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My Motorcycle Weighs 40 Pounds, How Much Does Yours Weigh? (With Video)

Okay, so maybe you saw the bicycle pedals in the picture.  Forget those for a minute.  You can sit on this thing (no need to pedal), twist the throttle and do 62 miles per hour.  Sure, range is quite limited when you go that fast, and “cruising speed” is substantially slower.

The point is this.  As Jay Leno explains in the video below the specification list from PG-Bikes (in its Germanglish, unedited), the Black Trail is an electric transportation device so light you can pick it up and put it on the bus with you, or put it in the back of your SUV.  According to its manufacturer, you can recharge it 80% in 30 minutes (2-1/2 hours for 100% charge). 

This thing is ungodly expensive (over $70,000), but you should ignore that, as well.  You can buy a modern, carbon fiber bicycle (mountain bike or roadbike) for less than $2,000.  A stout bicycle frame made of carbon fiber can weigh under two pounds.  There are electric motors you can already add to your bicycle that cost well under $1,000, including both motor and the battery pack.

The merging of bicycles, scooters and motorcycles is moving forward rapidly.  Drawing lines between these categories is increasingly difficult, and increasingly pointless. 

If two-wheeled transportation is already available that can do more than 60 mph and weigh less than 50 pounds, what does the future hold?  Sure, there is no suspension on this machine, and I wouldn’t want to hit a pothole at 60 mph without it.  The disc brakes are borrowed from current mountain bike technology, and could certainly be adequate for a machine this light.  Enjoy the Jay Leno video.  He is his usual informative and amusing self.  First, the spec sheet.

Technical Specifications:
Length: 1896mm
Width: 620mm
Height: 982mm
Maximum Speed: 100 km/h
Cruising Speed: 30-50 km/h
Range based on maximum speed: 40 – 60km
Range based on cruising speed: 160 – 200km
Main materials:
- Carbon Fibre
- High alloyed Aluminum (used by NASA)
- Titan
- Magnesium
Weight: 19,8kg
Wheelset:
Wheelset Varus: Full Carbon Fibre
Full Weight (Front & Back Wheel): 1600g
Most solid and lightest Wheelset on earth!
Tires:
BlackTrail Special 3.0“ x 26“
Powder coating & Brushing:
Individual color and coating!
Drivetrain: CM48 V hybrid engine
Engine Performance: 1,2 KW Output/ 140NM
Control Logic: CM with 3 driving modes combined with the BlackTrail BT667 Software
Battery: CM 48 Volt Lithium Ion 17 Ah
Battery Lifespan: min. 2500 – 5000 charging cycles
Charging Time: 30min (80%) 150min (100%)
Brakes: Hope Tech V2 Disc Brakes ventilated
Lights: LED Deluxe with the following functions:
Dim Light
Brake Light
Back Light
Display: OLED Display with the following functions:
Battery status
Charging Cycles status
Speed indicator
Illumination
Administration Tool for individual motor, engine and power management!

 

29 Comments

  1. Timo2Fiddy says:

    Is the internet so full of info that we are running out of new things to talk about. This is a waste of time. You can call it new and carbon fiber and such, but it’s still the same old WORTHLESS technology. Until a motorcycle, or vehicle, will comfortable cruise at 75mph, go 200 miles on a charge regardless of load or speed (provided we are not grossly overweight pigs), takes less than 30 minutes to charge, cost the same as a gas powered motorcycle, and have a fuel to energy cost conversion rates similiar to fossil fuels, then it will never be mainstream. On the bright side BRAMMO is getting damn close.

    Timo2Fiddy = 65MPG regarless of speed, $3500 new, 100mph top speed, 200 miles per tank, my weight 210

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  2. Rick Hermanns says:

    This thing looks strangely like Gottlieb Daimler’s 1885 Einspur! Both Germany made…strange! This is certainly not revolutionary but is at the most, evolutionary. 70K makes this a boutique item at best. The market always decides the success or failure of product development. The problem with “green” products is the need for subsidies. There should be no need to subsidize a product with true market appeal. Good luck to these brave souls!

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  3. Justin says:

    And for those who truly seek an explanation as to why this thing could cost $70k…

    CFRP has two traits that potentially make it very expensive to work with: it is an engineered material, and it is an organic material.

    Firstly, as an engineered material, the internal structure can be optimized to the application to the Nth degree. That means not only ensuring that the structure has the requisite strength, but also designing the members so that the forks and chainstays have the desired elastic modulus, i.e. so that the bike has a ‘suspension’. The boys over at UBC GmbH, who actually make this bike, obviously took N to a high value to get this light weight. I mean, I have an aluminum-frame huck bike that weighs almost this much. Tons and tons of man-hours and computer-hours were spent to create this and they’re only selling six hundred.

