Voxan Wattman — A French Brand Revival Brings an Electric Power Cruiser to Market

12/02/2013 @ 6:28 am, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Voxan Wattman     A French Brand Revival Brings an Electric Power Cruiser to Market Voxan Wattman 02 635x423

The Voxan brand has been reborn, this time with Gildo Pastor, the billionaire Monégasque man behind the Venturi automobile project. Building off of his experience with Venturi’s use of electric drivetrains, Pastor has revived the Voxan brand to bring electric motorcycles to market, thus making good on his promise in 2010 to bring an electric to market within three years.

The Voxan Wattman, the company’s first new model, has just broken cover at the Paris Auto Show, and the machine sports a power cruiser form factor with some eye-catching specs. At the Wattman’s core is a liquid-cooled 200hp permanent magnet motor that is also good for 147 lbs•ft of torque at 6,000 rpm.

Coming with ABS, traction control, and Beringer four-disc front brakes as standard, Voxan also quotes a 12.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack as well. Visually hefty with its 240mm rear tire, the Voxan Wattman tips the scales at a portly 771 lbs — that number is not a typo.

With a 0-60 time of just 3.4 seconds, it is hard to call the Wattman a fat bike, though we suspect the weight figure will catch some riders off-guard, even in the power cruiser segment. Voxan’s choice to enter an electric power cruiser is an interesting one, especially considering how centered the cruiser market can be around the Harley-Davidson brand and culture.

Still, the design is an intriguing one, and our eye is drawn to the overly-complicated yet interesting linkage for the swingarm assembly. Instead of a simple single-piece single-pivot design, it appears the Wattman has two separate pieces to its parallelogram-shaped swingarm, each with two pivot points: one on the frame, and another at the rear wheel.

The shape of the swingarm is to accommodate the apparently physically large battery pack that is shrouded by the Wattman’s aluminum monocoque frame, which Voxan calls an “exoskeleton” design.

Like all projects linked to Mr. Pastor, the Voxan Wattman was inked by Sacha Lakic (of Bimota Mantra fame). Talking to one colleague, the word “polarizing” was used to describe the Wattman, though we think the phrase “visually unappealing” is a more appropriate journalistic crafting of the word ugly.

While Voxan intends to bring the Wattman to market, like many projects from Gildo Pastor, one has to wonder if commercialization will ever be truly realized. No word on price or availability yet, but we expect a hefty price tag to accompany this hefty motorcycle.

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Source: Voxan

Comment:

  1. Norm G. says:

    re: “Still, the design is an intriguing one, and our eye is drawn to the overly-complicated yet interesting linkage for the swingarm assembly.”

    that’s what’s referred to as a 4-link setup. a not uncommon conversion in truck world (diesel/lifted) to control axle wrap brought on by high torque. warranted or not, it looks cool so I guess that brings us back full circle to warranted. LOL

    re: “the Voxan Wattman tips the scales at a portly 771 lbs — that number is not a typo.”

    good, ’cause I was thinking a 1/2 ton, so that’d be an improvement.

    re: “which Voxan calls an “exoskeleton” design…”

    …i call a caterpillar drive…! (Connery accent) looks like a cell from a Crown standup.

  2. Norm G. says:

    ps: think the connie has a 4 link setup.

  3. Keith says:

    permanent magnet means DC motor to me. No thanks, not brushed motors…the range sucks and they waste power. If you aren’t going with an brushless motor you are way behind the game.

  4. Phil says:

    but how long does it take to change from ‘no-charge’, because that’s a big lump to push home on the road.

  5. Gildas says:

    You can have brush-less permanent magnet motors. We are working on one in class, cost 40 euros… We are going to rewire it and upgrade the rotors to the kind that hold a bike to the ceiling.
    Nothing new there.

  6. johnrdupree says:

    @Keith, brushless motors have permanent magnets in them. And technically, brushless motors are DC motors.

  7. re: “…and our eye is drawn to the overly-complicated yet interesting linkage for the swingarm assembly.”

    What else is there for your eye to be drawn towards ?

