Stephanie Weaver

The Current: Zaiser Motors founder Anthony Cross

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’re well aware of the flurry of media around electric vehicles recently. Here at The Vintagent, we've been covering the EV scene since 2009, built our channel The Current in 2016, and  deliver weekly roundups of EV news that (hopefully) appeals to both electric enthusiasts and gas-powered junkies.  What's often missing amongst the PR and chatter are the stories of the folks driving the Electric Revolution.

Anthony Cross has one of those stories. Co-founder and CEO of Denver-based upstart Zaiser Motors, Anthony has piloted the company’s recent milestones, like reaching funding goals on WeFunder and unveiling a redesign of its innovative Electrocycle platform. However, Zaiser’s windfall should not overshadow its mission nor its impressive industry-first twin-hub powertrain machines. Both of its e-Motorbikes, the Silhouette and the Arrow, are accomplishing what other EV manufacturers are failing to do. With more torque, power, and a cruiser-style design built from the ground up, the Silhouette is an e-Motorcycle that is actually exceeding anything that’s available in the gas market. The company’s other bike, the café racer-styled Arrow, has captured the attention of vintage devotees and EV fanatics alike, and is poised to fulfill the current demand for smaller, more nimble electric machines.

Anthony Cross, the CEO of Zaiser Motors. [Zaiser]
“The trend now seems to be that smaller bikes are in. But is this because people want smaller bikes or because they’re more usable and cost-effective than the larger ones that deliver less range because the tech isn’t there yet? I think it’s a bit of both. However, I also think that as the technology improves, we’ll start to see more people get used to the equivalent of a 500cc café racer and then want a bigger bike. I believe we’ll see a renaissance of bigger bikes down the line. And that’s what Zaiser is leaning in to. However, the smaller bikes, like the Arrow, will be dominating the market for a while,” explained Anthony. Despite the massive shift to EVs, Anthony, a classic bike and car enthusiast, is not blind to the fact that many traditionalist riders are hesitant to swap out their gas-fueled motorcycles for battery-operated ones.

The Zaiser Electrocycle has a distinctive profile and a very long range. [Zaiser]
“I’m always going to have my ’72 R50/5. I love that thing. It feels good, rides well, and is a beautiful little machine. But would I take it out in less-than-optimal conditions? Probably not. I’d probably ride the Arrow for that. And I think that’s the way motorcycling is going to transition. It’ll just make more sense to have a reliable, trusty vehicle that you can ride every day and take your Shovelhead out when conditions are perfect. An EV won’t replace your Shovelhead, but if it provides you with a good portion of the joy and exceeds the reliability, it’s done its job.”  Recognizing the opportunity for innovation and shifting global legislations, Zaiser Motors is working over-time to bring its Electrocycle platform to market in 2022. But Anthony is gung-ho about not losing the immersive experience of being astride a powerful, gorgeous, internal combustion machine.

The Zaiser Electrocycle in black. Will its traditional silhouette appeal to IC fans, given its parity on performance and range? [Zaiser]
“Just because it’s electric doesn’t mean it’s going to be boring. We’re going to ensure our bikes are fun as hell, sound cool, and accelerate and corner seamlessly. It needs to be exciting,” he said. “When I take my BMW out, it’s a bonding experience with my machine. We can’t lose that. Zaiser Motors is committed to transferring that soul and that relationship to EVs. Those types of e-Bikes are the ones that are going to come out on top.”

 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is EV Editor for The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.  Got EV news?  Give her a shout.

The Current News: Nov. 11, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you. 

Hey there, all of you readers and riders! Can y’all believe that we’re almost halfway through November? That means 2022 is right around the corner.  If that’s tough to wrap your head around, this week’s EV news roundup is sure to be a doozy. From an awesomely bizarre four-person e-Bike to an extreme e-Racing truck, this installment will astonish and amaze, and provoke thought with recent discussions around global battery/mineral supply, the a new geopolitical landscape.

As always, drop us a line at stephanie@thevintagent.com if you see anything you think we should cover.

Let’s roll!

A Weird and Wonderful Four-Seater e-Bike

"Watch that fringe and see how it flutters
When I drive them high steppin' strutters.
Nosey pokes'll peek thru' their shutters and their eyes will pop! When I take you out in the surrey with the fringe on top!" [Alibaba]
Do you dig vehicles that are strange and unusual? Then check out this awesomely weird four-person e-Bike from Alibaba. Perfect for a party, this thing is powered by a 1,500W motor located in its rear wheels that’s powered by a 32Ah battery packing just under 2kWh. With a reported 50-mile range, a baby bumper, and two brakes, this bike is the ideal family EV.

McLaren Drops an Extreme e-Racing Truck

Gnar! When will you be able to buy a McLaren off-roader? When you can afford it, obv! [McLaren]
British automotive manufacturer McLaren is trying its hand in the world of e-Racing with the Odyssey 21, an all-electric SUV. Initially unveiled at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the SUV boasts the firm’s distinct papaya orange color palette and ornate detailing by artist Vic Lee. Extreme E is an all-electric off-road series that is made up of five races. The innovative motorsport’s goal is to explore the technological future of racing while raising awareness of sustainability and climate change. Moreover, the sport is inclusive, having all teams consist of both female and male drivers. “Our decision to enter extreme E will inform and enlighten our own journey of discovery and is underpinned by a clear imperative to accelerate McLaren Racing’s own sustainability which places carbon reduction, recycling and reuse and elimination of waste at its core,” the company stated on its website. The buggy-shaped Odyssey 21 is slated to compete next year and be driven by the renowned rally racer Tanna Faust.

Damon Starts Construction of Manufacturing/R&D Facility

The awesome Damon hyperbike, with a 200mph top speed has garnered tremendous interest and tens of $Millions in pre-orders. [Damon]
e-Motorbike manufacturer Damon started construction this week on a new 110,000 square-foot manufacturing and R&D facility in Surrey, British Columbia. Slated to open next fall, Damon’s plant will employ hundreds of production and officer workers throughout the surrounding areas by 2025. Damon’s next-gen e-Motorcycles feature onboard AI to boost safety.

Big Red is Making Moves

The Honda eMaas concept of integration of EV batteries into the public power grid. [Honda]
While Honda’s EV battery will soon be part of a new Indian battery-swapping network, the company recently stated that it had much bigger plans for the future. Despite an initial focus on powering e-Motorcycles, Honda is now looking at ways to utilize its EV battery design as part of the public power grid with the goal of moving to carbon neutrality by 2050. Big ambitions, and the kind of thinking we need to implement now to reduce carbon emissions asap.

e-Bikes are the Most Popular EVs

The wonderful Matt Williams illustration accompanying the NYT article. [Matt Williams]
EVs hit the New York Times yet again this week in a business piece that predicts the popularity of e-Bikes will not slow down anytime soon. With 130 million e-Bikes projected to be sold by 2023 worldwide, they are the EVs that are highest in demand, and widest in popular acceptance, even in EV-resistant countries like the USA.   Why?  Because they're fun, and a near miracle in making bicycling easier and more accessible for those not dedicated to the Peloton.

Juiced’s Fat-Tire e-Bike Targets a Younger Crowd

The Juiced fat-tire eBike hits the hottest part of the market, the biggest segment of EV sales in the world. [Juiced]
With a nimble frame and affordable price tag, Juiced’s new fat-tire e-Bike is meant to target teens and young adults. Called the RipRacer, the bike is available in two versions, including the Class 2 with a 52V/10Ah battery that can reach speeds of up to 20mph and the Class 3, equipped with a 52V/15Ah battery with a top speed of 28mph.  That's skirting the law defining 'bicycle', so perhaps there's an app to bring the speed over 30mph...but we never said that, and would never encourage readers to exceed the speed limit, or the boundaries of their current reality, or Instagram's willy-nilly posting restrictions.

New York Times Nails the Issues

A battery production facility in China [Getty/NYT]
This week, writer Steve LeVine summarized why 'America Isn't Ready for the Electric Vehicle Revolution.' Give it a read: we've been saying it for years - the USA is the last bastion of resistance to EVs, and our politicians the deepest in the pockets of the petro industry.  While we're used to the corruption, it has blinded those who could make a difference with legislative support on a transition to greener energy sources, to strategically place US industry in a competitive path.  Denial of climate change and looking backwards has given China an open door, and they walked right through it, currently owning 90% of the world's capacity to process Lithium, 70% of the Cobalt, and 40% of the Nickel.  Thus, US and European manufacturers are completely vulnerable to shipping or supply chain issues from abroad, like pandemics or political issues, as .  In crude terms, China now holds the cards to future transport, and despite $7Bn in the recent US infrastructure bill allocated to support battery supply chain, nothing is included to address problems of mineral processing, or other critical issues like battery development and the absurd state of EV battery recycling at the moment.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer and Vintagent Contributor. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Oct 28, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Hello readers and riders! Are you all ready for Halloween trick-or-treaters this weekend? Well, this week has been a real treat for us as far as EV news is concerned. Flying cars!  A commitment to an electric Ducati!  The last week of October features tons of spook-tacular new drops, including a 1,600-pound car!

As always, if you see something of interest, drop us a line at stephanie@thevintagent.com.

Let’s do this:

An EV Car that Flies!!!

 

HT Aero, the latest entry into a long-promised future of flying cars. None have yet been certified by the FAA, but soon... [HT Aero]
We’re going to start with the story that excites us the most. HT Aero, an urban air mobility company and an affiliate of Chinese EV company Xpeng, unveiled a new car concept this week that also flies! The startup raised a staggering $500 million in a Series A round in an effort to roll out its next-gen model in 2024. The ultralight vehicle will have the ability to turn into an aircraft via a foldable rotor mechanism. The props will seamlessly be integrated into the vehicle when it’s in car mode and when it’s ready for takeoff, the props will span about 12 meters from the large tail. If you’re scared of heights, don’t worry! The airplane car will also feature parachutes and an advanced environmental perception system to conduct safety assessments before taking flight.  Parachutes or seat belts...think about it.

Ducati Plans on Making its EV Debut in 2025

Rumored and vaporware'd for years: now Ducati has committed to an EV as part of a racing program with Dorna to take over its eBike racing series from Energica. [Ducati]
An EV Ducati? This seems to be the case as Ducati becomes the official manufacturer for the MotoE race series slated to kick off in 2023, after Italian eBike manufacturer Energica declined to supply the series with its already-available Ego Corse models [watch our film about the customized Energica from our Electric Revolution exhibit here]. The announcement will also see the Italian moto manufacturer stepping into the EV arena with the development of its first ever e-Motorcycle. However, this will not come to fruition until 2025 or later. The company, with its proven racing pedigree, will utilize futuristic tech solutions to develop a nimble bike that boasts best-in-class power-to-weight ratio despite the weight of the battery. The e-Motorbike will be tested on different race tracks worldwide. Would you ride one?

ICOMA Drops a Cubicle-Friendly e-Bike

The new Icoma Tatamel takes the Honda Motocompo concept from the 1980s to today, with surprisingly little conceptual modification required. Make a bike suitcase-sized! The Motocompo is a cult item now...perhaps the Icoma will become the same: it certainly is cute. [Icoma]
Never worry about chain grease on your trousers when you bike to work, ever again! Japanese startup, ICOMA, recently debuted a foldable e-Motorcycle dubbed the Tatamel bike. The itty-bitty bike can be folded down to fit under an office desk. When you’re ready to ride, the bike measures 1000mm tall, 1230mm long, and 650mm wide. When folded, it measures 680mm tall, 700mm long, and 260mm wide.  The Tatamel has a 40km/h (24mph) top speed and a 50km (30-mile) range: that's pretty fast and far riding a briefcase!   The side panels are of course customizable, and we've seen some terrific Honda Motocompo - the closest conceptual kin - customs in the past year.  What we want to know: can we carry it on a plane?

