Buell Is Back With A New Electric Bike Startup

APR 11 2018 BY RIDEAPART.COM 7

Erik Buell joins forces with several other prominent figures to start exotic electric bike marque

After two motorcycle companies that both for various reasons went under within a decade—one of which closed its doors only a year or so ago— longtime sportbike creator Erik Buell has his hand in yet another motorcycle startup. For his latest endeavor, Buell is teaming up with an existing boutique American marque and a major player for the EV industry to create VanguardSpark Motorcycles.

MORE ELECTRIC INNOVATION: New batteries may triple e-bike range

Spark Racing Technology is a French racing technology company that supplies equipment to the electric Formula-E series. Formula-E’s governing body the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) appointed Spark as the official car supplier for the Formula E Championship since the series’ inaugural season, and has most recently to supply the season five chassis from 2018 onward. SRT’s founder Frédéric Vasseur is joining Buell in the VanguardSpark effort along with the New York-based boutique manufacturer Vanguard Motorcycles, creator of the ‘Vanguard Roadster’.

The Spark-Renault SRT_01E from Spark Racing Technology

VanguardSpark says it will initially be releasing two models, a pedal-assisted electric bicycle dubbed the ‘SpeedBike’ and a more motorcyclized electric bike called the ‘commuter’. The company refers to the latter offering as “ a nimble and practical two-wheeler perfectly adapted to urban environments and capable of 150+ kilometers (93.2 miles) before recharging”.

MORE ON VANGUARD MOTO: Vanguard’s crowdfunding project

So far only basic drawings have been released to the public, and VanguardSpark says renderings are only intended to show design direction and don’t actually represent the production offerings. The image shows what looks a sporty electric motorcycles with batteries housed inside a monocoque shell and a hub-mounted unit powering the rear-wheel.

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It is a little disappointing that Buell and Vasseur aren’t working on something more performance/race oriented, but according to Vanguardspark the outfit is already sitting on four patent applications. Prototypes are scheduled to be revealed as soon as this Summer. Based on Buell and Vasseur’s race knowledge and Vanguard’s style, we’re expecting some impressive stuff from Vanguardspark.

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7 Comments on "Buell Is Back With A New Electric Bike Startup"

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Look Ma – no chain? Or belt?

I missed when Buell stopped production of their Sportster engined bikes?

It has a hub motor.

Still, no rear brake? And the bicycle rendering looks even more scattered and awful. This by all these supposed master designers? Crowdfunding? WTF?

Okay, that would a different twist. That adds to the unsprung weight.

HD closed Buell down, because, while they were quite profitable, they weren’t nearly as profitable as cruisers.

No matter that Buell actually sold many bike types beyond cruisers and full-dress tourers, and had a good beginner/commuting bike (the Blast), all of which HD didn’t, and was dealing with a rapidly aging rider demographic.

I wish Buell success — he deserves it. Too bad he couldn’t cooperate with the established brand, Zero — I’m sure he could have creatively used their drivetrains to do sportbikes and/or sport-tourers — just like he did for HD. He already knows Zero’s CTO anyway — he came from Buell.

I had not heard that he wasnt cooperating with Hero. I was under the impression that they were at fault in the closing of EBR, do you have any articles or further info on that?

Hero was semi-responsible for the closing of EBR. The bigger issue with EBR was that they could not set up a good dealer network and poor sales then caused them to close. It was even resurrected by Liquid Asset Partners for a short time, production started up again and they still could not remain profitable. Sad too, because they had one of the most awesome bikes in the world. I would still gladly buy one of those bikes, they are dirt cheap…

https://www.cycleworld.com/2013/07/01/indian-motorcycle-company-hero-motorcorp-buys-stake-in-erik-buell-racing