Tag Archives: roadster

AKO tests tilting trike prototype

Lithuanian start-up AKO is now testing its electric-powered tilting trike prototype which is somewhere between a motorcycle, trike, car and plane.

Like the Piaggio and Yamaha leaning scooters, the Yamaha Niken leaning motorcycle and the non-leaning Can-Am Spyder roadster, it has two wheels up front and a single wheel at the back.

But the most interesting departure is the steering system which is somewhere between an aircraft yoke, car steering wheel and motorcycle handlebars.

Riders turn the bars/wheel the same as a motorcycle to steer, but can also move the steering column side to side to tilt the machine up to 30°.

AKO leaning electric itrikeAKO leaning electric trike

The hefty 500kg AKO is powered by a 26kWh battery and electric motor driving a shaft to the single rear wheel.

Output is 200kW with 600Nm of torque.

Range is claimed to be more than 300km with a top speed limited to 240km/h.

That compares with the Harley-Davidson LiveWire with 150km of highway range and 235km of city range.  It will arrive in Australia later this year costing probably more than $40,000.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycleMBW tests the LiveWire in the US

AKO applied for the patent in July 2019 and is now in the prototype testing phase so production is be a long way off yet.

The company is now asking for manufacturers interested in production to contact them via their website: akotrike.com.ako trike

Tilting into the future

Several other companies are also working on tilting three wheelers.

Yamaha is particularly keen on a leaning trike future and has applied for several patents.

Yamaha Niken VMax leaning three-wheeler coming AKOYamaha patent drawing

Honda was the only one that has applied for a leaning trike patent with an electric motor until the AKO.

Honda Neowing Goldwing leaning three-wheeler trike patent granted akaHonda patent

And late last year, Kawasaki applied for a patent for a tilting trike.

Kawasaki leaning three-wheeler patent drawingKawasaki leaning three-wheeler patent drawing

We can see the advantages of a tilting three-wheeler:

  • More front contact patch means great cornering confidence;
  • Better braking performance from the extra contact patch;
  • Safer and therefore attractive to more people; and
  • No need for a side stand or to put your foot down when stopped.

There are also disadvantages compared with a traditional two-wheeled motorcycle or scooter:

  • Costlier and more complex suspension;
  • Less lean angle;
  • Wider footprint and less ability to lane filter;
  • Heavier and therefore higher fuel/power consumption; and
  • Greater tyre replacement costs.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Royal Enfield adds Flying Flea, Roadster

Royal Enfield looks set for a host of new models after registering for trademarks on Flying Flea and Roadster which quickly follows applications for the names Sherpa and Hunter last month.

We suspect that these will be 350cc singles and 650cc twins as the 500cc model looks set for extinction after it is withdrawn from sale in India because it no longer meets the new domestic emissions regulations.

We speculated that Sherpa and Hunter would be great names for the 400cc Himalayan which could soon come as a 650cc variant.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Sleet invests camoRoyal Enfield Himalayan

Flying Flea and Roadster

As for the Flying Flea and Roadster, they are more likely to be versions of the 650cc.

A Roadster could lie somewhere between the sit-up-and-beg Interceptor and the cafe-racer style Continental GT.

The Flying Flea is a reference to the lightweight 250cc bike Royal Enfield produced in World War II which were parachuted into battlefields and behind enemy lines from the Horsa Glider.

In 2018, Royal Enfield paid tribute to the Flying Flea with a limited-edition military-flavoured Pegasus 500cc.

Royal Enfield Classic 500 Pegasus Edition“Flying Flea”

Perhaps the Flying Flea will be a similar style to the Pegasus, although maybe as a 650cc twin, not a 500cc single, or perhaps a 350cc version to match the original’s “light weight”.

This video gives some background on the development of the Pegasus model.

It came in two paint options (brown and olive) with replica badging and even the unique army-style serial numbers painted on the tank.

Adding to the period look were the military-style canvas panniers, leather strap with brass buckles on the air box, and blacked-out exhaust muffler, engine, rims, handlebar and headlight bezel.Royal Enfield Classic 500 Pegasus Edition

Military heritage

Royal Enfield says the Flying Flea was produced in collaboration with the British Ministry of Defence.

The bike was so light messengers could lift it on their shoulders when the trenches were too deep to be ridden over.

