Home » This 201 HP Electric Motorcycle’s Wheel Has No Center And You’ll Be Able To Buy It In America Soon

This 201 HP Electric Motorcycle’s Wheel Has No Center And You’ll Be Able To Buy It In America Soon

Hubless Rider Ts
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A weird and striking new electric motorcycle is slated to come to America. The Verge TS offers up to 201 HP from a rim motor mounted in a hubless wheel and up to 233 miles of range from its low-density batteries. If you live in Europe, you can buy one of these right now. Thankfully, this won’t be some forbidden fruit as Verge will be coming to America as soon as spring 2024. Let’s take a look at what you’ll be able to buy!

If this motorcycle looks familiar to you, it’s because I wrote about it back in January of this year. Back then, Verge was in its early days of deliveries. As with all startups, there can be a fear that the product will never materialize. Verge beat the odds to sell motorcycles in Finland, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Estonia. As Verge ramps up production, it has its eyes on America. The company’s motorcycles are undergoing homologation right now and Verge hopes you’ll be able to buy its TS right here in America in spring of next year. Verge is at the Los Angeles Auto Show and it’s celebrating its impending American market release with a special edition dedicated to California.

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Verge Motorcycles

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This startup company is hardly a household name, so here’s a quick reminder of where it came from. Here’s some history from my previous coverage:

Back in 2018, Teemu Saukkio had an idea. He felt that the motorcycle market was ripe for more attitude with a dose of innovation. Finnish motorcycle manufacturer RMK Vehicle Corporation sprouted up to make Saukkio’s idea a reality. The RMK E2 was designed in Saukkio’s garage and by working at a breakneck pace, the motorcycle made it to EICMA 2019. The company, now called Verge Motorcycles, presented the TS, an electric motorcycle ripped right out of the dreams of many bikers.

Since I wrote that piece, Verge has tooled up a factory in Estonia and as I noted before, the company’s motorcycles are now in production. The motorcycles are also largely the same since I wrote about them in January, save for one big software update.

The Verge TS

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Verge’s launch vehicle is the TS motorcycle. Verge says this motorcycle was designed from the ground-up to be electric with a huge focus on keeping weight as low as possible while blowing other electric motorcycles out of the water on performance. The company’s executives even went as far as to say that objectively, the TS will be better than any other electric motorcycle on sale today. That is a tremendous claim, and one that I’d argue is more subjective. The best motorcycle for me might be different than the best motorcycle for you.

Anyway, the headlining feature of the Verge TS is its most visible part. What you’re looking at is a hubless wheel housing an electric motor in its rim. Here’s my explanation of how it works:

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At the heart of a Verge TS is its hubless wheel, which contains the motorcycle’s motor. The inner part of this wheel system is attached to a swingarm, and the outer part is what turns. Verge says that this motor works using the electromagnets on the wheel that repel each other, rotating the assembly. The end result is a motorcycle with a big ol’ donut hole where the rear wheel is. Verge says that this doesn’t just look killer, but has one huge benefit: the power produced by the motor goes directly to the wheel. The company says that the entire drivetrain is housed in that rear wheel, leaving the body of the cycle free for the large battery. Sadly, the front wheel isn’t of a wild design, but the motorcycle still looks plenty awesome.

Further, the company’s engineers explain that most electric motorcycles carry their motors in the frame with the batteries situated nearby. This works, but sometimes leads to a center of gravity that’s too high. Verge’s solution to this was to put the motor in the wheel, guaranteeing the weight stays low to the ground.

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The company also says its wheel design allows the battery pack to ride as low as possible. The motorcycles are juiced up by a 20.2 kWh battery and Verge says it’s using low-density cells while many manufacturers use high-density cells. Verge says its low-density cells don’t get as hot while also shaving down weight as well.

Here’s an image from Verge showing the motor and wheel’s parts:

The Verge TS comes in three versions. All three of them have the same battery, but different range and performance figures. The base model is the TS, which costs $26,900. Getting the cheapest Verge nets you a motor rated at 107 HP and 516 lb-ft torque. The base TS hits 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and races on to a top speed of 112 mph. Range is said to be up to 155 miles. This motorcycle can feed from DC fast charging and tops up in as quick as 55 minutes.

