While many electric motorcycles have come and gone, and some resort to obscene lawsuits to keep their company alive, some elmoto manufacturers have remained in business and even grown. We’ll look at the state of two-wheeled electrification, big and small, slow and fast in 2018.
The latest generation of Triumph motorcycles is the best in the company’s history. That’s an objective fact, and one that is indisputably true. Still, it is the legend of the old Triumph bikes that drives the brand forward … and that legend drives the brand’s fans forward, too. Fans like Alp Sungurtekin, who hopes to add a record of his adventures to the annals of motorcycling history.
Alp hopes to earn his place in those annals (huh-huh) by taking a sixty-eight (68) year old, 650cc, air-cooled, pushrod Triumph motor and boosting its output from 33 horsepower to more than 150. Enough, Alp hopes, to crack 200 MPH at the Bonneville salt flats.
Needless to say: Alp Sungurtekin is my kind of guy.
Alp Racing Triumph Speed Record Motorcycle
Helping Alp and his high-strung Triumph motor reach the double ton are an ultra lightweight chassis clothed in slick, low-drag bodywork.
The bike’s styling seems to be influenced by something between hummingbird and peregrine falcon, but- as visually impressive as it is- the real aero trickery is in that front fender. Alp has named it the “Flex Fender”, and it is an inspired piece of tech. “The SCTA and FIM banned dustbin fairings a long time ago,” he explains. “I had to come up with something that’s as good as a dustbin, but would pass scrutinizing. So I designed a fender that’s separate from the main bodywork, but keeps the benefits of the (connected, banned) dustbin style.” The Flex Fender is flexible, obviously. As such, it can overlap the main bodywork and still turn with the wheel. Technically, it is separate. It moves. But, critically, it maintains the aero benefits of an integrated, fixed fender.
Does it work? In a word: yes.
So far, Alp has made four passes with the bike. Hitting 170 MPH and, “an official timed speed of 149 mph, despite not being able to get into its power band.” Which is impressive in itself, given how bad the surface conditions at Bonneville have been in recent years.
Impressive isn’t enough for Alp, though. He’ll be taking his Triumph-engined
death trap motorcycle back to Bonneville again this summer, and doesn’t plan to come home without a 200 MPH timed run. Good on ‘im.
Combining advanced li-ion batteries from Tesla development partner Panasonic and the best-selling and beloved Honda Cub chassis, the eCub 2 is a retro electric moped from the genius motorcycling minds at Shanghai Customs.
The ECub 2 was built in response to the recent Chinese regulations on the formerly ubiquitous internal combustion motorcycles and mopeds in large city centers like Beijing. The pollution caused by those millions of bikes each day was immense- and not just because of their numbers. Many of the small-displacement commuter bikes were oil-burning two-strokes or catalyst-free four-strokes. Heavy carbon producers, in other words … and there are millions and millions of them. There are 100 million Honda Cubs alone. Like, without exaggeration.
As for the bike itself, Shanghai Customs fitted the classic Honda Cub moped chassis with a 1000 Watt electric motor in the rear wheel hub good enough to get the eCub 2 to 35 MPH with a 25 mile (40 km) range. The powerful motor is powered by a bespoke removable battery pack that’s made up of Panasonic 3.7v 3.400 mAh lithium-ion 18650 cells. It’s an idea that Honda, itself, has played with recently with its battery-swapping Honda PCX electric scooter, but the SC guys have made it happen now.
It’s not a hack, though- even if it is ready now, it has been in development for over two years by industry and production experts. Experts like New Zealand ex-pat Matthew Waddick, who has been working with Shanghai Customs to rapidly prototype new designs and parts, work with high-end factories, and monitor QC closely … in fluent Mandarin.
It’s an impressive machine built by very, very impressive guys, in other words. You can find out more about the ECub 2, and see a few more photos of the production-ready bike “in the wild” over at the Silodrome. Check it out, then let us know if you think the little electric DIY moped might be worth paying for in the comments.
