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Lightning Motorcycles Is Working on a Fully-Enclosed Bike, Presumably

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by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

Californian electric motorcycle maker Lightning Motorcycles is presumably (hopefully) working on a new project, one that would considerably improve the range and overall comfort of an electric motorcycle.

The project doesn’t have a name and, for that matter, hasn’t even been confirmed yet. Renderings of it have emerged with a patent filing in China, obtained by Cycle World. It’s not that uncommon for U.S.-based companies to file patents in China even before they do back home, in a bid to prevent cheap imitations.

The renderings show a tear-shaped framing on what could be an electric motorcycle. They are included with the patent filed under the name of Lightning Motorcycle, with CEO Richard Hatfield named as designer. It wouldn’t be uncommon for a company (be it a car or a motorcycle maker) to file a patent for a possible product or tech they’re studying but might never release, but since Lightning has a reputation for thinking outside the box, it is assumed they’re really planning on releasing a fully-enclosed motorcycle.

Cycle World notes that, in addition to the direct link to Lightning in the patent, this… thing comes in the electric blue already seen on the Strike (aka the affordable sport e-bike still pending delivery) and the LS-218 (aka the world’s fastest e-bike, now in very limited production). The slanted headlight design is another common element between the three.

The shape of the enclosed e-bike suggests a driving position similar to cars, while the tear-shaped framing would improve range. As for how this thing would be able to not topple over at low speeds or when stationary, the renderings don’t offer a single clue. Extendable outrigger wheels or self-balancing technology could be used in this instance.

As of the moment of writing, Lightning Motorcycles would not comment on the new product they’re supposedly working on.

Future Of Connected, Autonomous, Shared, And Electric Performance Motor Bikes – The BMW Motorrad Way

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by Sarwant Singh from https://www.forbes.com

In 2023, BMW Motorrad will be celebrating a landmark event: its centenary as a motorcycle manufacturer. But it wasn’t really the past that interested me in my interview with BMW Motorrad CEO, Dr. Markus Schramm. It was more about understanding how this venerated German brand is engaging with the future. How is it approaching the connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE) revolution? What plans does this standard-bearer of all things innovative have in store to negotiate the next 100 years?

While the experiments of four wheeler manufacturers with CASE technologies have been well documented, there’s not been as much buzz about the progress made by their two wheeler counterparts. It was quite revealing, therefore, to get a perspective on how CASE is making motorcycles smarter, safer and (dare I say it?) sexier. In essence, we are talking of a whole new generation of bikes that weld performance, comfort and safety to take driving experiences to a completely different level.

To shed light on all this and much more, I turned to the consummate industry insider: Dr. Schramm, a BMW veteran of almost three decades standing whose passion for motorbikes is evident in the way he speaks (and the number of bikes he owns!). Here are some highlights from the interview:

Staying Connected

“The aim of our intelligent connected motorbikes is to make motorcycling more experience-oriented, more comfortable and also safer.”

Connected technologies have exploded among passenger and commercial four wheelers, enabling undreamed of new services, novel ways of engaging with the customer, hyper personalized experiences and lucrative monetization opportunities. But how are they playing out among two wheelers?

“Connectivity, assistance systems and the digital services are becoming increasingly important in motorcycling,” said Dr. Schramm. “Features like emergency call (e-Call) or our other connectivity offers are already an integral part of many BMW models today. The fundamental goal is to offer the intelligent e-Call function to as many customers as possible.”

And it’s clear that this objective resonates with customers. For instance, in Germany today, around 80% of BMW Motorrad’s customers opt for e-Call when purchasing a motorcycle. What is particularly interesting in this context is that such high take rates are unfolding against a backdrop where e-Call systems are legally mandated for cars in many countries but not for two wheelers. It also perhaps explains why BMW Motorrad is currently the only motorcycle manufacturer that offers an e-Call system ex-factory.

However, safety such as that offered by e-Call is only one aspect of connectivity. “As the company expands its range of intelligent connected motorcycles, the aim is to make motorcycling not only safer but also more experience-oriented and more comfortable,” added Dr. Schramm. “With the typical motorcycle customer in mind, BMW Motorrad’s connected app focuses on enhancing motorcycle-related experiences, including optimizing route planning, displaying navigation information directly in the bike’s thin-film-transistor (TFT) display, recording tours and riding performance statistics such as lean angles, acceleration and deceleration forces or altitude profiles.”

