Motorcycles

WMC puts "big hole" technology into 3-wheel hybrid police scooter

WMC puts "big hole" technology...
WMC hasn't provided any photos looking through the big hole, but we're assured it's there between the front wheels where the arrows are
WMC hasn't provided any photos looking through the big hole, but we're assured it's there between the front wheels where the arrows are
View 7 Images
WMC hasn't provided any photos looking through the big hole, but we're assured it's there between the front wheels where the arrows are
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WMC hasn't provided any photos looking through the big hole, but we're assured it's there between the front wheels where the arrows are
The step-through footwell and generous underseat storage are gone, replaced by the big hole
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The step-through footwell and generous underseat storage are gone, replaced by the big hole
Aerodynamic inner wheel covers funnel air toward the big hole
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Aerodynamic inner wheel covers funnel air toward the big hole
A pair of removable 672-Wh batteries take up much of the top box
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A pair of removable 672-Wh batteries take up much of the top box
A gentle hybrid system adds a peak of 5 kW of power, predominantly at lower speeds
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A gentle hybrid system adds a peak of 5 kW of power, predominantly at lower speeds
The big hole through the bike is not as large or straight as the one on the land speed racer, and WMC isn't saying exactly how much drag it reduces compared to the standard Tricity 300
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The big hole through the bike is not as large or straight as the one on the land speed racer, and WMC isn't saying exactly how much drag it reduces compared to the standard Tricity 300
Part of the airflow is directed to the radiator in the middle of the bike
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Part of the airflow is directed to the radiator in the middle of the bike
View gallery - 7 images

UK company White Motorcycle Concepts likes using big holes for drag reduction. It put a particularly big hole in its electric land speed racer, and it's now announced another big hole in the middle of its new WMC300FR, a hybrid 3-wheel police scooter.

Where the big hole in the WMC250EV land speed bike is all about increasing top speed by reducing frontal area, the new scooter deploys the same concept in an effort to squeeze more range out of its mild hybrid powertrain.

The WMC300FR is based on Yamaha's tilting Tricity 300 3-wheeler, but it adds some 5 kW (6.7 horsepower) of electric assistance in the form of a small motor acting on the engine's countershaft, predominantly at lower speeds. A pair of small, 56-V, 12-Ah batteries, about as big what you'd find on an ebike, combine to provide a modest 1.34 kWh of energy for the electric system, and can be removed for charging or swapping.

A gentle hybrid system adds a peak of 5 kW of power, predominantly at lower speeds
A gentle hybrid system adds a peak of 5 kW of power, predominantly at lower speeds

It has also, as previously disclosed, got a big hole in it. Where the standard Tricity 300 has a step-through footwell and a pretty decent-sized storage bin under the seat, WMC has created an aero tunnel that scoops up air between the front wheels and gives it clear passage through the bike, exiting over the rear wheel – except for a small portion that's directed at the radiator.

It's a much less radical system than the one on the land speed bike, which punches such a big hole through the bike's frontal profile that it reduces drag by up to 69 percent. WMC hasn't released figures on the drag reduction effect it has on the scooter as yet, but says that the electric assist and the big hole combine to cut carbon emissions by up to 50 percent compared to a conventional motorcycle or scooter.

The big hole through the bike is not as large or straight as the one on the land speed racer, and WMC isn't saying exactly how much drag it reduces compared to the standard Tricity 300
The big hole through the bike is not as large or straight as the one on the land speed racer, and WMC isn't saying exactly how much drag it reduces compared to the standard Tricity 300

At this stage it's just a prototype, and it's unclear whether it's likely to go into production. Developed in partnership with the Northamptonshire Police and designed for first responders (well, ones that don't need to carry much in the top box or under the seat), this bike can legally be ridden with a regular car license in may countries. WMC says it's "just the starting point" for the company, which is looking to put big holes in other electric and hybrid streetbikes in the coming years.

Enjoy more pics in the gallery, and a video below.

WMC300FR Launch Video

Source: White Motorcycle Concepts

View gallery - 7 images
6 comments
6 comments
Ornery Johnson
Hole-y Moley!
DavidB
The replaceable batteries look like nothing so much as the well tested and reliable ones developed and used for e-Go’s line of electric tools and power supplies. That’s a good thing, because those batteries are rock solid and charge very quickly.
epochdesign
Exactly what is the benefit here? Looks like the CG is severely disadvantaged in exchange for a slight improvement in range. Even the batteries are mounted high? This is supposed to be a purpose build public safety vehicle; it needs good (safe) handling and storage for emergency gear for public safety responses.
Adrian Akau
" WMC says it's "just the starting point" for the company, which is looking to put big holes in other electric and hybrid streetbikes in the coming years." Hopefully, there must be at least one car designer willing to do the same for cars. The coefficient of friction for air makes a big difference above 45 mph for fuel economy.
WB
You gotta watch out you dont get epileptic seizures from this video
EH
Back in 2009 a Dutch user on the boatdesign.net forums, MPraamsma, commented (#353) about his testing of the "big hole" on a thread: "Windmill or Wind Turbine- powered boats: how many are out there, and are they viable?". The idea was inspired by reading an encyclopedia article on the "Busemann Biplane", a supersonic wing layout proposed in the 1930s which theoretically has no drag or supersonic boom, but no lift, either (at least in its original form.) Mr. Praamsma adapted the idea to a low-drag soapbox derby racer in the 1970s (possibly'80s), which rather than the typical 1 sq. ft. frontal area, was 4 ft. wide, 2 ft. tall, and 8 ft. long, yet did well. (I believe I have seen a picture decades ago, with the racer having essentially 2 vertical bodies forming either side of the duct, with the driver in one side.) Mr. Praamsma, an experienced tinkerer with sharp engineering skills, had some interesting ideas about applications for ducted aerodynamics designs, particularly for marine wind turbines.