Late last year, we brought news of the development of a very exclusive hand-built, luxury human-electric bike from Hungary dubbed the Beast. The M55 designers had set themselves the task of creating the best hybrid bikes on the planet and gathered together the very cream of top notch components to build a unique and eye-catching prototype. Back in April, the folks at M55 felt that they had at last reached the end of the prototyping phase and were ready to launch the company's first commercial hybrid bike - signaling the slaying of the Beast and the beginning of a new era for Terminus.

Some five years after development began, M55's new flagship model hybrid bike made its first public appearance at the Top Marques 2011 supercar show in Monaco in the middle of April. Like the Beast before it, Terminus is built around an alien-like 7075 aluminum frame, Syncros 26-inch rims with DT Alpine II spokes, a DT Swiss 20mm Thru Axle hub at the front and a KMC X1 chain specially developed for the Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 tandem gear hub at the rear.

Fox MXR air shocks at the rear offer some comfort from rough terrain, gears are selected via a Rohloff twist gear shifter and Formula One braking technology in the shape of Brembo floating disc brakes at the front and rear help bring the bike to a stop.

The designers have replaced the control unit with waterproof switches and included a new, lighter handlebar. The Terminus provides a electric assist to pedal action rather than motor-drive only, with a built-in rotation sensor detecting when the rider needs a little help from the electric motor. M55 says that the bike has been designed primarily for cross-country (off road) use and riders are said to very much appreciate the electric assist kicking in when faced with steep hill climbs.

Buyers get to choose the power of the integrated brushless DC electric motor (from 250 to 1500 W) and can opt for a 17, 18 or 19-inch frame size. Onboard power is provided by A123 Polymer Li-ion battery cells and all the wiring is hidden within the frame. The maximum speed is said to be between 40 and 67 kph (25 - 42 mph), depending on rider weight and chosen gear ratios.

The Terminus will be made available in five very limited runs of 55 pieces each. The first run will have a White Brothers Groove 160 double-crown fork at the front. The second will be a Biceps model featuring a strange-looking one-of-a-kind Biceps single-arm front suspension system. The third is currently being described as a "tailor-made" edition, designed in collaboration with customers. Beyond that, there's no information available. Every bike will come with a special gold plate dedicated to the owner - which gives the first hint at the kind of customers M55 is aiming for.

The M55 Terminus is currently doing the rounds of shows and exhibitions in Europe, including the recent Salon Privé in London and Amsterdam's upcoming Miljonair Summer Fair - which is yet another clue to the likely customer base for this luxury hybrid bike. Yet another would be the price tags of US$36,200 for the White Brothers edition, US$40,900 for the Terminus Biceps and US$37,700 with a custom paint job - too hefty for anyone but rich playboys methinks.

M55 told us that orders are currently being taken (although there is currently a delay of a couple of months before the Terminus is shipped) and that a donation of EUR 555 (US$794) from every purchase will be made to the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation's environment preservation activities.

Source: Wired

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