Nicolai helps design £5,200 electric bike

'World's first street legal e-motorbike'

A German designer has developed a €5,877 (approx £5,200/US$8,750) electric bike with help from Karl-Heinz Nicolai, who's more famous for his full-suspension mountain bikes.

Grace is billed as the 'world's first street legal e-motorbike'. It has two rear hub-mounted motors, powered by lithium ion batteries stored inside the frame, that produce 1,300w and can propel it at up to 45km/h (28mph).

It still has pedals and a chain, but designer Michael Hecken says that to ride it in the EU you'll need to wear a helmet and have motor liability insurance.

To comply with EU regulations, Grace has certified electric engines, brakes, tyres, headlights, rear light, brake light and horn. It's only specced with motors up to 48v. However, in theory you could bump the voltage up to 96v which would give you a top speed of 70km/h (43mph).

The frame is hand-made at Nicolai's factory in Lubbrechtsen from aircraft grade 7020 and 7005 aluminium. The massively oversized tubes (the down tube is 78mm in diameter) contain all the cables and the bike's Energy Storage System Module (ESSM) – 60 Li-ion cells arranged into five stacks.

Three different frames designs are available – Race, City or Universal – and there's a choice of three different motors – Sport, Flat or Mountain. Prices start at €5,877 (approx £5,200/US$8,750). Buyers can choose between 67 powder coated or anodised colours. For more details, see www.grace.de, or check out the video below.

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