• Aug 20th 2008 at 9:02AM
  • 9
So you're enjoying a lovely day, driving the twisty Skyline Blvd. in California on your Ducati Multistrada when, through a series of fortunate events, you find yourself trying out the saddle of a different bike that just happens to be a top secret electric prototype using a chassis from the same manufacturer as your personal ride. That's what happened to a guy we know only as thomasj, who wrote about it on the Motorcycles' Journal. He had spotted a suspiciously quiet Ducati 900ss with an overly-large back sprocket and struck up a conversation with the apparent owner. The man turned out to be former Tesla employee Forrest Deuth (North) who has started a company currently known as Hum Cycles which is now in stealth mode and whose mission is to "create the greenest and most fun commuter vehicle on the freeway." Sounds like a great goal to us and if the end product is as good as thomasj thought the prototype was, they just might succeed.

The guest rider found the torque to be mule-strong and unrelenting while the throttle stayed smooth and precise. No shifting was required as he quickly brought it up to the shy side of 100 mph, and then, with the help of some Brembo hardware, back down into legal range again. Like other electrics, it wasn't really silent though it was, thankfully, free of annoying vibration. Aside from speculation, there is precious little to be known about the project at this time but when they are good and ready, we are hopeful there will be some beans spillin' here.

[Source: Motorcycles' Journal via Doug@TeslaMotorsClub]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Electric motorcycles make so much sense. I love riding my bike but after a long day the noise+vibration adds so much to the overall fatigue of riding. Range for me is key though. 100 to 200 mile range would be enough for me to trade in my 60MPG Suzuki GS.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Awaiting battery breakthroughs and carbon fiber and polymer miracles of light weight, will an H2 and fuel celled monster replace the vibrating Harley of old cheap oil days, or will we go to road-rash proof three wheelers for a dry and uber-fast commute? So good to see the transition into the twenty-first century so well underway. Sorry to say the "Big Three" auto makers couldn't keep up, going to miss whizzing by great gas guzzling Land yachts and bedrooms on wheels with my battery bike!
      • 8 Months Ago
      So has Tesla sued him yet? You're not allowed to work on anything that combines batteries and wheels once you leave Tesla.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Most non-competes have been recently invalidated in California.

        It's doubtful such broad terms would ever have been enforceable.
      • 8 Months Ago
      We may finally have an electric motorcycle for the American market instead of a scooter for the limp-wristed French or Spanish market.

      Real men ride motorcycles, NOT scooters!
        • 8 Months Ago
        Tim, someday a guy on an electric scooter is going to blow your (lack of) doors off while you're on your manly motorcycle. I ride a full sized bike too (BMW) but, I used to have a scoot and it was a blast to ride.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Let's see... if they streamline it enough, they may be able to get as low as 50Wh/mi or so in normal operation. Bikes have very low cross-sectional area, after all. They could get lower if they partially or fully enclosed it, but from the sound of it, they didn't. So let's assume ample streamlining and 50Wh/mi. 100 miles would require a 5kWh pack. Assuming the cells were bought in bulk, if that were LiP or spinel, it'd weigh about 125 pounds and cost $5-10k, and should have a more than sufficient lifespan. All of that sounds reasonable. Let's say a pack price of $7k If this thing is hitting 100mph with power to spare, it's got a good motor in there for a vehicle of that size -- perhaps 40kW or so? You can get a good 40kW motor, charger, and inverter for $8k or so. Tack on perhaps $7k for everything else, labor, and profit. That'd be $22k. Not cheap for a bike, but affordable, virtually free to operate, and a fun ride. :)

      A 200 mile range would probably shift that price up to $30k-ish. A more powerful motor or higher profit margin would also boost the price.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Oh, blah -- the stats are right there in the article. :P And they're... let's just say less than impressive. 300 full charge cycles, so they're using plain old laptop batteries. 80 mile range. 6-8 hours on 120V, i.e., ~10kWh. I.e, not unusually streamlined, just mostly stock.

      • 8 Months Ago
      OMFG, I want to see pictures :)

      gope he has fairings on, the Lithium E1(R1) is ugly.
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