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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Student-designed Roskva electric motorcycle launched

Five Norwegian engineering students from the University of Life Sciences in Oslo have come together to design and build an electric motorcycle that's a little different from the rest of the field. Rather than construct the vehicle around a steel or aluminum frame (like the Brutus we covered last year, for instance), the Roskva bike features a carbon fiber monocoque frame that reportedly weighs less than 25 kg (55 pounds). Carbon fiber is also the material of choice for the wheels, single-sided swingarm and enclosed driveshaft.

The final Roskva design renderings were released in May 2012, after which Erik Olsvik (26), Hans Ola Krog (24), Lars J. Norberg (25), Odd Arne Skjong (team leader - 23) and Espen Kultorp (24) got to work building the first operational prototype. The electric motorcycle was officially launched at Oslo's Aker Brygge earlier this month.
During the formative stages of the development process, the team was considering maximizing aerodynamics by enclosing the whole of the front of the motorcycle (including the front wheel) inside a bullet-shaped fairing, but this looks to have now been abandoned in favor of a more minimal design with a beak-like, pointed affair.

Within the lightweight frame, which has been strengthened to take the weight of the whole motorcycle, sit 414 individual lithium iron phosphate cells in series for a total capacity of 6 kWh. The batteries power two Lynch D135RAGS electric motors from the LEM200 series that deliver 80 Nm (59 ft lbs) of torque and peak power of 96.6 horsepower.
An onboard Kelly controller on each of the two motors can handle a voltage of 120 volts and 600 amps at peak. All of which is claimed to give the bike a top speed of 180 km/h (110 mph), a range of 100 km (62 miles) and a zero to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) time of just three to four seconds.
Elsewhere, the Roskva electric motorcycle features a telescopic front fork with 120 mm (4.7 inches) of travel, Krarm integrated rear suspension, regenerative rear braking and dual disc brakes at the front.
The immediate future will see the team testing and tweaking the prototype Roskva in the steady move toward commercial availability.
"We will not be able (or willing) to sell any bikes before additional tests and revisions have been performed," Skjong told us. "It will also require additional safety testing. The prototype is not road legal, but it has been constructed with current and future regulations in mind."


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