RMK E2: Finnish electric motorcycle rocks sweet hubless rim motor
Finnish manufacturer RMK Vehicles has come forward with plans to build an electric streetbike with an eye-popping centerless rear hub. The Tron-style open rear wheel houses an integrated 67-horsepower electric motor for a top speed around 100 mph.
RMK plans to build the bike, known at this stage as the E2, this year ahead of a full public reveal at Helsinki's MP 19 motorcycle show in February 2019.
Two versions will be available, with differing battery sizes allowing a range of 200 km (120 miles) or 300 km (180 miles) per charge, with a 2-3 hour total charging time.
The centerless hub drive is RMK's own design, and the company says it's got patents out to cover it. Peak power will be 50 kilowatts (67 horsepower) and torque is rated at 320 Nm (236 lb-ft). Thus, it'll likely be a snappy little fella around town, with performance similar to the early Zero SR.
It's unclear at this stage how wide the back tire will be. It certainly looks like a fatty, perhaps as wide as the old Triumph Rocket III's 230-section hoop. It looks like RMK has been a lot more restrained than the guys that built the recreation Tron bikes back in 2010, who used gigantic 22-inchers. You wouldn't need a sidestand for that thing.
It's reasonable to expect the E2's rear wheel to be much heavier than a regular one. It's also reasonable to assume the added gyroscopic mass will make it harder to turn at speed, and that the increased unsprung weight at the back end will have a negative effect on how well the suspension works. [note: Teemu Saukkio, RMK's head designer, got in touch to tell us he expects the gyroscopic mass of the rear wheel to actually be lighter than a standard motorcycle wheel, which makes things interesting!].
On the other hand, the heroically engineered back end on this thing will snap necks even more effectively than the heroically engineered back end on any Kardashian you care to name. It stands to be a beautiful and attention-grabbing piece, with cool factor akin to a custom chopper.
Thus, it'll likely earn its estimated base price tag of €24,990 (~US$29,000) on star attraction value alone. Reservations are online now for a fully refundable €2,000 (~US$2330). We'll keep an eye on the E2 as things progress!