APWorks Claims It’s Created First Electric, 3D-Printed Motorcycle

2 months ago by Rideapart.com 9

Company Claims First 3D-Printed Motorcycle

APWorks, a subsidiary of Airbus, says it has produced the first 3D-printed motorcycle chassis from aluminum powder. The prototype, known as Light Rider, has an exoskeletal frame that carries a 6kW electric motor producing up to 130 Nm (95.8 ft-lb) of torque, and weighs just 38 kg (84 lbs). That’s some power-to-weight ratio.

“The complex and branched hollow structure couldn’t have been produced using conventional production technologies such as milling or welding,” said Joachim Zettler, APWorks CEO.

The corrosion resistant alloy, called Scalmalloy, is reportedly stronger than titanium, and results in a frame weighing 13 lbs. According to the company website, “Bionic algorithms define the organic frame structure using Altair’s OptiStruct. This aerospace approved approach gives the motorcycle superb stiffness and guarantees optimal use of material.”

The Light Rider is geared for a top speed of 49 mph, more than sufficient for keeping up with city traffic. The downside is a range of just 37 miles, meaning short commutes and regular recharge of the battery. (Charging time was not specified by the manufacturer.) The more significant liability is the bike’s price: US $56,000. Of course, with a limited production run of 50, owners will be part of a fairly exclusive group. And there is no doubt regarding the amount of attention the Light Rider will attract at the local coffee shop. Or the inevitable distraction it will produce in car drivers.

While the Light Rider might easily be taken for a bicycle from outer space at first glance, the absence of pedals make it a motorcycle by definition. Which means it will necessarily require a motorcycle license, registration, and insurance. Department of Motor Vehicles agents in states requiring inspections for registration will certainly be scratching their head when you roll in on a Light Rider. No telling what the insurance agent will say when you tell him the price.

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9 responses to "APWorks Claims It’s Created First Electric, 3D-Printed Motorcycle"

  1. Mister G says:

    Looks like a mountain bike to me. I don’t see this product becoming mainstream anytime soon. Maybe for $8k it will become mainstream.

    1. BenG says:

      Maybe $2-3k would work for this short-range and low-speed motorcycle.

      For $8k I think I’d expect a fully highway capable motorcycle with 100 miles of range.

      1. OJA says:

        Fully agree to that! It’s even equipped with a ROCKSHOX MTB fork!

    2. Neil says:

      It’s like one step above these new electric assist bicycles.

  2. William says:

    If they Gold plate the frame, they could round up the price to an even $60K or $65K. They could probably up the production run to 100 units, with 50 units featuring the exclusive Gold “Bling Factor”, thereby boosting demand.

  3. Kosh says:

    3D printing and off the shelf mountain bike parts? And a small battery? Why????????? is it 56K?

    Must be trying to recoup their CAD time up front?

    These things should be fairly cheap to crank out in volume, would be great for going around town.

  4. Artful Dodger says:

    Yeah sorry, the chain is on the left side. That’s a bicycle, not a motorcycle.

    They’ve clearly created frame structures to accommodate a bottom bracket, too. Still $56K is a tad steep, but bike thieves should like it well enough since they could trade one straight accross for a (LR premium) Model 3.

    SMDH.

  5. CVVH says:

    Battery capacity? What charging protocol? CCS? Or Chademo?

  6. Steven says:

    It’s a “station bike” that’s too expensive to leave at the station.

    Sorry, it’s just a “technical exercise” to prove the printer works.

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