Royal Enfield’s military involvement has included making mobile machine gun platforms for World War I, targeting components for anti-aircraft guns in World War II and continual service with the Indian Army since the early 1950s.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ryker roadster is a ‘hit’ among women

The entry level three-wheeled Can-Am Ryker is proving a “hit” with women, says Can-Am On-Road PR Brian Manning.

While women riders are about 10-12% of the riding population, 30$% of Ryker owners are women.

In Australia it is slightly down at 25%, but that is still more than double the percentage of female motorcycle ownership.

The Ryker comes in three versions: a LAMS 600cc version for $A14,899 (standard colour); a 900cc version at $A17,299 (standard colour); and a 900cc off-road Rally Edition at $A18,999 (ride away prices).Can-Am Ryker

That compares with the current 1330cc Can-Am Spyders which start at $19,990 for the RS and range up to $39,590 for the RT-S.

Brian says about 42% of Ryker owners are new to riding, but in Australia it’s a whopping 54%.

Perhaps the three-wheeled roadster is the saviour of motorcycling! After all, in Australia, the Can-Am Spyder and Ryker are classed as motorcycles and riders require a motorcycle licence.

“It’s accomplishing a phenomenon badly needed in the industry — significant growth fuelled by new, younger, and more diverse riders,” he says.

No, this isn’t two wheels, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun to ride. Just a different type of fun. And everybody should have access to the incredible thrill of riding.”

He says Australia’s Learner-Approved Motorcycle Scheme has provided the company with an opportunity for new riders to own a Ryker.

“That is why 60% of sales are the 600cc model,” he says.

Females love the ease of use and the customisation.”

Training focus

Brian says they have had a focus on rider training in North America and have plans to extend to other countries.

So far more than 20,000 people have gone through Can-Am Rider Education at 193 riding schools in North America.

Brian says about half are female.

“We are implementing a training program in NZ similar to what it has been done in North America,” he says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Family creates web of Spyders

The three-wheeled roadster is a rare sighting on the road, but when this extended family goes for a ride, there is a whole web of them.

Jason Woodward, of Penrith, says he started the Spyder family phenomenon with a test ride one rainy day after being inspired by his father Kevin and father-in-law Terry Mansfield to try them.

Family rivalries

He says the Woodwards and the Mansfields had been riding motorcycles all their lives with the usual friendly brand rivalries.

The Woodwards were in the red corner with a love of Hondas while his Mansfield in-laws were in the Yamaha blue corner, except for his Triumph-loving father-in-law.

“So we have interesting discussions around the camp fires,” he says.

When Terry and his wife Audrey developed health problems that made it difficult to ride their Goldwing with a trailer, they started discussing the option of buying a Can-Am Spyder roadster.

Jason was skeptical and thought Can-Am Spyders were ugly.

“I, along with the majority of motorcycle enthusiasts put them down constantly,” he says.

“They are unattractive, unnatural and impractically slow. Why would you even bother?

“If you get to a point in your life when it’s time to buy a Spyder then just buy a car. It’s over.

“I thought to myself he has lost the plot.”

However, Jason thought that at least his father-in-law was still riding, so he spoke to his father about it and found that he was also considering a shift to three wheels.

Spyder web begins

So Jason started researching Spyders for them and headed down to Western Motorcycles in Penrith one fateful rainy day to have a look for himself.

The salesman said their policy was not to allow test rides in the rain.

“But hang, it’s a Spyder that has so much tech you can’t get into any real trouble,” the salesman told Jason.

The salesman then gave Jason a short carpark lesson on the unfamiliar controls such as the single brake foot pedal.

“He asked me to accelerate just like a normal motorcycle by turning the throttle and jump on the brake as hard as I can when he put his hand up, just like an emergency stop,” he says.

“So I did that and the bike stopped on a dime. I was shocked on how well the machine accelerated and stopped. That big Rotax 1330cc motor was better that I expected.

“We did this a few times until I was comfortable. After that I rode around the carpark just so I could feel what it was like.

“The flat turns and the way your body moves to the outside of a corner was weird at first but I was getting comfortable each minute I was in the saddle.”

After a short familiarisation lesson, Jason took the 2017 Can Am Spyder RT big touring model for “a decent ride”.

