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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Erik Buell’s Next Motorcycle is Electric: The Fuell Flow

Legendary motorcycle engineer Erik Buell announced some time ago his involvement as a partner in a new two-wheel transportation manufacturer known as Fuell, but more details emerged this week, including expected on-sale dates for the first product, a bicycle, followed by a motorcycle.

Erik Buell’s design and engineering prowess is very well known in the motorcycle universe. The word “genius” is overused perhaps, but it clearly applies to Buell, who engineered fascinating and typically effective solutions, despite being hamstrung for years by an archaic Harley-Davidson air-cooled, v-twin engine.

Without the design constraints imposed by decades-old engine technology, can Buell, and his two French partners (including F1 engineer Frederick Vasseur) find an important niche in the exploding electric two-wheeler marketplace? Time will tell, but the first two Fuell products are interesting, at the very least.

The Fuell Fluid electric bicycle is already on pre-sale through IndieGoGo. It delivers drive to the rear wheel by a carbon belt, rather than a chain, from a Fuell-designed motor with an impressive (for a bicycle) 74 pound/feet of torque. Featuring an 8-speed internal rear hub gear-set and a range of up to 125 miles with an optional, dual battery, the Fluid’s MSRP is expected to start at $3,300 (following a significant discount offered on pre-orders).

The Fuell Flow motorcycle is expected to be a torque monster, but with a top speed limited to make it primarily an urban commuter (55 mph, with short bursts up to 85 mph). It is expected to have a range of 150 miles in the city and come with ABS brakes and assorted, modern safety systems. You won’t be able to get the Flow until early 2021 at a price expected to start at $10,995.

Take a look at Fuell’s web site for additional details.

See more of MD’s great photography: Instagram


  1. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    I have been pondering the importance of ‘ looks ‘ to the success of e-motorcycles. I believe the original appeal of an engine being the first focal point, may still be valid even with an electric motor. Design efforts should work to present an attractive motor and then not hide it as if ashamed of it. Bold metal colored case with some finning to look like a 60s Honda CB450 would not hurt, even if placement near the swing arm pivot is necessary. Two motors stacked atop one another could be way marchoo. The total smooth appearance of this Fuell is cool as an alternative design, but gimme a MOTOR to lust for ! Yee Har !

  2. Smaug says:

    Like it or not, you stubborn folks, electric is The Way of the Future, even in motorcycles. They have full torque available from 0 RPM to make up for their other deficiencies. Making noise is not a reason to stick with IC engines. They can artificially generate noise, if you like, kind of like how digital cameras generate the noise of an old school mechanical camera’s shutter. Or the way lots of people have ring tones that sound like an electro-mechanical phone from the 60s.

    It’s just a matter of range and infrastructure catching up. Field-swappable batteries, such as the Japanese are co-developing, is one interesting solution.

    I agree that 150 miles @ city speeds will not put IC motorcycles in danger, except maybe < 150cc scooters. They need to be able to cruise at 80 mph for 200 miles, then have somewhere to charge. It's not here yet, but it's coming.

    Re. them being silent, we cannot compare this to cars. Cars have bigger and more contact patches, and therefore make more tire noise. Also, you may be mistaking an artificially-generated noise with tire noise. My Prius, for example, artificially generates noise when it's in electric mode, to minimize people walking out in front of them.

    • Dave says:

      Those who need their motorcycles to travel more than 200 miles on a tank of gas at 80mph are acutally a vanishingly small number. In the EU, the city scooter market (50cc) dropped by 60% over 5 years with the influx of e-bicycles. The only thing stopping them from exploding into the market is the cost of entry right now.

    • Tank says:

      I want my electric motorcycle to sound like a CBX!

    • todd says:

      I can get 100% torque at zero speed from my motorcycle by dumping the clutch at full throttle. Not sure why you’d ever want that, it would just loop the bike out from underneath me. I just don’t enjoy automatics or the Power Wheels wine of electric motors. There are enough gas powered motorcycles around to last me the rest of my life, I don’t think I’ll ever want to buy an electric one, thankfully, no one is forcing me to go electric!

  3. ben says:

    no thanks… the whole electric motorcycle deal


    Im just not into this thing. Styling kinda stinks. At this point, I’m pretty convinced “GOOD” E-bikes will not be in my life time. Which is fine with me as all my machines do the job just fine.

  5. mickey says:

    I watched this vid the other day of an Alta EV MX bike at the Red Bull Rythm and have to say the EV bike was impressive. Start watching at the 4:50 mark for the semi final. The white bike is the EV.

