You might call it The Hulk project: create an electric bike that’s a mild-mannered commuter that transforms into an off-road beast when things get gnarly.
“We are making a new class of vehicle,” says Roshan Thomas, founder and CEO of Biktrix in Saskatoon. “We want to give the customer the flexibility of riding 200-plus kilometres on a charge as a pedal assist bike – the largest range ever on an ebike – or switch to off-road mode and ride it as the most powerful electric dirt bike.”
Thomas is working with Tim Muench, B.E., M.Sc., P.Eng, Sask Polytech program head of Mechanical and CAD/CAM Engineering programs. The project is to design, prototype and test the numerous parts of the bike that must work in concert, from frame and saddle to brakes and power system.
Biktrix’s existing line of pedal-assist bikes deliver a maximum of 500 watts. The goal is to be able to switch on the fly to dirt bike mode, with 5-10 kilowatts – 10 to 20 times the power.
“This has never been done before with this much dynamic range,” Thomas says. Backed with funding from the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Acceleration Program, initial prototyping work will take advantage of Sask Polytech’s 3D printer and CNC lathe capabilities.
For more information on Applied Research at Sask Polytech visit saskpolytech.ca/research.