Erik Buell has had his share of ups and downs in the motorcycle business, but say what will, you can't say he isn't persistent, no matter how often his companies have hit hard times, he keeps coming back, but now he's taking a different road. Instead of designing around a Harley Davidson derivative engine or something built by Rotax, he's going all electric with FUELL. Well, to be precise, he and his partners are doing so, because Erik, serving as CTO, is one of three founders along with Fred Vasseur and Francois-Xavier Terny who is the CEO of the new company. They, along with a small team, have designed and are building an electric assist bicycle, the Fluid and an electric motorcycle, the Flow.
The FUELL Fluid, was launched through an Indiegogo campaign with expected early deliveries in late August/early September and further deliveries as parts arrive and the bikes are assembled. The "Pedelec" Fluid has variable pedal assistance and a range of approximately 125 miles of urban riding. Initial prices, at least for early backers on Indiegogo, are from $2749 to $3249 depending on the specific model, though prices are slated to rise very soon. Deliveries will be direct to the customer with some basic assembly required. They had a temporary showroom in NYC offering test rides to interested individuals and early backers. Reviews were very positive.
The FUELL Flow is an electric motorcycle, but like the Fluid, designed for the urban riding environment. Acceleration, as you would expect, is excellent, 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds, though top speed is limited to 85 mph. Range is about 150 miles and recharging takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 10 hours depending on your specific charging arrangement. It has regenerative braking to extend range, though the primary influence there is your right wrist. The price is $10,995.
Faced with saturated cities – pollution, traffic jams, noise – and the arrival of new regulations limiting internal combustion engines, the founding idea of FUELL is to offer a complete and unique selection of innovative, electric and attractive 2-wheelers to cover all the needs for urban “macro-mobility” – city journeys that require a personal vehicle to cover distances greater than 3 miles – and therefore replace cars and public transportation.
In the urban environment for which these are designed, both the Fluid and Flow should do well if their performance and reliability are as promised. They look good, the specs are on target, the pricing is in range and if initial customers have a good experience there's every reason to believe they can gain a foothold in the e-bike marketplace. I'd like to see them succeed.
Company web site: FUELL