When is an ambitious concept bike more than a concept bike? When it's made by aerospace engineers. Innovation giant that it is, Airbus has a lot of side projects and one such project is the Light Rider. They call the Light Rider the first* 3D printed motorcycle, and its design boasts all about it.
This skeletal bike was developed and executed by Airbus subsidiary APWorks, to show the structural offerings of their cutting edge 3D metal printing and additive methods. It's made from the company's fictional-sounding material Scalmalloy, which is nearly as strong as titanium and resistant to corroding.
While the frame looks like an impossibly airy student drawing, it is strong and stiff enough to handle the torque and load of a sporty ride. The 6kW electric motor gets up to 80kph in seconds, it can last around 60 km on a battery, all while weighing just 35 kg/77 lbs. It's certainly no race bike, but they claim its power to weight ratio puts it on par with supercars...which sounds cool, though I doubt this initial design has been put through quite as many speed, handling and safety tests.
And the webby, ALIENesque style isn't just fanciful futurism. The design's organic look was created with algorithms based on naturally occurring structures with impressive strength-to-weight ratios. Think bird bones, or coral. With lower weight and less restrictive manufacturing, electric bikes might get more attractive and bizarre looking than ever.
The first run is limited to 50 outrageously expensive bikes, but APWorks hopes to produce further iterations. They anticipate refining the design to make it cool and affordable enough to putter on from your space job to the space bar, like a sexy space Vespa.
(*As per usual, it isn't exactly first. But it's still impressive.)
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very cool look very impressive, like a bike is not like motorcycles
This is a super cool concept. I mean, the design is hideous and I would never want to be seen riding it in public, but it's still a cool concept.
Very cool. I'm sure this is serving as a test bed or a showcase of their 3d printing technologies that are going into their aircraft.
One side of me says that just because you can, does not mean you should. The other part thinks it's pretty cool, not efficient but cool.