A Lighter-than-Air EV Car

Ultralight and ultrafast: the Vazirani Ekonk weighs only 1600lbs. [Vazirani]
Mumbai-based startup, Vazirani, revealed its 1,627-pound electric hypercar this week. Known as the Ekonk, the EV features a single seat and utilizes a bespoke battery technology to efficiently cool its power source with air instead of a liquid-cooled system. Chief designer, Chunky Vazirani (what a name!), who has worked for Land Rover and Jaguar, used biomimicry to draw inspiration from the way animals naturally regulate their body temperatures through breathing, to cool his motor with air instead of water or oil.  The Ekonk is planned to be the fastest car produced in India, with 722hp and a top speed of 192mph, and a 0-100kmh speed of 2.6seconds.  Quick!  Amazingly, the Ekonk will include no 'drivers aids' like traction control etc, but presumably will have a sophisticated controller instead of a light switch for on/off power.   The goal was a 1:1 hp/kg power to weight ratio, and an extremely low drag coefficient, plus no passengers to keep the overall weight to a minimum.  While the imagery looks like vaporware, we're assured a prototype is currently in the testing phase.

Double Your Riding Pleasure

The Velotric Discover ebike is currently available and very reasonably priced., with a nice range of colors. [Velotrix]
Remember Doublemint Gum’s slogan of “double your pleasure, double your fun?” Now you can have twice the battery and twice the fun with Velotric’s Discover e-Bike. Boasting a 692Wh battery that delivers 80 miles worth of range, the step-thru bike has a 500W motor and 65Nm torque. However, the Discover 1 doesn’t forgo comfort or style for functionality. It’s designed for optimal comfort and is available in stunning color options, including canary yellow and turquoise.

Coast to Coast on Sunlight

Suhil Reddy is riding across the USA using a solar-powered ebike with a range of 40miles/day on solar power alone. [Suhil Reddy]
We’ll wrap up this week’s roundup with an inspiring story of how one guy is riding a solar powered e-Bike clear across the US. Catching rays from North Carolina to Texas, Sushil Reddy is doing a coast-to-coast ride on sun-powered bike with his partner, Luis Fourzan. Sushil’s bike is powered by two solar panels mounted on the back, giving it a range of about 40 miles. Conversely, Luis is astride a regular e-Bike. Suhil already holds the world record for the longest distance traveled on an ebike, and is undertaking this ride to support awareness around sustainability and personal efforts to combat climate change. We wish them the best of luck on their travels!

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Oct 21, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Howdy readers and riders! Welcome to our weekly roundup of EV news where we report on the stories that matter most to you. In this edition, we’ll take a look at some awesome new releases from Soriano Motori and Daymak, explore an intriguing new website that allows anyone to download and build a bike, and chat about fresh funds.

Have you seen any EV news that’s attracted your attention? Our inboxes are always open! Drop us a line to let us know what excites you.

 

New Drops

The new Soriano Giaguaro V1 sportbikes are coming: 80hp and a 200 mile range claimed. [Soriano]
  • Soriano Motori, an e-Bike startup launched in 2019 in an effort to revive the renowned motorcycle marque’s name for a new generation, recently announced that it plans to premiere its stunning new Giaguaro V1 Gara e-Bikes at EICMA 2021 next month. Soriano promises 80 hp, a range of up to 200 miles, with a 0 to 60mph time of just 3.5 seconds.  This puts them in direct competition with Energica, and soon, Ducati, in the e-sports field: a natural playing ground for an Italian brand, but a tough field as the market for very fast eBikes is still fairly small.  What bike will break through to the sports rider? In other news, last December Soriano became the first moto brand to accept cryptocurrency as a preorder payment. If their bikes are anything like their forward-thinking payment options, we’re excited to see what’s next.
The Daymak Spiritus 3-wheeler is dramatic and enclosed, unlike other sports trikes. [Daymak]
  • Toronto-based EV manufacturer, Daymak, made waves earlier this week with its three-wheeled EV prototype, the Daymak Spiritus. One of the first vehicles in the company’s exorbitant Avvenire EV lineup, the electric “car” boasts a 180-mile range and is priced at just under $20,000. Its unique aerodynamic shape plays a significant role in its high range rating and also qualifies the Daymak Spiritus as a motorcycle in almost every jurisdiction worldwide. This means that it’s outside the stringent safety policies passenger cars must adhere to. Daymark President Also Baiocchi notes, “A poster from 2005 of our Spiritus concept three-wheeler still hangs in my office, so finally seeing our vision come to life 16 years later and sharing that dream with more than 25,000 people who ordered the vehicle is a very special moment for us. This prototype is a major milestone in our commitment to the Avvenire program, and having achieved this goal, the rest of the journey is finally coming together."

From Byte to Bike

The open source, downloadable plywood bicycle design is begging for a motor! [OpenBike]
One story from this week that immediately caught our eye was Arquimana’s downloadable bike designs that can literally be fabricated by anybody in the world. The Spanish company is leveraging technology to cut down on carbon emissions by enabling folks to build wooden bicycles from downloadable drawings. A person can effortlessly download the drawing from the OpenBike website, take it to their local fablab, and build the bike with the help of 3D printing. Since the fabrication files are licensed under Creative Commons 4.0, builders can modify the bike to their exact specifications.

Show Us the Money

Electric snowbike! That looks like big and quiet fun...enjoying the outdoors without the two-stroke howl of a snowmobile. [Moonbike]
  • MoonBikes, an e-Snowbike (!!!) manufacturer, recently closed a $5.2 million seed funding round. Their e-Bike/snowmobile mash-up machine features a light frame, one front ski, and a track in the back. It can reach 26 mph, has a range of up to three hours, and features a 40% steepness grade. Curious how these go in the snow?  Ask Roland Sands!  He spent a month in a cast after crashing into a tree on one...
In Chinese cities, anything smaller than a car or with less than 4 wheels is an EV, from mopeds and scooters in their tens of thousands, to 3-wheel delivery trucks that displace the universal small pickup found in other countries. [Paul d'Orléans]
  • The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) recently announced that EV sales in China will grow to 35% of the total market for vehicles by 2025. That’s a jump from 1.4 million units sold/year to three million per year - only EVs!   China already has the largest number of eBikes on the street of any country in the world, after legislating small internal combustion motors off the roads of major cities in 2016.  Now there are an estimated 10M eBikes on China's streets, which makes them very quiet, with no noxious fumes from cheap two-stroke motors.   Walking the streets of Shanghai is an experience of the future of the global transport, and it's very pedestrian friendly.  Combined with China's commitment to dramatically cut its use of coal for generating power, and its current ban on new coal-powered electric plants, puts China in the lead on green energy.  They still have a long way to go on carbon emissions, though, While China's per-capita emission are low (hey, 1.4 Billion is a lot of people), their total carbon output grew significantly in 2020, as opposed to the rest of the developed world, which dropped with reduced travel and production during the pandemic.  Have a look at China's carbon footprint here.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Oct. 13, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Hi readers and riders! Like we do every week, we’ve assembled an extensive list of valuable EV news that matters to you. This week sees several new releases, soaring stocks, fresh funds, and a new addition to our ADV:Overland Petersen Museum exhibit - the Tardigrade.  Let’s roll.

Exciting New Drops

The second week of October has seen some revolutionary new releases from EV brands both old and new.

The proposed VanMoof supercycle with a higher top speed. [VanMoof]
  • VanMoof recently announced a brand-new concept, the VanMoof V. The company’s first high-speed e-Bike is ready for pre-order and boasts two-wheel drive, a full suspension frame, next-gen tech, and advanced acceleration with top speeds of 50 kmph (31 mph).
A prototype Kawasaki eBike sports machine shown in 2020. [Kawasaki]
  • Kawasaki is dipping its toes into the e-Bike sector and plans to launch 10 two-wheeled EVs and hybrid bikes by 2025. More bikes are planned by 2035.
The Corrit mini cycle is an appealing and timely offering, as the small eBike scene is booming. [Corrit]
  • Corrit Electric is dropping its first ever e-Scooter, the Hover, by the end of the month. The startup is currently taking pre-orders for the bike and will start delivering it to customers by late November. The two-seater scoot has a load-carrying capacity of about 250 kgs (551 lbs), a max range of 110 km (68 miles), and can hit speeds of 25 kmph (15 mph).
The CAKE anti-poaching Kalk is a special edition of their lightweight all-purpose machines, developed to help park rangers fight poachers silently in South Africa. They're now in the field being tested. [CAKE]
  • Swedish EV maker, CAKE, is busy this week, releasing the first batch of electric bush bikes to curb illegal poaching in Africa. Dubbed the Kalk AP, the e-Bikes feature 18-inch custom off-road tires and a rear carrier to attach medical equipment, arms, and a first-aid kit to treat wounded wildlife.

The Tardigrade, an amazing lunar cycle built by Hookie Co, will be installed at our ADV:Overland exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum by November. [HookieCo]
Speaking of CAKE, the custom moto design company Hookie Co has just shipped its completed moon motorcycle, the Tardigrade, to the Petersen Automotive Museum for inclusion in our exhibit ADV:Overland. This otherworldly ride was originally conceived by Russian designer Andrew Fabishevskiy, and his vaporware sketches of a NASA motorcycle were compelling enough for Hookie Co to secure the rights to actually build it!  That was quite a process, using CAKE power, although much of the build technology involved was new, including DuPont Kevlar 3D-printed wheels and NASA developed hi-temp finishes.  It's a notional machine and a lot of fun, not an actual off-world prototype, and is a perfect complement to the sci-fi legends already in the exhibit: the 'chariots' from the 1960s and 2018 versions of Lost in Space.  If you haven't seen the exhibit, you must!

Offset Motorcycles digs deep into the eBike scene, first with the OFR-M1. [Offset Motorcycles]
  • Denmark-based startup, Offset Motorcycles, just announced its fledgling project, the OFR-M1. Featuring a minimalistic design, a 6.2KwH battery pack that offers 1.5 hours of riding time and can be charged from 0% to 80% in just three hours, and a radical flux motor that’s good for 25 kW and 59 ft.-lb of torque, this zippy little thing can go from 0 to 60 in just under 4.5 seconds.

Mike Riis is developing electric speedway bikes, which are already approved in youth racing, for use against traditional methanol-burning racers. Watch a video here from Sideburn. [Mike Riis]
The company’s founder, Michael Riis Eriksen, is so passionate about EVs that he’s already developing electric speedway. bikes for inclusion into European racing series. While the concept is challenging for die-hard Speedway fans, electric racers drastically cut down on noise pollution, which is the #1 problem with Speedway tracks today: neighbors complaints!  The bikes will also be more cost-effective for racers, as they will no longer need routinely rebuild their engines.  Thoughts?

Money and More Money

  • Greaves Finance recently facilitated financing for EV production in India. The company is offering nimble financing options, low interest rates, and instant loan disbursement to support an obviously booming development sector.
  • Stocks are soaring as homebased off-road e-Motorcycle company, Volcon, goes public. Under the symbol VLCN on Nasdaq, the company enjoyed a surge in share values, with a $9.01 jump at opening. Fluctuating throughout the day, shares reached a staggering $15.50 at one point! Volcon Powersports made history last year by creating the first American-built, off-road, fat-tire e-Motorbike. Now they’re bringing home the bacon.
  • Russia-based tech giant Yandex recently acquired an Israeli e-Scooter rental company called Wind. The deal is slated to be finalized by the end of the year.

e-Bike and e-Scooter Safety Concerns Hit Hard in NYC

A New York Times story cites safety concerns for eScooters. [New York Times]
Earlier this week, the New York Times mused about the growing safety concerns as EV popularity continues to grow in the city that never sleeps. In 2021 alone, at least 17 people have been killed riding EVs in NYC.  Then again, 20 bicyclists were killed in the Big Apple in 2020...