    Secondly, as an organic material, it responds well to artisanship. The more experience you have working with the stuff, the more closely you can get to replicating what was designed on the computer. My German has a lot of holes in it but it looks like they’ve been making F1 cars for the last nine years.

    Anyhow, people spend almost ten grand for a mass-produced carbon road bicycle. Your cheap tennis rackets, golf clubs, and even your motorcycle racing bodywork are probably way over-engineered for their applications. You just don’t care because the strength:weight ratio is still far better than anything else.

    Well, these guys decided to care and this is the result.

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  4. Tom says:

    I don’t quite understand all the negativity. The price is ludicrous at face value, so what is the point of making a point of that? Pretend that the price was not disclosed, and that it is not even for sale, since in practical terms, it is not for sale. Then what you have is, here is something that someone builds that is very high tech, and where notwithstanding that it is not the least bit practical, it is nonetheless very interesting just for the pure technical endeavor. What’s not to like? Do people react the same way to all that stuff that you read about in Popular Mechanics? If so, then how do they sell those magazines?

    Bottom line, this is good stuff. No one is asking or expecting you to fork over %70,000 to buy one, so just relax and appreciate the fact that any new technology that lowers weight and that improves performance has to begin life in a form such as this. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be the world’s first large commercial airplane employing major use of composites. They would have gotten here eventually, but it is almost certainly the case that this stage came about much sooner than it otherwise would have, as a result of people like Burt Rutan building those canard wing, composite designs several decades back. People who push the technological envelope always deserve to be applauded and appreciated.

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    • Justin says:

      It’s the internet. If people don’t have anything bad to say, they don’t say anything at all.

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    • grafight says:

      Tom, I will be the first one to applaud something really innovative and interesting, but to me there’s nothing to see here.

      True innovation happens when someone solves an existing problem in a new way. Yes, high weight is a problem and using CF is a “solution” but then we all knew that, didn’t we?

      We also knew it would be impractical and too expensive. We didn’t need these guys to prove it. If they had made it practical and cheap, now THAT would be something!

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      • Tom barber says:

        I think that Justin is right. People just to complain about what they see here, and other sites as well. It just seems to be humans nature to put down other people and the stuff that thay do. The anonymous nature of the Internet invite this behavior. I think that people who feel inadequate, which most people do, go through life trying to compensate by putting other people down.

        I think it would be interesting to know whether the people who tend to put this kind of thing down are the sort of people who similarly like to build stuff. I like to build stuff, but I’ve never built anything like this. An obvious question is whether people who put down stuff of this sort do so in part out of envy.

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        • Justin says:

          Well, I have spent enough time ‘constructively criticizing’ Harley Davidson. Sometimes you just need to remind yourself that nobody cares about your opinion on a certain topic.

          At least here, I’m not aggravating my friends.

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  5. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    OK. I really like the new layout of this website (compliment)but I am tired of looking at this 70K ridiculousness. It’s not made out of gold, there is nothing revolutionary here (as the article states) and the Euro is lower against the dollar than it has been in a while. Why the $60K premium for this thing? I’m all for electrics but I’ll be happy when I see a V-Max or something of its sort reappear on your splash page…

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  6. agent55 says:

    certainly a classy boardtracker-ish design, i think i’d prefer it with pedal power only though.

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  7. Ricardo says:

    Maybe the designer has the typical college bill to pay. In that case I would charge 70K too.

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  8. buddygixxerninja says:

    Please tell me how can they charge $70k for something like this?? If I didn’t know better, it seem like they’re pricing this bike so non one wants to buy it! Who in their right mind will buy this thing?? Even if you’re a very rich person, a person that rich has to be very smart to get that way, so if common sense dictates, there’s no way you’re going to buy this. Stupid pricing.

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  9. CraigE says:

    Sorry but that bike as pictured does not weigh 40 pounds. I would guess 75 or 80 with the battery. The unit’s weight is left off the spec sheet and the owner stammered when Jay asked him the weight. Then he went on to say the the battery weighed as much as the complete bike without battery. Maybe he meant to say 40 kilos…

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  10. grafight says:

    WTF- $70,000???
    This has got to be the stupidest contraption I’ve ever seen.
    When someone in their garage can build something 100 times more cost efficient than so called “estate of the art German engineering”, something is wrong.
    Optibike makes really cool looking electric bikes with suspension, which blow this one out of the water, starting at $6,000. ELV’s are everywhere. Just making one out of the most possible expensive material you can find, with some key features missing, plus ugly as sin is not innovating.

