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Lito “Sora” – Electric Superbike Concept


Posted on April 16th, by Andrew in Bobber, Other. 18 comments

It’s interesting to see the way electric bikes are creeping their way into all aspect of modern motorcycling. Whether your thang is crotch rockets, customs or choppers it seems that electric bikes are here to stay. So too the electric revolution is making it’s mark on today’s concept bike designs. As recently as a few years ago you could put money on the fact that a concept bike would have either a Harley or Ducati Vee stuffed in it as a matter of course. You could even argue the case that the designers weren’t really bothered what made the bike of their dreams go, just as long as it made a heap of noise and didn’t jar visually with the rest of the bike.

Not so any more. In fact, it seems that in many ways this has flipped completely. A decent proportion of the concept bikes that cross our (virtual) desks these days are green in one way or another and they mostly seem to be built from the power plant up. And it goes without saying that those power plants are alternative. This one’s out of Quebec and seems to be happening with the blessing of a few government and big business players, which bodes well for it’s eventual realisation. The company is called Lito Green Motion, and the bike is called the Sora. The guiding principle for the design was the bike had to be “not only environmentally friendly, but that offers unparalleled handling, power and speed,” which is nice.

The designers cite numerous times their referencing of “the best design elements of Bobber and Café Racer/Street Fighter bikes” when penning the look of the bike. It seems pretty obvious in the final product, though we’re not sure why they would link cafes and street fighters with a slash. Whatever the case we, for one, quite like it and if they manage to avoid the all-too-common blanding-out stage of the design process they could be in with a real looker.

Their marketing blurb offers the following rather enticing specs:

  • An energy storing, integrated charge management system. Ride for up to 300 km on a single charge thanks to the top-of-the-line, high-density battery — built to last for the life of the bike
  • A powerful electric motor and CVT transmission. Experience the power of going 0-200 km/h with zero clutch and phenomenal torque that makes you feel like you’re flying on the road
  • An advanced communication and power management unit, developed by LITO and designed to convert every watt of power efficiently to minimize energy loss
  • A patented Safe Range System™. With this revolutionary application you will never experience range anxiety. Just set your destination the Sora will manage the amount of energy to get you there
  • State-of-the-art integrated GPS system and touch screen. Stay connected to your bike in a new way never before possible
  • The world’s first ever electric motorbike seat. Change your ride handling on the fly
  • High-quality front fork and rear suspension and top-of-the-line braking, designed to let you stop faster than on almost any other superbike
  • An on-board charging port and sealed lockable storage compartment. Keep you gear dry and secure
  • A regenerative braking system. Energy lost during braking is used to recharge the battery, so you can travel further in a single charge. The system also minimizes impact on the brake pad, which means less maintenance
  • Lightweight carbon fiber fairing and aluminum chassis. Aircraft grade materials, stronger, lighter, faster.

They’ve got a point with the CVT spiel – imagine accelerating from 0-200 without changing gears. Phwoar. Just like a dive-bombing Stuka, only with less Nazis.

Projected weight is around 240 kg (529.2 lbs.), torque is 80 Nm (59 ft-lb, 0-6000rpm) at the crank and 960 Nm (708 ft-lb) at the rear wheel. And no, I don’t understand how it can be higher at the wheel than at the crank either; but then there’s a lot of things I am yet to learn about these new-fangled beauties.

Top speed is 200 km/h (120 mph) and range is set at “up to” 300 km (185 miles). As with all these things, we’d suggest you take those figures with a grain of sodium chloride – though battery technology is indeed a science that’s moving forward in leaps and bounds these days.

Although details are a little sparse, it seems that the bike’s seat is adjustable on the fly so that you can cruise comfortably and then drop it down and back to get in the best position on the machine to take on the bendy bits (check the two different seat heights in the images above and below.) It also sounds like a great way to freak out fellow riders following behind you.

Downsides? Apart from the eventual harsh light of day being shone on those range figures, it seems that the price will be a little steep. And when we say a little steep we actually mean insanely, arse smackingly expensive. US$45k to be exact. Ouch.

Recharge time is listed at 8 hours, which we guess means overnight; so too bad if you want to do more than 300 kays a day. And why exactly is the touch screen on the right-hand (throttle) side? Ooops…

Via BikerMetric





  • http://www.amazon.com/The-Writing-Factory-ebook/dp/B0038YWSHI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1277173470&sr=8-1 J. C. Tocchio

    I like everything about it except the price. For me the electric bikes need to be very inexpensive to consider buying them. I'm talking $5k-$6k.

  • Ceolwulf

    Shame about the price, for sure. It's a very good-looking bike. Seems to do much the same job as, say, a Yamaha MT-01, which retailed for about $17k here.

    A premium price for new technology is understandable, of course, but at the same time it needs to be enough within reason that people looking at buying the conventional alternative will also consider it. Otherwise, you're just selling to people who must have the new tech at any price, and that's a very small market. The other aspect is that these electrics are improving so rapidly that you get a bit of the same effect as computers or digital cameras – buyers will be a little reluctant to part with a large price for something that in three years you'll be able to get an improved version of, at half the cost.

    Even so, if I had the money for it, I'd buy one of these. Love it.

    (The torque at the rear wheel is just the motor torque multiplied by the drive pulley reduction ratio. A little odd that they'd even mention that.)

  • Daniel

    Touch screen's on the right-side for safety purposes, maybe.

