With a name that is almost self-explanatory, startup motorbike maker Italian Volt has unveiled its first electric motorbike. Having an accent on sports bike performance, the Lacama is designed to be a top-end product that is customizable into whatever its buyer fancies-from scrambler to café racer, roadster or even a personalized theme.
Italian Volt was established only last year in Milan by three associates who are closely linked with the motorcycle field. Two among them, Valerio Fumagalli and Nicola Colombo, are the Guinness world record holders for the longest distance covered on an electric motorbike. On their epic journey in 2013, they covered 7,692 miles (12,379 kilometers) from Shanghai to Milan in a total of 44 days, relying on electric power only.
Before long, their vision of developing their own electric motorbike began to take shape, aided by the valuable support of Adriano Stellino. Before starting to design motorbikes in Shanghai, he had acquired a lot of experience and grounding in design work after working with iconic Italian names like Bertone and Lamborghini. This helped him play an instrumental role in transforming the vision into actual designs on paper.
The Lacama is constructed around an aluminum frame that was designed in-house.It holds a pack of lithium-ion battery cells with a total capacity of 15 kWh. This powers an electric engine that transmits 94 horsepower (or 70 kW) to the rear wheel through a belt drive, generating a maximum torque of 208 Newton-meters (153.45 pounds per foot).
The Lacama’s maximum speed is capped at 112 miles per hour (180 kilometers per hour) and its range can go up to 112 miles (180 kilometers). Weighing in at 551 pounds(250 kilograms), it cannot be described as a featherweight. This is justified by the fact that it takes 4.6 seconds to move from zero to 60 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour). However, the 1.6 miles per hour (2.5 kilometers per hour) park assistant looks to be a very attractive gift.
Apart from the frame and swing arm that are designed by Italian Volt, the bike’s body is printed in-house using 3D.Customers can pre-order their individual bikes selecting from various shapes and colors for the twelve pieces that comprise the entire bodywork. They can even a design their own hand-made components. In this way, the Lacama may be ordered as a roadster or anything that can fit the frame’s geometry-which perhaps means no chopper.
The bike is fitted with an assortment of top-end equipment, clearly targeting sportbike standards such as Brembo brakes and Ohlins suspension. In addition, customers can order the 17-inch wheels either in carbon fiber or aluminum alloy.
Italian Volt discloses that the electronics in the Lacama will comprise of a TFT touchscreen with smartphone connectivity (both Android and iOS) and GPS. This will enable the rider to keep track of the charging status, determine the location of the bike and choose from various performance profiles by changing parameters such as engine braking and torque.
One very fascinating feature is the inclusion of fast charging in exactly the same way that Energica does with its supersport and naked models. On a normal supply, the batteries will require three hours to have a full charge. However, a fast-charging outlet would only require 40 minutes for the battery to attain a charge level of around 80 percent.
For now there is just one existing prototype, as launched yesterday in Milan. Italian Volt intends to begin taking orders before September, even though its website presently offers the chance to ask about pre-ordering. The final price of the bike will definitely depend on the chosen equipment-but expect it to oscillate around US $37,600(about €35,000).
As its pricing indicates, the Lacama is not your normal commuter, but instead it is a hand-crafted collectible and customized motorbike that Italian Volt brands a 'status symbol'.
The company aims to sell the motorcycle in North America, Asia and Europe, and the next stage is to establish concept stores in Los Angeles, Shanghai and Milan.