News: Johammer J1 – The World’s Fastest Snail

News -


Johammer J1 Electro-Cruiser

There’s another electric motorcycle company on the block that’s apparently getting prepared for launch with a bike that some people have described as looking just like a terrified snail.

Full marks to technology web site Gizmag, who on seeing the photo’s this week of the Johammer electro-cruiser motorcycle, from Austria, described it as ‘looking just like a very scared snail’.

The Johammer is indeed a very, very odd looking motorcycle but the Austrian company claims that two versions of the bike – the J1 150 and the J1 200 – will both go into production in the near future and is quoting prices for various markets around the world

Johammer J1 Chassis

Back in February, Johammer revealed both versions at the Linz motorcycle Show and announced that the battery technology it has developed means the J1 200 will be amongst the first all-electric motorcycles with a range over 200 kms (124 miles).

At the heart of the J1 is a brushless, air-cooled 11 kW AC motor, with a single gear that Johammer says will be maintenance free for the lifetime of the bike. The motor is electronically restricted to 120 kph (74.5mph)

The key to the J1’s long range is apparently the battery modules that have been developed in-house at Johammer. The company is claiming that its battery pack will have either 124,000-mile charge or last for four years on a J1 without the battery charge dropping below 85% of capacity.

There’s no explanation how fast this bike can travel or what it weighs but we think it might be on the heavy side. It’s just over 86 inches long, stands 51 inches high, with a wheelbase of 57.2 inches and reasonably low seating position of 25 inches. Underneath futuristic, all enveloping bodywork is an aluminum frame and up front hub center steering and suspension rather than a conventional fork set-up.

Controls are sort of like you would find on a scooter with brake and accelerator on the handlebars and no foot controls.

Johammer J1

The J1’s instruments are very high tech and speedo and battery charge indicator incorporated into a panel on the mirrors. Whilst this is an interesting piece of technology it’s also on one of the most exposed area on a bike. Anyone like to guess what a replacement wing mirror is going to cost?

Talking of prices – the J1 when it goes into production is not going to be cheap.

There are two versions of the J1, one with batteries that will give the rider 150 km range (93.2 miles) and the J2 with 124-mile range. The 8.3 kWh version will cost EUR€23,000 (US$31,860) and the 12.7 kWh version is EUR€25,000 (US$34,630).

Johammer says the J1 ‘allows a totally new driving experience through its silent electric motor. Allow others and yourself to hear the birds sing when driving the Johammer’. That’s if you can hear the birds over the laughter as people point at you riding the world’s fastest snail.

For further information visit the Johammer web site at:

  • FastPatrick

    Wow. When did Pixar get into real-world vehicle design?

  • Fava d’Aronne

    Not necessarily my cup of tea in terms of design, but going all out is the best way that electric bikes manufacturers have to attract riders. When they simply try and replicate the design of existing gas motorcycles the results are often cumbersome, heavy and ugly. Trying something completely new is the way to go.

    • Justin McClintock

      Yes, but at the same time they should still strive to make it stylish. And this….well, I’m pretty sure they missed that mark.

      • Fava d’Aronne

        The issue when you try something completely new style-wise is that you will have lots of people not liking it at first. It is normal, natural and a normal part of the process that leads to breakthrough improvements in design. I am not saying this bike has it all…but it is just something new and pleasant, at last to my eyes. We’ll see how it turns out in the end. At the very least we can all agree that the designer did not simply copy an existing bike…

  • hunkyleepickle

    i hope that woman in the pic is a little person, otherwise that thing looks ridiculously, comically big….

    • Nemosufu Namecheck

      If they turned it around and put a wind screen I wonder what it would be like.

    • Flying Couch

      I figure she has to be very small – it’s only got a 25-inch seat height. Maybe they’ve ‘shopped the photo to make it bigger.

  • Rob M

    “124,000-mile charge”?! WHAT?! Is that not the most shocking part of this? I haven’t put that many miles on my car in 7 years. So, I would never need to pay for gas or electricity? One charge for the lifetime of the bike? Doesn’t this solve the biggest complaint of electric vehicles, the range?

    • James Jamerson

      The range is 90 or 120 miles depending on which version you get. The 124k figure is the life of the batteries (between 100% and the time when fully-charged is only 85% of what it originally was – a standard industry figure for end-of-life). Not sure why the writer called it a “charge.”

  • Jack Meoph

    there’s an old timey motorcycle that looks like this, but I’m too lazy to look it up and too apathetic to even care. I’m glad I’m old and not going to be around for much longer, because the future looks like it’s going to suck.

    • FastPatrick

      Vincent Black Prince?

    • Honyock Undersquare

      I believe you refer to the 1922 Megola Sport:

      • octodad

        I think this bike was in a Chicago museum show 15 years ago. Believe it has outrageous front suspension design, series of leaf springs. would not last through the second pothole on Ashland Avenue…

  • John
  • Michael

    That is the world’s ugliest motorcycle! I predict very poor sales for this hideous product; especially with the ridiculous price.