Shanghai Customs Electric Honda ECub 2
The Isle of Man motorcycle race (or, “TT”, for time trial) is the most pants-crappingly fast and dangerous race you or anyone you know has probably ever heard of. The 37-plus mile event sees racer from all over the world blast through small town streets mere inches from solid rock walls and tall curbs. Literally hundreds of riders have been killed during the years the event has been run– and hundreds more have been seriously injured. Of all the thousands of riders who have come to the Isle of Man, however, no man alive knows it quite like John McGuinnes- a racing legend who has won the event a staggering twenty-three times. To call McGuinnes a legend is almost a disservice, and calling him “a God among men” probably gives other religious icons too much credit. That’s where I’m going with this, anyway. The guy is tough, fast, and wily enough to live through an event like the TT many, many times … and he really seems to dig this new video game.
TT Isle of Man is a new video game for mobile platforms that’s set to debut next month. The game seems to do a credible job of reproducing the sights and sounds of the real thing, too. That’s just how it seems, sure, but I’m basing that on these two things:
- The trailer (at top) looks just like the helmet-cam footage.
- John McGuinnes got almost teary-eyed playing the game.
You can watch the actual game trailer, below, as well as McGuinnes’ reaction to playing the game below that. Check them both out, then let us know whether or not you think the game looks worth a couple of bucks in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
TT Isle of Man Trailer + Review by John McGuinnes
Source | Images: TT Isle of Man, via Motorpasion.
The Sarolea Manx 7 electric motorcycle evolved from the company’s early Isle of Man TT Zero efforts. Efforts which eventually netted Robert Wilson an amazing 4th place finish in 2014 against other, much more well-funded racing efforts from the racing establishment. Now, Sarolea has an even bigger victory in mind: the 24 Hours of LeMans.
Like the automobile race held at the same track, the 24 hour race is a test of speed, skill, and- most of all- endurance. It is a tremendous test of reliability and durability, and the perfect place to display the progress Sarolea has made since that Isle of Man race in 2014.
To help the Manx win (it is a race, after all), a beefed-up version of the road bikes 204 HP electric motor and battery- which is good for 205 miles of “normal” riding. It’s unclear how, exactly, Sarolea plans to keep the bikes charged up during the race, but I’m expecting a high-speed charging solution similar to what the company shows as a concept piece on its website.
As long as Sarolea doesn’t expect its riders to hop on and off multiple Manx 7s, Formula E-style, I think it’ll be fine. But that’s just me. What do you guys think? Does an electric stand a chance against the ICE bikes at LeMans, or is this a PR fluff piece to try to wrangle more investors? Let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Sarolea Manx Electric Motorcycle
To celebrate the launch of the 2018 Honda Super Cub- the best selling motor vehicle of all time, I should add- Honda wanted to do something special. As such, they reached out to the bike-building experts K Speed Customs and asked them to produce a Super Cub that would be truly memorable. This is that thing, and it is an awesome, awesome thing.
“We call this bike ‘Super Power Cub’,” a source at K-Speed says. “The concept for this bike is modern retro—so we combined new style, like the LED turn signals, with vintage style; wing-shaped handlebars, ‘sawtooth’ tires and finished in classic matt black and white. And still keeping the iconic part—the lower fairing.”
It’s worth noting that this particular bike is a one-off custom that’s not meant for sale. Even so, its cut-down frame is finished to an exacting standard that looks 100% production ready. No mean feat- and it’s an accomplishment made even more impressive by the fact that these guys had less than 30 days, start to finish, to get this bike built!
So, with that, feast your eyes on the Super Power Cub. Until the promised, all-electric Cub EV or hot-swappable Honda PCX electric bikes are available, though, this is definitely the most desirable urban Honda out there.
Well, except for this grown-up EZ90 guy from Deus Ex Machina. And that 125 cc Honda Grom mini-moto deal, if you like shifting your own. And the Motoped, obviously, which- I mean, come on. It’s a totally different thing, sure, but it’s just as desirable … I wonder if we should make Honda Motorcycles Gas 2’s “official” Valentine. What do you think?
