It can be any bike you want it to be ... or can it?
When you start learning about a new bike, it’s almost never a good sign when you find yourself checking calendars to make sure it isn’t April 1. I mean, the days are blending together so hardcore these days, it’s not a completely facetious question. Anyway, that’s exactly where I found myself as I started to dig into the Emula electric concept bike from a company called 2electron, which is located near Naples, Italy.
The name should, perhaps, be our first clue. Now, one of the great things about electric motorcycle development at the moment is that all sorts of people are trying all kinds of new things. They might never make it to market, but if innovation is to happen, then people need to feel free to explore and expand ideas to find out what is feasible in real-world conditions. There’s a ‘but’ coming, which I’m sure you can sense from a mile away.
The thing is, just because you can doesn’t always mean that you should. That said, the Emula concept is an electric bike that emulates traditional combustion-engined bikes. It does this through its proprietary McFly system, which promptly takes you back to a future where you happily rode a 1989 two-stroke single, a 1999 600cc inline-four, and/or a 2004 800cc four-stroke twin.
Gallery: Emula Electric Concept Bike
Strategically-placed speakers on the bike pipe in the appropriate combination of engine, mechanical, and exhaust noises to enhance your emulated riding experience. Should you prefer not to saturate your surroundings with those sounds, these can instead be piped into your helmet via a Bluetooth connection. There’s a shifter-simulator and a clutch-simulator as well, actuated as you would normally do on a combustion bike, so that you get the full experience. It’s not a run-of-the-mill electric bike, it’s a VirtuaBike. Did anyone talk to Sega about this?
To be clear, all we have are images, video, and words. None of us has experienced this bike yet, so we can’t tell you what it’s like from a hands-on perspective. Would it be impressive from a purely technological standpoint, if the Emula can do everything its creators claim it can? If you’re a rider, and you close your eyes while sitting on this bike, and all its technology comes together to convince you that you’re really riding one of the bikes it’s emulating, it’s undoubtedly impressive. But is that what you want out of an electric motorcycle? More likely, a virtual video game experience, I’d guess. This might be one of those ‘answers to questions that no one asked’ scenarios.