Connected helmets are another major theme in the industry and only getting bigger. Connecting the rider and the motorcycle via the helmet is already standard equipment in many of BMW’s current models. And if it’s any indication of how important connected helmets will be, BMW delivered almost 17,000 of its helmet communication systems to customers in 2019.

Being Autonomous

“We will use autonomous driving technologies not only to raise safety levels but also to take riding fun to a new level.”

BMW has been a pioneer in driving innovation in autonomous technology with concepts like self-balancing, self-park and summon features. All very well for cars. But it’s that familiar conundrum of how autonomous driving and features will work in the motorcycle industry which is defined by motor-muscle connection? “Motorcycles will never ride autonomously; it doesn’t make sense. However, in a future world of autonomously driving cars, being connected will be an urgent requirement for all motorcycle segments,” said Dr. Schramm. “This will enhance safety and ensure that motorcycling remains future-proof.”

It is this idea of operating safely and seamlessly in future connected and autonomous environments that informed BMW Motorrad becoming a founder member, along with Honda and Yamaha, of the Connected Motorbike Consortium (CMC). One of the key motivations here has been to push forward on safety agendas—whether in terms of collision avoidance or warning drivers of dangerous situations—through the use of connected technologies. But this being BMW Motorrad, it’s also about having fun… safely. “We will use autonomous driving technologies in a concrete way,” noted Dr. Schramm. “Our mission will be to raise safety levels, on the one hand and, on the other, to take riding fun to a new level.”

Advancing Shared

“The biggest challenge in the shared space is that people don’t always handle other people’s property as carefully as their own.”

Barring a recent partnership with eCooltra in Barcelona, BMW Motorrad has not specifically focused on the shared mobility space. Given that growth is expected in bike sharing and other last mile mobility options post-COVID, what plans, if any, does the company have for expanding its presence in this space?

“When it comes to sharing we, as a society, don’t always handle other people’s property as carefully we do our own. This is the biggest challenge in this area,” observed Dr. Schramm. “However, BMW Motorrad is committed to the BMW Group’s vision of becoming a customer-focused mobility company. These two disparate threads are reconciled through our short-term bike rental service—Rent A Ride—that allows people the opportunity to ride almost any BMW motorcycle in many countries.”

Going Electric

“Electro-mobility on two wheels will be very significant for the future of motorcycling… it needs to be really fun and adventurous.”

With the C evolution, BMW Motorrad stamped its credentials as a forerunner in electric mobility. It has since made steady gains. A planned concept offering for the high growth urban mobility sector is in the works while the Vision DC Roadster represents a unique take on an e-Power Roadster.

“For me it’s quite clear: electro-mobility will be very significant for the future of motorcycling. We foresee a slew of upcoming products with a focus on electric propulsion, particularly in the field of urban mobility,” noted Dr. Schramm. “And I’m not only thinking of classic scooters here, but also of alternative modern, emotional products. Electro-mobility on two wheels needs to be really fun and adventurous and BMW is committed to developing corresponding products.”

BMW Motorrad is targeting an array of new all-electric products in the near-term. From an initial focus on electric mobility solutions for urban environments, the company plans to move to other segments as well. “And here our claim is to play a leading role in the motorcycle industry not only on the topic of range but also on the subject of speeding up the battery charging time and design. Our Vision DC Roadster shows how we see emotional, inspiring and authentic e-mobility in the motorcycle sector.”

Winning Customers

“Make Life a Ride’ is not limited to a particular product but puts people and emotions squarely in focus.”

And finally, of course, it’s all about the customer. “The overall aim of our brand approach – Make Life a Ride – is to attract new customers, irrespective of age, and to generate enthusiasm for motorcycling,” emphasized Dr. Schramm. “The point is to address not only real bikers but, equally importantly, people who currently don’t ride a motorcycle but maybe will one day. ‘Make Life a Ride’ is not limited to a particular product but puts people and emotions squarely in focus.”

