Husqvarna Debuts E-go Electric Concept

September 13, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Husqvarna E-go Concept
Husqvarna takes a stab at the electric motorcycle segment with its E-go concept, targeted at entry-level youth riders.

Husqvarna tenders its first bid for the burgeoning electric motorcyle market, the BMW-owned marque debuting its E-go concept at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show. Marketed toward the young commuter, the E-go features minimalist supermotard styling and the use of radical components like a single-sided front fork.

Husqvarna press materials five no details on the E-go’s electric powertrain, stating only that it’s a functional prototype. A belt drive from the motor output shaft is visable, which powers the chain final drive. Zero information on the battery chemistry or design, except that the battery support is constructed from aluminum.

Stripped down styling takes center stage on this concept. Husqvarna dubs the eye-catching front suspension “a single sided double leg fork.” The right side fork is complemented by a single-sided rear swingarm jutting out the left. A Sachs shock connects the swingarm to the steel-tubed frame at the base of the “self-supporting” seat.

Husqvarna nailed the allure of concept model teases, mating its short-on-details electric entry with eye-catching components like the single-sided front fork.

The most eye-brow raising stat in the E-go’s press material is a claimed weight of 80 kilograms (176 pounds). This matches up quite favorably with the current crop of production electric rides – the Zero DS weighing 278 pounds and Brammo Enertia 335 pounds when tested in MotoUSA’s 2010 Electric Motorcycle Comparison.

Perhaps most interesting is Husqvarna’s targeted pitch toward young riders. The debut press announcement mentions “young” and “first-time” riders repeatedly. It E-xtensively uses the E-lectric E-marketing shtick, promising that “on the Concept E-go, urban traffic will seem like a videogame that will be fun and easy to skilfully nE-gotiate.”

An electric bid for the youth sector makes strategic sense, particularly in the European market. While the current performance of electric motorcycles flag behind traditional ICE designs, they are comparable to the low-displacement horsepower-restricted mounts mandated by Europe’s tiered licensing laws.

Expect more news on Husqvarna street lineup at this year’s round of bike shows.