Tag Archives: electric motorcycle

Cleveland CycleWerks Falcon plugs in

American fun bike manufacturer Cleveland CycleWerks has joined the electric motorcycle race with their new Falcon BLK and are seeking an Australian distributor.

For years now, the Ohio-based company has been designing small-capacity fun machines that have been built in China and retailed for less than $50000.

Cleveland CycleWerks Heist and AceCleveland CycleWerks Heist and Ace

“We do not currently have an Australian distributor,” a company spokesman told us.

“Not sure if the bike (electric Falcon BLK) will make it there at this point, but we would love to get our network back up and running.”

Falcon BLK Cleveland CycleWerks Falcon

The electric Falcon BLK is along the same lines as their previous lightweight low-capacity models.

They claim a top speed of 137km/h (95mpg) and range of 290km (180 miles) which is probably in city traffic, with about half that range on the highway.

Price in America is $US14,995 which is about $US400 more than the Zero FX.

They will also have a Falcon 01 moped edition which costs $US7995 and has half the battery capacity.

Falcon BLK is powered by a 13kW motor with four power modes (Eco, Custom, Ego and Wheelie for a power boost) and uses a conventional motorcycle chain driving the rear wheel.

It has two 2.2-kWh “Angry Pixy Power” packs that use Samsung cells which look like they can be taken out to charge up. Maybe you can have powered-up spares ready to go.

Cleveland CycleWerks FalconSwappable batteries

It features a “robot bent” and hand-welded frame.

Like their conventional models, Falcon BLK has minimal appointments such as a tiny headlight, single bar-end mirror, blacked-out rims, 200mm disc brakes and non-adjustable suspension.

The company will join other American motorcycle manufacturers Harley-Davidson, Lightning Motorcycles and Zero Motorcycles in the race to win market share of this nascent market.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Electric Harley covers 1723km in one day

A Swiss rider has just ridden a Harley-Davidson LiveWire 1723km across four nations in one day using Level 3 DC fast chargers.

Sounds good, but we did some calculations and reckon he would have spent six hours recharging!

Rider Michel von Tell, aged 39, is a journalist and comedian described as the Euro version of US comedian Bill Burr … we don’t know him either. Anyway, he’s apparently a bit of a celebrity and his YouTube channel has millions of followers. 

His feat shattered the previous record of 1134.3km in one day set in 2018 by German Remo Klawitter on a Zero electric motorcycle fitted with an optional Charge Tank with Level 2 charging.

Calculations for one day record

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle(All images are of MBW riding the LiveWire at the world launch in 2019)

Harley claims the bike has city range of up to 235km and 152km of highway range. We tested that on the launch last year and it appears about right.

They also say that the bike takes 30 minutes to charge to 80% capacity and 40 minutes to fully charge on a Level 3 DC fast charger.

Michel says he usually only stopped for 25 minutes at a time, but let’s be generous and say that was enough for an 80% charge.

So we calculate that to cover 1723km in 24 hours (actually 23 hours and 48 minutes), Michel needed to keep an average speed of about 70km/h.

Recharging

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electric highwaysLiveWire on a DC fast charger

We imagine he mainly did highway riding to attain that average speed.

That means recharging every 121km as that’s 80% of 152km.

So he would have had to recharge about 14 times.

If he recharged for 25 minutes at a time, he spent almost six hours recharging.

So he was only travelling for 18 hours, which means his average speed would have had to be more like 95km/h.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

At that rate, he would cover 121km in about 90 minutes.

So he rode for 90 minutes, then sat around for 25 minutes to recharge.

And that’s using Level 3 DC fast chargers which are not in abundant supply outside Europe and California!

It’s really not a great advertisement for electric motorcycles.

Michel didn’t pay the hefty fee to Guinness World Records to validate his claimed record, but does have signed witness statements.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

The LiveWire was launched in northern hemisphere in September at $US30,000 and is expected to be launched in Australia late this year.

At current low exchange rates that could mean it might cost more than $A50,000.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Subscribe to an electric motorcycle

Riders can now subscribe through Blinker.com.au to hire the fun, dual-sport Grom-sized Fonzarelli NKD, the first Australian-made production electric motorcycle.

The Special Edition is capable of up to 120km range and 100km/h top speed and is now available through Blinker in Brisbane and Sydney for $120 a week.

The electric mini bike and a range of electric cars are being offered for subscription for the first time in Australia.

Blinker boss Michael Higgins says Aussie motorists will be able to experience electric vehicles without the added costs of buying one.

