New Bikes

Not a bitsa, it's a Biiista

Yes, with three 'i's. And that's the least weird thing about it

ELECTRIC bikes are spreading fast but this one is something a little different.

The Biiista, developed by Austrian firm Hammerschmid Maschinenbau, has been revealed this week and despite its crazy looks the project is surprisingly far down the development path, having been undergoing work since 2010.

Under that one-piece body there's a simple aluminium chassis carrying the battery, a single-sided rear swingarm and a 14bhp electric motor in the rear hub. It adds up to a 60mph top speed and 60 mile range with a two-hour recharge time for the 80-volt battery pack. Weight is just 140kg, which is impressive for an electric bike.

The Bimota-Tesi-style front end incorporates a steering system that allows the handlebars to swivel separately in their own bearings; they each disappear into the bodywork with no provision to allow them to turn as a pair. They're connected by a linkage under the bodywork so when you push the left bar, the right bar swivels towards you, and vice versa. Check out the on-board shots in the video above and you'll see it's not as weird in practice as it sounds.

No word yet on price or availability, but the firm's photos and videos clearly show there are already several running prototypes in action, and the polished finish suggests production might not be too distant.

What do you think – is it a beauty or, ahem, a Biiist? The Biiista's radical looks are largely made possible by the fact it's electric and can move away from the traditional motorcycle layout (that steering goes in a space that  would normally be full of engine, airbox and radiators).

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