Tag Archive | "motorcycle"

CRP Energica Road Bike Powers Up

CRP Energica Road Bike Powers Up

Energica Electric Motorbike Review – CRP to rock e-superbike niche?

Something is going on in the emerging electric motorbike market. Conventional wisdom holds that the action should all be at the bottom end, in the provision of competent electric mopeds for young, hard-up riders. But, at a time when many of us have still to catch a whiff of e-moped tyre, makers are going head-to-head with $20,000+ electric superbikes. We’ve already had the Brammo Empulse. Now Modena, Italy builder CRP is taking pre-orders for its 220kph Energica streetbike. What’s going on?

A cynic might observe that, if an e-superbike can win kudos from dyed-in-the-wool petrolheads, its makers can expect a payoff via improved sales of e-mopeds. Presumably that would be especially true if they could add some slick team trim to the basic bikes? In that case, CRP is spectacularly well-placed to cash in. Since the company launched its racing division five years ago, it has gained a goodly portion of competition experience — and, for several decades, its main business has been in the production of specialist bodywork.

Well, whether CRP is really eyeing up the spinoff opportunities or not, its immediate task will be to win over a notoriously tough and conservative market. Brammo’s Empulse has led the e-superbike charge, its strong performance and nifty handling earning rave reviews from committed motorcyclists. Now it’s the Energica’s turn. How will it fare among these arch-conservatives?

A TT racer, Jim, but not as we know it

Having cut its teeth working with mighty Honda on the development of petrol bikes for various Italian race leagues, CRP Racing switched its attention to TTXGP, Azhar Hussain’s, uh, misfiring zero-emission add-on to the world TT series. CRP’s early TT racer design became one of the world’s first production electric superbikes, and the Energica project builds on its success.

This begs a fundamental question: is a TTXGP racer an appropriate platform for a streetbike? Hussain’s races are conducted over a single 40-mile circuit, and the bikes built to compete in them trade endurance for speed and acceleration. While roadgoing bikers may appreciate the Energica’s competition heritage and flat-out performance, they’re likely to be less impressed by its limited range.

Killer looks

Putting our reservations aside for a moment… we’d have to admit that the Energica really, really looks the part. The long wheelbase and low handlebars combine with flowing lines and subtle paintwork to produce what must be one of the best-appointed superbikes in the world — and certainly the best-looking e-superbike.

Performance is remarkable, too. That 220kph (or 137mph, depending on your preference) top speed means that the bike will see off all but the very fastest of its competition, electric or otherwise, and it’s no slouch at braking and cornering, either. The build is perhaps a tad more conventional than that of the Brammo, with the motor placed low and far back to weight the rear wheel and a stiff Ducati-style steel spaceframe in place of the flex-prone aluminium of its predecessors. But the Energica still riffs interestingly on the possibilities of low rotating mass… and, having seen footage of the CRP and Brammo machines going head-to-head, we wouldn’t fancy living on the difference.

All-up weight is around 225kg. That’s substantially more than its predecessors, but not unmanageable. CRP Racing’s recent addition of US rider Shelina Moreda to the team makes the point that, e-superbike or not, the Energica is still light enough to be handled by a woman. Unfortunately, the term ‘light’ can’t be applied to the pricetag – although EU18,000 is not unreasonable for a machine of this quality. Assuming you’re still with us, let’s examine the bike more closely.

Motor and Drive

Like an increasing number of performance electric vehicles, the Energica uses a permanent magnet motor. Rare earth magnets are expensive and horrid to work with, but confer substantial performance and weight advantages over conventional motor designs. The Energica’s oil-cooled unit puts out more than twice as much power as that of the Brammo, delivering an eyewatering 160Nm of torque — which doubtless explains why CRP didn’t bother with a gearbox. (Pushing 100kW straight through the rear wheel seems so much more, well, Italian.)

