The Motorman was a slow burn when I first saw it - it was just too simple, too European, and too expensive. It took me a while to figure out how beautiful that simple part is.
And it's hard to figure out what it is. It sure doesn't look like a scooter. It's not a moped or electric bicycle - it has no pedals. Really, when you get down to it, it's the distillation to the simplest of motorcycles (but most people won't see, hear, or smell the motor.)
The Motorman is the design of Ronald Meijs, a Dutch designer who set out to build a basic and beautiful eco-friendly urban transportation. He took styling inspiration from the American board track racers of 100 years ago.
(Lots of Mesquite Hugger motivation in the first paragraph.)
(Just ignore the last paragraph's coming to America theme.)
Frame, hub motor, wheels, brakes, and a seat. What could be simpler? No pedals. No chain. No gears. No clutch. Easy to clean, Easy to maintain. Easy to charge. Even easy to haul - it's only 99 pounds.
Just plug and charge
Don't let the numbers bother you - you can't buy it over here anyway.
Do I want a Motorman - oh yeah! But not in Euro-spec. I would want it to be a simple motorcycle capable of somewhere around 45 mph, which should be pretty attainable. But then I'd probably want to mess it up by adding things like suspension and a cushy seat.
How about you? Do you find appeal in this stripped down machine? May you find a scoot that avoids that Wired article's first paragraph!
PS. If you want a cool electric moped-ish machine that you can buy here, be sure to check out Monday Motorbikes - straight out of San Francisco!