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...