All Tests – MNC tested the 1st French electric sports motorcycle! – H-KER or the French electric motorcycle

MNC tested the 1st French electric sports motorcycle !

All Tests - MNC tested the 1st French electric sports motorcycle! - H-KER or the French electric motorcycle

Driving an electric two-wheeler is a rare and unique experience. So when it comes to testing the Luciole, the first battery-powered speed bike designed by the French company H-KER, the test becomes downright … electrifying. !

H-KER or the French electric motorcycle

The electric motorcycle is a bit like improving purchasing power: a lot of promises, very few concrete solutions. Despite the progress made in terms of size and battery life, the "zero-emission" two-wheeler remains marginal, especially in France..

On the other side of the Atlantic on the other hand, this alternative – more or less – green is at a much more advanced stage and the motorcycles of certain specialists of the "sector" (ouarf!) – Brammo, Zero Motorcycles or even Mission Motorcycles – demonstrate an astonishing level of performance.

Example: during a race organized as a prelude to the GP of Laguna Seca 2011, a "nuclear" prototype with impressive characteristics (141 hp and 260 km / h in peak!) Turned just ten seconds from pole position signed by Jorge Lorenzo with his "thermal" MotoGP Yamaha (read).

Encouraged by this type of feat, Yves Kerlo and François-Xavier Huille, a former pilot who became a talented trainer and an industrialist in the field of metallurgy, decided to create H-KER – for "H-uille" and "KER- lo "- in 2010 with a very precise idea in mind: to build and market the first French track motorcycle with electric propulsion.

To achieve this goal, these two enthusiasts with contagious enthusiasm pool their skills: Yves Kerlo (on the left in the foreground in the photo) is in charge of the technical part of the project, while François-Xavier Huille (on the right) raises the funds necessary for its accomplishment. Not hesitating to put his hand in his pocket, this former vice-president of the chamber of commerce and industry of Eure-et-Loir (28) has raised around € 300,000 to date.

"And only by calling on private funds: H-KER has not received any public subsidy", specifies this enlightened amateur of competition who also has a collection of old motorcycles. The only help from the State comes in terms of the status granted to this company in Chartres (28): H-KER is considered a young company innovative (JEI), and therefore does not pay income taxes or social charges.

The FFM in the (re) charge …

The initiative also benefits from the active support of the French Motorcycling Federation, which has been working for several years on the development of electric propulsion (see in particular). The FFM sees it as a response to the continuous hardening of environmental and sound constraints that threaten motor sports..

"In addition to the absence of Co2 emissions, the silent operation of an electric motorcycle provides a solution to the problems encountered by certain circuits due to noise: it is even possible to drive between 12 and 2 pm, which is currently excluded on many sites. This opens up new perspectives", rejoices the president of the FFM, Jacques Bolle, before recalling that electric prototypes supported by the federation obtain convincing results in trials.

Likewise, mini-motorcycle schools in the League of Burgundy are now equipped with electric models. But if the FFM is following this issue so closely, it is also because it is perfectly aware that electricity is popular with a large part of public opinion and political bodies …

"Electricity is virtuous", confides, in the tone of confidence, the president of the FFM who provided a budget in the amount kept secret as well as a Honda 125 RS to H-KER. It is from this small" thermal "racing motorcycle "that Yves Kerlo and François-Xavier Huille developed their first prototype, the Luciole.

From the Luciole prototype to the "production" motorcycle: the First

Discovered for the first time at the end of 2011, the Luciole is H-KER’s "rolling laboratory". While most of the sporty Honda’s peripherals have been preserved (rims, two-piston brake caliper, inverted fork and shock absorber adjustable in preload), its chassis has undergone many changes to accommodate a three-phase "brushless" motor from 26 kW (35.3 hp) powered by a 120 Ah lithium-ion battery.

"In reality, we are only enlightened assemblers", modestly explains Yves Kerlo, general and technical director of H-KER."All of these are from US suppliers and our job is basically to put it all together and make it work.".

Easier said than done: countless test sessions were necessary to resolve all the inevitable youthful flaws and retain the right components! As for the frame, it has been cut several times and its geometry modified in order to ideally integrate the heavy battery made up of three packs. An essential detail for the dynamic behavior of the motorcycle, since the said battery weighs 70 kg !

Once the bases had been defined with the Luciole, H-KER moved on to the second phase of its project: the design of a marketable version in – small – series at a reasonable price..

Called "First", it is aimed primarily at piloting schools and track run organizers wishing to promote electricity and diversify their offers. A "trendy" alternative certainly attractive, but with a priori very slim potential outlets: a niche within another niche in a way …

Eventually, H-KER also hopes to engage it in a hypothetical future French electric speed championship which would be inspired by the two existing international competitions: the FIM e-Power and the TTX-GP (read in particular).

Closely derived from the Luciole (motor, battery and controller, in particular), the First is distinguished by its perimeter frame taken from a Yamaha YZF-R125: "it seemed more judicious to us to start from a motorcycle still marketed – the 125 RS is no longer in the Honda catalog, editor’s note – to develop our production model. In addition, the YZF is built in France in the MBK plant in Saint-Quentin", explain its creators who have – for the moment? – no partnership with Yamaha.

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *