Motorcycles

Caterham charged to produce e-bikes and motorcycles

Caterham’s Classic e-bike draws design inspiration from the track-board racers of the 1920s
Caterham’s Classic e-bike draws design inspiration from the track-board racers of the 1920s
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Brutus 750 is powered by a 750 cc single-cylinder engine, with liquid-cooling, DOHC, 4 valves and an automatic CVT transmission
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Brutus 750 is powered by a 750 cc single-cylinder engine, with liquid-cooling, DOHC, 4 valves and an automatic CVT transmission
Production of Caterham’s three bikes will begin in the spring of 2014, with the Brutus 750 first off the line and the Classic and Carbon e-bikes to follow later in the year
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Production of Caterham’s three bikes will begin in the spring of 2014, with the Brutus 750 first off the line and the Classic and Carbon e-bikes to follow later in the year
The Carbon’s design, inspired by the firm’s F1 experience features a modular carbon-aluminum frame, oversized Carbon girder forks, mono-shock rear suspension, aluminum rims, performance braking system and carbon-fiber impregnated tires
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The Carbon’s design, inspired by the firm’s F1 experience features a modular carbon-aluminum frame, oversized Carbon girder forks, mono-shock rear suspension, aluminum rims, performance braking system and carbon-fiber impregnated tires
The Carbon gets an 8-speed Shimano Nexus gear hub and will be available in three different frame sizes for riders of various size and shape
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The Carbon gets an 8-speed Shimano Nexus gear hub and will be available in three different frame sizes for riders of various size and shape
Caterham’s Classic e-bike draws design inspiration from the track-board racers of the 1920s
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Caterham’s Classic e-bike draws design inspiration from the track-board racers of the 1920s
The Classic e-bike is powered by a 36 Volt, 250 Watt, brushless motor with torque sensor
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The Classic e-bike is powered by a 36 Volt, 250 Watt, brushless motor with torque sensor
A Shimano Nexus 3 Speed gear setup gives riders moderate gearing flexibility over the bike’s 25-50 mile (40-80km) range
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A Shimano Nexus 3 Speed gear setup gives riders moderate gearing flexibility over the bike’s 25-50 mile (40-80km) range

Since 1957 Caterham Group has been known for its purpose-built sports cars, Formula One entries and overall motorsports shenanigans. This week at the International Motorcycle Exhibition (EICMA) in Milan, however, Caterham announced that it will be expanding its product offerings from four-wheeled machinery to that of the two-wheeled variety. Starting in 2014 Caterham Bikes will introduce three new products: the Brutus 750, the Classic E-Bike and the Carbon E-Bike.

Brutus 750

If Mercedes Benz' Unimog division was ever to build a motorcycle, the Brutus 750 would be it. Dubbed the “SUV of motorcycles” and with a face only a mother could love, Caterham’s utilitarian off-road bike is less about the pretty and more about pure off-road functionality. Brutus’ most obvious element, those big, fat, chunky 26 x 10 R14 tires are, according to Caterham, designed to give the bike flexibility as a on-road machine, off-road device or even a snowmobile.

Brutus 750 is powered by a 750 cc single-cylinder engine, with liquid-cooling, DOHC, 4 valves and an automatic CVT transmission
Brutus 750 is powered by a 750 cc single-cylinder engine, with liquid-cooling, DOHC, 4 valves and an automatic CVT transmission

Powering the Brutus throughout its various snowy, backwoods adventures will be a 4 valve, DOHC, 750cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine. Brutus’ automatic CVT gearbox is designed to give inexperienced riders an easier learning curve and more user friendly experience versus the traditional manual configuration. To keep the ride as polite as possible, Caterham has outfitted Brutus with up-side down 43mm Hydraulic telescopic forks up front and a single shock out back with compression and preload adjustments.

But back to that snowmobiling. We haven't yet seen any photos, but according to Caterham the Brutus 750 can be converted from rugged two-wheel riding machine into a snowmobile with ease thanks to an aftermarket conversion kit. The kit means Brutus can play about in snow, sand or other loose materials with the dexterity of a traditional ATV.

With a wheelbase of 1.46 m (4.8 ft), height of 1.13 m (3.6 ft) and a total length of 2.15 m (7 ft) Brutus 750 weighs out at a hefty 235 kg (518 lb) ... so it's not exactly nimble. To pretty up Brutus' otherwise polarizing aesthetic Caterham chose to strategically splash yellow, white and British Racing Green colors about the bike's chassis. Classic e-bikeUnlike its hefty big brother, Caterham’s Classic e-bike draws design inspiration from the track-board racers of the 1920s. The e-bike is powered by a 36 V, 250 W, brushless motor mounted in the center with a torque sensor to manage power. A Panasonic 36 V, 12 Ah lithium battery provides the juice and Caterham has designed the bike so an optional second battery pack can be added if desired.

The Classic e-bike is powered by a 36 Volt, 250 Watt, brushless motor with torque sensor
The Classic e-bike is powered by a 36 Volt, 250 Watt, brushless motor with torque sensor

The fake cylinder heads are a nice design touch in hiding the electric motor while also paying homage to the track racers of yore. The bike rides on old school, 26” x 4” balloon tires sized while braking is handled by disc and roller brakes. A Shimano Nexus 3 Speed gear setup gives riders moderate gearing flexibility as they pedal/ride throughout the bike’s claimed 25-50 mile (40-80 km) range. The faux fuel tank not only provides idyllic real estate for the Caterham logo but doubles as storage space for personal items or the battery charger.

Carbon e-bike

Last but not least of the bike trifecta is the Carbon e-bike. With an appearance that's neither retro nor utilitarian, Caterham says the Carbon’s design and material choices were inspired by the firm’s Formula One experience. This racing inspiration might explain the bike’s modular carbon-aluminum frame, oversized carbon girder forks, mono-shock rear suspension, lightweight aluminum rims, performance based braking system and carbon-fiber impregnated tires.

Production of Caterham’s three bikes will begin in the spring of 2014, with the Brutus 750 first off the line and the Classic and Carbon e-bikes to follow later in the year
Production of Caterham’s three bikes will begin in the spring of 2014, with the Brutus 750 first off the line and the Classic and Carbon e-bikes to follow later in the year

Like the Classic, the Carbon uses a small LED screen mounted on the handlebars to provide speedometer, trip meter and battery range information. The bike also uses a similar powertrain configuration to the Classic bike, but instead of a three-speed gearbox it receives an eight-speed Shimano Nexus gear hub. The Carbon e-Bike will be available in three different frame sizes.

Production of Caterham’s three bikes will begin in the spring of 2014. The Brutus 750 will be first off the production line, with the Classic and Carbon e-bikes to follow later in the year.

Source: Caterham Bikes

15 comments
Dave B13
I love the Classic beautiful old blended with the function of today. I would not change a thing. I even like the paint as it is. Ilove the fender lip details. Going with the early style front suspension is a delight. I've a bit of an issue with the copy writer. 26x2.125" ballon tires are old school. As best I know the 4" wide tires are a recent development for specialized riding on very soft soils. Frames of old bicycles that used 2.125" tires can not be fitted with a 4"wide tire. To me the 4" tires look great on this bike, and the electric assist will make a bike with these tires a lot more enjoyable. Now to find a place to put it, and a way to safely secure it when not on it when out & about.
glazey
I cannot describe how disappointed I am by this crap. When I heard months ago that Caterham would be entering the motorcycle and ebike markets, I imagined nimble efficient cycles packed with hard earned F1 technology. These things are the bottom of the barrel for rebranded plastic garbage. Seriously Tony, you can do so much better.
Martin Hone
I love the simplicity of the board track racer look, even the fake V-twin, though it should have fins.....
Mel Tisdale
I suppose the most you can say is that they are 'different', though from what is the question.
bergamot69
So much for Caterham's reputation as a brand that stood for absolute purity of 'form follows function'- I don't think anyone over the age of six would hanker after these embarrassing ride-on toys. Presumably Caterham intend their e-bike riders to make their own 'let's pretend' motor noises as they suck sugary drinks out of the phoney fuel tank...
Dave B13
Looks to me like Carbon e-Bike above would have met all the desires of glazey whine. Also the front fork on that one looks pretty buzy, maybe the front wheel is also driven. I'd guess there is some computer control/ monitoring of rider pedal force with back & front wheel motor torque.
Biggiginthesky
Poor design in every possible sense ... fake plastic "V" twin engine cover? ...or a really poor copy of some Confederate Motorcycle model http://www.customfighters.com/2450/ ... what are you guys doing?! ... sad sad to see
VoiceofReason
Love the Classic E-bike. I do agree the motor should have fins, but otherwise a bullseye.
chidrbmt
What are these guys thinking? At 518lb., this 750 should be called "Big Fat Brutus." Try picking this hunk up in the woods as that's the weight range of these 1200c.c. (phony) "adventure" bikes. There's no way it will compete/compare with the KTM or BMW 1200's. Agree,the Classic e-bikes engine looks so phony. Carbon e-bike is most true to the companies design heritage. Good luck with the sales as I can't imagine but selling a few as collectables. Cannondale came close to bankruptcy with getting into the motorcycle market with a much better product. Service and dealerships will be another obstacle.
Michael Crumpton
The fake cylinder heads on that ebike are hideous. The rest of the bike is pretty nice, but the fake cylinders look like something blown up from a cheap toy.
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