the magic that transforms our future.

The Polestar SLR By Arthur Martins: Careful, Your Footpegs Are Showing

Taking Joey Ruiter's 'Moto Undone' (seen in our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum) into more rounded turf, with knobbies! [Polestar]
Back before computer technology gifted the design world with the tools, a concept was always easy to identify; a mock-up was a pencil sketch. There was no mistaking a drawing as a prototype, let alone a product available for purchase. Now the renderings are so real that people forget which makes for some delightful confusion, like the reactions to the Polestar SLR Electric Motorcycle concept by Arthur Martins. This feedback, however mistaken, is also an opportunity for the lively feedback to help transform even the wildest imaginings into a prototype with potential. For example, in response to inquiries, there quickly appeared cleverly embedded foot pegs.

Charging up the Polestar. [Polestar]
You might remember Arthur Martins from his 2015 concept bike for Audi called the “Bullcycle,” another forward-thinking design from the seasoned automotive designer. This time Martins has a different agenda and not just because it is electric. The Polestar SLR is minimalist and Scandinavian and specifically geared towards its purpose. Martins’ Behance page reads: “Main goal is to keep only what is necessary for a salt lake racing. No steering enable and small suspension travel on this version.” The Polestar is meant to go as fast as possible, and strictly in a straight line. There is the promise of an upcoming street version, complete with suspension, steering, and (hopefully) a seat, but fast things first.

This E-bike Is All About Nothing 

The Yatri Motorcycles Project Zero. Surely that name is familar? [Yatri]
Project Zero is about having everything, and nothing at all – a motorcycle with all the power and style, and zero-emissions. With 30 kW of power, a 143mph top speed and an estimated 2 hours to recharge the battery, this is more like a dare any rider would want to take, not a compromise.

A little Untitled, a little Zero, but all Yatri. [Yatri]
‘Project Zero” is the result of Yatri Motorcycles combining “Elegance in Motion” and its ecological mandate, all the while delivering incredible style. The pared-down café racer seems to be floating, two suspended lines - one a horizontal, white seat-space, the other a diagonal turquoise stripe defining the vertical space – both materialize out of the negative space created by the completely blacked-out chassis and battery pack. It’s ethereal.

Also on board is Project Zero's beautiful interface on a 7’ full-HD display. “In addition to vital telemetry data and navigation, the display equips you with powerful insights like fuel cost savings and carbon offset contribution.”

eMotion Surge: Brand New, In Red Or Blue

The EMotion Surge goes for an angular look, which is how designers are picturing the future... [EMotion Motors]
If Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge was a motorcycle, he would look like the eMotion Surge, with its retro, space-age body-work that draws inspiration from 80’s racers. Presented at the 2020 Auto Expo, the Surge is eagerly anticipated to arrive in showrooms by early this summer.

It’s not just the aesthetic that is vintage-inspired, there’s also a 4-speed manual gearbox, a less common feature that is gaining popularity. This mid-drive motor is available in two and the entry-level model that still boasts a respectable 6kW of continuous power for a top speed of 62mph (100kph). Among the modern amenities is the removable battery with a standard charge of 3.5 hours and a DC Fast Charge of about 50 minutes. Additionally, the The eMotion Surge will include a variety of smart features such as 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth IoT connectivity, keyless start, automatic turn signals, GPS navigation, anti-theft/remote disabling and vehicle telemetry. The entry-level model is estimated to sell for about $1800 USD; the premium closer to $2000 USD, which make them both incredibly cheap. However, it’s too early to place a pre-order on these well-priced speedsters since they are not yet available outside of India. We’ll let you know.

It’s NIU And Cheap, Seriously

The Niu RQI is a cool urban commuter with limited speed and range, but a really low price is promised, which might help tip the scales on sales. [Niu]
It’s sassy, speedy and it won’t break the bank. The RQi-GT, Niu’s latest electric bike, revealed at CES 2020 is the two-wheeled half of the company’s new high-powered electric vehicle offerings. Known for producing seated scooters, Niu has upped its game with this urban commuter which, although capable of 100 mph, is more likely to achieve the projected range of 80 miles-per-charge at slower city speeds of about 30mph.

Niu crafted a mid-mounted electric motor with a peak output of 30 kW that uses a belt-driven first stage reduction, then chain drives the rear wheel. All this is powered by two removable batteries with a combined capacity of 7 kWh. Worried about low battery power? It’s an urban commuter. Bigger batteries and heavier batteries that are more expensive too. This is a way to keep things cheap (no, there isn’t a published price yet, just published promises) and light. However, what it may lack in longevity it compensates for in intelligence. Quickly becoming the norm are the RQi-GT’s smart features including 5G IoT connectivity, IoT connected battery packs, and rider aids that include an adaptive, leading front headlight, anti-lock brakes, and traction control. A full TFT dashboard display, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity, which provides anti-theft and vehicle tracking functionality. It even allows riders to check their tire pressure directly from the app, which is constantly updated with the bike’s diagnostics. Perhaps the reason NIU calls the RQi-GT a Smart bike is because it can do more than its riders?

India’s Amazon Delivery E-Crew

Part Tuk-Tuk, part delivery truck, all fun. The video showcases Amazon’s #ClimatePledge, a fully electric delivery fleet, demonstrating their stunt driving abilities. By 2025 this gang of zero-emissions vehicles of all kind is projected to reach 10,000.

Practically-speaking, an electric delivery vehicle makes more sense considering the realities of the job. In order to save time, delivery drivers often leave their trucks idling. This consumes more gas and releases more toxins into the atmosphere. However, the alternative to letting a motor run isn’t great either, since turning a combustion motor on and off repeatedly causes extensive wear and shortens its lifespan. Electric engines, on the other hand, don’t mind the stop-and-start. The result? No emissions, less turnover, lower carbon footprint.

The same type of initiative is also in the works at Amazon US, but it’s still in the prototype phase. Here, Amazon has partnered with Rivian to create 3 different van styles (out of clay!!) in anticipation of the colossal order for 100,000 electric delivery vans to be completely filled by 2030.

The Elektro Frosch Is An Electric Camping Experience

Going postal in the wild! An electric 3-wheeler from Elektrofrosch is a micro camper. [Elekrofrosch]
My “frosh” week was all beer and bawdy chants. The Elektro Frosch on the other hand, (maybe not the same word?) is an electric tricycle micro camper that is all cute, quiet luxury. In fact, this set up is perfectly the opposite of “rough.”

"I'm going camping in my 3-wheel moped!" is something you never hear, until now. [Elektrofrosch]
Technically, sweet set-up is an L2E (three-wheel moped) that provides a detachable tent-top that transforms the functional flat-bed into a mini motorhome, complete with an extensive camping kit. It’s an adorable option to cuddling up to the bumpy terrain, but not as convenient for co-cuddling. It will, however, keep you close to civilization, by necessity. With a top range of only 37 miles and a top speed of almost 25 mph plan to get to your somewhere close, somewhat slowly, and don’t stray too far from civilization.

Good things come in small packages, and perhaps this is a perfect suburban camper. [Elektrofrosch]
The ‘pro’ camper model with a full driver cabin and a ceramic heater starts at $5,500USD, or there’s also the “big” camper with doorless cabin from $4,400.

Gorgeous TRUVOR Electric Scrambler

Any color you want, in 3 colors. The Truvor off-road is light and simple. [Truvor]
Even with this edition’s magnificent mob of e-motorcycles the Truvor Electric Scrambler had to be seen. It’s fast and fierce, and full of fight. Designed by Pablo Baranoff-Dorn for Denzel Electric the handsome Truvor can hold its own at top speeds of between 52 and 62 miles-per-hour for at least 75 miles. Depending on your bent, you can bump up the wheelbases to suit tarmac or terrain. Either way, the total weight is between 143 – 165 lbs, depending on personal preferences for carbon fibre, battery capacity and suspension. To complete the look, you can choose between Classic Black, White or Yellow. When you’re done, get out there and rip.

Believe The Unbelievable: Sturgis Buffalo Chip Recruits E-Bikes

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7UR-o_nGgX/?igshid=z9mrykogdcuv

Well now, this is interesting. In amongst the butts, boobs, babes and bikers featured on the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Instagram feed is an unexpected call-out inspired by…wait for it…the 2019 exhibit of electric motorcycles at the Peterson Automotive Museum!!! Yes, that one: curated by your very own Paul D’Orleans of The Vintagent. They’re looking for EV pioneers – people who own, are customizing, or are simply dreaming of owning an electric motorcycle.

So, what are you waiting for? If you’re reading this column, you fall into at least one of those categories, correct? If you reach out to them, they’ll “loop” you into their possible show plans! Remember to tag us in the pictures.

 

Sophia Vassiliadis [@she.rides.fast] is a writer based in Toronto, and EV Editor at TheVintagent.com.

World's Oldest Ebike Dealer: Hollywood Electrics Turns 10

Harlan Flagg’s Hollywood Electrics Has Been “Transforming How LA Rides Since 2009”

Inside the red building at Fairfax and Willoughby in West Hollywood sits a gleaming collection of the most dynamic motorcycles in Los Angeles, a selection of the latest, most technologically advanced two-wheeled electric vehicles. This is Hollywood Electrics, the “World's Leading Electric Motorcycle Dealership” and a success story that has just celebrated its 10th birthday.

Harlan Flagg at the summit of Pike's Peak with a Zero. [Hollywood Electrics]
Electric bikes seem like an easy sell; who wouldn’t want a stealthy, responsive, emissions-free vehicle in a city crowded with treacherous, toxic traffic? Turns out the challenge to selling ebikes lies is the collective mindset of riders, and shifting hearts towards electric is an endeavor that requires a great amount of courage, endurance, and a passion for adventure. Founder of Hollywood Electrics, Harlan Flagg, possesses all these necessary attributes, plus a devotion to helping riders understand why owning an electric motorcycle is the best choice.

“The world would be a better place if everyone rode a motorcycle.” – Harlan Flagg

The Vintagent had a chance to chat with Flagg about what inspired the idea for the store, what has evolved in the world of two-wheeled EVs, and what needs to happen next for the burgeoning e-bike industry to maintain, and gather momentum. Flagg’s interest in electric vehicles started years ago when he and his father, both electrical engineers, decided to dig in and experiment.

