Even though the price has yet to be revealed, the V1 looks to be one of those bikes that attracts crowds of people shouting "Take my money!"
With everyone from legacy bike manufacturers to crowdfunded startups getting in on the electric bike action, It's getting harder and harder to stand out in the e-bike sector. However, as Avionics demonstrates with its forthcoming V1 model, there's still plenty of room in the market for unique electric bikes that don't compromise on power or style.
We've seen a number of retro-inspired electric bikes get launched over the last few years, possibly as a response to the influx of mass-production e-bikes that seem to treat the electric drive system as merely another add-on to a conventional bike, with no real innovation in either the design or the functionality. No matter what the reasons, it's unsurprising, given our culture's attraction to both all things retro and all things high-tech, that combining old-school design elements with next-gen bike technology yields some serious e-bike eye candy. And with its forthcoming offering in the e-mobility sector, Avionics is setting the 'cool factor' bar very high indeed.
With design details that evoke the heyday of board track motorcycle racing, while also capturing a hint of the early days of aviation, the Avionics V1 e-bike draws the eye as not only a fast-looking machine, but also as a beautiful object in and of itself. Built on a graceful steel frame, accented and augmented with jatoba wood and with not a piece of plastic or rubber in sight, the V1 has a massive 5000W electric motor, said to be capable of an incredible 125 Nm (92 ft-lb) of torque and a top speed of 58 kph (36 mph). With that kind of power at the ready, the V1 has to rein it in to still be considered street legal bicycle, which it does with three different lower-speed modes for street riding.
The motor is powered by a 24Ah lithium-ion battery pack, which is said to be capable of delivering a riding range of up to 120 km (~74.5 miles), with a recharge time of 2-3 hours, and the potential for partial recharging through a regenerative braking feature. The battery pack, and pretty much all of the other electronic components, is concealed in a sleek jatoba chest that sits at the bottom of the frame and is held together with old-school leather straps, while the full-sized headlight is built inside a jatoba wood enclosure. The saddle, grips, and parts of the front fork are also made with the wood, which adds a touch of color and warmth to the rather stark look of the bike's low-slung frame. [Fun fact: Jatoba, AKA Brazilian cherry and West Indian locust, is sometimes called stinktoe.]
Now for the bad news: At this point, the Avionics V1 isn't in production or for sale yet, but if a crowdfunding campaign slated for this fall is successful, the bike could be available to backers and eventually the general public. No price has been hinted at yet, but looking at what appears to be a handcrafted and high-end approach to building the V1, a wild guess would put the future price of it somewhere beyond the reach of most e-bike buyers. That said, it's possible that Avionics is not building the V1 for the luxury market, and that we'll see a retail price on it that is in line with the bulk of the electric bike market, but we won't know until sometime in September, which is when the company plans to launch its campaign on Indiegogo with pre-orders of the bike available for "up to 40% off."