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GoCycle Finally a Go

Published March 14, 2008

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN)—The GoCycle is finally a go.

A sleek and innovative urban bicycle, powered by a high performance electric motor, made its long-awaited debut at the Taipei Cycle show this week.

“There’s a customer base out there that’s open to electric, clean green, environmentally friendly products,” said GoCycle designer Richard Thorpe, who has been developing the product for six years.

Thorpe’s company, KKL, is working with Ideal Bicycle Co. of Taiwan to manufacture the GoCycle. The bike garnered two top awards at Taipei Cycle, a first place for complete bicycles and an award for Best Innovation.

But the GoCycle is no ordinary bicycle, and its manufacturing is far from typical. The magnesium frame is made by a Canadian firm using a process known as “thixomolding,” a type of injection molding for metal. Typically used for automotive parts, the magnesium pieces are thin walled and high strength.

A high-powered electric motor fits into the front hub. It’s not your father’s electric bike, Thorpe said. Instead, the motor is designed to deliver fast and instant power that can quickly reach legal speed limits.

“The customer going into a traditional European store looking for an e-bike is not our customer,” Thorpe said. “Our customer is 25 to 45 years old, a young city professional, with a family.”

Instead of a silent motor, the GoCycle is designed to make its presence known.

“We were looking for the fun, spunky, get-me-there-quick vroom-vroom-vroom attitude in the city,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe plans to launch the GoCycle in Europe and then target the U.S. market about a year later.

Retail pricing has not been fixed, but Thorpe said it would be about $1,000 for a non-motorized base system and $500 for the “Empower” components that turn it into an electric bike.

—Doug McClellan

Topics associated with this article: Tradeshows and conferences

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