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Oct. 7, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Hello all riders and readers! Welcome to our weekly EV news roundup, where we share everything you need to know about the world of electric bikes. The first full week of October panned out to be EV-heavy, with several exciting new releases, fresh new funding, and how the EV boom is sending battery giants scampering to fill the shortage of qualified engineer and research specialists.

Let’s do this.

More Info is Released About the $5,000 SONDORS Metacycle

The Sondors Metacycle is on track to be the first affordable mid-size eBike. The 'statement' void where the gas tank used to be is a clever design feature, as is the monocoque aluminum chassis. [Sondors]
While SONDORS is preparing to release its $5,000 e-Bike, the Metacycle, we’re learning more about its battery. With a promised range of 80 miles on a single charge and top speeds of 80 mph, the bike’s battery plays a critical role in its performance and acceptance by traditionalist riders. According to the company, the removable battery boasts “unparalleled innovation, spectacular design, and next-level ingenuity.” However, there are some caveats. There is concern regarding how the cables will be connected and disconnected when a rider removes the battery since they may need to be manually disengaged.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section!

Ridiculously Fast e-Scoots

The 60mph Ycom electric scooter has a carbon fiber chassis and plenty of power, proving that anything on wheels can be souped up and taken racing. Can't wait to see these guys at Electric Revolution Live in My 2022! [YCOM/ Malcolm Griffiths]
One downside to EVs we often hear gas-loving riders voice is that electric bikes lack speed. Well, these 60 mph e-Scooters will crush those complaints! The little YCOM S1-X e-Scooter barely tips the scale at just 77 pounds and was custom built for the new eSkootr Championship series (eSC). The races are slated to start next year on 400 to 800-meter circuits, and we want to see them!  Full racing leathers and helmet required for these carbon-fiber rockets.

Fresh Funds

The Dance.co bikeshare in Germany is a white-glove rental service. [Dance.co]
  • German EV startup Dance recently raised $19 million in just a few short weeks after rolling out its e-Bike subscription service in Berlin. The monthly subscription will run you about $90 for the white-gloved rental experience.
Indian startup kWh bikes has secured major investment to start production of their technologies. [kWh bikes]
  • kWh, a Bengaluru-based e-Scooter startup, raised $2 million from Let’s Venture. The company plans to use the funds to take its prototypes to production.  The company had developed an e-scooter with a steel tube chassis and in-wheel motor with modest performance and a very low price.  It will join the new wave of inexpensive eBikes coming from India that will soon appear around the world.
Chinese mega-company CATL currently supplies an enormous range of companies in the tech and EV space. [CATL]
  • Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), China’s largest battery manufacturer, recently acquired Vancouver-based Millennial Lithium for $297 million.  Chinese companies already dominate the global supply of lithum-based batteries, which are the gold standard for EVs, as well as for smartphones and computers.  China currently controls 80% of the world's minerals used for the production of batteries - lithium, cobalt, graphite, etc - as part of their far-seeing strategy to secure mineral rights from countries around the planet, especially in Africa and South America.  As half of the world's vehicles are expected to be electric by 2040, this makes China's position on the application of energy (as opposed to its production) the strategic equivalent of the Mideast domination of petrochemical production in the 20th Century.  The United States prioritized 'energy independence' after the 1974 Oil Crisis, and achieved it in 2019, but no such long-term strategy for the protection of mineral rights or battery production - as important to future transport as petroleum is today - exists today, or is even being discussed.  In other words, in all important respects, China has won, as the only runner in the race to power personal tech and EVs.  The geopolitical implications are clear as the center of 'power' shifts further east.
Ultium is the new battery system being developed by GM as part of its future move to an all-EV lineup. [GM]
  • GM is investing a ton of money in a next-gen battery platform dubbed Ultium. The company will use a facility in Michigan called the Wallace Battery Innovation Center to drive the development and commercialization of long-range EV batteries.

South Korean Battery Giants Face Staffing Shortage

Korean battery manufacturers like LG acknowledge a huge deficit of suitably educated workers for the future of EV and tech power. [LG]
Three major players in the South Korean EV battery sector are suffering from a shortage of qualified specialists as the demand for electric vehicles continues to balloon. Samsung SDI Co Ltd, SK On, and LG Energy Solutions (LGES) can’t find enough technicians with the proper training and experience needed to keep advancing solid-state batteries. This is directly impacting production of EVs already, as supply chains slow down, and manufacturers are currently unable to meet demand, or even finish their vehicles as they wait for vital parts. This has been exacerbated by 21st Century on-demand production systems that are convenient for manufacturers (as they hold no stock of parts) but requires suppliers to be flexible, and meet demand quickly. At the moment, that system is broken, in nearly all international trade, from lumber and steel to tech and transport.  The global battery industry has doubled production over the last five years, and will only continue to expand as EVs take over the streets. South Korea estimates that it lacks almost 3,000 graduate degree-level positions in departments such as design and research to fulfill the ever-increasing demand.   More STEM education is needed there as well as in the rest of the world!

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Oct. 1, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Happy national Drive Electric Week! Held every October, the week-long event is a nationwide observance to raise awareness of the numerous benefits of electric vehicles. Here at The Vintagent, we’re proud to be doing our part in promoting EV education by sharing valuable stories with you every week. This week sees the drop of Harley-Davidson’s most affordable e-Bike, the Serial 1 MOSH/CTY, how the UK’s fuel shortage is driving the demand for EVs, a new e-Scooter that has a staggering range of 480+ km on one charge, some fun new releases, and a ton of successful fundraising efforts.

The Cheapest Bike Harley-Davidson Will Ever Make?

Serial 1's Mosh CTY basic model is $3999: many of their models are already sold out, so sort you Xmas order today! [Serial 1]
Harley-Davidson’s e-bike arm, Serial 1, just announced that its first limited-edition S1 Series e-Bike, the MOSH/TRIBUTE, is now available for pre-order. The vintage prototype is a hat tip to Harley’s past, but it features all the essential tech for today’s savvy riders. The most affordable option in the new lineup is the MOSH/CTY. Priced at $3,799, the 20-mph, pedal-assist e-Bike boasts a removable 529Wh battery, a light, mid-mounted Brose S MAG motor that produces 90Nm/66 ft.-lb. of torque, and a Gates carbon-fiber belt. The only caveat is that the bike has no built-in suspension. But if you’ve successfully ridden a hardtail, you’ll probably fare well on this lil’ guy.

Demand for EVs Spike Amidst the UK’s Fuel Shortage Crisis

Brexit and subsequent disaffection of transport drivers with low-paying, low-benefit jobs has contributed greatly to the fuel shortage in the UK. Ebikes are one solution... [Bloomberg]
Remember when everyone was panic-buying toilet paper during the early days of the pandemic? Well, now the same thing is happening in the UK. EV website searches spiked by more than 60% earlier this week due to widespread panic at the pump, due to widespread shortages. Electric vehicle retailers also saw more enquiries from potential customers, with a message sent every two minutes.  While the gas companies blame 'panic buying', workers around the world have re-examined their low-paying jobs, including 'essential' transport workers.  Stories in the NYTimes, Guardian, etc, have discussed the devolution of driving as a career, from a secure, well-paid job to a low-wage grind with long hours and few benefits, which only got worse after Brexit and the Covid pandemic.  In common with workers around the world (in restaurants and retail especially), transport drivers in the UK are re-examining their careers, while the government sent a call for 10,000 retired lorry drivers to return to 'essential' work.  Most retired drivers, though, are ignoring the call. 

Longest Ranging e-Scooter Drops

India is set to become the largest motorcycle manufacturing region in the world. With products like the Raft Indus NX, with a 300-mile range on a single charge, it's not hard to see why they will soon lead the world in innovation and sales. [Raft Motors]
Mumbai-based Raft Motors announced this week that its e-Scooter, the INDUS NX, can travel more than 480 km (almost 300 miles) on a single charge, obliterating complaints about 'range' with eBikes. The scooter is equipped with dual-battery options with 10 amps fast charging, disc brakes, and a keyless start.  It's another example of how far ahead the Indian motorcycle industry has leaped compared to the rest of the world.  With sales in India alone of over 1Million motorcycles and scooters per MONTH, the Indian industry dwarfs all European and American industries combined.

Riders Across 139 Countries Log 50-Million Miles on Electric Monos

With 50 Million miles logged to date, the Onewheel is a micro-mobility powerhouse. And that photo was shot on Mt Tamalpais in Marin County, CA! [Onewheel]
This isn’t recent news, but we’re going to include this because we’re really, really impressed. Future Motion, the maker of the electric skateboard, Onewheel, announced back in June that its global community of riders have collectively racked up more than 52 million miles on the device since the company dropped its first model seven years ago. The data comes from the company’s companion app where riders can track their usage. Just last year, Onewheel riders logged more than 27 million miles.

Fresh Funding

The current CAKE lineup: 3 different chassis and price points: Makka, Kalk, and Ösa. [CAKE]
Many EV startups rely on fundraising to fuel their dreams. Some, like CAKE, are successful. In fact, the Swedish EV manufacturer announced this week that it had dramatically surpassed its fundraising expectations, closing at $60 million. “We knew we were entering a space with increasingly strong tailwinds when we got started back in 2016, but we couldn't dream of the pace in which things are now happening, for the good of people, planet and business,” CAKE founder and CEO, Stefan Ytterborn, stated in a press release.

Other recent noteworthy investments include:

Ubco's utility ebike is a classic example of one of the fastest growing segments of the EV market: two-wheeled utes. [Ubco]
Battery Resources focuses on a glaring problem with EVs: their batteries are not currently recyclable, meaning all those rare earth minerals have to be mined afresh for every battery. Not very 'green'...but Battery Resources already offers recycled materials for battery production. [Battery Resources]
  • Battery Resources, a startup that’s launching a closed-loop approach to lithium-ion battery materials, raised $70 million in funding.

Rad New eBike Releases

Some additional EV releases that caught our attention this week include:

Cowboy Ebike CEO Adrian Roose tests out his C4 model. [Cowboy]
  • Cowboy’s nimble new Cowboy 4 e-Bike, featuring an integrated “cockpit” that allows riders to securely mount their smartphones to access GPS or fitness data in real-time. The bike has a range of about 43 miles on one charge and can travel up to 20 mph.
The Rad Power e
Bike is a classic city commuter. [Rad Power]
  • Rad Power Bikes announced the release of its RadCity 5 Plus, a commuter e-Bike that can climb hills 40% faster than earlier predecessors.
Pave Motors from NYC offers a slick, modern minibike. [Pave Motors]
  • NYC’s Pave Motors announced its Pave Bike, a minibike with a tiny in-wheel motor, is available for pre-order.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Sept 24, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

It seems that with every passing week, the EV world is going farther and faster. And as the e-Bike boom continues to grow, so will our coverage on the essential stories that matter to you, dear readers/riders. This week sees 70mph e-Scooters built entirely by a team of women (definitely my cup of tea), an evocatively styled e-Bike that is sure to appeal to scrambler enthusiasts, an e-Scooter that boasts the same collision warning sensors as your car, and EV stocks worth investing in.

e-Scooters to Be Built Entirely by Women

The Ola Electric scooter has a 'universal' shape, simple enough to appeal to everyone. [Ola Electric]
Ola Electric, an Indian EV two-wheeler manufacturer, plans to export its 70 mph e-Scooters, the S1 and S1 Pro, to the US very, very soon. Better yet, the company is employing 10,000 women to get the job done. The all-lady team will work in Ola’s gigantic Futurefactory. The company is planning to produce 10 million electric scooter per year, and estimates that it will supply 15% of the global e-Scooter demand by 2023. Ola’s decision to build an 100% female workforce, including women managers, is part of a unique inclusivity initiative that is crucial in India. Ola’s CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal, elaborated further in a recent blog post:

10,000 women! A PR stunt or a strategic move on the part of Ola Electric? Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of Ola Electric, stands with his workers, who will produce 2Million scooters in 2022, with an eventual goal of 10M/year for the global market.  Sound like a lot?  Consider that Indian motorcycle/scooter manufacturers like Hero are already the largest in the world, and Indian manufacturers sell  over 10M two-wheelers per year! [Ola Electric]
Today, I am proud to announce that Ola Futurefactory will be run entirely by women. We welcomed the first batch this week and at full capacity, Futurefactory will employ over 10,000 women, making it the world’s largest women-only factory and the only all-women automotive manufacturing facility globally. This is the first in a series of initiatives we are undertaking at Ola to create a more inclusive workforce and provide economic opportunities for women across the board. We have invested significantly to train and upskill them in core manufacturing skills and they will be responsible for the entire production of every vehicle manufactured at Ola Futurefactory.

