It is with great regret that we inform you today that Motus Motorcycles is ceasing business operations, as the American motorcycle startup has reached the end of its financial backing from investors.
The news was sent to Motus owners via email on Friday, August 31st, and confirmed to us later that day by Motus co-founder and designer Brian Case via text message. We imagine that a more formal announcement will be coming forth after the Labor Day holiday weekend, so at the moment, details are light.
What we do know is that the news comes as a surprise, as Motus has been busy with dealer events around the country. Also, the startup was getting ready to launch its second model as well, later this year, which was a streetfighter based off the Motus MST sport-touring bike.
Alta Motors is announcing that it has closed two fundraising rounds, for a total of $27 million capital raised in exchanged for preferred stock in the San Francisco based electric motorcycle company. The B & C series fundraising rounds were led by Grassy Creek Ventures, with the Series C round joined by Latin American venture capital fund Mountain Nazca, along with motorcycle legend Bob Fox – of Fox Racing fame. Alta Motors says that the use of funds goes to the expanding the company’s existing manufacturing and R&D facility in Brisbane, CA; refining the company’s vehicle technology; and developing more lightweight vehicles.
Norton Motorcycles recently got £4 million in grant funding from the UK government, funds that will go towards creating a new manufacturing facility, more jobs, and new models. All-in-all, it’s good news for the British marque and its suppliers, who will also benefit from the grant. The good news for us though is that Norton plans to bring to market a 200hp V4-powered sport bike, not too dissimilar to the “SG” models that have been raced at the Isle of Man TT. Adding to the good news is that British site Bike Social has gotten their hands on the sketches, and had a chance to talk to Norton’s Head of Design, Simon Skinner, about the new model and Norton’s future. According to Skinner, the new superbike will have a 1,200cc V4 engine that makes over 200hp.
It’s been a while since we heard from Zero Motorcycles, but the Scotts Valley company continues to build and refine its electric motorcycle offering.
Helping to ensure that the electric motorcycle company continues to build upon its successes, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has issued a grant to Zero Motorcycles, to the tune of $1,009,220.
Zero’s investors will be matching that sum, and invest the combined $2 million in continued research, development, and assembly at the company’s California headquarters in Scotts Valley.
With the news that Erik Buell Racing has ceased operations and will be headed into receivership, doubt has been cast on the company’s racing efforts in the World Superbike Championship. Allaying some fears, Team Manager and Rider Larry Pegram spoke to the WorldSBK.com website, saying that the team would indeed race in Assen, as planned.
“For Team Hero EBR, nothing has really changed,” Pegram said while speaking to WorldSBK.com. “We are going to be racing this weekend and we plan to continue for the season. All indications are that we are going to be able to do that. There is obviously some restructuring and financial stuff going on in the USA, but we are over here in Assen and getting ready for a good weekend.”
One of the greatest mysteries surrounding the Circuit of Wales is exactly where the funding for the project is due to come from.
The ambitious project to build a circuit in the Blaenau Gwent region of South Wales will need some £325 million to complete it entirely, with around £200 million to come from private investors, the rest to come from public funds.
Though the Circuit of Wales has had plenty of headlines, there has been little word of any private investors putting any actual money into the project. That seems set to change.
Michael Carrick, Chief Executive of the Heads of the Valleys Development Company, the company behind the Circuit of Wales project, told the BBC that they have already raised £120 million in private investment, leaving £80 million still to find for development to go ahead.
Electric motorcycle startup Energica has found some big guns to help find it funding: UBS .
According to the company’s press release, UBS will be Energica’s sole financial advisor during the electric motorcycle company’s search for Italian or international funding.
Any funding that UBS finds will go towards bring the Energica Ego and Energica Eva models to market, particularly in the United States.
Eight months ago, we told you about a special project that Alta Motors (formerly named BRD Motorcycles) was working on with Logos Technologies.
The project was a hybrid-electric two-wheel drive motorcycle that US special forces would use. Now called the SilentHawk, Logos Technologies has received a second DARPA award to continue development of this unique motorcycle with Alta Motors.
The Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from DARPA means that Logos and Alta motors can begin actually building the silent, yet easily refuelable, motorcycle to the weapons cache of the US military, which they proved in concept during Phase I.
It has been a long time coming, but we have some good news from the folks at BRD Motorcycles, as the electric motorcycle startup has just closed a $4.5 million Series A funding round.
The investment round was led by Spanish investment firm Modara Technologies, which was joined by Cedarville Investments, Tesla Motors founders Martin Eberhard & Marc Tarpenning, and Pedro Zapata Gil, the CEO of Baluarte Real Estate in Spain.
To-date that makes $8.2 million in capital raised by BRD, and now the San Francisco startup will be able to go ahead with production on its BRD RedShift electric dirt bike and supermoto offerings. BRD will show the production-ready RedShift MX & RedShift SM at the AIMExpo in two weeks’ time, which will retail for $14,995 and $15,495, respectively.
A lot of things will change in the future. Cars will drive themselves. Motorcyclists won’t wear helmets (as we know them), and your leather jacket will be grown in a vat…at least, that’s what a new company named Modern Meadow hopes. Having just received $10 million in Series A funding, the New York-based company hopes to change the way we interact with our beloved bovines. Getting its roots from the bio-technology sector’s research into “bioprinting” organs in a petri dish, Modern Meadow is looking for consumer-level applications to this still young technology, which right now focus on creating grown-in-the-laboratory beef and leather. Obviously the FDA has a few things to say about creating food products from bioprinting, so Modern Meadow’s first foray will be into creating real leather with stem cells.
Take heart my two-wheel riding cohort: four courageous, topical, and freedom-loving senators are fighting for your right not to be discriminated against based on the number of wheels between your knees.
A bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on March 5th aims to prohibit the use of federal funding to programs that seek to setup “motorcycle-only checkpoints.”
The aptly named, “Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act,” would restrict the Secretary of Transportation from granting funds to government entities that want to make sure you and your passenger have on a helmet, amongst other things.