RMK E2 Electric Motorcycle Features Hubless Rear Wheel
2019 is turning into a bumper year for electric motorcycles. Not only are a number of new models being offered by US companies like Zero, Lightning and Harley-Davidson, but manufacturers from across Europe and Asia are getting into the mix as well.
But while most new electric motorcycle manufacturers are offering designs that are at least remotely similar, Finland’s RMK has developed an electric motorcycle that looks nothing like the competition. With a hubless rear wheel that also functions as the motor, the E2 electric motorcycle is breaking design rules with its radical new bike.
Finnish electric motorcycle startup RMK has sent us some photos of its completed E2 prototype, as well as performance figures and details on some of the expected features. Notable for its very cool hubless rear wheel drive, the E2 is shaping up to be a fun and sporty machine.
Freshly finished for the MP19 Motorcycle Show in Helsinki this weekend, the RMK E2 prototype signifies that this Finnish company is open for business, open for investment and ready to move into production. Testing is set to ramp up immediately after the expo, and the intention thus far is to set up manufacturing facilities in Finland to keep the company local to its roots.
The E2 currently makes some 50 kW (67 hp) and a huge 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque out of its signature hubless rear-wheel drive unit, which looks as good in reality as it did in the renders, if a little heavy. So too the angular frame, but RMK says the bike’s total weight will be kept around 200 kg (440 lb). According to RMK, the bike won’t be totally silent as the rear wheel will make some “precise mechanical sound from large bearings” as well as an accompanying electric whine.
Wheelbase is 1,600 mm (63 in), which is almost as long as BMW’s K1600GT touring bike runs. That’ll help keep the front wheel on the ground when all those Newton-meters start yanking at the ground, which will be nice for some and a pity for others. Despite the long wheelbase, the company says the E2’s low, central center of mass and lack of rotating engine parts will help it handle lightly and nimbly.
RMK isn’t ready to release full details on the battery as yet, but the company will release this bike with “one of the largest available batteries in the motorcycle market, allowing a real-world range of 200-300 km (120-180 mi) depending on riding style and conditions.” The battery will charge from 0-80 percent in two to three hours even if you’re just using the onboard charger, and fast DC charging will also be available, but details and speeds for that are yet to be finalized.
The E2 will run a scooter-like brake setup, with the right lever controlling the hydraulic front disc brakes, and the left lever managing regenerative braking through the rear wheel – there’s no disc brake planned at the rear. Lever feel will apparently be very similar despite the lack of discs thanks to a hydraulic sensor on the rear brake lever.
The footpegs are notably quite a way forward from where we’d expect – RMK says this is done to give the bike a relaxed, cruisy kind of feel when you’re not flogging it in the twisties. When you are, you can fold out the passenger footrests from just under the swingarm pivot and get yourself a much sportier riding position. It’ll be interesting to see how these options feel in the flesh.
The dash will be integrated into the top of the tank rather than on top of the handlebars, helping maintain a clean look to the front of the bike. It’s a large digital screen that’s customizable to some degree, and can handle things like navigation prompts as well as over-the-air updates that could add extra features down the track.
As well showing as the E2 prototype, RMK is also announcing a partnership with Australian motorcycle clothing company Saint, whose exceptionally durable single-layer Unbreakable denim jeans are some of the highest quality motorcycle streetwear we’ve ever encountered.
Check out a short, silent presentation about the bike below.