Enabling women with economic opportunities improves not just their lives but that of their families and indeed the whole community. In fact, studies show that just providing women parity in the labor workforce can grow India’s GDP by 27%. But this requires active and conscious efforts from all of us, especially in manufacturing where participation remains the lowest at just 12%. For India to be the world’s manufacturing hub, we must prioritize upskilling and generating employment for our women workforce.

RGNT’s Throwback e-Motorcycle Caters to Scrambler Enthusiasts

The RGNT Scrambler has short chromed fenders and a grey frame. [RGNT]
Are you a fan of the Honda CL series? Then you’ll probably dig the 77 mph retro-styled e-Motorbike RGNT is now taking orders for. The Swedish e-Bike manufacturer recently announced that it is taking orders for the updated Generation 1.5 RGNT Scrambler. Featuring classy, stripped-down styling, an enhanced suspension fork with increased durability, new Galfer brake rotors, and an upgraded 11 kW motor that decreases heat by as much as 30% to reduce battery waste energy, this bike is sure to appeal to classic café enthusiasts. With a 68-mile range and a Combined Braking System (CBS) for increased security, RGNT’s Scrambler is bound to sell out fast.

The Swedish eBike company RGNT based their initial model (the No.1 as seen here) on a vintage Honda chassis, but is currently a hand-built machine. [RGNT]
RGNT motorcycles are currently hand-built in their modern facility just outside Gothenberg, Sweden: the Vintagent team just took a Zoom tour of their facilities!  The RGNT No1 used a chassis and look based on the vintage Honda CB series, and the Scrambler is reminiscent of the CL Scrambler series.  A new chassis and new production line is in the works, as RGNT grows its footprint across Europe and soon to North America.  The vintage styling may not be cutting edge or reflect a tank-less future, but it appeals to a broad spectrum of riders and non-riders alike, who intuitively recognize it as 'motorcycle': it's proved a popular strategy on the 'Net, and fingers crossed the market for mid-range eBikes is as strong as for ICE bikes.

New e-Scooter Has the Same Collision Warning System as Your Fancy Car

The Unagi (Japanese for eel) has safety detection systems built in. [Unagi]
Unagi isn’t cutting any corners when it comes to its next-generation e-Scooter. The Unagi Model Eleven will sport smart sensors that scan for unexpected dangers, including careless pedestrians and stop signs, and alerts the rider via audible signals. Learning from its past mistakes, the Model Eleven has swapped out the original rigid airless tires for a soft, puncture-proof foam option. And even though the scooter’s top speeds of 19 mph and steep price point won’t win everyone over, we’re still intrigued.

EV Stocks Worth the Investment

New, huge, and well-funded players in the EV market include Chinese automaker XPeng. Not paying attention to such stuff? To quote Yoda, "You will be...you will be." [Bloomberg]
During Q1 of 2021, global EV sales spiked a staggering 160% , to 260Million units (!Wake up peeps!) from the same quarter last year. Such sales numbers are making stock watchers pay attention, thinking the future EV growth in sales makes EV stocks a prime investment opportunity. Some stocks worth watching are Nikola Corporation (NKLA) and Hyliion Holdings, in case you play the markets.  Note: The Vintagent does not endorse any investment strategy...we spend all our money on motorcycles!

Government Investment in EVs Projected to Create 150,000 Jobs

A report by the Economic Policy Institute lays it out: if the US government does not invest in EV technology, a projected 75,000 US jobs will be lost in the coming decade, as EV production ramps up overseas (did you note all the articles above are about non-US companies?).  The EPI report projects, though, that with the $175M included in the current budget proposals to support EV development, the US will gain 175,000 jobs in EV production over the next 10 years.  "The Stakes for Workers in How Policymakers Manage the Coming Shift to All-Electric Vehicles" lays out the stakes: "...battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which are powered exclusively by a battery and an electric motor, currently make up a small part of U.S. auto sales. And the batteries and other drivetrain components in BEVs are largely made by non-U.S. suppliers. The coming shift toward BEVs is a transformational change to the industry that is by now inevitable."  To summarize: if we're not part of the solution, we're creating more problems.  Seems pretty straightforward.  Give the article a read here.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Sep 17, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

This week in EV news sees a baby-toting EV cargo bike, a fold-up e-Bike, a reimagined electric motorbike platform, a new drop from one of the OG e-Bike manufacturers, and updates on President Biden’s EV tax credits.

Zaiser Motors Drops a Platform Redesign and Sporty e-Bike

The Zaiser Silhouette is long enough for a serious cruise, and has room for 300 miles of battery storage. [Zaiser]
Zaiser Motors, a Denver-based technology startup and creator of the world’s first Electrocycle, the Silhouette, announced earlier this week that it would be dropping the Arrow, a sportier model, that will be built on the company’s newly designed Electrocycle platform. After reaching its initial funding goals in just six weeks, Zaiser is using the capital to enhance the development of the Electrocycle platform. The Electrocycle Silhouette is a twin-hub electric motorcycle with a staggering 300-mile range, top speeds of 120 mph, and a starting price tag of $25,000. Its baby brother, the Arrow, will have a range of 160 miles and can be cranked up to 100 mph.

With the launch of the Arrow, Zaiser is hoping to target urban riders and daily commuters who are looking for a lighter, more affordable EV option. The Arrow costs $8,500 and weighs 380 pounds.

Monday Motorbikes Introduces the Piezo

The new Piezo model from Monday Motorbikes, still bearing a Puch-inspired frame system. [Monday Motorbikes]
San Francisco EV startup Monday Motorbikes recently announced its newest generation of electric motorbikes. Dubbed the Piezo (after piezoelectricity, an electrical charge built up in response to mechanical stress), the lineup will be the company’s eighth generation of EVs.  The Vintagent has been following the Monday story since 2013, after encountering founding engineer Nathan Jauvits on a San Francisco street with his home-built EV Puch moped, which he intended to make into a production machine.  We look forward to new models!

Carqon Classic Caters to the Kiddos

The hand the rocks the cradle: the Carqon is kid friendly for the bicycle set. [Carqon]
Dutch company Carqon wants to help parents ditch the stroller once and for all. Its electric cargo bike, the Carqon Classic, features a large nest that cradles your kid in comfort. The integrated children’s door, featuring double childproof safety locks, allows youngsters to effortlessly climb aboard all on their own. You can tote around up to two tots and an infant. The bike’s low center of gravity, hardy off-road tires, and front-fork suspension ensure a safe, smooth ride for all.

Everybody wear a helmet, ok? Still, strapping your child into a reinforced passenger compartment sounds like a good thing. [Carqon]
That's especially easy on bicycle friendly Dutch roads, although we see plenty of cargo bicycles carrying kids to school in urban areas of the USA.  Perhaps the safety angle will be push growth for Carqon?

Meet the World’s First Folding e-Bike

Clever folding design and amazingly inexpensive: the new Fiido folders. [Fiido]
Anyone who’s carried luggage on a train or subway understands the importance of compact carry-ons. But what if you have to travel with your e-Bike? The Fiido X folding bike is the EV world’s answer to this question. Created by the direct-to-consumer Chinese company, Fiido, the fold-up e-Bike can be easily stowed away in your car, under your work desk, or even in the overhead compartment. The Fiido X is available in three models, ranging in price from $1,098 to $1,298. All models max out at 20+ mph and feature a built-in battery and light magnesium frame that weighs no more than 40 pounds. Though the Fiido X is a pedal-assist only e-Bike for now, the company plans on selling a mod kit later down the road for riders that want to add a throttle.

e-Bike Tax Credit Slowly Makes Its Way Through Congress

President Biden is pushing hard for more EVs on the road as part of a broader strategy to fight climate change. [Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/CNET]
Remember how we told you about President Biden’s proposed EV tax credit back in April? Well, it has slowly been creeping up through the Congressional hierarchy, offering a $4500 subsidy to buy an EV.  That amount may almost triple to $12,500, if the current bill becomes law.  But there's a catch: the EV must be made in the USA with union labor in the bill as written, which has both Tesla and Toyota pushing against the bill, as neither company qualifies [If only Congress had been so concerned about either qualification in the 1980s/90s, when industry left the USA in droves and American industry hollowed out  - Ed.]  A phase-out schedule based on income brackets of $75,000 and over has also been proposed. The text also uses the troublesome “under 750 watts” phrase when defining e-Bikes that qualify for the incentive. Ideally the wording will be updated to say “not more than 750 watts” to be inclusive of all e-Bikes that are currently legal throughout most of the country.  For a decent exploration of the issue, check out this CNET article.

[Editor's note: I've been asked the same question by every E-Moto manufacturer I've met: 'what will move the needle on ebikes in the USA?'  I've always answered the same, 'Legislation.'  Which they've always found discouraging, but it's exactly what propelled China to the top of global ebike usage, with millions on their streets today.  EVs have their issues, from rare mineral extraction and its political/social/environmental cost, to clean electricity production, but walking on the streets of Shanghai today is to experience quiet and relatively pollution-free streets.]

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Sept 10 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

It’s that time of the week to plug in, charge up, and ride out! The first full week of September has been a crazy one for electric motorcycles. From BMW releasing yet two boundary-pushing e-bikes (you’re guaranteed to love the 186 miles worth of range on them) to four moto giants partnering up to launch a battery swapping system, this week’s EV news roundup is bound to get all you electric vehicle nerds fired up!  It's all movement towards the Electric Revolution.

BMW Drops two new E-Bikes: High-Speed and Low-Speed

The BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY skirts the line between bicycle and motorcycle, but is legally firmly in the moto camp. BMW built the concept vehicle to push boundaries on legal issues cropping up for e-bikes that are as fast as motorcycles. [BMW]
BMW is no stranger to making a big splash. And that’s just what the company did at the recent IAA Mobility show in Munich, Germany. The luxury vehicle and motorcycle manufacturer unveiled two new EV bikes at the event, under an 'adaptive mobility' (AMBY) banner: the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY, a low-speed electric motorcycle, and the I Vision AMBY, a high-speed e-bike.  And while the two machines are similar, one is firmly in the motorcycle camp in using a twistgrip for power, requiring a helmet, and having no pedals. The Motorrad Vision AMBY is ultralight at 65kg (145lbs), and can travel up to 186 miles in its lowest power setting, while hitting speeds of up to 37 mph in the highest mode. Fun fact: the highest speed on the i Vision AMBY doesn’t fit into any current EV legislations, and is intended to push legislative boundaries for adaptive speed limits for varying conditions.  For example, with 'geofencing' the top speed could be regulated in pedestrian zones to a 16mph, while in open country the full 37mph could be exploited.  Our American readers are surely horrified at the concept of a motorcycle designed to invite legislation, but BMW sees a connected future, where all vehicles will communicate, with each other and with local speed limits too.