  6. Allwold says:

    It’s good to see Eric staying viable in the motorcycle engineering industry. I personally think EV vehicles are the future. Batteries are still the main issue, Li Ion batteries are not “green” or efficient. Perhaps by 2021 better batteries will be available to power his motorcycle.

    • TimC says:

      Perhaps a whole bunch of nuke plants will get built to supply the demand, too.

      Sorry if you were trying to have your coffee while reading that.

    • Dave says:

      Li-Ion is actually pretty green and efficient. You can find all kinds of photos of mines that look terrible, but they’re the same as any other mineral extraction operation. I’ve also seen some photos of lithium mining locations that have been restored. The batteries are recyclable and landfill safe (whatever that means..). The tech is pretty good now, and it’ll continue to get better.

      As with all things, it’s about application. There are going to be great opportunities for electric and the need for ICE won’t go away either, but transfering some, or even a lot of the demand to electric will conserve valuable oil, which can then be allocated to production of durable goods, instead of being burnt for energy.

  7. Andrew says:

    Another EV venture doomed to fail because of unrealistic mix of price vs expectations. Yes – city commuters have their place, but not at cost of over 10 grand. And bikes costing over 10 grand also have their place – but not if you can’t even take them out on the open road.

  8. falcodoug says:

    I like the sound of an ICE motorcycle too much to have an electric. Just not my taste.

    • Dave says:

      That’s a big question mark for the racing side. I’ve watched a few types of EV racing and it’s far less exciting without the noise.

      • falcodoug says:

        Like Tron racing, or watching it on T.V. with the sound off. Missing something.

        • TimC says:

          Yup. I’ve long been annoyed at how driving/riding will change without going thru the gears. The sound was a noted concern but not at the top of the list. Until the racing comments – no kidding/good grief, imagine racing without ripping through the gears.


          • PatrickD says:

            The noise we all love does of course prevent motorcycling taking place in many locations.
            Whilst those opposed to motorcycles will always find something to complain about, the fact that the noise can be all but eliminated is something that will help motorcycling grow.
            The small number of race circuits that we have in Ireland are restricted in the number of days they can operate due to noise issues, and I believe the same is true in the UK.
            Motorcyclists tend to focus on the differences that particular groupings have, rather than the coreessentials that we have in common.

          • TimC says:

            “Whatever happened to all the fun in the world?”

  9. Mick says:

    I think that calling what I would consider to be a restyled scooter a motorcycle in 2020 to be a little odd. What’s in a word I guess. But a less than freeway speed two wheeler that has significant storage within the body has long been referred to as a scooter.

    If the bicycle gets a true 60 mile range with the stock battery. That isn’t a bad value for $3300. But the “following a significant discount offered on pre-orders” bit seems to indicate that it will eventually be, well, significantly more expensive.

    To sell it to the bicycle crowd, you need to list the battery capacity in amp/hour and voltage and the motor output in watts. Torque and claimed range numbers are for people who are not electric bike geeks at all. It’s a bit like saying a motorcycle has a gas tank that would serve as a fish bowl for up to five fish and that the engine would pump X gallons of water per minute. Someone could do the math. But if you are being obscure. People are going to think that you are trying to hide something.

  10. fredWh says:

    While I admire eccentric entrepreneurs, I guess I’m either a luddite or just too practical.

    Hmmm, Fuell Fluid or 125cc play bike (Grom/Z125)? I’ll take the 125.

    Fuel Flow or 3-400cc standard/sport bike (CBR/Z400/Ninja/Duke/etc)? Still would go with the gas bike and keep $5k in my pocket/bank/stocks.

    No doubt somebody will buy these ebikes if they make it to production, but the use case is very weak, IMHO. In my mind, I can hear the little Kawasakis humming “Anything you can do, I can do better.” LOL

  11. Anonymous says:

    All of the people using the name Anonymous on this site are idiots. Ignore everything they say.

    • Reginald Van Blunt says:

      OK, – – – now this is funny. Who should I thank ?

      • Anonymous says:


        • Anonymous says:

          I am the original idiot!


          • TimC says:

            Yo Dirck,

            I don’t actually care if people go with “Anonymous” (I can usually tell the one that’s a moron :O) but am I nuts or did the thing that remembers your name/email go AWOL at some point? It would be nice to have that fixed as it’s a pain to always do at least for us frequent, if annoying, commenters.

  12. Tom Shields says:

    Re the Flow: Good price, looks are OK. The 55 mph top speed (even with surges to 85) is absolutely unacceptable for any urban freeway environment. I would get dusted off to the shoulder by every shitcan on the road.

    Accessory hard bags would be a must although I’m not sure where you’d hang ’em.

  13. Jeremy says:

    I like the look of Flow personally. A lot. I like that it looks distinctly electric. It’s the good kind of funky.