Post Script

I have known Markus for almost a decade now. I first met him when he headed BMW’s Mobility Services division. It was his vision that saw the company transform from being a car manufacturer to becoming a mobility services provider. All these years later, I see his future-focused imprint on BMW’s two wheeler business as well. Highly driven, he thrives on challenges and is passionate about the things he does – his extreme marathons and 100 km ultra marathon in the Antarctic are now part of company lore. The perfect choice, really, to take on the challenge of cementing BMW’s legacy in the years ahead.

The eRockit Hybrid Is an Electric Motorcycle You Have to Pedal for Speed

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by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

Who said you have to choose between an electric bicycle and a motorcycle? A German startup is offering a solid and very fun compromise they like to call “the human hybrid:” eRockit.

The eRockit is part bicycle, part motorcycle and all fun. It’s an electric motorcycle that promises good performance and decent range but also uses the pedals found on the regular bicycle instead of throttle. To put in much simpler terms, this bike requires some leg work in order to move around: the more the faster you want to go.

Falling under the 125cc motorcycles classification, the eRockit has already been tested on the Autobahn by stunt rider Sebastian “Satu” Kopke, and he says the fun of having to do light exercise while overtaking cars is something he’s never experienced before. “I have never experienced such a mixture of physical activity similar to cycling and this incredibly good acceleration. It’s doubling the fun!” he says.

The makers are equally generous in showering this little thing with praise: “the most extraordinary electric motorcycle of today” is able to deliver an “indescribable, magical driving experience” and, at the same time, top German quality in terms of the materials used, performance and safety. It’s almost enough to make you want to go out and buy one right away.

Speaking strictly numbers, though, the eRockit is basically a faster commuter electric bicycle at a much higher price. It has a top speed of 90 kph (56 mph) and a range of 120 kilometers (75 miles), with the latter largely dependent on weight of the rider and weather / road conditions. Peak power is at 22 HP from a permanent magnet synchronous motor, while the 6,6 kWh Lithium-Ion battery achieves a full charge in 5 hours.

The eRockit may be all sorts of fun, but it’s also not cheap. It will retail for 11,850 euro ($13,100), with a 250 euro ($277) deposit needed to place a pre-order.

 

How Hamba motorcycles are empowering women in Zimbabwe

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by Faith Ikade from http://venturesafrica.com/

Mobility for Africa is empowering women in rural Zimbabwe with new electric powered motorcycles that can be used as a source of income generation.

The electric motorbikes known as “Hamba” gives women the opportunity to transport and sell their goods, while saving time and effort usually spent walking to pick up household goods for their families around the district of Wedza.

Shantha Bloemen, Mobility for Africa Director said the initiative is centred on women, following research done by the organization which shows that men always get priority on transport. “These are women that never thought they would drive anything. The whole intent was to focus on where the burden is greatest, but also the lowest rural women are on the lowest peg of the pyramid,” she said.

Assembled in Zimbabwe’s capital city of Harare with parts made in China, Hamba is powered by a solar-charged lithium-ion battery and can travel up to around 60 miles per ride. Mobility for Africa is now in the second phase of the pilot project before it can go commercial.

The project was an adaptation to a similar bike used in China and was an important tool used to reduce poverty in the country. Several households and women could use the bike to transport items from their farm to a local market.

Hamba will be sold for $1,500 USD and changing the batteries at a solar-powered station costs between 50 cents and $1. However, Mobility for Africa is currently leasing the bikes to groups of up to five women for the equivalent of $15 a month, thereby making it affordable for poor women in Zimbabwe.

Women in Zimbabwe can now carry farm produce to markets further away from home, offer transportation services to villagers and use the motorcycle for domestic chores.

Small business owners like Mary Mhuka, who is leasing the Hamba with her daughter-in-law and a neighbour, can now sell vegetables at a business centre 15 km away for more money than she would get locally. “We used to carry firewood on our heads for very long distances but now it’s much easier as this motorcycle has taken away that burden,” she told Reuters

According to Fadzai Mavhuna, the Hamba pilot coordinator since February 2019, “Some of the women have increased their income because they have embarked on projects like baking, tailoring and horticulture.”

Hamba is also helping women in the health sector. Pamhidzai Mutunya, a farm health worker, said before the arrival of Hamba, many women gave birth at home while others had to walk 12 km to the nearest clinic because there was no transport.

