This 3D printed, electric motorcycle weighs just 77 pounds

By Shawn Knight ยท 31 replies
May 21, 2016
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  1. What happens when an aerospace specialist like Airbus subsidiary APWorks takes its expertise and creates something besides spaceship engines? You get the Light Rider, a jaw-dropping, 3D printed electric motorcycle that tips the scales at just 35 kilograms, or roughly 77 pounds.

    The Light Rider bypasses the typical motorcycle tube construction, instead utilizing bionic algorithms that define its organic frame structure and provide what the company describes as superb stiffness and optimal use of material.

    APWorks CEO Joachim Zettler said the complex and branched hollow structure couldn’t have been produced using conventional production technologies such as milling or welding. Advances in additive layer manufacturing, Zettler added, have allowed them to realize the bionic design they envisioned for the motorcycle without having to make any major changes.

    Reducing the amount of material used and swapping a standard gasoline engine for a 6wK electric motor creates a power-to-weight ratio that equals what you’d find on a supercar. APWorks says it can accelerate from zero to 80 kilometers per hour (nearly 50 mph) “in just seconds” with a range of 37 miles between charges.

    APWorks is offering a limited production run of just 50 motorcycles and predictably, they won’t come cheap. The company is currently accepting pre-orders with plans to sell each bike for 50,000 euros, or around $56,000 USD.

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2016
  2. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +903

    The concept is very neat indeed but I'm not paying that much money or driving what looks like a 35kg mountain bike at speeds of 80 km/h.

    I'm wondering what would happen if a car passes you by at high speed.
  3. BillM

    BillM TS Rookie

    Well technically it is a motor cycle.... it has two wheels and a motor.
    So does that make those 18 speed bicycles in the professional cycle races with the "motor assist" a motorcycle too?
    This is simply a bicycle on steroids.... and why you would want to even go over 30 mph on that thing is crazy.
    What brakes?
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,018   +2,546

    You know, against all my eco-friendly impulses and better judgment, the next time somebody hands me $56,000, I'm going to buy 3 full sized Harley-Davidsons instead....:p
  5. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,324   +1,421

    Well the tech is still prohibitively expensive and isn't targeted to the mass market anyway. This is thing is cool, but not practical or cheap. Don't hate the tech just because it's expensive, its only going to get cheaper with time.

    This stuff is cool and I look forward to the future inovations I'll see, but not afford.
    gregzeng and captaincranky like this.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,018   +2,546

    "Not for the mass market is an overwhelming understatement". I honestly can't conceive of how much more money than brains you would have to have to even consider this, let alone buy it.
    If you think impractical deathtraps are "cool", then so be it. That's the "coolest motorcycle" you'll ever see.

    What this is is "proof of concept", not a marketable product. It's also something which should be incumbent on large automakers to develop. As much as people think I hate big corporations, this is something which would be better served with their resources. As it stands, this is "crowd funding on speculation.". I'm kind of wondering if this will duplicate the standard, "Elon Musk new product release paradigm", which as you know, involves handing out money, then sitting by the phone hoping for the best.
    That's true of all consumer technological product. I remember $10,000.00 Pioneer 60" Plasma TVs.

    Is 3d printing a good idea, yes. Is an electric motorcycle a good idea, I suppose. Is this specific iteration of such a product a good idea, not in the least.

    The only "use", I can see for it, is riding around your fabulously expensive gated community, trying to convince your fabulously wealthy neighbors how trendy and ecologically responsible you are. It wouldn't come close ti making up for the exorbitant heating & cooling costs associated with your 10,000 sq. ft. mansion.
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  7. s0urce

    s0urce TS Rookie

    The beauty behind 3D printing is a reduced manufacturing cost. Somehow, they're trying to sell this bike with 3D printing as the gimmick to drive up the cost of the bike. This is nothing more than a $56,000 toy that I would suggest using at a mountain ski resort during the summer. Good luck finding a market here.