 

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Next is the Verge TS Pro. For $29,900, this motorcycle looks like the regular TS but bumps the power up to 137 HP and 737 lb-ft torque. That’s good enough to shave a full second off of the 60 mph acceleration time and top speed is upped to 124 mph. The battery pack can net you up to 217 miles and charging is as quick as 35 minutes.

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The top-of-the-line model is the TS Ultra. For a whopping $44,900, power tops out at 201 HP and you get 885 lb-ft torque. That cuts acceleration to 60 mph down to 2.5 seconds. The top speed is the same but range ups to a maximum of 233 miles. Charging is as quick as 25 minutes.

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Finally, we have the Verge TS Pro California Edition. This one is a Verge TS Pro, but comes painted in an orange inspired by the California Poppy.

All three motorcycles are available with a Wilbers suspension with an option to upgrade to an Öhlins-based suspension. Verge says that the TS and TS Pro could carry two, and two sets of pegs are provided. When you don’t have a passenger, you could use the pegs to achieve a cruise or sport riding position. You also get regenerative braking, which Verge says can be strong enough to stop the bike.

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Also new is the software driving these bikes. Verge calls it Starmatter and it’s a software control system that uses machine learning and AI to enhance the motorcycle. Starmatter includes over-the-air updates, which not only update the motorcycle’s software but could even upgrade performance. I’ll let Verge explain:

Advanced software is in the DNA of Verge superbikes, but Starmatter is something even bigger. It is like an invisible layer of star matter that covers the bike, personalising the riding experience for each user on an individual level and enabling new exciting features. Such a comprehensive technological leap has never before been seen in motorcycles,” says Verge CTO Marko Lehtimäki.

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With the Starmatter platform, all new Verge motorcycles come with a sensor package that comprises, for example, GPS positioning, an accelerometer, and Bluetooth, 4G and WiFi connections. In addition, the new platform enables automatic downloading of enhancements and new functions specified by the manufacturer with OTA updates when the device is connected to a network. OTA updates can optimise, for example, the performance of the bike, its charging characteristics, or the operation of the rim motor inside the rear wheel. Verge also aims in the future to proactively identify possible maintenance requirements.

“Some vehicle manufacturers have used OTA updates to keep their device software up to date, but these have usually only involved superficial enhancements. With Starmatter, we want to revolutionise the perception of the life cycle and intelligence of motorcycles. Typically, a vehicle is at its best when new, while smartphones, for example, gain completely new features that significantly improve their functionality year after year. We want to bring the same philosophy to the vehicle industry and guarantee Verge’s customers an intelligent and personalised riding experience, as well as the best possible version of the bike at all times,” Lehtimäki continues.

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As for these crazy torque numbers, Verge says it measures torque at the rear tire’s contact patch. The company does not provide any other numbers for torque. Also missing from Verge’s specs is curb weight, which seems like a strange omission given the company’s stated focus of cutting down weight.

Seeing these motorcycles in person was exciting. They give off a vibe of Tron Light Cycle mixed with Transformer. The quality seems good, though the passenger seat is super tiny. The most amazing part to me is that it exists at all. Too many startups with wild ideas never really get far off of the ground. Verge is making things happen.

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The company did say it was going to launch in America earlier this year, but the challenge of homologation delayed that rollout. So, the company is targeting next spring for its American launch.

Obviously, with prices like these, Verge isn’t going to make the likes of LiveWire or Zero quake in their boots. Instead, Verge is selling a boutique machine for the kind of rider who wants a bike that looks like nothing else. The rear wheel is getting lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” at the LA Auto Show, so I could only imagine the attention it would get on the street. I’m just happy to see another cool motorcycle hitting the road and I cannot wait to take a ride on one.

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(Photos: Author, unless otherwise noted.)

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Scott Baysinger
Scott Baysinger
7 months ago

All the Starmatter in the physical universe will not ameliorate its un-sprung mass.

David Burgenmeyer
David Burgenmeyer
7 months ago

Just another battery powered gimmick! Overpriced and overrated junk! My Honda Monkey is the epic of mini bikes! Gasoline powered vehicles will never be replaced by a gimmick! Wake up before its too late people!

