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Changing Times

Fri, Dec 6, 2013

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Changing Times

There are a couple of new electric bikes in the news at the end of the first week of December 2013. And Harley-Davidson continues to expand its marketing base in Asia.

The bike about which all the globe is currently atwitter is called the Voxan Wattman and it debuted this week at the Salon de la Moto in Paris.

Voxan

The Voxan is built by Venturi Automobile, a French company that builds electric sports cars. It looks like a prop from The Jetsons (photo above) and it weighs 772 pounds. Venturi claims the bike’s motor produces 200 horsepower and that it is the most powerful electric motorcycle in the world which may be most analogous to building the world’s lightest lead balloon. The bike was designed by a Serbian named Sacha Lakic.

The manufacturer claims the motorcycle can go from 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds and can hit a buck in just under six seconds. But the thing only has a top speed of 105 mph. The electric motor runs off a 12.8 kilowatt hour battery. It takes about 30 minutes to achieve an 80 percent charge. When fully charged the manufacturer claims the motorcycle will run for 112 miles.

Voxan hasn’t announced a price but it considers the Voxan Wattamn to be a prestige product that will be built by hand, one at a time, for an “an exclusive international clientele that is passionate about technology and emotions.” Voxon’s President, Gildo Pallanca Pastor, is also quoted in the press release as saying that “It is…a starting point for a new human and technological adventure which is built on ten years of challenges, creativity and solutions proven in developing Venturi vehicles.”

Saietta R

A second public relations campaign is currently touting the Saietta R, an electric motorcycle built by a British company called Agility Motors. It is also stylish, inconvenient and under powered but environmentally correct. The press packet describes this one as designed for “urban assaults rather than long-haul freeway blasts.” The Saietta R, like the Voxan, has a range of 112 miles which seems to be about as far as these things can be made to go.

The manufacturer claims the Saietta R motor will make 97 horsepower and 94 foot pounds of torque. It runs off an 11 kilowatt hour lithium battery. It weighs 485 pounds and has a top speed of 80 mph which is about the de facto speed limit on the 105 Freeway in Los Angeles.

It takes eight hours to fully charge this beast. An optional “fast charging system” can cut the time needed for a full charge in half. The Saietta R will go on sale in the United States in about a year and is expected to cost $22,000.

Meanwhile In Vietnam

The Harley-Davidson Company opened its first dealership in Ho Chi Minh City last week. The business calls itself Harley-Davidson of Saigon.

The Motor Company is aggressively expanding into Asia. Harley recently announced two, new bikes aimed at the Asian motorcycle market. The new Harleys have engine displacements of 500 cc and 750 cc. The company also has an assembly plant in India.

Vietnam is the fourth largest motorcycle market in the world, trailing only China, India and Indonesia.

 

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17 Comments For This Post

  1. jj solari Says:

    why do i think this will be the only comment here about this.

  2. 53dilligaf Says:

    just to prove ya wrong lol.

  3. BadMagic Says:

    Because you didn’t know I was going to make this comment.

    B-)

  4. Bill Says:

    Anyone remember the much-feared (by the natives) “White Mice”?
    For those less fortunate, they were the Saigon version of the Highway Patrol, small, mice- like men, dressed all in white, riding white Harley’s, and packing American 45′s. One day right outside the main gate at Tan Son Nhut, I witnessed an apparently intractable traffic tangle. Dozens of Renaults, Peugeots, small bikes, those little streetcar-like busses, motorized pedicabs, American trucks and jeeps, etc., were frozen in a seething unmovable mess, at a major security checkpoint. Up ride several White Mice, whereupon one dismounts, unholsters his 45, and approaches what looked to me just someone at random, but apparently the cop felt that guy was somehow the key. Anyway, the cop shoves his 45 through the open driver’s window, and against the side
    of the offender’s head, screaming maniacally they whole time. That guy somehow managed to move, and magically, so did everyone else.
    Harley has a pretty storied history in Viet Nam, and props to the company holding onto the name “Saigon”. Maybe it’s a rebel thing.

  5. Snow Says:

    Or me. B-)

  6. Phuquehed Says:

    Well, in defense of….Oooo Look! A plane!

