Elegant is a word rarely associated with electric-powered motorcycles. Oddly high-tech at best, and clunky at worst, electric bikes appeal to our appreciation of advancing technology, environmental friendliness, and silent running.
The Caterham Group—recent purchasers of the historic Lotus-associated Caterham Cars brand—has introduced an electric bike that takes the audacious step of sporting a retro styling.
The Caterham Classic E-Bike invokes a V-twin motor for the styling of its batteries, with a bicycle style frame that features a springer front end, hard tail, sprung seat, faux fuel tank, and pedal assistance — modernity meets century-old technology.
A disc front brake and fat tires give the rider a sense of security, while the number plates and paint recall racing from a bygone era.
Of course, the Caterham Group is no stranger to modern racing. Teaming with AirAsia, Caterham has a two-rider team in Moto2 this year, consisting of American newcomer Josh Herrin, and former Rookie of the Year Frenchman Johann Zarco.
The AirAsia partnership is no accident. Caterham Bikes CEO Al-Ishsal Ishak was previously AirAsia’s Group Head of Ancillary Income.
“Two-wheeled motorsport is a new venture for Caterham Group and one that we believe will be a long term project,” Team Principal of Caterham Moto Racing Team Mia Sharizman asserts.
“It is an exciting time for us and I would like to thank AirAsia for the opportunity. The team is in high spirits and we hope to show our gratitude to AirAsia throughout the year by achieving good results.”
In addition to racing, there is the practical application for Caterham Bikes. “Our vision for Caterham Group has taken another step forward with the launch of Caterham Bikes,” explains Tony Fernandes, Co- Chairman of Caterham Group.
“Expanding our interests into the two-wheeled market is another natural progression for us and is a good opportunity to show- case the breadth of knowledge, experience and creativity we have at our disposal across the Group, now in the two-wheeled world, in addition to all of our other automotive, technology and innovation interests.”
“We are realistic and honest enough to know that we’re not in the business of rivaling the establishment; we’re here to offer an alternative that befits the spirit of Caterham,” CEO Ishak declares. “Just as the Cater- ham Seven is a motoring icon because of its unique design and engineering credibility, Caterham Bikes’ products will be aimed at a niche audience seeking exceptional quality, bespoke design flare and bikes easy enough for anyone to ride.”
With two other motorcycles being launched — the dual-purpose gasoline-powered Brutus 750 and minimalist Carbon E-Bike — Caterham Bikes is clearly aiming for an alluring target no other brand has recognized.
Story from the Gallery section of Ultimate MotorCycling magazine. For subscription services, click here.