From Internal Combustion Engines to Electric Motorcycles. Aesthetics and Design

Published by EEVAM Technologies on

A few weeks ago we presented you the work done for OX Motorcycles who asked us to design a café racer-styled electric motorcycle. This is the OX ONE.

Traditionally, the design process of combustion motorcycles was shape wise conditioned by a series of elements such as the engine or the tank. However, the design of the new electric motorcycles is freed from these limitations.

In the design of combustion motorcycles, the engine has usually been used as a visual element that is part of the design of the motorcycle. The area where the engine is placed becomes the space battery, being a fundamental challenge to design attractive panels that cover it. Manufacturers use different solutions to protect this element.

Brands such as Tarform create large fairings that cover the entire frame.

Fuente: Tarform

Others, like Switch, outline an independent block that reminds the old engine in combustion motorcycles. 

Fuente: Switch

At EEVAM, we have had to solve this problem in the design of this electric motorcycle. Its frame is very robust and large, therefore, covering the entire surface with panels, brought about a very massive “washing” effect. Because of that, we started to study different options that made the frame visible, lightening the design not only visually but also physically. We tested one, two and up to three independent functional blocks separated from the frame.

Finally, we decided to design a single functional block equidistant from the motorcycle’s structure, which helped us to highlight the retro style we were looking for, but not copying a combustion engine. 

On the other hand, the battery box has been adjusted to the curved geometry of the frame. 

This block is made up of black lateral panels made of high quality ABS injection. This material, unlike others, reduces the weight of the motorcycle, providing an agile driving.

Some details have been added to these panels, such as the brand’s logo or several stripes equidistant from each other and concentric to the block and the frame , which help to highlight the curved shapes of this motorcycle. 

Futhermore, we faced this impact on the aesthetics of the electric vehicle, which also affects the engineering of the motorcycle. We have been challenged to integrate all the powertrain components (controller, DC/DC, etc.), and the wiring within this new functional block.

Also, moving the engine towards the back of the vehicle and the redistribuition of charges at the center conditioned by the battery make for a key change in the vehicular dynamic, which challenged us to guarantee a comfortable and natural riding experience.

The tank, in addition, is also inherited from combustion motorcycles, but nowadays, some manufacturers prefer to remove it in their designs of electric motorcycles. However, in this case we have decided to keep it, offering new functionalities. On one hand, It can be used as a globe box that includes a USB port to charge any device.

On the other hand, as a cover for the lower functional block, which makes it possible to remove the battery. The tank is easily opened from its front area and this element is extracted upwards. 

Regarding the engineering, we face new challenges, such as guaranteeing the motorcycle stability while extracting the battery, or making sure that the user can proceed to said extraction comfortably and without the need of a tool or an external accessory.

In this last situation, it’s very important to prevent the wearing of the intervening components and reassure the user security when extracting the battery from the vehicle.

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