The new BMW I Vision AMBY is a sleek modernist pedelec design with full suspension. [BMW]
On the other hand, BMW’s I Vision AMBY pedelec tops off at 37 mph. With wide tires and a hefty suspension system, this bike looks like it’s certainly ready for the trail.

CAKE and Polestar Announce the Maiden Electric Mobility Bundle

Polestar carries CAKE: the new Makka two-wheeler on the back of a Polaris 2 sedan. [CAKE]
CAKE and Polaris have teamed up to release a new electric mobility bundle that merges the convenience and comprehensive all-road capabilities of the Polaris 2 electric car with the urban agility of the CAKE Makka moped. A rear tow bar mount will enable the bike to be easily transported behind the car and simultaneously charged.

“Our new electric mobility bundle comes as a unique first step to solve the worldwide problems of city mobility as well as to accelerate the transition towards an emissions-free future. Instead of wasting time in a car queue, struggling to find a parking spot or squashing up in a crowded subway train, we together with the team at Polestar want to make the future of mobility flexible, accessible and emission-free - while aiming to create cities for people, not for cars that pollute,” CAKE CEO and founder, Stefan Ytterborn, stated in a press release.

Would you buy this bundle? Let us know in the comments below!

VanMoof Becomes “Most Funded e-Bike Company” After Raising $128 Million

The VanMoof ebike is chic and simple, and now the best-funded company in the global market. [VanMoof]
As part of its goal to put out 10 million e-bikes in the next five years, VanMoof has recently raised $128 million in funds. The Amsterdam-based company is using those funds to roll out branded stores and service hubs in more cities across the globe. VanMoof has already grown its retail and service footprints from eight to 50 locations worldwide during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vehicle Manufacturing Giants Team Up to Create a Battery Swapping System

Four major motorcycle manufacturers join forces to harmonize EV manufacture in regards to charging and batteries. [SBMC]
Honda, KTM, Yamaha, and Piaggio have all signed an official agreement to provide a battery swapping service to the moto community worldwide. The four companies are the founding members of the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC), seeking to broaden the use of light EVs, including motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters, focussing on issues such as recharging times and battery life.  Most importantly, the group seeks to create an international standard for charging ports for all two-wheeled electric vehicles.

Schaeffler Group Reveals a Chainless e-Bike Drive System

The Schaeffler bike-by-wire system of pedal crank power. [Schaeffler]
Schaeffler Group recently unveiled its new bike-by-wire system, called the 'Free Drive'.  It's a pioneering system consisting of a crankset generator, rear hub motor, and human-interface panel that utilizes automotive technologies to allow e-Bikes a physical disconnection between the crank and  rear hub motor. To put it simply, the system doesn’t use a belt, chain, or driveshaft to connect the rear hub to the generator/crankset.  There's an external battery to both absorb excess energy from pedaling and to power the rear wheel hub motor at a continuous 250W: thus the battery recharges as you pedal and gives a reasonable power. The system might prove ideal for ultralight, multi-wheel delivery vehicles on which a chain drive might prove cumbersome.  Ultimately, freeing a crankset from the wheel drive will also ease the development of new 'architectures' for bicycles and light multi-wheel vehicles, making feet-forward or even hand-crank vehicles much easier to build, without long or multiple-chain systems connecting the rear wheel.  Imagine the possibilities.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Sep. 3, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

This week has definitely been an exciting one for the world of electric motorcycles! From BMW dropping an EV bike catering to Gen Z (as a millennial, I feel slightly slighted), to an e-motorcycle setting a new land speed record at Bonneville, here is this week’s roundup of awesome EV stories from the Electric Revolution.

CrownCruiser Sets a New Standard for EV Bikes

The Crown Cruiser uses a carbon fiber chassis for a unique and chic urban style. Its designer Adebola Adeleye has been experimenting with ebikes for years, and is using an Indiegogo campaign to launch production. [Crown Cruiser]
A seamless blend of retro aesthetics, high performance, and pioneering technology, the CrownCruiser just dropped on Indiegogo. With throwback styling, tons of curves, and a tech pedigree backed by input from aerospace industry experts, the CrownCruiser promises to deliver an unrivaled riding experience within a 100-mile range. With a brushless DC hub motor that produces a maximum output of 100W and an affordable price tag of $3,150, the CrownCruiser is the brainchild of Adebola Adeleye. Using his background in aeronautical engineering and his passion for exploration, Adeleye set out to create an EV motorcycle that mated form with function.

To learn more about the Crown Cruiser, or support their Indiegogo campaign, click here. [Crown Cruiser]
Currently, manufacturing of the carbon fiber frame and other components of the bike are being developed by a leading independent materials manufacturer that has previously worked with Formula 1 teams. The CrownCruiser is currently ready for production. To make riding easier, Adeleye’s startup is planning to install swap-and-go battery stations across cities in the UK to allow riders to power up in seconds.

CAKE Launches Third Platform: Makka

CAKE's Makka with optional saddlebags. [Cake]
CAKE's third model platform was released this week, the Makka.  A light urban delivery or pleasure vehicle, it requires no license for riders 15 years an older, and is street legal.  It's also CAKE's first motorcycle with an in-wheel motor, with a step-thru chassis that's similar to their Ösa platform, but uses only large-diameter tubing with no spine member. It looks to be a perfect last-mile delivery vehicle, and comes with a range of accessories, from racks and saddlebags to a child safety seat!  We believe that's a first from a motorcycle company.

An industry first? The Makka with optional accessory child safety seat! [CAKE]
With cities and its mobility changing faster than expected with cleaner and more efficient solutions, we have been eager to share the Makka. An urban short-haul vessel, compact in size and price, reaching a wide audience in the process of deciding what their future means of transportation will be. I’m proud to introduce the CAKE urban shuttle, Makka.”, says Stefan Ytterborn, CEO and Founder.

BMW is Targeting a Younger Crowd with Its Motorrad Concept CE 02

The new BMW Concept CE 02 is a mini urban runabout with styling cues taken from indie ebike builders and customizers. It's an important move for BMW, which has struggled to reach new or non-riders and especially the youth market (in common with most OEMs). The future of fun is the future of motorcycling! [BMW]
Do you know what is rad? Luxury vehicle manufacturer BMW’s Motorrad Concept CE 02. Catering to Gen Z youngsters ages 16 and up who aren’t that familiar with riding, the EV bike boasts styling that’s worthy of the ‘Gram, smart technology, and a design that enables riders to pick a posture that best suits them. While traditionalists might roll their eyes at the lack of footrests and gears, we’re pretty pleased that BMW is trying to get the next generation aboard two-wheels.

Making tech specs irrelevant in pursuit of pure enjoyment is a drastic shift in approach for BMW, which has been steered for decades by a corporate culture of increasing tech and sophistication, which began to alienate new riders. [BMW]
Head of Design for BMW Motorrad, Edgar Heinrich, is clear about the inspiration behind the CE 02: "At first glance, there is little about the BMW Motorrad Concept CE 02 that is typically BMW Motorrad – it’s something completely new. We want to strive for something novel and be pioneers – which is what we’ve proven ourselves capable of with various projects in the past. The Concept CE 02 features new proportions and modern forms of single-track mobility in an urban environment. In addition, we wanted to achieve a level of design innovation that we have not had before at this level. Straightforward use was important, but above all the emotional component was crucial, as well as riding fun.”

The Nicolai Eboxx Ultra E-Bike is Beastly

The Nicolai Eboxx blurs the line between bicycle and enduro motorcycle with high performance, speed, and comfort with full suspension. [Nicolai]
The man behind the Nicolai Bicycles brand has been putting out wild e-bikes for a long time, and his brand new 275 Nm monster is no different. Recently featured at Eurobike 2021, the Eboxx Ultra delivers power between 15 to 35 kW. Despite its power, the Eboxx Ultra is a cumbersome machine, clocking in between 121 and 143 pounds. This makes the Eboxx Ultra more comparable to a light enduro motorcycle that a mountain bike.  It looks comfortable and fast for the trails less traveled, and the Eboxx Ultra handles itself pretty nicely on the pavement, reaching top speeds of about 40 mph.

EV Motorcycle Sets New Land Record

Ukranian ebike maker Delfast utilized the Dnepr name (and dummy fuel tank) for a run at Bonneville, hitting 107.2 mph with rider Serhii Malyk aboard, on Aug 21, 2021. [Delfast]
Two weeks ago on the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Ukranian ebike manufacturer Delfast set a record in the new “A Omega” class. The 68-horsepower Delfast Dnepr ran 107.2 mph with professional rider Serhii Malyk, who set previous records in 2017 and 2018 astride Delfast ebikes.  Delfast now owns the Dnepr name and intellectual property rights, and used a 1980s Dnepr two-stroke 'fuel tank' on the e-racer as a nod to the past.  If the name doesn't ring a bell, Dnepr was one of the companies producing clones of the BMW R71 model during and after WW2 (along with Ural and Chiang-Jiang, Yangtze, etc), as well as building their own designs of two-strokes and even Wankel-engined prototypes before hitting troubles with the fall of the Soviet Union.   Now Delfast is reviving the Dnepr name, which resonates in the former Soviet bloc countries, and is looking to secure a foothold in the future with their hi-tech ebikes.   Delfast is dedicated to producing economical ebikes with great performance - they currently hold the world record for the longest distance travelled on a single charge with their Prime ebike, rounding the Kiev Velodrome for 228 miles!

Expannia's new EV Concept Worthy of Daytona Bike Week

Expannia has a bold new lineup of motorcycles, microcars, sedans, and busses, all slated for future production. Their ebike is slick and attractive, but features limp-rod fake exhausts...why?
It's a beauty without them. [Expannia]
Far from the caterwauling cries of Harley exhausts we expect to hear bellowing up and down Main Street during Daytona Bike Week, Miami-based startup Expannia is quietly working on a lineup of muscular EVs. As the initial part of an ambitious plan to rollout compact cars, SUVs, and microcars by 2026, the company’s e-bike, slated for next year, is a true stunner. Housing 20 to 25 kW motors powered by a 6 kWh battery, the bike promises to reach top speeds of 75 mph and have a 93-mile range. While the bodywork is angular and frankly stunning, the designers in a fit of insecurity have fitted faux dual exhaust pipes and air intakes, to fool whom?  Ditch the chrome bits, Expannia, and be bold in your EV heart!

Ford and GM’s Stance on EV Impact of Gas Vehicle Values

The switch to EVs will not impact resale values, according to US industry bigwigs. Thoughts on that? [Aaron Bragman]
Automotive manufacturing giants, Ford and GM, are both expressing confidence that the global pivot to using EVs will not negatively effect the values of gas-powered vehicles. C-suite executives at both companies do not expect major changes within their leasing portfolios due to the ever-growing demand for electric vehicles. Do you think they’re right?

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Aug 27, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

From the affordable and super durable SONDORS Metacycle EV bike that features hub motor technology designed to eliminate the common chain/belt final drive (a frustration to many of you traditional riders, we know!) to batteries that promise to charge to 80% in just 30 minutes, here are our picks for the most buzzworthy EV stories of the week!

