back to article Honda designs mainstream e-bikes

Honda’s electric motorcycle concepts have, until now, been utterly bizarre – such as the U3-X. But in a break from the norm, Honda’s decided to go with the norm by designing two pretty ordinary looking e-scooters. Honda_Cub_01 Honda's electric take on the 1950's Cub, called the EV-Cub The EV-Cub is a battery-powered …

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This makes sense

...in heavly poluted cities in places like India and China, the sticking point may be the price though, These need to be CHEAP.

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FAIL

Design team

as icon.

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Ordinary

By 'ordinary' you mean 'sh*t' right?

Vespa must be quaking in their boots...when will the japanese ever learn?!!?!?

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<title>

Now that's the sort of electric vehicle that could actually catch on. I used to own a C90, which seemed to do about a zillion miles to the gallon. Bikes like that are perfect for commuting on and as long as the recharge time is reasonable (and the purchase cost isn't stupidly expensive) then I can see them catching on in a big way.

Especially, if employers (or councils etc) install recharging points so they can be trickle charged during the day ready for the journey home. Never mind your sexy e-Sports cars, this is the way to get electric vehicles on the road in any quantity. And deal with congestion problems at the same time.

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FAIL

Big Deal

there are already quite a few electric scooters available. Who cares about concepts?

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Great idea but...

...wouldn't an electric motor bike be almost completely silent? Wouldn't that then make the motorcyclist even less conspicuous and thereby even more likely to be killed by some tosser who never checks their blind spots?

Just a thought.

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Anonymous Coward

@swaygeo

Trust me, won't make any difference.

I have ridden an emergency services bike with Blues n Twos on full blast and they *still* don't see you. None so blind etc...

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@A.N Other

If your C90 did a zillion miles to the gallon what is the point in replacing it with something battery powered with less performance and less range?

It will cost more in replacement batteries than a C90 would in petrol and that's ignoring the huge tax on petrol which have to come from somewhere should use decline.

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Acid test

Here is what ElReg should do:

1. Get a new EV Cub;

2. Throw it off a 5 storey building;

3. See if it can be ridden away.

The old C90s were (pretty much) unkillable and laughed in the face of things that would make a Dakar special get twitchy. The C90 may have been ugly, it may have been basic; but it was cheap, simple and did the job. It sold buy the bucket-load. These need to be the same.

@Jason 23

The Japanese did learn, that's why they are the biggest manufacturers of powered two wheeled vehicles. Honda alone makes the most engines of any company in the world. And Vespa isn't even the main seller of Scoots in the UK (that'd be Peugeot).

@A.N.Other

I wish you are right, but I doubt it. Bikes always have performed better in economy and commuting ability than cars, but there has been a steady move away from biking in the UK .

If you live in a town and can't take the bus/train for whatever reason, and it's too far for a cycle; a bike or scoot makes perfect sense...well it would do if the government hadn't implemented draconian and discriminatory government polices back by the EU.

@swaygeo

Makes no odds really. Bikes are strangled by EU regs (unless you fit an illegal can and then deal with the fuelling) so can't be heard over the car drivers stereo/MP3 player/mobile phone. I can't see there being much increase in risk.

There is an interesting phenomenon called "looming" that happens with bikes (not sure about cycles) where, in the distance, the bike appears to be going slowly. As it gets closer, it will suddenly seem to speed up. Thus the bike seems to "leap" at the driver. This is why they pull out in front and this is also why they freeze.

Having your lights on makes it worse. That you EU, you bunch of tossers.

As it is, a bike is about 13-16 times more dangerous than a car, this is why the EU policy is to eventually ban bikes from the roads (and yes, that is the policy of "Vision Zero").

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Anonymous Coward

*scratches head*

For some reason I don't understand the appeal of scooters, I think the Vespa design looks utterly stupid and has absolutely no appeal for me. Maybe it's because I've never had a go on a scooter - and why should I, I got an ebike, and a new battery this week :)

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Brilliant!

Over here in Spain/Gibraltar electric bikes would be a brilliant thing. At the border there are thousands of bikes zipping across all the time. The pollution that would be saved with 'cheap' electric bikes would be awesome!

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how sweet!

It reminds me of the C90 my dad used to commute on.

For once a concept vehicle that is practical and a re-jigging of a classic that stays true to its roots.

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@swaygeo

Sounds win-win to me - it's green, and it has the potential to kill/injure a few of those #*$%£## bikers who seem to think it's their god given right to overtake at 90 on the inside and swear at anyone who dares pull in on them even when they were quite clearly indicating..............

Anyway :)

Interesting idea of a two wheel drive bike - would certainly make cornering more interesting :)

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C90

Wish I'd kept mine. (Upgraded to KH250 - bye bye fuel economy)

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Anonymous Coward

Blind spots?

Its not the drivers id be worried about, but the numpties who love to walk into the road without looking.

2 wheel drive though, sounds interesting!

> By 'ordinary' you mean 'sh*t' right?

> Vespa must be quaking in their boots...when will the japanese ever learn?!!?!?

Er, think the article says it all, 60m sold. Think the Japanease know what they are doing...

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2 wheel drive.

2 wheel drive on bikes is interesting, a verrrry long time ago in 'Performance Bikes' there was a nutter who built a 2-wheel drive dirt bike; it had a wonderfully complex belt drive to the front wheel, and a differential. It was apparently really good to ride, different, but the driven front wheel really helped traction and stability. IIRC.

As for the style, it certainly shouts 'Cub' at me, I never had a C50, let alone a C90.. maybe I'll get my chance now :-)

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@swaygeo

A motorcycle coming from behind is not audible in a motorvehicle, so silence is an irrelevance ther. However, the same is not true with pedestrians. In the UK something approaching 4 times as many pedestrians are killed per mile travelled by motorcycles compared to cars. (Buses are also much worse on a per-mile travelled, but the position reverses when it is calculated on a per passenger mile basis).