Brakes and Suspension

No surprises here — except, perhaps, that the Energica designers’ latest revised spec appears almost identical with that of the Brammo. The principal suspension component is that mighty 43mm Marzocchi fork, while a Sachs monoblock unit brings up the rear. Brakes are solid Brembo disks. None of that regenerative nonsense, mind you — the front is exactly the kind of twin-rotor monster you’d expect to find on a stock 600cc machine. It should be more than enough to hold you, even if you’re descending a 20% grade in a hailstorm.

Batteries and Charging

CRP aren’t saying much about the battery, which doesn’t appear on the official spec sheet. At the preview, chief designer Giampiero Testoni stated that the unit delivers a full 11.7kWh, significantly greater than that of the Brammo or indeed CRP’s previous racers. How the charge time compares is unclear. We know that the bike has an onboard power management system called MAPS, so we’re kind of hoping that Energica riders will be able to get by without one of the ubiquitous Level II chargers.

Range is a little controversial. The makers claim 150km / 90mi at 80kph, which is pretty good considering the formidable output of the motor. However, we’re guessing that ultrafast dashes and bursts of full-throttle acceleration will reduce that significantly. (Remember the 40mi course at the TT circuit.)

Gadgets and Options

As you might expect on a superbike, the Energica offers full LED lighting, ride-by-wire controls, and a multifunction LED dashboard, the latter with GPS functionalities accessible from the handgrip. There’s also the promise of colour options when the bike goes into full production (tho we like the stock white/green just fine).

Veni, vidi, vici?

When CRP talk about ‘DNA da corsa’, they’re not exaggerating. This is an e-bike that wears its Italian racing heritage on its sleeve, trading practicality for stunning looks and flat-out performance. Price and limited range mean that it won’t be for everyone — but that won’t prevent the rest of us from lusting after it. (Sigh.)


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Introducing the Audi EB1 concept superbike

Introducing the Audi EB1 concept superbike

The Ecofriend website reports that industrial designer Juan Sebastián Orozco Herrera has created a green motorcycle dubbed Audi EB1, which has all what it needs to be a zero-emission superbike. The motorcycle is based on a carbon-fiber chassis to reduce weight and get the most out of the onboard batteries.

There’s not a lot of text at this page, but quite a few cool photos.

See all the photos at : Eco Motorcycles: Audi EB1 concept superbike roars on electric power

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Getting In The Electric Vehicle Zone in Hong Kong

Getting In The Electric Vehicle Zone in Hong Kong

Hong Kong – Eco Expo Asia is scheduled to take place in Hong Kong from 28 – 31 October 2009. This event will showcase the latest innovations in environmental protection. This is the fourth year of hte event.

There will be two new thematic zones to be launched. One of the mwill be the Electric Vehicle Zone. Here, Hong Kong-based Portapower (HK) Ltd will be displaying their E-motorcycle, E-bike and battery packs.

To read more about this event, go to Eco Expo Asia to feature country and region pavilions from the European Union, France, Hong Kong and the UK.

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Pedego Bikes Provide Inexpensive Alternative

Pedego Bikes Provide Inexpensive Alternative


The Comfort Cruiser, by Pedego, is a lightweight e-bike with a wide, cushioned seat and a throttle that’s controlled by revving the right handlebar grip, similar to that of a motorcycle.

It costs about $1,600–$400 less than the eZee.

The bike will run 30 miles on a charge, at 20 miles per hour. Of course if you’re still out on the road when the motor runs out of juice, you can just peddle the bike home.

For more info on the Pedego, check out the report and photos at News.cnet.com.

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WVU Gets Into Electric Bikes

WVU Gets Into Electric Bikes


CHARLESTON, W.VA. — For a year, Justin Cole and three other West Virginia University Institute of Technology students worked to convert a motorcycle from gas to battery power as part of their mechanical engineering degree.

They’ve uploaded a video of their first test run to YouTube. Because it was raining outside, they decided to test it indoors.

“Don’t do it,” says a a voice on the video.

