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Johammer electric motorcycle breaks 200 km range, looks like you're riding a terrified snail


April 10, 2014

Johammer's unique looking electro-cruiser motorcycle

Johammer's unique looking electro-cruiser motorcycle

Image Gallery (29 images)

I must admit, I’m kind of amazed this thing exists. The Johammer electro-cruiser is up there with the very strangest motorcycle designs I’ve ever come across. I mean, it looks like you’re riding a very surprised snail. But it does exist; this North Austrian roadster made an appearance at the Linz motorcycle show in February and appears close to production.

Apart from the bike’s utterly bizarre retro-futuristic styling, a few other things are immediately striking. It doesn’t have a traditional dash, opting instead to integrate the speedo and charge indicator into a panel on the mirrors (I shudder to think what they’d cost to replace when it falls over!).

It uses a hub-center steering and suspension setup at the front end. These units do a very good job of separating braking from suspension forces and controlling dive under brakes, but they’re also much more expensive than forks, and it’s dubious exactly how much benefit there is to having such an exotic front end on what’s unlikely to be a "performance bike."

But the big ticket item is the fantastic battery range. Fitted with a beefy 12.7 kWh battery stack, the Johammer joins the Zero S ZF11.4 among the first electric bikes to boast a 200 km (124 mi) range when fully charged. That’s a significant psychological number for bikers, because 200 km is a decent fuel range for a petrol-powered bike.

The battery modules are developed in-house at Johammer, giving the company a second product stream as well as the perfect demonstration platform. Guaranteed service life of the battery is 200,000 km (124,000 mi) or four years without dropping below 85 percent of the new battery’s capacity.

Otherwise, the bike’s electric motor is enclosed in its rear wheel hub, and it works in reverse as a regenerative brake system. The battery cradle seems to more or less comprise the frame while enclosing the horizontally mounted shocks for the front and rear suspension – a nice touch that should keep both suspension units neat and tidy.

The Johammer seems to have two sets of footrests: one set back to provide a fairly standard upright riding position, and another set of highway pegs further forward for laid-back highway cruising, which has typically not been a strength of previous electric bikes! The additional footrests are made much easier to implement given that the Johammer has no foot controls to worry about – front and rear brakes are operated from the handlebars much like a scooter setup.

So what’s the price of looking this damn sexy? Astronomical. Big battery packs, fancy dash-mirrors and hub-center steering don’t come cheap. The 8.3 kWh version will set you back EUR€23,000 (US$31,860) and the Big Daddy 12.7 kWh version is EUR€25,000 (US$34,630).

If you just want to dip your toe in Johammer's waters, there's the option of taking one out for a guided tour through "historic Upper Austria" – that'll set you back EUR€290 (US$420) and includes a factory tour to start the day off. Sign us up!

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade. All articles by Loz Blain

Zero protection form the wind means lots of drag and, therefore, lowered riding range. Can't imagine it would be comfortable in the least - but maybe that's not the objective here. Let's see some sort of fairing, even if it looks like they adapted it from a lobster tail. Tech specs all look good though.


hdm is correct . . . IF this thing looked like a Harley and had colors and chrome I would buy this ! and be proud to show it off. . . .


Why not a true hub motor? and were is storage for small/mid sized items?

Leonard Foster

The Johammer Gary: http://i.imgur.com/5WxdHB1.jpg


Design looks is not for me.... good observations in the article regarding the mirror based speedo/battery info. not sure what effect the scoop has on the aero of the bike..(the front end). doesn't look aero to me.

still, interesting enough to comment on..does look kinda like an insect or something.

i'm not allowed to get a bike anyway....thankfully i had my crotch rocket fun prior to marriage :)


One will definitely stand out when one is riding that. If one wants and can afford an electric bike that stands out, this would be for you.

It looks like a snail on wheels, perhaps an alien snail? The body looks like it came from siding taken from a barn. The price is a very high for an electric bike.


Needs a tail, mane and a saddle horn, and it's ready to round up them little doggies.

Jay Finke

200 Km is a nice range, but the real question is how long does it take to recharge. I fuel up and can go another 150 miles in under 10 minutes.


The article’s title drew me in. That in mind, my first glimpse of this bike made me chuckle. I’m still chuckling. One thing that stands out is that there is no wind screen. No mention of a top speed either. Apparently they don’t expect it to go very fast; in keeping with the snail motif.


gotta admit I was turned off by the looks initially,

but for some strange reason I continue to find myself clicking on this article to get another look.

hum... I am not un-decided about the looks.


Brammo has a bike with the same range for almost half that price.


Reminds me of that horrible Chrysler tomahawk quadricycle- it looks like it's going the wrong way.

Wouldn't this be more aerodynamic in reverse, steering aside?


It looks like a less attractive remake of the French, 1929 Majestic.


@Leonard Foster Jr Hub motors sound great at first, but having that much unsprung weight has a very negative effect on handling. Plus, the motor is an expensive part to have bouncing around without suspension.


ZEV Electric has had 225 km range for a long time in the 10 LRC ---With a full fairing, storage, etc.

Contrary to the comments posted here, hub motors are a great advantage. Who ever comments about unsprung weight has never weighed a bike wheel and the chain or weighed the rear of a shaft drive motorcycle or compared the weight of a same size car wheel on some small car.

Darus Zehrbach

Wish the article was more informative. Top speed, weight, Storage, 2 up riding options, weight capacity and HP/TQ would be wonderful. I bet this thing is as quiet as a church mouse. Remember, my futuristic green friends.... Loud pipes save lifes! I think I'll stick with my Harley Davidson Road Glide Custom. Riding a bike that looks like a snail would cramp my style.

Todd Easterday

Hmmm, not for me either, I prefer the "bare-bones" look of 1970 Duke, but i am wondering how you steer the thing. Handlebars are just jammed into top of the body, and front swingarm thing doesnt look to pivot, or am I just not looking hard enough?


They've got to name this thing Turbo--be proud of your snailhood!

Jean Lamb

I feel better about how much I paid for my new Zero SR after seeing this thing's price! Goofy looking piece of work...

Rick Steeb
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