Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Caterham Group launches motorcycle division, new bikes unveiled at the EICMA

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A classic, an "SUV of bikes" and two all-electric bikes, one of which is inspired by F1 technology. Should be interesting to see where this goes...

If you’re into high-performance British cars with styling from the 1960s, you’d be familiar with Caterham name. Now, the Caterham Group has announced their new motorcycle division – Caterham Bikes – with three new prototypes being unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy.

Caterham’s three new motorcycle prototypes include the Brutus 750, the Classic E-Bike and the Carbon E-Bike. The first is, apparently, “the SUV of motorcycles,” the second is a retro-styled all-electric motorcycle, while the third is a “premium electric bike inspired by F1 technology.” Ahem. Conventional motorcycles – the kind that are built by other Brit bike manufacturers like Triumph or Norton, are apparently not on Caterham’s menu. Not for now, at least.

The three bikes mentioned above “have been unveiled for launch throughout 2014 as part of the Group’s strategy of growth through intelligent partnerships,” says a press note from Caterham. “The arrival of Caterham Bikes is a natural extension to the expanding Caterham Group since the purchase of the historic Caterham Cars brand in April 2011 by Tony Fernandes and Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun,” it adds. Incidentally, the brand’s first foray into road bikes follows last month’s launch of the Caterham Moto2 race team, so we guess they’re a bit serious about bikes, really.

Caterham Bikes is being led by one Al-Ishsal Ishak, who’s CEO. Ishsal comes to Caterham Bikes from AirAsia, where he was Group Head of Ancillary Income. Chief Designer, Alessandro Tartarini, Chief Engineer, Zeno Panarari, and ex-MotoGP racer, Andreas Leuthe, are other members of the core Caterham Bikes team. “We are realistic and honest enough to know that we’re not in the business of rivaling the establishment; we’re here to offer an alternative that befits the spirit of Caterham,” says Al-Ishsal Ishak. “Just as the Caterham Seven is a motoring icon because of its unique design and engineering credibility, Caterham Bikes’ products will be aimed at a niche audience seeking exceptional quality, bespoke design flare and bikes easy enough for anyone to ride,” he adds.

According to Caterham Bikes, they will start production of their bikes early next year, with the first bike to roll off the assembly line being the Brutus 750, followed by the two electric bikes later in the year. Should be interesting to see how this pans out.

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