A new electric motorcycle that made its debut on Friday in Ottobrunn, Germany puts predecessors to shame in many categories. The Light Rider was created by APWorks, a subsidiary of Airbus, and it’s a high-tech work of art. The bike has an ultralight 3D-printed frame and a fully electric motor that propel the cycle up to 50 miles per hour. With a strong frame, unique design, and 37-mile range, the Light Rider breaks the mold for two-wheeled transportation and could help usher in a new era of 3D-printed vehicles.
Touted as the “world’s first 3D-printed motorcycle,” the Light Rider weighs only 77 pounds. The frame alone comes in at a mere 13 pounds, some 30 percent lighter than the frames of other electric bikes on the market. Unlike most 3D-printed structures, this bike isn’t made from plastic. Instead, the hollow frame was created from aircraft-grade aluminum in thousands of thin layers produced in metal powder by using lasermelting technology.
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All of the bike’s cabling and pipes are threaded through the alien-looking aluminum frame, protecting them from the elements. APWorks chief executive Joachim Zettler applauds industry advances in manufacturing. In a statement, he said it would not be possible to produce a hollow-frame motorbike like this using conventional methods, like welding. Instead, he points to innovations in lasermelting and APWorks’ own ultra-strong aluminum alloy Scalmalloy as the key components that made Light Rider a reality.
APWorks will manufacture a limited run of 50 Light Rider motorcycles, each with a sale price of $56,095 plus tax. The race for preorders is on.
Images via APWorks