What has Buell been up to? Well, from the look of things, making a pivot into the electric motorcycle arena, it seems. Teaming up with New York City boutique bike brand, Vanguard Motorcycles, as well as Formula E car supplier, SPARK Racing Technologies, Buell is part of the new VanguardSpark venture.
For its debut, VanguardSpark has two machines on offer. The first is an electric motorcycle (above), called the VanguardSpark Commuter.
It’s a simple design, which we don’t find terribly appealing, though one should always reserve some judgments when only looking at a concept machine.
However, one of the misses that electric motorcycle manufacturers seem to often make is this need to reinvent the wheel, purely because they are working with a new form of drivetrain.
Of course, reinventing the wheel is exactly what Erik Buell does best – though often to his detriment – which is what this concept feels like here.
As such, EV brands should take a page from bikes like the Mission Motors R, which masterfully brought contemporary motorcycle design to new-age vehicle electronics.
After all, electric motorcycles aren’t creating a new category, they’re transitioning a current one, and as such will have to transfer existing customers onto their machines. The opposite of this statement holds true for VanguardSpark’s other model, however.
Perhaps more intriguing than the Commuter model, we have VanguardSpark’s electric-assist bicycle, named the Vanguard SpeedBike (below).
The design here is much more avant garde, and it really stands out in a space that has primarily been nothing more than bicycles that have been awkwardly retrofitted with battery packs.
We are quite intrigued by the SpeedBike concept, and truthfully can see VanguardSpark using the SpeedBike to capitalize on the budding space that is emerging from the mixing of e-bikes and electric motorcycles.
A segment that is already a topic of discussion in the two-wheeled space, it would be interesting to see Buell’s ideas finally take hold in this rebirth alongside another iconic brand: Cagiva.
It’s not clear when we will see VanguardSpark’s first bikes in finished form (prototypes are expect this summer), nor is it clear what Buell’s role is at the two-wheeled upstart, but consider us at least intrigued.