Source | Images: Bike Exif, via HondaPro Jason and OverRide Photo.
We first wrote about the Trump Administration’s multi-million dollar gift to Harley Davidson back in August, but the issue is back in the news again as 10 states have now officially objected to the penalty reduction against Harley.
It seems like our own Steve Hanley also has a problem with Trump’s plan to take it easy on the aging baby boomers behind the Milwaukee motorcycle company, and it’s been eating at him for the entire 6 months since we first covered the story. As such, he’s put together a pretty solid op-ed piece against the move. We’ve published it here, below. Enjoy!
Harley Davidson Gets Off Easy
In 2016, Harley Davidson — the historic motorcycle manufacturer that has made the”‘potato-potato” sound of its iconic V Twin engine almost a religion — agreed to a settlement with the Department of Justice over allegations it sold 340,000 “super tuner” kits to its customers since 2008. The kits were supposed to increase the performance of its motorcycles — that’s good. But they also raised the emissions spewing out of those beloved shotgun exhaust pipes above the levels permitted by federal regulations — that’s bad.
Harley Davidson hotly denied doing anything wrong, claiming the “super tuner” kits were “competition only” items intended for riders operating their bikes on race tracks. There is an exception in EPA emissions regulations that permits modifications of production engines for racing, but those engines must never to be used on public streets. It’s hard to believe Harley officials could make such a bizarre claim with a straight face, but the promise of profits makes ordinary human beings do extraordinary things.
This radical, BMW R110-based dry lake LSR concept bike is called Khan. It’s the work of Mehmet Doruk Erdem. And, if you recognize the name, that’s probably because the Turkish designer has rendered “more than a few” concepts that have gone viral on the internet, to steal a phrase from Jensen Beeeler.
Seeing as how the Khan isn’t even really a concept, in the traditional sense– it’s more of a 3D virtual sculpture, at this point- there’s not much more to add. You can be sure, however, that I’ll be all over this if it ever makes it past the vaporware stage. Until then, it sure is pretty to look at. Enjoy!
BMW Khan Concept Bike
I’d never heard of Italian bike builders, surf shop, and fashion house Deus Ex Machina before yesterday. And that, once you see some of their bikes, seems truly shocking because they are building the bikes that Gen X dreams are made of. For evidence, check this out. The most 80s of custom scooters: the Deus Ex Machina Honda EZ90 Cub Cubed.
Far from being a modified version of the honda EZ90 Cub, this is a custom-built bike made to invoke the look and feel of the 80s icon. Somewhere between a scooter and a dirtbike, the original delivered endless hours of schoolyard fun- but this bike, “a Cub Cubed” offers more. More power, for one. More speed. More of everything- even perfection! I can’t bring myself to ask how much it might be because, whether I can afford it or not, I’d probably end up buying it.
Are you listening, Honda? This is the kind of thing you need to build to get people back into motorcycles- not bikes for people who are afraid of bikes, like Yamaha and Can-Am. They’ll never stop being afraid.
But, hey- that’s just my opinion. What about you guys? Do think the Deus Cub3 is the kind of bike that would get Gen X butts onto bikes, or is it just more Stranger Things-esque nostalgia porn? Let us know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
The Deus Honda Cub Cubed
We don’t usually get inspiration from looks from the past, but with the Honda X-ADV as a starting point we got our ideas straight away. This sophisticated, powerful studded scooter brought the 1990’s to mind, when another Honda scooter wowed with its freshness and lines. This too was studded and out of the ordinary: the Cub EZ 90. In some ways it was almost a toy, and so we decided to “play” too, creating the Deus Cub3: a Cub cubed.
Creating the structure which faithfully copies the original lines but in XXL format, took hundreds of hours of hard work, beginning with the construction of a model from which the moulds for the carbon fibre fairings were made.
Collaboration with some excellent partners has been very valuable. Kaos Design helped with the definition of the model as well as the finishing touches and fairing colour schemes; Pirelli developed a new size of the excellent Scorpion Rally STR knobbed tyres; SC Project created the small and lighter exhaust which gives the bike a racing feel.