  • Jon Panichella

    These guys posted their bike on elmoto.net (electric motorcycle forum) a few weeks back.

    The bike looks pretty cool (even though that's not a real prototype, it's a render. It may be some more electric motorcycle vaporware), but there are certain things that simply don't make sense in their specifications. Most notably the range. Their battery is specified at 12 kwh, which simply will NOT take you 185 miles (calculates to 65 wh per mile, which is a currently unheard of efficiency), especially when you take into account the efficiency lost in the CVT. And ultimately all regenerative braking does on a motorcycle is help slow the bike down, there is simply not enough mass to add a lot into the batteries.

    My opinion is it's just some motorcycle porn that will never come to fruition. And if it does, I honestly doubt it will meet the specifications it claims with current or near future technology.

  • D.

    Top post by Jon P. Thanks for doing that maths and sharing with us.

    Also – that's one fugly bike, though to be fair it's probably no fuglier than a V-Max.

  • http://www.christrotmanphotography.com CHris

    I just cant get excited about electric bikes.

  • Raúl Vicente

    In order for a change in technology to take place, stuff like this has to appear more and more. I really don't pay them much attention, for I'm not their target audience. Let the rich pay for the change in trend, because that's the only way in this cruel world… As in John Carpenter's They Live: "You know what the golden rule is? He who has the gold makes the rule." Poor voyagers like me will have to wait some more until all the battery tech becomes cheap and reliable. As for now, my SV will do just fine.

  • http://www.pipeburn.com Andrew

    @Raul LOVE that film! You are obviously a man with very good taste.

    For anyone who hasn't come across this gem before, you can watch it in it's entirety here.

    No motorbikes, but still WAY COOL. Do yourself a favor…

  • Peter Allen

    That's not a Lito… this is a Lito!

    http://www.ozebook.com/azl/lito.htm

  • Raúl Vicente

    @Andrew: thank you very much and likewise! Pipeburn is brilliant, for it sets the mind in motion :)

  • Jon Panichella

    Raul,

    It's kind of a bummer that bikes like this (although they're packed with technology and can do a bazillion miles at a bazillion miles an hour) come out and have such an absurd price tag attached to them. But I think part of the appeal of blogs like this one and cafe racers in general is the simplicity of it all, the stripped down bike that only has what it needs to function. The Sora is not that at all, and the price tag reflects it. I'm the process of building one of these electric bikes. My figures are modest, a top speed of 70 with 50-60 mile range, but I've managed to gather all the parts for this project (including batteries) for about 3000 dollars. A lot of these parts were found used and second hand. There is some sticker shock associated with that number, but the batteries are rated to not lose capacity until about 2,000 cycles, which roughly equals 100,000 miles. The cost to fill the pack is under 50 cents, or free if I decide to invest in a cheap solar set up. So there is a sense of value in that alone.

    So I'd argue this isn't necessarily a rich mans technology (I'm far from rich, trust me, but the rest of the world better be rich if gas keeps rising the way it is). And although technology does seem limiting at this point, there is a lot of fun and value to be had for not as much money as you think.

  • C

    I know that we are moving towards a new paradigm in motorcycling. But, this is about as sexy as a piece of dental equipment. It has about as much character as my mouthwash. Motorcycling is about nerve, sweat, and grit. When you remove that…you remove the soul of flying by the seat of your pants. Very artful indeed. But, it doesn't whisper…come ride me. It says in a cool tone of light detachment…please have a seat, the dentist will be with you shortly.

  • Raúl Vicente

    Hello Jon,

    I agree with you, all things are possible at a fairer price, if one's will is the main drive. I congratulate you on your triumph over the state of things nowadays, only the truly commited can do it. I was merely stating that an electrical production budget motorcycle is still a long way away for people like myself. Those being the ones who just wish to buy, ride and maintain one and, like you possibly, wish for a cheaper way to get the best out of the independence that is owning a motorcycle. I own a SV650 and love it's simplicity, it's absence of gadgets. I shall never pay more for a motorcycle than what I paid for the SV, it's beyond my fairness gauge range and despite the notion that a motorcylce like that is a luxury in other contexts. But alas, I'm not a builder of motorcycles and it's not my dream to walk that path, I'm just a simple rider. That said, I bid you godspeed, much success on your build and many good miles to come!

  • Christopher Jarrett

    If there is no clutch and no shifter, why have the pedal brake for the rear?  This places the majority of the controls on the right side of the bike. They should have gotten rid of all foot controls and make the rear brake a left hand one. 

  • Ionsight

    the screen is on the right because they want you to use it when you are stopped with your left hand on the clutch. Makes perfect sense to me

  • anelina martin

    This is a good idea to save the energy as well as to save the nature.http://www.gear4ride.com/Mens%20Riding%20Pants/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Miller/100000952005408 Bruce Miller

    300 km’s and this kind of power! Charge times? 80% charge times? Canadian legal limit is 100 kph – most folks average about 90 at best, distance at that speed? Prices $CAN? Dealers?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Miller/100000952005408 Bruce Miller

    I see even better, perhaps nano carbon super capacitors or better coming fast! Chreos Chinese electric claims 1000 kms on a charge, Israel Electric makes same claim, 1000 kms per charge. Life in the “Fast Lane” changing dramatically! Fewer moving parts here too! Watch for the Trike!