The innovator who shook up the motorcycle world takes e-bikes and e-motorcycles to the next level. It wasn’t so long ago that engineer, designer, innovator and mover and shaker Erik Buell rolled out his own line of high-performance motorcycles bearing his name.
Today, more than 130,000 motorcycles credited to his name. Later, he upped the ante with his line of road-race-ready bespoke bikes under the Erik Buell Racing or EBR marque.“Erik Buell is considered to be a pioneer in motorcycle technology and earned his induction into the American Motorcyclist’s Association Hall of Fame in 2002,” says Mary Baboyan, Public Relations Manager for Buell’s new EV-forward company FUELL.“He has 40 years of engineering experience, and founded his own motorcycle racing company Buell Motorcycle company which eventually merged with Harley Davidson. His knowledge on two wheelers have transferred over to his new passion project, the tech packed, spec’ed out FUELL Fluid E-Bike.”FUELL, by the way stands for Freedom, Urban, Electric, Love, Life as well as providing a subtle link to Buell.Now Buell has turned his talents and imagination loose on the rapidly expanding universe of e-bikes and e-motorcycles. Together with a team of remarkable people, the results are something quite remarkable.The Fluid, e-bicycle will be going into production for delivery to begin as early as August or September of this year. The bike re-thinks the basics of bicycle design and may well be a product that leads to resets of the norms for e-bikes.The Fluid features a mid-drive Bofeili 500W pedal assisted motor, giving it 100Nm of torque, that is designed to deliver strong acceleration. The bike is built with a custom aluminum alloy frame for both durability and light weight.The Flow e-motorcycle is slated to begin hitting the streets late in 2020. Two versions are offered right out of the gate; the 11kw model with an MSRP of $10,995 (USD) and the 35kw model with an MSRP of $11,995.Those prices compare very favorably, for example, with Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire that has an MSRP at $29,799. Pre-orders can be placed for either model now.Pre-order deposits of $500 are refundable until the customer’s Flow enters production. As the Flow nears production, a member of the Fuell team will reach out to discuss the FUELL Flow Purchase. Once the customer has decided exactly which model, color, features, services, and accessories they want, final confirmation will occur 1 month before the beginning of production.The exact delivery date of each Flow will be communicated to the buyer as the transaction is finalized. Each Flow will be delivered directly to the buyer, where an introduction to the Flow is provided. Detailed warranty, maintenance, insurance and refund policies will be communicated in advance of production. Further, information regarding the use of the Flow and the dedicated rider hotline will also be provided.First, some details on the Flow.
FUELL Flow Motorcycle Overview
Visually, the immediate impression is the electric bike’s elegant design with smooth, flowing (appropriately enough) lines. It is touted to have an urban ride range up to 150 miles, fast charge under 30 minutes, and the acceleration of a superbike with a curb weight of only 400 lbs. The absence of any final drive components and transmission saves a lot of weight and eliminates a lot of wear-and-tear prone components that are still present on other designs.The Flow has numerous innovations like the exclusive patent-pending rear wheel motor, the connected dashboard, and 50 liters of storage in its monocoque magnesium chassis. Using a modular approach, the Flow is designed to easily evolve with technological progress. The modular design allows for easy upgrade of the battery, the wheel motor, and the charging system. For those of us who don’t relish the push and pull of manually maneuvering our bikes, the Flow includes forward and reverse walk assist.The battery pack as well as the rear wheel motor or the fast charging socket can be upgraded to the owner’s preferences. The connected dashboard receives regular