Jason take his 2017 Can Am Spyder RT on tour

“I took off and rode it up the Blue Mountains for about 30 minutes and went into some twisty bends and also the open highway,” he says.

“This machine is fast and manoeuvrable. It had a radio so I turned it up; I was really enjoying myself.”

Jason also took the roadster to his parents’ house to give them a short spin around the block.

“I was riding back to the dealership with a huge smile and decided right then I was buying a Spyder for myself,” he says.

Jason says his wife, Julie, questioned why he would need a three-wheeler when he was still capable of riding a normal motorcycle.

“I had put crap on these things for years but had never given the machine a chance. They are awesome,” Jason told Julie.

On the day he took delivery of his new Spyder, he rode a couple of hundred kilometres to Callala Beach, near Nowra, to show his in-laws.

“I get a message on the phone and this picture comes up from my dad,” Jason says.

Dad gets his Spyder

“At this stage I have tears in my eyes. He just bought one as well. I couldn’t believe it.

“This man — a life member of the Goldwing Club, has ridden Goldwing since the early ‘80s, has owned every model, is a very active member, and lives and breaths Goldwings — has just bought a Spyder!

“I showed the picture to my father in-law and he says, ‘Cool, I am getting one as well so we can ride together like we did a few years ago’.”

But wait, there’s more.

Jason’s sportsbike-riding brother, Darrin, drove their father to Armidale to pick up his Spyder and took the opportunity to have a test ride.

“A few months later my brother sends me a text: ‘I have just bought a Spyder. I need a lift to go pick it up’,” Jason says.

Another Spyder joins the web

Then Terry texts Jason with a photo of his Spyder.

“Out of the blue, my nephew Sean (Darrin’s son) sends me a message: ‘I love dad’s Spyder. I am getting one’.”

Sean bought the new learner-legal 900cc Can-Am Ryker.”


Over the past 12 months, the extended Spyder family has been riding their web of Spyders together “as much as we can”.

Jason has even traded up to the sporty F3 Daytona.

Trade up!

“We are enjoying the machines and having a lot of fun,” Jason says.

If you want to check out the community of Spyder fans, go to the Spyder Buddies Facebook page which is a great source of information, and photos of social events.

Web Spyder
Family web (from left): Kevin and Wendy Woodward, Sean Woodward, Jason Woodward and Allyson, and Darrin Woodward. Terry and Audrey were unable to attend due to health issues.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Motorrad unveils Boxer electric

BMW Motorrad has suggested it could produce an electric motorcycle that looks like a traditional Boxer-powered bike.

The Bavarian company has had an electric scooter, the C-Evolution, for some time and has shown its Concept Link electric scooter and electric S 1000 RR concept called the eRR.

BMW eRR electric sports bike boxer
BMW eRR electric sports bike

But now they are suggesting that they could have a more traditionally designed motorcycle when they finally go electric.

Now that have unveiled their BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster with a boxer-styled powerplant.BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster electric boxer

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.

Here is their press release in full so you can decide what they plan:

“The boxer engine is the heart of BMW Motorrad – an absolute stalwart of its character. But BMW Motorrad stands for visionary zero-emissions vehicle concepts, too. In view of this, one question that arises is: what would happen if we were to replace the boxer engine with an electric motor and the required battery? The Vision Bike shows how we’re able to retain the identity and iconic appearance of BMW Motorrad in distinctive form while at the same time presenting an exciting new type of riding pleasure,” explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad. “After all: anyone who’s ever tried it out in practice knows very well that riding on two wheels is just as exciting when its electrically powered! The high level of torque right at set-off makes for breath-taking acceleration. This almost brutal power delivery creates a whole new experience of dynamic performance. And the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster puts a face to this experience.”

New drive, familiar appearanceBMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster electric boxer

In a motorcycle, the motor is the centrepiece – it is the fundamental element, providing the basis for the entire architecture. But electrical drive components have completely different requirements in terms of installation space. While in a conventional motorbike the size of the engine is mainly determined by its capacity, it is the battery that takes up most space in the case of an electrically powered vehicle. The electric motor itself is relatively compact. Starting from this new basis, the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster is able to make this transfer – retaining the iconic appearance of a boxer while filling it with a new function. This is why the Vision Bike is instantly recognisable as a BMW motorcycle, revealing its electric nature on closer inspection.

