As much as bikers would try to deny it, they also need a car from time to time and this is exactly the problem that a recent concept has come to solve. Belonging to designer Ram esh Gound and inspired by India’s "buy one get one free" marketing strategy, this concept starts from the idea of having two separate motorcycles ridden by separate individuals, but who from time to time can shake hands and turn their machines into one…an exotic four-wheeler and hit the road together.
This is actually the designer’s final year Diploma project at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad India and it is sponsored by Renault Design India. The bikes are electric and feature drive-by-wire systems but, most importantly, they should be affordable pieces of ingenious Renault engineering if the French ever consider making it reality.
What looks to be a slightly more complex approach towards the classic idea of a mountain bike actually ends up being claimed the "Ferrari of electric bikes". Yes, this is the M55 Bike EVO-001, an electric bike that simply cannot pass unnoticed by those interested in this particular segment of electric vehicles.
Based in Hungary, M55 have developed the bike for the past three years and after five prototypes, they’re taking it to the production line. Built around a one-piece molded aluminium frame, the M55 Bike EVO-001 doesn’t seem to bring anything new on the market, but it is actually its integrated battery pack and a centrally mounted motor that make a difference.
M55 has put together two different versions for two different types of fun. The most powerful isn’t street legal, but an off-road sport version with a 1300 W (1.7 hp) motor, while its homologated sibling comes powered by a 250 W (0.33 hp) motor.
So, what is it that could turn this into a Flinstone vehicle because it certainly ain’t the motor. Well, the fact is that on both bikes the engine speed is controlled by the rider through the pedals. This means that both man and machine work together towards…Flinstones-style commuting? But let’s not be mean as this is an ingenious way to save up the A123 systems battery.
Furthermore, the five-speed engine is backed up by a Rohloff Speedhub with 14 gears, which is positioned in the rear wheel hub. All these combined turn the sport version of the M55 Bike EVO-001 into a 43 mph green machine, but definitely not into a Ferarri.
Other fancy, but not entirely necessary, bits are the Brembo disc brakes.
The Hungarian manufacturer only plans to produce 250 of these bikes, so don’t expect them to be cheap. Hit the jump for the official video.
With designers struggling to come up with eco-friendly and space sufficient concept bikes, especially for urban use, it seems that ingenuity is the way to follow. We just came across such a solution in the form of the Monobike, an electric concept motorbike that is even able to be parked vertically in order to save space in your garage and make it easier for you to find a place to park in the future’s even crowdier cities.
Designed by Ilia Vostrov, the Monobike’s main goal is maneuverability, which is offered by the two leaning front wheels and a much smaller rear one. This makes the bike safe enough to allow speeds of 110 mph and that’s where the rider can open a special ducting to accelerate and change air direction, lifting the rear wheel off the asphalt for a more aggressive riding experience.
Overall, this concept looks rather interesting, but details are scarce in what concerns the power of its electric engines and range, not to mention it looks rather dangerous.
We rarely happen to see a concept motorcycle that features no frame whatsoever, but when we do it reminds us of John Britten’s revolutionary motorcycle from the early 1990s, the Britten V1000. This concept right here actually pays tribute to the original frameless motorcycle and it is called the Britten V1000E. It was designed by Selwyn Shadbolt and it even gets hubless wheels in order to stick to the theme.
The actual engine would be a single large capacity electric one transmitting power to the rear wheel through a shaft drive, but it is the unique shape of the bodywork which attracts our attention. In order for that to be achieved, the fairings must be molded from polyethylene, while the green color should make it stand out as being environmentally-friendly if it ever gets done at least as prototype.
As cities are getting crowdier every day, more and more urban electric concept vehicles emerge and this precise one called the E-TX Urban looks kind of good. Entirely electric, rechargeable via an AC outlet and powered by a Roadson Etronic 16 generator developing an impressive 132.5 kw, this is the kind of electric bike a wheelie lover would ride in the future.
French designer Bako claims a top speed of 150 mph, but that’s a bit unrealistic as the 2010 Zero Street , which is now being produced, tops out at 67 mph. That’s the big and important part that currently makes the E-TX Urban a concept vehicle.
Until we’ll be able to fly our way around the cities, designers will be coming up with interesting solutions for our urban transportation needs and one of them is precisely the Taurus concept vehicle.
Designed by Erik Lanuza, the bike is more like a Segway you sit down on and works on the same principle. This means the self balancing vehicle, which features sufficient safety mechanisms, responds to the rider’s front-rear body posture in order to move forward and stop, while direction is changed using the bull-like handles.
Light, rather small and easy to park, the Taurus looks like it can make life easier in the city, but also cleaner as it would be powered by zero emissions electric motors, making it eco-friendly also.
The reason why these sorts of concept vehicles are being released is to test the public. So, would you ride such a think if it would see production?
Although the Austrians from KTM have tried to keep a low profile in what their all-new Freeride electric motorcycles are concerned, German magazine Das Motorrad published the first leaked pictures of the much-awaited KTMs. Damn, why can’t we feel sorry about this?
Expected to retail for approximately $13,500 (or just under €10,000), both bikes rely on 30bhp and 33lb/ft of torque while weighing in at 198.4lbs. Hmm, that cannot be impressive. At least the 2.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack is capable to keep the good stuff coming for around 1.5-hours.
One a supermoto and the other an enduro, both bikes feature what appears to be a tubular steel frame.
This pretty much blows KTM’s element of surprise, but at least we can see the Austrian company entering confidently into a totally new segment mainly dominated by Zero Motorcycles in the United States.
California residents with a soft spot for electric motorcycles are now offered the possibility to buy the Zero DS and Zero S bikes at the special price of $7,495. That’s $1,500 less than what residents in the other 49 states will pay for the same bikes and it is all made possible through the California Clean Vehicle Program rebate and ten percent federal tax credit.
Zero Motorcycles will start a "Discover the Experience Tour" in order to popularize their 2010 product lineup – which is actually made of four electric models – and the $1,500 rebate applicable for their two bikes with the most chances to sell. Read the full press release after the jump.
Zero Motorcycles has come a short way from idea to the world’s main electric motorcycle manufacturer and their 2010 product lineup already counts four models suiting four different riding tastes: the Zero S, which is your daily electric commuting bike, the Zero DS, pretty much an S model with off-road abilities, the Zero MX, what you would call an electric dirt bike and, finally, the Zero X, the plug-in trail bike. Sounds cool already? Click past the break for the official press release and launch video.
Remember the Yamaha monocycle concept and the Rollersphere ? This is kind of the same thing only that the rider isn’t protected by the elements like in the previously mentioned cases. What makes the Hornet, as it is called, special is the fact that it is the closest concept to a one-wheel superbike and this turned it into winner of the VACC competition.
Designed by Liam Ferguson, the Hornet single-wheeled concept superbike is powered by two in-wheel hydrogen fuel-cell six-phase Neodymium-Iron (Nd-Fe) electric motors developing a claimed 74 hp. Also considering its 388 lbs weight and that of the rider’s, the listed top speed is of 146 mph.
But this concept has its fair share of ingenuity too. For instance, it balances gyroscopically when parked thanks to two side-by-side small wheels and tilts forward to run on the central wheel when accelerated. Also, the bike features a series of computers that examine data such as attitude and rider input in order to always offer stability regardless of rider weight and vehicle momentum.
Although the basic working principle is like that of the Segway, we have to admit this is a much better scenario imagined as the single wheel (which is actually made out of two parallel wheels) allows for extreme slow speed maneuverability. Ok, so why would you list an unrealistic top speed in this case?