Tag Archives: electric scooter

Harley-Davidson goes small in 2020

The world’s most iconic big-bike manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, is thinking small for 2020 with the launch of a small-capacity motorbike in China, electric bicycles and an electric scooter.

Baby Hog

Harley-Davidson HD350Harley-Davidson HD350

Last June Harley-Davidson announced plans for a joint venture with China’s Qianjiang to produce a motorcycle under their HD350 project, indicating a 350cc engine.

However, it could be even smaller as they now call it the HD338, presumably powered by the Benelli 338cc twin-cylinder engine from the Benelli 302S as Qianjiang also owns and makes the former Italian brand of motorcycle.

The baby Hog will hit the showrooms in China in June and India by the end of the year.

There is no word on whether it will be exported to any other markets, but we suspect it will be sold throughout Asia.

Harley-Davidson Australia says they won’t be coming here.

They aren’t the only mainstream motorcycle manufacturer with small designs on China.

A month after Harley announced its HD350 plan, Italian manufacturer MV Agusta confirmed they would make 350-500cc bikes and Ducati signed away its naming rights to Chinese scooters.

Electric bicycles

Harley electric bicycles sharing subHarley electric bicycle

Electric balance bikes for kids are already available in US stores.

They will soon be joined by pedal-assisted electric bicycles for bigger kids.

rude boy bicyclesHarley e-bikes

There is no word on these products coming to Australia yet.

Electric scooter

Harley electric LiveWire ID specsHarley electric scooter concept

We saw their electric scooter concept in Portland, Oregon, last year when we attended the world launch of their LiveWire electric motorcycle.

It was the same as the concept images from last January.

However, a new image (top of page) and patent plans have emerged showing a much more developed scooter with upside down forks and a removable battery.Harley-Davidson Scooter small

A removable battery is a smart move as many electric motorcycles and scooters are now considering them for either battery-swap vending machines or so riders can take them into thier home or office to charge inside.


We applaud Harley for branching out.

However, we wonder about the economic sustainability of low-margin smaller bikes.

They would need to sell these in very high volume.

If not, then it is just draining research and development funding from their core product.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Carry electric bike battery inside to charge

One of the problems with electric motorcycles is finding somewhere to charge the battery, but a Chinese company believes the answer is in removable batteries you can carry inside to a power point for charging.

Removable batteries could be a way forward for electric motorcycles and scooters with several Japanese and Chinese companies now using or considering them.

Their idea is that they can be swapped at vending machines when they run flat.

Yamaha Gogoro battery swap electric scooterYamaha electric scooter with removable Gogoro battery

However, Shanghai scooter company Niu has unveiled their RQi scooter prototype which has removable two-piece Panasonic lithium battery packs which can be charged up on household mains outlets.

Niu RQi Carry battery inside to chargeNiu RQi portable battery

It makes a lot of sense if the battery packs are light and small enough to carry inside.

We are used to charging our phones and portable devices when we get to work or return home, so one more battery wouldn’t make much difference.

Harley-Davidson’s electric scooter concept also has a removable battery with a handle so you can carry it inside for charging.

Harley electric LiveWire ID specsHarley electric scooter

Niu don’t specific charging time, but they say the two packs would provide range of about 130km in combined city/highway riding.

The RQi scooter, unveiled at the recent Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, is powered by a 30kW mid-drive motor with a top speed of 160km/h.

Other features are TFT dash, traction control, belt drive, 5G connectivity for GPS and anti-theft tracking, and an adaptive headlight that lights up the inside of corners as used by companies such as BMW and KTM.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Motorrad plans sidestand charger

BMW Motorrad has filed a patent for a sidestand charger that looks like it belongs to an electric motorcycle, lending more weight to an electric future.

It follows a patent application last month for a frameless electric motorbike with the motor and battery making up the bulk of the frame.

bmw serious about electric motorcycle
Patent drawing

These patent applications seem to give a clear indication of BMW’s electrification plans.