Picture this. You’re running out of Christmas shopping days, and you’ve got something under the tree for everyone. Everyone that is, except for that one motorcyclist in the family. Well, kiddo, it’s a good thing you’re here, because I found the Lego BMW motorcycle just for you!
This Technic BMW motorcycle kit is available on Lego.com for $59.99 USD. If that won’t get to you on time, you can probably find it from some of the more well-known brick-and-mortar retailers near you.
If you’re not convinced that
I you need this in my your life, check out the completed build photos, below, as well as the official Lego sales pitch at the bottom of the page. Enjoy- and, you’re welcome!
Lego BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
- Build an authentic LEGO Technic replica of the high tech motorcycle
- Includes blue and black color scheme, black spoke wheel with all-terrain tires, windshield and a detailed dashboard and exhaust
- 2-in-1 model: rebuilds into a unique concept model, created in collaboration with BMW Motorrad designers
- LEGO Technic building toys are compatible with all LEGO construction sets for creative building
- BMW R 1200 GS Adventure measures 7” high, 13” long and 3” wide. Alternative model measures over 4” high, 11” long and 7” wide
Explore the high-tech innovation of the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure with this authentic LEGO® Technic replica, featuring a blue and black color scheme, black spoke wheels with all-terrain tires, windshield and a detailed dashboard and exhaust. Functions include handlebar steering, front and rear suspension, two-cylinder boxer engine with moving pistons, visible shaft drive, opening top case and luggage panniers, and a kickstand. This 2-in-1 model has been designed to provide an immersive and rewarding building experience. It was developed in partnership with BMW and rebuilds into a unique concept model, created in collaboration with BMW designers. A free interactive, 3D digital LEGO® Building Instructions app is available online, for both models.
The promoters behind the successful MotoGP racing series have announced plans to launch a single-make electric motorcycle championship in 2019. It will be called the FIM Moto-e World Cup, and it will be contested by world-class riders saddling the machine you see here: the Energica Ego.
Our own Pinky Racer, Susanna Schick, called the Energica “a proper electric superbike” when she rode an early version back in 2014. A year later, Chris DeMorro wrote about an Ego drag-racing a pair of Teslas, a Ferrari, and another Gas 2 favorite, the Zero electric motorcycle. In the years since, the bike’s battery technology has only gotten better.
It should be good, is what I’m saying. And it should be a great place to showcase both up-and-coming riders and up-and-coming bike tech, as well.
Check out some of the specs of the road-going Energica Ego in the infographic, below, then let us know what you think of the idea of a one-make racing series for electric bikes in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Keep in mind, though: the race version will be faster, still!
Energica Ego | Tech Specs
This story about Alta electric motorcycles was first published by CleanTechnica
Alta Motors, the other electric motorcycle company in California, has a few good pieces of news to announce. Alta Motors has added 36 new dealerships in 16 new states in the past year. As of today, that brings the total to 41 dealers. That means, most likely, you too can have fun in the woods! 🙂
Alta Motors, like Zero Motorcycles, is an electric motorcycle maker in California that has steadily been making progress in its corner of the market. Alta makes off-road electric bikes. Unlike Zero Motorcycles, which provides a lineup of motorcycles crossing from off-road bikes to the street, Alta Motors has deliberately focused on the off-road world — and, oh yes, it’s Redshift SM is a supermoto we’d love to get our hands on, not to mention the Redshift EX and Redshift MX.
Alta Motors CEO Marc Fenigstein, whom we’ll be interviewing later today, said: “After demonstrating the Redshift’s ability to compete head to head with combustion, we’re excited to scale our dealership base across the U.S., offering more riders the opportunity to hop on for an initial joy ride. … No doubt, there are still hurdles to educating this market on the thrills and combined benefits of riding an electric bike, but we’re seeing a promising future with an 18x increase in sales this year.”
