Electric motorcycle could be a bold new step for Harley-Davidson.
Amarok P1 Electric Racing Motorcycle: Less is More, says Designer
Canadian-designed electric race bike slated to race North American TTXGP in 2011
Amarok Consultants’ goal with the P1 is to make it competitive by reducing weight rather than increase battery capacity/performance.
Amarok Consultants, a Quebec-based design and marketing firm, recently unveiled its electric racing motorcycle, the Amarok P1.
The P1 eschews traditional motorcycle design and instead uses a frameless aluminum monocoque design that incorporates the bike’s main structure, enclosed battery storage and the aerodynamic fairing all into one in order to optimize its power-to-weight ratio.
What’s interesting with the P1 is what influenced its design.
In a press release, Amarok’s founder and president, and the P1′s chief designer, Michael Uhlarik, says that he, along with partner Kevin O’Neil, took inspiration from airplane design when first penning the P1 in February 2009.
“Since the 1930′s, airplanes have relied on all-stressed skin, aluminum monocoques for superior strength, lower weight and packaging efficiency. Batteries already have strong and bulky structures, so why not design them into shapes that give them enough strength to support the entire motorcycle and rider vehicle system, while sculpting them into an aerodynamic package?”
This latest high-performance-oriented electric motorcycle to break on to the ebike scene uses 7.5 KwH of lithium batteries and is powered by two Agni 95R DC motors. According to Amarok the P1 scales in at 325 pounds.
The P1 does away with traditional motorcycle frame design and instead uses an “all-in-one” design philosophy to create a lightweight chassis that incorporates the battery housing. This, says designer Michael Uhlarik, reduces the bike’s weight, increases power-to-weight, and thereby avoids the need to use larger, more powerful batteries.
Comparatively, Brammo’s sporty but yet-to-hit-the-streets Empulse, which Brammo claims offers significant increases of power and range capacity compared to many current consumer-available electric motorcycles, comes in three variations, with the least powerful 6.0-kilowatt-hour version weighing a claimed 370 pounds, and the most powerful (10.0 KwH) version tipping in at 410 pounds. Of course, these Empulse models are intended as street-legal versions; in race trim the Empulse should weigh less.
The P1 is innovative in design, however, Uhlarik is already planning ahead to the next-gen bike.
“It is our design target to achieve a weight of 125kg (275 lbs) with the next generation P2, giving us power-to-weight parity with a gasoline powered 250cc Grand Prix bike. I want Amarok to prove that with battery electric vehicles, less really is more. Less heavy, costly batteries, but more performance and better handling.”
Amarok says the P2 is due in the fourth quarter of this year.
Amarok is currently planning to compete in the North American TTXGP electric racing series this year with the P1 but hasn’t yet announced specific race dates.