The SONDORS Metacycle Will Soon Be Hitting the Market

The Sondors is a sleek, modern design with sufficient identity to stand out in the market, and very reasonably priced.  'Cost of entry' is second only to 'range' on the list of gripes for potential e-bike buyers. [Sondors]
Priced to please at $5,000, the SONDORS Metacycle electric motorcycle is swiftly approaching its Q3 2021 shipping date. Durable enough for the daily commuter, the Metacycle delivers up to 80 miles on a single charge and can hit top speeds of 80 mph. While that won’t win this utilitarian bike any trophies on the racetrack, its affordable price-tag is sure to be appealing for the average rider who is looking for a highway-capable EV bike. The Metacycle offers hydraulic brake locks, a digital full color display, adjustable suspensions, and a rear hub motor. SONDOR’s motor choice is in stark contrast to the mid-mounted motor that most electric motorcycle manufacturers opt for. This streamlines the bike and eliminates the need for extra components, dropping the Metacycle’s price exponentially.

Husqvarna Unveils Its First EV Street Bike

The E-Pilen concept has been on display since Spring, but it's looking ever more likely to enter the market in 2021. [Husqvarna]
With the public hungry for more EV options, many motorcycle manufacturers are desperately trying to keep up with the demand. Husqvarna is no exception. Known for its high-quality off-road bikes, the company is now shifting its focus to the EV sector with the release of its first EV concept, the Husqvarna E-Pilen. Fans of the brand’s Vitpilen or Svartpilen gas-powered motorcycles will already by familiar with the E-Pilen’s styling. The concept sports a similar body and panels that will contain three removable battery packs that promise a range of 62 miles.

Stand-up electric scooters are among the most popular EVs on the planet, and almost disposable in urban areas. Still, Husqvarna sees a potential for the market in personal mobility. [Husqvarna]
The E-Pilen is the first in a long line of EV projects by Husqvarna’s parent firm, Pierer Mobility. The company plans to release a variety of electric motorcycles and scooters built on a 48-volt platform, with powers spanning from 4kw to 11kw.  Their Vektorr scooter and Bltz stand-up electric scooter fill out their upcoming EV lineup.

At Energica, Shorter Charging Times Are Around the Corner

The stunning Energica Ego cafe racer built by DeBolex Engineering for our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum in 2019, the 'TW Steel Oil in the Blood' custom. [Tom Homa]
If you ask any gas-powered motorcycle enthusiast why they aren’t keen on making the transition to electric bikes, they’ll quickly cite refueling and range as their largest discouragers. But this could all change soon.  Our friends at Energica Motor Company, an Italian manufacturer of electric motorcycles, have already implemented faster charging for their model lines, including the CHAdeMO standard for the Japanese market.  But, according to the company’s CTO, Giampiero Testoni, even swifter charging times will be arriving soon.

In a recent interview with Visordown, Testoni stated, “Of course, there was already a Japanese standard, but we were the first to start on a European standard, enabling charging to 80% in half an hour. In real use, when you stop for refueling, you go and drink some coffee, 20 minutes, it’s very easy to reach that target.”  While this is a good start, Testoni believes that an 85% charge in just 15 minutes is completely achievable in the very near future.

An EV Ducati?!

Italjet harkens back to the era of the Wedge with their concept for an EV Ducati, a retro-futuristic shape reminiscent of deTomaso's designs for Benelli's 250-4, and Giorgetto Giugiaro's boxy 860GT of 1975, which was a flop, it should be noted.  Car designers never seem to nail it with the motorcycle crowd, who seem to prefer substance over styling. [Italdesign]
A company hailed for having a combustion-engine soul, Ducati is becoming increasingly involved in e-bicycles. However, a recent electric motorcycle concept dubbed the “Ducati 860-E Concept” could soon plunge the Italian company into the world of EV bikes. Created by Italdesign, a company that has a long-standing relationship with Ducati and even collaborated with them to designed the firm’s Urban-E electrical bicycle, the 860-E draws inspiration from the 1970s L-twin to convey a neo-retro model of a Ducati electric motorcycle.T he concept’s circular headlights, arching tank, and gilled side covers all pay tribute to Ducati’s distinct visual trademarks. Other features will include LED lighting, dual-mount front brakes, and an inverted front-end.

Ghanain Teenager Builds Solar-Powered Wooden Scooter from Scrap

Samuel, a 17-year old student in Ghana, gained insta-fame last week for his home-built, solar-powered electric scooter, built entirely from scrap wood and discarded parts.  The scooter charges its battery from a small solar panel on the back, uses very low-draw LED lights front and rear, and incorporates the small electric motor from his mother's sewing machine!  The scooter is totally functional, and captured global attention after a Ghanaian YouTube star (Efo Selasi) featured him on his channel.  Now we wonder, how can we get this young man a scholarship for the engineering school he is so clearly ready for?

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


EV Tax Credit: Ditch Your Car?

Would you abandon your car if given a Federal tax credit to buy an E-Bike?  Despite the 2021 tax deadline being pushed back to May 17, thousands of Americans are still scampering to organize their paperwork to enjoy hefty tax refunds under the new tax code.  But would you give up your car for a large EV tax credit?

Harley-Davidson has spun off its EV division, and is launching the Serial 1 e-bike brand as an affordable fun/commute vehicle. See our post here. [Harley-Davidson]
The Age of Electrifying

The current US administration has big plans for electric vehicles. Despite his love for his 1967 Corvette, President Biden plans to spend up to $174 billion to get Americans behind the wheels of electric cars. He also plans to make electric vehicles more affordable by offering rebates, tax credits, and other incentives. The President also hopes to have a million charging stations scattered across the country by 2030. Other government officials are following suit. Congressmen Jimmy Panetta and Earl Blumenaurer of California and Oregon were inspired to propose the Electrical Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act. They want to drastically reduce carbon emissions by getting more cars off the streets. The Act promises to provide tax credits to individuals seeking to purchase a new e-bike. In fact, consumers would get up to 30% of their total e-bike purchase back come tax season. However, the limit caps off at $1,500.

In Europe, EV manufacturers benefit from government support, and individuals earn tax credits when buying EVs, lowering their price dramatically in a bid to make them more popular. Sweden's CAKE has become very successful with niche marketing its KALK and OSA models, and the Elektrafuture urban MX series in France features racing CAKE models. [Fabio Affuso]
While a tax credit sounds tempting, does the purchase of an electric car or e-bike make a significant environmental impact?  And exactly how many people are actually buying e-bikes? Would riding an e-bike save the planet? According to a recent study published by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, 45% of trips taken by e-bike riders in the US are done instead of driving a car. An additional study claims that the 15% of Americans riding e-bikes in lieu of cars could cut our carbon footprint by as much as 12%. This is huge.

Would You Take the Tax Credit?

The E-BIKE Act has a good chance of passing, but will it encourage more consumers to go electric? While Europeans have been encouraged to buy e-vehicles thanks to new legislations, and government subsidies for EVs, would America do the same?  Not surprisingly, an overwhelming percentage of Americans prefer gasoline vehicles. Right now, EVs make up less than 2% of new-vehicle sales in the US. While numerous automakers are embracing electric vehicles as their future, promising to end production of gas-fueled cars and trucks by the 2030s, consumers are still dragging their feet. They have lots of reasons: the high price of EVs, the lack of charging stations in many areas, the limits on range and charging times.  For most Americans, the timing just isn’t right for the purchase of an EV, yet.

In China, electric two- and three-wheelers circulate in the Millions in large cities. Here, a Shanghai carpenter has transformed his electric scooter into a utility vehicle. [Paul d'Orléans]

EV sales have taken off in Europe, and eBike sales are enormous in China, because gas-powered small vehicles are already illegal in most Chinese cities.  To walk on the streets of Shanghai is to experience the future of the West, as most light vehicles zipping through the city are already electric, even shaggy 3-wheel lumber haulers that in previous centuries were horse-drawn, then powered by smoky two-stroke engines in the 20th Century.  Today Shanghai's streets are relatively quiet, and the air is free of exhaust smoke, which compares extremely favorably to a walk through Paris in the summer, where every stoplight becomes a drag race for dozens of small two-stroke scooters, that fill the air with a noxious, eye-watering cloud.

E-Bike Apps are hugely popular the world over, leading to unexpected problems like bicycles being heaped on popular corners. Such problems have been dealt with harshly in some cities, by cities simply scooping up and trashing ebikes by the heapful. The problem has eased, but exemplifies the type of unknowns created by new tech. [Paul d'Orléans]
Will the EV experience ever gain traction in the USA?  Without legislation encouraging (or requiring) EVs, it will take a very long time before Americans embrace battery power en masse. The Vintagent's own Paul d'Orléans notes, "I've been asked by every eBike maker - 'what will move the needle on sales?', and my answer is the same: only legislation will create mass adoption, for better and worse."   With the proposed E-BIKE Act tax incentives, more people will surely be inclined to give electric vehicles a go, but at what scale we can only wait and see.

Clean in the Streets! A Serial 1 on test: e-bikes, electric-assist bicycles, and electric mountain bikes are the biggest growth sector on two wheels. [Serial 1]
[Feature image: Wisconsin State Journal, Amber Arnold ]

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


It's Fuell Not Buell

Riders the world over were ecstatic when news broke that Buell Motorcycles has resurfaced. But despite that company’s pioneering ploys for the future, it will go forth without its founder, Erik Buell. Buell Motorcycle’s story is surely a wild ride. The company was created in the early 1980s by former road-racer Erik Buell. The machines bearing his name boasted advanced chassis built from Erik's racing experience, and air-cooled engines manufactured by Harley-Davidson. In spite of the brand’s initial success, it struggled after 2009. The company, becoming a division of Harley-Davidson in 1993, was closed down by the (non-riding) CEO of Harley-Davidson during the Great Recession. The same man who publicly wondered why people ride sports bikes shut down one of the most innovative lines of sporting motorcycles seen in decades. Michigan-based Liquid Asset Partners (LAP), a specialist in dismantling and selling off corporate properties, was hired to liquidate Buell’s assets.

Erik Buell, a perfect example of an American maverick, has been making waves in the motorcycle industry for 40 years. [Fuell]
Despite this tremendous blow, Erik was not deterred, and founded Erik Buell Racing (EBR) in late 2009. “I ran a small company called EBR which designed a lot of innovative product concepts for HERO, and also evolved the Buell 1125 motor into an 1190 version, of which we made a few thousand. The EBRs were exciting; however, I found it more interesting creating radical concepts for HERO. Although these were concepts and most did not get to production, after so many years doing more conventional products, I found real inspiration in being able to stretch into new areas, like the HERO Leap, iOn, RnT and SimplEcity,” Erik stated. But history repeats itself, and just as it had done with Buell Motorcycles, Liquid Asset Partners liquidated EBR in 2015, after HERO was unable to pay its bills. This time, LAP decided to keep the EBR brand, and carried on producing EBR bikes in limited quantities.

Erik Buell's original hybrid, the 1982 Buell RW7501: a chassis of his own design housing a Barton racing two-stroke engine.  Erik quit his job at Harley-Davidson to develop a limited number of these racers, before they were rendered obsolete by rule changes at the AMA.   His next engine?  A cache of 50 unused Harley-Davidson XR1000 motors left at the factory after the model was dropped, for his RR1000 model of 1987. [Buell]
Now it seems that the original Buell Motorcycles brand is back from the dead, with a stream of future models in the pipeline, according to press releases.  Buell Motorcycles is on target to release 10 performance-based models by 2024, including touring, dual-sport, dirt, and cruiser bikes.  But Erik Buell isn’t involved with either the Buell or EBR brands. Instead, he has turned his attention to the EV market, co-founding FUELL in 2018. “I co-founded FUELL because there was clearly a great need for new products and innovations in the electric motorcycle/bicycle world. That is where I have been for the last three-plus years, and it is very exciting to be free to design radical stuff,” Erik explained.

