When it comes to self-balancing personal transportation devices, it looks like the Solowheel
, Honda U3-X
could all be in for a little competition. Portland, Oregon-based RYNO Motors is currently in the process of launching its own entry in the weird-little-electric-vehicles race, which it appropriately calls the RYNO. Like Bombardier’s EMBRIO
concept, it has just one wheel. If nothing else, that’ll definitely get riders noticed.
San Francisco's BRD Motorcycles has begun taking deposits on the 2013 RedShift
range of off-road electric motorcycles. BRD claims the performance of the RedShift will be equal to or better than a top-end 250cc four-stroke race motorcycle, which is a lofty target. The most remarkable aspect is that it will sell both the US$15,500 SM supermoto and the US$15,000 MX motocrosser with a police kit for an additional US$2500 with stronger subframe to hold the included hard luggage, plus an uprated electrical system.
Three new electric scooters have just been launched by New York's evolve motorcycles. All models use lithium-ion batteries which are said to offer the highest ranges in the industry, feature the latest electrical and charging technologies, and come with one year's roadside assistance. The top-of-the-range titanium model has a range of 60 miles (96.5 km) and a top speed of 70 mph (112.6 km/h), but even the featherweight of the bunch can manage a respectable 40 mph (64.3 km/h). There's also a smartphone app in development, that will allow riders to connect and share on the road.
Practicality tends to take a back seat when you combine sci-fi cult status with custom chopper building - and there's no room for a pillion passenger on the Lightcycle. We first spied Parker Brothers Choppers Lightcycle project
last year when it surfaced in gas-powered form, now the company has released video of a fully-electric version of the neon-packing two-wheeler in action. The electric motor may be quieter, but this one's still guaranteed to turn heads.
Now here's something completely different from Husqvarna. The single-track commuter concept that the company hinted at two weeks ago
has now taken shape as the Concept E-go - an extremely lightweight electric motorcycle for first time motorcyclists with slimline supermotard styling and a modest electric powerplant that's particularly suitable for urban commuting.
BMW looks set to become the first of the recognized motorcycle brands to begin leveraging the unique advantages of the motorcycle in addressing the quickly changing landscape of urban mobility. The Flying Propeller brand is to create a specialist "Urban Mobility" group, launch two premium, high-performance twin-cylinder maxi scooters before the end of the year, and will unveil a concept electro-scooter later today. Using the large volume of enclosed body space of a maxi scooter to contain all the necessaries, the 60 volt Concept e has a 100 kilometer range, recharges from flat inside three hours at a domestic power point, and the performance of a maxi scooter (expected to be equivalent to a 400-500cc commuter motorcycle). The Concept e will be the first volume production two-wheeler without rear vision mirrors – twin rear-facing video cameras relay what's happening behind the vehicle to two LCD monitors in the cockpit. Very exciting!
Two of the more intriguing concepts planned for the world's largest motor show (IAA) in Frankfurt a fortnight from now will come from BMW Motorrad and sister brand Husqvarna. Almost nothing about the concepts has been disclosed other than their existence and a few cryptic words in a press release which mention an e-mobility BMW Motorrad design study and "a new idea for individual single track mobility" from Husqvarna.
Late last year we ran a story on the MXB Shocker Motocrossboard
, an electric-powered two-wheel vehicle from Performance Concepts Inc. (PCI) described as a cross between a snowboard and a dirtbike. At that time the company had intended a limited release of the 2011 MXB Shocker with prices starting at US$2,999 but in the wake of widespread media interest the Motocrossboard’s inventor and PCI CEO, Andy Keel, decided against taking orders, choosing instead to focus on further product development and design. The extra R & D has resulted in a lighter and cheaper 2012 MXB Shocker that is now ready for sale alongside three new models.
The performance of electric motorcycles
may not yet be on par with their fuel-snorting brethren, but our outings on this new breed of two-wheeler
have convinced us that they are well on the way. Now San Francisco start-up BRD is throwing its hat into this rapidly expanding ring by announcing plans for battery powered bikes designed to "outperform their gas equivalents." Called RedShift, the motorcycles are slated for production in 2012 and will come in "dual-sport" and "urban" variants with both promising performance that would put them in the same ballpark as a gas-powered 250cc 4-stroke.
While I'm a big supporter of the push for the electrification of the motorcycle, I'm not really a big fan of the sports bike
or the street bike
or off-road bikes
- my tastes lean towards custom cruisers like the electric chopper
from Orange County Choppers. Come September, the electric cruiser camp looks to be getting a new member in the utterly gorgeous shape of the Dutch Orphiro Electric Motorcycle. Unfortunately details are scarce at the moment, but read on for what we do know.