Walking around EICMA, we saw many eye-catching things, but the XOR XO2 Urban Transformer takes the prize for stopping us dead in our tracks. It’s a collapsable electric scooter for the urban chic…or something like that.
Mavizen has unveiled their TTX02 electric race bike today at SEMA, and as we suspected surrounding the Agni powerplant is a sourced KTM RC8 chassis.
Over-shadowing the 130mph top speed, is the fact that each TTX02 comes with dedicated IP access, on-board web server, and connectivity to a wifi network. A such, each TTX02 can be connected to via a wifi enabled laptop. More on that and videos after the jump.
When is a motorcycle more than a bike? When does the electric motorcycle become more than a powertrain? One of the largest hurdles that electric motorcycles face (along with electric vehicles as a whole) is the public notion that these vehicles are like their internal combustion counterparts, and therefore fit into the same preconceived anatomy of what a motorcycle should look and behave like.
However, with electric motorcycles comes the opportunity to start with a fresh slate on how we move about on two-wheels. If form follows function, then with this new function should come a new form. Yet, I still find it amusing when I see electric motorcycles with fabricated fairing fuel tanks. Granted there is a lot to be said about industrial design and its relation to psychology, but I think this fact illustrates the unfluctuating desire of motorcyclists to make every square bike fit through a round-hole.
Despite this allegory, the motorcycle industry sees electric motorcycle startups challenging a lot of norms that we still cling to desperately in the motorcycle industry. Our final stop in the “Tradition Is Not A Business Model” tour of motorcycle startups, takes us to San Francisco, California and the offices of Mission Motors. Fresh on the heels of Mission’s announcement of the Neimen Marcus Limited Edition Mission One, I got a chance to sit down with company CEO/Founder Forrest North and Product Manager Jeremy Cleland, to talk about how technology changes the way we understand and use motorcycles; and perhaps more important, how manufacturers can design and build better motorcycles better in the future.
An icon of motorcycling, the Honda Super Cub changed the perception of motorcycles in American culture by creating a bike that normal everyday people could use for basic transportation needs.
As times have changed, and a new-found desire for a cheap, efficient, people-pusher has emerged in the motorcycle industry, and Honda seems uncomfortable letting companies like Brammo tread on its domain.
Accordingly at the Tokyo Motor Show this week, Honda released an all new electric scooter design that plays heavily off its Super Cub predecessor. More info after the jump.
Walking into the office of a company is always an interesting experience. For a company, the work place is the first expression of the company’s culture. Similarly, workspaces are often a reflection of the people that work inside them, an occupational rorschach test if you will. Yet, despite its importance and revealing nature, a company headquarters is rarely experienced by the end-consumer. It is an interesting disparity that occurs in every industry, and the electric motorcycle scene is no different.
In my last year of business school I had to write a business plan in order to officially obtain a concentration in Corporate Innovation & Entrepreneurship. This was before the complete global economic meltdown, and entrepreneurship was still very much a dirty word in the hallowed walls of our MBA program. Many of my classmates were hoping for Wall Street jobs, and the class all-stars were all vying for jobs at the hottest hedge funds, so the idea of starting a company that would likely pay a negative paycheck in its first couple years was very much a foreign concept. It comes as no surprise then that only four or five business plans were submitted for consideration for the course concentration; one of which was mine, entitled Tradition is Not a Business Model – An American Sportbike Business Plan.
In this article, and its subsequent series of articles, I hope to re-examine what it means to start a motorcycle company in the United States. While my original business plan centered around the concept of a traditional motorcycle with an internal combustion engine, this series of articles will instead take the opportunity to look into corporate innovation in the motorcycle industry, through the lens of the newly formed electric motorcycle sector. In what I hope will become a weekly conversation on business in the motorcycle industry, we begin our discussion first with the perspectives of four entrepreneurs, which you’ll see in the coming Sunday Editions of Asphalt & Rubber.
After the excitement of the TTXGP we were left wondering… What’s next for ? How can you beat electrics racing around the Isle Of Man in the legendary TT? Our answer comes from FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) who in 2010 begins it’s electric motorcycle race series.
The FIM is working with Azhar Hussain, founder of the TTXGP to plan the series which will exist inside Azhar’s Road Racing Grand Prix Commission. Travis Gintz, a consultant to the series informed us there will be multiple laps and all bikes will be required to have hot-swapable batteries similar to what we saw on the MotoCzysz E1PC.
In case you missed it this morning, the first running of the TTXGP, a zero-emission TT held on the Isle of Man, occurred today with Team Agni being the victor. Team Agni has dominated the whole week, setting the fastest times in both practice sessions. Their bike, piloted by Rob “Rocket” Barber, is a modified Suzuki GSXR frame, with Agni’s proprietary electrical motor in place of the standard internal combustion engine. Report and results below.
UPDATED: Pictures and results after the jump.
Team Agni and rider Robert “Bullet” Barber turned the fastest lap beating out favorites MotoCzysz, Mission Motors and Brammo. Barber propelled Agni’s modified Suzuki GSXr 600 to an average speed of 84.8MPH, with a speed of 102.6 recorded at the Sulby Trap. Agni Motors builds electric motors for many applications including electric vehicles, so it is not too much of a surprise they did well.
A little late with its unveiling, Mission Motors has finally shown off its Mission One TTXGP race bike to the public at large. Noticeable right off the bat is the lack of fit-and-finish the the Mission One displays when compared to the Brammo or MotoCzysz motorcycles. But as the A&R track bike can attest to, how a bike looks, is poor, and usually incorrect indication of how it goes around the race track.
As we said Monday, we had photos of the MotoCzysz in its final TTXGP race form, and here they are out in the wild now for all to see.
Looking at the photos, we can see that MotoCzysz chose to keep 6 of the 10 battery packs visible in the final design, 3 on each side. We can also see the chain connecting the 3 motors below the number 5 on the silver and red fairing. A slightly confusing touch is the C1 logo placed in the fairing. C1 is the name given to their MotoGP project which was recently abandoned to pursue the TTXGP electric motorcycle race at Isle Of Man.
Of all the TTXGP bikes that have broken cover over the last week the MotoCzysz may have been the most anticipated besides the Brammo TTR. We have to say the E1pc looks as good as it sounds with all three electric motors drawing max current.
Also from the pictures we can see the iPhone powered dash unit, which we assume is bringing speed, acceleration, pitch, and lateral-g information to rider via the phone’s bevy of built-in gadgetry. Take that in contrast to the almost rudimentry on/kill switch that looks so easy a Geico spokesperson could use it. Green for go, Red for stop.
Another note is the top-down view on the triple clamps. Gone are the pre-load and compression knobs most motorcyclists are familiar with, instead we see a hollow tube that goes down to the proprietary MotoCzysz fork/suspension assembly, another carry-over from the deceased MotoGP hopeful.
MotoCzysz still has not revealed much about the internals of this D1gi1al Superbike, a term they filed a trademark for at the USPTO. However, we do know this bike is designed to be flexible in power and tuning so it will be available to the consumer at multiple price points.