Retro-Style Avionics VM e-Bike Is a Work of Art
1 April 2020 - autoevolution
Electric bikes are seeing a boom in popularity, with consumers and makers alike focusing on alternative, more eco-friendly means of transport. Effectively, this translates into a wider array of options to choose from, depending on needs and budget.
Say you're more of the fancy, artsy type and also happen to have a budget that allows shilling nearly $20K on a bicycle. Yes, there is an electric bicycle that fits your needs – and it's the closest thing to a work of art that you can ride. Meet the Avionics VM electric bike.
You wouldn't know by looking at it, but this retro bike with wooden accents is as modern as it gets. The founders of Avionics, Bartek and Jaromir, created it as a limited-edition offer for watchmaker's MB&F's MAD (Mechanical Art Devices) Gallery in Geneva. Only 52 of them will ever be made, and interested parties can contact Avionics directly. If they have $19,900 to spare.
For this kind of money, though, they will get an electric bicycle that isn't just pretty to look at. It's smart, it's reliable and it's powerful, according to the description on the official website. Last but not least, it is as green as it gets, causing no pollution while riding it (which goes without saying, since it's electric) and being made with wood. Jatoba wood, if you must know, which is also known as Brazilian cherry and is one of the hardest exotic hardwood materials out there.
Putting wood on a bike might seem an odd choice, especially if the saddle is also made of it. Avionics says it opted for it as a means to make the product more stylish and eco-friendly.
So, there's a wooden chest at the bottom of the chromium-molybdenum steel frame, which houses the battery pack, the immobilizer and all the other electronics. The handlebar grips, fork covers and the chrome-plated headlight are also made with hardwood, as is the saddle, which is integrated into the frame by means of leaf spring suspension.
"When you look at Avionics from the profile you will see the section of the airplane wing created from the leaf spring and part of the frame," Avionics co-founder Bartek Bialas says. "This is an unusual solution for suspension and a feature distinguishing Avionics from any other bike or motorcycle."
While visually arresting, the heart of this e-bike is the electronics, according to the makers. That's obvious through the inclusion of a sinewave controller, which is an onboard computer that allows the rider, "in a 'force mode,' [to] transform it into a wild road speeder for an adrenaline kick or a sophisticated e-bike for a calm 'walk' in the park," as Avionics says.
The VM also has an integrated immobilizer and regenerative braking, to allow you to get the most out of the battery.
The powerful 5,000-watt motor offers three street-friendly power modes (250, 500, and 750 watt), produces 125 Nm (92 lb-ft) of torque and is able to deliver a top speed of 36 mph (58 km/h). The lithium-ion battery has an estimated range of 120 km (74.5 miles) in low-power street mode and requires 2.5 to 3 hours for a full charge from a wall outlet. Charging the bike can also be done by USB charger.
The VM comes with chrome-plated headlamp (1,000 lumens) and integrated LED taillight with an output of 18 lumens. Effective braking is done through 203-millimeter (8-inc) rotors, while the 26 by 3 inch special tires with retro ZigZag tread allow the owner to comfortably ride the bike on most terrains.
In case you're wondering what good a wooden bike will be "on most terrains" if it's raining, snowing or damp outside, the MAD Gallery presentation page stresses that it's tested for optional results in such conditions. In translation: rain won't kill it or damage it.
"Avionics VM disrupts the standard way to ride a bike with its unique and striking form built to be reliable and withstand time," the same description reads. "A ride on the Avionics VM provides freedom of movement in harmony with nature, a surge of adrenaline, or the opportunity to defeat agonizing traffic jams on an environmentally friendly alternative free from noise and exhaust."
Lots of beautiful words for a very beautiful but also expensive electric bicycle. And probably a lot of groin pain.