However, BMW Motorrad boss Markus Schramm recently told US website Cycle World they would not have an electric motorcycle for at least another five years.

“In the urban environment, it is possible that there will be an electric BMW motorcycle in five years. In the touring, off-road, and sport segments, I am not sure that we will see them,” he is quoted as saying.

The Bavarian company already has an electric scooter, the C-Evolution.

Oliver van Bilsen living with an electric BMW C evolution scooter electric motorbike historic
BMW C evolution electric scooter

But these latest patent filings seem to show plans for an electric motorcycle, at least for the urban environment.

Previous BMW electric concepts include the boxer-style Vision DC Roadster unveiled in June 2019, the Concept Link electric scooter and the electric S 1000 RR concept called the eRR.

Sidestand charger

The sidestand charger system involves the stand slotting into a “puck” which is plugged into the AC mains.

It’s simply another way of connecting to a charger.

It would probably only be of use in your home as we cannot see this sort of infrastructure being rolled out in public places.

In 2017, BMW Group Australia boss Marc Werner said Australia needed tax incentives, import subsidies and/or charging infrastructure, but we don’t think he had a sidestand charger in mind at the time.

The only advantage we can see of a sidestand charger is that it might save you a couple of seconds where you would normally plug in the bike’s onboard charger.

However, the filing is important as it is another example of BMW getting serious about electric motorcycles.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Why You Should Change Your Old Electric Scooter

(Sponsored post)

Scooters are not just meant for kids. If you want to avoid the hassles of parking your car or being stuck in traffic, then you should invest in buying a scooter. Electric scooters also come with a variety of features allowing you to choose one that will suit your needs. Whether you are an urban commuter or you want to take on nature travel, you must get a scooter suitable for your needs. Also, the engine noise associated with motocross tracks is a bit of a turn-off; hence, you must replace your old electric scooter with a better one.

1. Improvement in battery technology

More companies today are producing better electric scooters. This has increased competition in battery production. These recent years have been characterized by environmental-friendly and economical scooters. It is, thus, necessary for you to change your old electric scooter to allow yourself to experience the joy of these newer, improved batteries. These electric scooters have long-lasting batteries, which enables you to travel for up to 43 miles per charge. Also, battery consumption when the scooter is motionless remains minimal, so your charge will last longer.

2. Affordability

The electric cars are pricey, and biking is exhausting. Consequently, scooters are the most viable option. This means that to save some cash, you only have to change the old scooter for a newer model. Also, if you do not take a long-distance journey, scooters are better than electric bikes. They are available at affordable prices with great qualities. If the scooter is damaged, it is easier for you to get spare parts. The repairs will also not cost as much as they used to for the older models; click here for more information on repairs and pricing.

3. Speed Increase

With many electric scooter models released recently, most companies are competing to provide higher speeds and more control to the buyers. There are scooters, today, that go at an average speed of 60mph. This is why you should replace your old scooter and increase your speed. You cannot afford to miss the new upcoming powerful motors, which are equal to 400cc engine hence guaranteeing you great speed.

4. Better Appearance

You can change your scooter and get a better and fancy looking one. Most of them now come with a pillion passenger seat. They have stylish and contemporary designs. This means that they are more elegant and boost your self-esteem when you are riding around the city. The new models are equipped with a larger cargo box hence allowing you to carry more luggages.

5. Greater Control

The upcoming scooters are equipped with powerful motors, thus allowing the users to handle all acceleration of the motor. This means that you will not need a clutch and a gearbox. Besides, the scooters are environmentally friendly. This makes the new electric scooters efficient hence fun to ride.

Features To Consider When Buying a New Scooter

Ducati Super SOCO electric scooters
Ducati Super SOCO electric scooter

· Electric Motor

Before you choose a scooter for yourself, you need to consider whether you can climb mountains on the scooter. If your grounds are not smooth, then you need to choose an electric scooter with a motor that is powerful enough to allow you to climb fast without any issue. At least a 350-watt motor should do the trick.