Subscription costs cover registration, insurance and maintenance, which is low for electric vehicles anyway. 

Subscribe online

Fonzarelli NKD electric mini motorcycleFonzarelli NKD

Customers can subscribe either online, or by visiting a Blinker partner dealership. 

Michael says the interest in electric vehicles has increased substantially in the past year and would continue to rise as “more people move towards a sustainable lifestyle”.

He says the adoption of electric vehicles “removes the need for fossil fuels, using batteries for power, ultimately reducing the impact of greenhouse gases and pollution on the environment”.

However, there are still issues with coal-fired power generation and the disposal of batteries. 

Fonzarelli electrics

Fonzarelli X1 electric scooterFonzarelli X1 electric scooter

If you are interested in buying a Fonzarelli NKD the Entry model costs $A9990 and has 60km of range and a top speed of 80km/h, while the Special Edition costs $14,990 and reaches 100km/h in five seconds.

The Redfern-based company makes the Fonzarelli in Adelaide and has also produced three electric scooters ranging in price from $5490 to $9890.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Call for incentives to build electric bikes

The Australian Government should offer incentives for the fledgling electric vehicle industry in the wake of the demise of domestic automobile manufacturing, says Savic Motorcycles.

Founder Dennis Savic (pictured above) plans to kickstart production of Australia’s first full-size electric motorcycle, the Savic C-Series, this year.

He says the process of accessing a government investment grant or low-interest loan was too arduous.

“We would like more help from the government through grants,” he says.

“But the process is so long and arduous that it simply takes too long to get through, and the timing/circumstance has to be borderline perfect.

“I looked at it and found the process so arduous that I would lose far too much time to make it worthwhile,” Denis says. 

“But I understand why their process is significant.”

He says he would also like to see tax and other incentives for electric vehicles as are offered in other countries to help his fledgling industry.

2019 Savic electric motorcycle prototype ordersDenis Savic

“As far as giving specific ideas on incentives, I’m afraid I’m probably not experienced enough on government capability and legislation governance.”

In come countries, incentives to riders consist of tax rebates, free tolls and exemption from CBD bans.

Incentives call

His call for incentives for the industry and riders comes in the wake of the recent announcement that Holden would exit Australia next year.

“We’re an Australia electric motorcycle business,” he emphasises.

“We developed our own technology and we’re kicking off production this year. 

“We need all the help we can get, but we’re lucky to have really supportive investors and first customers.”

Government incentives he would like to see include the Accelerating Commercialisation grant on a dollar-for-dollar basis, rent support and additions to the R&D claim. 

Show and tell2019 Savic electric motorcycle prototype orders giants

Meanwhile, potential Savic customers can get a better look at the bike and more technical details this week during a special Facebook “Show & Tell @ Fab9” this Friday at 6pm (AEDT).

This is a first for us, and we’re excited to delve into some of the engineering details and features our vehicles will have,” he says.

“We will also share a few stories of our tougher times and other challenges.”

Denis says they should have a Savic C-Series running within a week with a prototype ready in about a month for testing.

They are currently (pun intended) looking for premises in Melbourne to run their research and development as well as production in collaboration with a Taiwan facility.

Savic C-Series

Savic Motorcycles will make 49 C-Series cafe racer electric motorcycles available from November in three variants.

Specification Alpha Delta Omega
Power 60kW 40kW 25kW
Torque 190Nm TBC TBC
Range 200km TBC TBC
Charge time 4-6 hours TBC TBC
0-100km/h 3s 900ms TBC TBC
Price (+ORC) $22,999.00 $15,999.00 $10,999.00

That’s much cheaper than the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle which launched last year in the US at about $US30,000 ($A44,000).  It will be available in Australia late next year. Pricing is yet to be confirmed.

Denis says he hope to make his bikes available for test rides at the Australian Motorcycle Festival in Wollongong in November.

Buyers of the first production models will also receive:

  • Exclusive company updates first;
  • Lifetime membership providing exclusive discounts for all future Savic rider gear; and
  • Live updates and images of their bike build as it happens.2019 Savic electric motorcycle prototype orders whirring

Each model comes with several battery pack options. The largest offered in the Alpha will provide range of up to 200km, while the smallest option in the Omega is expected to have about 50km range. 

Like all electric vehicles, peak torque is instantaneous and the Alpha will accelerate from 0-100km in 3.9 seconds.

By comparison, the LiveWire has city range of about 235km and highway range of about 150km and reaches 100km/h in three seconds.

Savic customers will be able choose a range of options in brakes, suspension, wheels, tyres and three colours – Spectre, Stealth, and Rustic.