Seconds later the bike takes off and accelerates down the hall.

Then, “Oh my God, we have a motorcycle.”

“I looked at the conversion process,” said Justin Cole, “and a car takes anywhere from $6,000 to $9,000. A bike cost us about $2,000. We know the capabilities of our school and figured it would be a lot easier to get $2,000 than $7,000.”

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The Go-Cycle Goes!

The Go-Cycle Goes!

Gocycle Full Review

Gocycle Full Review

London, England — Formula One designer Richard Thorpe has designed the Go-Cycle, an “electric-assist” bicycle, or e-bike for short. (It’s an inconvenient name, in this editor’s opinion. An e-cycle is a motorcycle, an e-bike is a bike, and never the twain should meet! Ed.)

Three reviews of the Go-Cycle have appeared to date:

Times Online
The Guardian).

If you live in a town full of hills, or have a medical condition which has weakened either your legs or your respiratory system, an electric-assisted bike could be just the thing to get you back outdoors.

Although e-bikes are manufactured from light-weight materials, the battery and motor make it heavy.

The £1198 sticker price for the Go-Cycle is a bit daunting. Indeed, to date most electric vehicles are more expensive than their petrol counterparts.

E-bikes are more difficult to fix, should they break down.

However, as technology improves, all those problem factors will dissipate.


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The Enertia Electric Motorcycle On sale In US

The Enertia Electric Motorcycle On sale In US


London, UK — Brammo’s Enertia ebike went on sale in the US the week of July 8, 2009.

The electric-powered motorcycle costs $11,995. US buyers will be able to deduct $1,199 from the price, though, because of the 10 per cent Federal Plug-In Tax Credit.

The Enertia is a clutchless twist-and-go e-cycle with a 45 mile range and a top speed of over 55mph. It can also go from 0 to 40mph in just a fraction under six seconds, according to Brammo.

The Enertia has a a 13kW (18bhp) electric motor connected to a 3.1kWh battery pack. A full re-charge from a domestic wall socket takes around three hours.

Brammo had entered two of its e-cycles in the recent Isle of Mann TTxGP. One failed to finish. The second Enertia – which ran with an 8.1kWh battery pack – came home third. (This version is not the one the average rider will be able to buy, however!)

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Dirt Rider Test-Rides the Zero-X

Dirt Rider Test-Rides the Zero-X


Santa Cruz, California — The Santa Cruz, California-based company, Zero, has recently debuted its new Zero-X Electric Motorcycle, the result of years of work by Neal Saiki, founder, and inventor of the new e-cycle. Saiki is a former NASA engineer.

The overall design of the frame and plastic of the Zero-X is revolutionary, according to its reviewers from Dirt Rider, who also comment that the layout of the electric motor is innovative as well.

The bike is powered by a proprietary lithium-ion rechargeable power pack, and has an aircraft-grade aluminum frame and swingarm. There is also a massive power module cradled in the center of the frame – which weighs 45 pounds and taking up most of the room in the motor area.

To start the bike, you simpy turn the key, flip the on/off switch to “on” and then wait about 0.562 seconds for the green light to come on.

Because the bike is silent, it is easy to forget it’s on. Flick the throttle and the cycle moves forward immediately, with no hesitation.

The Zero-X’s has a 20 horsepower engine. A test rider was able to climb Glen Helen’s famed Mount St. Helens with little trouble. There are two switches behind the handlebar-that can  alter the Zero-X’s power. According to the reviewer, the “hit” switch doesn’t seem to make a massive difference, but the “low” setting makes the overall speed of the electric motorcycle much mellower. You have to toggle the key to go from low to high, which is a good safety feature.

The test rider pointed out that compared to a full-size 250, the Zero-X is fragile, but that’s because you’re contrasting it with a big bike. In relation to a mountain bike, though, this motorcycle is quite strong.

