Davinci Dynamics DC100 and DC Classic add brutalism to e-bikes

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Beijing-based Davinci Motor has unveiled two new motorcycles, the DC100 and DC Classic. Both are powered by the same 17.7-kWh battery hung off an aluminum monocoque frame. It shunts current to a rear hub motor at the end of a single-sided swingarm and producing 137 horsepower alongside 637 pound-feet of torque, endowing the motorcycles with better than liter-bike power on paper. On the tarmac, Davinci says the DC 100 takes less than four seconds to hit 62 miles per hour; a Yamaha YZF-R1 takes 3.3 seconds.

The Davinci powertrain's been credited with a number of range estimates between various press releases, the most relevant figure being 250 miles on the WLTP cycle — a more generous standard than we use here. Compare that to the Zero SR with a Power Tank and its 18-kWh battery good for 223 miles in the city or 112 miles on the highway.

Plug the Davinci into a Level 3 charger at the end of its range, and the battery will be refilled in 30 minutes, with an 85% charge needing just 15 minutes.

The bike uses a Davinci app on the owner's smartphone as a key and dashboard. Riding assistance aids include traction control, ABS, single-lever combined braking system, Relax and Sports ride modes, a six-axis inertial measurement unit that activates hill assist and downhill braking assist, a reverse gear, and a low-speed creep function where the bike rolls at up to 3.5 miles per hour when put in Drive.

With the inclusion of electric power steering and over-the-air update ability, what's DC's eventually going for is a high-tech production version of the kind of concept motorcycle we've seen from Honda. Those six-axis IMUs are planned to enable to the bike to balance itself, and Davinci plans code that will enable the bikes to follow its owner, both features seen on the Honda Riding Assist-e concept from 2017. And by opening up their bike's API to developers, Davinci wants bike-loving programmers "to develop and share new features."

Outside of powertrain and digital features, the DC100 and DC Classic differ in just about every other way. Limited to 50 units, the DC Classic would be the naked version, built on a composite chassis and eschewing the angular sheetmetal covering the battery and electronics on the DC 100, getting much better spec, and assembly by hand. The Classic cockpit overlooks a pair of Öhlins front forks clad in Dyneema carbon fiber sleeves, with Brembo GP4 calipers and Brembo RCS master cylinder. At the other end, a French calfskin seat hovers above an Öhlins STX 46 monoshock and a host of custom CNC'd parts.

Pre-orders are open now, although it seems any potential takers must be in China. The DC Classic goes for $90,000 and is promised to ship starting April 2022, the DC 100 commands a much more friendly $27,500 and will ship from July of next year.

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