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Lampociclo hand-builds e-bikes inspired by 1920s motorcycles


October 18, 2013

Modern e-bike engineering meets classic styling

Modern e-bike engineering meets classic styling

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Back in their earliest days, motorcycles were little more than bicycles with engines. Italian manufacturer Lampociclo is trying to bring that simple, timeless style back for the modern day e-bike market. Its bikes combine the latest technology with styling cues from a time gone by.

"When motorbikes were little more than bicycles it was fun to drive them, people making these motorized bicycles had greasy hands, and no two of these vehicles were alike," the company explains. "They were built with passion and for this reason they were and are valued. Now just remove the smell of gas … here we are!"

Though its bikes also bear similarities to older models, such as the Werner Motocyclette from around the turn of the century, Lampociclo says its design ethic is inspired specifically by motorcycles from the 1920s. This retro influence comes through in available components like the springy leather saddle, oversized LED headlight and handlebars.

Lampociclo's motor and battery look large and unwieldy compared to the hub motors and frame-integrated batteries of other modern e-bike designs, but they mirror the frame-filling engines and tanks of classic motor bicycles from the likes of Indian and Harley-Davidson. The battery is stored in the lockable, hand-welded aluminum "tank" hanging from the top tube. That tank even comes complete with an available "gas cap" covering the charging port. The lithium iron phosphate battery takes about six hours to charge.

Despite their yesteryear looks, Lampociclo bikes are based on up-to-date e-bike technology. The pedelec powertrain kicks in power from the bottom bracket-mounted motor when the rider starts pedaling. The standard motor is a 250-watt brushless model, but larger 350- and 500-watt options are available. The standard 250-watt, 3-speed system provides speeds up to 15.5 mph (25 km/h) and enough battery power for 43 miles (70 km) of range. Motor output can be tweaked via a three-setting switch. More powerful motors with throttles can push the bike to speeds up to 28 mph (45 km/h).

Each Lampociclo bike is handcrafted and custom built, giving the buyer much input into its equipment. He or she can select from different gearbox, saddle, grip, wheel and handlebar options, as well as add accessories like baskets and racks. The steel frame comes in three different sizes and a variety of colors.

After nearly three years of development and multiple prototypes, Lampociclo launched its first bike at the Milan motorcycle show last November. The company also attended the recent Eurobike show.

Lampociclo ships its hand-built bikes all over Europe. It offers shop test rides at its Verona headquarters and home test rides in the greater northern Italy region. It also offers two-day new-bike trials backed by a refund. Because of the custom nature of its bikes, it does not list pricing, but you can find out more on its website.

Source: Lampociclo

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

What is the obsession with making all ebikes look like the original safety bike or something that only a suffragette would feel at home on? When are they going to make sleek, light & speedy machines that look cool go fast and exploit the full potential of the huge battery that comes with the machine? Where are the powerful headlights, horns and indicators etc. that the power system is capable of supporting? Surely this is not the pinnacle of a product that has been in development for the last ten years!


@skee Speed is limited by law. If your bike can go over 20 miles per hour then it is not treated as a bicycle. I'm not 100 percent sure about this, but you can google it.

Ian Mitko

I like it. Simple style, oldschool. Nice.

@skee I can understand you want headlights and a taillight, but indicators? This is a electric bicycle remember? Not a motorcycle. The style is super. Really cool. I should get one :D


They could at least have named a price for a bicycle with the smallest motor and battery specs etc.. Just to get an idea.


Looks ugly and over priced.. Keep it in Europe.

S Michael

skee, I agree with the specs you specify = "looks cool, light & speedy, powerful lights & battery." This is the Optibike which costs a bit more ($5K--$15K) but is made in the US, has a 3 yr warranty on the battery (unique) and the highest level components and construction. If one wants to replace a car I think the highest quality and reliability in all weather is justified--but value costs.

Al Mayberry

What is the point of duplicating 100+ years of arrested development in motorcycle design using new technology? This isn't about solving the transport problems of crowded, polluted societies, it's about selling expensive 'lifestyle accessories' to niche markets for the fashion conscious.

Alexander Lowe

I own and ride bikes, including one with electric assist. I like the freedom of it being classified as a bicycle. I see this product as more of a small electric motorcycle. Of course, that comes with licensing and insurance obligations, but that is the price for higher speeds and performance. It will not please everyone. Obviously. It may, however, fit into the urban commuter niche for those who presently ride scooters. 2-stroke Scooters are noisy and, according to what I've read, contribute significantly to inner-city pollution due to their engine design and numbers (in London and Paris anyway, the cities cited). Fashion is what it is, but an "old-school" motorcycle look may be attractive to this market and the electric motor will be quiet and clean for inner city use (yes, I know you have to charge them up from somewhere, but these power-generating plants are not typically located in the city center unless you're in China!). So I agree with A. Lowe that this is a niche product, but I see it as a viable, cleaner alternative to offer the potential scooter rider... depending on the price ! Yes, do keep them in Europe. Please ! We can use them.


Wow, these Lampociclo bikes look pretty cool!!! Though, I would like to clarify because as stated above and allow me to quote it. It was said that "people making these motorized bicycles had greasy hands, and no two of these vehicles were alike" - does this mean that all their bicycles don't look the same? Or I am not just getting it well. But, anyhow, these Lampociclo bikes are wonderful. Its features and its appearance looks very sturdy and oldshool. These bikes can be used as a form of exercise aside that it is used for transportation.

Lorraine Jacobs

Bicicles with old fashoned style that remember 1920 motorcycle are traditional in America, selled from '50 and today.. why, now, it becomes "ugly"???? Only because are made in Europe? Thats are a new way of transport in big cities, without smoke and noise, and with less costs. In a couple years there will be 200 - 300% on the streets and will be normal seing a rusty one near a futuristic designed, a old fashoned, a cargo, a chopper one, a Hello Kitty ....

Nico Danger
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