General

What? A lightweight electric bike?

Electric bike with the power-to-weight ratio to match to a 250GP bike

IF there's a problem with electric motorcycles as the state of the art currently stands it's that of weight; pack a motorcycle full of enough batteries to provide some serious power and it's going to be groaning under its own mass long before the performance starts to match its petrol-powered rivals.

At least, that's the conventional wisdom, but the prototype Amarok P1, designed to race in the TTX GP series, turns it on its head, tipping the scales at a respectable 147kg.

Designed by Michael Uhlarik, best known as the man behind Yamaha's MT-03, the Amarok dispenses with motorcycle convention – stuff like a frame, or forks – and has instead been developed as a clean-sheet design. A true electric motorcycle, perhaps, rather than a motorcycle converted to run on electricity like so many of the other designs out there.

The chassis is an aluminium monocoque, using the batteries to form some of its structure. “Since the 1930's, airplanes have relied on all-stressed skin, aluminum monocoques for superior strength, lower weight and packaging efficiency,” says Uhlarik, “Batteries already have strong and bulky structures, so why not design them into shapes that give them enough strength to support the entire motorcycle and rider vehicle system, while sculpting them into an aerodynamic package?”

Powered by a pair of Agni 95R motors (the power units of choice in electric bike racing), the P1 is a good start but Uhlarik intends to get the second prototype – aptly called the P2 – down to just 125kg, giving a power-to-weight ratio to match a 250 GP bike when it's revealed towards the end of the year.

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