The Avionics V1 E-Bike, inspired by classic board track racing motorcycles

race to the finish

You could be forgiven for not knowing much about board track racing. A historical footnote today, it’s a phenomenon that was born in the 1910s and was gone by the Great Depression. But in its day, board track racing pitted early motorbikes against one another on oval courses covered in wooden planks.

The gorgeous V1 e-bike, from Polish startup Avionics, is visually inspired by racing motorcycles from those raucous races — but it’s equipped with a thoroughly modern electric motor and is now available for pre-order. A celebration of vintage craftsmanship, the bike appears to be constructed completely from wood and steel, with nary a wire or plastic component in view.

The bike’s elongated steel frame echoes the proportions of a motorcycle, with a gently curved steel bar that extends from the handle bar post to the seat and follows the same line as that of a motorcycle’s gas tank. The saddle, motor casing, headlamp casing, handgrips and other components are made from jatoba wood (a species that grows in Central and South America), which the company says is as strong as steel. And while this claim seems a little dubious, the visual effect of the richly coloured, deeply grained wood is unquestionably arresting.

The e-bike’s motor and machinery is stored in a jotaba case positioned low and centre on the frame (similar to that of a board track racer) and is secured without fasteners or screws. Instead, it relies on simple leather straps to hold it in place. The 5,000-watt motor generates 125Nm of torque and can propel the bike up to 58kph. On a full charge, the bike’s lithium ion battery offers a range of up to 120km when in street mode, which restricts the amount of wattage used. It charges in about two to three hours when plugged in, and the battery is supplemented by the regenerative braking system during rides.

For a touch of personification, each bike will receive its own unique name after construction, which will be inscribed on its classic-motorcycle-style headlamp. But despite its vintage bona fides, the bike does include one important modern convenience — a USB port on the motor’s case allows users to recharge their smartphones on the go.

Avionics

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Published November 11, 2017
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