updates and evolutions. The system is designed to assure access to the latest technology.In addition, the Flow integrates the latest safety technologies that include blind side detection and front and rear collision warning systems and a rear-view camera. The Flow includes ABS brakes with integrated regeneration at the rear brake.One of the striking innovations that goes along with the rear wheel motor lies in the intelligent ABS braking system’s linkage that use the rear wheel motor for progressive braking instead of having a separate rear brake.The FUELL Flow sets a new standard for stand-off operating convenience; the FUELL app allows you to find, unlock, and start Flow. The app is used to open the secured storage, access the charging port, flip up the seat, open the owner’s manual, or check the battery level. You will receive notifications and maintenance alerts on the app, use GPS, and contact or stay in touch with FUELL. Check out the FUELL website at: https://fuell.us/us/See the FUELL Flow in action in the company’s video here: https://fuell.us/us/flow.html
FUELL Flow e-Motorcycle Specs:
ABS & regenerating braking
Advanced technology, proprietary electric wheel motor (patent pending)
Power output: 35 kW (48hp) continuous
Speed max (sustained): 55 mph (up to 85mph on demand)
Range (Urban): 150 miles (240 kms)
0-30 kph: 0.8 sec
0-60 kph: 1.6 sec
0-100 kph: 2.7 sec
Battery Capacity: 10 KwH
Battery Type: Li-ION cylindrical cell array in structural magnesium housing
Battery Voltage: 400V
Recuperation: Rear wheel regenerative braking activated automatically by application of the linked braking system (patent pending)
Recharging: Quick charge or home w/ Onboard or accessory Fast Chargers
Charge Port: CCS Type 2 (adapters for Type 1)
Charging Rate: 750W on board, 3.3kW & 6.6kW available accessory fast chargers
Recharge Time Supercharger/CCS: ~30 min. (CCS Type 2, DC)
Front Suspension: Inverted Ø 40 mm telescopic forks
Rear Suspension: Single sided swingarm. Rear shock with adjustable preload
Front Brake: Hydraulic disc ABS
Rear Brake: Integrated regenerative ABS
Front Wheel: 2.50 x 17″
Front Tire: 110/70-17
Rear Wheel: 4.00 x 17″
Rear Tire: 140/70-17
Weight: 400 lbs (180 kg)
Seat Height (unladen): 30.1″
Power Pack: 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Motorcycle: 2 Years/Unlimited Miles
Vehicle Status Application on iPhone/Android
2 Ride Modes (Urban, Audacious)
Illuminated Storage Compartment
Linked Intelligent ABS
Hands Free Lock/Unlock and Engage
Connected, Interactive Dashboard
Walk and Reverse Assist
Blind Side Detection
Front & rear Collision Warning
Seven color options
11kW version to meet reduced licensing requirements
Maintenance: Here is how the FUELL website describes maintenance plans for the Flow: “The FUELL Flow was designed as a modular electric vehicle with few moving parts requiring minimal maintenance. FUELL will have service partners around the world trained to provide assistance with your vehicle. Major components such as the battery and the wheel motor are designed to be upgradable and easily replaced. This work can be conducted by one of our trained service providers, or directly by the factory.”24/7 Hotline: FUELL describes the way the FUELL app works on their site: “You control the FUELL Flow through the FUELL app, which will also allow you to communicate with the dedicated customer service team at FUELL. Our customer service technicians are trained to troubleshoot any issue encountered by a Flow rider, and diagnose system faults through the communication system built into the Flow. If our technicians cannot correct the issue, your Flow will be repaired or replaced consistent with the terms of the FUELL warranty.”
FUELL Fluid e-bicycle Overview
The Fluid is designed for the urban rider, requiring virtually zero maintenance, and with built in anti-theft features.The Fluid features a range of 200kms (120 mi) and strong acceleration, a color screen with 5 modes, is available in 6 colors and four anti-theft options.Fluid is available in 2 versions: Pedelec (up to 20mph or 25kph) or S-Pedelec (up to 28mph or 45kph).
