Chinese firm launch a sub-$10,000 battery-powered motorcycle in Zero’s backyard.
As the death-knell of Victory’s production electric the Empulse rang at the break of the New Year it was pretty much left to American firm Zero and European company Energica to fly the flag for production electrically-powered motorcycles.
With the major manufacturers still fighting it out and working out exactly what it is that they intend to do with regards to their motorised drive-trains, now is perhaps the best time for an electric start-up to gain some traction… Before the bigger boys inevitably pick up the pace.
Having recently signed a manufacturing deal with Foxconn – the company responsible for putting together Apples’ iPhone, the Chinese electric motorcycle manufacturer yesterday announced that they are opening their order books for their new flagship Urban S bike both in China and the US of A.
And it’s priced aggressively low (for an electric at least).
With a $200 deposit, a customer can ‘lock-in’ a pre-order price of just $9,400 for the circa 70 mile ranged machine. And with a 19kW motor spinning up a top speed of 81 mph, it’s relatively competitive in the all-important commuter market too.
Like most new manufacturers coming into the market, it’s not without at least one quirk however. Because the clutch is no longer needed, the rear brake has been moved up and onto the bars – like a bicycle – which whilst potentially welcoming for new riders, will take a little getting used to for those of us with ‘clutch-grab’ memorised by our muscles.
As time moves on, things are definitely hotting up within the electric motorcycle arena.
Source: Evoke Motorcycles
|Top Speed||130 km/h (81 mph)|
|Acceleration (0 – 50 km/h)||2.5 seconds|
|Max power||19 kW|
|Max torque||86 lb-ft|
|Motor type||hub motor|
|Controller||400A DC wave controller with regenerative braking|
|City*||133 km (83 miles)|
|Highway, 80 km/h (50 mph)*||80 km (50 miles)|
|Battery type||99.2v, 60ah Lithium Iron Phosphate Evoke PowerPack|
|Rated nominal capacity||9.0 kWh|
|Standard charge time (0-100% DOD, typical)||8 hours
(3 hours with optional Fast Charger to 80%)
|Front Brakes||Dual disc, 4 piston hydraulic 300×4 mm|
|Rear Brakes||Single disc, 2 piston hydraulic 220×4 mm|
|Front Suspension||42mm inverted fork, dual shock|
|Rear Suspension||Single shock rear|
|Front Wheel||3.00×17 cast aluminum|
|Rear Wheel||3.00×17 built-in hub motor
w/ cast aluminum wheel
|Curb Weight||180 kg|
|Carrying Capacity||150 kg|
|Wheelbase||1360 mm (54.4 inches)|
|Length||2030 mm (81.2 inches)|
|Width (excluding mirrors)||710 mm (28.4 inches)|
|Seat Height||780 mm (31.2 inches)|
|Ground Clearance||130 mm (5.2 inches)|
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Custom of the Week: BMW R100RS by Bolt Motor Company
MOST CUSTOM BUILDERS are juggling careers, building bikes as a side gig. Adrián Campos falls into that category: he’s the sporting director for Campos Racing, the team founded by his father Adrián Campos Sr, the former Minardi F1 driver.
Adrián Jr. is surrounded by high-tech missiles capable of 208 mph (335 kph), but he’s also nuts about motorcycles. So he started customizing classic bikes, as an antídoto to the ultra-modern race machinery that absorbs his working day.
His first build garnered enough interest to turn his side gig into a fully-fledged second business. Bolt Motor Company is now on its seventeenth build, and employs seven team members.
Bolt shares a workshop in Valencia with Campos Racing. But while the race team preps cars for the Formula 2, Formula 3 and GP3 race series, Adrián is swinging spanners on bikes like this stunning 1982 BMW R100RS.
We’ll admit it’s not the wildest custom boxer we’ve seen. But even though the style is well established, the perfect proportions and level of finish are something else. And the client wasn’t even looking for anything fancy; “He wanted a comfortable cafe racer for two people,” says Adrián, “so that’s what we did.”
The donor arrived in a pretty good condition, but it left in an even better state. There’s fresh paint and powder everywhere, from the motor right through to the forks, frame and tank.
Bolt tweaked the airhead’s stance by lowering the front forks internally just over two inches, then installing a pair of Hagon shocks at the rear. The fuel tank is stock, but the subframe and seat are custom made. The subframe’s a bolt-on affair, and the main frame’s been detabbed and cleaned up.
The taillight’s a particularly nice touch. Bolt built it into the seat rather than the rear loop, along with integrated rear turn signals. The whole setup’s barely visible—until it lights up.
They’ve also added some room for the customer to ‘customize’ his BMW at home. There’s a second tank and seat in a different paint scheme, which can be swapped out via four fasteners for the seat, and one for the tank. The second seat has it’s own plug-and-play taillight too.
Bolt have kept things practical too. The BMW’s airbox is still in play, and it’s also equipped with a BMW oil cooler and crash bars. Plus there’s a discreet inner fender at the rear. The exhaust headers have been shortened and run into a pair of generic cone mufflers, with the side stand relocated to work around them.
The cockpit’s sporting new handlebars, grips, bar-end mirrors and Motogadget bar-end turn signals. There’s a new master brake cylinder too, with some really neat plumbing. Up front is an LED headlight, tucked into a custom-made bucket.
Bolt rewired the bike from top to bottom and tucked away as much as they could. A set of Motone switches have their wires running inside the bars, while a Motogadget speedo has its cable routed through the BMW’s hollow steering stem nut.
This sort of consideration is rife, with every last nook and cranny cleaned up. We’ve spotted stainless steel fasteners throughout the build, nifty choke pulls on the carbs and a OEM-looking Bolt Motor Co. plaque on the side of the motor.
The classic white BMW motorsports livery is on point too. And Bolt have shunned the ubiquitous Firestone Deluxe Champion tires, going for the saw tooth tread of Shinko Classics instead.
We doubt that Bolt #17 could lap a track anywhere near as fast as a Campos race car.
But it’s just the sort of simple, classic ride we’d pick for getting to the track in the first place—via some leisurely Spanish back roads.
This article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here by permission.
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Video: Watch Sarah Lezito show you how to drift a motorcycle
Yes, drifting on two wheels is possible. Especially if you’re an insanely talented stunt rider from France.
There are a few stunt riders worth following across social media and YouTube but few get the numbers of French stunter Sarah Lezito.
Shot in a cold, wet and snowy location, it’s hardly the easiest of environments for riding a motorcycle – although possibly better for skids! – but the control from Lezito, and her instruction, is captivating.
Why learn how to drift? Well, Lezito says that it might help in learning how to save from slipping, keeping the balance on your bike or just improving your stunting skills.
And her top tips?
- First find a small bike – a 50cc or 125cc machine that’s easy to handle.
- Find a slippery spot, like a wet floor after some light rain.
- Put hard tyres on the rear and more air in the front tyre.
- Protect everything… On you and your bike.
- Prepare to crash. A lot.
We’re hoping she’ll be adding to her channel over the coming months and that this is the start of a series of ‘How To…’ videos from the young stunt rider.