  7. chromedome Says:

    Huh huh huh huh huh huh …he said plane… huh huh huh…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1agaZinJHg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  8. Sieg Says:

    White Mice…haven’t heard that in a minit!

    For sheer motorsickling panache, ride in Bangkok. I’ve got some pix taken off overpasses, frkn thousands of UJM’s clogging the street. Six lanes of traffic, solid, far as the eye can see. Truly an experience. I always thought riding the Nairobi 500 in Chicago was bad till I borrowed a bagger n rode over there.

    Electric bikes?

    Thought that was what we rode back inna day behind some righteous sugarcube.

    FTF/FTP
    TOSIAR
    5 TO 1
    SYLO

  9. Bill Says:

    “…sugarcube/electric bikes…” Good one, Sieg.

  10. Road Whore Says:

    Votran…yeah, but can it make a smoothie??

    Ride Free

  11. Base Says:

    One thing about the electric motor they can really produce torque and speed, holy shit!

    Where I work we have electric carts of various configurations, some are plain golf carts, others are hand made in factory. Many of our maintenance techs are rather efficient and ingenious when it comes to repair or manufacturing theses carts, grant it, all run off 12 volt car batteries either in 12 volt or 24 volt configuration.

    We even have a couple that have their own charging system so no need to ever plug them in for a recharge unless they sit for long periods.

    I know there are electrical engineers out there that say “No Way” But the reality is “yes, way” There is always a way to get things done with out over complicating it.

    I wouldn’t mind taking one of these puppies for a ride, put it through it’s paces. But then would do the same with one of those cute little 500/700 cc HD mini bikes they are hocking over sea’s also.

    Buy one? If that’s all there was and it put my knees in the breeze. Hell to the yeah!

    It’s along the line when one is out and wishes to have some face down one on one with the opposite sex. As the night wears on and it get’s closer to last call your standards start to lower.

    Of course personally there is a point I will not go beyond in that aspect. As for knees in the breeze, my standard could drop lower if that’s all there was.

    Respects
    Base

  12. Sieg Says:

    Base, I imagine we’ve all chewed an arm off a time or two, figuratively speaking!

    If the charging ever gets squared-away, then yeah, electrics could be a trip.

    I think for the Middle-Eastern market, they should concentrate on miniaturized nuclear reactors, powering an offset flywheel. They could use the impetus of the flywheel to charge a battery, not use the reactor much, and then, when they had sold enough of them over there, remote detonate ‘em. Sand to glass, and punch a hole through it to get the gas in a decade or two.

    FTF/FTP
    TOSIAR
    5 to 1
    SYLO

  13. Base Says:

    Sieg

    On that note, rode with a guy we called Lizard because he chewed his arm off on a regular basis. With him quality took a back seat to quantity. And it should be known it was a good thing he owned an old straight leg hard tail because he liked his ladies on the heavy side also.

    We used to accuse him of carrying KFC & Little Debbie cakes in his saddle bags for bait.

    Base

  14. CN Says:

    Let’s see if I’ve got this right. The elecrtic bikes will go 112 miles then need to be recharged which takes 8 hours? So, besides bar to bar city riding, they are pretty much useless? And they want $22K for these things? I assume they are more or less silent? Top end is 100 mph or 80 mph? H-D opened a showroom in Viet-Nam and they are allowed to call it Siagon H-D? Hell froze over & Donkeys/ Pigs are flying ?

  15. Sieg Says:

    “H-D opened a showroom in Viet-Nam and they are allowed to call it Saigon H-D? Hell froze over & Donkeys/ Pigs are flying ?”

    I think their advertising slogan is “I love you long time”. ‘Cept ya can’t pay in scrip, and it costs a helluva lot more than twenty bux!

    FTF/FTP
    TOSIAR
    5 to 1
    SYLO

  16. WheresMyBoots Says:

    HD Saigon so crazy, maybe dinky dau. Electric bike numbah ten.

  17. Ronbo Says:

    Base,
    KFC and Little Debbie Cakes…. Gotta remember that.
    Thanks

    Ronbo

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