The Hollywood Electrics racing team for the Pike's Peak Hillclimb. [Hollywood Electrics]
“The simplicity of an electric drivetrain made us curious as to what the challenges were and why more companies weren't trying to build an electric car. After the first-hand experience converting a car to electric, we realized we should have started with something smaller, a more powerful motor and batteries; we should have started with a motorcycle! Around that time, I had heard of a couple of electric motorcycle companies that were announcing products, including Zero. I went to an EV event and saw the early, off-road Zero model and was hooked! I figured I couldn't be the only person that wanted one and knew LA would be the ideal location for an electric motorcycle shop.”

I asked Flagg about those early days, and what has changed.

“10 years ago [an electric vehicle] was a novelty item. The people that were coming in then were early adopters. They were EV enthusiasts who could afford to spend $10,000 on an electric motorcycle, but maybe not $100,000 on TESLA roadster. These days there is more of a traditional motorcycle crowd; people who ride every day, people who are looking for a different kind of transportation to commute to work on.”

With a converted Zero racer at the Pike's Peak Hillclimb. [Hollywood Electrics]
“What is most exciting is people that are interested in getting into motorcycles for the first time. It’s exciting for them. They’ve literally had no interest in riding a gas bike before, but this electric motorcycle, that’s interesting! Then you’ve also got your returning riders. [F]or some reason this new technology has sparked their interest. They didn’t have an interest of getting back into biking until they saw this electric motorcycle and said, ‘Hey, you know, that sounds cool. Maybe I want to do that.’”

What, needs to happen, for even more people to feel comfortable with this new technology?

“I think that we’re at such an early stage for electric vehicles that people are still trying to wrap their heads around it. We’re also, I think (just human nature), a bit inflexible, and set in our ways. We’ve been so accustomed to gas vehicles – it’s part of our routine - that we can’t understand doing it a different way. I ride my [electric] motorcycle every day, it’s so convenient. I don’t have to stop for gas. I don’t have to do routine maintenance, like oil changes. I literally go home, and I plug the bike in, and it’s got a full charge in the morning. Nobody’s got a gas filling station at home. You have to go out of your way to fill up on gas, but it’s an inconvenience that we take for granted.”

The questions of range also seem to be a sticking point for prospective customers, one that fires him up a bit. It seems that gas riders are holding electric bikes to a higher standard.

“Anytime someone tells me, ‘Hey, I’ll buy an electric bike when the range is 500 miles’, I look at them and say, ‘What gas bike are you riding that you have a 500-mile range?’ It’s not that the bike needs more range, it’s about the infrastructure. We need to invest in the infrastructure.”

So, it’s not the bikes, it’s the power infrastructure?

“Gas stations didn’t just pop-up overnight. 100 years ago when people started driving gas vehicles, there was no such thing as a gas station; you had to stop at the hardware store to pick up a gallon or two. Compared to the gas vehicle infrastructure, it is trivial. You know what it takes to set up a gas infrastructure? It’s a logistical nightmare. You need a gas station. Then you need trucks to drive this explosive liquid from one station to the next, after they’ve picked it up from a refinery. Where does the refinery get oil? It’s amazing that it works as well as it does, and it only works as well as it does because it’s had 100 years to mature.”

Redfoo of LMFAO after reflecting on the utility of an ebike after the Malibu fires... [Hollywood Electrics]
“10 years in, it (already only) takes us 20 mins or so to charge up a car [and still] people are already driving their TESLA cars cross country. Some see this as an inconvenience; others see it as an opportunity to get out of their cars and smell the roses.”

What do you say to people who think the shift is taking too long?

“Here we are, barely a decade into this nascent EV industry and there are already manufacturers that are meeting and beating those (high) expectations, like Zero Motorcycles. They’ve got a motorcycle that can do over 200 miles on a charge and is able to exceed 100 mph. 0-60mph in 3 seconds. These are pretty good benchmarks for what you can expect from a useable motorcycle. Just imagine what the next decade will bring!”

Flagg is himself contributing to the research and development of electric motorcycles. Hollywood Electrics tests its high-end aftermarket parts line by modifying race bikes. In fact, one of Flagg’s fondest memories involved the Hollywood Electrics Motorcycle Racing Team at the 2013 Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb.

“We had little experience racing or tuning the bikes at that point and were very ambitious, having brought six bikes with us so that PPIHC would allow us to race in our class. Somehow all six bikes finished the race and all in respectable time, a testament to the quality of the bike and our preparedness as a team. I knew at that point that we needed to continue with this effort and show the world that if these bikes can handle a race as challenging as this, it would be more than sufficient for their commute to work.”

Harlan Flagg inside his WeHo dealership, Hollywood Electrics. [Hollywood Electrics]
All this technology sounds great, but how do they ride?

“Every single time somebody takes one of our electric bikes out for a run, they come back with a huge smile on their faces. Grown men giggle when they ride these bikes. The delivery, the acceleration, it’s like being thrown out of a catapult. It comes on instantly. It’s exciting every time you hit the accelerator; and it’s so smooth. You’re always in the right gear [and] you’re always going to feel all the torque that you want.”

Won’t riders miss the growling of their engines?

“A new client called me after doing his usual canyon run. He thought he heard a funny noise. It was near dusk, and he didn’t want to be stranded in the dark, so he pulled over. When he did, he realized that the sound he was hearing was of the frogs and the crickets – the wildlife you hear when you’re not on a gas bike. It’s like you’ve been deaf your whole motorcycling career.”

"...the sound he was hearing was frogs and crickets."

What first inspired Flagg continues to astound him – the potential of the electric drivetrain to support all the latest and greatest riding technology from traction and stability controls to various rider assists, all advances that make motorcycles more accessible. If electric motorcycles help convert more riders then the world will indeed be a better place and Los Angeles will have Harlan Flagg and his Hollywood Electrics to thank. “I want more people to love motorcycles, so if an electric motorcycle is what got you to throw a leg over a bike, I think that’s awesome.”

 

Sophia Vassiliadis [@she.rides.fast] is a writer based in Toronto, and EV Editor at TheVintagent.com.

The Current News: New Year Edition!

This edition of The Current News is dominated by electric speculation and precedent-setting. From prototypes and concepts, to renderings of the most vaporous kind - even a wee little scooter that may not actually exist - this is a week of elec-trickery. Curtiss Motorcycles brings the improbable to life, BMW, Ural/Zero, and Segway add to EV innovation, and McKinsey Design imagines a flirty little 3-wheeler, built for 2. Add to that the news that Tacita has snuck an electric bike into the Dakar and it could be fair to claim that electric motorcycles are settling nicely to their role as the next future of electric vehicle history.

The NAWA Hybrid Racer Concept Has Range

The NAWA cafe racer concept...vaporware we'd like to see built. [NAWA]
It's coming, and it’s coming FAST, and that’s not just because the latest revolutionary hybrid motorbike concept from NAWA Technologies will be introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas on January 7th of 2020, but also because it will have tremendous power, and even more exciting range. First, the battery can reuse up to 80% of the energy generated from regenerative braking. Secondly, the company’s next-generation Lithium-Ion ultra-capacitors can deliver “ten times more power and five times more energy that existing capacitors.” This highly efficient battery system is also 25 percent lighter and can travel up to 300 (urban) kilometers (186 miles). According to NAWA’s press release, this is the first time that ultra-capacitors have been used for a motorcycle, a system which allows for the incredibly rapid up-take and recovery of energy, and astounding power output. All this speed is captured within a worthy design – a sleek café racer reminiscent of the Lightning LS-218. The panels are made of a smooth, lightweight composite, with painted aluminum and copper on a “stiff but light carbon fibre frame.” The metallic frame complements a surrealistic rear hub-less rim motor that produces baffling speeds. The NAWA Racer moves from 0-100 km/h (0 – 62 mph) in under 3 seconds and can continue past 160 km/h (99 mph). No mention of price, nor of a production schedule for the bike, but the ultracapacitors are poised for mass production in early 2020.

CARO Electric “Car” More Rendering Than Reality

The Caro sits somewhere between a car and a scooter. [Caro]
McKinsey Design is, among its many goals, dedicated to designing products that support sustainability. To that end, they came up with a personal urban transport option that combines creativity with conscientiousness. They write, “The environmentally friendly ‘Caro’ is a three-wheeled electric hybrid concept vehicle that combines the comfort, stability, and storage capacity of a car with the efficiency and sleek profile of a motorbike or scooter.” All of this featured in a futuristic capsule car worthy of the Jetsons.

The pink pod may not be ultra-aerodynamic, but it is quite modular. The seating area allows for simple adjustments which can either accommodate an extra passenger or extra luggage. McKinsey describes this cute car alternative as being built toward the future with extras such as “keyless biometric access that enhances security and a rearview camera for added safety and ease of mobility,” as well as, “a UI [which] incorporates built-in navigation, an electric speedometer, and battery life indicators.” There’s also an optional weather shield that can be called upon to shield riders from more challenging weather elements.

Segway Electric Concept Is Quite Literally The APEX

The Segway concept bike: looking much like the Lightning LS-218, and very much not how we think of Segway currently. [Segway]
Not all motorcycle preview videos are created equal. This one for the Segway APEX, their freshest electric concept, really is hair-raising (see minute 1:06). The newest and most menacing member of the Ninebot team is captured racing around a gritty track, sleek white side-panels gleaming – an enticing contrast between pristine power and well-practiced performance.

Segway’s APEX looks like a super bike, but they are referring to it as a “super scooter.” Not sure why since it is predicted to offer up speeds of 125 mph and reach 0-60 in 2.9 seconds. Perhaps the company best known for their somewhat nerdy “people movers” is having difficulty with their new sexier self-image. Perhaps they’ll be ready by the time the electric speedster makes its appearance in Vegas at this year’s Consumer Electronic Showcase in January.

How About An Electric Ural?

The new electric Ural sidecar outfit. Will the ancient flat-twin original motor be missed? We wonder... [Ural]
There are many advantages to riding electric two-wheelers, including the absence of a roaring, belching combustion engine. This is especially true when your seat is in closer proximity to the action. Perhaps that is why the classic side-car motorcycle manufacturer, Ural Motorcycles, co-conceptualized an electric incarnation of their famous passenger vehicle with veteran EV innovators, Zero Motorcycles. It’s easy to imagine how much more pleasant it would be to ride in this sidecar – free of the sounds and the smells of a combustion carrier, and it looks fantastic as well.