    The only problem for me would be the 55 mph cruising speed. I’ve lived in a few big cities, and 55 mph sustained would not have been enough for any of them. Sure, one could stay off of the freeways and main feeder roads, but that would double or triple trip time.

  14. MGNorge says:

    With a cutdown beginner bike, The Buell Volt!

  15. Bill Cebu says:

    My Street Triple has a nice snarl when muttering along in first or second gear and when I time it right, arriving at traffic lights just as they change, a sonic boom when coming on cam that made one cager stall his car… having said that, a pedestrian was recently knocked over by a big Harley (and the rider fell off as well), no idea how they did not hear that coming.

  16. pushrod pete says:

    A couple of thoughts:

    – Price is good: I paid that much for an X1 *20 years ago*.

    – Odd that Buell went with a wheel motor considering his usual obsession with reducing unsprung weight. Priorities differ for a commuter I guess

    – Fuell website has motor listed at 553 ft-lb. I’d like to know what it actually is at the wheel. Or since the motor is in the wheel, is that rear-wheel torque?

    – 0 to 62 in 2.7 sec! Guess I don’t care what the rear wheel torque is after all. It’s sufficient 🙂

    – Ugly, but growing on me

    • dp says:

      Good observation and deserved critique. But, if the rear wheel rim is formed as motor housing, there is not much (part of magnets) weight to gain. At the same time there is no chain or other “torque convertor” to worry about.

      Overall – sensible solution; cars do the same.

    • todd says:

      A Ninja 300 has 427 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel in first gear (25:1 overall gear reduction) so it will accelerate 30% harder than the 300 does in first, not considering the huge weight handicap this will have. Since this tops out at 85 mph, the wheel is spinning 600 rpm with 553 lb-ft, that’s 63 hp. Basically, this will feel like a SV650 that’s stuck in 3rd gear – that doesn’t roast its clutch. I’d rather have the sound and feel that goes along with a SV650.

  17. Rapier says:

    Unless Buell brought them a bunch of money, it says partner after all, which they couldn’t get anywhere else the company is probably making a mistake hooking up with him. If he’s capable of being an actual partner in a working sense seems doubtful.

    • todd says:

      It’s probably more of an endorsement that would help people notice them – much like Keanu Reeves and Arch motorcycles. If it wasn’t for either of these people, neither of these brands would have even been mentioned on Motorcycle Daily.

    • Provologna says:

      To say I am utterly underwhelmed with Eric Buell’s prowess as a business person is an understatement.

      • TimC says:

        To say I am utterly underwhelmed that people – those criticizing him, particularly – still can’t get “Erik” right is an understatement.

        • mickey says:

          Wow Tim, anonymous must have you all worked up. As far as I can tell Provologna is the only one out of 76 commenters that spelled his name wrong.

  18. bmbktmracer says:

    Seems that a bike designed for urban use should have some built-in capacity to haul a gym bag and sack of groceries.

  19. crazyjoe says:

    Wouldn’t the world be better if we all could ride electric bicycles to and fro at 20mph city 35 on highways with pedal assist and everyone obeyed the traffic laws? I had the privilege of riding on 99 today speed limit 75 with tailgaters in the left lane doing 85 to 90. I always assumed you could separate your tire from your rim when jerking your steering wheel. Not with today’s technology. The vintage Porsche that slammed on his brakes missing me by 3 feet and then expertly tucking himself into the left lane and doing the same to a cube van and when a high rise pickup with 4-foot diameter mud tires did likewise change my mind about that.

    I only encountered two motorcycles today. Both were Harleys and amazing sparkling silver paint jobs. One single rider well she had mirrors attached to her helmet that made her head look like a giant disco ball. She herself was rather big.

    Am I wrong in believing assholes will be assholes whatever they’re driving? Do their children really care if they get home at 3:00 pm or 3:10? Would they be less annoying on a pedal-assisted electric bicycle? Hell no.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said. So many people on the roads today, including motorcyclists, are not just assholes but rather whole asses. In California the motorcyclists ride like they own the roads, cutting people off, flipping them off, revving their motors as a warning to get out of their way and smacking car mirrors because someone wouldn’t move over to let them through.

      At least if they are on an electric bike I don’t have to hear them rev that crap.