The EX, MS, and SM do one thing and they do it very well. They can be ridden hard in the woods with little noise and close to no pollution, depending on the energy you feed them. Today, Alta Motors announced its expansion to reach 41 dealerships across the U.S., but it has expansion plans far beyond that (more on that soon). With Alta Motors Redshift motorcycles now available from coast to coast, perhaps now is the time to explore your inner teenager’s more epic off-road desires.
The company estimates the global lightweight vehicle market (LWV) potential at over $125 billion. How much of that market it can gobble is the question.
Scott Bannick, sales manager of Colorado-based Elite Motorsports, has been selling Alta Motors bikes since 2016. He had the following to say: “We’ve sold more Alta bikes this year than any other single model. … The success we’ve seen was unimaginable a year ago, but now not so surprising. The coolest thing to witness after encouraging a customer to try the electric bike is seeing that customer return at the end of the day with eyes the size of dinner plates. It’s priceless.”
Alta Motors Defines Electric Motocross
We can probably thank Josh Hill for having helped cement Alta’s success. Alta Motors Redshift bikes can change the level of power delivery and regenerative braking with the flick of a thumb.
Oh, and please, don’t go out riding your motorcycle after watching these videos … seriously.
Perhaps the greatest potential an electric motorcycle has to offer any given rider is a tailored experience in real time to match their riding style, terrain, and more. To date, Alta Motors Redshift bikes have successfully competed against traditional gas bikes and proven the electric motor’s might and powerful torque. How about as battery costs keep dropping and the software keeps improving?
Ben Atkinson, another Redshift MX rider, says: “In 1974, I got my first off-road minibike, and have been riding and racing motocross ever since. This summer, I purchased Alta’s Redshift MX, and have already logged over 65 hours on it. It’s become my favorite bike to ride for a number of reasons. Namely, it’s faster, quieter and easier to maintain. I can ride any time of day around my track in Rochester without disturbing our neighbors.”
Alta Motors Solidifying Its Electric Motocross Lead With New Dealerships
Alta’s new dealers solidify its dominance in the electric lightweight vehicle field and spell its impending international exploration next year. We feel like the competition is about to get even hotter.
We’ve said it before and maintain it: electric motorcycles are where it’s at and have a ton of potential to move the needle of EV adoption into the mainstream. When motorcyclists get on it, the rest of the industry has to offer an electric version as well.
Check out the Alta Motors lineup to get your own eyes growing, and consider going a step further.
It comes with traction control, switchable ABS, 3 Rider Modes, 220mm of smooth suspension travel, and a second generation 95PS 800cc triple engine tuned to provide a linear, seamless flow of torque on loose surfaces. As such, the new for 2018 Tiger has- on paper, at least- the goods to take on the world.
And, by the world, I pretty much mean the new (ish) Honda Africa, Ducati Multistrada, and the big BMW Adventure bikes. But, you know, mostly the Honda- and I say that because I really think I want to buy the Honda, but have you looked at a Triumph, lately?
If you haven’t, you really should. They’re building great bikes.
Triumph will show off the new Tiger, for real, at the upcoming 2018 EICMA show. Until then, Total Motorcycle posted a few pictures that you can check out by clicking here, and you can see a bit ore of the bike in the company’s official teaser video, below. Check it out, then us know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
New For 2018 Triumph Tiger Triple | Teaser Video
It’s not even Halloween, as I type this, but the local Walgreens is already putting out the Christmas merch. That cynical cash-grab is a frustrating reminder of America’s wanton consumerism, sure, but it’s another kind of reminder, too: don’t forget to tell Santa what kind of motorcycle you want!
With that, I welcome you, once again, to Gas2’s kind-of annual list of the best fuel efficient motorcycles you can buy. As in years past, this list is divided into categories and the “winner” is selected as much for its “hugging trees” cred as it is for its “burning rubber” cred. So, check out
our my choices, below, then let me know which picks you think I got right- and which picks I got wrong!- in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
Motoped Pro 50 / 125 | 100+ MPG
Best Fuel Efficient Moped
Time was, you could ride a 49cc bike just about anywhere, at any age, without a license. Those old Tomos and Sears Allstates and Vespa Ciaos launched a generation of riders- but those days are gone. States like Nevada, South Carolina, and even Hawaii are quickly passing nanny laws requiring licensing for even the miniest of minibikes. What does that mean for you, as you shop for the best fuel efficient moped money can buy in 2018?
