Here’s how they came up with the astonishing machine called the Johammer electro-cruiser. First, they threw out the rulebook (for all we know, they may even have stomped on it). Next, they drew a few sketches, exchanged seriously out-there ideas, and eventually came up with a design for one of the smartest, most innovative and outrageously different motorcycles conceived by man. Then they actually built it.
This Austrian company clearly doesn’t believe in following the rules – and the result is a motorcycle that represents an entirely new direction in two-wheeled transport. For starters, it comes with an advanced battery system from the cutting edge of technology: the 12,7 kWh battery stack delivers a useful 200 km range on a full charge, which puts it firmly into petrol-powered motorcycle territory. The company guarantees a battery service life of 200 000 km or four years without dropping below 85 per cent of its original capacity, which is pretty damn amazing.
The maintenance-free drivetrain and controls are integrated into the rear wheel, the traditional speedometer and rev counter dials have given way to “smart” rearview mirrors with readouts for speed and other essential information, and the bike features hub-centre steering and front suspension. Power is provided by a brushless AC motor (reportedly also maintenance-free) running in an oil bath.
From the available pictures, which clearly show the Johammer electro-cruiser being ridden on the open road (the point is worth making because all too many concept bikes never progress beyond the crazy concept stage), the rider has a choice of footrests, one set forward for that rising position so beloved of, you know, cool dudes.
Okay, the price. The “cheaper” (it’s all relative) 8,3 kw model costs R320 000 and the12,7 kW version closer to R350 000. Ridiculous? Hey, technological progress isn’t cheap. And what about that intangible known as exclusivity? After all, you won’t see many of these machines at the next Rhino Rally in Parys (that’s Parys with a “y”; if you ship your bike to France, you’ll be wasting your money).
— Looking for an electric motorcycle that’s a little less off-the-wall? Then check out the Zero, a bike that impresses in every respect (and which left colleague Sean Woods decidedly breathless after his recent test ride). It’s now on sale in sunny South Africa.