Aftermarket upgrades will also be offered. 

The bikes feature a fully integrated, stressed, liquid-cooled motor and energy storage system.

Depending on the model and battery pack a customer selects, a single charge can provide up to 11kWh. That costs only $3 compared with about $15 for a petrol bike to travel 250km.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Z electric motorcycle just a drawing

This Z electric motorcycle is just a drawing, but it shows the potential for electric bikes to have some wild non-traditional designs.

California design student Joseph Robinson imagines an electric motorcycle in the shape of  the letter “Z”, similar to the Racer X shaped like an “X”.

Racer X electric motorcycleRacer X electric bike

Drawing

While the images look realistic, they are just artistic renderings.

If the Z Motorcycle were to go to production, we imagine fellow Californian Zero Motorcycles, the world’s most established electric motorcycle company, might have some objections to the name!Z electric motorcycle concept drawing

Josep’s design features foldaway handlebars … he doesn’t explain why and we struggle to imagine any benefits in such a feature.

“The electric wave in transportation should not be limited to just cars. Motorcycles are vehicles of pure thrill, thus they pose to be the greatest benefactors from electric performance,” says Joseph on his website.

“Instantaneous, but smooth acceleration assures it would be ideal in city traffic or on canyon rides.Z electric motorcycle concept drawing

The Z motorcycle takes into account the challenges of fitting a sizeable battery into the slim package. From the latch points, the 30kw/h battery can be removed and interchanged for a fresh one.

“The front fork houses a strut tower, which is steered from the fold-away handlebars. The “Z” graphic is also a screen, which can display exciting graphics to elevate its road-going presence.”Z electric motorcycle concept drawing

Joseph’s design exemplifies some of the things famed LA motorcycle customiser Roland Sands says about electric motorcycle design not being restricted by traditional motorcycle requirements.

Roland pointed out that batteries can be made into almost any shape and electric motors are much smaller than an internal combustion engine, allowing designers much more flexibility with their creations.

That means some unique and even kooky designs, like these.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Zero plug in electric SR/S sportsbike

The biggest electric motorcycle company, Zero of California, will finally plug into the sportsbike market with the launch of the SR/S.

Over the past 14 years, the company has produced dual-sport models and last year added the naked SR/F streetfighter.

The Zero SR/S is basically an SR/F with a fairing.

Zero says it’s “the most comfortable sportbike on the road” with higher bars and lower footpegs.

However, range, power, speed, and other tech specs are fairly identical to the SR/F.

The premium SR/S model with 6kW Rapid Charger, heated handgrips and aluminium bar ends starts at $US21,995 and the standard model with 3kW Rapid Charger starts at $US19,995. They are available in grey or blue.

Plug pulled

But don’t get too excited as Zero Motorcycles pulled the plug on the Australian and New Zealand market in 2017, citing unfavourable exchange rates and taxes.

Since then the exchange rate has worsened.

While Zero has not yet made an announcement about a return, we suspect it is a long way off. At least until the government offers subsidies like America’s 10% rebate and our charging infrastructure catches up to the USA and Europe.

As a guide, their 2017 Aussie fleet ( Zero S, SR, DS, DSR, FX and FXS) ranged in price from $18,000 to $25,000 on the road. You can also buy an optional $4790 Power Tank battery which extends range up to 320km.

SR/S power and range

The Zero SR/S is powered by the same 14.4kWh battery and ZF 75-10 motor with 82kW of power (110hp), 190Nm (140lb-ft) of torque and a top speed of 200km/h (124mph).

Range is also the same at 260km (160mi) in the city, 132km (82mi) on the highway and a combined range of 175km (109mi).

Riders can also buy a $US2895 3.6kWh Power Tank that increases range 323km/201mi (city), 166km/103mi (highway) and 219km/136mi (combined).

However, with 13% improved aero from the fairing, range could be better if you tuck down low.

Zero SR/S has the option to install one, two, or three Level 2 charger modules on board.Zero Motorcycles SR/S plug

Charge time from 0-95% is four hours with a single charge module, two hours with two charger modules and just over an hour with three.

It features a Cypher III operating system that includes Bosch stability control and a full telemetrics that links to your phone.Zero Motorcycles SR/S plug

It shows charging status, charge time scheduling, tip-over protection or unexpected motion notifications in case someone is trying to steal it plus a Find-my-Bike feature to track its whereabouts.

You can also share your ride data with other riders, but be wary of divulging too much incriminating evidence!