More so, Hamba has proved to be an essential in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in Zimbabwe. It allows healthcare workers transport patients more easily, and helps rural communities receive essential supplies during a country-wide lockdown.

Although Zimbabwe has not recorded a large number of confirmed COVID-19 confirmed, the lockdown has affected people’s income, especially in the informal sector, which is commonly dominated by women.

Nevertheless, Hamba has given women in Zimbabwe an opportunity to earn and be empowered in a country faced with several sanctions alongside an economy which runs at a declining speed.

Electric motorcycles made and designed in Singapore set to rev up Southeast Asia

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by Zhaki Abdullah from https://www.channelnewsasia.com

SINGAPORE: Although the COVID-19 pandemic had affected their initial plans, two Singapore-based start-ups are still set on revving up efforts to produce their own electric motorbikes.

This comes as Singapore relaxed its rules on electric motorcycles in April, allowing high-powered motorbikes with power ratings of more than 10kW to be on the roads as part of efforts to encourage the adoption of cleaner vehicles.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused “little hiccups” in its supply chain, said Scorpio Electric’s acting head of operations Muhammad Taureza.

But the brand remains on track to roll out its zero-emission, fully electric smart motorcycles, with no “appreciable delay”, he said, adding that it aims to do so by the middle of this year, or as soon as the COVID-19 situation stabilises.

Scorpio Electric is a brand under Singapore-based EuroSports Technologies, which is backed by SGX-listed EuroSports Global.

Since March, Scorpio Electric has expanded its premises at Teban Gardens to 7,000 sq m. The space includes offices and showrooms, as well as 4,000 sq m dedicated to a factory and warehouse.

This facility is expected to produce about 8,000 electric motorcycles a year, said Dr Taureza.

Although the components will be manufactured elsewhere, Scorpio Electric’s bikes will be assembled at its Singapore location, he added.

Scorpio Electric chief technology officer Tham Kwang Sheun noted that making its motorcycles “smart”, with the use of artificial intelligence and data analytics, will allow them to be even more energy efficient.

“That means that when you get on, the bike will actually have the intelligence to tell you how can you better plan your trips, and how much fuel consumption you’re going to use, accounting for operating conditions,” he explained.

The aim is also for Scorpio Electric to extend this environmental sustainability to its production line, said Mr Tham, noting some of the materials used in the making of motorcycles can be substituted by “bio-derived” materials with “some recyclability”.

The switch to electric motorcycles is “very promising” in terms of reducing carbon emissions in the region, said Mr Tham, who was previously with the Land Transport Authority as the head of its autonomous vehicle programme office.

Motorcycles in Southeast Asia are “typically lagging behind the curve in emissions standards”, said James Chan, co-founder and chief executive of Ion Mobility, which is headquartered in Singapore.

The firm’s other co-founder, Joel Chang, was previously with Scorpio Electric as its chief operating officer before he formed Ion Mobility last year.

“In Singapore, ICE (internal combustion engine) motorcycles are on Euro 4 standards, while Indonesia is still on Euro 3,” noted Mr Chan, referring to the emissions standard introduced by the European Union. The latest standard for motorcycles in Europe is Euro 5, which came into effect this year.

Motorcycles may seem to have better fuel efficiency, but on average, they produce twice as much carbon dioxide per passenger-kilometre over their life cycles when compared to cars, said Mr Chan.

In addition, particulate matter (PM2.5) from motorcycle emissions is taken into consideration due to the sheer number of motorcycles on the roads in the region, he explained, noting that PM2.5 is one of the largest “air pollution culprits” to health costs and premature deaths in Southeast Asia.

Ion Mobility’s electric motorcycles would produce zero tailpipe emissions and play “a big part” in reducing PM2.5 and greenhouse gas emissions produced, added Mr Chan.

Southeast Asia is the world’s third largest market for motorcycles after India and China, he noted, adding that there are currently more than 200 million ICE motorcycles across Southeast Asia.

The company had originally aimed to offer test rides and launch pre-orders for its Model 1 electric motorcycles in Jakarta by the third quarter of 2020, although it had to go back to the drawing board because of COVID-19.