The Ural electric from above: same chassis, different sound. [Ural]
“You’ll feel like you’re in stealth-mode, sneaking up on cars that are idling louder at stoplights,” writes Good Spark Garage, “[a]nd there’s no chugging engine to holler over when talking to your passenger. It’s like a whirring magic-carpet ride compared to the vibrations and tractor-like grunt of Ural’s legendary fuel-burning models.”

Electric Ural Prototype Sidecar Motorcycle from Good Spark Garage on Vimeo.

Zero and Ural seamlessly blended old and new. The Zero S donated its batteries, controller, and motor and Ural its CT model, and signature vintage look. The updated alloy side panels are a modern touch courtesy of high-end vehicle design studio ICG , and the only real indicator – besides the stealthy, smokeless silence. ICG also thought to cleverly conceal the charging port inside the existing gas tank. The range is estimated to be about 100 miles at regular cruising speeds, not at the rumoured 88 mph – the projected top speed. These specs are thanks to a unique double-battery arrangement that placed lighter ZF6.5 battery in the main chassis, and the heavier ZF13.0 battery in the sidecar under the seat, both of which power a Z-Force 75-7 brushless DC motor.

Plug it in and go places. Lots of battery storage space available. [Ural]
Though the team did do extensive field testing before finalizing this model, there are no immediate plans to make this dream into full production reality. Then, when they feel the market is ready, it would still be at least 24 months from final approval to production – so plenty of time to make room in the garage.

The Hades 1, Worthy Of A Super Hero

The Curtiss Motors Hades design has been refined. Can't wait to ride one! [Curtiss]
Curtiss Motorcycles has done it again. The custom design team has recently introduced this space-age sensation, the Hades 1 Pure. Though the name may have been inspired by the motor’s potential to cross you into the underworld, the design does also conjure visions of villainous Gotham. The patent-pending “ultra-lightweight and compact Axial Flux motor solution packaged via ‘Curtiss Centered Power Axis’ design” has the capacity to pump out an astounding 217HP with a pulled back “peak operating output” of 96HP !?! or an even more manageable ‘steady’ stream of 49HP. Same goes for the Torque which has a 272lb-ft capability versus the more moderate “peak” of 147 lb-ft twist of throttle. All of this is powered by 399V modular system design for optimized heat regulation and efficiency.

The chassis spars of the Hades, revealed. Neat stuff from the hand of designer JT Nesbit. [Curtiss]
The look of the Hades 1 reflects this astounding, unapologetic power with a heavy art deco influence. The chassis is raw, machined billet aluminum with titanium hardware, a finish that promises to age with all the character that is also reflected in the details: the ribbed motor casing reminiscent of bullet, the rear swing arms and front suspension resembling surgical blades. The remainder of the details complementary in both style and color. The blacked out front and back fenders disappearing into the tires, just like the illusion of negative space created by the black seat and details on the side panels and steering.

This rideable art-piece in all its splendour will be about 390 lb and may cost around $60,000 USD. Confirmation will come in the spring of 2020 when they begin production. Here’s a video that shows some of their previous projects, and explains why they love to work on EVs.

Millenium (E-Scooter) Mystery

The Millenium e-scooter from Indonesia, perhaps the scooter capital of the world. [Millenium]
Doing research can sometimes lead you a little off track. This week for example, while searching for more information about this sweet little seated Millenium (their spelling) e-scooter my Google keywords turned up a song whose title made an impression, and not just because it’s the correct spelling. No, “F**k The Millennium” is not a song about this lightweight, aluminum-frame, foldable that might reach speeds of 20 km/h (not quite 12.5 mph) with its 36V power plant that comes in a myriad of cute colours.

Can we buy one? Let us know, the Instagram account is pretty cute! [Millenium]
“F**k The Millennium” is an electro/punk anthem by British electro/punk band, Scooter, and it actually exists. Apologies if you were about to order the e-scooter but you may have more luck with the tune. The Vintagent tried to confirm that this Indonesian Instagram account really has scooters to sell, and how much they might be to no avail. Anyone who speaks Malay is welcome to give them a call and let us know, after all, these rideable e-scoots look like fun.

BMW Shifts Its Attention From E-commuter To E-Roadster With E-Power

Clunky styling at the moment, but surely the team at BMW will improve matters before production. [BMW]
As EV’s have transitioned from novelty to necessity, more mainstream motorcycle manufacturers are coming up with concepts, the latest being BMW. For now, the E-Power isn’t much of a looker, but the recently debuted electric motorbike is proving true to its moniker. The battery-heavy experimental design has 13kW of power paired with 147.5ftlb of torque that put the S1000R to the test and won. It’s also about 70 kgs (about 150lbs!) heavier than the Zero SRF, but BMW is confident that it can bring that down significantly. As demonstrated by the proto-bike, BMW also plans to produce a rapid re-charger for the final battery pack, “3.7 miles of charge per minute.”

Finally, the big factory that pioneered electric scooters is making a motorcycle...8 years after our publisher Paul d'Orléans asked BMW's moto-boss, 'where's your electric bike?' [BMW]
Unlike the C-volution, this Roadster is meant to target cross-country riders who want a range of at least 200 – 300 kms (124 – 186 miles), and when the country (ed: all countries?!) have the supporting infrastructure, because, “We do not want to be like Tesla, installing fast-chargers everywhere – these cost around €110,000 (about $122,000USD) each, they made a point of saying, “At BMW we need to earn money, not burn money.” As usual, the independent innovators get farther ahead despite having less established research facilities, less access to expertise and, quite often, much smaller budgets. The big kids wait until there is plenty of precedent, while the bigger mistakes are made, and others have initiated the necessary infrastructure.

DAKAR Dares To Go Electric

Skinny tires, light bike, ready for the sands. Long-distance racing is not the forte of EVs, so we'll see how Dakar goes for the Tacita T Race. [Tacita ]
An electric bike will be competing, for the first time, in the most famous and rigorous overland endurance race in the world. Once known as the Paris Dakar Rally after the origin and destination of the annual challenge, this year the Dakar will make its debut appearance in Saudi Arabia – traversing the desert from Jeddah to Qiddiyah. This is also where the Italian TACITA T-Race Rally 2020 will prove itself alongside all the competitors during the final stage on January 17th, for the “Qiddiyah Grand Prix.”

Where we ridin? As long as you don't piss off the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, riders should be safe in the Saudi Dakar. Otherwise, 'taking your bike apart' may include the rider too! [Dakar]
It isn’t terribly surprising that Dakar Race Director David Castera is welcoming the “Alternative Energies” to compete in the Rally Raid. For years the Dakar Rally has made concerted efforts to minimize its ecological impact on host countries along its route by contributing to local infrastructures, connecting to and promoting local aid organizations, and also by attempting to ‘leave no trace’. Incorporating electric bikes fits nicely with their objectives to lower the carbon footprint of the event. On January 4th, 2020 watch when the “TACITA T-Race Rally 2020 and the TACITA Rally Program for the upcoming 2021, 2022 and 2023 Dakar Editions will be officially presented at the Jeddah Dakar Village on the “New Energy” Podium” then look out for the race day when this electric Ride takes its place on the Rally start line for the very first time.

 

Sophia Vassiliadis [@she.rides.fast] is a writer based in Toronto, and EV Editor at TheVintagent.com.

The Current News: Dec 8, 2019

The theme of this, slightly beefier new round-up? Redefinition – of style, of function, of fun. First, the newest electric SuperSport by Damon Motorcycles gets personal, the Kalashnikov café concept is classy, and Monday makes a moped. Next are a collection of sweet scooters with oodles of custom options: Turkey’s CityCoco and Berlin’s Urban Drive Style. Doinnext BO e-scooters and Nito, on the other hand, are banking on their polished pret-a-porter style to launch them in new markets. Lids off to the latest in quiet, assertive off-road rides: France’s Electric Motion celebrates 10 years and China’s Eunorau dual gets gritty. Then it’s onto larger wheelbases and some welcome charging tech.

Damon Hypersport: “Because no rider, road or situation is ever the same.”

The new Damon Hypersport learns from you as you learn from it. [Damon]
The first thing you'll notice about the Hypersport Pro e-bike are its looks, but – though certainly impressive – its appearance is not what sets this electric bike apart. Damon Motorcycles has imbued this machine with the ability to exchange information with its rider to better improve the riding experience and, just as importantly, increase safety.

“Just as you learn your motorcycle over time,” explains Damon’s site, “your motorcycle now learns from you. And thanks to its built-in cloud connection, it also learns from everyone else.” The more miles, the more information the bike gathers giving it the capability of anticipating and accommodating a variety of safety scenarios that will benefit all road users. This is the connected, communicative transport of the future, and it’s on two wheels!

Neeto, Nitos Launch in LA And You Could Win One

The Nito scooter. [Nito)
At EICMA 2019 Nito showed off its N4 concept “electric urban motard.” On Sunday December 8th in Los Angeles, Nito is celebrating the US launch of its most popular products – the N1e electric scooter and NES motor scooters - with a free fancy cocktail party, opportunities to take test rides and the chance to win a scooter!

The Nito kick-scooter. [Nito]
If you’re in the Los Angeles area – there might still be time to sign up here!

Kalashnikov’s Café Is Electric, Really

From the largest gun producer in the world, Kalashnikov is branching out to electric motorcycles. Their previous efforts have been klunky, but they're re-styling... [Kalashnikov]
It’s an enigmatic combination – a company best known for its assault rifles collaborating with fellow Russians Izhevsk Machine Building Plant (IZH), who have a long history producing motorcycles - in fact the Soviet Union's first motorcycle in the early 1920s. But they did, and the end result is a pretty cool electric café concept. The prototype, revealed at this year’s ProyeKTOriya de Iaroslav in Russia is higher on speed than style, which is okay since that’s really what café racers are all about. With a maximum top speed and matching range of around 100km (about 62 miles) the crowds will have plenty of time to take in the round headlight, retro tubes and red detailing against an entirely blacked-out chassis and battery pack.