You truly have to ride it like a bicycle – that means no blatantly hard landings and no slamming into things; you have to use finesse to ride the bike. At 151 pounds, the Zero-X is about all that the mountain bike-style fork and shock combo can take, and the entire chassis takes on a nimble, flickable feel in the dirt. Although not as stable as some would like, the lightweight feel of the machine certainly is a benefit to the power-to-weight ratio, and though the Zero-X can’t take super-hard hits or big drops, it is still capable for mild trail scenarios.

It takes a while to get used to the layout of the bike. With two hand brakes and a throttle being the extent of the controls, there’s no need for your feet to do anything.

Some components-the chain guide, for instance-are low, obtrusive and simply not designed for serious off-road use (but then again, neither was the bike).  The brakes are yet another mountain bike-inspired part and do a good job of stopping the bike when new, though Dirt Rider reviewers have heard from customers who bought this bike in late ’08 that the pads wear out almost immediately.

It was the battery duration that would be extremely important.

The testers ran three batteries out at the Zero-X intro, and they all died in different fashions.

One battery slowly grew weaker and chugged to a stop, another felt as though it operated at one-third power forever and then fell out, and yet another battery dropped dead like someone had turned the key off. This variation is most likely because the speed with which the battery runs out, much like a tank of gas, is dependent on which mode you are in and how hard you are on the throttle.

Swapping out a battery with a replacement takes less than three minutes, but an extra batter costs $2950 (plus shipping) for the replacement.

Otherwise, it takes about two and a half hours to recharge the battery.

Right now, the major competitor to the Zero is the Quantya electric bike.

MSRP: $7750
Claimed Weight (with battery): 151 lb
Fuel Capacity: None.


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TTX01 Tested at Zolder Circuit in Belgium

TTX01 Tested at Zolder Circuit in Belgium


Isle of Man (May 12, 2009) — Istle of Man TTXGP motorcycle green grand prix founder Azhar Hussain Hussain test-rode its e-cycle, the TTX01, at the Zolder circuit in Belgium (an undulating 4.011 km (2.492-mile) track), where pro riders Werner Daemen (in photo) and Didier de Radigues test rode it. Daemen rides for Team BMW Motorrad and Radigues is a four time grand prix winner.

The TTX01 is a prototype of a bike Hussain hopes to start selling in 2010. He took a Suzuki GSX-R750 frame and outfitted it with air-cooled Agni Lynch electric motors and a 4.3 kilowatt-hour battery pack.



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Zero Motorcycles Cleaning Up the Streets

Zero Motorcycles Cleaning Up the Streets


The Zero Motorcycle, designed by former NASA engineer Neal Saiki, is a street-legal dirt bike.

The Zero Motorcycle weighs about 140 pounds, runs on a lithium ion battery that takes only to 2-hours to fully charge-up.
Besides using zero gas, making zero emissions, and making zero noise, the Zero Motorcycle is of course very eyecatching.
The overall purchase price is about $7,500, but you can order it online at ZeroMotorcylcles.com.

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Electric Bike Sales Picking Up in Brisbane

Electric Bike Sales Picking Up in Brisbane


Brisbane, Australia — The sales for electric-powered bicycles and scooters in Brisbane have been slow, but Nope electric scooter and bicycle importer Harry Samson of Brisbane expects those sales to start growing by leaps and bounds.

“In 1997 they sold 98,000 electric bikes and scooters in China. Last year it was 25 million and they’re sending bike shops broke,” he said.

In Australia, those individuals who want electric-powered bikes do not want for choice, but there are only a few scooters and, as yet, no motorcycles.

Bike conversion kits are also available, such as the eLation system from Queensland.

The only electric scooters on the market are three Nope scooters. EVT offers two scooters, which are limited to 50km/h. There is also the Vectrix maxi-scooter.

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China’s EPA Subsidizes Electric Bikes

China’s EPA Subsidizes Electric Bikes


China’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is subsidizing a wide selection of electric bikes, including one they call a bike which is obviously a scooter – since it has no pedals. These pedal-less models go as fast as 40kph

Until Nov. 30 2010, residents of China who purchase an electric bike — with or without pedals — can apply for a one-time NT$3,000 subsidy from the EPA, officials said.

