Originally published on Gas2.
In the emerging electric bicycle world, there are all sorts of vehicles that blend pedal power with the convenience of an electric motor. Some are bland, some are lovely. Some are designed to carry cargo in crowded urban areas. Some resemble laid back cruisers and some are fat tire specials. But none is as drop-dead gorgeous as the V1 from Avionics.
The V1 evokes a bygone era when motorcycles raced on board tracks all across America. It looks like it was designed and built 75 years ago and features many carefully thought out touches to amplify on that theme. The headlight nacelle and handgrips are made from jabota wood, also known as Brazilian cherry. Even the battery and all the electronics are encased in a beautifully crafted chest made from jabota and attached to the lower frame with authentic looking leather straps. Coupled with an oiled bronze finish on the frame, the overall effect is simply stunning.
But the V1 from Avionics is more than just a pretty face. It has the specs to go with the image of speed and power it presents. Its performance begins with a 5,00o watt brushless electric motor said to be good for 92 ft-lb of torque. That’s more twisting power than many cars built before 1990 came with from the factory.
Top speed is 36 miles per hour, which is more than many jurisdictions allow for an electric bicycle. The V1 comes with three electronically lower speed modes to ensure compliance with local ordinances. The battery is a 24 amp-hour unit that gives the V1 a range of about 75 miles. Charging time is listed as 3 hours and regenerative braking on the front wheel helps keep the battery charged.
Avionics is planning an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in September and promises those who pre-order will be eligible for a 40% discount off the regular list price. And what is that list price? That’s the part of the equation we don’t know yet, but it certainly won’t be at the low end of the scale. Hopefully it will be less than the equally stunning Fuoriserie, another retro electric bicycle created by Pininfarina and based on the 1936 Lancia Astura Bocca which was Mussolini’s favorite car.
Feast your eyes on the Avionics V1 in this video. Then don’t even try to pretend you don’t want one!