Thursday, 28 May 2015

IN THE DARK WITH SAIETTA



Saietta, the UK-based manufacturer of the very curious and curved electric Saietta R, today announced that it is developing a ground-breaking, high performance electric motorcycle that’s set to, in the company’s words, ‘spearhead a new era for riders’.

Codenamed NGS (Next Generation Saietta), it will be the first in the family of bikes from the Saietta group, which was formed following the recent merger of Agility Global and Agni Motors. Saietta Group co-founder, Lawrence Marazzi, told us:

“[We] intend to shake up vehicle sectors including cars, scooters, motorcycles and tuk tuks, with electric drivetrains that surpass what can be achieved with internal combustion engines.

“Saietta R was our 8th and last generation of prototype. NGS takes us to a whole new level with technological step changes across the bike delivering electrifying performance, unmatched range, extensive personalisation options and a highly distinctive, iconic presence. NGS is an exclusive, premium priced flagship.” By which we understand to mean it will be expensive.

So what does the new motorcycle look like? Well, from the single teaser photograph released, it’s anyone’s guess!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO #4





THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO

In 1932, Dr John Archibald Purves of Taunton, Somerset, unveiled the Dynasphere which he told ‘Popular Science’ magazine would be the ‘high speed vehicle of the future’.

Inspired by a sketch by Leonard da Vinci, Dr Purves built two monowheel prototypes, a smaller electric and one using a Douglas engine and a 3-speed gearbox (as well as reverse). The petrol-engined prototype was 10-feet tall and built of iron latticework that weighed 1000lbs. The driver's seat and the motor were part of one unit, mounted with wheels upon the interior rails of the outer hoop. This unit, when powered forward, would thus try to climb up the spherical rails, which would cause the lattice cage to roll forward. Steering was basically leaning, although a later version was equipped with tipping gears and demonstrated at Brooklands.

In 1935, Meccano Magazine said that the Dynasphere ‘possesses so many advantages that we may eventually see gigantic wheels … running along our highways in as large numbers as motor cars do today.” However, steering and braking were not among the advantages of the Dynasphere. It also had a worrying habit of ‘gerbilling’ – when accelerating or braking (such as braking was), the housing in which the driver would spin within the outer hoops.

The Dynasphere was capable of 30mph, which with little means of steering or braking, must have been about 25mph too fast for the unfortunate test pilot. But Dr Purves claimed that the Dynasphere could 'achieve all that is asked of passenger-carrying vehicles'. It seems that no-one felt quite as optimistic about this revolutionary form of transport; Dr Purves died in 1952 and the Dynasphere has passed into history.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

VICTORY GOES ELECTRIC FOR THE TT!




Back in February we brought you the news that Polaris Industries had bought leading electric motorcycle developer, Brammo Industries (100% Biker #191), and now we’ve learned that Polaris-owned Victory is to race at the TT on a prototype Victory electric bike.

The prototype electric race bikes will be piloted by William Dunlop of the legendary Dunlop dynasty and Lee Johnston and will compete in the Isle of Man TT electric class, marking the first time that Victory Motorcycles has entered a professional motorcycle-racing event in Europe and raced an electric machine. The SES TT Zero Challenge class event for electric motorcycles is a one-lap race round the island’s 37.73 mile (60.72 km) Mountain Course and will take place on 10th June 2015.

Parker, the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, is providing the race-proven, high performance GVM PMAC motors for both machines.

 I’m more than excited to race this prototype at the Isle of Man,” said Dunlop. “Electric powertrains have many advantages, and the Isle of Man is one of the greatest tests in motorcycle racing.”

The Victory Racing prototype electric race bike features a dedicated electric racing motor and power cells as well as highly sophisticated electric controls to maximize peak power, power delivery, and durability under racing conditions. Victory engineers have further refined the electronics and chassis for the upcoming race with private test sessions in North America. 

How long before we see a Victory production road model? Not long, we reckon…