    • Neal says:

      I hate to break it to you but if you’re in the left lane complaining about how fast people are coming up behind you, you’re the asshole.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is just so wrong. There really is such a thing as a speed limit even if you don’t think it applies to you. That is exactly when the OP is talking about. I love riding motorcycles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years. I won a road racing championship in CMRA in 1998 on my TL1000. I can ride fast. KR could beat me on a tricycle but I am not afraid of going fast; on the track.
        I have every right to be in the left lane at the speed limit with every expectation of being treated respectfully. I no longer ride to work as while I lane split while the lane speed is less than 25-30 MPH I pull back into traffic when it picks up. I get really tired of bikers revving their engine at me or blasting their horn because I am in the right tire path on the freeway at 40 MPH. They DO NOT have priority in the lane just because they are on a motorcycle. They may lane share IF IT IS SAFE and they have enough room left to them. I am not obligated to get out of their way. I feel after years of teaching MSF courses and 50 years of road riding that when I am lane one traveling with the flow of traffic the right side of the lane is safer for me. If you endanger me by forcing yourself into a lane sharing position with inadequate room you are the asshole.

      • Anonymous says:

        If the cars in the right lane are doing 70, and I’m passing them in the left lane at 75, and you’re tailgating me? No, you would in fact be the asshole. Just wait your damn turn.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t hate to break it to you but tail-gating is a moving violation in many, if not all states, and doing the speed limit is not against the law.

        You rear-end someone, it’s your fault. Don’t like it, don’t pretend your some dumb raceboy drafting a back-marker. The world doesn’t have to get out of your way as you fly to the Piggly-Wiggly to pick up your smokes. FTN.

        You already knew this and still put up your self-righteous dross.

        • Neal says:

          “I have every right to be in the left lane at the speed limit with every expectation of being treated respectfully.”

          “I am in the right tire path on the freeway at 40 MPH.”

          “The world doesn’t have to get out of your way…”

          I’m not the one making self-righteous rants. It sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder and you’re holding up traffic.

          Everything moves better and more safely when slow traffic gets to the right.

          • Provologna says:

            Both in this argument can be simultaneously right and wrong.

            Tailgating is an infraction, period. In my state and in many states in which I have travelled, it is just as much an infraction to be in any lane other than the right most lane and to hold up traffic. And even in the right most lane there are minimum speed laws on freeways, the violation of which can be extremely dangerous.

            So if you want to pass someone going 70 in the 2nd lane from the L, and if traffic is going 90 in the L-most lane, and you think passing @ 75 is appropriate, you could very well be “dead” wrong.

            Claiming those going 90 are wrong because they are going 15 over the speed limit does not help the argument in any way. If you think this is a unique example of a life problem, you’d be wrong.

            If you live where people break speed laws with abandon without fear of reprisal, moving is a better option than passing in the above scenario.

          • Anonymous says:

            Neal, I notice you didn’t address tail-gaiting. Everything moves better and more safely when all traffic obeys the law. All traffic.

            Talk about “self-righteous”, that describes your attitude as displayed by your own words. You read like a self-centered child. FTN.

          • Anonymous says:

            “Everything moves better and more safely when all traffic obeys the law.”

            I disagree with you, Anonymous. You’ve just shown us that you are a conservative (slow) rider. Motorcycles have a huge advantage in performance and maneuverability compared to most other vehicles, and I like to use that advantage to distance myself from other traffic as much as possible. Riding a motorcycle is safest when there is nobody close enough to cause you grief, and you have a clear view of everything around you. So give it some throttle and get away from the cages. Tootling around conservatively like you do is asking to get hit.

          • Anonymous says:

            Anonymous, I agree with you. It is safest to “give it some throttle and get away from the cages.” Anonymous is a slow old jerk. People like her shouldn’t be allowed on a motorcycle.

        • TimC says:

          Wow, I thought you were an idiot after our LAST exchange.

      • crazyjoe says:

        99 is two lanes. To clarify I was in the right lane doing 75 keeping up with traffic. I was taught if you are driving safely going with the flow you really shouldn’t be using your brakes on the highway unless you have to. You don’t create a situation making them necessary. it makes sense to at least me.

        Once again the tailgaters were in the left lane. not me.

  20. red says:

    Now there have been some ugly motorcycles by Buell but not this one imo. Its kind of a clean slate/non derivative look. perfect for an ebike. I can dig it..

    price not too bad either.. I still don’t want one, but getting closer.

  21. joe says:

    I really like the look of the Flow!
    It looks like a motorcycle should that has an entirely new ( not ICE ) motive energy source.
    Fresh, distinctive and forward-looking aesthetics.
    Leagues ahead of some other electric offerings.
    Maybe this is Eric’s true home and where he’ll find solid success.
    Yet I still think he needs a true high performance Ebike entry, but I’m persuaded the technology needs to take a fairly big step forward to be able to achieve the kind of market numbers that are necessary to make EV’s more than just a marginal segment.
    Of course the trend is that legislation will be the impetus to a bigger slice of the transportation market, not leaps in technology.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummmmmmmm…The “Flow” looks like a typical Buell, i.e., nothing special but at least distinctive and easily recognized as for as it’s stylistic origin. As for your claims of it possessing “forward-looking aesthetics”?

