While it seems that riders are warming up to electric powertrains more and more nowadays, said riders are still attracted by sleek lines and classic design. That’s what French electric startup Sodium Cycles is counting on with the Xubaka, its first electric motorcycle. Channeling vintage BMX energy and with a name only a Wookiee could pronounce correctly on the first try, this new EV combines form and function in one rad package.
Xubaka has been in the works for a few years now, and is currently on display at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s powered by a 4kW hub-mounted motor which Sodium says offers between 60 and 80 kilometers of range (37.2 to 49.7 miles) on a single charge. Top speed is limited to 45 kmh (just under 28 mph) in the E.U., although the top speed will be closer to 50 mph in the U.S. Charge time for the battery is four hours using a standard plug.
The design is simple and clean, with the battery mounting at the lowest point in the frame, keeping the center of gravity as low in the unit as possible. A round headlight and small, round, digital gauge keeps the front of the bike uncluttered. The simple handlebars and controls pair nicely with the sleek, minimalist look of the tube frame, which is available in a range of colors to suit rider tastes.
Chrome fenders, wire-spoke wheels, and a split saddle complete the particular vein of retro-modern styling that Sodium Cycles seems to have tapped with Xubaka’s design. Interestingly, Sodium says that most of the Xubaka’s components—as well as the final bike itself—are made in France. It’s possible to contact Sodium to express interest in this bike right now. At CES 2022, a representative told YouTube channel Electric Vehicles that the expected cost should be $5,000.
It’s clearly meant as a low-speed, short-distance urban runabout—which isn’t exactly an untapped electric motorbike niche. However, there isn’t another one that looks quite like this, and that’s of course what Sodium is counting on. What do you think of the Xubaka’s design?