Like other EVs, electric motorcycles have made a lot of progress over the last decade. Now, one small British upstart thinks it can push the genre even further.
White Motorcycle Concepts believes its latest prototype bike, the WMC250EV, has the potential to become the world’s fastest electric motorcycle, according to Top Gear. Not because of its high-tech powertrain (though that doesn’t hurt); instead, it’s the bike’s bonkers aerodynamic design that the company thinks will take it to new heights.
And sure enough, the WMC250EV’s design is one of the most unconventional we’ve seen. That’s because there’s a giant air duct running right through the center of the bike, called “V-Air,” which the rider straddles. White Motorcycle Concepts says that hole will make it the most aerodynamically efficient motorcycle in the world. By forcing air through the middle of the motorcycle, instead of around it like most motorcycles, drag is reduced by a staggering 70 percent.
As you might expect, completely gutting the center of the bike has forced the company to get a little creative with the rest of its design. The quad-motor powertrain and 15kW Lithium-ion battery have been positioned in the bottom of the bike, which helps lower its center of gravity. The four motors—two 30kW units on the rear wheel and two 20kW units on the front—combine to produce 100kW, or about 134 horsepower. The presence of motors on each wheel also makes it a two-wheel drive motorcycle (the company calls this feature D-Drive). There’s also regenerative braking, too, like on a Formula 1 car. Much of the rest of the bike is made of carbon fiber or aluminum, in an attempt to keep weight to 660 pounds.
The company hasn’t announced a speed target for the WMC250EV, but as the moniker makes clear, it is aiming for something in excess of 250 mph. Last year an electric Voxan Wattman ridden by Max Biaggi hit a top speed of 254 mph. But the bike’s flying mile—which averages the speed of two runs—was 228 mph, the current land-speed record. And as last year’s SSC Tuatara record saga made very clear, it’s average speed, not peak speed, that matters.
White Motorcycle Concepts eventually plans to bring its technology to the masses, but for now it’s focused on setting a record or two first. The WMC250EV will attempt to break the British land-speed record for an electric motorcycle later this year, with an attempt at the world record scheduled for 2022.