      I’d call it “assthetics”.

      In closing I should once again like to say: Buell me once, shame on you. Buell me twice, shame on me.

      [b]Buell me once, shame on you. Buell me twice, shame on me.[/b]

      Talk about living the scheme…

  22. ChrisRR says:

    Erik beat it with the ugly stick, yet again

    • HS1... says:

      As the Malcolm Bricklin of our time, Erik has his acumen for bad ventures, but not his eye for aesthetics.

  23. bob says:

    I wonder how that would work out; capped at 55 mph riding up and down the 405, LAX to Orange County…

    • HalfBaked says:

      There’s not exactly at cap at 55 if it has the ability to briefly reach 85. I live in Los Angeles where the 405 & 105 collide and if driving between there and the Orange Curtain you can maintain 55 during rush hour then that’s a pretty light traffic day.

  24. Tom R says:

    Buell, Lyft, Uber, Tesla.

    These all have something in common. Care to guess what it is?

  25. GT says:

    I quite like the Flow. It has that unique look that’ll start friendly parking lot conversations. The designation as an urban runabout is puzzling after stating 85 mph bursts are possible. 55 is too slow for most highways yet you can’t maintain faster. Not sure where 85 mph is applicable in urban use. It almost sounds like there might be a motor heat or cooling concern just as Zero had in early days with the extended higher output. It could also be a sly attempt at price point manufacturing and still being able to publicly promote a usable real world range. Anyhow here’s hoping Buell lands on his feet with this one.

  26. gpokluda says:

    Both are solid entries into the EV market even though the Flow won’t be available for a while. The Flow misses the mark for me in styling but it wouldn’t take much to make it easier on the eyes.

    The Fluid is spot on except for the weight but I’m sure that will get better with time. Glad they put hydraulic brakes on it. The price isn’t even that bad. My wife paid considerably more than that for her CF racing bike when she raced in the early 2000’s

    • Mikey says:

      Where did you see the weight of the Fluid?
      I saw the posted torque at 74 ft/lbs.

      • gpokluda says:

        It’s posted on the Fuell website

        It’s 69lbs which is a bit hefty.

        • Anonymous says:

          Are you gonna ride it or carry it?

          • gpokluda says:

            Unlike you, I sometimes think of other people, like folks who may want to put this on a rack on their RV, or maybe have to hike up a couple flights of stairs with it.

          • Anonymous says:

            Nigerian, puhleeeeze…You were thinking of your delicate self. You ride the thing, not carry it.

            It’s all about you, isn’t it? LOL! “Oh…If it were only 10 lbs. lighter it would be so much more easy for those folks to put on their RV or carry up a flight or two of stairs.”

            Sheesh! Lose weight yourself then everything will be a bit easier on you because, well…You know the answer so I should not have to tell you.

          • gpokluda says:

            You know, Anonymous, I’ve come to the conclusion that you an angry little(mentally) troll that doesn’t even own a motorcycle. You’re upset that your bromance with Erik Buell didn’t work out or maybe it’s because you can’t order teen girls clothing in mens XXL. Whatever, it is, you basically need to get over yourself.

            BTW, join me on 5/18 in Proctor Canyon, UT for the Bryce Canyon Ultra-marathon. It will be my 4th in 3 months, While you are screaming like a little girl because your legs are exploding and your GI tract is turning itself inside out, I will be laughing at your pathetic looserness.

  27. dp says:

    That is first reasonably priced offer for electric motorcycle and it looks good too. Wishing Mr.Buell and Co. all the best.

  28. Burtg says:

    I find the front brake rotors design interesting seeing as how this isn’t Erik Buell’s typical design.
    He was obstinate in saying his front rotors design was superior to the standard rotor design other companies were using in AMA Superbike back in the day.
    His own riders complained that the rotors were inadequate in stopping power and heating up excessively.
    His stubbornness kept his bikes from winning. It wasn’t all Harley’s fault.
    Clearly the standard rotor design is superior. Otherwise Rossi and everyone else would be running Erik Buell’s huge rotors.
    Is Erik finally seeing the light?

    • Dave says:

      Nobody in GP rides the design because, a. Brembo doesn’t supply it and, b. GP’s maximum rotor diameter is well under that of the Buell design.

      It is a very sound design with some advantages and the bikes he fielded did very well, especially considering what they were up against. Like a lot of Erik’s good ideas, it was limited by the consumer reach of his company.

