Kudos for getting this bike street-ready so quickly. Victory Motorcycles unveils their first all-electric motorcycle, the 2016 Empulse TT. A few previously announced all-electric notables, i.e., Harley-Davidson LiveWire and Mission Motors are still concept prototypes. This bike is really a slightly modified Brammo Empulse – Victory bought the Brammo motorcycle business in January 2015 and very little has changed in the Victory model except for a notable modification of reducing the Brammo 180-section rear tire to a 160 rear tire – a size seen on the race circuit. A lithium-ion battery pack gets a 10% boost in capacity (now rated nominally at 10.4 kilowatt hours), a new seat material and a rubber damper drive setup in the sprocket to ease abrupt throttle transitions.
Powering the machine is a permanent magnet ac (PMAC) motor. PMAC motors are suitable for variable or constant-torque applications, and this flexibility also makes PMACs suitable for variable-speed operation requiring ultra-high motor efficiency. But this efficiency does not necessarily help the driving range. This is really a city bike with a 60-mile range. A controversial feature is a six-speed transmission. This is the only electric that has a transmission, all others use clutchless direct drives. The gears put a 10-15% drain on efficiency.
Waiting to see if second generation TT will have improved styling, a belt-drive to mirror the almost silent motor and will it still sport the 6-speed gearbox. But hey, looking good in this video…
[ specs ]
maximum power> 54 hp (claimed)
maximum torque> 65 lb-ft. (claimed)
max speed> 100+ mph (claimed)
drivetrain> 6-speed transmission
battery> brammo power lithium-ion
battery capacity> 10.4 kw-hr
charge time> 2 hrs (level i: 20-80%) / 3.5 hrs (level ii: 0-100%) / 8 hrs (level i: 0-100%)
front suspension> adjustable 43mm inverted fork
rear suspension> adjustable direct-acting shock
front brakes> dual 310mm floating discs with four-piston radial-mount calipers from brembo
rear brakes> single disc with dual-piston hydraulic brembo caliper
wheel rims> 17″ lightweight cast aluminum
dry weight> 460 lb
Mission Motors builds the world’s fastest electric production motorcycle, Mission One.
Top speed is 150 MPH and an estimated range of 150 miles.
Designed for Mission Motors, the bike was unveiled at the TED 2009 conference at Long Beach, California, today.
The announcement formally debuts Mission Motors, a San Francisco-based company geared to redefine the world of performance motorcycles. The company was founded in 2007 by entrepreneurs Forrest North (CEO), Edward West (President), and Mason Cabot (VP of Engineering).
Building on their backgrounds in engineering, a desire to develop clean vehicles, and a passion for motorcycles, the Mission Motors founders developed a proprietary high energy lithium ion battery pack that could provide both the range and acceleration needed for a high performance sportbike. The company (named Hum Cycles at the time) placed second in the transportation category of the 2007 California Cleantech Open, the largest cleantech business plan competition on the West Coast.
A comfortable pedal powered bicycle with weather protection.
Emphasis is made on automotive qualities in the design, to attract non-previous cyclists used to cars and motorcycles.
Another selling point to attract more people riding a bike (particularly here in Europe) is weather protection – ThisWay has a roof.
Built in composite materials (carbon or flax fiber) and some hydro-formed aluminum, this vehicle is very lightweight (approximately 11-12kg). It has built-in LED lights front and rear, powered by a rechargeable battery obtaining its power from roof mounted solar cells. For minimum maintenance ThisWay’s built-in belt drive is well protected and all cables are hidden within the frame.
The car-like ergonomics offers a riding position lower than a traditional bike to keep a low center of gravity and optimal aerodynamics.
The design has simple controls for ease of use; single hand brake lever and hub gears type Torpedo Duomatic providing Low and Hi gear.
The rear of the frame has a “luggage connector”, where the user plugs-in his/her luggage (e g briefcase, helmet box or rack for shopping bags). The design also benefits from flexibility and comfort for riders of different sizes, as the crankset and seat is adjustable in length/height.
A “hybrid” version (pedal power/electric motor) is possible and additional battery pack plugged-in into the luggage connector will extend the range further.
Although this design is more expensive to manufacture compared to its traditional rivals, it is still just a fraction of the price of a car and virtually zero in running costs…
There are roofed bikes out there on the market already such as rickshaws, recumbents, HPVs (Human Powered Vehicles)/velomobiles etc., so covered bikes do exist since a long time but the challenge is to design a functional and desirable bicycle that even appeals to non-previous cyclists.
It makes sense for a commuter bike here in Central and Northern Europe to offer some degree of weather protection for improved comfort. Instead of creating a totally enclosed design similar to other HPVs/velomobiles risking the user to feel isolated, a more open design will allow a higher degree of interaction with the surroundings.
Shimano, a company that’s been at the forefront of the cycling-component industry for decades, has got a new product. It’s an electronic shifting system that forgoes mechanical cable for electronic impulses and servomotors. (more…)