FUELL Fluid e-Bicycle Specs:
Hydraulic disc brakes
Power: 500W Torque: 100 Nm. Range: 120 mi (200 km) Batteries: 1008 Wh
Mid-Drive Bofeili (FUELL exclusive)
Motor Nominal Output: 500W (US), 250W/500W (EU)
Battery Type: 2 Removable Batteries with LED level indicator
Battery Capacity: 1008 Wh
Battery Voltage: 48V
Battery Charger: 4 Amp Fast Charger
Recharge Time Home: 80% charge in 2.5 hrs, 100% in 5 hrs
Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
Front Suspension: Suntour XCR34, 120 mm travel
Derailleur: Shimano Alfine 8-speed Geared Hub SG-S7001-8 Rapidfire Plus Shift Lever SL-S7000-8 Alfine
Screen: 3.2inch IPS color screen with battery capacity, speed, distance, 5 assist levels, walking mode and USB charging port
Weight: 31 kgs / 69 lbs
PIN Code to start Fluid’s dashboard
GPS/LoRa tracker embedded in the frame
Availability:FUELL Fluids are available on Indiegogo on demand and at a special price for a limited time. For more details, check out: https://fuell.us/us/fluid.html
Who’s who at FUELL—key personnel bios from FUELL
Erik Buell: Co-Founder and CTOErik Buell Is the Founder, former Chairman and CTO of the Buell Motorcycle Company, which eventually merged with Harley-Davidson from 1993 to 2009.Erik is a pioneer of modern race motorcycle technology, as well as a world class engineer and inventor. He created some of the most innovative and usable motorcycles to date, using inventions like a hollow aluminum frame to house the fuel and create chassis rigidity, or a hollow swing arm to house the oil.Frederic Vasseur: Co-founderFrederic is a well-known figure in motorsport around the globe: as the founder of ART Grand Prix and ASM, Frederic has celebrated outstanding accomplishments with 8 GP2, 9 GP3, and 12 Formula 3 Euro titles. Three Formula 1 World Champions – Hamilton, Vettel, and Rosberg – were among the many drivers who were part of Frederic’s talent pool in their early days.Vasseur founded Spark Racing Technology in 2012, which develops hybrid and electric powertrains. Spark was created to coincide with the launch of the FIA Formula E Championship, a revolutionary and entirely electric series that began in 2014. In 2017, Frédéric Vasseur joined Sauber as Team Principal of the F1 Team and CEO of Sauber Motorsport.Francois-Xavier Terny: Co-founder and CEOFrancois-Xavier began his professional path in 1991 as a strategic consultant with Bain & Co, then created his own consulting firm, Masaï, in 1996 as a firm specializing in cost optimization. Masaï enjoyed rapid growth, addressing a growing concern within corporations for cost control and cost optimization.Since 2008, Francois-Xavier continued his path as an entrepreneur, investing time and money in several start-ups including motorcycle ventures. With an advanced take on design and new ideas and approaches to manufacturing, sales, marketing and distribution, he brings design directions, disruptive thinking and operational management to FUELL.Click here for an exclusive interview with Francois-Xavier Terny.Stay tuned to Ultimate Motorcycling https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/ for more updates on the FUELL Flow e-motorcycle and Fluid e-bicycle.
KTM RC 390 and Gordon McCall of Quail Motorcycle Gathering
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the new KTM RC 390. The entry-level KTM has always been an impressive motorcycle that has sold extremely well, however the factory has now taken the bike to another level, with top-spec features that are typically found on flagship machines. Clearly KTM has realized that even smaller engined machines should have high spec suspension, brakes and electronics packages. Nic tells us how well the new RC 390 is equipped, and what he thought of riding the smaller displacement rocket.
In the second segment I chat with automotive and motorcycle industry icon, Gordon McCall. Gordon is the Director of Motorsports at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California.
This weekend of Saturday May 14th sees the annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering re-start after its Covid-forced hiatus, and having attended every one of the previous Motorcycle Gatherings, personally I’m very happy that the event is back on the schedule. Gordon chats about the event and a little of what’s happening this year. It’s a great event and if you feel like a trip to the gorgeous Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, you’ll get to meet Gordon, Roland Sands, and of course a large number of stunning motorcycles too.
From all of us at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!