  • Campisi

    I think it’s fantastic. Sure, it’s ridiculous, but it’s different. The advent of production electric motorcycle powertrains allows manufacturers to finally move beyond the “optimum” design enforced by ICE technology. Plus, it looks whimsical! Not everything has to look aggressive or blandly organic.

    • Ken

      Agreed. I think they’ve made a leap with this thing that other (better) designers could follow.

    • KeithB

      I’m with Campisi on this one.
      Sure it’s “unique” looking but it’s time to get away from the conventional styling.
      I would take it for a spin. Can’t afford it though….

    • Luke

      one more for “agree” here. I like how it is built with zero nod to ICE bikes. Keep the batteries as low as possible, add wheels, cover with fairing, add very functional rear-view mirrors. The center-hub steering is not my favorite – as my gut says it’ll have an odd riding feel, but that’s a guess. I wish it wasn’t $35K, but good on them for making it!

  • Nemosufu Namecheck

    That thing is avant garde on two wheels.

  • mercdem2

    Fly by wire steering? And that chassis would lend itself well to some “buck rogers” phonky phuturistic throwback. Let the renders begin!!!

    • Justin McClintock

      That already looks MUCH better than the original.

  • nomad2495

    If i bought this i’d be exiled from my friends and family. I got ridiculed for buying a hatchback because it looks like a mom’s car, so imagine how disastrous this would be. Other than that, I wouldn’t mind riding this bike. It just looks histerical

  • Paul Cypert

    Everyone was complaining that all the modern bikes looked like transformers so they went with Pixar instead.

    In all seriousness in a different application I’d really like some body panels/fairings from that white body. Differently styled, that could look pretty sharp.

  • brian fleenor

    Even though it looks super wierd, I would not hesitate to take one for a ride if given the chance.

    • Justin McClintock

      Once you’ve ridden one motorcycle….you want to ride the rest of them.

  • Davidabl2

    I think I’d want the naked version.even though it’d look like it was made out of Legos ;-)

  • Chris Cope

    So much why?

    • eddi

      Batteries are expensive. Good batteries are outrageously expensive. US made electric and hybrid cars are getting a tax break manufacturing subsidy to keep them in the same price range as their gas powered counterparts. Although I think the subsidy is due to stop soon.

      • octodad

        hey eddi; just heard president of Argonne National Laboratories state “battery R&D is a priority”. probably take couple of years, we’ll see new designs at < $10k. by then gas will be $6.00+/ gal and IC engines will be on the wane….

        • eddi

          If or more likely when that happens, It will be time for the Super Snail to shine. I confess the weird look attracts me. Sell it at $6k to $8k and I’ll be right there.

  • clasqm

    Can’t I have one of these instead?

    • Fava d’Aronne

      what movie is this from?

      • clasqm

        Star Trek. The 2009 reboot.

        • Fava d’Aronne

          thanks. I had recognized the actor, but I couldn’t remember this scene.

  • Justin McClintock

    Why is it that, with the exception of Tesla, almost every new electric motorcycle or car is designed to look ridiculous? Why can’t something be electric and still look good? Actually, it can. The Tesla is. The rest…ugh. Weird for weird’s sake isn’t the way to push new technology.

    • Scott T

      the Mission RS looks pretty great.

    • cloroxbb

      The Zero line of motorcycles look good as well. Also, “…amongst the first all-electric motorcycles with a range over 200 kms (124 miles).” is true, but the The 2014 Zero line with extra battery go further than that and are much cheaper, and dont look stupid…

  • Send Margaritas

    “Talking of prices – the J1 when it goes into production is not going to be cheap.”That would imply there is demand for snails.

  • pedro

    This is probably the worst bike design in a very long time…. I beat the Italians, Germans and Japs are laughing out loud

  • chris ordanez

    I’m a fan of retro-futuristic design, so I actually like the way this bike looks.

    I love that electric motorcycle designers are completely abandoning conventional motorcycle styling.

  • Jay

    I love this thing. Imagine a world where this is normal transportation – it’s a pretty fun picture.

  • Mark Hodson

    Shame they won’t sell any. Scooter performance at Harley pricing? I think not. Vetrix was cheaper and still went bust.

  • Michael Howard

    Despite a lot of comments hating on this design, I’m guessing none of us actually wants all bikes to look the same.

  • LS650

    Good Lord, is that thing ever ugly. The technology is interesting, but the bodywork is so hideous I would never consider buying one. They need to stop hitting that thing with the ugly stick.

  • eddi

    I’ve read several non-motorcycle oriented tech sites that posted the news about the Super Snail. Pretty uniform liking for the design. I suspect, like scooters did a few years back, this may attract people who wouldn’t normally try a motorcycle. Remains to be seen whether that becomes a selling point or not. My data set is honestly, limited.