“We aim to launch our Model 1 in Indonesia by early 2021 or sooner, COVID-19 permitting,” said Mr Chan.

Apart from its headquarters here – which will serve as a regional centre for design as well as research and development – Ion Mobility also has offices in Jakarta and Guangzhou. Mr Chan said the company is focused on becoming the top electric motorcycle company in Southeast Asia.

It aims to begin with Indonesia, where 6.5 million new ICE motorcycles were sold in 2019, aiming to claim 1 per cent of the Indonesian market within its first two years of sales.

Scorpio Electric, meanwhile, aims to be a “global brand”, said Dr Taureza.

“We want to be in the same ranks as Apple and Tesla,” he said, although he noted that this needs to be done one step at a time.

As a “homegrown Singapore brand”, Scorpio Electric’s first priority is the Southeast Asian market, primarily Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore, he said.

Although sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have been increasing in recent years, they are still in the minority, making up just 2 per cent of the total vehicle population worldwide.

“The reason why the uptake of EVs generally, whether cars or motorcycles, is low is because the price is expensive, let’s not beat around the bush,” said Dr Taureza, noting that the main reason for this has been battery prices.

However, with battery prices declining in recent years, it is only a matter of time before price parity is reached, he added.

To attract consumers, Mr Chan said the onus is on companies like Ion Mobility to “up our game and offer a compelling product that provides price- and performance-superiority over ICE equivalents without relying on subsidies”.

While both firms welcomed Singapore’s recent measures to accept electric motorcycles here, Mr Chan believes more can be done.

“Certain categories of electric motorcycles should be permitted to charge from normal wall sockets provided they are UL2272-certified,” he said, referring to the fire-safety standard used in Singapore for personal mobility devices such as e-scooters.

“Singapore’s touted network of EV charging stations are also all zoned for EV cars, not EV motorcycles. There is a need to consider the zoning and charging sockets for EV motorcycles too,” he added.

More refinement is also needed in the categorising of electric motorcycles, which do not neatly fit in with existing categories of conventional motorbikes, he said.

“Horsepower and kilowatt power output is not a one-is-to-one relationship,” he explained, adding a more “engineer-centric approach” is needed.

In 2018, Scorpio Electric secured S$2 million from its parent firm EuroSports Global, which promised another S$3 million if certain milestones were met.

Mr Tham said the firm aims to close another round of funding in the coming months, although he declined to provide figures.

“We started our fund-raise in January this year, and in spite of COVID-19, have been able to secure healthy investor demand amidst these tumultuous times,” said Ion Mobility’s Mr Chan.

He declined to provide figures at this time, but Mr Chan noted that it would be able to launch its motorcycle without raising more funds.

When asked how Ion Mobility would fare against other players in the electric motorcycle market, he said such discussions were “premature”.

“There is plenty of room for all of us to coexist, with each player going after different market segments,” he said.

“The real competition, the elephant in the room if you must, is consumer preferences, which have been honed by what Japanese incumbents have offered to them in terms of design, price and performance over the years,” he added.

Scorpio Electric welcomed competition, said Dr Taureza, adding that competition helps the company to “grow and continue to improve”.

He noted that apart from the two new players, established traditional motorcycle manufacturers have also entered the market.

“I think there will be tremendous growth in the EV motorcycle segment next year,” he said.

Hubless Verge TS Electric Motorcycle Is Here to Finnish Off Harley’s LiveWire

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Despite the increasing interest of the customers in electric motorcycles, established bike makers are still reluctant to jump on this new mobility train. Only one of them, arguably the world’s most famous, announced a mass-production electric motorcycle.

That’s the LiveWire, shown by Harley-Davidson in 2019, should have been a game changer for this segment, but various issues and then a global health crisis have kind of put a dent into Harley’s plans.

While the behemoth is still wrapping its head around how to move forward, start-ups are wasting no time in coming up with increasingly appealing designs.

As one of the leaders when it comes to electric mobility in general, Finland is the perfect place to be for up and coming talents in the industry these days. And from Finland comes this bike here, called TS, and manufactured by a start-up called Verge.

Shown for the first time last year, the TS comes to the world as a hubless rear-wheel electric bike with capabilities that should dwarf those of the LiveWire.