      • Burtg says:

        Dave, welcome to motorcycling. A little bit of clarification and history for you is in order. MotoGP is about prototypes. Prototype bikes, brakes, wheels, shocks, forks…prototype everything.
        If Brembo and the bike manufacturers tested Erik Buell’s brake system and found it to be superior, everyone would be using it. Believe me, Brembo will make anything MotoGP wants. There is not monetary limit and no testing limit. Believe me, they’ve tested everything. It’s all prototypes and millions of dollars is involved.
        MotoGP is not stock motorcycles. Obviously the standard braking system has proven superior, that’s why everyone in MotoGP uses them.
        But if you can’t take my word for it, do your own research. Guys like James Parker and Kevin Cameron have been doing technical editorials for years for magazines like Motorcyclist and Cycle World. They’ve talked about the science behind why Erik’s design doesn’t work as well as the standard design. The articles are out there.
        Secondly, stock Erik Buell sportbikes, when you read the magazine reviews from reputable sources like Motorcyclist, Sport Rider and Cycle World, Erik’s bikes can’t brake as well.
        For example, a June 13, 2014 article pits one of Buell’s bikes agains the Ducati Panigale. Here’s the link:

        The Ducati outbrakes the Buell by 10 feet from 60mph. Imgaine how much more it outbrakes the Buell when they’re slowing down from 180mph and those huge Buell rotors are overheating.
        Racers in AMA Superbike complained about that years ago. And if you watched any of the races, you could see them struggling to stop the bikes.
        Anyway, consider that a history lesson. Again, welcome to motorcycling. Cheers!

        • Dirck Edge says:

          Birtg ,you should clarify. Are you comparing a single disc Buell system to a dual disc brembo setup? Assuming you are (weren’t all Buells single front disc?), your argument is incomplete. A single Brembo-style front disc brake would offer far less braking force and feedback than a single Buell-style front disc brake. No contest. In MotoGp there are other issues that may be insignificant on the street. The Buell disc is mounted to the rim, and under racing conditions it might be prone to (1) transfer too much heat to the rim – both a performance and a safety concern, and(2) create more inertia that increases turning effort.

          • Burtg says:

            Thanks Dirck. Love your site!

            You are correct about clarification on single vs dual disc. The stats and photos in the Cycle World article I linked show a single-disc.

            However, Erik Buell was adamant that a large single disc was all that was needed.

            Interesting still, is the fact that nobody else has used his design, whether dual or single. It’s partly because of the final couple of points you bring up.

            I agree with you 100% on your other points. A lot of disc heat making it to the rims, which hurts the tires and causes premature tire wear.

            The inertia is a problem too. I agree. The guys at Sport Rider magazine years ago did a a huge article on “MOI” (Moment of Inertia) in comparing different wheels/rims as well as tires. That was back in the days when stock wheels were much heavier and if you wanted to spend $3000 for lighter wheels, the payoff was huge.
            But modern day sportbike wheels are very light in comparison to what they were testing in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

            Side note: I wish I hadn’t thrown away 30 years of Motorcyclist, Cycle World and the 25 years of Sport Rider magazines I had collected.
            The technical articles in there would really help the guys on this forum. I loved reading those.
            Had I known Motorcyclist and Sport Rider would fold, I never would have tossed those magazines. Bummer.

          • RRocket says:

            A friend and I went to a local H-D dealer for a Buell demo day. The rep was thrilled a couple of “sportbike guys” had showed up since most of the people there were cruiser types. He was insistent that we ride the Buell like a sportbike. So we did during our spirited ride. And promptly warped the front brakes….on both bikes. From that day forward, you’ll never convince me that it was a better set-up.

            I’ll never forget that day because in the many, many demo days that is literally the only time something “interesting” happened.

        • Dave says:

          Uh, thanks? (I’ve been following motorcycle racing since the 80’s..).

          It’d be a better lesson if it were accurate, and based in reality. MotoGP is about prototypes, but it is MILES from an anything-goes free-for-all. Like every racing series, it is governed by a very long list of very defined rules, one of which is maximum rotor diameter.

          There are lots of reasons why manufacturers choose the brake setups that they do, but the first and by far the largest is that the current type is what they’re sold by the vendor who makes them (same reason we’re still on silly, flexy, and redundant, telescoping front suspension). It’s easy, standard, and everyone understands it. Innovating the Buell single setup would ultimately result in one fewer caliper and rotor sold per bike made. Not good math for a company that sells things in quantity..

          Buell liked to rock the boat and he should be commended for pushing the envelope and trying something different. It saved weight, worked well, and made sense.