The EPA has given the subsidy to more than 36,000 owners of electric bicycles since 2001, said Yang Ching-shi, ­director-general of the EPA’s department of air quality protection and noise control.

With the new pedal-less models, the EPA expects to subsidize an additional 5,000 bicyclists each year, he said.

Although the pedal-bicycles are in actuality “light weight motorcycles”, operators will not need a license.

Consumers should consider buying an electric bike now, because the pedal-less models cost around NT$25,000 or NT$26,000, so the subsidy would mean a 10 percent discount, Yang said.

“The discount will be given at retailers, so consumers will be able to enjoy the benefits immediately. The retailers will then apply for the subsidy with us,” he said.

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California Hosts Electric Motocross Race

California Hosts Electric Motocross Race


The world’s first all-electric 24-hour endurance motocross race  will be held held in California on April 4, 2009

This is just one in a long line of upcoming “zero emissions events.” For example the world is looking for ward to the zero-emissions TT Grand Prix on the Isle of Man in June.

Off-road specialists Zero Motorcycles are gearing up for the race, which will be held at San Jose’s 408MX Motocross Track. Since this is the first time for such a race, a lot of world records will be set.  Ah, but how long will they last?

Zero’s own ‘X’ – a 150-pound, 23hp, 50 ft-lbs motocrosser with an advanced lithium battery pack that can deliver up to 2 hours of power will be featured. The bike costs USD$7,750 shipped to your door, and additional battery packs, which charge in less than 2 hours, are just under USD$3,000.

It’s a little more expensive than a regular gasoline-powered 250, but then it basically requires no servicing, and can be upgraded with new batteries and software any time they become available. It’s also virtually silent.

Source: Gizmag.com

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Electric Speed On Display

Electric Speed On Display

Companuies prepare for the TTXGP zero-emissions grand prix to be held in June during the famous Isle of Man TT race.

On display at the Grand Prix will be an electric sport bike capable of zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds. A San Francisco firm led by former Tesla Motors engineer Forrest North will compete with an electric motorcycle capable of going 150 mph.

Also on display will be the EV-O RR, seen above. Evo Design stands out for the depth of its experience. The iconic British motorcycle company Triumph is among its biggest customers, and its five employees have worked on “everything from submarines to glass bottles,” Simpson said.

The  EV-0 RR has a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, as is propelled by a forkless single-sided front suspension and twin electric motors.


Although the first monocoque bike hit the track in 1967, single-sided front suspension appeared in 1949 and the earliest patents for electric motorcycles were filed in the late 1860s, everything is just coming together now – just in time!

This motorcycle will be running in the  TTXGP zero-emissions grand prix in June, and Evo hopes that if it runs well, their company will stand out in the growing field of high-performance electric motorcycles.

The EV-0 RR (Electric Vehicle, zero emissions, Road Race) is the first project the six-year-old firm has done on its own. The aesthetics came from motorcycle design house Xenophya, but almost everything else about it — beyond the motors and battery — are being designed and built in-house. “We’ve really gotten a chance to get our hands dirty,” said one of the bike’s designers.

One of the biggest challenges is getting all the electric bits to fit and packaging them so the weight doesn’t throw the handling off. A traditional frame limits the placement of the battery pack and motors, so Evo opted for a monocoque that encloses the drivetrain like a shell.

“A monocoque doesn’t use a frame, so you’ve got a lot more room,” designer Simpson said. “It’s almost mandatory for an electric motorcycle because it gives you much greater latitude in placing the batteries. It’s also incredibly stiff.”

Ensuring the bike has enough juice to finish the race will be the biggest challenge. The TTXGP will use the same winding 37.73-mile course as the famed Isle of Man TT race, where riders maintain an average speed of more than 120 mph and navigate more than 200 curves.

