What would a motorcycle look like if you built the frame with only the essential sections and removed everything that didn’t matter? As it turns out, it will look a lot like the Light Rider, an electric motorcycle with a 3D-printed frame.
Created by APWorks, the motorcycle frame was conceived using generative design, an emerging field that uses intelligent software to create a digital prototype based on the exact specifications you need. In this case, they input variables like desired seat height, wheelbase, and handlebar position, while detailing how it should perform in very specific situations (like when a rider of a certain weight boards it or if it hits a speed bump while traveling at a certain speed). From there, the company’s proprietary system goes to work, creating a 3D model that will fulfill all the original criteria.
The Light Rider 3D Printed Motorcycle’s hollow aluminum frame is fabricated using a selective 3D laser printing system as 14 separate parts, which are welded together after cleaning up. When assembled, the frame weighs 30 percent less than conventional bike frames – a direct result of the unusual hollow sections. It is then combined with more conventional electric motorcycle parts to put together the final ride, which, truth be told, looks positively exciting. Unfortunately, performance is only half as exciting, as the rig only manages a max speed of 45 mph and a range of 75 miles per charge.
APWorks is building a limited production of 50 Light Riders. Price is $56,500.