The entry-level 50cc and top-shelf, 125cc versions of the Motoped Pro were always just barely legal, anyway, and they still set the bar for ultralight bikes with surprisingly good build quality, BMX-inspired styling that isn’t over the top, and the ability to carve both traffic and trails with aplomb. If you want to buy a new moped in 2018, this is the one.
Honda Metropolitan 50 | 100+ MPG
Best Fuel Efficient Small Scooter
It might come as a surprise to longtime readers, but I wasn’t a fan of the latest iteration of Honda’s small Vespa clone when it was launched in 2013. Some recent updates for the 2017 model and personal exposure to a fetching, cornflower blue Metro, however, have definitely swayed me in the little Metro’s direction.
Sure, the Metro doesn’t have the scene-stealing panache of the $14,000 Vespa 946 Emporio Armani or the scrappy attitude of its Honda Ruckus sibling- but that’s OK. The Ruckus has been played out for at least a few years, frankly, and $14,000 really is too much to spend on a scooter.
As for the Metro, it delivers exactly what you think it will when you first hop on it. Which is to say: reliable, practical transportation. Maybe not fast transportation and maybe not posh transportation, but you will get from A to B every time, and it will cost you pennies.
When you factor in Honda’s nationwide dealer network, massive parts inventory, available roadside assistance, three year, unlimited mile warranty coverage into the mix, however, and the little Honda Metropolitan starts to look pretty good. You can even fit a backpack full of groceries into its 22L under seat storage bin!
BMW C Evolution | EV
Best Fuel Efficient Large / Maxi Scooter
We’ve been raving about BMW’s big electric scooter for years, now. So much so, in fact, that it hardly seems possible that 2018 will be the first year you’ll be able to buy The Ultimate
Driving Scooting Machine here in the US.
The C Evolution is packing a powerful, 48 HP electric motor that delivers more than 50 lb-ft of TQ at 0 RPM for thrilling stoplight-to-stoplight performance. And, with a 99 mile range available from a single charge, the big BMW should provide more than enough cruising range for the riders in BMW’s trendy, young, suburban target demographic.
The yuppies have never had it better.
Honda Africa CRF1000L DCT | 45 MPG
Best Fuel Efficient Automatic Motorcycle
If the promise that motorcycles made to you involved going anywhere, any time, with or without a moment’s notice, Honda’s DCT-equipped Africa twin is the one you’ve been waiting for.
Packing a torquey, 1000cc parallel-twin engine, eye-catching “adventure tour” styling, go-anywhere suspension, a comfortable riding position, and Honda’s world-renowned reliability into any motorcycle is impressive enough. Doing all that- with a DCT!- for under $14,000 seems something like a minor miracle.
If I could have any bike on this list to live with forever, it would be this one.
Zero SR ZF14.4 | EV
Best Fuel Efficient Standard / Commuter / City Bike
When we named the Zero SR to our last “best bikes” list, it had a 60-90 mile range and decent enough performance. How times change!
Updated for 2018, the Zero SR ZF14.4 + Power Tank offers more than 200 miles of range in stop-and-go traffic (150 miles in combined city/highway riding) and new battery chemistry that means you can charge the 2018 version up to six times faster than before (6!). If that wasn’t enough to convince you that EVs are the future, consider the following: a 2018 Zero SR will out-accelerate a Porsche 911.
Is all that enough to make the Zero SR the best fuel-efficient standard money can buy in 2018? Yes. Yes, definitely.
Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster | Doesn’t Matter
Best Fuel Efficient Touring Bike
People don’t buy cruisers for practical reasons. People buy cruisers because they stir the soul, and- hot damn!- just look at that bike. If the 2018 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster ran on baby seal blood it would still be the right choice.