2018 Ather S 340
India is hot on heels to become the leader in electric alternatives for personal transportation with a new one coming up every day. Why not? It is the biggest market of two-wheelers in the world.
A Bangalore-based startup, Ather Energy, has been in this pursuit since their inception in 2013 and are on an epic journey to give the country’s first premium smart electric scooter christened as Ather S340. The company was founded by two IIT-ians who are committed to building smart, connected, uncompromising vehicles and seeks to reimagine urban commute with the help of technology.
Their first offering is the Ather S340, which they are building it from the ground up and promise to change the way we perceive the electric transport till now. The company has received fundings to the tune of $1 million from Flipkart, $11 million from Tiger Global and the very recently $ 30 million from the world’s biggest manufacturer of two-wheelers, Hero MotoCorp. This has allowed Ather to sustain momentum in its journey of building a future-ready product platform and to accelerate the infrastructure and ecosystem development around electric vehicles in the world.
Curtiss Motorcycles finally showcase the "Zeus" concept
When Curtiss Motorcycles launched the “Warhawk”, they were yet to depart from their vision of making full-blown exquisite electric-powered motorcycles. This was their final chapter in America’s darling configuration, the V-Twin that was used during the days when the company was called “Confederate Motors”.
Last year they were re-branded as “Curtiss Motorcycle Co.” and will be switching to electric powertrain supplied by Zero Motorcycles. And the fruit of this partnership has just been showcased at the 2018 Quail Motorcycle Gathering – the 2020 Curtiss Motorcycles’ “Zeus”. Yes, it is still in its concept stages and is sure shares all the designs of a post-apocalyptic machine.
2018 Alta Motors Redshift MXR
The Brisbane, California based Alta Motors designs and manufactured the most advanced electric motorcycles in the industry. Starting in 2010, the firm has come a long way in establishing itself building bikes that prove to be better off-roaders than the petrol-powered counterparts. Until now, their motorcycle line-up included a Supermoto (SM), an Enduro (EX) and a Motocross (MX) electric off-road bikes.
Now, the makers are stepping up their game and have launched a brand new motorcycle called the Redshift MXR. All their current bikes badly needed an upgrade from their 250cc equivalent electric motors that only did 42 horsepower and 120 foot-pounds of torque. Luckily, the chaps at Alta have done just that.
The 2018 Redshift MXR Motocross model ups the ante in all departments and adds a significant change with its electronics package and battery-motor combo. It boasts of more power, less weight, better recharge times, and better heat management to keep the competition in check.
2017 - 2018 Zero Motorcycles S / SR
Riding the tailwinds of waxing public interest and expanding infrastructure, Zero Motorcycles advanced ’The Cause’ with new improvements and adjustments to its street-centric “S” and “SR” models last year. Part of that was the addition of a more powerful motor that generates increased torque and horsepower as well as a smaller battery pack for short urban trips; all good stuff for increased fun and flexibility, necessary factors if the company wants to further its push into the mainstream. For 2018, Zero adds more range and quicker charging times.
Continue reading for my review of the Zero S and SR.
2018 Cake Kalk
The brainchild of a Swedish Stefan Ytterborn, “Cake” is a new player in the electric transportation business that intends “to speed up the journey towards a zero-emission society, while enhancing excitement and fun.” And their very first step is this limited edition Kalk electric off-roader that blurs the line between mountain bikes and motorcycles.
Jumping into the category of light electric off-road motorbikes, the Kalk is the first one of a number of models to come and is walking the path that will change the future of riding. The focus here has been off-road performance and innovation in terms of weight and simplicity of riding on the Cake.
2017 - 2018 Zero Motorcycles DS / DSR
While most EV manufacturers push either off-road or streetbike products to the exclusion of everything else, Zero Motorcycles boldly expands on both of those fronts plus something in-between with the improved-in-2017 DS and DSR models. These two are built to fill the dual-sport niche with off-road suspension and dual-surface tires under a sporty chassis that naturally runs the company’s all-electric drive system. This represents a success for both the electric sector as well as the dual-sport/adventure sector, both of which are still burgeoning under increasing public interest and steady technological advancements. Today I’m going to take a look at these bikes made unique by the pairing of electrics with the on/off-road riding style associated with dual-sport machines.
Continue reading for my review of the Zero DS and DSR.
Harley-Davidson’s All-Electric LiveWire To Hit The Streets
Back in 2014, Harley-Davdison teased the world with something that many of us considered to be an unlikely creation for the U.S. motorcycle icon; an all-electric sportbike in the form of the LiveWire. Some things have changed since then. Victory Motorcycles has gone tits-up-and-taking-on-water, ending its Brammo-based ’Empulse TT’ program, at least for the moment until Polaris shifts development/production to its other U.S. manufacturer, Indian Motorcycle. That’s a delay that gives H-D a much-needed buffer on the electric front as it struggles to compensate for its dwindling traditional buyer base, and it looks as though the factory is about ready to capitalize on its competitor’s misfortune and the current void in the U.S. electric streetbike market.
