Airbus APWorks Light Rider - 10

The traditional form of the motorcycle – a frame, two wheels, an engine – translated itself into the electric bike world without much change. Using either an electric motor with a belt-driven wheel, or hub-mounted motor, any e-bike has a familiar silhouette to the observer.

This however doesn’t apply to the APWorks Light Rider. The metal tubes and beams of the traditional motorcycle frame are gone, replaced with what is claimed to be the world’s first 3D-printed motorcycle frame. As a division of aviation company Airbus, APWorks is in the advantageous position of having access to manufacturing technology others can only dream of.

In the case of the Light Rider, a 3D printer was used using Altair’s OptiStruct algorithm to yield the e-bike’s skeletal Scalmalloy (an aluminium alloy) frame that looks like it was organically grown. It weighs just 6 kg, with the entire machine clocking in at 35 kg. Powered by a 6 kW electric motor, APWorks claims the Light Rider gets 60 km of range on a single charge.

The top speed of the Light Rider e-bike is 80 km/h, and acceleration is a brisk zero-to-45 km/h in three seconds. Using components taken from downhill mountain bikes for the suspension, the e-bike sports Rockshox forks and coil-over rear shock with remote reservoir at the back.

APWorks will be putting up a limited production run of 50 Light Rider e-bikes for sale, with deposits of 2,000 euro (RM9,000) being taken. In case you’re interested in purchasing one of these unique machines, the estimated price of the Light Rider is 50,000 euro (RM225,151), and we reckon the cheapest components are the off-the-shelf suspension, wheels and brakes.