    The MSRP should have been set at $8,900.00 and they should have utilized 3D printing to come up with a hard cost around $5000. Then they might have a business model. Sweet dreams Light Cycle, you're done.
  8. s0urce

    s0urce TS Rookie

    Alright guys I'm torn here. Do I want an optioned out Tesla Model 3, or a Light Cycle?
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,703

    Light Cycle!
    Reehahs likes this.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,018   +2,546

    These aren't 3d printed. They're built the outmoded, uncool, cost inefficient old fashioned way, in factories with heavy equipment utilizing forged, cast, and machined parts. The list price starts at $7500.00:
    All I can say to this is, "spare me"!
  11. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,324   +1,421

    You bring up many good points, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a luxury product aimed at the luxury market. Many of the people who hate on this product are people who would like to own this product, but would never pay for it at any price.

    I love electric technology, but I understand that with any new tech, it will only be affordable to those with large wallets. That being said, I'd like to shift this conversation a bit to something everyone can understand.

    I want a luxury sports car, almost anyone who considers themselves a car guy, does. So am I going to hate the ferrari 458, Mclaren 675 LT or Porsche 911 just because I can't afford them? Hell no! As much as I hate to say it(because I'm poor), but progress starts in the luxury market. The Tesla Model 3 exists because the p85 came before it.

    This tech is cool, but that doesn't dismiss the fact that it's unafordable. However, by allowing this product to exist it shows demand for such a product. Seeing a large demand creates scale-ability for products like this.

    Tons of people WANT this, but they can't afford this. So if a company sees that there is enough demand then they are able to scale production up to meet demand. It isn't a black and white thing, it is something that takes years of development and many companies coming together to meet the supply demand of the manufacturer.

    It may take a few generations(meaning a few decades) for them to bring the price down to compete with things like harleys. But we do have to start somewhere. The fact that they are even trying such dramatic and exotic designs only helps the rest of the industry.

    Sure, people like you and me can't afford this right now, but if they don't do this stuff right now we might never be able to afford it in the future.

    To reiterate my earlier statement, "I look forward to the future innovations I'll see, but not afford."

    Perhaps my kids will have the oppurtunity to become organ donors on E-cycles
    gregzeng and Phr3d like this.
  12. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,383   +170

    Not in the least. Large scale production is always cheaper.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,018   +2,546

    No, it's a useless, overpriced deathtrap, now!

    I'm not disputing the rest of your post, in point of fact, I mostly agree with it, which is why I deleted it from this response.

    Marketing in the millennium has taken on an inverted logic. Once upon a time, products were invented, (tentatively), to fill a genuine need. Now, we just invent s***, and try to hypnotize people into believing they can't live without iit.

    Gwyneth Paltrow offers a gold plated vibrator for ten grand at her website. OK, that's completely absurd, and a gloriously decadent waste of money. In the real world though, it might keep the missus from banging the pool boy, and she most likely won't hurt herself with it. I can't help categorize that as a much better investment than this motortoy.

    Although, being electric it wouldn't spill gas or oil all over the trunk of your Ferrari, where you could keep it as sort of a "dinghy", in case the Ferrari ever broke down or ran out of gas

    Now that's funny, in an ironic, way too close to the truth sort of way!

    Look out, comin' through....


    Or not........

    Last edited: May 22, 2016
    Phr3d likes this.
  14. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    And this ladies & gentlemen, is how things will be made in the future so we'd better start getting used to it now.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,018   +2,546

    I honestly don't think any of us are disputing the potential of 3D printing.

    Although, unless plastics take a huge leap forward in heat tolerance and surface hardness, you may have to still fire up a blast furnace once in a while for things such as crankshafts, connecting rods, truck transmissions, or the occasional wheels, axles, and frames, of your friendly neighborhood commuter train.

    Then too, it's really wonderful to get all hyped over such a radical, innovative new process, but how long do you think it will be before we can actually print human organs with the damned things?
  16. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,324   +1,421

    This is one instance where I have to fully disagree with you. We need products like this, but economically the masses can't afford them. We wont have fossil fuels forever, a mass move to electric is something that NEEDS to happen. The masses want sporty electric vehicles.

    I've been fortunate enough to drive a P85D and have to say that I really don't want much to do with any other sports or super car. Practically, the most fun you can really have on the streets is between 50 and 100 MPH. Torque is what makes driving fun, not top speed. EV's have the upper hand in Torque and for anyone interested in performance, electric motors ARE the future.