Eric Smith
Eric Smith
7 months ago

Truly curious, “wake up before it’s too late” for what?

LuzifersLicht
LuzifersLicht
7 months ago

“It is like an invisible layer of star matter that covers the bike”

Is… is he feeling alright? Maybe he needs a little lie-down? With the lights off? And somebody tell him to throw out the weird mushrooms he found in the forest the other day please, before he hurts himself.

Last edited 7 months ago by LuzifersLicht
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  LuzifersLicht

Everyone knows you’re supposed to feed those mushrooms to the reindeer first, then drink their piss if you want to see Santa Claus.

https://www.livescience.com/25731-magic-mushrooms-santa-claus.html

David Burgenmeyer
David Burgenmeyer
7 months ago
Reply to  LuzifersLicht

Actually perhaps someone needs to put a 9mm handgun to your lil WoKe, Libtard pea brained head n pull the trigger so you won’t have to suffer through life as a brainwashed n braindead clown! I’d be glad to be the executioner!

LuzifersLicht
LuzifersLicht
7 months ago

That’s a very sane thing to comment on a 3-week old joke, bro. Maybe you want to have a little lie-down, too? Take a deep breath and think about what’s gone wrong in your life to make you so angry about internet comments?

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
7 months ago

I just want to point out that “verge” means shaft in French. The meaty kind I mean. I can’t take a company seriously when they fuck up a name like this. It’s even worse that Audi’s étron.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
7 months ago

As a designer, I fucking HATE hubless wheels. They were the ‘cool thing’ for a while, but never happened for real reasons that everyone else has mentioned already, heavy, more friction, etc. When younger designers are going through school, at some point they find out “ooo hubless wheels exist” and they start putting them on concepts as a crutch to distract from their half baked designs. Fuck hubless wheels. They’re dumb.

Ben
Ben
7 months ago

I’m skeptical of the unsprung weight in the rear wheel. Seems like they traded one handling problem for another, but I’m willing to withhold judgment there until we get some actual ride reviews. However,

Also new is the software driving these bikes. Verge calls it Starmatter and it’s a software control system that uses machine learning and AI to enhance the motorcycle.

Oh hell no. I do not want non-deterministic behavior from my motorcycle. The MotoGP teams spend massive amounts of money trying to make their bikes more consistent and predictable because it makes them easier to handle. Having a computer decide that because I over-braked into the last corner it’s going to reduce my braking force for the next one sounds like a bad joke someone made in a brainstorming session.

Aside: I hate how negative I am on these new product articles. Presumably they’re not all fundamentally flawed, right? Maybe the really stupid “features” will be dropped before the production versions start shipping? Maybe I’m just a grumpy old man?

Myk El
Myk El
7 months ago

I didn’t inherit the 2 wheel gene from my father like my brother did. I don’t really want to ride one, especially seeing how they are treated in traffic. But I think this is really cool. I’ll file this thing under a growing list of items that aren’t for me but I’m glad they exist. Like Frank Zappa’s music and Citroën 2CVs.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago

One step closer to my TRON lightcycle.

Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
7 months ago

I’m entirely on board with the current trend of cribbing aesthetics from cyberpunk, but this motorcycle does not look like a comfortable thing to ride. Look at all the seams and hard edges where human legs will go.

VanGuy
VanGuy
7 months ago

I have no desire or particularly strong opinions on motorcycles (although I do think this looks good).

Just wanted to say I hope this doesn’t start messing with my frequent searches for The Verge (news site, the only other one I regularly visit aside from the Autopian since it’s also unlikely to depress me).

SkyChief07
SkyChief07
7 months ago

The Verge TS comes in three versions. All three of them have the same battery, but different range and performance figures.”

So the battery capacity is the same. Do all three versions have the same motor? Is this another case of a manufacturer charging extra for the consumer to access capacity they already have on board? Wouldn’t the least powerful version also have more range if the battery capacity is still the same? Lots of questions here, but something stinks.

Scott Ross
Scott Ross
7 months ago

You too can buy a hubless motorcycle now and no long have to support convicted felon Billy Lane

sentinelTk
sentinelTk
7 months ago
Reply to  Scott Ross

Ha….what did Lane do?

Eric Smith
Eric Smith
7 months ago
Reply to  sentinelTk

Vehicular homicide from a drunk driving incident.

