On the road with the latest power-bike
BY NORA MANTHEY
Following the supercars – here come the superbikes. The Trefecta manages to stand out even in the superbike crowd. Custom design and innovative technology defy classification and open up new applications – at the price of 25,000 euros.
The story of this beauty of a beast begins with a profane driving ban for speeding. Forced to replace his car with an e-bike, Trefecta founder Haiko Visser discovers freedom on two wheels. Only the power is not enough for him and he decides to develop an electric bike himself. But not just any e-bike. The Trefecta is something between a pedelec and electric motorcycle, both technologically and aesthetically.
The 4-kW electric bike comes under the guise of an extraordinary bicycle. the battery, with 1,600 Wh, is set in the frame of aluminium usually used in the aerospace industry. The cast hull and integrated components protect the hi-tech features against adverse environmental influences.
The e-bike parts were mostly custom-designed by Norbert Haller, who has been active in the light electric vehicle sector for 18 years. His challenge was to “develop a whole new type of vehicle with a lot of power, the latest technical features and making it street-legal.”
The Trefecta combines three types in one: pedelec, S-pedelec and off-road bike with a top speed of 70 kph. The throttle is supplemented by pedals that come in when switching into s-pedelec mode. The Trefecta then transforms into a man-machine hybrid. Pedalling at 45 kph on a 45-kilo bike conveys a feeling of pure speed.
Gears are shifted both electronically and mechanically. The suspension embracing the carbon rims can be adjusted electronically, too. The fine tuning was in the hands of Tobias Müller, a software engineer, who used to work for Audi and Porsche. He is responsible for the Trefecta App. The iPod comes included with the bike and is waterproof, embedded in the frame. The app allows for various settings. The highlight is the ‘flip-over‘ function or better, ‘wheelie mode.’ It protects from overturning but leaves play for a generous angle of up to 40 degrees – perfect for balancing on the rear wheel.
Such power and versatility implies far-reaching applications. Founder Haiko Visser sees his technology platform as a ‘peacemaker’ for the military and police. Tuned down a little, it is perfectly suited for civilians in the city. If the Trefecta’s full strength is unleashed however, it soon enters the realm of the extreme.
This article was published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue Q3 2015. Picture credit © Trefectamobility.com