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  11. jim says:

    At those speeds it would have to be classified as a motorcycle, and would need lights and DOT tires, right? The blending of categories is on, but the regulations governing them are not. Segways suffer for the same reason.

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  12. Tom says:

    This is interesting, but it would be more practical if it had a suspension and cost a lot less.

    Anyone who is interest in future technology should do a web search for amorphous metal. Recently Apple computer announced an investment in a company that specializes in this stuff, in exchange for exclusive right to use their amorphous metal in products of the sort that Apple makes. When you read about it, it sounds too good to be true, but it is for real. In a nutshell, if certain alloys are heated to liquid phase and then cooled adequately rapid, the atoms do not have time to line up in the ordinary crystalline configuration. The result is a metal with strength to weight ratio several times greater than any of the strongest alloys known prior to when this was discovered not very long ago. At first the required rate of cooling was so rapid that it only worked with very thin strips of metal, but more recently different alloys, including alloys of steel, have been discovered that don’t require such a rapid rate of cooling to get the amorphous crystalline structure. Technically it is similar to glass in the sense that the molecular structure of glass is technically in liquid phase rather than solid phase. I know it sounds like science fiction but it is for real. It will not be long at all before these alloys that are radically and fundamentally different from any alloy that anyone knew of just a few years ago will make their way broadly into commercial applications. I imagine a 1000cc superbike that weighs only slightly more than the rider. It no longer needs an engine that powerful, so the engine is made smaller, and it becomes a 750 cc superbike that weighs no more than the rider and with performance fully comparable to any present-day superbike. Everything is faster in the future. The future itself just keeps coming at us faster and faster.

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  13. michael says:

    Jay is funny….just say Hi Fellas when the Harley Boys pull-up! LOL!

    The price on this makes the Brammo Empluse with the 100 mile range seem like such a bargain!

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  14. Ruefus says:

    What’s old is new again.

    The first motorcycles were nothing more than bicycles with motors attached.

    “The merging of bicycles, scooters and motorcycles is moving forward rapidly. Drawing lines between these categories is increasingly difficult, and increasingly pointless. ”

    Pointless? Seriously with this? A bicycle is a bicycle -human powered and an entirely different experience. The carbon frames are specifically manufactured for a specific type of stress. Tossing a motor on that changes the parameters. Scooters are very, very different from automatic motorcycles and virtually nothing like bicycles. Drawing lines difficult and increasingly pointless? Hardly.

    If I’ve missed your point it must be because you made it so poorly.

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    • Bud says:

      That was a bit harsh

      That thing looks like fun. I’d love to try one that did 60. Wonder how it wheelies?

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    • fazer6 says:

      “Scooters are very, very different from automatic motorcycles and virtually nothing like bicycles”

      Really? Show me what’s very very different btwn a T-Max and an DN-01. Also, ever heard of a moped?

      ‘Powered Two Wheelers” is the legal and technical category that all these fall under, and many of the distinctions are purely marketing driven.

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      • Ruefus says:

        For openers – there’s about a $7100 difference between a T-Max and a DN-01. The DN-01 is a scooter without storage………with 17″ wheels. The market can call it anything they like – that’s what it is.

        Tell me where the lines between moped and bicycle have further blurred in the last 30 years.

        “Powered Two Wheelers” – while we’re getting technical, does that encompass a bicycle, too?

        Lumping them all together is akin to claiming the lines between man and ape become increasingly blurred as research continues. While that’s absolutely true, it’s so general as to be essentially useless.

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  15. nomis says:

    Tidleforce (might been Tidelwave) came with sort of nice looking and functioning e-bike about ten years ego. They were based on some folding off-road bicycle with center hub battery in the front and the motor in the back. It did a great job and were sold for about $2k at my local Costco. Unfortunately, the Chinese got the hold of on and decided to do their R&D (receive and duplicate) and dried up the U.S based company. I did about 25 on one of the bikes and loved it since it was the only e-bike that you could get it going without having to paddle. But paying $70k for a bike, even made of carbon fiber and German S&M leather is way too out there.

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  16. fazer6 says:

    @ John:
    I have a few bikes (my wife might say several), including motorcycles and an electric bike or two.
    Not every day do I have the time, or desire to show up at work (or home, in reverse) sweaty and tired. Sometimes I do, and I make use of the shower facilities for that. I may not be in the best shape, but just because sometimes I use the motor doesn’t mean I’m lazy (does it?).

    The more people we can release from their cages, the better it be for all of us.

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  17. fazer6 says:

    Mine weighs 75lbs, goes 30mph for 20 miles (longer at lower speeds). Cost about $2000.

    Progress is good.

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  18. John says:

    Sadly,those buying the electric version are likely to be the people most in need of using the pedal version.

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