Boldly E-going where no Husqvarna has E-gone before

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Equipped with an electric drivetrain, a single-sided front end, the daintiest wheels ever fitted to something purporting to be a motorcycle and styling clearly influenced both by Husqvarna dirt bikes (the seat, the angles, the front numberplate), but also the Intelligent Energy ENV (the shape of the protruding front plastics), this Husqvarna E-go concept is BMW’s dirt bike brand’s idea of the ideal urban supermoto. Unveiled today at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it sure is neat, which is why it’s a shame it’s so far from being production-ready.

As far as technical details go, BMW (which owns Husqvarna), is only saying that the machine weighs 80kg (176lbs) all-up. That’s extraordinarily light, 4kg lighter, in fact, than the 3/4 size Zero X. The Zero achieves that weight using only 2kWh of lithium-ion battery capacity and components that have more in common with mountain bikes than motorcycles. The Husqvarna can’t hope to carry much more in the way of battery capacity (enough for 22 miles on the Zero according to EPA testing procedures), especially as it’s equipped with heavier running gear in the form of that two-tube, single-sided front and remote-reservoir Sachs rear shock.

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That single-sided front is a neat piece of concept bike showmanship. Two 35mm tubes, as opposed to one larger tube (as used on the Gilera CX125), help create lateral and torsional stiffness, but at the expense of weight and parts complication. Two sliders, two stanchions, two springs, two sets of valves, two sets of adjusters and two tubes full of oil; this setup will resist sideways and front-to-rear flex admirably and be very strong, but it won’t be light or work to reduce unsprung weight. Wheel changes should be easy though.

Despite the clear ENV influence (envy?), styling is enormously successful at translating Husqvarna hallmarks into something bold and futuristic. Remeber the Husqvarna SMQ concept? This new bike adapts is chunky white frame tubes and angular body into something much more attractive. Also noteworthy is the wing-like front mudguard borrowd from the Husqvarna Nuda 900; will this be a new family identifier? The fictional battery pack and supposedly functional electric motor are also neatly integrated in a way not typically seen on production electric motorcycles.

At the risk of committing e-heresy, this thing sure would be neat with Husky’s two-stroke 250 motor in it.

  • Artful

    Yes. Make that.

  • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

    I am glad to see BMW’s commitment to Husky to even create something like this. You can’t fault them for not taking enough chances with it, but with the single-sided swing arm and forks there is a great opportunity for a more asymmetrical design in between. I would love to see someone push that envelope.

    • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

      Yeah, you’d think their instinct would be to do this as a BMW for the publicity. Nice to see Husqvarna get the bike. Plus, it looks HOT in Nuda garb. (Better than the Nuda without that headlight.)

  • Andrew

    The twin fork may be set up similar to many mountain bike forks, with one tube handling damping and the other springing duties.

    For design purposes I really can’t see why they didn’t have the single sided swingarm and the fork on the same side…it would be far cleaner looking, unless they’re just looking to showcase the fork.

  • Bronson

    I’d wheelie it.

  • http://www.pedalgents.com holdingfast

    the future could be fun after all

  • The other Joe

    Basically a scooter styled after a dirt bike, but pretty cool nonetheless. At least there is something between your knees, lack of which being my biggest problem with scooters.

  • Bryan Whitney

    “Urban traffic will seem like a videogame that will be fun and easy to skillfully Ne-gotiate.”

    Like a videogame – It’s only your life. No big deal…

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