June 19, 2024
Hubless electric motorcycle

When the Verge TS Ultra releases later this year, Finland’s Verge Motorcycles (no connection) may have the most advanced rider safety system on two wheels.

Modern automobiles have sensors everywhere, most of which are designed to keep you safe. Motorcycles are simpler. Rider safety depends on reflexes, abilities, and situational awareness when they are hanging out in the wind. Safety features like anti-lock brakes and traction control are new to two-wheelers.

Strange motor, high power

Because of its uniqueness, the TS stands out on the road. It’s electric, which makes it unique in bikes, but its performance is even more unconventional. Its 201 horsepower and 885 pound-feet of torque are nearly double that of a Corvette E-Ray.

Unusual torque source. In 2018, Vergehubb Motorcycles CTO Marko Lehtimäki revealed the team was disappointed with the few electric motorcycles on the market when designing a motorcycle.

He claimed most electric motorbike designs replace a gas-powered motorcycle’s engine with a motor and petrol tank with a battery. “We thought that cannot be optimal,” he remarked.

Concerns included placing the battery high in the frame. “These batteries are very heavy,” he added. These are top-heavy and not as fun as traditional riding since the centre of gravity is high.

Hubless motorcycle  verge

Its 201 horsepower and 885 pound-feet of torque are nearly double that of a Corvette E-Ray.

Verge Motorcycles engineers realised they had to situate the battery near the bottom of the frame to lower the centre of gravity. However, lowering the battery to the base filled the motor’s space.

We decided to transfer the motor outside the primary chassis, out of the motorbike body’, he stated. They experimented by placing the engine in the back wheel.

In-wheel electric motors are common. They’re ubiquitous on e-bikes like the VanMoof S4 and Bird Bike. However, the TS Ultra motor is unique.

A hubless ring lets you reach through the wheel’s centre. This generates a novel appearance, but Lehtimäki said the practical benefits of that battery location exceed the negatives, such as adding weight to the rear suspension.

“We did a prototype, and let’s say that was not very easy path,” Lehtimäki added. Even when we had the prototype operating, folks thought we were insane and that it would never work in real life. We were confident this was the future and would alter everything if we could make it work.”

Result: an accidental head-turner. He remarked, “We didn’t start from ‘Let’s create something that looks like a Tron bike,’ we started from how can we make a better motorbike with a completely redesigned EV architecture.” The answer was this ring motor.”

Verge comes with packaged sensors

The way the bike looks back at the world is as distinctive as its appearance. Verge Motorcycles will showcase a new sensor package for the TS Ultra, the highest trim of its first motorbike, at CES in Las Vegas. Companies call it Starmatter Vision.

Six cameras will provide 360-degree bike sensing. These will be supplemented by two high-resolution radars, one front and one behind.

Lehtimäki refused to identify who supplies the bike’s radar systems, stating they’re “the best quality you can get on the market.” The cameras will detect road barriers, incoming cars, and anything to the left or right.

Verge

Six cameras will peer in all directions

Riders will get all warnings via various methods. Pair of displays will be most important. The gauge cluster above the handlebars displays most of the data, but a tank-mounted monitor provides greater detail.

For the first time, Unreal Engine will render high-end 3D visuals on an integrated motorbike display. Starmatter, Verge Motorcycles’ software, may be updated via the bike’s wireless link.

When travelling at 70mph on the highway, staring down at the gorgeous ray tracing isn’t ideal. In-helmet audio systems will work with the Verge Motorcycles TS.

“We are excited about the combination of these. We think audio, especially spatial audio, is crucial to the experience, said Lehtimäki.

Spatial audio suggests a next-generation helmet audio system, but Lehtimäki wouldn’t say what it may look or sound like.

Start saving for the new Verge TS

We don’t know how the TS Ultra’s auditory feedback will function, but it will be expensive. Starting price is $44,900 for the TS Ultra. You get the bike with sensors and 233 miles of range for that.

If that’s too expensive, Verge Motorcycles has the $29,900 TS Pro with 137 horsepower and 217 miles of range or the $26,900 TS with 107 horsepower and 155 miles.

Power, range, and sophisticated sensing are lost. For present, Lehtimäki believes that sensors are too expensive for lower-end bikes.

All of this will be extremely costly

However, since all Verge Motorcycles TS models are OTA updatable and have the same internal sensors (GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope), their stability and traction control systems will improve with inclement weather and heavy-handed new riders.

Verge Motorcycles will begin direct sales to American customers in the summer. Although Verge Motorcycles delivered a few production TS machines to lucky European clients, that’s six months behind what the business promised last year. Despite its sci-fi appearance, this may happen.

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