Let’s toss aside the range and recharge issues common to any electric motorcycle discussions and focus, instead, on design. The sometimes futuristic or overly utilitarian appearance of a lot of electric bikes leaves many of us cold. If you don’t like the George Jetson look, you’re out of luck and that’s why this design caught my eye. Nicolas Petit of France, thought we might like to see what he created, the Harley Davidson Trunk, an oddly named but interesting looking concept taking definite styling cues from Milwaukee iron and combining them with an electric motor, giving us something that even a traditional rider might find somewhat acceptable. Harley may never do this but I like the thought behind it.
It stands to reason, the first electric motorcycles emphasized their electric power with a totally different look, maybe a result of the type of person attracted to electric motorcycle designs in the early stages. After a while, though, if you’re going to actually sell electric motorcycles, you’ll need something that will appeal to someone who likes regular bikes, the old, traditional, gasoline powered motorcycles we’ve known and loved since they were first invented. A sleek jelly bean style isn’t the answer.
The EV-0 RR, for instance, goes after the sportbike crowd with a monocoque chassis that looks a lot like a conventional bike. While it may have some issues as brought up in the comments on that post, the look itself, isn’t bad. On the other hand, the Mission One, pushes the electric look and makes no pretensions about being anything else.
The Trunk has a front end that could have been taken directly from a Harley Davidson and the overall look is sort of conventional, as conventional as possible that is, while being an open construction, electric power design. The motor is enclosed in a rounded case but it looks like it belongs and the whole motorcycle wouldn’t look out of place in a parking lot on bike night.
I think a lot of early electric designs were just first efforts at what this new power platform might be, but as time goes on, we’ll see more designers take a shot at making the electric motorcycle into something you or I might like. This one is getting closer to the idea. I think it’s pretty interesting. How about you?
More images below: