Motowatt W1X Offers Two-Wheel-Drive Commuting

The Motowatt W1X is the first electric motorcycle from the French brand, but it has not followed a conventional path

Motowatt W1X

Motowatt is a French manufacturer of utilitarian electric vehicles, and the new Motowatt W1X is its first attempt at an electric bike.

You might expect, then, that it’s ‘just another 125cc-equivalent’, but you’d be wrong. Admittedly, its twin electric motors are capable of producing a maximum of 25kW, which equates to 34bhp, but to fit within the A1 licence’s restrictions, it’s most likely that its nominal output will be 11kW (15bhp).

But the W1X’s standout feature is that both motors operate on one wheel each. Having one electric motor at the front and another at the back is a common way, in the automotive world, of achieving all-wheel-drive, and this has been Motowatt’s aim with the W1X, which is effectively a two-wheel-drive motorcycle. As such, the bike uses a single-sided swingarm and off-centre monoshock at both the rear and the front, instead of a fork in the latter case.

However, the W1X is unlikely to be challenging something from the Bimota Tesi range, which use a front swingarm in conjunction with hub centre steering, when it comes to looks. The two axial motors make for odd-looking wheels, the heft of the battery is (as is generally the case) hard to ignore, and although it’s billed as a ‘neo-retro’ (yes, another one), it’s hard to see where the retro quality actually comes from.

Not all of the specifications are yet available for the W1X - the bike has just been announced, but deliveries are expected for January 2025 and preorders will open from March 2024 - but Motowatt is claiming a range of up 130km, or 81 miles, from a single charge, while charging from 20 per cent to 80 per cent will take 5.5 hours.

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