Arizona-based Local Motors is a design and engineering company that fosters and utilizes community-sourced designs and ideas to pursue relevant real world solutions to transportation problems.
By leveraging a community of “co-creators” from around the world, the company is able to bring concepts to life through prototyping and fabrication in their micro-factories, and is best known for its Rally Fighter off-road coupé.
The team’s latest endeavor is the Local Motors Cruiser, an attempt at incorporating the vintage board track aesthetics into a motorized bicycle format. Designed by Romanian designer Ianis Vasilatos the Cruiser comes in two powertrains.
The electric brushless system that gets you about 20 miles of range with the option of adding a second battery to get an additional 20 miles (your mileage my vary, of course); top speed is limited to 27mph. Meanwhile, the gas-powered version uses a 50cc Honda motor and a 0.6 gallon tank to achieve a limited top speed of 34 mph and a theoretical range of 70 miles.
At the time of this writing, the project has met and exceeded their $50,000 goal, and is set to deliver its first 13 functional bikes and 1 non-functional prototype by April 2014. So, be warned that the images you see in this article are of the prototypes, and not of the final product.
The market for sub-40mph motorized bicycles is rapidly expanding with entrants from amateur hobbyists to startups like MotoPeds and Ego-Kits. The Local Motors Cruiser is targeting the same demographic that runs out with a plastic bag to cover their Brooks saddle when it rains, fawns over vintage lugged steel frames and calculates their fuel consumption in terms of miles-per-coffee.
It’s an interesting looking thing, but it is doubtful as to whether such a stylized product will enjoy mass appeal in environments where a bicycle reigns as the most hip and socially acceptable means of getting around.
Source: Local Motors