Home » This Electric Motorcycle Is the Cyberpunk Bike of Our Dreams

This Electric Motorcycle Is the Cyberpunk Bike of Our Dreams

LAS VEGAS, Nevada—It looks like something pulled straight out of sci-fi: a sleek motorcycle, fitted with an array of sensors and cameras that give the driver a 360 degree view of their surroundings from a display mounted on the handlebars. The rear wheel is also completely hubless, meaning you can see right through it to the other side—which might be surprising considering it’s also the bike’s motor.

“We moved the motor to the rear rim and now there’s no power transmission, there’s no gearbox, there’s no belt, and there’s no moving parts other than the two tires,” Verge Motorcycles chief technology officer Marko Lehtimäki told The Daily Beast. “We’ve been able to utilize the entire body of the motorcycle for the battery starting from the very first millimeters of the vehicle.”

Verge Motorcycles debuted the Verge TS Ultra at the Consumer Electronics Show on Sunday. The high-performance electric motorcycle leverages a unique design that puts the battery of the bike lower on its body, allowing the team to place the engine in the rear wheel for a lower center of gravity and greater maneuverability.

This design choice bucks traditional electric motorcycle designs that typically follow the formula of traditional motorcycles: replacing a motor with an electric one, and putting the battery pack where a gas tank would go.

The TS Ultra’s rear hubless wheel. The design allows for the motor to place it inside of the wheel itself.

Verge Motorcycles

“But this isn’t an ideal design, because battery packs are very heavy,” Lehtimäki explained. “Once you put them where the tanks used to be, it’s a very high center of gravity, which means maneuverability goes down.”

The team knew they had to put the battery pack lower on the bike’s frame. However, this also meant that the motor would need to be placed outside of the bike to be nearer to the battery. That’s why they turned to the hubless wheel design for the motor to place it inside of the wheel itself.

The result is eye-catching—something that looks more out of Cyberpunk: 2077 or Akira than it does on your local highway. However, if the bike’s specs are any indication, it backs up its futuristic look with impressive performance.

The TS Ultra has a range of up to 134 highway miles on a full charge, 880 ft-lbs of torque, and can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds. The battery also charges in 25 minutes. Lehtimäki said that it is compliant with the National American Charging Standard, meaning it uses the same chargers as Tesla.

The TS Ultra's display panel.

The TS Ultra’s display panel. The bike includes an array of six cameras that provide the driver with a 360 degree view of their surroundings.

Verge Motorcycles

“This provides Verge bikes with the lowest center of gravity in the market, which provides insanely good maneuverability,” Lehtimäki said. “The 540 pound motorcycle feels 50 percent more lightweight when you ride it due to the extremely low center of gravity.”

The bike is also notable for its first-of-its-kind safety features dubbed “Starmatter Vision.” The TS Ultra includes an array of six cameras that provide the driver with a 360 degree view of their surroundings. It also includes two high resolution radar sensors that can see things from up to 250 meters away.

This all allows the bike to warn the rider if there’s potential obstacles and issues such as merging cars and pedestrians walking. The rider will be notified either on the display screen above the handlebars or via in-helmet audio, allowing them to react in time.

“With great power comes great responsibility,” Lehtimäki (and Uncle Ben) said. “We wanted to make sure that this is also the safest bike in the market.”

It is also one of the more expensive bikes on the market. The model starts at $44,900—so it’s no doubt pricey. However, if you really want to live out your Akira dreams, you can reserve it today for $1000.

However, Lehtimäki said that riders aren’t deterred by the hefty price. Instead, he’s grown optimistic about the future of electric motorcycles as he sees riders come to appreciate the motorcycle’s bold design and ambitions—not to mention the fact that it makes you look like the hero of a sci-fi movie.

“The electric motorcycle market has been growing slowly,” he said, “but we’ve seen a great amount of reservations for the bike and it’s exceeded all our expectations.”


January 2024