    • Fred_M. says:

      Buell’s single-disk, rim-mounted brake was to reduce unsprung weight, not decrease stopping distance. It allowed for lighter wheels because the spokes didn’t have to be beefy to handle the torque load of a brake mounted to the hub. It eliminated one caliper, a pair of brake pads, one disc, and the associated brake line and fittings that would be present on a conventional dual-disc setup.

  29. Tank says:

    Please remove battery prior to placing in crusher.

  30. todd says:

    “.. an important niche in the exploding electric two wheeler marketplace”. I see you chose your words wisely. And Dirck, please stop getting hung up on torque figures and continuing to spread misconceptions. 74 foot pounds of torque on a bicycle is fairly low, a little more than half of what you can easily put out pedaling it yourself. This bike will still require the help of the rider to make it up hills.

    • Daytona James says:

      74 constant foot pounds is nothing to sneeze at… an exerpt from ‘Bike Forum’, a bicycle enthusiast forum – “Assuming crank length 175mm and rider’s weight of 140 pounds, that gives us or 109 NM torque when rider is standing and crank is *parallel to the ground*. The average torque will be much lower, something about 50NM.”
      (Dirck – as you were. 😉 )

      • Dirck Edge says:

        Sweet vindication.

      • todd says:

        I’ve seen as much as 130 lb-ft on bike studies. Many adult males are heavier than 140 pounds and riders usually wear clips where they can also pull up the trailing pedal. Also, max force is not created by pure gravity, a strong rider will brace against the bars and push more than their weight. Regardless, 74 foot pounds of torque will not accelerate you very quickly unless you have the advantage if hugh rpm and low gearing (i.e. “horsepower”).

        • Dirck Edge says:

          “Low gearing” … hence the 8 speed hub

        • TimC says:

          Aside: Pulling up is negligible at best and has been debunked. But good luck convincing the majority of cyclists of this.

        • todd says:

          Just imagine if gravity was all that mattered in a bicycle race, the fattest guy would accelerate the hardest and ride the fastest. So much for those massive thighs bike riders tend to develop, there are much easier and tastier ways to add weight to your body…

    • Neil says:

      …Todd…and?…so the rider has to pedal a bit…electric bikes should not be tooling quickly along the side of the road to be hit and be hit by right angle crossing drivers from lots or driveways…it should make riding “easier” but not automatic.

      • todd says:

        My point was in response to the article that, somehow, the 74 lb-ft of torque was impressive “for a bicycle”. 74 is impressive for a motorcycle, not so much for a bicycle.

        • mickey says:

          Honestly as a motorcyclist having not ridden a bicycle for over 54 years, it doesnt make any difference to me whether a bicycle makes 50, 100 or 150 pounds of torque thru the pedals. I am pretty sure my 65 ft lb CB 1100 which is heavy and slow by today’s motorcycle standards would crush a 130 ft lb bicycle in any race over 50 feet long, and be easier on the rider to climb any grade hill.

          Comparing the torque of one motorcycle compared to another motorcycle has some value for me, but comparing it to a bicycle is useless.

          However it may have some value when compared to an electric bicycle.

          • todd says:

            Mickey, torque is torque, always, regardless of what type of bike it is in. What I have always intended to demonstrate is that it is completely meaningless to think of torque as a kind if performance indicator.

            Bear with me while I change the analogy:
            Let’s say you’re standing outside of Home Depot, waiting for work. Someone picks you up and has you dig trenches all day long. At the end if the day they tell you, “I can pay you in a stack of 50’s or a stack of 100’s. What’ll it be?”

            Well, you being a torque is all that matters guy will take the stack of 100’s. He then hands you a stack of two 100 dollar bills and keeps the twenty 50’s…

            Yes, it’s hard to imagine but a stack of 50 dollar bills could easily be worth more than a stack of 100’s.

          • todd says:

            “In any race over 50 feet long” wait, do you mean to tell me you think a person on a bicycle will beat your CB1100 across an intersection?

          • mickey says:

            lol I’m old and slow on the take off but can go pretty good after that. In my 20’s I had the reflexes of a cat, now at almost 70 they are more like the reflexes of a sloth, so a bicyclist on his toes may very well beat me across the intersection using his 130 pounds of torque, but after that he’s all mine baby.

          • Rhinestone Kawboy says:

            Mickey, it’s hell to get old huh? 🙂

          • mickey says:

            Yes RK…and a little sad at the same time. Where did the time go?

          • Dave says:

            “I am pretty sure my 65 ft lb CB 1100 which is heavy and slow by today’s motorcycle standards would crush a 130 ft lb bicycle in any race over 50 feet ”

            And you’d be right. I’m pretty fast on a bicycle and I probably could not beat you on a CBR250 to the middle of an intersection, let alone out to 50ft, or any point beyond that.

