Read about this bike and more on Wired.com
"Don’t let the old-school aesthetics fool you–this beautiful motorcycle is thoroughly modern and headed straight for the Isle of Man TT race.
The Saroléa SP7 marks the return of a storied Belgian marque after half a century, and it’s easily the prettiest electric motorcycle we’ve seen since Electra Racing brought an electrified Norton Featherbed to the TTXGP. Despite the classic café racer styling, Saroléa has built a leading-edge machine with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm. The motor is good for 130 kilowatts–Saroléa says that translates to 180 horsepower, but our math puts it closer to 173. Whatever the figure, it’s definitely in literbike territory. Saroléa claims the bike will hit 60 mph from a standstill in 2.8 seconds; top speed is limited to 155 mph.
The bike uses an axial flux motor. Most electric motors direct the flux, or the flow of the electric field, outward through air between the moving rotor and stationary stator. The SP7’s axial flux motor sends the electric field on a parallel path, along the motor’s axle, which means the bike can use lighter and thinner “pancake rotors.” These rotors are ideal for producing power at constantly varying speeds, something vital for going fast through turns, dips, and rises along a race course.
Electric bikes have been racing at the Isle of Man TT for a couple years now, but they haven’t hit the same speed and performance benchmarks of their internal combustion counterparts. Electrics have topped 100 mph on the TT course, but gasoline bikes regularly hit 130 mph looping the 37.7 mile course. But with marques like Honda, and now Saroléa, competing in the electric category, expect to see performance leaps.
If Saroléa doesn’t sound familiar, that’s because the Belgian marque is returning to motorcycles after 50 years. The company was founded in 1850 as an arms and munitions maker, then moved on to bicycles and eventually motorcycles. It disappeared after merging with another Belgian motorcycle company, Gillet Herstal. While a motorcycle brand with that history that might be content to revive classic styling with modern engines, Saroléa has instead built one of the most futuristic motorcycles we’ve seen.
Saroléa has signed 35-year-old Scot Robert Wilson to ride the SP7 at the Isle of Man TT, which takes place from May 24 to June 6. Wilson, when not professionally racing motorcycles, works as an architect.
Watch the unveiling in the video below."
Official reveal of the Saroléa SP7 electric superbike from Saroléa Racing on Vimeo.