Le’go my Yego!!

The Yego scooter has a great color scheme. [Yego]
When you build a great bike, people want them. After the successful launch of their own e-cruiser, Barcelona’s Rayvolt was asked to supply the city’s bikeshare program, YEGO, with 2,000 stand-up scooters and 2,000 e-bikes.

Rayvolt’s energy transfer design gently boosts the riding speed when it senses that the cranks are in motion, giving riders an easy acceleration for longer commutes. The specially designed e-bikes and scooters are exactly the type of diversification that the successful Barcelona-based EV share program needs to adapt to the desires of an expanding user network.

Cute, But Not For Cuddling

The Bo e-scooter in blue. [Bo]
The BO e-scooter by Doinnext draws its unique looks equally from the vintage and the visionary, to great effect which is likely why the little two-wheeler has been doing well in the highly saturated but busy Chinese market. Now, the Shanghai “design, manufacturing, production and sales company” is spreading the good style to Europe.

Possible accessories for your Bo scooter? [Bo]
The Bo’s good looks will need to attract new audiences since the technical specs are not precedent setting. Between the 800 and 1,200 W rear-hub motorized versions there is only a 2-mph speed spread – from 28mph to 30mph respectively. The range is equally unremarkable at 50-75 miles per full charge, at the scenic speed of 20mph. It does, however, hold up as well in areas of construction materials, and features: such as an anti-theft alarm, remote unlocking, GPS and APP connectivity, and perhaps competitive pricing.

Elevate Your E-Scooter

Terribly cute! The new CityCoCo scooter from Turkey. [CityCoCo]
Turkish e-scooters from CityCoco are all about style. From the 250W, 7-speed Grazer, an e-bicycle which comes in 7 chassis colours, to the CityCoco Comfort which can adopt 5 different chassis colors and 22 different fender variations, this electric urbanizer, is all about variety. Although this collection of electric vehicles -the 25kph (15mph) bicycles and 40-45 kph (25-28 mph) aren’t about to set land-speeds records their looks are most surely being noticed on the streets of Istanbul. No indication that the sassy scoots will be available to purchase outside their home country but dreaming is permissible. Pop onto the site to see what you can do!

Monday Motors Make A Moped

The new Monday Gateway moped, the gateway drug to two wheel fun. [Monday]
It’s an e-bike! No, it’s a moped! Actually, it’s the newest member of the Monday Motors fleet, the Gateway. This may be a reference to its role in your motorcycle life, or just a clever way into the brand, but either way, this mini machine will certainly move you. Not too quickly, mind you. The Gateway’s 500W rear hub motor achieves top speeds of 28 mph, while the slightly more powerful Gateway Booster takes on a 1,200 W rear hub motor that tops out at 35 mph. The design is not as unique as other Monday models but the extra foot pegs and longer bench seat make it more attractive to passengers and the fatter tires add to the versatility and comfort.

Celebrating Ten Years Of Silence

The Electric Motion in use: silent and effective. [Electric Motion]
There is much that can be (and has been) said about the growl of a trials bike, or their motocross compatriots as they roar through the air. Now imagine the same scene with only the whisper of tires on sand, stone or stump. 1,500 models later, Electric Motion of France is celebrating their 10th year of building off-road electric trials bikes with a fresh new factory, updated logo and a strong team comprised of experienced, dynamic and young. Initially built as race bikes, the frames of the Electric Motion trial series are ultra-light and the compact battery pack boasts more longevity than the riders. Add to that the incredible torque and responsiveness of an electric power train. Join them at the Epure Race Series to experience the electric thrill of silent trials competition.

Badass Berliner E-Bikes

Loving the BMW style of Berlin's new Urban Drivestyle ebike. [UD]
Since 2016 Berlin’s Urban Drive Style has been making “100% life-proof & cool urban electric bikes & scooters.” The light-weight city cycles are not only available in a variety of models, but in keeping with the current consumer preference – each model is customizable both in areas of functionality and flair. Unique colours combinations of the frame, seat covers, grips or pedals, and alternate hardware options can add a personal touch. On the more practical side, the bikes can easily adapt to carry more cargo and/or passengers with additional luggage or seating, weight limits permitting. All four versions of the bikes available in the US are constructed around a “handmade ChroMo steel frame, with 750 W of legal power and one of most powerful batteries in the market.”

Why Walk Through Winter When You Could Eunorau?

Hangzhou, China is a city of 15Million, and best known as a honeymoon destination for its beautiful hills and 7 World Heritage sites. And now for an electric bike! [Eunorau]
Hangzhou’s Eunorau (EUrope+NORrth America+AUstralia) Electric Bike is busy. They produce an Electric Mountain Bike, Fat Bike, Beach Cruiser, Folding Bike, Cargo Bike, Pedicab, Scooter, Tricycle, and a huge selection of parts and accessories sold separately or as conversion kits.  Perhaps it’s this plethora of available products that inspired them to create the “EUNORAU 48V, 250W+350W FAT All Wheel Drive (AWD) Electric Fat tire Bike Bicycle for beach and hunting.” The all-road dual sport creation has not one, but two motors which makes it fun, fast and flexible on any terrain, including ice and snow. Where slippery or stressful conditions of any kind (gravel, rocks, sand, steep inclines) can put a greater strain on one motor, commonly causing spin outs and over-heating, two motors share the load making it easier to manoeuvre up, over and through almost any obstacle. With a maximum speed of 20mph, this isn’t the horse that’s going to throw you off, but at $1,699 it is an affordable, enjoyable option to trudging through cold, wet northern winters or taking the pressure off when the going gets rough.

The Future of Food Karts

So cool! The Terrabit E-Kart may revolutionize urban street food access. [Terrabit]
Street food is fun. Trying to enjoy a delicious meal next to a truck that is belching exhaust, not so much. That's part of the reason why Terabite E-karts have come up with a sustainable solution – an electric option for on-the-go gourmet dining using renewable energy. Aeronautical Engineer and “Passionate Entrepreneur” Thamim Ansari, together with Marutee Engineering Services and Savy Electric Vehicles designed the cart to “revolutionize street food commerce for the global street food market.” The electric carts would cost less to run and reduce air pollution. Anyone interested in helping Ansari and his partners reach their goal of distributing 10,000 e-karts world-wide by 2030 at a projected revenue of 1 Million USD/day can offer their support through info@terabiteekarts.in

Four Wheels Fast

Not your mom's tandem: the Bio-Hybrid is fast and fun. [BH]
Since October of this year, 4-wheeled Electric Pedelecs (like electrically assisted paddle boats on wheels) from Schaeffler Bio Hybrid GmbH have been released all around the city streets, bike paths and the campus of Nuremberg, Germany. Feedback from the users of the personal and cargo movers has been extremely positive. There is no licence required and the silent cycle solutions have just enough power and range to effectively move through the city streets, not too much size or strength to be a nuisance on bike paths.


The prototype, which has been in development since 2016 will now continue field tests in Munich and Frankfurt Am Main before entering the final stages of production. Watch the “We Move” Bio-Hybrid Stories to see what they can do from behind the controls.

TESLA CyberTruck Tacky Or Terrific?

The Tesla Cyber-Truck: the company's design team paid a visit to the Disruptors exhibit at the Petersen Museum last year, where Rem Koolhaas' geometric car is on display, as is Joey Ruiter's amazing work. Coincidence? We think not. But, they're building this thing! [Tesla]
We would be remiss not to recognize the recently-revealed Blade Runner-worthy Tesla Truck with its accompanying ATV. Accused by many as appearing impractical, we think this futuristic four-wheeler is a worthy inheritor of a seemingly lost tradition: bold prototypes that actually get built, imbued with optimism for the future. Political trickery with mandated fleet fuel mileage averages have basically exempted gargantuan toy-haulers and utility vehicles from getting decent gas mileage, and kept the prices low, which has made them especially popular in the USA. The Tesla is an attempt to address America's need for Bigger, with an ecologically lighter alternative.

One for the kids: the LEGO version of the Tesla Cyber-Truck. [LEGO]
For those for whom the price may be prohibitive, watch for the LEGO model designed by BrickinNick, which at 14" L x 6" W x 5" H, will also be much easier to fit inside the garage.

London’s Bike Shed Officially Plugs In

The Bike Shed is a Zero. Or at least, a place you can park your Zero, and get it charged up. Kudos for surfing the future! [Bike Shed]
The UK’s wildly successful alternative custom bike show has made itself electric-friendly. Installing the first ever dedicated electric charging station for e-motorcycles visiting the Shed. This is in line with the show’s electric-only showroom at the 2019 edition of the event. “We believe that for electric motorcycles to succeed, it’s important that chargers are not only installed in key urban areas but also on the UK’s best riding roads,” said Miles Freeman, Head of Marketing at EO Charging, “Electric adventures will soon be best served on two wheels!” Congratulations Bike Shed.

 

Sophia Vassiliadis [@she.rides.fast] is a writer based in Toronto, and EV Editor at TheVintagent.com.

The Current News: Nov. 26 2019

The Current News this week is about the improbable. In the area of aesthetics, E-Racer Motorcycles dares to dress-up two new Zero Motorcycle models, and Docyke creates electric karts that kids can design and drive. For flexibility of use, DryCycle comes up with a covered quadricycle, Delfast dreams up a better bike for cops and cross-terrain cruisers, and a Russian ride by Milandr takes on paths and ponds with the same confidence. Cooler King creates a limited edition Cub and Segway and Sur Ron come clean about their relationship.

From Zero To E-Racer

The E-Racer upgrades to the Zero FX/S [E-Racer]
It’s almost 2020 and that’s great for two reasons: 1) it’ll be kinda fun to say the year, and 2) in the spring, E-Racer Motorcycles is going to release two special edition custom collaborations based on two different Zero Motorcycles. To cruise in cafe racer style, they've transformed a  Zero Sr/F into the EDGE, designed with an 'essentialist' aesthetic for a sleeker beauty and less bulk. Details such as the minimalist LED headlight, interchangeable body work and hand-stitched seat make for a classic/modern cafe racer feel, lean and mean.