They even have optional Shard panniers in case you want to go sports touring.Zero Motorcycles SR/S plug

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Switch designs electric eSCRAMBLER

New Zealand electric motorcycle company Switch is seeking funding to homologate its stylish go-anywhere eSCRAMBLER and bring it to market in 2022.

Founder Matthew Waddick has already produced an electric conversion kit for a Honda Cub as part of his Shanghai Customs company and is now working on the eSCRAMBLER through Switch.

“We are going to be looking for partners and investors over the next few months for both projects Shanghai Customs and Switch,” says Matthew who says he had to “flee China” last month due to the coronavirus.

“It’s a little early yet for costing, the only thing we can say is that it will be very competitive in the pricing with the business model we are going for.

“No way we are going to price this out of the market.”

eSCRAMBLERSwitch electric eSCRAMBLER

The minimalistic eSCRAMBLER is based on a conventional polished-aluminium, double-cradle frame with upside-down forks, monoshock and 18-inch wheels with knobby tyres for all-terrain use.

It will also feature GPS tracking, three speed modes, USB charger, cruise control, regenerative braking to recharge the battery and Spanish JJuan brakes with Bosch ABS.

eSCRAMBLER includes some tasty parts such as CNC-machine triple clamps and footpegs, leather seat, LED lighting and a digital display that looks like a mobile phone.

One of the design features is how the 50kW motor and swingarm are coaxially mounted, allowing the Gates carbonfibre belt drive to maintain proper tension.Switch electric eSCRAMBLER

Matthew has partnered with ex-Yamaha Advanced Labs industrial designer and former Danish Flat Track racing champion Michel Riis to design and develop the eSCRAMBLER.

They are targeting up to 150km of range, 150km/h top speed and 0–100km/h in 3.2 seconds.

Switch also plan to have a fast charging system.

Wow factorSwitch electric eSCRAMBLER

Matthew says electric motorcycles are not new anymore.

“You can’t wow people by just being electric; you need to do better than that,” he says.

“We want people to understand this bike, see how it is all put together – to demystify electrics and especially not hide that we have a box full with cells.

“However, the design was not as easy as it looks – in fact it was incredibly difficult. Generally, making a complex product look simple is one of the hardest things to do and this is especially true with electric bikes.”

While the road-legal version will be released in 2022, they will put the bike through its paces this year on the Scandinavian flat tracking circuit.

Matthew says they already have some world champions “lining up to have a thrash”.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

iF Design honours motorcycles with awards

An electric commuter/off-road motorcycle, a concept electric BMW and the new Yamaha Ténéré 700 adventure bike have been honoured with international iF Design Awards.

They are among hundreds of awards announced this year for products and concepts from baby prams to an automated toilet cleaner.

The iF Design Award is a global contest celebrating world-renowned design in the fields of product, packaging, communication, interior design, service design, professional concept and architecture.

Previous motorcycle award winners include the Yamaha’s MT-10 SP, its robot-controlled Motoroid concept bike, the Cake Kalk off-road electric bike, AGV Sport Modular helmet and BMW’s Motorrad Concept Link scooter.

Ösa bikeAn electric commuter/off-road motorcycle, a concept electric BMW and the new Yamaha Ténéré 700 adventure bike have been honoured with international iF Design Awards.

The Ösa is a utility urban commuter with some off-road capabilities.

It features a unique clamp-on system that acts as a workstation, an integrated mobile power station and flexible transport packages.

Judges said: “If users prioritise matters of sustainability, responsibility and respect, in conjunction with an active lifestyle and the need for a change in urban commuting, this is the future!”

BMW Vision DC concept

BMW’s Vision DC concept is a boxer-style electric-powered motorcycle.

It’s not necessarily going to make it into production, but it does show that BMW is thinking about how an electric motorcycle would look.

Yamaha Ténéré 700

An electric commuter/off-road motorcycle, a concept electric BMW and the new Yamaha Ténéré 700 adventure bike have been honoured with international iF Design Awards.Yamaha Tenere 700

This is the seventh successive time Yamaha have won an iF Design award.

Yamaha also won an award this year for their YNF-01 four-wheeled mobility vehicle.

The judges were impressed with the Ténéré’s minimalist styling.

“Behind the rally-bred quad-LED headlight, the 16-litre fuel tank provides over 350 km of potential range while the beefy suspension front and rear handily soak up rough terrain. As adventure bike models balloon in size and complexity, the Ténéré remains a simpler, more straightforward partner for the journey.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ewan McGregor admits hitching rides with cars

Ewan McGregor admits he ran out of “juice” a couple of times on his Long Way Up trip on Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycles and even hitched rides with cars by hanging on to the B pillar.