“Range is always an issue with anything electric,” the bike’s designer said. “We won’t have the option of recharging or replacing the battery, so we’ll have to do one complete circuit. That’s going to be one of the challenges, but then, everyone’s facing the same challenge.”

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Mission One – Fastest Electric Bike

Mission One – Fastest Electric Bike

Mission Motors, based in San Francisco. claims that the Mission One will have a top speed of 241km/h and a range of 240km.

After only a  two hour charge, however, tits lithium-ion battery is good for another 240km.  That’s pretty good!


The combustion engine has a raditional bell-shaped torque curve.  The electric motor which will power the Mission One will have a  linear supply of torque, which will translate to speedier performance. Since there are no gears to change, accelleration will be very, very quick.

Industrial designer Yves Behar is responsible for the sleek lines of this wicked looking machine.

If you’d like to get in your pre-order, place them  here.

The bike cost $68,995 (akmost R700 000).

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Electric Bikes Vs Engine Powered Bikes

Electric Bikes Vs Engine Powered Bikes


An electric bike is not the same thing as an electric scooter or motorcycle.

The difference is rather obvious – an electric bike has pedals! This enables the rider to pedal and get some exercise, using the motor only when faced with a long uphill climb, or when just a little bit more speed is wanted for some reason.

An electric bike is a vehicle that is subject to the rules of the road. (So is a standard bicycle, for that matter.) Because we want electric bikes to be accepted, we must know the rules of the road and follow them. Otherwise, tickets and outraged motorists will be left in our wake!

The location where you purchase your electric bike should be able to give you a manual for the rules of the road – or more likely will point you to the website where they are posted. Ignorance of the rules is no excuse when it comes to the police – they will ticket you for breaking them.

Because an electric bike has a bit more power than a regular bike, it’s easier to use it as a shopping transport vehicle. But many people ride them just as they would their normal bikes, just for pleasure, although, again, secure in the knowledge that if they come to a monster hill, they won’t have to kill themselves getting to the top of it.

Indeed, that is the only drawback to an electric bicycle – the weight. A battery pack currently weighs about 17 pounds. Well, think of how strong your legs will get pedaling all that extra weight around.

In addition, an electric bike can be solar powered. Think of how sweet that would be. The solar panels would be in the wheels. The energy absorbed from the sun is transmitted to the battery where it is stored and used on demand. Such a battery would last a long, long time.

Rather than purchase a brand new electric bike, why not start out by purchasing a “conversion kit” to turn your current bike into an electric one. Give it a try for a while, and see if you don’t become hooked.

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ZERO Electric Bike: High Performance Electric Dirt Bike

ZERO Electric Bike: High Performance Electric Dirt Bike


What a concept: an environmentally friendly, high performance electric dirt bike.

New to market is the 2009 Zero X, from Zero Motorcycles in Santa Cruz. This little ripper isn’t little at all: It’s a full size machine that offers similar performance to a 250cc petrol-powered off-road bike. With a 23-horsepower electric motor, the Zero X jumps from 0-50kph in less than 2 seconds without disturbing the neighbors – not to mention the environment.

The Zero X produces less than one tenth the pollution of a petrol-powered motorcycle, and its lithium-ion power pack is completely non-toxic, 100% recyclable, and fully recharged and ready to go in only 2 hours.

No wonder Zero Motorcycles is turning heads with its incredibly fast and environmentally friendly electric bikes.

For more information, check out www.zeromotorcycles.com, and for those of you in the Santa Cruz area, you can register for a demo ride online.

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A2B Electric Bike

A2B Electric Bike

Ultramotor A2B

Ultramotor A2B

If you’d like to look cool and stand out while cruising the streets check-out the new A2B electric bike from Ultramotor. The quality front and rear suspension with fat motorcycle-like tires make for very comfortable riding. The 500-watt motor in the rear hub and twist throttle delivers solid power at a speed of 20 miles per hour.

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