The recently announced Dustoff electric motorcycle is taking a new approach compared to most electric motorcycle designs. Instead of picking a single niche, it is hoping to become a platform for building a wide range of off-road and street-legal electric motorcycles.
Dustoff Motorcycles debuts new platform
The Dustoff is the work of Michel Riis, an ex-Yamaha Advanced Labs industrial designer and former Danish Flat Track racing champion.
The last time we covered Riis’ work, it was for the beautiful Switch eSCRAMBLER electric motorcycle line that he helped develop.
Now, he’s teamed up with a new partner — Danish design studio BWD — to create the Dustoff platform.
The Dustoff platform is designed to be simple and minimalist to allow riders as well as its designers to make modifications for different types of riding.
The first units will be intended for off-road use, which is a common strategy that allows electric motorcycle startups to avoid long and costly homologation certification. In fact, that’s how Zero Motorcycles got its start before it eventually switched to street-legal electric motorcycles.
Michel hasn’t shared the final motor power level with us but claims that it will be in the range of typical 150-200cc gas bikes. The motor appears to be a centrally mounted unit with a single reduction chain-drive.
The Dustoff electric motorcycle is currently still in prototype form and undergoing rigorous testing to vet the design and performance.
As Michel explained:
“I am a former Speedway rider and see a huge potential for electric motorcycles in flattrack. Our goal is to have a street legal version on the street later this year. Now we are doing the ‘not legal’ version to test our bike and make sure it performs well under extreme conditions. Our dream is to make a low cost bike you can use as a commuter and also do small upgrades/changes to take it to the local dirt track or to the woods.”
When Riis says “low cost,” he means it. Most true electric dirt bikes such as the KTM Freeride E-XC start far north of US$8,000. Riis’ goal is to have the final price tag of the Dustoff reach $6,000-$7,000.
I think this is a wise strategy to create a fairly universal platform for an economical electric motorcycle, and then use that to modify it for various purposes.
In a broader sense, this is something Zero already does. Their FX/FXS platform serves both as an off-road and on-road platform, as does the S/SR/DS/DSR platform. That allows Zero to have eight different electric motorcycles in their current lineup despite just three platforms (including the SR/F and SR/S).
While it’s a bit early to judge the Dustoff from a technical perspective, Riis has shown that he has the design experience to build enticing electric motorcycles from his previous partnerships. Now we just need to see if he can actually bring this one to market in late 2020 like he hopes.
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