    We are currently in a point in history where renewables are becoming cheaper than fossil fuels and electric motors are out performing Internal Combustion Engines. It really is only a matter of time before this tech comes to the masses, and it isn't as far away as it seems.

    The enthusiasts want this, the masses want this, and above all, our wallets want this.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,018   +2,546

    Please don't persist in trying to hook this into the overarching issue of electric versus internal combustion power. Trust me I'm not, and I'd sincerely appreciate it if you'd extend me that same courtesy. If everyone of these "brilliant ideas" bore fruit, we'd all be riding around on Segues. If it's a toy you want, and don't mind looking stupid while you're playing with it, buy a hover board.

    Let's confine ourselves to the topic. (Yes, I know how strange that sounds coming from me). The "motorcycle" in this article is trash. It has approximately the same functionality as a mini bike. The people who are pushing it are hoping to tag the gung-ho "electric power everything now set", for every dollar they can possibly milk out of the stupidly rich and trendy.

    What truly amazes me is, how the two us read the same sentence, and come away with entirely different interpretations.

    To wit, "it goes 35 miles between charges". I call that "nowhere". You seem to think that's "everywhere".

    Then too, I'm wondering what the process or likelihood of this contraption even being approved for use on public roads. You know, being issued a license plate. Where could you go with it, certainly not on the interstates. I'm pretty sure that being given approval for a licensed vehicle, carries with it the expectation of being able to keep up with traffic on route 95.

    The most charitable classification I could assign to this bike is that it's,
    " the alpha forerunner of a possible prototype".

    They're trying to reverse crowd fund the monstrosity, as they'd likely get laughed off of Kickstarter, the minute they hung a price tag on it. (With that said, it's gets mitigated somewhat by the fact, there are some really stupid people spraying money around over there).
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  18. bielius

    bielius TS Addict Posts: 214   +17

    By any chance, do you work in the marketing sector? This sounds like an elaborated ad.
    I'm asking because I want to get into marketing sector myself, but the way you presented it, I got scared the **** away.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,018   +2,546

    No, but I do go to Wikipedia from time to time and reread the page on "propaganda techniques", just to try and stay sharp and maintain good sales resistance in the face of wildly exaggerated advertising claims.

    This is fun and fact filled stuff, but definitely not for the feint of heart:

    It's scary though, because once you familiarize yourself with this material, you'll realize there's no such thing in the world as, "text", only "subtext".:eek:
    gregzeng likes this.
  20. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,350   +1,998

    You know .... articles like this really surprise me. The whole idea of that sort of bike is ridicules. I have plans for a 3D printable time machine that I'm willing to sell for $2 M but it's pay in advance .... wonder how many orders I will get????? LOL
  21. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 378   +244

    Nice. I like electric bicycles and would really like to get a electric motorcycle for longer trips. This looks cool and all but price is ridiculous. Would like traditional japanese bike makers to make more electric bikes so I could afford one one day.

    If your city has loads of bike lanes I recommend switching to electric bicycle for work commutes, you save money, time and nerves. Just watch out for other road users.
  22. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,072   +428

    The concept of a light weight electric bike is not at all ridiculous. It's an advancement in technology that should have been seen as coming for a long time. Especially if you look at the number of complete BS battery technology improvement articles that techspot keeps posting from time to time and then never goes back to when it is a complete failure.
  23. Thrackerzod

    Thrackerzod TS Enthusiast Posts: 40   +30

    $56,000 for an ugly plastic motorcycle that looks like it would snap in half going over a speed bump? No thanks, you could buy half a dozen real motorcycles for less than that.
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  24. All I can say is 'progress' is not always a move ahead, it's quite often a 'dead end' or even regression. The only thing "jaw-dropping" about this thing is that anyone, and I mean anyone would pay $56,000 for this glorified mountain bike no matter how much money you have.
  25. Well, to be fair, this likely is some kind of advancement in 3-D printing, which is good. But the product offered, it's like someone in the company said 'you spent how many freaking dollars!!!' and came up with this extremely lame thing to recover some money. It's a limited edition after all you know. In my mind, that phrase right there tells you something other than that this is a good purchase.

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