Wild File: Voltra E-Bike - E-Magination

Voltra's e-bike concept re-imagines motorcycle design

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Voltra

One of the most exciting aspects of electric-motorcycle technology is that it liberates designers from fuel tanks, exhaust pipes, cooling systems and other visually clunky components necessary to the internal-combustion process. While other e-bike designers strain to mimic the look of conventional motorcycles, Australian industrial designer Dan Anderson updates the classic motorcycle silhouette by emphasizing the difference between an e-bike and an internal-combustion machine.

Instead of drafting a vestigial "fuel tank" that conceals the battery=management system, Anderson created a steel=trellis exoskeleton that visually suggests a tank and uses negative space to highlight the lack of fuel. The effect is dramatic. Even a casual onlooker knows at a glance that this is not your typical motorbike.

A carbon-fiber monocoque chassis locates the battery weight low and forward to optimize the center of gravity. The electric motor-dressed up with retro-looking chrome caps that recall conventional clutch covers-isn't hidden away, but instead used as a primary styling element. The remainder of the bike is a mix of modern and classic design language. Low clip-on handlebars and a cantilevered solo saddle recall classic European café racers, while stacked headlights and an angular "fairing" are a nod to the current streetfighter aesthetic.

For now the Voltra only exists as a digital rendering, but Anderson says the design is essentially ready for manufacture. Fit with current-spec lithium-ion batteries and an inductive AC motor, the Voltra would produce 95 lb.-ft. of torque and achieve a top speed of around 125 mph. The completed machine would weigh 440 pounds and offer a range of up to 90 miles between charges. Perhaps one of the Japanese Big Four OEMs might be interested...?

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