It is extremely rare that Elon Musk makes you an offer to buy your motorcycle – and even more rarely that you decline it. But that’s exactly what happened at the CES fair in Las Vegas, as the two founders of the Novus brand, Marcus Wedig and René Renger, like to spread.
But the two did not want to part with their prototype, which they had developed together since 2010. In 2019 they took the plunge and founded their start-up Novus in Braunschweig, after previously working as an industrial designer at Volkswagen. Her dream was to create an extraordinary electric motorcycle. They succeeded.
Frame made of carbon fiber laminate
To achieve this goal, they opted for a minimalist frame made of carbon fiber laminate, which should weigh only 6.9 kilograms and which integrates all electrical components in order to hide them from the eyes of the beholder. In the place where the combustion engine normally sits on motorcycles, the Novus One has a big gap, making it unmistakably clear that it is an electric bike. The Novus One does not seem to think of knee closure as a means of vehicle control.
The bench appears to float freely and has a tiny rear light at the end. The license plate holder with the mini turn signals is attached to the swing arm, following the current trend. But that’s not all about lightweight construction: the fork, swing arm and rims are also made of carbon fiber laminate – all handcrafted. Allegedly, the Novus One only weighs 80 kilograms including the battery, which would be remarkably little for an electric motorcycle.
Inspired by bicycle construction
Wedig and Renger say they were inspired by bicycle and not motorcycle construction for the frame. The self-developed fork on the front wheel, which would go well with a mountain bike, testifies to this. It cushions the 18-inch front wheel with narrow 2.75 tires to 100 millimeters of travel, at the rear a central spring strut works via a deflection to 120 millimeters of travel, and Novus chose 90 / 90-18 as the tire dimension, which is otherwise only found on front wheels .
Novus writes about 17-inch wheels in the press release, while the company photos clearly show Michelin 18-inch tires. The narrow tires should benefit the handling, but not the traction in an inclined position. The front wheel is decelerated by a four-piston brake caliper via a small brake disc, Novus does not provide any details about the brake manufacturer.
Without battery changing system
The 20 kilogram 4.3 or 4.8 kWh battery is permanently installed. Novus says they made a conscious decision against a replaceable battery so that they wouldn’t have to spoil their design with a large charging opening.
After the major motorcycle manufacturers Honda, Yamaha, Piaggio and KTM formed the “Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium” a few weeks ago to introduce a standardized, exchangeable battery system that also contributes to sustainable battery lifecycle management, Novus’ solution appears not up to date anymore.