Motorcycle builder Billy Lane released after 6-year sentence for … – WFTV

sentinelTk
sentinelTk
7 months ago
Reply to  Eric Smith

Pathetic and unforturnate….it tracks.

Scott Ross
Scott Ross
7 months ago

Good week for Hubless designs, the Hubless ferris wheels debuted at an amusement park trade show.

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
7 months ago

“At the heart of a Verge TS is its hubless wheel, which contains the motorcycle’s motor. The inner part of this wheel system is attached to a swingarm…”

That inner part of the wheel system that bolts to the swingarm? That’s called a hub.

Making something bigger than normal doesn’t make it disappear.

The front hub also has a hole all the way through it, just like most bikes, but somehow isn’t “hubless” because it isn’t so big you can stick your arm through it.

Phuzz
Phuzz
7 months ago
Reply to  Captain Muppet

Or if you look at it another way, it’s a motor mount.

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
7 months ago

I doubt the tire shop at Cycle Gear can change and balance a tire on that back wheel.

I’m not a fan of complicated designs that cause these simple maintenance problems.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
7 months ago

Building the motor into the rim is clever packaging but the unsprung weight is going to massive. Going hubless exacerbates the problem because the rim has to be so much heavier without the strength of a hub and spokes. This is why hubless wheels only seen on Sbarro concepts and choppers.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
7 months ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

The weight gain from strengthening the rim will be dwarfed by the weight gain from all the copper and iron used to make all the electromagnets in the rim. since each electromagnet has to be electrically isolated from the adjacent ones, you can’t even use the iron core of the electromagnets to strengthen the rim.

CSRoad
CSRoad
7 months ago

I’m waiting for road tests from reliable sources, the torque figure should be taken with a grain of salt when compared to geared conventional power trains.
The base performance would seem to be on par with an average 650cc to 750cc bike. I too wonder about the handling.

Lokki
Lokki
7 months ago

So … the motor- wheel gives a low center of gravity. But I am sure it results in a lot of unsprung weight… I had a Cafe Racer back in the day with a cast rear wheel and a big heavy disc brake. Leaned over in the mountains and throttle on, the rear end tended to slide.

So, I’m curious about the handling when you push this bike.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
7 months ago
Reply to  Lokki

I’m curious about the unsprung weight as well. Seems like it would affect a motorcycle much more than a car

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
7 months ago

If I owned a bike shop, and one of these came in for a rear tire, I think I’d send them somewhere else. If you accidentally bend a normal motorcycle wheel, that’s not great, but it’s just a wheel.

You bend THIS rear wheel, you may have wrecked the motor. That’s VERY not great.

Dale Mitchell
Dale Mitchell
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Valid point; my initial impression was this:

  1. Dirt and debris will accumulate in the donut hole area
  2. Donut hole less aerodynamic that wheel with no hole

But hey, it is obviously not meant to be practical, for the many reasons cited

Ricki
Ricki
7 months ago

Without evidence to the contrary, I’m gonna guess those performance numbers between the models is going to come down to software, especially with it (the software and OTA updates) being hyped as such a big part of the bike and current trends in performance among carmakers. It’s also listed at almost 200lbs more than a (for example) Ducati Monster.

Love the look. Hope the price and weight both come down one day.

Rob_from_Ottawa
Rob_from_Ottawa
7 months ago

I read a lot of online motorcycle content but had never heard of this. Interesting find. As for ordering one, even a Niken-riding weirdo like me is likely to want to read a review first — Hint hint…

Gubbin
Gubbin
7 months ago

…so what you’re saying is that Mercedes needs to come to Ottawa for the next Gatineau auto show and test-ride your Niken?

Rob_from_Ottawa
Rob_from_Ottawa
7 months ago
Reply to  Gubbin

LOL! Damn you, Big Data! I thought I was cool until I saw what I look like to Google. Aw, to heck with appearances: This is The Autopian!

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
7 months ago

The form is cool but the body panels are kind of tame, flat black plastic. It’s like they worked so hard on the hubless rear wheel they forgot to give the rest of the body some pizazz. Need to do some cool halo type lighting around it. Especially for $45k, spice it up a little!

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