The Fuell Fllow eBike bears much of the original thinking behind Erik Buell's work. It's intended as a light urban commuter. [Fuell]
Erik believes that the future is electric. He sees the EV market growing, especially in urban areas that allow for short-distance trips. “The growth will be mostly urban short distance as the energy density of batteries is far less than that of gasoline. Thus, long range between re-fueling stops is simply not a technical possibility on a two-wheeled vehicle. To get extra range, much more weight must be carried than for equivalent range using fossil fuel. In a four-wheeler, that weight is not noticed. In a two-wheeler it is unmanageable. However, in shorter, lower speed trips, electric makes a lot of sense, and will also be forced by urban governments. Years down the road higher-energy-density batteries will come, and of course more recharging stations and more rapid recharging speeds as well. But that is way out, and the urban/suburban use and need will drive the market for some time,” he explained.

The Fuell Fllow electric-assist bicycle is on the market now. [Fuell]
Diehard Buell Motorcycle fans are guaranteed to love FUELL’s bikes. “The bikes are fun, nimble and very quick-accelerating. So they have a number of attributes Buell riders enjoy. They also bristle with innovation, which appeals to these riders,” Erik said.  The Buell Motorcycles name may be back and making sports motorcycles, but Erik, in his usual maverick way, has set his sights on the future, via electric-powered motorcycles and bicycles.  Our Publisher, Paul d'Orléans, even managed a test ride on the electric-assist Fuell Flluid bicycle in New York City three years ago, courtesy Fuell CEO François-Xavier Terny, whom he met via Terny's other motorcycle projects in the past (Confederate, Vanguard, Veldt helmets, etc)

Our publisher Paul d'Orléans checking out the Fuell Fllow at their pop-up store in NYC in the Fall of 2019. [Francois-Xavier Terny]
...and Paul d'Orléans road testing the Fuell Flluid in NYC's Chinatown in 2019. "It was a blast, so to speak, and made a zippy ride through urban streets super easy and fun." [Francois-Xavier Terny]
Buells are Cool. The amazing Ronin 'Oishi Yoshio' Pikes Peak racer, a feature of our Custom Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum. [Ronin Motorworks]

 
 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: MicroMobility by LEF

Need a comfortable, convenient, and eco-conscious way to get around town? The LEF by EV Mobility provides a sleek solution to short trips that will surely crush the e-bike/car combination chimera. The Dutch three-wheeled product features a cocooned cockpit designed to comfortably accommodate one passenger. A clear canopy ensures the occupant is weather-protected while the three 10Ah lithium-iron battery capacity promises a maximum range of 60 miles (90 kilometers) per charge. The LEF can reach a top speed of 16 mph/25 km, making it the perfect personal mobility machine for urban dwellers.

Easy to drive plastic pods! The LEF is an update of the Sinclair C5 concept, but looks a lot more safe and weather-tight. [LEF]
The main body is made from recyclable polyethylene. Inside, the driver can keep tabs on speed, battery status, and kilometers driven via a digital display screen. There are LED lights on the front and rear, a USB port for charging smart phones, and enough storage space to fit a 50-liter bag, groceries, and other possessions. Other features include electric windshield wipers, LED turn signals, and side mirrors. The entire vehicle barely tips the scales at 198 pounds. Designer Erik Vegt was inspired to create the LEF because he wanted to provide people with a personal mobility option that used less money, energy, and resources. After three years of development, the product was approved by the RDW and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

Yes, the LEF is cool. And minimal, and un-intimidating. [LEF]
“The less is more idea brought the LEF alive. Our intention was to use less energy per kilometer than a human powered bike does while providing comfort. And we succeeded. The LEF, meaning ‘courage’ or ‘guts’ in Dutch, is a low speed, high efficiency, simple product that delivers a smooth ride. We also wanted to tackle the environmental problems we face and show what else is possible,” Erik explained. Before diving into the LEF project, Erik spent 15 years designing innovative wheelchairs for the disabled. His team has been involved with greener mobility options for many years. They were also responsible for designing and building diesel motorcycles, including the Track T-800 CDI. Since diesel engines are no longer an option in the Netherlands, the switch to electric naturally happened.

An appealing shape and proportions just might propel the LEF into general usage. [LEF]
The beautiful thing about the LEF, besides its miniscule eco footprint, is that practically anybody can operate it. The vehicle is intuitive and easy to handle. The retractable handlebars make entering and exiting the tub a breeze while the steering wheel-mounted throttle seamlessly speeds up the machine. The LEF’s starting price is €4,380 (about $5,309) and is available in seven gorgeous colors. While no driver’s license is required (at least in the Netherlands) to operate the vehicle, drivers must be at or over the age of 16. “The LEF represents a new way of thinking. We see a bright future for this vehicle,” Erik said.

A herd of LEFs in warmer times: a perfect beach transport. [LEF]
The Current News keeps track of the latest developments in the two- and three-wheel EV market.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: EV 'Bush Bikes' Protecting Wildlife

Back in December, Sweden-based EV motorcycle manufacturer, CAKE, announced that it would do its part to help combat endangered wildlife poaching in Africa with a line of silent solar-charged “bush bikes.”  A team of CAKE, Goal Zero (maker of off-grid solar-charging products), and the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC - a private college specializing in conservation education and training), have combined to put an end to rhino poaching.

The Kalk AP (Anti-Poaching) is silent and self sufficient, as it's supplied with its own solar charging station. [CAKE]
They’ve dubbed the partnership the Electrical Bush Bike Anti-Poaching Act. “It is somewhat unreal how the sun and solar power, together with the technology of these silent off-road motorbikes can serve as something of a perpetual machine that works toward the general obligation of sustainability and, in this specific instance, to serve the purpose of saving species from extinction,” CAKE’s CEO and founder, Stefan Ytterborn, commented.

Stefan Ytterborn, CAKE's founder and CEO, sending innovative and critical support from his tiny company to the much needed conservation group SAWC. [CAKE]
An estimated 30,000 species are thrust into extinction every year, with poaching being a main driver. Animals such as the black rhino, African elephant, lion, mountain gorilla, and imperial zebra are all gravely threatened by poachers. Rangers combing rural land to track and apprehend poachers mainly utilize dirt bikes for transportation. While these off-road bikes effortlessly navigate the unruly and unforgiving African terrain, their loud combustion engines can easily tip off poachers. Additionally, they need to constantly be refueled.

The Southern African Wildlife College has trained over 17,000 people across its various accredited programs and courses. This remarkable achievement was reached without any government subsidy, so support with transportation needs in their conservation efforts will make a real impact. [SAWC]
CAKE’s EV motorcycles harness the power of the sun to operate, and thus do not need helicopter support to be refueled and are completely self-sufficient. Their innovative electric engines hum at just above a whisper, enabling rangers to efficiently sneak up on and catch unsuspecting poachers. CAKE plans to present the complete bush bikes by the end of this month.

The SAWC serves the south-east corner of Africa, with a very large, multi-national preserves that are constantly under threat from poachers. [SAWC]
CAKE’s EV Food Delivery Box

Not only is CAKE working to protect endangered wildlife in Africa, but the EV motorbike manufacturer is also collaborating with Dometic to revolutionize food delivery services. Called The Dometic Food Delivery Box, the temperature-controlled electric-powered box will keep delicious meals at the perfect temperature during the “last mile” of the delivery journey. The delivery rider will also be able to keep a close eye on the food’s temperature through a connectivity feature.

Your dinner, delivered hot? [CAKE]
The box is specifically made for CAKE’s Osa EV motorcycle and connects directly to the same battery that powers the bike via an electric cord. CAKE’s Osa battery will allow both the vehicle and the food storage box to operate for up to four hours. The product is slated to launch this September.

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Guido Comes to America

When most folks think about electric motorcycles, a reliable, eco-friendly method of transportation typically comes to mind. An art form doesn’t. The Guido EV motorcycle concept is looking to change all of that. Inspired by the Rolls Royce 130EX concept with fully-covered fenders and named after the 17th-century Italian Baroque painter Guido Reni, the Guido puts form and aesthetics above everything else. Vlad Belyakov of Box39, a custom motorcycle workshop in Moscow, is the main designer and fabricator behind the Guido. He has drawn worldwide recognition for his heavily modified Harley-Davidsons, which feature parts milled on modern Haas 5-axis machinery. The Guido concept was originally built by request for a Haas machinery dealer located in eastern Europe, for the purpose of showcasing what the machinery can do.

The machinery in question at the Box39 the workshop in Moscow. [Box39]
“The Guido motorcycle is a concept of design,” said Stan Pavlov from Henne Co., a Fort Lauderdale-based company that sells finished custom bikes milled on Box39’s machines and is representing them in North and South America. “This motorcycle is not about mile range. It is nothing but form. In five years, the Guido may be in a museum of art.” The Guido’s massive front wheel, which has a diameter of 30 inches, took 200 machine hours to manufacturer. This, along with the handcrafted aluminum body, is a true testament to the painstaking detail Belyakov has invested in the design.

200 hours were required to make this one-off 30" diameter wheel. [Box39]
Despite the proclamations that Guido is all about form, it is a rideable work of art, just not on the streets. Other specifications include a 17-inch front wheel tucked underneath the bodywork, a front end Girder suspension, hydraulic rear brakes, and a battery-powered motor. A unique feature about the Guido EV concept is its customizable suspension for both wheels. The rider simply straddles the bike, scans their fingerprints, and the electric motor raises its rear suspension and raises the body against the front wheels for a precise and perfect fit.

The handlebars are a masterpiece of minimalism, made a bit easier by the electric powertrain. [Box39]
According to Pavlov, Belyakov represents a new school of motorcycle customizing. Box39 has been in operation for over nine years. Pavlov is a two-wheel junky himself, being a Bonneville racer and bike and hot rod builder. “I believe that we are living in a fast-paced world,” Pavlov commented in regards to the future of e-bikes. “Information and technology are both so swift. If I say that in 10 years we’ll only be riding EV vehicles, it may happen in just five. The EV revolution era already exists. It’s just a matter of time until the world catches on. When we do have the same batteries in all of our vehicles, car and bike brands will start a design war. Modern day is not about design. However, down the road, all concerns will center around the customer’s choice for vehicle forms only. This is why the Guido concept is so revolutionary.”

It was all worked out in a sketch first, then plugged into a CAD program for the 5-axis milling machine to get to work. [Box39]
Amazingly well finished and minimalist details set Guido apart. [Box39]
The headlamp and grille, reminiscent of 1920s Art Deco automobiles. [Box39]
Guido in his elegance. A unique motorcycle design, made especially unusual in being an EV. [Box39]
 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

Serial 1 E-Bike: Harley-Davidson’s Past and Present

Get your motor runnin’, err, make that charging.

A few weeks ago, Harley-Davidson’s spinoff brand, Serial 1, announced that they would be taking pre-orders for their new e-bike portfolio. According to Aaron Frank, Brand Director, the initial product offerings will be targeted toward casual recreational riders and urban commuters.  Available in four different models, the battery-powered bikes will have a price range of $3,399 to $4,999, and will be available in America and Germany next year, with additional countries to be added as they support new growth opportunities. But with an iconic name like Harley-Davidson, why would the Serial 1 brand branch off?

Ready for urban realities: the new Serial 1 Mosh has enough power for city antics [Serial 1]
“Engaging the e-bicycle market through this joint venture with a dedicated brand allows Harley-Davidson to play a key role in the e-bike mobility revolution while allowing Serial 1 the opportunity to focus exclusively on the e-bicycle space, to better understand the customer, and to deliver an unmatched riding experience rooted in the core Harley-Davidson values of freedom and adventure,” Aaron explained. While the Serial 1 collection represents the future of electric bicycles, the company is also harnessing the power of the past. Two years before Harley-Davidson was founded, 20-year-old co-founder William S. Harley drew up plans for a small motor designed to be used in a traditional pedal-bike frame.

