Two months in the past, Segway shocked the web by introducing its first-ever electrical bike, the Segway Apex. The corporate higher recognized for its affordable electric kickscooters had dropped a 200 km/h (124 mph) electrical sportbike seemingly out of nowhere.
Now that the mud has settled, we’re getting extra perception into the attention-grabbing backstory that led to the Segway Apex.
In 2019, Segway determined to develop into extra street-worthy electrical autos like Vespa-style seated electrical scooters.
The corporate rolled out its seated electric scooter designs this previous December, however the scooters weren’t the one shock on the unveiling.
Segway and its mother or father firm Ninebot wished a bigger halo product to excite prospects and reveal the corporate’s capacity to construct bigger and extra highly effective electrical two-wheelers.
They wished to construct a high-speed electrical bike. A veritable sportbike.
The one downside was that they’d by no means designed a motorbike earlier than.
In order that they turned to a largely unknown designer. A person so obscure he goes solely by the initials “JC”.
JC was tasked with taking Segway’s idea electrical bike, a motorbike constructed on the chassis of an current ICE bike, and turning it into their imaginative and prescient.
As JC described it, an preliminary problem, which occurs in lots of design initiatives, was the alignment of artistic imaginative and prescient between himself and Segway. The corporate initially wished a design to date on the market and revolutionary that it will shock customers and be not like something anybody had ever seen earlier than. JC nervous that such a design would alienate a lot of the prevailing bike group, and as a substitute he pushed for a sporty design that was acquainted but eye-catching and may very well be appreciated by a bigger viewers.
As he defined to EMN:
I imagine a superb design ought to have common enchantment. I’m glad they trusted my judgment to go along with this refined, clear strategy. To date the response from the web has been overwhelmingly optimistic [in regards to] to the design.
JC has over 20 years of expertise in product design and is used to designing in 3D with CAD. However for this venture, he determined to start in a extra old-school trend with full-size clay modeling. That meant that he needed to hand sculpt the design.
To avoid wasting time, he used every half of the bike to discover a special idea till he was positive he appreciated the path it was going.
He expanded upon his design targets and the alternatives he made alongside the way in which:
I wished a clear and minimalist design that may be a part of the shopper’s product language. I additionally wished one thing completely different from the present pattern in transportation design, much less saturation of visible stimulation. The joy of a motorbike may be expressed in a extra refined method, with proportion, sturdy character traces and clear floor remedy.
The facet panels are massive and uninterrupted with minimal options. Key character traces got here from folding of geometric surfaces to present it a way of power. The entrance fairing is minimalist through the use of clear surfaces with the headlight tucked away, giving it a extra impartial expression.
The visible heart of gravity is moved additional ahead to create a way of movement. The motor and the battery are uncovered on both sides to showcase the expertise. They’re additionally separated visually from the facet panels to kind an influence unit to focus on the electrical powertrain.
You’ll be able to watch JC at work within the quick video clip he produced under:
Solely as soon as JC was proud of the full-size clay mannequin did he flip to 3D modeling instruments. He scanned the clay into a pc modeling program in order that the construction may very well be refined. Then the manufacturing of the elements was outsourced to a fabrication firm who created the prototype elements based mostly on JC’s hand-sculpted and computer-refined designs.
Your complete course of took round seven months and the remainder is historical past. Segway ran full pace forward with JC’s design and in the end unveiled it because the Segway Apex electrical bike. We’ve since seen the bike do a few hot laps at a race track in China, but it surely’s too quickly to say if we’ll ever see a Segway Apex on the market.
But when we do, not less than now we all know the human contact that went into shaping the character of the bike itself.
Picture: JC’s instagram
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