Sudaca - A Successful Grandfather Design for Electric Motorcycles and e-Bikes

Sure, she looks huge, but this plump EV was one of the earliest successful designs for something of this type. Is it an e-bike or an electric motorcycle? You decide.
Sudaca 6 photos
Photo: Sudaca / Facebook
Sudaca Electric MotorcycleSudaca Electric MotorcycleSudaca Electric MotorcycleSudaca Electric MotorcycleSudaca Electric Motorcycle
Now when I first saw this bike, I thought it may be some new model of e-bike with a massive battery and motocross abilities. Fortunately, and at the same time unfortunately, it isn’t. What we are looking at may be one of the first successfully designed and operated e-bikes around.

Created by a group of students from different countries, to try and bring a durable and capable e-bike to our streets, the result of their collaboration is the Sudaca.

Now, it doesn’t look complicated at all, and like all good things, it isn’t. What initially struck my visual cortex was that ‘fuel tank’ on top. It’s not really a fuel tank. Actually, we don’t know what it is. But seeing as how this is an early model e-bike, it seems a good design aspect to keep if you’re trying to target and convert existing moto riders.

We then see the huge exposed tube frame. Once again, the design leads me to think it’s meant to be like a motorcycle as much as possible. You know, maybe I'm being too harsh on this design. Maybe I've been approaching this whole thing from the wrong perspective.

Sudaca Electric Motorcycle
Photo: Sudaca / Facebook
What we have here folks, is an electric motorcycle. Albeit with a smaller top speed and wheels, but a motorcycle, nonetheless. If you look closely at the photos in the gallery or even the video below, you’ll notice that this EV has no pedals and no chain. So nothing like a bike. OK, now I'm starting to get it.

Like an EV, the two most important components are the battery pack and motor. As far as the battery pack, it's that big black case underneath the fuel tank. The initial design is constructed around three 12V lead batteries. But the boys thought ahead a bit and made the case suitable for more powerful lithium ion batteries.

The motor we can see at the rear of the bike. That drum-like object is an in-wheel brushless 0.75kW motor. Sure, it may not seem like much, but the technology back in 2014, accessible to university students, wasn’t what it is today. But the guys thought ahead again, and the Sudaca is able to be fitted with a 12kW motor.

Sudaca Electric Motorcycle
Photo: Sudaca / Facebook
This entire rear wheel, motor, and swing arm is all supported by a giant suspension system. The giant spring underneath the seat makes me think I can start taking this thing on a downhill track. Probably not. But taking into consideration the bike utilizes lead batteries, this makes it rather heavy. So a giant suspension is most certainly needed to offer a safe and comfortable ride, but also to ensure that components aren't weakened due to vibrations.

Looking at the front of the bike, we again get the impression of a heavy-duty motorbike. A huge front fork and a handlebar set-up reminiscent of motorcycle design leads to a fat-tire set-up with disk brakes. We don’t see a braking system on the rear of the bike. But I can bet that as you release the throttle, the motor starts to brake.

To top off the design, we find a pair of splash guards to keep things dry and clean, and a couple of LED head-lights, and a kickstand. Nothing complicated, just a solid design for an early EV that we may have overlooked.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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