The cockpit of the Serial 1, showing the watch-sized digital display and relatively normal ebike controls [Serial 1]
“When the company was founded in 1903, the motorcycle was the cutting edge of personal mobility,” Aaron explained. “Thus, Harley-Davidson Motor Company became a motorcycle company. I believe that there is a strong case to be made that if Harley-Davidson was formed in 2020, the pedal-assist electric bicycle could be considered the cutting edge of personal mobility, at least in urban areas. So in some ways, Serial 1 is about channeling that original entrepreneurial spirit of Harley-Davidson’s founders, and applying it to our modern context. And that’s why the company takes its name from ‘Serial Number One,’ the nickname of Harley Davidson’s oldest known motorcycle.”

The battery interfaces the pedal cranks and belt drive at the bottom of the frame. [Serial 1]
Depending upon the model, the Serial 1 e-bike can reach top speeds of 28 miles per hour. The top-tier model, the RUSH/CTY SPEED, is equipped with an airy, mid-mounted Brose TF MAG motor that churns out 66 ft.-lb. of torque. This innovative technology is seamlessly paired with the aesthetics of Harley-Davidson’s loop-frame prototype.

A step-thru version, the Rush City ladies' model, is also available. [Serial 1]
Aaron, author of The Harley-Davidson Story: Tales from the Archives, appreciates the company’s compelling history as not only a motorcycle company, but a mobility company. The Serial 1 brand will continue to carry this long lineage of mobility and adventure to a brand new target audience, while paying homage to Harley-Davidson’s past. “You can have that same spirit of adventure in the confines of your city on an electric bike. You don’t have to take two weeks and ride a motorcycle across the country. You can take two hours and discover new parts of your city that are only accessible on an e-bicycle,” Aaron stated.

The Rush City is the top tier version, an urban commuter that just might be the escape hatch Harley-Davidson needs to outgrow its own brand strength. [Serial 1]

 


The Current News: Spanish Classic Magic

Remember the iconic 1968 Bultaco Pursang 250 MKII that Peter Fonda straddled in Easy Rider? Well, wipe that bike of a bygone era clear from your mind. It has now been resurrected and revamped as an e-bike by Spanish motorcycle manufacturer, PURSANG. The bike’s rebirth is due to the tireless love and labor of Jim Palau-Ribes. According to the company’s CMO, Oriol Renart, Jim used to ride Pursang motocross bikes when he was younger and developed a deep adoration for the brand.

The new PURSANG e-bike is compact, sleek, and performanc-oriented, without being mammoth. [PURSANG]
After years of working for other well-known automotive brands all across Europe, Jim decided to leave his career to launch his own project in the form of an innovative and elegant electric motorcycle. “We started with the project two years ago and now we are introducing the motorcycles to the market,” Oriol said. “It’s a history of passion and we all really love this brand and bike.”

JimPalau-Ribes with the latest carbon-fiber electric version of his hommage to Spanish motorcycle heritage. [PURSANG]
After creating some gasoline replicas of the classic Pursang model, Jim decided to create an 100% electric scrambler. Known as the PURSANG E-Track, the carbon-fiber wrapped bike features a 11kW Bosch motor that utilizes three 48V batteries, giving it a range of 140 kilometers and a maximum speed of 120km/h (or 74.5 m/h).  The charging time for the batteries is six hours. The E-Track features three different driving modes, including Go, Cruise, and Boost. The braking system includes a 320mm front brake and a 240mm rear brake. Additional features include inverted front forks fitted with 41mm bars, an adjustable rear shock absorber, tubular chromoly frames, JJuan floating caliper hydraulic disc brakes, Morard wheels, Pirelli Scorpion tires, and a gorgeous and intuitive instrument panel boasting a color TFT screen. The bike can be effortlessly connected with the Bosch app through Bluetooth connectivity.

Clean enough to live with: with no oil drips or gas fumes, complaints about motorcycles in the living room are muted. [PURSANG]
The appealing aesthetics of the e-bike are heavily influenced by the motorcycles of the flat track oval. With high handlebars, a stripped down body, a minimalistic tail, and two superior finishes, fans of dirt track racing are sure to appreciate the streamlined and subtle look. The PURSANG E-Track is priced at €13,700, or $15,000. “We have created 24 units for the first launch. However, over the next year we expect to sell over 4,000 units all over Europe,” Oriol said. “In Europe, the politics are steering us away from combustion engines. We love to ride gas motorcycles, but the future is clearly electric.”

With crossover styling, the PURSANG design hits the middle ground design-wise, with a familiar silhouette. [PURSANG]

 
 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

Elektrafuture 2020

A First-of-Its-Kind Electric Motocross Race Series in Saint Tropez, France

In early September, motorcycle connoisseurs Oliver Le Quellec and Vincent Prat (founder of Wheels and Waves), hosted a world-premiere motocross race for electric bikes in the heart of Saint Tropez, France featuring the motorcycles of Swedish company CAKE.

Past future Perfect by Sebastien Zanella

The chic coastal town nestled on the banks of the French Riviera first became famous in the 1950’s with the release of the iconic film God Created Woman, featuring the smoldering Brigitte Bardot. Saint Tropez has long been a mecca for the international “jet set” crowd. Still widely acclaimed for its pristine beaches and bustling nightlife, Saint Tropez doesn’t seem like the typical place where one would host the electric equivalent of Formula 1. However, due to Prat’s and Le Quellec’s unique vision and the zero pollution and absolute silence that electric bikes offer, the world’s very first electric motocross championship took place amidst bars, restaurants, shops, and hotels in the center of the village.

The track was tight, the action fast and quick. [Fabio Afuso]
“The silence of the motorcycles made it possible to hold the competition in the heart of the city without creating the slightest nuisance, noise, or odor,” Prat explained.

More than 1,700 tons of local soil was moved to create the track. Prat enlisted the help of a local architect to ensure it was the best possible track for the riders.

1700 tons of dirt in an empty lot in the center of Saint Tropez - instant motocross! [Fabio Afuso]
“The track, halfway between a BMX and a motocross track, promised to provide a fast and spectacular spectacle,” he stated.

The ephemeral track’s main advantage was its total visibility, enabling the audience to follow the duels in detail and to fully appreciate the piloting efficiency of the riders.

The competition brought together more than 100 riders with widely varying levels of experience and backgrounds. Motocross world champions such as Mickael Maschio shared the track with pilots who only participated in the sport recreationally. All riders operated the CAKE Kalk, a 67kg electric machine that delivered the power and torque comparable to a 200cc thermic motocross bike.

The CAKE Kalk racers and roadsters in various liveries: a winner of design awards all over Europe for its clean, Dieter Rams styling. [Fabio Afuso]
After a day of qualifying, 48 pilots who achieved the best lap times in their respective categories were selected and divided into three series of 16, including the Swallows, Cuckoos, and Eagles, to participate in one-to-one races with direct elimination.

“The Swallows opened the competition,” Prat explained. “The 16 pilots of a very good level offered a quality show and the victory went to Amaury Mobius.  Then came the Cuckoos category. The winner was Sebastien Jondeau, who perfectly mastered his competition. The Eagles category, made up of pros, delivered a breathtaking performance with virtuosos showcasing the gestural art of the pilot becoming one with his machine.”

A gopher's eye view of the action! The riders could really throw the 63kg bikes around. [Sebastien Zanella]
For 2021, the race is slated to be added to the Urban Motocross circuit and include a trials and an endurance event.

“The objective is to create a real testing laboratory for new mobility in Saint Tropez. Additionally, the promoters are working in collaboration with the Federation to create a real national and international championship,” said Prat.

Organizers Vincent Prat and Olivier Le Quellec take a well-deserved break from organizing a pioneering race event. [Fabio Afuso]
[We are watching the future of motocross competition unfold before our eyes, right in the heart of the most unlikely of places: a major tourist destination on the French Riviera.  Amazingly, a parking lot was filled with dirt, the course shaped, the riders arrived, the race was run, and everyone was pleased, in one of the most moto-bureaucratic countries on earth.  If it can happen in Saint Tropez, it can happen anywhere.  Sadly, although invited over a year ago, The Vintagent team was unable to attend/race at Elektrafuture in person, due to the worldwide travel ban on American citizens for our failure to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 within our own borders. - ed.]

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: Concept Z

Toby Roberts’s Concept Z Delivers Ludicrous Acceleration and a Stripped Down, Flat Track Style

There are very few journeys more tantalizing that those fulfilled on an electric motorcycle. Mating all of the vigor of a gas-powered machine with a sustainable alternative, electric motorcycles are bound to take over the market as easily as they eat up the road.

The Concept Z in real life: huge battery and motor, ultralight flat track style chassis, minimal design. [Ed Motorcycles]
Ed Motorcycle’s Concept Z by Tony Roberts is the newest electric motorcycle to hit the market. The almost naked bike’s design is heavily inspired by flat track motorcycles. With a minimal yet durable frame, the large air-cooled, radical flux, interior permanent magnet brushless Zero 75-7R motor and battery are set at the center of the vehicle. A solo seat and two LED headlights complete the machine, and that’s basically it. It’s a completely nominal machine that ignores all of the bells and whistles and can reach top speeds of up to 93 mph with current gearing.

Growing up playing with buggies and bikes at his parents’ service station, Roberts discovered the world of electric vehicles in 2007. “I was building off-road dune buggies when I saw The White Zombie, a Datsun 1200 electric car that was involved in drag racing. That caught my attention and I thought that I could convert one of the buggies over to electric.”

The semi-monocoque chassis of the Concept Z uses aluminum boxes for strength, and the battery box as a stressed member of the frame. [Ed Motorcycles]
After trying his hand at developing the buggies and e-bicycles, Toby set his sights on the motorcycling realm with his Concept Z electric motorcycle, a totally self-funded solo project. “I chose the flat track style because it has an aggressive stance,” he explained. “I was inspired by the original tubular framed Zaeta 530 flat track bike. I loved that motorcycle. From there, I wanted to make the concept accelerate as fast as I could while still being usable.”

One of the most notable features of the Concept Z is that the gearing has been carefully calculated to full maximize the torque curve. The wheel RPM and motor RPM have been aligned so that max torque is provided. This equates to 850nm of torque at the rear axle.  While that sounds tremendous, it does equate to around 70hp at the rear wheel, and an expected sub-3 second 0-60mph time: Roberts is looking for a professional rider to establish actual figures - any volunteers?

Looking purposeful from any angle, the Concept Z is an attempt to balance traditional design cues with new technology, and creates an aggressive vibe. [Ed Motorcycles]
“The big advantage with the electric drivetrain is how the motor delivers torque. Unlike a gas bike where the torque is constantly changing with engine RPM (think of a bell curve graph), the electric motor has maximum torque from zero RPM and the delivery is very linear (flat line on a graph). This translates to great acceleration as the torque which turns your wheel is at a constant level as speed increases and the rider can always get this maximum torque instantly by simply twisting the throttle. There is no gear down changing to increase the available torque at the rear wheel as needed with a gas bike,” Toby explained.

The Concept Z provides a unique riding experience unlike that of a gas motorcycle. It has no gears, no clutch, and no exhaust. While some would argue that the electric motor removes a lot of what makes bikes appealing, for those who adore acceleration over everything else, the Concept Z will deliver.

The motor is co-axial with the swingarm pivot, meaning no alterations in chain tension as the swingarm moves over bumps. [Ed Motorcycles]
Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.