· Range

You will have to consider how far the batteries can go on a single charge before you buy one. The range will also vary depending on whether you will be riding on flat ground or rough terrain. Temperatures will also affect the mileage of the scooter. You should put that into consideration too.

· Portability

The last thing you want is an electric scooter that is too heavy to carry around. One thing is for certain; you will not always be riding your scooter. Sometimes you will have to carry it around. While all scooters are relatively smaller, some are heavier than others. This difference could cause a huge problem for you. Whether you are buying online or from a brick and motor store, you need to consider how much weight you can handle versus how much the scooter weighs.


Old electric scooters put you at high risk of an accident. Also, sticking to your old machine limits you from experiencing the great power that comes with the new upcoming one. The British government is now subsidizing the production of electric scooters. Hence, they are inviting more innovation and more producers to enlarge the Market. You cannot afford to miss such new inventions, which will be revolutionary in the upcoming days.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Yamaha steps up its electric program

Yamaha is stepping up its electric program with removable batteries, but not in a full-size electric motorcycle.

That’s probably just as well as Harley-Davidson has hit a short circuit with the introduction of its LiveWire.

Instead, Yamaha will unveil two electric scooters, an electric bicycle, an electric mobility scooter and an electric personal scooter at next week’s 46th Tokyo Motor Show.

Yamaha has not revealed many details of its new electric program at the Tokyo show, but they do promise fast-charging, extra range and removable batteries.

Electric program

So far, Yamaha has only produced the electric PES1 (Passion Electric Street) road bike and PED1 (Passion Electric Dirt), but neither is available in Australia.

In June, Yamaha unveiled their EC-05 electric scooter with Gogoro lithium-ion battery packs you can easily swap at a convenient roadside vending machine.

Yamaha Gogoro battery swap electric scooter
Yamaha electric scooter with removable Gogoro battery

Yamaha was also recently believed to be co-operating with the other Japanese motorcycle manufacturers to standardise electric motorcycle and scooter technology, including charging infrastructure and swappable battery packs.

In Tokyo they will unveil the small E02 scooter and classic-looking E-Vino, both with removable batteries.

There will also be a YPJ-YZ pedal-assisted e-bike, an electric tilting three-wheelers mobility scooter, and the electric Land Link Concept.

The latter uses artificial intelligence image recognition technology to autonomously move over “vast” outdoor terrain. It is likely designed to transport cargo.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Electric Honda motorcycles may warn pedestrians

Future Honda electric motorcycles and scooters might feature an alarm to warn pedestrians unaware of the approaching quiet vehicle.

Japanese company has secured a patent through the Indian patent office for the device.

Honda’s compact alarm device fits under the seat with speakers on the front of the bike.

It features an audio processor that sounds the alert and controls the sound level depending on the time and the level of surrounding environmental noise.

We imagine it would be similar to the beeping tone on some vans and trucks when they are in reverse to warn pedestrians.

Most electric motorcycle and scooters make no more noise than a bicycle, so pedestrians could step out in front of them, causing a collision.

While it may be a safety device for both the rider and pedestrian, it could make traffic noise even more annoying than it is now.

Honda patents

This latest patent from Honda continues its blitzkrieg of patent applications.

honda patent drum brakes variable riding position emotions
Honda patent for variable riding position

This is one of many patents Honda has lodged in the past year and we are not sure how many of these they will put into production.

This new patent join the following from Honda over the past year:

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Can-Am unveils electric prototypes

Among the 2020 line-up of Can-Am Spyder and Ryker roadsters unveiled last week is a range of electric two- and three-wheeler prototypes.

The Canadian company is short on details, but the Ryker EV (above) appears to be the same structure as the current Ryker, only powered by an electric motor. They also unveiled the TWeLVE electric leaning three-wheeler.

