The “Light Rider” Electric Motorcycle – From Airbus
You won’t believe it, but this 3D printed electric motorcycle is made from aluminum powder! The guys at Airbus, or rather their APWorks subsidiary, have come up with a unique 3D printed motorcycle created from Scalmalloy – an interesting aluminum powder that is “corrosion-resistant and combines the low weight of aluminum with almost the specific strength of titanium,” according to their website.
It’s called the Light Rider, and understandably so, because it weighs less than 80 pounds in total! Airbus APWorks have managed this by building the bike with thousands of layers of powdered aluminum, that are only 60 microns thick! The framework also has a hollow structure, which allows the frame to be up to 30% lighter than other motorcycle frames. Airbus APWorks CEO Joachim Zettler explained that “The complex and branched hollow structure couldn’t have been produced using conventional production technologies such as milling or welding,” and it’s exactly that reason that makes the whole package so light.
The small frame houses a small electric motor that’s capable of reaching speeds of up to 49 mph. Now, this might not sound like the most exciting performance figure, but given that it’s aimed at city dwelling commuters, the lack of an ass clenching top speed can be forgiven. Also, 49 mph is pretty impressive for what the thing is, and when combined with the battery life figures, it’s probably just enough for zipping across the city streets. The battery life has a range of 37 miles before a recharge is required. Range is the biggest drawback for electric bikes at the moment, but if you’re only using it for short hops, it shouldn’t be a problem.
And the next downside? Well, it might be made of aluminum powder, but you’ll need pockets full of gold dust to buy one. Airbus APWorks are only going to build 50 of these motorcycles, and they can be reserved for a small fee of €2,000…and then they’ll bill you for a further €48,000 upon completion. In US money, that’s a staggering $56,100! And for that money you could buy…pretty much anything on two wheels that you want! Don’t expect to see too many of these on the roads!