The streetfighter styled EDGE makes the Zero a hero.[E-Racer]
E-Racer's off-road Zero FXS also received an attitude adjustment to create the dramatically styled RUGGED Mark2. The battery charger is smartly tucked under the streamlined and hand-stitched saddle, nestled in the exposed laser-cut aluminum frame. Modifications were also made to the lighting systems, and exterior coating to improve safety and visibility.

The RUGGED Mk2 looks exactly as stated. [E-Racer]
Both bikes are equipped with Audio-Forceback (E-RAF), an “integrated hardware controlled by a BT App to produce high and low frequency sound waves.” This system improves safety in two ways: 1) sound waves act as early-warning signals to all other road users by indicating proximity and direction of the incoming vehicles. The waves also provide subsonic information that mimic the feel speed and performance.  Lack of sound is a huge barrier to ebikes for many motorcyclists: will "sound waves save lives"?

This Kart’s (Mostly) For Kids

The new modular Docyke is a platform to create multiple styles of trike or quad from high-quality additive components. [Docyke]
Not sure who first invented the first fully constructible bike kit for kids, but either way the concept is crazy cool. The DOCYKE modular mini-bike meant for younger audiences are manual but in the upper reaches of the tech-toy’s range is this 10-in-1 Racing Kit Electric Go Kart Trike. This scoot has “400W Brushless Motor and 21V 6Ah Lithium-ion Battery” mounted on an aluminum frame (that can take on a variety of permutations), with disc brakes. Surprisingly, it also has a 330lb load capacity – not clear whether that includes the battery or is part premonition, because this life-size Lego is quite likely to attract the larger kids among us.

How you want to play? Like a Meccano kit, make your own, then make it yours. Looks like good clean fun. [Docyke]
There is a very similar product called Infento. Same concept, slightly different execution.

DryCycle’s Odd Electric Commuter Is Clever, But..

The DryCycle is classified as a four-wheeled bicycle due to its scale and low power output. With its steel tube frame, it does provide more protection from traffic...but might need it? [DryCycle]
Part pedal-power, part battery charged, the four-wheeled sit-down electric vehicle by DryCycle might have a hard time making friends. The bright yellow machine, which is 1570mm (5’2”) high and 920 mm (3 feet) wide will take up more than the usual share of bike lane space.  With seemingly limited visibility and a maximum speed of 25km/h (15.5 mph) cars will likely consider it a nuisance on the roadway. Plus it’s not the least expensive EV. These wee waterproof wheels are a pretty pricey at almost $20,000 USD.

The bones beneath the skin, a complex tube frame that might provide an ideal structure for small tourist vehicles or commuters. [DryCycle]
Pros? It does get up to 48km (30 miles) of range on its combined 1kWh- strong battery, and you always have the pedals to get you the rest of the way to your destination. It’s also really cute, highly visible with “20 lights, and reflectors on the front, rear, sides, wheels and pedals to ensure that you stay noticed in the dark, and stand out” (wherever it is that you choose to drive), and it has proven, in a 15.5 mph crash-test, that it provides more protection than fully exposed e-bikes of all kinds. So if staying safe, dry, close to the ground and intact is important to you, and you’ve got the disposable income, this could be your ultimate commuter. It certainly looks to be a lot of fun in this video:

You can watch a more comprehensive review of the DryCycle here.  Is this the new Sinclair C5, built for a world without SUVs?  Or will it catch on in areas where cars are now banned?

50 Miles-Per-Hour And Counting

The Delfast electric bicycle with the hefty battery that makes long-distance riding possible. [Delfast]
Delfast currently holds the record for the greatest distance traveled by electric bicycle on a single charge: 367.037 km (228.066 miles), ridden by Vitalii Arhipkin at Kiev Velodrome, Ukraine, on 12 October 2017, riding a Delfast Prime.  With industry-leading performance, Delfast could probably just sit back and enjoy the fruits of their innovations. Instead, they recently released upgraded models, one meant for Police fleets and another destined for dirt.

The TopCop, for police patrol work, an increasingly common sight in urban parks. [Delfast]
For urban officers, the Top Cop, a modified-for-purpose Top2.0, seems perfect: it’s less expensive to purchase and maintain than the existing electric motorcycles, has a respectable acceleration, above-average battery range and all the standard police accoutrements like “siren, police lights, cargo boxes, GPS tracking, motor locking and ‘remote launch,’” which could be hilariously startling to prospective burglars or a great addition to the newest genre of police-pedal-pursuits. These Enduros also weave easily through urban traffic and have the option of tearing through any type of terrain. Off road, and off duty, the new Delfast Offroad is much the same as the Top2.0 but with 15lbs less bulk and is outfitted with “ fat, low-pressure tires, a hydraulic seat and a powerful engine.”  It's recommended by Delfast as “an excellent choice for fishermen, hunters, extreme photographers, wilderness enthusiasts, and simply uncompromising offroad lovers.” And, although the black version is mighty fierce, this beast is available in white and red as well.  Simply put: 228 miles in a long way into the woods, and with a portable solar charger, who knows were you could go?

This Bike Can Swim, Sort Of

The Milandr CM-250, capable of being ridden underwater! [Milandr]
With a 42 kW, 150 Nm mid-drive motor creating 56 horse-power, the Moscow-based Milandr CM-250 is an electric motocross bike that has about the same peak power as a 450cc KTM, and at 128kg (282 lbs) isn’t far off from a comparable-level internal-comubustion bike measured 'wet'. While the Milandr seems fully capable of pulling off the same tricks, flips and slides over the all terrain, it can also handle riding fully immersed in water.

Since electric powertrains don’t require an air intake to run (though maybe to keep cool), and are completely sealed against the elements (electricity and water don’t get along too well), it’s likely that many e-bikes could take on this challenge, but Milandr has it on video – even when things don’t go quite as planned.

Efesto's 300hp Electric Panigale Hybrid Conversion Kit!

Follow small arrows to ridiculous power, Efesto's hybrid conversion brings 300hp to Ducati's Panigale. [Efesto]
While hybrid cars tend to be, well, smart but uninspiring, the possibilities for a hybrid motorcycle are far more intriguing. France’s Efesto proves the point with an electric conversion kit worthy of a Ducati Panigale 1299: the 200Novantanove Hybrid Kit released at EICMA this year is a 2nd generation prototype that combines the existing power of a Panigale 1299 with about 80kW (108hp) of electro-juice, adding 150Nm (11 lbs-ft) of torque to arrive at a hair-raising total of 300hp with 218 lbs-ft of torque.  This is not the smug neighbor's Prius you love to hate, this is pure, unbridled insanity.  But green.

The Efesto Electric hybrid kit has four power modes, each of which draws interchangeably from either the combustion or electric engines, or both. The fourth “boost” mode will press the throttles full forward, launching you into hyperspace. Like all other hybrids, the battery can be charged by either regenerative braking or by regeneration from the electric motor, meaning you don't have to plug the beast into a wall.  And yes, it's green: Efesto's system extends the life cycle of both energy sources, and thereby burns less fuel, except in insanity mode. All that technology adds only 57lbs to the total weight of the Panigale...and perhaps to any other bike, though that remains to be seen. For now, it’s still in the testing phase, but if all goes according to plan they’ll be offering the kits on the Panigale 959 and 1099 models, and we can't wait to see the videos.  Will the world's fastest street bike soon be a hybrid?

Get ‘Em While They’re Hot, Before They’re Not

The Cooler King, one of the Cooler Cub ebikes. [Cooler Cub]
Cooler Cub's website doesn’t mess around: their bikes are “Cool AF”, and this latest limited run of only FIVE 250w Cooler Cub RED EDITION street legal (in the UK, at least) electric bikes are no exception. The already-awesome design of the Cooler Cub is further foxed-up with the addition of “red rims and Vee Speedster whitewall tyres,” which gives the baby badass “all the attitude of the Cooler King, but in a miniature cop-friendly package!”- a reference to their more aggressive 500 and 750W classic cruisers.

The Cooler Cub mini, part of a great wave of minibikes hitting the market. [Cooler Cub]
The Cooler Cub gets about 30 miles per charge, with a rear drive, brushless, DC motor powered by a 36V 10.4Ah removable lithium battery. The 30-mile electrically-powered range can be stretched by 10 kms with some pedal action (or indefinitely) before it can be re-charged within 3.5 hours, and at a max speed of 20-25 mph, people will have the chance to see how absolutey fabulous you look on this convenient little commuter. If you order it now (for about $5,500 USD) you’ll get it by December 20th….as long as you’re in the UK.

Sur Ron and Segway Make More Magic

Not your grandpa's Segway: the gyro-scooter company goes off-road by investing in Sur Ron.[Segway]
If you think Segway's latest addition to the global electric bike scene looks familiar then you are absolutely observant. Their electric dirt bike, set to launch on November 25th 2019 by the maker of the popular public people-movers is indeed almost identical to Sur Ron’s own Storm Bee, and that's for a really good reason: they’re now one and the same. Earlier in 2019, Segway became the largest stakeholder in Sur Ron, and in exchange for the bump in capital investment Sur Run helped Segway develop their own products.

In a statement released by Sur Ron, they clarified: “In order to conform to Segway’s brand image and product tonality of ‘science and technology/sports/leading/innovation/nature, Segway’s version of Light Bee has made a customization of the whole vehicle coating, and with Segway’s own APP interconnection, and has advanced into the North America and China market with the new model number under the ‘Segway’ brand.” So, the bikes look slightly different, and they’re part of an interconnected fleet.

 

Sophia Vassiliadis [@she.rides.fast] is a writer based in Toronto, and EV Editor at TheVintagent.com.

Current News: Nov. 19, 2019

Well now, this was a surprise: instead of scarcity, this week following EICMA 2019 has presented an embarrassment of parameter-pushing electric motorcycles, scooters and elec-tech to choose from. The Stingray is stellar in steel while the creators of the Carbogatto and BST have molded carbon into radical new shapes. India’s Ultraviolette speeds toward the future, and an e-scooter by Xiaomi continues to redefine portability. Tesla, MotoSola and the city of Los Angeles boost electric accessibility, and nods to the classy past are represented by Savic, Carota and Tremel.