Can-Am Twelve prototypes

Electric three-wheelers makes a lot of sense because battery weight and size is not as big an issues with motorcycles.

Yet Can-Am also showed the CT1 electric scooter and CT2 electric motorcycle.

Can-Am electric bikes prototypes
Can-Am electric scooter and motorbike

While technical details of these prototypes are not available, we expect they feature Alta Motors powertrains.

Can-Am last year bought the assets of electric start-up Alta Motors which went bust after Harley-Davidson had a brief collaboration with the Californian company.

There is no word on when these will come to market.

The company may be waiting to see how the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle is received in the marketplace.

2020 Can-Am line-up

Meanwhile, Can-Am has revamped their 2020 Spyder RT lineup for better touring capability.

They now include new LED headlights, a redesigned cockpit, extended floorboards, lower seats that are also heated, increased lumbar support, a new adjustable electric windshield with memory function, and upgraded suspension.

Luggage space is now increased to 177 litres and the top box features a quick-release system.

Australian prices and availability for the 2020 line-up have not yet been released.

20202 Can-Am Spyder and Ryker models prototypes
2020 Can-Am Spyder and Ryker models

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW announces electromobility milestone

BMW Group has announced an electromobility milestone of one million electrified vehicles on the roads by the end of 2021.

However, electric BMW motorcycles are still some way off, according to BMW Motorrad spokesman Tim Diehl-Thiele.

The electromobility milestone was announced by board chairman Oliver Zipse at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show claims BMW was “at the forefront of electromobility”.

“No manufacturer has delivered more electrified cars to customers in Germany so far this year than the BMW Group. In Norway, three out of every four new BMW Group vehicles sold have an electrified drive train,” Oliver said.

No rush

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electromobility
Harley LiveWire

Unlike Harley-Davidson, which has already launched their full-size electric LiveWire motorcycle, BMW Motorrad is not rushing in.

But the Bavarian company has not been inactive in two-wheeled electrics:

“Electromobility will be very important in the future of motorcycling,” Tim says.

“As a next step, BMW Motorrad’s electric products to come will focus on e-mobility especially in urban environment.”

By e-mobility we expect he means electric bicycles and scooters like the Lime scooters we see around many cities these days, not full-sized scooters like the c Evolution.

“When developing these products, the fact that BMW Motorrad can call on the great expertise of the BMW Group in the area of electromobility creates a unique advantage in competition. And that from a technological as well as from a business point of view,” Tim says.

BMW Mini CitySurfer electric scooter concept electromobility
BMW electric Mini CitySurfer

Electric BMW bikes

“If we look further ahead, electromobility will clearly play an important role in the motorcycle sector as well.

“A prerequisite for this especially in the leisure and often on long trips far away from the city using motorcycles is an evolving battery cell technology and a future growing density of charging stations.

“On the basis of this expected progress in ranges and charging infrastructure, other segments will also be electrified at BMW Motorrad.”

There have been many electric motorcycles and scooters from start-up companies, the biggest being Zero Motorcycles who pulled out of Australia in 2017.

The Harley LiveWire is the first full-size electric road motorcycle from a traditional motorcycle manufacturer.

The now-axed Victory Motorcycles slapped their brand name on an electric Brammo in 2015, but it wasn’t their product.

Like BMW, Honda has produced electric scooters, while Yamaha and KTM have a couple of small electric trail bikes.

Focus on electric cars 

Electromobility board chairman Oliver Zipse at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show
BMW board chairman Oliver Zipse at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show

BMW expects electromobility to develop at different rates around the world – due to the differences in infrastructure, customer driving profiles and political frameworks.

They expect customer demand for electric vehicles of more than 50% of new vehicle registrations in China’s premium segment by 2030.

Europe ands the US are expected to be about half that number.

Oliver told the motor show audience that BMW  would not only have conventional engines, but also battery-electric drive trains, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles suitable for long distances.