Whereas the American machine is good for 98 miles city (158 km), the TS brings a range close to double that: 186 miles (300 km).

The Finnish-build offers a 0-60 mph (97 kph) acceleration time of under four seconds (LiveWire does it in 3.5), 107 hp of power and 1,000 Nm of torque. The top speed is limited to 180 kph (112 mph).

The Verge TS has a starting price of €24,990, which is the equivalent today of close to $27,000. That’s a tad cheaper than the LiveWire, which Harley sells for $29,799.

For a number of reasons, the comparison between the TS and the LiveWire may not be fair game, but it goes to show that established bike makers are not really making an effort in this segment, at least not yet.

Sadly, some start-ups don’t seem to have the power to stay afloat for long enough to see their designs go into production.

Curtiss Hades Electric Motorcycle Looks Amazing

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by Mihnea Radu from https://www.autoevolution.com

We hate regular concept art sometimes – here’s a nice rendering we did and a press release, now give us some money. However, Curtiss Motorcycle Co. has just built a prototype for its electric bike and it’s even more amazing than its sketches.

Seriously, just look at this thing! Look at it, and then scroll to the end of the photo gallery to see the 3D model. The final destination is obviously building a bike that hasn’t existed before, purely electric and looking cool.

Curtiss used to be known as Confederate Motorcycles but in 2017 decided to go all-electric and re-brand itself. Since then, they’ve basically just shown prototypes and concepts.

The Hades promises to be different. It’s being introduced with some amazing specs. The electric motor is supposed to produce something like 215 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque (200 Nm). It’s mounted coaxially with the rear swingarm and drives the rear wheel via a belt.

The battery itself is mounted in that weird rocket-like enclosure under the frame. The rose gold coating is what really sets this apart from other bikes.

The battery is a 399 VDC pack with capacity having been quoted at 16.8 kWh, which would give it a higher capacity than the largest standard battery offering in the Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire (15.5 kWh).

The “prototype” part of what we see here is probably the frame. Based on the concept, it’s probably going to get a carbon fiber chassis for lightness. Sounds exotic, but then this is supposed to be a $75,000+ bike. That sounds like a lot of money compared to the LiveWire, but plenty of people are willing to pay extra for custom fabrication. To their credit, Curtis are reportedly also working on a cheaper version.

If it were our money, we’d skip that funky front end, just have some normal forks and save a few bucks.

Whatever Happened to the Kawasaki J Shape-Shifting Electric Motorcycle?

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

In the very near future, electric motorcycles will become just as common as electric cars. There are countless startups working on such projects, and even giant Harley-Davidson has joined the party with the launch of the LiveWire.

But there is one company that saw the potential of electric motorcycles years before all others. Back in 2013, at a time when electric cars were just beginning their ascension, Kawasaki introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show the J concept, a bike the likes of which the world had never seen before.

Half a decade before Yamaha introduced the strangely shaped Niken, Kawasaki envisioned a motorcycle with two front wheels and also the ability to shorten and rise itself to suit a particular riding style. Moreover, the motorcycle was designed to be powered by an electric powertrain, something few thought about back then.

The main trait of the motorcycle was that it could provide either a low riding position for high-speed motoring, or a more upright one just for cruising. It could do that by modifying the length and height of the wheelbase at a moment’s notice.

The bike lacked handlebars in the traditional sense, and they were replaced by two controllers, governing each of the two front wheels.

The concept looked fantastic, as you can see in the gallery above. It was of course too far fetched to actually spawn a production motorcycle anytime soon, but we would have expected at least some of the technologies previewed on it to actually make it into production.

The two front wheel layout did, not at Kawasaki but over at Yamaha. The electric powertrain never made it into production at Kawasaki either – there is an electric version loosely based on the Ninja that was shown at EICMA 2019, but with only 62 miles of range it’s more of a joke than anything else.

In the lack of something better from Kawasaki in this segment, just watch the video of the J presentation from years ago and see how glamorous it all felt back then.

 

Royal Enfield Photon Electric Motorcycle Launch Price £20,000 approx.

