The Torrot Velocipedo

For when a BMW C1 is just too conventional

The Torrot Velocipedo

REMEMBER BMW’s C1? The scooter that was designed to be crash-safe to the point where it had seatbelts and – in some countries – skirted helmet laws? Well, Spanish electric bike firm Torrot has just upped the weirdness quotient by adding a third wheel and an electric motor into the scooter-that-thinks-its-a-car idea.

Although largely drowned in the sea of more attention-grabbing launches at last week’s Eicma show, the Torrot Velocipedo actually looks quite interesting in an oddball sort of way. It’s got the sort of parallelogram front suspension used on bikes like Piaggio’s MP3 to make it a leaning three-wheeler plus an electric motor rated at a learner-legal 13.5hp with a whopping 101lbft of torque all the way from zerro to 4,000rpm. And remember, electric bikes usually achieve a true peak power, for brief periods, that’s rather higher than the ‘continuous’ power figure they’re rated for.

Oh, and there’s a roof that should do a much better job of keeping the weather away than the old C1 managed, particularly since it also has half-doors.

An 8kWh li-ion battery pack that takes 4.3 hours to charge from flat on a normal 220v socket offers a range of 93 miles. Top speed is electronically limited to 55mph, although we doubt it would go much quicker if the limitation was removed.

Notably, the bike’s front track (the distance between the centres of the front tyres) is 460mm. That’s the width at which European law starts to consider this a powered tricycle as opposed to a motorcycle, meaning that it should be possible to drive it on a car licence without L plates.

On board, kit includes a TFT colour screen, an under-seat storage compartment and a USB socket.

The price, €6,000 (£5,355) actually seems relatively reasonable, although the Velocipedo is clearly very much a niche machine. The firm is planning a ‘Cargo’ version of the same machine, also €6000, with a big luggage container where the pillion seat of the normal model is. The perfect pizza delivery bike?