In any case, about 50% of dead motorcyclists manage it all by themselves without any assistance to the grave from other road users (i.e. there is no other vehicle involved).

Judging by many of the motorcyclist round my way, a large number have a death wish anyway. Overtaking in silly spots, weaving in and out of, and between lines, of fast moving traffic on the motorway with speed differentials on the far side of 30mph, overtaking on hashed white line areas, over double white lines - the list goes on. The statistics from pretty well all western countries show that it is the riders of sports bikes that are far and away the most likely to get themselves killed. Basically if you are the sort of adrenalin-fuels speed monkey with an impaired sense of risk and danger and you buy one of these devices with huge power to weight ratios, zero crash protection and vulnerable to any number of real-life road hazards, then that builds up to a horrendous death toll.. No wonder that sports bike riders are referred to as organ donors in hospitals the world over.

The owners of these sort of electro-bikes aren't going to be of that sort. In general, the riders of little utility commuter bikes have nothing like the rate of fatalities and serious injuries as the sports bike junkies. (Generally bikes built for cruising have lower accident rates per mile too).

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@swageo

Speaking as a biker, I do not agree with the "loud pipes save lives" arguments.

All they do is pi$$ people off with either the whine of a demented mosquito or something that rattles their windows when they're trying to sleep.

Yes, drivers should check their blindspots, but I just prefer make life easier for them (and safer for me) by not *being* in their blindspots as much as possible.

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Cub, e-Cub, whatever

I do miss those C90 commuter bikes. Electric, or petrol, I don't care. Bring 'em back! Actually, make the e-Cub look more like the original, if possible.

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@Jason 23

Did you miss this part?

"Honda’s own Cub motorcycle, quite possibly one of the most popular forms of motorised transport known to man - with over 60m units sold since production began back in 1958."

If it ain't broke.....

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Megaphone

@ Jason 23

"Vespa must be quaking in their boots...when will the japanese ever learn?!!?!?"

The C90 is the most sold motorised vehicle EVER! Piaggio would give their collective right arm to get even 5% of Honda's sales numbers. The C90 will carry a family of five and a pig for hundreds of miles on a cupfull of unleaded, take more punishment without complaining than a Masochist on his birthday and when it does break down can be mended by an incompetent teenager with a hammer and a toothbrush. The Vespa is a gorgeous machine (I ride one!) But in terms of relevance the Italians are not even in the same league as the Japanese!

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Grenade

Ugly. Very ugly.

Even for scooters, these things are exceptionally hideous.

Grenade, to teach the design team...

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Loud noises are bad

Some say, "Loud Pipes Save Lives" but others observe when a loud vehicle or car radio approaches that rather than pay more attention to it, one concentrates harder on everything else to tune out the distraction. The net result is the opposite of what is claimed by loud proponents.

There has been a movement in the US to "Bell The Prius" claiming pedestrians being harmed by relatively silent Prius's. My hearing is pretty good but I have noticed in a relatively quiet urban parking lot that there are few car engines I can hear unless I'm within 10 feet. Pumps and relays in my Prius actually make more noise than say a Honda Odyssey minivan.

Presumably the rider of the e-bike has lungs and can yell. I know woods racing of dirtbikes I can hear the guy behind me wooping asking to pass, and that I can make myself heard by the guy in front of me. Exhausts are expected to be less than 96 dBA at RPM of 50% of maximum HP, but no load. Much louder than a production car.

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Happy

Design wingers

OK then here is a challenge to all of you who say that these are but ugly design one your self and remember it should not put of prospective purchasers or the production Dept who have to put your wacko ideas in to practice. Personally I think that if Honda were to put either or both of these into prodution the would not be a total failure.Might even buy one myself (currently ride Yamaha FJ 1200).

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Cool...

Two wheel drive on a bike? Cool.

Also, whoever said Vespa would be shitting themselfes - they probably are - AFAIK Vespa still use two stroke engines, which will be effectively illigal in the not too distant future in Europe becuase of their piss poor emissions. You'd better hope Vespa etc al have leccy bikes about to be launched.

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Anonymous Coward

Two-Wheel drive not new

Yamaha have their 2Track system on a motocross bike (which I think has been seen in the Dakar endurance race). Also, I believe they made an R1 2Track demonstrator.

Regards 2-Stroke emissions, 2-stroke engines can be very efficient and very clean. Marine outboards and snow-mobile 2-strokes are powerful and much cleaner than your average motorcycle (or Trabby!!) 2-stroke.

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Akira

I seem to recall that the motorcycle in the Akira comic book was two wheel drive electric.

Mind you, it was also supposed to be 200HP!

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wim

2 wheel drive

I think Ohlins produced a kind of two wheel drive with a hydraulic system to the front wheel that gave about 10% power to the front wheel.

I am sure if you google it you can find it.

It never made it in production not even as aftermarket parts.

test riders were very happy with the result.

I do hope that they make these bikes.

Newspapers here in my nick of the woods (kitakyushu) are delivered by cubs and sadly enough the delivery man of my neighbours newspaper has a noisy cub. I have been thinking for the last 6 months when will they change to electric.

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Ah the C90

Just every biker under 50 has had a go on one of these things, probably thrashed it like a ginger stepchild and then walked away with a bit of a grin. It's an iconic machine, a testament to the vision of helping people to get from A to B cheaply and reliably. And it's utilitarian, designed to work, not look pretty.

Personally I would prefer the stylists to think a bit harder but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Price this properly and it has the potential to sell by the shipload. I would certainly be interested in one.

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