The electric racing motorbike study, AER, began with a question. What might an environmentally aware form of motorcycle racing for the future look like? How can the values of motorcycle racing be presented positively?
Motorcycle models for general use today adopt technical and design ideas from motor sports, which exert considerable influence on the buying decisions of motorcycle riders. Now it is becoming more and more important to promote sustainability without neglecting the dynamic nature of motorcycling. This is an important factor in maintaining enthusiasm for motorcycling. Thus the technical idea behind AER is based on a compact, mass- centralised unit consisting of four electric motors and their battery units. The electric motor in the front wheel is used mainly for braking and thus also for the recuperation of energy. The weight of the cycle is geared towards the front wheel, thereby allowing a long rear-wheel swing arm. This combination leads to higher traction at the back wheel and improved acceleration.
Service and maintenance are important factors in motor sports, parlicularly wheel and battery change. AER makes it easy to dismount and exchange all the heavily-used components of the bike quickly and safely from the right side. This means that just one team can quickly carry out reliable pit service. The left side of the motorbike is constructed to permit a second team to easily service the engines and chassis parts. The design of AER emphasises the key features of motor sports - efficiency and precision. The wheels are a good example of this efficient design: their lattice principle is both a visual design feature and also efficient in that it permits an intelligent use of forces and momentum in the wheel, a reduction of material and rotating mass and also improved heat dispersal. Precision is also a design feature of AER. Cladding, for example, is both formally attractive and also exactly divided into individual components.
The great influence of motor sports on product perception provides an opportunity for designers to sharpen awareness of new solutions and to build up social acceptance. So as to do justice to this responsibility and to push development forward, engineering and design must work together. The use of new electric engines also offers an opportunity to attract new customers and counter flat sales figures.