  8. L2C says:

    Looks refrigerated. Like it’s built to store brewskies and cold cuts.

  9. 2ndclass says:

    Since electric bikes tend to be heavier (for the moment at least) the power cruiser style actually make sense.

  10. General Tso's Chicken says:

    those are the BPF forks off a HD XR1200. exactly. youd think they could aim just a little higher up the scale than that?!

  11. MikeD says:

    LMAO. The comment section NEVER fails to give me a good laugh.

    I like it.
    Pretty elegant for an electric bike.
    I don’t think is too heavy.
    A Rocket III Roadster is 800 lbs+, has a lot less HP AND looks like POO compared to this “Freezer”. . . JMHO.
    The autonomy (~111 miles) and HP is pretty even with a VMAX 1700 (~100 miles, ~200hp) and i don’t hear a lot of people complaining about it on the VMAX forums.

  12. zipidachimp says:

    just a thought: would a motorized hub in the front wheel be helpful? 2-wheel power?

  13. paulus says:

    As a rendering it has some nice details. I reserve my personal judgement for images of the real thing… nice details tend to get lost between rendering and reality.

  14. Denis B. says:

    I’m so disappointed by that bike… I’m french, so I have always been interested by bikes made in my country. But this is not something serious, the previous Voxan bike were at least rideable and not that expensive. This bike is made for some rich guy who will never ride it. It’s 350 kg (771lbs) and whit that position, I don’t see how you can have some sort of fun on it. But I’m not a big fan of cruiser.

    I just think that there is nothing new about it, Motoczysz had a 200+hp bike with 125 kg less and 60 miles of range at more than 100mph average. They are trying to make a big fuss, but it will not revolutionise the electric bike world, or make it go forward. If you want the electric market to expand, you need to do something serious, something that can be compared with a sportsbike or a fast roadster…

  15. Lube says:

    The rear swing arm arrangement makes room for direct drive belt/chain from the motor rather than employing a jack shaft.
    Typically, the swing arm pivot runs right through the motor when one tries to implement the most basic drive arrangement with a belt or chain.
    Most manufacturers have employed a gear train to remote the motor so as not to compromise the frame structure.

  16. Lube says:

    The rear swing arm arrangement makes room for direct drive belt/chain from the motor rather than employing a jack shaft.
    Typically, the swing arm pivot runs right through the motor when one tries to implement the most basic drive arrangement with a belt or chain.
    Most manufacturers have employed a gear train to remote the motor so as not to compromise the frame structure.

  17. Woodlandrider says:

    Its a great effort . . . . I hope it gets into production and I hope to be able to afford one. . . . . . ! However, if it ever falls over, I think I may just have to leave it where it rests.

  18. Frenchie says:

    Pictures of the actual prototype can be seen here: moto.caradisiac.com/En-direct-du-Salon-de-Moto-La-Wattman-de-Voxan-l-exception-dans-tous-ses-etats-795

    Moving 771 pounds fomr 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds, that must be quite an engine!!!
    They claim a top speed of 105 mph and a max range of 110 miles with full charge in…30 minutes !? I’m guessing this would only be achievable through a special (and costly) charger, still it remains an impressive figure.

    I’ve always had a soft spot for the Voxan Black Magic Cafe Racer (motomag.com/Voxan-Black-Magic-1000 .html) which was already designed by Sacha Lakic.

    Good for them to try to bring something original to the market, European constructors are not supposed to rival Honda and the likes on roadsters and mainstream bikes territory, they have to find their own niche and since their bikes will always be more expensive than their japanese counterparts, they might as well add a “character” and “high end” factor to it.

  19. Frenchie says:

    This bike would be on par with the Triumph Rocket III (2300cc triple cylinder) weight-wise and torque-wise (774 pounds, 147 lbs•ft) with an extra 60 hp, not too shabby.

  20. Bicho says:

    Glad to see a Lawwill rear end on a motorcycle,it was also used on DH bisycles from Yeti and Schwinn,some time ago.And of course by Mert on dirttrackers……..