Light Rider Is the First 3D-Printed Motorcycle, and It Looks Like It's Alive

The name Light Rider may make you think about Tron and the light cycle, but you couldn't be any farther from the truth. It is the world's first 3D-printed motorcycle, a creation of APWorks, a subsidiary of Airbus. That's right, the very guys that make planes and stuff that goes in space.
APWorks Light Rider 11 photos
Photo: APWorks
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And because dealing with the aerospace industry is not exactly the most common thing, one just cannot expect the Light Rider to be a machine that's easy to forget. Intended at first as a proof of what can be done using modern technologies, the Light Rider morphed into an object that now tells the story of how transportation might look like in the future.

Nothing short of spectacular, Light Rider is as much a practical vehicle as it is a bold statement in design. The frame of this electric motorbike is made from a proprietary aluminium alloy developed for the aerospace industry. Scalmalloy is an aluminium compound that offers a structural strength close to that of titanium, while retaining the light weight.

APWorks printed thousands of 30-micron layers of metal on top of each other to create the frame and the swingarm. The result is a spectacular structure that combines light weight and strength with an aesthetical approach to technology.

The shape of this motorcycle is inspired by bionic algorithms, hence the organic looks. Also, this ensures that the quantities of material used in the fabrication are optimized, too, because nature rarely wastes resources. The overall weight of the Light Rider is 35 kilograms (77 lb) and this makes for a power-to-weight ratio that rivals supercars.

Speaking of power, the Light Rider is equipped with a battery pack that feeds a 6 kW (8 hp) motor. The battery holds enough energy for a 60 km (35-mile) ride. The battery can be changed with a full one, and this makes riding this machine practical even if you are a super-active guy.

The motor also produces a peak torque of 130 Nm (95.8 lb-ft), and can accelerate from 0 to 45 km/h (28 mph) in 3 seconds. The top speed is 80 km/h (50 mph), which is more than enough for urban and suburban rides.

APWorks will only manufacture 50 Light Rider machines and they can be pre-ordered already. The price, however, is in line with the high-tech nature of this bike. The price tag of the Light Rider reads a whopping €50,000 ($56,110), but something tells us that these will sell quite rapidly.

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