            I’d smoke you up a flight of stairs, though (running with bike on shoulder).

    • Kent says:

      The vast majority of electric bikes are “pedal assist”, and apply additional energy only when you are pedaling. They are designed to do exactly what you state – help you pedal up the hill.

  31. mickey says:

    Decent price on the Flow, although to me it’s ugly as heck, and won’t be available for a couple of years, at which point design and price may change. Saying here is what it’s going to look like, here will be the performance specs and how much it’s going to cost 2 years from now is a bit premature. Wonder how many dealers he will be able to convince to carry them or if he’s going to go to bicycle shops to market them as sort of a package deal to the dealer?

    • Don says:

      Delivered directly to your house. No dealer involvement mentioned for the sale.

      • mickey says:

        Interesting. I wonder then, do they send out a tech to your house for a warranty repair or service?

  32. Neal says:

    Neat designs, but a Rebel 300 can go further and faster than the Flow. Fuell is a terrible name.

    • Fred_M. says:

      If you want an electric motorcycle, then what a random gasoline-powered bike can do is irrelevant.

      Would you sell your bike and buy the Flow because the Flow is far quieter, has lower operating costs, has far fewer moving parts to wear out, and requires much less maintenance?

      • neal says:

        I use the Rebel 300 as an example because its the most “beginner bike” of the beginner bikes. And it is a more useful tool for transportation than the Flow for $6,500 less at MSRP, which would cover more than a decade of oil changes.

        I guess I don’t understand why anyone would want an electric motorcycle like this in particular. You have to really value the quiet aspect because that battery pack will be worn out long before any of the moving parts on a modern motor. Or you must value the conspicuous consumption aspect.

        • Fred_M. says:

          There’s a lot more to maintenance and repairs over a decade than oil changes. Ask any of us who have repeatedly adjusted valves, changed fuel filters, oil filters, air filters, spark plugs, clutch plates, and batteries. Drive chains wear and need adjustment, lubrication, and eventual replacement. Cam chains stretch. Cylinders, pistons, and rings wear. Valve seals fail. Gaskets fail and start weeping fluids. Transmissions have a myriad number of ways in which they wear or fail.

          To many people, time is more limited than money, and time spent doing maintenance and repairs, or waiting while a dealer does them, is time they can’t spend riding. For an apartment dweller in the city, the Flow might be a nearly ideal motorcycle.

          “You have to really value the quiet aspect because that battery pack will be worn out long before any of the moving parts on a modern motor. Or you must value the conspicuous consumption aspect.”

          Or you value the environment and ‘conspicuous conservation.’

          • mickey says:

            Fred said..”Ask any of us who have repeatedly adjusted valves, changed fuel filters, oil filters, air filters, spark plugs, clutch plates, and batteries. Drive chains wear and need adjustment, lubrication, and eventual replacement. Cam chains stretch. Cylinders, pistons, and rings wear. Valve seals fail. Gaskets fail and start weeping fluids. Transmissions have a myriad number of ways in which they wear or fail.”

            Fred you must ride a Harley or a Ducati?


          • todd says:

            The major maintenance costs for most motorcyclists is tires. I don’t see that being any different on an electric bike, in fact, they’ll probably wear out sooner on an electric because of the extra weight.

  33. Ward Bond says:

    I’m very curious how the cagers will be able to hear any of these electric motorcycles coming to the streets? I can’t even hear a freakin’ Tesla or Prius when walking across the street. Glad to see Buell back!

    • Hot Dog says:

      Goldwings are rather quite, yet they don’t seem to have any problem navigating around the world.

    • GS Jim says:

      When I’m driving around in my cage I can’t hear any other fellow cagers so why do I need to hear electric vehicles, 2 or 4 wheeled, not sure what the point is. It’s not like loud pipes save lives or some other stupid justification for being annoying.

    • Dave says:

      You can’t really hear any vehicles coming unless they’re un-muffled and your car is going slow or is stopped. Too much other noise drowns it out. As ever, we will ride like we’re invisible to them.

    • Neil says:

      baseball cards in the spokes? 😉

    • Neal says:

      If you’re relying on people hearing you to get home safe, you’re probably not going to get home safe.

    • TimC says:

      I ride a stock FZ6; it’s shocking when one rides by just how quiet they are. Most of what you hear from the seat is tuned induction noise.

    • Mr.Mike says:

      My neighbor has a Tesla Model S and I hear him just fine from tire noise when I’m out waking my dog. Most cars engines are nearly nearly silent just puttering through neighborhoods anyway.

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