Horwin goes tech-crazy on its new high-performance electric scooters
Austrian-designed, Chinese-made electric motorcycle brand Horwin is hitting this year's EICMA motorcycle show in Milan with a super-scooter loaded to the gills with gadgetry, and a second wild concept that aims to upend traditional chassis design.
The Senmenti 0 delivers frankly massive performance figures for what's essentially a maxi-scooter. With some 600 Nm (442.5 lb-ft) of rear-wheel torque, this unassuming-looking commuter is allegedly capable of rocketing you from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.8 seconds, effectively staying nose to nose with Suzuki's GSX-R1000 superbike up to highway speeds, at which point the Gixxer will have enough revs on the clock to wake up and start actually trying.
The Senmenti will continue accelerating briskly up to a claimed top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph), giving it a rightful place in the middle lanes of Autobahns even if you'll need to be watching the mirrors pretty closely if you venture into the fast lane. This is a robustly excessive top speed for a scooter, and one matched by a robustly excessive 16.2-kWh battery pack capable of charging up in 30 minutes on a suitable supercharger, then delivering an impressive 300 km (186 miles) of range if you cruise at a decent 88 km/h (55 mph).
If that seems like a lot for a scooter, strap in, because Horwin has peppered this machine with more than 30 cameras, sensors and deep learning processors in an effort to establish itself as a technology powerhouse. We're talking real-time tire pressure monitoring, front and rear mm-wave radars for blind spot and collision warnings, hill-start assist, descent control and auto-hold.
Cameras and sensors around the bike enable a "sentry mode" to keep it safe wherever you park it – or at least to dob in the culprits if it's stolen or damaged. The cameras are also designed to watch the road conditions and the rider, in order to adapt the bike's power output to match your habits as it learns how you deal with different conditions.
A hearty no thanks from me on that one, unless it's able to discern from a steely glare and a stream of obscenities when a rider doesn't want any help working the throttle. The AI brain will also try to figure out which are the cool bits of your ride, so it can auto-record selfie videos and snippets from the other cameras.
Its keyless ignition system can be triggered by a key fob, a Bluetooth connection or a phone app. The seats and bars are heated, there's a reverse mode to get it out of tight spots, there's ABS, traction control, three-level adjustable air shocks and a "fully-automatic windshield," which in a perfect world for me would automatically detach itself from the bike and place itself in the bin. This being an imperfect world, I assume it raises and lowers itself according to your speed, which sounds very annoying.
The Senmenti 0 appears to run conventional forks, so we've got no idea what the strange contraption wrapping around to the front axle might be. But the other concept Horwin is bringing to EICMA goes a fair bit further out there.
The Senmenti X is designed to roughly match the 0's performance figures, but uses a new architecture Horwin claims will "fundamentally solve the triangle paradox of performance, range and weight," with a design that's electric from the ground up, and integrates the battery, motor and controller as part of the structure.
It looks like the old Akira motorcycle shape again – reliably signaling that this thing is highly unlikely to ever hit the road. If it does, it'll do so with dual front and rear swingarms, natty blue wheel covers and a center-hub steering arrangement of some sort. But it won't, so we may as well enjoy it for what it is: a wacky sci-fi concept bike. And it does look like a fine one of those. It'll be fun to see in the flesh.