Sometimes it seems like the world is awash in 2-D designs of electric motorcycles. Given the freedom that this particular platform allows, and the novelty of battery-powered bikes, it's as though every student is required to have at least one of these two-wheeled flights of fancy in their portfolio. That's fine, of course, even if the implausibility of so many is slightly off-putting.

The Expemotion E-Raw prototype by Martin Hulin – a young French designer – is like so many of these, but, in at least one respect, much better: it actually made the leap from page to pavement. As in, it's a real physical object. Sure, its motor and battery pack is a finely fashioned, if non-functioning, foam sculpture. And yeah, even if it did run, the wooden seat would make for blistered buttocks within a few miles of even the smoothest asphalt ribbon.

Still, we cant help but admire the way its exoskeletal steel frame embraces its stylized faux drivetrain, or the emotion effused by the organic grain and curves of that multi-ply bench. We don't think it's a design that would make for profitable large-scale production, but it could certainly serve as basis for inspiration.

Perhaps the best part of this project, though, is the video of its creation. We sometimes forget that even the most modern of creations can be crafted using the most time-tested of tools and processes, and the footage above serves as a beautiful reminder of that. So, for four-and-a-half minutes of creative zen, click play and enjoy.

If you'd like further insight into the builder's intent and inspiration, we've included his thoughts about the project below.

  • Image Credit: Expemotion
  • Image Credit: Expemotion
  • Image Credit: Expemotion
  • Image Credit: Expemotion
  • Image Credit: Expemotion
  • Image Credit: Expemotion
  • Image Credit: Expemotion
  • Image Credit: Expemotion
  • Image Credit: Expemotion
  • Image Credit: Expemotion
  • Image Credit: Expemotion
  • Image Credit: Expemotion
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When discussing the topic of electric motorcycles, opinions differ. This topic seems to be controversial. Charmer sounds and heady perfumes of gas engines give way to osmotic silence and transcendental flow of electric motors.

One might think that electric drive would sterilize the motorcycle experience. Actually, electric motorcycles asymptotically approach the mythical Centaur. The electric motorcycle is not a risk but chance, an opportunity for rich and intense experiences. My design approach was to develop this project with the values of harmony, transparency and durability, in both form and substance.

Aesthetically, e-raw fits the logic of transparency and clarity. I wanted all structuring components to be visible in order to reveal the mechanics of the motorcycle. The polemic tends to place mechanics and electrics in opposition. The idea of the e-raw project is to bring the two dimensions into harmony: employ electrics to deploy mechanics. Inspired by classic custom and café racers, e-raw links the language of electrics with lines of the past.

The tubular steel frame contains the batteries and supports the plywood seat post. More than 80 layers have been molded to create this wooden piece, making the seat post elastic and rigid at the same time.

From the beginning of this project, my desire was to cultivate a relationship with my materials. I also wanted to bring dream to an ultimate reality by building a scale 1:1 prototype. Four craftsmen helped me to make this dream come true. Together, we worked metal and wood to build this motorcycle.

The name e-raw illustrates all the processes of this project: "e" for electric and "raw" for natural and pure.less

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