CRAWLEY, Sussex, United Kingdom – The British motorcycle industry has a new contender: Caterham Group has launched its first motorcycle division, Caterham Bikes, with three radically-designed prototype models.
Production is expected to begin as early as spring, and the company says that North America will be one of its key markets.
The three models include the Brutus 750, Classic E-Bike and Carbon E-Bike. The E-Bikes have electric motors and a trim, bicycle style design. The Brutus 750, meanwhile, is being called the “SUV of motorcycles” for its beefy, go-anywhere styling.
Caterham Group is headed by Tony Fernandes and Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun. The duo purchased Caterham Cars in April 2011 before venturing into motorcycles. Caterham Bikes joins a broad range of automotive endeavors: the Caterham Formula One team, Caterham Racing’s GP2 program, Caterham Technology and Innovation, Caterham Composites and the new Caterham Moto Racing Team for Moto2 competition.
Caterham Bikes will be under the direction of CEO Al-Ishsal Ishak, previously with AirAsia. He will be joined by Chief Designer Alessandro Tartarini, Chief Engineer Zeno Panarari and former MotoGP racer Andreas Leuthe, who will head up the distribution and sales function.
The Brutus 750 (top photo) reportedly will be the first bike to roll off the production line. Caterham Bikes says it can be used as a streetbike, off-road bike or even as a snowmobile following a conversion that can be performed in under four hours. The Brutus is also notable because it has an automatic transmission.
The Classic E-Bike has styling that evokes early motorcycle racing, when tracks were still built from wooden planks. Its counterpart, the Carbon E-Bike, is inspired by Formula One technology. Both have a range of 25-50 miles provided by a 36V, 250-Watt electric motor. In he EU, E-Bike riders will not be required to have a motorcycle license.
MSRPs, distribution information and North American dealer details are forthcoming.
Media images courtesy of Caterham Bikes.