Verge TS Debuts At EICMA 2019

Hubless-drive electric superbike on sale in 2020.

Verge TS electric motorcycle
The Verge TS electric motorcycle boasts a 186-mile maximum range and features a hubless rear wheel housing the motor.Verge Facebook

If the new Verge TS looks a bit familiar, it's because the bike's had something of a soft launch over a period of months. It first appeared under a different name as the RMK E2 back in February, but the production-ready model appeared at EICMA with a new name and massively improved specifications.

Now called the Verge TS, it offers a combination of head-turning style and head-scratching specs. If you’re used to the numbers associated with gas-powered bikes, the Verge’s claimed power peak of 107 hp seems confusingly at odds with an astounding maximum torque of 737 pound-feet.

To get a handle on that figure, it's important to understand that this bike doesn't use a conventional electric motor setup, one where a midship-positioned motor drives the rear wheel via a chain, shaft, or belt. Instead it has a hubless electric drive where the rear wheel rim itself is the main moving component.

TS’s hubless rear wheel
The Verge TS’s hubless rear wheel contains the motor that is claimed to have 737 pound-feet of torque.Verge Facebook

With no sprockets to convert high motor speed into a lower wheel speed and increase torque, it means the 737 pound-feet (which is a more headline-friendly 1,000Nm in metric terms) is the maximum available at the rear wheel. Work out the torque multiplication figures that you get from a conventional internal combustion engine and a multi-speed gearbox and you’ll discover that a typical modern literbike actually achieves something like 885 pound-feet (1,200Nm) at the rear tire in first gear. The Verge will accelerate fast, no question, but perhaps not with the dragbike speed that the initial specs might imply.

A pre-EICMA teaser video shows the TS in motion, but does not give us any hint of actual handling or performance prowess.

While the Verge TS’s numbers aren’t quite as spectacular in comparison to the status quo as they initially appear, it still makes some impressive claims. Its makers say the bike will achieve 124 miles of range on the highway and 186 miles at city speeds. A DC fast-charging system means that refreshing the battery need not be a painfully slow process either.

Although the firm hasn't released a lot of detailed specs, the bike clearly uses Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes, which is always a good starting point. It appears to be more cruiser than sportbike though, with forward-mounted pegs for the rider. There's also a second pair of footrests mounted much farther back—and while they're presumably intended for pillions, with no need for foot controls there's nothing to stop the rider from using them if you prefer a more streetfighter-style stance.

Verge TS pegs
The location of the pegs show a more cruiser-like seating position, but perhaps the rider can also use the passenger pegs for a more sporty position thanks to the lack of controls on the footrests.Verge Facebook

Students of motorcycle history might point out that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen motorcycles with hubless wheels. Perhaps the most famous exponents were a string of working concept bikes built by Swiss designer Franco Sbarro back in the late ’80s, but there have been plenty of one-off customs using the same idea—albeit with conventional engines—over the years. In the past, hubless wheel ideas have often faltered thanks to bearing problems; positioned at the rim, the bearing rollers and races need to cope with much higher speeds than when they’re mounted at the hub, and their increased size means sealing them from dirt can be difficult. There’s still no doubt that they look good, though, and the idea of using the wheel as an electric motor means the Verge TS has genuine reasons for the design beyond mere style.

If you want to get your name down, Verge is taking orders for the bike and has pegged the price in Europe at 24,990 euros, which works out as $27,665 at the current exchange rate.

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