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What is a Hubless Motorcycle and How Does it Work?

One of the latest resurrected concepts in technological advances in motorcycle mechanics is the invention of the hubless motorcycle. This is a second look at an idea that was first conceived in the 1980s but left to another age. The hubless motorcycle is a vehicle that takes on the appearance of something you would expect to see in a SciFi movie. At first glance, it may seem like a fairy tale or a muse, but it's here and fully functional. What is a hubless motorcycle and how does it work? If you're wondering how designers and engineers took this concept and made it a reality you're in the right place. Here is everything you need to know about the new Hubless motorcycle and how you can get one.

What is a hubless motorcycle?

A hubless motorcycle is a bike that is made with a unique type of wheel system. It is also known as a centreless wheel, orbital wheel, rim rider, or spokeless wheel. If you hear any of these terms applied it is the same thing according to Wikipedia. It's not a new invention. Franco Sbarro invented vehicles with hubless wheels in the1980s with patents made by Globeholding of Geneva. The technology was even used to make two motorcycles and one automobile, but it didn't catch on at the time. The cost of manufacturing was prohibitive and the concept went the way of the dodo until recently.

How does a hubless motorcycle work?

The hubless wheel works with a reduced number of moving parts. It is a wheel without the center shaft or hub in place. Instead, it relies on the use of a star-shaped or circular framework that is built on the inside of the wheel to provide its support. Two circular bearings are inserted inside of one another. The bearing on the inside attaches to the frame and provides support and steering while the external bearing is comprised of a tire that has a built-in brake ring for slowing and stopping the motorcycle.

Examples of the hubless motorcycle

Ballistic Cycles offers a hubless motorcycle they call the Hubless Bagger. The bike features a large 30-inch front wheel that features a front end that is fully customized and fabricated using a solid chunk of billet to machine the hubless wheel. It has a braking system integrated into the component.

According to Motorbike, The TMC Dumont is another hubless motorcycle that is made with 36-inch wheels. Although the design makes the rims susceptible to damage from road debris and potholes, while putting a strain on the bearings, it offers a cool futuristic aesthetic. There are pros and cons. The wheels are harder to change, but the hubless wheels have a lower unsprung weight that enhances handling, steering, and braking.

Where can I get a hubless motorcycle?

According to Newatlas, a Finnish electric motorcycle company called Verge has started production of hubless motorcycles for commercial sale. After spending years perfecting the design the RMK E2 evolved into the Verge TS model featuring a hubless wheel system. The bike is reported to offer a large range with tons of torque for fast acceleration. The wheels of this motorcycle are constructed with a centerless hub motor for the rear wheel that generates 80 kW with 738 lb-ft of torque. The bike moves from zero to 62 mph in just under four seconds and has the persona of a superbike.

What's known about the Verge TS

The Verge TS hubless superbike is reported to be ready for production lines, but so far, the company has not released an exact date when it will be available for purchase. When it comes to the spec and further details of the bike, most of that is a mystery as well. What we do know is that pictures of the bike showed a dash that is a tank mounted in a tablet-style from previous test runs. There have been photos of pillion footrests at the rear with other shots of forward-mounted highway footpegs. It's unclear whether the Verge company has two models in the works or if they're still playing with the details. We know that it's an electric motorcycle so it will make a nice green option for riders who prefer to do their part to save the planet. At this point, that's about all that we can say about the Verge TS hubless, except that the Finnish manufacturer has confirmed that they're going to offer it shortly to the masses as a production model with deliveries of the bike slated for "some time" in 2021.

Final thoughts

The world is changing quickly around us. Technology is moving us towards advances in automotive design that brings with it a new aesthetic that may at first seem cool to some, but foreign to others. The Hubless motorcycle is one example of the changes that are coming. This is not a new concept, but because of the problems associated with hubless wheel technology in the 1980s, the notion was put on the back burner for another time when the issues could be properly sorted and dealt with. It appears that at least some motorcycle manufacturers have figured out how to move beyond the obvious obstacles to give the technology a second chance. The most promising version of the hubless motorcycle is Verge's TS hubless that is scheduled for production as we speak. Little is known about the specifications or the price at this time, but we're assuming that Verge is playing their cards close to the vest for a grand unveiling. As many of us who are fond of sci-fi and the futuristic vehicles we've seen, the time is coming when at least some of our fantasies are going to be fulfilled in real life. Hubless motorcycles have made the grade and have become fully functional vehicles making one more dream turn into reality.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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