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by Abhinand Venugopal from https://www.rushlane.com

This one-off Royal Enfield electric motorcycle was made by Newtown-based Electric Classic Cars

Global automotive industries have termed EVs as the future of mobility and many environmentalists (actual and keyboard warriors) are glad about it. However, an ideal balance between electric vehicles and petrol hybrids would be the best scenario if the world really wishes to cut down emissions drastically. The reason for this is that many countries still depend on coal power plants to generate electricity. Hence, a world of only electric vehicles could only accelerate emissions, indirectly.

On the bright side, the push towards electric mobility has introduced an array of interesting products. This ranges from the cost-effective Tata Nexon EV we have here to high-end performance cars such as Porsche’s Taycan Turbo S. Newtown-based (in Wales) Electric Classic Cars have done something similar at a smaller yet equally interesting scale.

Dubbed as the Royal Enfield Photon, the project is essentially a Royal Enfield Bullet with an electric powertrain. It’s a one-off product like most other commissioned Porsche, Land Rover or Volkswagen projects from Electric Classic Cars. Attention to detail seems to have been one of the top priorities in the EV since it does not look like a half-baked design. The uber-retro electric motorcycle is finished in a beautiful shade of British Racing Green with neat-looking Gold pinstripes against gloss black. The quilted leather seat is done in tan.

Purists may argue that it has ditched the original ‘Royal Enfield charm’, but it’s often forgotten that the current line of Bullet products employs an archaic architecture — especially in terms of output-to-displacement ratio. The story could take a twist when the next-gen ‘350’ models hit the market.

The Royal Enfield Photon is powered by a 12kW (almost 16bhp) hub motor coupled to four 2.5kWh lithium-ion batteries. To integrate the electric powertrain, the engineers at Electric Classic Cars had to make significant changes to the stock downtube chassis frame. The air-cooled battery pack can be filled from empty in about 90 minutes using any mainstream charging facility. It has a real-world riding range of 130km (claimed) as well.

While 16bhp does not impress on paper, EVs are mostly about good torque characteristics right from zero RPM. While the Photon is no rocket from the get-go, it has a much more enjoyable RPM band compared to its original ICE counterpart. The motorcycle tops out at 112km/h.

Hardcore Royal Enfield fans would surely miss the ‘thump’ and NVH associated with a Bullet, alongside its affordable price tag. Yes, a regular Royal Enfield in the UK is significantly cheaper at about £4,699 (roughly Rs 4.45 lakh) compared to the Photon’s estimated asking price of £20,000 (just under Rs 19 lakh).

New Kalk INK SL Electric Motorcycle Revealed with $10K Price Tag for the U.S.

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

For a while now, a Swedish electric motorcycle manufacturer by the name of Cake has been moving to position itself as a noteworthy adversary in this expanding segment. Its moves have been rather shy so far, but as of this summer the company is going head on into the segment with a brand new entry.

This week, Cake gave us a dose of optimism for an outdoor summer with the introduction of the Kalk INK SL, a vehicle meant to be used for off-roading and the casual trip to and from work in equal measure.

Cake says the new bike can be legally used on the road both in the U.S. and Europe. It is based on the same technology that underpins other Cake Kalk products (OR, &, and INK), but modified in such a way as to provide the performance required from a street-legal electric motorcycle.

Sharing the drivetrain, battery, and aluminum frame with the others from its family, the INK SL separates itself from the pack by making use of a non-linkage suspension at the rear and motocross suspension at the front, black fenders and bodywork made from polycarbonate and ABS, and two 19-inch wheels.

In addition, as a means to make it legal to operate on the road, the motorcycle received turn signals, front headlight, rear brake light, and a license plate holder.

Mechanically, the speed of the motorcycle has been increased to 62 mph (100 kph) to provide it with the required highway speeds. The range is of about three hours, which translates into anywhere between 22 to 53 miles (35 to 86 km), depending on how it is ridden.

“With the launch of the Kalk INK SL, we introduce the fourth model of street-legal CAKE bikes next to the Kalk& and recently released Ösa+ and Ösa Lite. Each of these models combines excitement with responsibility to inspire a turn toward zero emissions, whether that’s in remote or urban environments.” said in a statement Cake CEO Stefan Ytterborn.

The bike goes on sale this summer, and sells for $10,500 in the U.S and €10,500 in Europe.