Continue reading for the upcoming Livewire release.
Hero Electric has tied up with Bosch for powertrain partnership
Hero Electric entered the electric world after 12 years of extensive research in the EV segment and currently provides eco-friendly and cost-effective mode of personalized transportation to the masses. The company is a multi-product and a multi-location enterprise with interests in Electric Vehicles, Bicycles and Healthcare. With the newfound interest in electric powertrains, Hero Electric has made strides in this direction and are betting big on the technology.
It has been launching electric two-wheelers for some time now and has sold to over 100,000 customers. They, however, were not market spec vehicles like the Tork T6X or Ather S340 available in the country and were very underpowered. Now, they have tied up with the German Technology giant, Bosch, to get things around for them.
2017 - 2018 Zero Motorcycles FX / FXS
The EV sector is booming, and as it’s grown it has expanded into more and more genres. Zero Motorcycles is all about the electrics, and has pushed beyond the straight-up street and adventure categories into dual-sport and supermoto territory. The off-road capable FX enters the 2018 MY off an update last year alongside its urban-jungle sibling, the FXS, for a dynamic duo of EV fun with more torque and more horsepower than previous model years, plus other upgrades to the drivetrain to include a wider final-drive belt and improvements to the power packs.
Continue reading for my review of the Zero FX and FXS.
Campagna showcases its brand new Electric T-Rex prototype
Time and again it has been proved that electric/hybrid vehicles have an overwhelming advantage especially to ride within the town and this evolution has been a gradual process for some – and an exciting start for others like Campagna.
Canadian three-wheel ‘autocycle’ manufacturer, Campagna, has showcased its latest venture into a new breed of machine. Unveiled at the recently concluded Montreal Electric Vehicle Show, the Electric T-Rex prototype will be the world’s first three-wheeled production autocycle.
The brainchild of a Swedish Stefan Ytterborn, Cake intends “to speed up the journey towards a zero-emission society, while enhancing excitement and fun.” And their very first step is this Kalk electric off-roader that blurs the line between mountain bikes and motorcycles.
Further developing their product strategies, Cake entered into a partnership with Swedish all-green electricity provider Utellus to create solar charging environment specifically to charge their range of electric motorcycles.
Campagna joins hands with Zero Motorcycles to develop electric T-Rex
Jumped to fame way back in 1996, the Canadian Campagna T-Rex showcased bonkers three-wheeled trikes that ran on a 1.4-liter Kawasaki inline-four engine and two side-by-side seats. Later, a 1.6 liter BMW inline-six engine made a 160 horsepower in the T-Rex. 20 years later, Campagna has announced plans to build an electric version of its T-Rex three-wheeler.
To be showcased at the upcoming Montreal Electric Vehicle Show as a prototype, the Electric T-Rex will feature electric powertrain from Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in electric motorcycles and powertrains.
Honda developing the EV-Cub with swappable batteries
Serving 100 million happy customers is a well-achieved milestone for any business, and no other manufacturer but Honda could have made it seem this easy. Being the first two-wheeler to cross such a mark is the Japanese Red Wing’s Super Cub that began its life way back in 1958. As a matter of fact, 2018 bears a distinct significance for the Super Cub, marking its 60th anniversary.
Celebrating this feat, Honda has been planning an electric version of this mighty scooter with the “EV-Cub” showcased first during the 2009 Tokyo Show and the second iteration at the 2015 show. This little scooter is touted to become the first electric production model from Honda to hit the streets and the recent patent images re-stores the same faith.
Vanguard Motorcycles head towards being an e-mobility company with Erik Buell
Vanguard is a brand new name in the motorcycle world that has vowed to celebrate utilitarianism. The brand is touted to be an entirely new and distinct for premium motorcycles that are decisive on re-shaping the rule books.
Now, the American company has joined hands with 3 partners to attack the onset of electric motorcycles under a new banner: “VanguardSpark”. It will be an e-mobility company created to bring to market innovative, distinctive and great value-for-money urban electric two-wheelers.
Yamaha launches four new e-bikes
Setting sights on the 2018 FIM Trial-E Cup races in France and Belgium, the Yamaha Factory Racing chaps have worked out of Yamaha’s ‘Evolving R & D’ unit to get on with the rad looking TY-E concept. This is their entry into the electric motorcycle bandwagon. But their entry into electric two-wheelers happened way back in 1993 when Yamaha “launched the world’s first electrically power-assisted bicycle”.
Now, the Japanese Blue Team is launching a new breed of cycles powered by electric motors. With decent performance ratings, Yamaha has taken this foray into smaller powered “motorcycles” quite seriously. 500 Watt-hour batteries and 60 lb-ft of torque says a lot about these cycles.