French company Newron has come out with a really interesting-looking electric motorcycle design that it plans to do a limited production run of in 2020. Using mostly wooden bodywork, organically curved surfaces and a wild, cylindrical battery, the Newron's a very cool design.
We've been going on a bit lately about battery design on electric motorcycles, but it's a point that bears repeating. Combustion motorcycle design is often based around the shape of the motor – and over the last 120 or so years, combustion motors have become quite beautiful in many cases.
Electric motorcycles, on the other hand, have really only started poking their heads into the mainstream in the last 10 years or so. And many, if not most, still use the most technically obvious shape for the giant battery packs that take up more room than anything else on the bike: a big ol' box. It's virtually impossible to create a beautiful motorcycle around a big ol' box, and finding new ways to package batteries so they don't make the eyes bleed will be one of the great challenges for the emerging e-moto industry as the slow transition from gasoline to electrons rolls on.
We've really enjoyed some of the recent work from America's Curtiss Motorcycles in this regard, and this effort from Newron has to go into the conversation, with a large, cylindrical pack running up at an angle from the middle of the bike, covered in neat-looking blue light accents. It has the air of some of the big, beautiful multi-row radial aircraft engines of old.
The motor looks neat enough too, on the right side at least. It seems there's a single-sided swingarm and what looks like a drive shaft is located on the other side. The signature design piece of the work, though, is the curved wood bodywork pieces, which give the bike an organic sort of feel at the front end, where they're used to cover carbon girder forks.
Newron (a quirky name that fuses "neuron" and "Newton") has been through accelerator programs with Dassault Systems and more recently Advans Group in France, and the company has stated its goal is to have 12 of these things built in 2020, before ramping things up in 2021. It's designing some ride-mode intelligence into the bike, such that it can predict where you're riding and mete out power to make sure you've got the range to get there, and there will also be some phone integration, particularly around predictive maintenance warnings.
We're not sure if these guys will get this bike built, what its power or range might be or many further details. But this is a good-looking design that makes the battery pack a nice centerpiece, and we applaud it.
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