It's no secret that we at Roadshow love electric vehicles, and that includes electric motorcycles. That's why when we saw the E2 from Finnish motorcycle company RMK Vehicle, we started geeking out immediately.
The RMK E2 truly sets itself apart in its design thanks mainly to the wild-looking hubless rear wheel. By hubless, we mean that the wheel is driven directly by the rim with no other final drive. This means there's no chain or belt with their assorted sprockets and cogs. There's no - or Moto Guzzi-esque driveshaft and differential either.
Hubless drive has been around in motorcycles for a while now, having been popularized by chopper builders like Billy Lane of Choppers Inc. and others -- though those bikes were powered by internal combustion engines and had a more traditional final-drive system.
The RMK integrated rim motor produces a frankly unimpressive 67 horsepower, but that figure is backed up by an utterly bananas 236 pound-feet of torque. The hubless design is neat because in addition to looking different it has the effect of reducing rotational weight while not sacrificing the amount of unsprung weight.
The rest of the E2 takes a step or two toward the more conventional ideas of motorcycle design, but it's still pretty different. For example, the chassis isn't totally weird-looking, but its shape allows the fitment of a relatively chonky battery along with all its supporting bits, which in turn allows a decent range.
How much range? RMK is claiming that it'll do between 124 and 186 miles on a charge, depending on how you spec the bike. For comparison's sake, Roadshow'sstruggles to crest 90 miles on a tank of fuel. RMK also says that the E2 will support DC fast-charging.
The E2 uses a unique, almost vintage Harley-Davidson placement for its instrument panel -- right on top of the "tank" area. This screen looks pretty big, though we don't have an exact size. RMK says that it will be reconfigurable, and allow easy navigation. It also claims the bike will be able to take advantage of over-the-air updates.
Finally, we get to price. The RMK E2 is available for preorder now, and the company is asking 27,990 euros for the privilege of owning one. That works out to around $29,000, though it's not clear whether the E2 will be available for purchase in the US.
RMK will debut the production version of the bike next month in Milan at the EICMA motorcycle show, where it also says it will show off improved specs for the bike.