The admissions came in an interview on the American Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

McGregor and his “Long Way” partner, Charley Boorman, completed their trip from Tiera Del Fuego in September to LA in December on specially modified Harley LiveWires.

The LiveWire is now available in the US for $US29,799 (about $A44,500) and will be on sale in Australia late this year.

McGregor PR

The third instalment in their Long Way TV series is expected to be released some time in 2020. 

So McGregor is spruiking about it on TV and we expect to see more of the same in coming months.

In the interview, he explains that they chose electric motorcycles because they “wanted to be part of that new wave of transportation”.

“It proved to be amazing and quite tricky at the same time,” McGregor tells Fallon.

“Charging is the issue. There’s no real infrastructure for charging in Patagonia, for instance.

“We’d just knock on people’s doors and ask if we could plug them in.

“They usually do let us. We’d camp in their garden and we’d plug in.”

However, he said charging two bikes at the same time would sometimes blew the houses’s fuses, so they would charge one at a time.

“People were so generous and lovely about it,” he says.

“We’d ride all morning and then if we stopped to look around the town we’d find somewhere to plug in at a restaurant or a cafe or something.”

Out of juice

Charley and Ewan McGregorCharley and Ewan on electric Harleys

According to Harley, LiveWire range is about 150km on the highway and about 235km in the city.

So, what did they do when they ran out of “juice”, Fallon asked?

“Hope for a hill,” McGregor replies.

“I got towed a couple of times. I was the only one that ran out.

“Charley never ran out of juice and he’ll tell you it’s ’cause he’s a better rider than me and it may well be the case.

“But I ran out a couple of times, so I’d just hold on to a car.”

Charley and Ewan adventure on LiveWireEwan and Charley pack their LiveWire electric bikes

He explains how this stunt was performed and we assume it was at slow speed and could have been using one of the back-up vehicles.

“If you open the back windows and the front of the car you could get your arm around a pillar and you just muscle along like that for a while,” he explains.

Ewan says the first time he saw this done was in New York when he was about 21 or 22 riding in a yellow cab.

“A Harley-Davidson guy — a Hells Angels guy — who’d run out of gas or his bike was broken down clattered into the side of the cab, grabbed hold of the pillar and he shouted the address of the Hells Angels clubhouse to the driver who just took him there and didn’t ask any questions; just drove there like that.

“I think the Hells Angels owe me $5.26.”

Not sure if we believe that, but it’s a great story.

And it sounds like Long Way Up will also be another great series.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Cagiva online to return as electric

Since 2018, MV Agusta has been working on reviving the Cagiva name, but with an electric motor, and now new boss Timur Sardarov (pictured above) confirms it is still part of their plan.

“Cagiva production will resume next year, at the latest in early 2021, and will be dedicated to electric urban mobility,” he told Italian site Motociclismo.

The interview is unclear about what the electric vehicle will be: scooter, motorcycle, e-bike?

“But we will not make scooters, they will be motorcycles,” says Timur who took over from Giovanni Castiglioni last year.

Cagiva Raptor Customised BMW R nineTCagiva V-Raptor

Then he seems to contradict himself.

“Easy to drive and below 4kW, because at the moment no-one who produces beyond this threshold can generate profits.

“In six or seven years, it will probably be possible to reach the profit with vehicles equivalent to 350cc.”

Cagiva return

MV Agusta boss Giovanni Castiglioni classicGiovanni when he was still boss in 2018

When I met with MV Agusta boss Giovanni Castiglioni in July 2018, he talked about the electric Cagiva project and said he believed in the potential of electric bikes.

“There is a market for high-performing light bikes and that’s how the Cagiva electric bike project started,” he told me.

“From my pure personal experience, the torque, power and throttle response is great. You can have fun and you don’t scare the cows and the deers. It’s actually enjoyable.”

He said Cagiva electric bikes would start with 80km of range and reach 320km in the next five years with a range of bikes from commuters to off-road.

But he also said MV would not go into electric bikes because there is no market for high-performing electric street bikes.

John Kocinski's Cagiva V594 grand prixJohn Kocinski’s Cagiva V594

“People think the electric bike is for losers and the reality is it is not.

“But at the moment, its potential is in cities for short-range commuting from home to the office or for short trips.

“We don’t yet live in a world where you can live with an electric car. I would like to buy a Tesla, but only for driving from home to the office. I travel a lot by car and I can’t start my journey by doing a flight plan like in a plane.

“The charging infrastructure needs to improve first.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com