BMW will launch a test fleet of fuel-cell vehicles in 2022 and present the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT development vehicle later this year.

A promised 25 electrified models previously announced for 2025 will now be available two years earlier with more than half fully electric.

“We aim to reduce emissions significantly,” Oliver says.

“To realise this, we must concentrate on areas where we can achieve the greatest impact. We are therefore focusing on the question: Which drive trains, technologies and services will our customers want in the future? And how can we achieve the best outcome for climate protection? One thing is clear: We are committed to the Paris Climate Agreement.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

HET electric motor doubles output

In a major advance for electric vehicles, in particular motorcycles, a Texas company has produced the Hunstable Electric Turbine (HET) motor that is quieter, cooler, cheaper, smaller yet has double the torque output.

HET claims

Linear Labs’ HET motor is named after founders CEO Brad Hunstable and his father and CTO Fred.

The Hunstables claim their compact motor would suit motorcycles and scooters as well as cars, trucks, forklifts, golf carts, UTVs and even drones.

They have attracted US$4.5 million in seed funding to develop and commercialise the motor.

Their HET motor features a unique arrangement of magnetic forces acting on the rotor in the direction of motion.

They claim it it is capable of producing nearly 100% more torque at lower revs than similar-sized motors.

One of the HET attributes is that it uses direct drive rather than a reduction gearbox which makes it more compact and cheaper.

“We believe the drive system of the future is a direct drive system, no gearbox, no expensive high RPM mechanical designs with simple, less expensive power electronics,” Brad says.

For more technical information, check out the Linear Labs website.

Direct drive

So far, most electric motorcycles have a single motor with a final drive by belt, chain or shaft.

However, there are some that use a direct-drive system such as this Finnish RMK E2.

RMK E2 prototype electric motorcycle

Of course, they could also have two electric motors directly driving both wheels such as the Ethec electric cruiser designed and built by Swiss university students.

Ethec electric cruiser has two motors

When it comes to electric motorcycles, the rule book is being thrown out.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Battery charges electric scooter in 5 minutes

Israel company StoreDot has produced a lithium-ion battery that charges an electric scooter in five minutes.

It is one of the latest developments, along with battery swap technology, that could accelerate the acceptance of electric motorcycles and scooters in coming years.

The StoreDot batteries do not contain graphite, a form of carbon. Instead, they use tin, germanium and silicon in combination wth organic compounds.

StoreDot has demonstrated their battery with a Spanish Torrot scooter, providing full charge in five minutes, enough to travel 70km.Storedot battery charges in 5 minutes

Charged in minutes

It’s not big storage or range at the moment, but it’s a significant leap forward for electric two-wheeled transport.

It also beats the usual four-hour charge, says StoreDot CEP Doron Myersdorf.

“This is showing the world that we can break the barrier of fast charging, and what was considered impossible is actually possible,” he says.

“Ultra-fast charging can help solve range anxiety, one of the hurdles to electric-vehicle adaption, the equivalent of worrying that your mobile phone might go dead.”

The company plans to put its scooter batteries on the market in 2021.

From the above photo, it looks like the battery is about the same size as the swappable batteries used by Yamaha and Kymco in their electric scooters.

These battery solutions are not without their problems, requiring a lot of vending machine infrastructure.

The StoreDot battery would require similar infrastructure as it would be difficult and cumbersome to carry around the battery for when you run out of charge!

StoreDot charges ahead

StoreDot also hopes to be able to charge an electric Mercedes in five minutes for a 480km drive by 2021.

The car battery will need 10 times as many power cells as the scooter battery and a more efficient way of cooling while in use, says Myersdorf.

StoreDot will begin selling five-minute chargers for mobile phones in the second half of 2020.

BP and Samsung are the company’s top investors.

BP technology director Jon Salkeld says ultra-fast charging is “at the heart of BP’s electrification strategy”.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com