The Aero E-Racer: Fast, Geared & Aggressive – Just Don’t Ask About The Price Or Range…
Electric motorcycles – they’re coming, whether you like it or not. Some companies are opting for the out-and-out electric twist and go approach, while others are trying to lure in the internal combustion crowd by throwing a recognizable gear shift into the mix. We like the second idea, and it’s exactly what Aero are doing. Like Italian firm Tacitca, Aero are in search of the missing link in the evolution of the motorcycle: an electric powered machine that still feels familiar, and they’ve more or less achieved their goal. There are however, a few drawbacks. But let’s start with the positive notes…
What you’re looking at here is the Aero E-Racer. It’s attractive, it’s futuristic, and it’s powerful. It boasts a respectable 55 kilowatts of power, or 74 hp in old money, from its Tacita supplied engine. It’s got a five speed transmission that’s actuated with a clutch in the conventional way. It’s lightweight, and full to the brim with modern to technology. As far as electric motorcycle go, it’s pretty easy on the eyes too. If you’re staunchly anti-electric, at least you can take one thing away from it, you could at least give it credit for being something different. It’s not overly anchored in a fictional future, it’s not pandering to a retro vintage fad either. And for god’s sake, at least it’s got a clutch.
If you’re pro-electric, you’ll be please to know that there’s a lot more to this package than edgy looks and a few horses. The aesthetic is certainly forward thinking, and is reminiscent of KTM’s latest models and prototypes, with sharp lines and aggressive shapes, complimented by a hint of a trellis frame poking out. The frame itself is an incredibly lightweight unit, and is quite the engineering marvel. And of course, there’s a saddle that looks like it ticks both the function and form boxes, with enough room for a passenger, and a beautifully upholstered, diamond stitched pattern – with matching grips too.
The frame is hooked up to Ohlin’s TTX suspension, the tires run on CLF supermoto rims, and the braking duties are handled by Brembo; every other little bell, whistle and attachment is from the LighTech catalog, save for the stacked headlights, and a built-in GoPro Hero 4 mount. And the dash, of course. But what is the dash? Why, it’s just your average mount for an iPhone. Yeah, the whole bike is controlled by a custom Aero IOS app. It uses GPS to calculate you speed (and location, naturally), it configures the drivetrain to your specifications, and it also works as the key, by using your own biometric fingerprint as the ignition…Whoa.
But this sort of tech isn’t exactly cheap. In fact, the Aero E-Racer hasn’t got a pricetag – which should be a great indication of exactly how expensive it really is. Tacita, who supply the engine and frame, sell their own bikes for a rather frightening figure somewhere between $21,500 and $32,000. And Tacita’s machines are not nearly as sophisticated as this. So…yeah, it’s going to be mega bucks.
How much range do you get for a $30k and up electric bike? Well, Aero’s E-racer is powered by a 5.3 kilowatt hour lithium battery that takes a mere 1.5 hours to fully charge. And that 1.5 hour charge will supply you with “up to 1 hour” of ride time. Brilliant. Yeah, up to 60 minutes. The New Atlas website equated that to about 40 miles. So, for me, that’s just about enough range for me to go on a less than routine trip. Which is about as useful as nipples on a breastplate. Or any other “as useful as” gags you can come up with.
But it’s got a clutch…