The idea of an electric-assist bicycle has been around for some time, with Aprilia’s Enjoy the first really convincing argument that the genre had a future – now there’s another variation on the electric pedal-assist theme, but the ErockIT is much more a motorcycle than a bike, and indeed, it might be one of the quickest forms of inner city transport on the planet. The whole thing weighs just 110 kilograms and with over 45lb/ft of torque and 13bhp, it can top 50mph.
The torque characteristics of an electric motor are very different to a roadgoing motorcycle powerplant – the aforementioned 45lb/ft of torque is available from standstill, and the linear nature of the power delivery makes it very easy to control. As a rule of thumb, on circuit racing, we have observed that an electric bike with Xbhp will run about even with an internal combustion engined motorcycle with 3X bhp – this would put it in commuter 250 roadbike territory for acceleration, and the 50 mph top speed is suitable for just about anywhere other than an autobahn or freeway.
Around town, it will be a rocketship and light and manoeuvrable enough to make breeze of weaving through stopped traffic – a better town motorcycle than currently exists.
Unlike the Aprilia Enjoy, where the electric motor assisted the rider to pedal when more torque was required, the ErockIT drives the rear wheel from an electric motor , and pedalling assists the motor. This very exciting development in the inevitable move to electric two-wheelers will cost around EUR 25,000 (US$39,000) and will be available in limited quantities in 2009.