Erik Buell joins forces with several other prominent figures to start exotic electric bike marque
After two motorcycle companies that both for various reasons went under within a decade—one of which closed its doors only a year or so ago— longtime sportbike creator Erik Buell has his hand in yet another motorcycle startup. For his latest endeavor, Buell is teaming up with an existing boutique American marque and a major player for the EV industry to create VanguardSpark Motorcycles.
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Spark Racing Technology is a French racing technology company that supplies equipment to the electric Formula-E series. Formula-E’s governing body the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) appointed Spark as the official car supplier for the Formula E Championship since the series’ inaugural season, and has most recently to supply the season five chassis from 2018 onward. SRT's founder Frédéric Vasseur is joining Buell in the VanguardSpark effort along with the New York-based boutique manufacturer Vanguard Motorcycles, creator of the ‘Vanguard Roadster’.
The Spark-Renault SRT_01E from Spark Racing Technology
VanguardSpark says it will initially be releasing two models, a pedal-assisted electric bicycle dubbed the ‘SpeedBike’ and a more motorcyclized electric bike called the ‘commuter’. The company refers to the latter offering as “ a nimble and practical two-wheeler perfectly adapted to urban environments and capable of 150+ kilometers (93.2 miles) before recharging”.
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So far only basic drawings have been released to the public, and VanguardSpark says renderings are only intended to show design direction and don’t actually represent the production offerings. The image shows what looks a sporty electric motorcycles with batteries housed inside a monocoque shell and a hub-mounted unit powering the rear-wheel.
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It is a little disappointing that Buell and Vasseur aren’t working on something more performance/race oriented, but according to Vanguardspark the outfit is already sitting on four patent applications. Prototypes are scheduled to be revealed as soon as this Summer. Based on Buell and Vasseur’s race knowledge and Vanguard’s style, we’re expecting some impressive stuff from Vanguardspark.
Photos courtesy of Vanguardspark Motorcycles and Spark Racing Technology