A few months ago, I suggested that builders should start taking advantage of the tools and materials we have at our disposal today and start building prototypes instead of customs, create something that solves a problem or answers a need and could be manufactured in larger numbers if it was successful. I just ran across the URB-E folding scooter and it seems to do exactly that. Once you look at it, you’ll realize the simplicity of the final product, but you’ll also see how much innovative design and engineering is involved.
This is not a sport bike, it’s not a cruiser and it doesn’t try to be, it’s basic, but highly practical transportation with a very specific use. Outside of the urban environment its utility rapidly disappears, but if you ride a train or bus to work, this covers the last mile after you get off at your stop and does it with ease. If you’re in the city and just need a short ride to work or the store, this will do it.
Fully designed and built in California, URB-E is the leader in portable transportation. It’s quality is engineered by our CTO, Sven Etzelsberger, former lead engineer at Porsche, Saleen, and Fisker Automotive. URB-E’s patented design enables it to fold conveniently to fit in a boat, plane, car trunk, bus, train, closet, coat check, office–literally anywhere you want to put it! URB-E goes 20 miles on a single charge and has a max speed of 15mph, making it legal to ride anywhere a bicycle is allowed.
There are no swoopy curves, no fairings, no huge engine, it’s square aluminum tubes and carbon fiber. This could have literally been built in a garage shop, but I’ll bet there aren’t many builders even thinking along these lines. No custom builder or rider would be caught dead on a scooter like this, it’s easier to make fun of it and laugh, but after a few minutes, even those builders might appreciate how much this little scooter does with so little material, how light it is, how practical and they might be struck by the fact that it solves the problem of the last mile, quickly carrying the rider with little fuss and then folding up to be out of the way until it’s time to go.
This is what I mean by looking at a problem and solving it instead of coming up with another design for a custom motorcycle that, in the end, doesn’t do anything different than the thousands of customs already out there. If you don’t need this, you won’t want it, but if you have the problem this tries to solve, you might see it in an entirely different light.
This isn’t something I need because I don’t live in a big city, but I really like it, the thought that went into it, the design and engineering, it’s pretty slick.
They’re selling the URB-E on Amazon, for $1699. Nope, not everyone will want one or need one, but if you’re an urban dweller, this might be just the ticket.