Students build enclosed electric motorcycle

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Enclosed scooters are something of a conundrum. They add a surprising degree of protection: as Autoblog Green writes, BMW's C1 produced unexpectedly good crash test results. The problem is that they look so bad that no-one would ever dream of buying one. This fine tradition of design impossibility continues with the Saint Thomas EV, an electric bike powered by a 60v lithium phosphate battery.

The current configuration is said to be good for a top speed of sixty miles per hour and a range of forty miles. The chassis is constructed from chromoly tubing. The body is made from a carbon fiber and Kevlar composite and should therefore prove very strong. The full seat even features a seatbelt. We are not certain that anything quite like this will ever be available for purchase again, but its good to see it in concept form at least.

For those readers lacking the faculty of sight, let me describe it for you: it looks like someone took a giant partially-melted plastic tick and upended it atop a motorcycle, then laser-cut the interior from its tumescent, lime-green carapace. Do I want one? Yes.

High School students build enclosed electric motorcycle [Autoblog Green]

Published by Rob Beschizza

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13 Comments

  1. Now if they took some inspiration from Japanese Anime! They might get some awesome motorcycles, because every japanese anime has cool motorbikes, its like written in the contract when your producing japanese anime!

  2. I’ve seen covered Vespas in Italy. It appears to be some sort of plastic structure (I’ve only seen this from a train). In fact, I’ve wondered how to get the what-appears-to-be an add-on kit here in the US. (By the way, when gas is tres cher, fashion goes out the window in favor of comfort.)

  3. “Help me, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

    It’s great until you start to fall over and you can’t get your leg out or arm out to brace yourself.

  4. @#3, Holtt: Evidently you’re one of those visually-impaired people to whom Rob was referring. It has big holes at the sides for legs and arms to stick out of.

  5. Let’s just say I’ve had more than one spill going around a corner on the rain soaked pavement here in Oregon. I’d take mobility and freedom over keeping a bit dry any day.

  6. Actually, I always thought the BMW C1 was a rather attractive looking bike. Certainly heads and tails above most scooters, aesthetically.

    But as a guy who was in a rather serious scooter accident (I know, it sounds absurd, but I broke both my arms and one of my legs on one four years back or so), the issue with scooters really isn’t what happens if you crash into someone with one. The big danger is that the tiny, toy wheels make them very unstable on bumps. My accident happened by hitting an unexpected pothole and I lost control. This same pothole would have been nothing more than a somewhat jarring bump on a bicycle or a motorcycle, but on a scooter’s 14 inch wheels was enough to shake my teeth out of my skull and lose my balance.

    So do covered scooters prevent you from getting hurt in a scenario where you go into a 60 MPH skid? I don’t know. The BMW C1 had a rather elaborate seat belt system… two “cross your heart” style belts. So perhaps, although your limbs are still free to go out to the sides and get caught under the bike… and unlike a regular scooter, you can’t roll free. This one doesn’t even seem to have such a seat belt, though, so what’s the point?

  7. I want one in black with a good hotrodder style flame paintjob. Needs a third wheel though. All hail the trike!

  8. In all seriousness, what’s the seatbelt for? Being attached to a seat-shaped piece of shrapnel as it flies away from your disintegrating scooter doesn’t seem preferable to the usual scooter-accident aftermath.

    Even if we ignore “lost a game of Chicken with a semi” or “centerpunched by a Hummer” type accidents and consider only survivable ones, isn’t there some advantage to not being physically tethered to burning, 100-pound chunks of jagged metal and plastic?

    I’m not saying my intuition on that isn’t totally wrong, just curious.

  9. isn’t there some advantage to not being physically tethered to burning, 100-pound chunks of jagged metal and plastic?

    That question was asked by every human being in the US circa 1960, regarding car seatbelts. The answer was that you really are safer with a seatbelt. When human meets road, the road almost always wins. Think of this as a really big helmet.

  10. The important point here is not that it is a fabulous idea (I don’t think it is, particularly) nor that is is some sort of major advance in transportation( obviously it isn’t) but that a group of highschool students built it and learned a lot in the process. With luck it will inspire at least some of them to go on to do more, maybe even actually produce advances in transportation. Good on yer, kids!

    Now if you’re interested in odd two (and three) wheelers, there are a number of interesting sites to peruse.
    http://www.carver-worldwide.com/
    http://www.flytheroad.com/
    http://www.tonyfoale.com/ (see gallery pages)
    http://www.bikeweb.com/ (which even includes one of my own fantasmagoric constructions, more at http://www.rowledge.org/tim/bikes/HeartOfGold/index.html)

  11. In all seriousness, what’s the seatbelt for? Being attached to a seat-shaped piece of shrapnel as it flies away from your disintegrating scooter doesn’t seem preferable to the usual scooter-accident aftermath.

    … see, being attached to 100+lbs of scooter means you don’t fly as far, and it’s a HELL of a lot easier to FIND your body before you bleed to death (especially with that lime green colour, OMG).

    Which is why people in cars like the things so much.

  12. having seen the motorcycle in person (my brother was one of the students who built it) let me just say that this is a really bad angle… in person it does not look nearly as goofy.
    it will go at least 40 miles on a charge and can hit 60MPH.

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