Replacing what would previously have been the engine, there is now a vertically fitted, longitudinally oriented battery. For cooling purposes, two side elements protrude with cooling ribs and integrated ventilators. As in the boxer engine of the BMW R 32 – the development of which was masterminded by Max Friz in 1923 – the cooling elements are placed in the air stream.

The cylinder-shaped electric motor is positioned underneath the battery and is directly connected to the universal shaft. The BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster thus demonstrates a clever drive architecture that visually echoes the history of BMW Motorrad while at the same time taking it a step further.

Dynamic performance reflected in the proportionsBMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster electric boxer

In the side view, the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster presents a highly dynamic gesture with clear front-wheel orientation. The low front section and the short, high rear convey a sense of agility. Instead of the fuel tank, a flat, finely- wrought tubular structure spans the vehicle corpus. Its further shaping integrates the seat in a modern form, thereby creating the flyline of a sporty roadster. The frame structure is a key factor in defining the dynamic side view.

The large battery with its laterally protruding cooling systems is positioned at the centre of a frame milled from aluminium. The three-dimensional surface finish on the battery trim conveys a contemporary aesthetic appeal with its precise contours. The cooling elements echo the slight forward tilt of the battery silhouette, giving the side a dynamic momentum. When starting the electric motor, these cooling elements move out slightly, indicating that the bike is ready to go.BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster electric boxer

High performance with a light touch.

The overall appearance of the BMW Motorrad Vision DC conveys a sense of lightness so as to emphasise driving dynamics. Elements such as the seat and the cooling system appear to hover around the battery. On the frame itself, lengthwise milled grooves create a fascinating visual effect, reducing the perceived volume and highlighting the bike’s longitudinal dynamics. This impression is further underscored by means of openings in the milled aluminium frame and the tubular frame structure arranged above it. High-tech materials such as carbon fibre and aluminium reduce the overall weight and give the
BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster a technical aesthetic. Meanwhile, red contrast elements and brushed aluminium at selected points such as the battery, frame and cool systems emphasise the bike’s innovative geometry.BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster electric boxer

High-quality details on closer inspection.

A key element of the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster’s captivating overall appeal is the elaborate finish to be found in all its details. Within the mainly dark colour concept, it is the mechanical elements such as the exposed universal shaft and the Duolever fork that add striking accentuations. In this case, the two classic BMW features are re-interpreted and elaborately showcased. In the same way, the suggested triangular frame echoes a typical feature of earlier BMW motorcycle models, even recapturing its white lines, which in this instance fluoresce in the dark.BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster electric boxer

The minimalist design of the front and rear lights is an iconic implementation of the hallmark BMW Motorrad lighting, reflecting maximum reduction in modern style. The headlamp shows the LED daytime riding light in a dynamic, flat U shape, while two compact LED lenses on each side provide the low and high beam. This creates a hallmark lighting design that makes the concept vehicle instantly recognisable as a BMW motorcycle – both during the day and at night. The rear light consists of two C-shaped LED elements which are integrated in the aluminium rear carrier in minimalist, technically high-quality form. On the flanks of the tires exclusively made by Metzeler for the Vision Bike, five fluorescent elements, each about the size of a postage stamp, are integrated. They combine innovative design with safety aspects: standing and moving, the lighting elements create an exciting graphic effect. In darkness, they increase the visibility from the side, thus providing more security. They also convey dynamics when in motion.BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster electric boxer

Smart rider equipment

The functional two-piece suit is not instantly recognisable as protective clothing: it is an outfit that primarily stands as a modern, emotional fashion statement. The light jacket with large graphics in iridescent colouring and the casually styled black trousers combine fashion sense with new functionalities. The protectors are sewn in almost invisibly, while integrated technologies enable various light functions as well as the digital connectivity of the future. An asymmetrical rucksack vest rounds off the rider equipment for the vision vehicle. Fixed to the jacket by means of magnets, it provides storage space and additional functionality. The permanent magnets means that the rucksack is quick to put on and take off.BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster electric boxer

Symbol of a new generation

The BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster is a visionary symbol of the future of BMW Motorrad with alternative drive forms. It showcases the electrically powered driving experience in honest, authentic form, in particular creating a new, distinctive aesthetic appeal that is still firmly rooted in the finest BMW tradition.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com