Jay Donovan’s Baresteel Designs Is A Masterpiece In Metal

Jay Donovan's 'Stingray' is an extraordinary design study in the visual liquidity of metal. What's underneath? An electric heart. [Haas Moto Museum / BikeExif]
A few years ago it was a Yamaha XS650 that alerted custom co-conspirators to take note. Among them was founder of the Haas Moto Museum in Texas, Bobby Haas, who commissioned the young British Columbian to build an electric motorcycle. The result seems a perfect embodiment of the museum’s guiding principle, as expressed by Mr. Hass: “Motorcycling is not simply a means of transportation, a way to ride along the street or the highway…it is a cultural phenomenon.”

There's a hint of the Moto Major in the cephalopodic fluidity of the Stingray's bodywork. See what we mean here: amirite? [Haas Moto Museum]
The Stingray is a liquid metal motorcycle built around a compact 44lb permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) from Wisconsin-based Motenergy. Each perfect part was molded to great effect, almost perfectly concealing the carefully dispersed battery packs. The black and silver design appears to flow from one to the other, as perfectly balanced as the form and function of this creation.

The Carbogatto H7 Is Carbon Molded Magic

The plywood buck used to explore the Carbogatto's lines...and yes, we're happy they made it in another material. [Carbogatto]
The L1e classified Carbogatto H7 carved carbon frame is lithe and light but not as quick as its feline inspiration. 86 pounds with battery, this carbon kitty accelerates from zero to 28 in 6.2 seconds and has an anticipated range of between 44 and 62.5 miles-per-charge, depending on the bike’s configuration and other factors such as speed, weather conditions and rider ability. Top speeds aren’t yet posted. However, like its namesake, it needs to rest – 5 hours to fully recharge.

Enjoy this amazing conceptual construction video!

The “Carbon Cat” was originally the idea of Russian transportation visionary, Igor Stepanov, who felt there was definitely a place for more unique designs within the electric transportation sphere. Stepanov’s sketch transitioned from a plywood prototype to a carbon copy that is now ready to ride. Watch robots assemble the bike.

BST Busts Boundaries With Its Naked Carbon Design

With peerless design DNA, how could the BST be anything but extraordinary? Another milestone for Pierre Terblanche. [BST]
This HyperTEK electric motorcycle is wheely nice, and I mean that. First of all, Blackstone Tek are well-known carbon wheel specialists and secondly, what they built, well, it wheelies, which is unusual for an electric bike. On the inside was BST founder and successful SuperMoto racer Gary Turner who called on design expert and fellow South African Pierre Terblanche to bring this project to life. Terblanche, best known for his work with Ducati on the Supermono, the 749 and 999, the SportClassic, and the Hypermotard, emphatically claimed that the HyperTEK is the best work he has ever done.

At last, electric motorcycles are starting to find a unique aesthetic, or many unique aesthetics, that would be impossible for internal-combustion motorcycles. Bravo! [BST]
That BST kept a clutch is remarkable, but much of what makes the HyperTEK unique is what’s missing. For example, instead of a dash, the rider/racer of this machine needs to wear a head-up display X1 helmet made by Crosshelmet. Thanks to all the carbon, it’s also lighter than most, 450 pounds all in. There’s also less time to be wasted getting it ready for a ride thanks to a 30-minute quick charge facility for a possible range of around 300 kilometers (187.5 miles)! However, anyone who wants one of these when they hit production in mid 2021, will need some hefty coin – around $80,000 USD, to be specific. By then there is likely to be more competition for your cash. (photo of F77)

Introducing the Ultraviolette F77

On the other hand, a badass universal motorcycle design also has merit. We love the incarnadine paint scheme of the Ultraviolette. [Ultraviolette]
Another outstanding example of performance-level electric vehicle on two is this performance machine out of Bangalore, India. Though their release video evokes aeronautic abilities, the F77 is not (yet?) the fastest of its segment, topping out at 147 km (92 miles) per hour with a 33.5hp motor that shifts from a standstill to 60 kph (37.5mph) in 2.9 seconds. What sets it apart is the modular battery technology and charging setup. There are three, 8.5 kg (18.5 pound), 4.2kWh lithium-ion battery packs that are rechargeable from either of the two charging ports: in-built standard and fast charging - up to100 percent in under 90 minutes! In colours such as “Lightning, Shadow and Laser,” and with a comprehensive list of smart features and “intelligent interfacing” this bike looks the part while definitely representing the future of EV power management, interactivity and thrill. Their dynamic front page is worth a watch. https://www.ultraviolette.com/f77.html Savic Creates Your Alpha and Your Omega – And A Delta Too Maybe a bit campy, but definitely clever, Savic three different bikes that look as one. Priced at $12,990, $16,990 and $23,990 respectively, the Omega, Delta and Alpha versions of the C-series style offer very different power, torque, battery pack and charging capabilities on the exact same frame. It’s a bold move for the Aussie manufacturer considering how much most riders count on visual cues to communicate information about the beast they are taming, Or perhaps matching a chassis with vastly different power plants is an excellent step toward changing the electric motorcycle conversation. Any thoughts out there?

Carota Classic Cruiser Concept Is Electric, Pun Intended

The Carota nods to motorcycle heritage with cheeky shapes. [Carota]
This creative team from Vietnam seems to know no bounds, and this latest prototype follows the trend. The electric V-twin drivetrain is artfully perched below the seat, adding potential but not pounds to the minimalist frame, and the rechargeable battery pack is concealed up front where an antique board-tracker would stash its fuel. Some have compared it to a Harley-Davidson in shape and color scheme, which is fair, but it also evokes Californian beach bikes.

This eBike’s Alright

The Tremel Zimmner electric moped, with proportions evoking lightweight vintage motorcycles. [Tremel]
Technically, a moped, the Tremel Zimmner looks back at vintage bicycles for aesthetic inspiration. Easily mistaken for a traditional bicycle, but with pegs in place of the pedals Tremel has chosen to keep things simple – which is understandable for a new player with such a fresh face. 23-year-old Leon Tremel has spent 1.5 years designing this stainless steel, light-for-a-moped (?)105- pound two-wheeler, and in early 2020 will start a crowdfunding campaign.

A big LED headlamp says 'motorcycle', as does the high-mounted battery pack in place of a fuel tank. [Tremel]
No indication of what it might cost in the end, but we’ll keep an eye on its progress. For now, what stands out is the advances in battery technology. The single battery pack could reach 75 km but there would be the possibility of installing 3 extra packs to extend the range. Fast charging would be 1 hour, full in the 3-4 range.

The Xiaomi HIMO H1 Transformer – Pick Your Spirit Warrior

The Himo H1, newest in a series of customizable EVs taking advantage of high-tech and low production possibilities. [Himo]
Who will you be when you do battle with urban, office or airport traffic on this newest version of the mini-wheel e-scooter? Optimus Prime, Megatron or Bumblebee? Transformer twin aside, these mine-scooters are hardly intimidating. In fact, what’s great about them is how cute they are. Not even 30 lbs, they fold up into a 13 x 18 x 9-inch cube with a maximum load of 199 lbs, which makes them better suited for the more petite people of the planet.

Much like the manual Razr scooter, the HIMO H1 seems like the perfect upgrade from walking. The 180w HIMO H1 won’t ever push past 12mp, travels between 11 – 12.5 miles on a single battery charge, and recharges to full in three to four hours on a regular outlet-just enough time to get some work done or find your fabulous outfit for your next fashionable encounter.

“Zapp's A Great Scooter!”

The new Zapp i300 eco-scooter. [Zapp]
It’s electric, it’s a scooter and it’s for the city. The ecologically-minded Zapp i300 also delivers, as you may have guessed, the equivalent to 300cc’s of power, and apparently has the “best acceleration, handling and stopping power,” according to their website. It’s also cute, quick and light on its wheels. The i300 has an exoskeleton made from aerospace-grade aluminum, with an interior permanent magnet motor that efficiently produces ultra-high power with the help of two super-slim, 11-pound portable battery packs with a combined distance of 37.5 – 56 miles.

A zippy design in aluminum, the Zapp i300 is stylishly fast, and ready for the streets of your city [Zapp]
Britain’s Zapp i300 looks like fun, the simple, user-friendly kind of fun designed with a whole range of riders and their many needs, top of mind. The bikes are available directly from the manufacturer’s website for €6,300 (US $6,940), where they can be personalized to fit all types of preferences. Of the five colours, Piano Black, Battleship Grey, and Powder Blue are available for a small (approx.. $300USD) premium. There’s also a Union Jack pattern for around $700. No word on tariffs or delivery but anyone who becomes an owner qualifies to have it serviced by a member of the mobile Zapper squad. Who could ask for anything more?

Gita (Jee-ta) Gets A Good Cause

The Piaggio Gita RED, supporting AIDS research via sales of this personal robot. [Piaggio]
You already know this fully rechargeable electric robot sherpa from 2017, but as of November 18th, 2019, for only a limited time, $50 from each specifically branded Piaggio (gita)RED sold will be donated to RED – a charity that supports AIDS research and treatment. This coproduction between the lightweight mobility tech company Piaggio Fast Forward and the Global non-profit organization, RED is in honour of the 5th annual (RED) Shopathon to raise funds that support a diverse range of life-saving HIV/AIDS programs. More information is available here.

Let The Motosola Move You

The scooter with a sun canopy, updated. The MotoSola catches sun power as it goes, and keeps the rider in the shade, a double bonus. [MotoSola]
It’s so obvious it almost hurts: Motosola has re-purposed the very functional rain and sun canopy that is already on so many electric vehicles into a portable power source. Right there on top of the already-existent cover, Motosola has applied a thin coat of high-efficiency solar cells that convert the sun into either 100 W or 150 W of power, depending on the model. This amount of energy can either power a dead battery or fully charged within hours of being parked in the sun. On top of it all, the awnings cost less than a replacement lithium battery and can be integrated into a manufacturers design.

The MotoSola concept in a nutshell: turn your awning into a light catching solar cell. [MotoSola]
“We want to provide an exciting inventive low-cost and friendly solution to promote the EV industry and fight global warming in the places that need it most,’ says MotoSola. “In terms of carbon emissions commuting with Motosola is equivalent to sailing and produces less CO2 than jogging!”

