Award of the Year 2021

Savic Motorcycles

Savic Motorcycles / Dennis Savic / Dave Hendroff

Australian automotive manufacturing has been brought back to life in a stunning, zero-emissions, future-proof package.

The Savic C-Series is Australia’s first emissions-free, full-sized, high-performance electric motorcycle.

Based on the classically beautiful café racers of the 1970s, the three models offer a world-leading departure for the Australian motorcycle industry, combining exhilarating performance and minimal maintenance with the latest battery and power conversion capabilities of modern electric vehicle technology.

Design Brief

Our challenge was to design a head-turning motorcycle that combined the power and handling of a traditional café racer with the latest electric battery and power conversion technologies.

The main challenge was integrating a bulky 80kg powertrain without detracting from the fine lines and distinctive ‘racing’ style of an iconic 1970s motorcycle. We did this by designing a lightweight cast-aluminium frame, which doubles as a waterproof enclosure.

The frame incorporates the 144-volt battery pack as a structural chassis element, houses 80% of the electronics, and couples directly with the motor to produce a fully-functioning, integrated powertrain.

Having a standard body and battery also enabled us to affordably produce two lower-powered models – the 40kW Delta and 25kW Omega – alongside our flagship 60kW Alpha. The result is Australia’s first true 21st century motorbike: a testament to the emerging electric revolution, which will delight riders with its power, data ‘smarts’, and stylish looks.

This project was developed by:

Design Process

Through our team's combined experiences in various automotive businesses and disciplines, Savic Motorcycles have built a vehicle design and development process that is fit for purpose, highly adaptable, and appropriate for a lean, early-stage automotive business.

The process was developed, documented, and followed through the development of our C-Series prototype, which from the outset was designed as the foundational model for a homogenous development platform that could be expanded to accommodate multiple e-moto models.

To start the process, our lead designer, Dave Hendroff, produced a number of preliminary concept sketches for our flagship 60kW motorbike. The team then reviewed these sketches, selected the most favourable model, and developed the concept to create a clear design pathway.

A detailed design process then began, with the team meeting every few days to discuss progress of the conceptual 3D model. This required engineering input from the studio engineer, manufacturing input from the assembly technician, and electronics input from the electronics engineer.

This cross-functional process not only ensured that our final product would meet multiple stakeholder requirements and expectations, but helped cement the development of a cohesive and highly integrated engineering team.

From an aesthetic perspective, the team feels that the C-Series design has met and exceeded customer expectations, as demonstrated by the receipt of more than 100 vehicle orders - all without a single test ride.

Not only does the team sense that they have exceeded the design brief from the number of orders, but more than 90% of pre-ordering customers have also stated that the fundamental reason for their order was that they were drawn to the aesthetic style and appearance of the C-Series.

Design Excellence

With its elegant lines, handcrafted chrome and aluminium finishes, and prominent power source, the C-Series will will arouse the emotions of the most discerning and environmentally-conscious Victorian riders.

The muscular powertrain, sandwiched between customised farings, draws instant attention to the electric battery, while the three-spoke rims, race-quality shocks, and Brembo brakes deliver world-class racing standards. While its powerful torque and acceleration are undeniably thrilling, the smooth handling and quiet operation will appeal to the most conscientious rider.

With no gears or clutch, the C-Series offers a much simpler, more seamless riding experience than traditional combustion motorbikes. The powerful electric motor delivers instant acceleration, propelling the Alpha from 0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds.

The C-Series has benefited from five years of ground-breaking design by a dedicated team of young Australian engineers, mentored by two former Formula One engineers, a Silicon Valley techpreneur, and several international automotive executives.

The C-Series also benefits from the latest in 4G and IoT connectivity, with the 7-inch resistive touchscreen connecting riders to their motorcycle through a suite of real-time performance and safety data, instant location and journey information, and links to the Savic workshop and a global community of fellow riders.

Above all, the C-Series has been designed to fulfil the promise of ethical, pollution-free transport. More than 80% of the vehicle, including its frame and powertrain enclosure, are made from fully recyclable cast aluminium.

The bike is virtually maintenance free, with owners only having to take care of the tyres, brakes and suspension - while the battery and motor components are unlikely to require mechanical attention for the life of the vehicle. Industry tests suggest our batteries will last between 1,000-5,000 cycles – or at least 200,000km – before they require replacing, at which time they can be recycled for use in home energy storage systems.

Design Innovation

When the first C-Series rolls off the production line in 2022, it will become the first full-powered electric motorbike ever designed and manufactured in Australia.

It will also represent the fruition of a long-held design dream for Dennis Savic and Dave Hendroff, who drew the first concept sketch back in early 2017. Since then, the bike has travelled through three prototypes and benefited from numerous advances in electrical engineering, AI and data processing.

The C-Series offers a compelling combination of smart design and evolving battery and IoT technology, which will enable riders to stay ‘connected’ to their vehicle throughout its lifetime.

Perhaps the greatest testament to the C-Series’ appeal is the fact that Savic Motorcycles have sold out of their first production run without a single test ride or customer experience.

The company has also seen positive attention from equity markets, with its latest fully-subscribed capital raise attracting significant attention from private investors and strong support from both the federal and Victorian governments.

With the world’s bestselling electric motorbike, the Zero, not available in Australia since 2017, the Alpha’s only real competitor is the Harley Davidson LiveWire – whose $49,995 price tag is more than double the proposed retail price of the C-Series Alpha, and undoubtedly puts it out of many riders’ reach.

Design Impact

If Savic Motorcycles were asked our number one priority, it would be to play a leading role in the emerging e-mobility revolution and the increasingly urgent necessity to reduce our community's transport-related emissions.

We’re doing this by delivering future-proof motorcycling to riders who love the art and style of classic 20th century motorbikes, but demand a reliable 21st century vehicle to travel safely, comfortably and affordably – above all, with zero emissions.

This promise is already attracting significant market attention – as evidenced by our sold-out first production run, which will begin delivering vehicles in late 2022.

With our Omega model priced at just $12,990, we’re also making the dream of electric motorcycling accessible to younger, more price-conscious consumers who want to travel on an Australian-made, zero-emissions vehicle - but do not have the budget to afford an expensive high-powered bike.

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