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Emula electric motorcycle disguises itself with classic 2-stroke sound

The Emula electric concept motorcycle offers different modes to sound as though you are riding a classic two or four-stroke machine instead

Isn’t technology wonderful? For every innovation that makes our lives easier, there is a gimmick that appears to answer a question nobody ever asked…

One case point is this, the Emula electric concept motorcycle, which – as the name ‘emulates’ – lives to give the illusion that it is a conventionally-fuelled bike complete with rorty engine soundtrack and faux gearbox functionality.

There is some logic to the Emula’s creation. The motorcycle market may have been relatively sluggish at adopting zero exhaust emissions free transport but there are an increasing number of electric machines hitting the market at the moment, led by a number of professional start-ups such as Energica, Zero and Damon.

However, green though they are, they simply don’t illicit the same emotion as a conventional motorcycle does, whether it’s the sound of a rumbling engine between your legs or the satisfaction of clicking through the gears under acceleration. While no-one wants to kill the planet, for now the alternatives need to be more convincing.

Enter the Emula, which comes with an intriguing party-piece in offering a series of settings that intend to give its otherwise quiet electric motor a livelier soundtrack. While this isn’t necessarily a new idea – with a number of firms pursuing the idea of a faux engine note – the Emula takes this further by installing modes that throw right back to another era when we were less aware of the impact of our gas-guzzling.

As such, you can select three different engine notes – using what it refers to as the McFly Controller - to blast out as you accelerate it, including a 1999 600cc four-stroke, four-cylinder generating a perceived 100bhp @13,000rpm, a 2004 800cc four-stroke, two-cylinder developing 77hp @9000rom and – our ‘favourite’ – a 1989 250cc two-stroke, two-cylinder generating 60bhp @12,500rpm.

More than that though, there is a faux clutch included, so you can follow the trajectory of the rev limiter and click through those gears if you want to.

At a time when motorcycle noise is becoming a more prevalent social issue, having a soundtrack of a singing two-stroke may seem somewhat misjudged, but you can get around this by having the sounds beamed straight into your helmet via Bluetooth so you get the full effect without pissing off the neighbours.

Taking the cynicism down a notch for a moment, it’s actually an impressive piece of kit and – as it states – merely a concept for the time being, while the sportsbike design itself looks smart in our eyes. 

We’re not entirely sure riding a motorcycle with overt imitated sounds and actions quite allays the concerns of those who’d much rather have the real thing, but as a piece of tech we can’t help but be intrigued at the very least.

Have a watch and judge for yourself...

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