Larger And In Charger

Harlan Flagg (2nd from left) was part of the opening reception discussion at the Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum this year. The panel, L-R: LA Times journalist Charles Fleming, Harlan Flagg of Hollywood Electrics, the world's oldest ebike dealer, exhibit curator Paul d'Orleans, Dan Green Rep of CAKE, and Ben McGinly of the Harley-Davidson Livewire team. [Abhi Eswarappa]
Coming soon to The Vintagent is an interview with Harlan Flagg celebrating the 10th year anniversary of Hollywood Electrics, the first dedicated electric motorcycle retailer in the world. Ahead of that reveal is a sneak peak into what was discussed, namely the greatest barrier to the large-scale uptake of EVs – namely the shortage of electric charging infrastructure. Enter Tesla and the city of Los Angeles.

LA x EV: now power poles can charge your EV in Los Angeles. [Hollywood Electrics]
Los Angeles has converted some of its streetlights into energy-efficient LEDs made an EV solution possible. In addition to lighting the land, these light posts have also become EV charging stations run by familiar companies such as ChargePoint, EVGo, Flo, and GreenLots. For only about $1 to $2 per hour EV’s can park for free while they recharge. So far there are 130 light standards that outfitted with stations but with a goal to have 100,000 new EVs on Los Angeles roads by 2025, that number is sure to go up. Meanwhile, the Kettleman City Tesla Supercharger station between Los Angeles and San Francisco is getting a mega upgrade. The V3 will be replacing the V2 rechargers, adding twice as much power output which will speed things up.

 

Sophia Vassiliadis [@she.rides.fast] is a writer based in Toronto, and EV Editor at TheVintagent.com.

The Current News: Nov. 13, 2019

The EICMA Edition

It’s been a busy, EICMA week of wild and wonderful e-revelations, from the eagerly anticipated Kymco RevoNEX, to the unexpected electric innovations of CAKE, UBCO and NIU. Added to that are newcomers to electric avenue, SEAT and Kawasaki. Last but definitely not least is a lovely and lithe vintage-inspired Indie Gogo project, The Capri.

CAKE Is The Cherry Topping Functional EV Designs 

The do-everything electric ute, CAKE's ÖSE can be converted to multiple applications. [CAKE]

“And the winner is….” Swedish motor-vehicle innovator, CAKE, dedicated to exploring all the possibilities of what a two-wheeled EVs can be. The ÖSE light and ÖSE+ are the latest members of CAKE's fleet of “light electric motorbikes”, and are conceived as more than just a way to get to where you’re going, they’re also light-duty haulers and portable workstations.

TheÖSE+ is rated as a 125cc motorcycle, and requires a license and helmet to ride, but has a 60mph top speed. [CAKE]
The ÖSE is named after CAKE's chief craftsman, who has contributed to their efforts by being useful in a thousand ways, from building jump ramps to general fabrication handywork. The ÖSE honors labor in name and construction, being a true 'ute' motorcycle, whose frame is a essentially a workbench, to which anything can be clamped, and supports added for a stable surface. It's also a power station, as the battery can be used to power anything electric, even in areas with no electricity.

 

Designed with almost any profession in mind, the ÖSE's simple, functional frame is a platform that can be configured for a variety of needs, without compromising the design. Both models have the same carrying capacity, modular options and battery strength selection. The difference between these cheeky little utes? The Ösa Lite is legally considered a moped, and the Ösa+ is considered the equivalent of a 125cc motorcycle. Check out what they can do in their promo video:

https://vimeo.com/370838608

The ÖSE light with its moped rating will retail for $6500, while the ÖSE+ with its motorcycle functionality will sell for $8500.  In keeping with CAKE's reputation for clean design, the ÖSE is extremely simple and functional, but charming, and we find the motorcycle-as-utility platform is an attractive concept.

UBCO Gets Dirty and Dandy

The UBCO X 3 Wise Men collab, a bespoke upgrade of this New Zealand ute. [UBCO]
First up is the super-slick Kiwi collaboration between UBCO and menswear purveyors, 3 Wise Men. This edition can be dressed for ultimate success by customizing bike parts to match your riding gear.

https://vimeo.com/369690485

Not content to simply be stylish, this classy chassis is headed in two very different directions - off road and on parade. The fifth-generation UBCO 2x2ADV is an all-wheel drive adventure moped that is street legal in the US, Europe, Australia and its country of birth: New Zealand. The 2.4kWh battery generates 31 mph, with a potential range of 75 miles per charge.

The 2x2 ute ATV in its native New Zealand landscape. [UBCO]
Next is the worker: the 2x2WK-equipped for battle against the elements with less delicate components, all-terrain tires and bark busters.

The FRX1 off-road bicycle, a collaboration with Lithuanian brand Neematic. [UBCO]
On the lighter side of riding, UBCO introduced a different kind of co-pro - an all-terrain electric bicycle developed with Lithuanian-based Neematic called the FRX1. Part pedal, part power, this super-speed machine should probably stay on the hills and mountains, since it’s capable of reaching 50 mph. Meant to draw in the reluctant motocross convert, this e-machine is sure to surprise a manual operator.

NIU Continues To Add Value

The NIU escooter, the NQiGT Pro. [NIU]
 The popular and successful smart e-scooter manufacturer continues to release new and improved versions of its industry-leading lighter, long-lasting lithium-ion battery-powered urban movers. “By the end of the second quarter on June 30th 2019, NIU has sold more than 810,000 scooters worldwide and accumulated 3 billion kilometers rider mileage across 34 countries since its launch in 2014.” The MQiGT, NQiGT Pro, and UQiGT Pro are radical evolutions of the existing award-winning smart scooters that have improved ranges and higher top-speeds, like the NQiGT which has a Bosch 3000W rear hub motor that can reach 44mph for 44 miles.

Cute and sporty, NIU claims to have sold over 800,000 escooters. [NIU]
The other modes, and other bikes offer lower speeds, but with longer ranges, all perfectly suited to the urban traveler, and all still smart-phone enabled to provide navigation, ride assists and data feedback used by NIU to continually improve on their designs. (picture of NIU bicycle) There’s also a bicycle: the Aero EB-01, which is described as featuring “removable 48V21Ah lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged in an estimated 4-5 hours.”

Kymco RevoNEX Surprises

Korean brand Kymco at EICMA with their RevoNEX sportsbike. [Kymco]
This is what people wanted, according to Kymco: a 6-speed manual gearbox with lots of power -from 50 mph in first up to 120 mph in 6th. Also featured are launch control – which is likely a requirement for a bike that can get from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Still to come is information about the motor that inhabits this more-like-a-motorcycle “maxi scooter” and the final price.

https://youtu.be/BFCs4NlVggI

The choice of a gearbox connected to an ebike is a rare one, as electric motors have sufficient torque at all revs to make a gearbox irrelevant, but also makes the maximum speed of the motorcycle dependent on the rev limit of the electric motor, combined with the 'gear ratio' between a mid-mount engine and the rear wheel...unless the bike has hub motors, in which case wheel diameter is the only way to adjust maximum speed.  But a 6-speed gearbox on an ebike?  Very rare.

The Electric SEAT 

The seat of the SEAT. [SEAT]
What happens when you pair an automaker with an e-bike maker? In the case of the partnership between fellow Spaniards, automaker SEAT and ebike maker Silence, the result is a brand new 125cc-class escooter. Confused? They aren’t. SEAT is a member of the Volkswagen Group, and the development of this electric motorcycle is part of their overall dedication to 'democratizing urban mobility.' Their electrification strategy includes the SEAT Minimó concept car, as well as the eXS Kickscooter, a collaboration with Segway that was presented at the 2018 Smart City Expo. They’ve set the SEAT e-scooter to launch at the this year's Smart City Expo World Congress, to be held on November 19th, 2019 in Barcelona – the European city that boasts the highest number of motorcycles per capita. Which is where Silence resides. The SEAT e-scooter will be available to private customers, as well as for app-based ride-sharing services.

Kawasaki Takes a Crack

The naked truth: Kawasaki is developing an electric motorcycle. [Kawasaki]
 It won’t be available until 2021, at the earliest, but the Kawasaki is finally throwing its hat into the electric bike ring. The Japanese manufacturer previewed a design at EICMA, and featured interviews with the CEO and several engineers. Racetrack footage and shop shots show off the super charged technology and design of this sportbike prototype. Most notable are the foot controls that suggest a gear system and the thumb controls.

https://youtu.be/DyA5jVUCBbU

If you can’t wait until the next decade for a Kawasaki-branded electric, they do have an electric bicycle ready to hit the market:

Team green! The Kawasaki electric mountain bike. EMTB's are the biggest-selling sector of off-road bicycles. [Kawasaki]
It's a pedal assist design, with a graceful frame incorporating the battery, the motor at the crank, and suspension on both wheels, with disc brakes.  How bicycles have become like motorcycles!

Capri Vintage-Inspired Electric Bikes Aren’t What They Appear

The light and elegant Capri line of electric-boost bicycles has a vintage vibe. [Capri]
Upon first glance, and second, and, well…until you’re told, it’s near impossible to tell that these delicate creations are powered by anything other than pedals. That’s because the ultra-light 6.8Ah battery is cleverly concealed as a water bottle! The power train is controlled by a rear-hub mounted 250W motor with an intelligent controller that can, in seventh gear with some pedal assistance, can reach 15.5mph for 25 miles.

There are details that give these bikes a legitimate 70’s feel, such as the colour options: Pacific Blue, Jungle Green, Meltin Silver, Space Blue and Black, the two variations - the Metz, with its top tube frame, and the Azur, which has a retro-style mixte frame, and the leather Brooks seat. Also included are nods to our time – such as the vegan leather option,  and it’s electric. Want one? This is the best time. The European company, which has delivered more than 20,000 bicycles over a 10 year period, is still in the fundraising stages, so these 35lb high-performance electric bikes are available for $1,219 (regular price is $2,103) and the Azur for $1,419 ($2,437).


The Current News: Nov. 3 2019

This week, it's all EICMA.  If last year's trade show was any indication, we'll be reporting on a dozen new machines/models after the doors open in Milan, but we've got teasers galore this week.  Our EV Editor Sophia Vassiliadis gives us a glimpse of what's to come:

EVen more from Energica

The teaser lasts only 15 seconds, so don’t look away or you’ll miss the glossy red chassis and serious rear shocks visible through the shadows. The mystery motorcycle from Energica looks to be more street than track, based on the whisper glimpse of the front and back ends in the teaser, and compared to the 2nd edition Eva Sport just previewed by 2016 Formula 1 World Champion and Energica collaborator Nico Rosberg. Rosberg isn’t just impressed by the bold lines and vivid touches of colour but also the technology that sets this latest Energica apart. After showing off the slick styling on the fairings, Rosenberg spends a few moments describing how the all-new battery has “much more performance, much more dense energy packaging.”

After a few laps around the track, Rosberg is thrilled. The Eva Sport 2020 will be lighter, have more power, more range and upgraded electronic assistants much of which is likely to turn up on the shadowy figure in the EICMA teaser.  Note the attitude of Energica CEO Livia Cevolini, who is more looking for the racer's seal of approval: “We want people like you [Rosberg], who do understand motors, to like it.” Cevolini would be happy to hear the Eva Sport offers the same level of performance as combustion engines, but Rosberg says it’s even better. Wonder if he’d feel the same way about an E-Formula 1 car?

Lightning Fast Lightfighter

The new Lightfighter LFR19 racer: on par with an IC 600-class bike. [Motorcycle.com]
The Lightfighter was born from the motorcycle mind of Zero Motorcycles Marketing VP Brian Wismann, who with EV battery wiz Ely Schless, have created the Lightfighter LFR19, a super lightweight racer meant to challenge the fastest track bikes. The origin story of the Lightfighter was well-described by writer Troy Sinahaan on Motorcycle.com for several months, as he worked alongside the pair to tune and test this masterpiece of engineering – a bike with incredible power in a featherweight frame.

“With the addition of Öhlins suspension bits, Brembo brakes, and Kramer bodywork, the Lightfighter LFR19 comes in at 375lbs, and is ready for action!” writes Sinahaan. “Wismann and Schless missed the target weight of 350lbs by a pinch, but it’s still a fraction of the weight of the Energica Ego Corsa circulating around the MotoGP-supported MotoE series, and on par with 600cc gas-powered racebikes on a full diet.”

Getting Dirty With The Daymak

https://youtu.be/FBj3VN34eI0

Well now, this is fun: Daymak has just presented its newest version of the Beast 2, a fierce but friendly “offroad” scooter. This mini-monster and its 3-legged cousin both have 500W motors powered by 60V batteries, or two batteries for a premium. Available as Standard, Deluxe or Ultimate packages in either black or red, these now Bluetooth-enabled dual-sports can reach speeds of up to about 30 miles an hour, which guarantee that you’ll be able to take in the view.

https://vimeo.com/361838665

For those who notice that the 3-wheeled version is labelled as a “mobility scooter”, be warned that unlike its similarly-labelled peers with the same straight-backed seats, these EVs cannot be ridden on the sidewalk. They’re too fast. ☺

Hubless Honey

Gimme that Batman feeling! The hubless rear wheel on the RMK ER. [RMK]
Remember the E2 from the Finnish brands RMK Vehicle Corporation and Link? They just released a teaser video of the EICMA-ready version of the E2, a cross between a “sporty cruiser and futuristic roadster” that features a floating, hubless dragster-style back wheel.

It’s likely the current question mark camo will give way to another space-age colour scheme, but otherwise the 2020 version will still have the “bold and aggressive styling” that the company showcased this past February. What has changed is the overall rideability of the bike, as the latest incarnation of the ER will be “more ergonomic, more practical and more refined.” Weighing in at about 440 lbs (slightly lighter than a mini-cruiser), the 50kW roadster produces 320 Nm of torque along its 5-foot wheelbase. The extended rake allows for a larger battery, one that can carry the bike between about 125 – 185 km on a charge that can be bumped back up to 80% in 2-3 hours, depending on the power source.

Hadin Panther E-Cruiser 

Sleek cruiser lines for the laid-back crowd. [Hadin]
California-conceived, China-based Hadin Motorcycles are back again with the Panther, an updated e-cruiser they’ll officially expose at EICMA 2019.. With geometry more 'cruiser'  than Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire, the Panther is more friendly to cruiser-lovers, with rumored speeds of 80 mph and 100 miles-per-charge with the 45 kW motor.

The brochure: marketed for urban dwellers to cruise streets lined with electrical outlets, not the endless cornfields of America's Midwest. [Hadin]
In keeping with its name, this quiet cat may also be receiving a more silent belt drive and glorious gadgetry such as keyless operation, smart phone integration and front and rear HD cameras. This Panther will go quietly, day and night.

The Shelby Cobra Limited Edition E-Bike:

A screen grab of the Shelby-inspired Vintage Electric ebike. [Vintage Electric]
When a car inspires a bike! Not sure how often this happens, but Vintage Electric’s Limited Edition Shelby E-bike has been kissed by the same design gods that inspired the Shelby Cobra. And it’s not just beautiful lines this most recent member of Vintage Electric’s e-bike team has inherited, it’s the fastest of their lot, and possibly the fastest among all electric bicycles.

In race mode, it has a top speed of 36 mph, which would blast it past a few of the e-scooters featured here thanks to it 3kW motor. Which means, in the USA, you'd technically need a motorcycle license to ride it?

Kymco’s RevONEX Teaser Takes Unique Approach

Ghost illustration of the new Kymco RevoNex. With restrictions against IC vehicles gaining traction around the world, bikes like these will be the new face of urban cool. [Kymco]
Part motorcycle, part scooter, Kymco’s EICMA video teaser has elicited lots of attention, mostly because it reveals, well, nothing, except perhaps that it will fulfill many people’s ideas about what makes for the best in electric transport. It also suggests that the featured interviewees from Madrid, Paris, Berlin and Milan, got to see it first, and they were impressed.

So, according to what the video shared, we can look forward to a green, renewable, electric vehicle that is safe and high tech with, among others, features “excellent acceleration” and “an exciting sound.” Only EICMA will tell.


The Current News: Oct 27, 2019

by Sophie Vasiliadis

Arnie Advocates, Mahindra Takeover, and 3-D Print Wonders

Just in case you didn’t notice the byline above, The Current has been taken over by Sophia Vassiliadis, a Canadian writer with extensive experience in transportation publishing. It's her first piece for TheVintagent.com, and we look forward to more!  Here's Sophia's report:

"The Current has been taken over by a Canuckian moto-writer who is thrilled to be here and hopes that this week’s update is adequate electric edification. While I catch up on all that’s newer in this exciting segment of motorcycling, I’ve book-ended the latest news flash with something celebrity and something sexy (from 2016.) See you again next week."

The Terminator is a Rare Green Republican

Former California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger on his daily exercise ride, a Felt ebike [Shutterstock via Ekstrabladet.dk]
He may have killed the Predator, but the Republican former Governor of California supports progressive technology. This isn’t news; in 2010 while he was the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger made a much-discussed visit to Zero motorcycles, which was certainly a change from his daily ride: big Harley-Davidson V-twins. Perhaps Arnie's celebrity politician endorsement of Zero pushed H-D to dig into their Live Wire program?  The timing is about right, anyway.

Recently, Arnold is back in the news with a fabulously campy campaign promoting electric vehicles, called “Electric For All”, a partnership with the Californian non-profit Veloz.  The promotion is directed at the automotive market, but in his personal work-outs Arnie actively endorses his new favourite mode of transportation, the electric bicycle. Mr. Schwarzenegger has also bucked the mud-slinging pundits, and openly supports a progressive environmental agenda...and has even Instagram'd himself with the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Perhaps Arnie really is an indestructible cyborg, willing to wade into the Internet flame wars as a Republican posing with climate activist Greta Thunberg. [Instagram]
Clearly Arnold is deeply invested in an electric future. Kudos to the Terminator for being an independent thinker.

Peugeot is the Latest European Auto/Moto Maker Under Indian Ownership

The new Peugeot Pulsion will be built under Mahindra's guidance. Will the $20Bn Indian company have the same impact on the two- and four-Peugeot products that Tata has had on Jaguar? [Peugeot]
Meanwhile in India, Mahindra Two Wheelers, a subsidiary super-giant Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M Ltd), which is itself part of the $20.7 billion Mahindra Group just announced their purchase a 100% stake in Peugeot Motorcycles (PMTC) from their French parent company Groupe PSA.  Peugeot Motorcycles is based in Mandeure, France, and is confident this new partnership will allow further growth of the brand’s products and technology, with seven new products set to launch through 2021, such as the version of the Peugeot 308 i-Cockpit® which was recently introduced in the latest Peugeot Pulsion as the i-Connect.

The ute of the Peugeot EV line - the Elektro Roller GenZe, which we suppose is built for Gen Zs... [Peugeot]
Specific mention of Peugeot’s electronic offering in the press release bodes well for the development of their EV fleet which launched its first product way back in 1996. We’ll keep an eye on the success of the merger and what innovations emerge. Considering the size of the bike market in India where Mahindra Group and M&M Ltd reside, there is ample motivation for a more environmentally friendly movement away from the combustible 2-stroke to more clean energy options.

Revisiting a Stunning 3D-Printed Design

The Light Rider, from waaay back in 2016, is a stunning 3D-printed design welded up of 14 pieces. [APWorks]
Lastly, a peek back in time at what can come from a copier. This stunning 3D-printed dynamic art-piece from German Airbus subsidiary APWorks dates back to 2016. It’s not the most recent release but it’s worth revisiting, or discovering, as with me, that you've never seen it before. The 77lb Light Rider is driven by a 6 kW electric motor, and has a decent power-to-weight ratio. Though not the most powerful bike, even in 2016, the charge of this 3D motorbike could last 75 miles and reach speeds of up to 45 mph. The rather organic-looking design of the chassis looks like a cross between a spider web and a trestle bridge, and is a result of a clever algorithm meant to optimize the ability of the frame to absorb and disperse the variety of stresses presented by road conditions, while carrying different loads at an assortment of seat heights. The printer then generated the 14-part composite to be welded together.

A close-up of the remarkable structure of the Light Rider. [APWorks]
With a hefty price-tag of $56,500, the Light Rider may not have been the most economically accessible of e-bikes, but it surely made its way into the hands of a few discerning private collectors and enthusiastic riders who wanted to own the first electric 3D-printed motorcycle. Here’s to featuring many more of these creative options to combustion in the future.