Voltra Electric Motorcycle Concept – Look Ma, No Tank!


Ironically, one of the features designers of electric motorcycles seem to have the hardest time getting away from is the gas tank. My hunch as to why is a motorcycle just looses too much of it’s identity as soon as you take away the tank. Eventually our minds may learn to accept the tanks absence. Until then Dan Anderson‘s Voltra electric motorcycle concept, with it’s trellis frame forming the skeleton of a gas tank lets our minds wander just far enough to be comfortable with the no tank look.


Suspended on the end of the vestigial tank structure is a cafe racer inspired seat and tail section hinting at Dan’s inspiration for the bike. This 4th year University of Western Sydney Industrial Design student has a deep rooted respect for the culture of ICE motorcycles and their design. His father Chris successfully raced Norton Manx in a classic race series in Australia in the late 80’s and early 90’s and currently owns a Commando and a few Ducati’s. He was Australian champion 3 times and state champion 6 or 7 times. Dan’s personal bike is a Ducati Pantah 600 that he restored himself.


The striking aesthetics of the Voltra bike speak for itself.  Combine the visual presentation with cool features like a removable instrument cluster that doubles as a key and records data for review after the ride and it would have the most vain of squids jumping at the chance to add it to their garage furnishings. However, the more you dig into the design the more you realize the beauty is more than skin deep.


Earlier this year MotoCzysz unveiled an equally stunning carbon fiber framed E1PC that has the batteries attached to the side of the frame in 10 modular packs. Dan took a quite a different approach. What appear to be side panels on the Voltra are actually part of the carbon fibre monocoque frame. It is designed as a load bearing exoskeleton that has a hollow cavity inside to hold the batteries.


The AC induction electric motor resides in a cast housing that doubles as a pivot for the trellis swing arm. This design not only makes for a rigid connection between swingarm and frame, it provides a consistent chain tension through the travel of the rear swing arm.


The motor and lithium ion batteries are directed by a programmable control unit. The design translates to a 441 lb machine with 129 Nm of torque and a top speed of 124 mph. All very realistic specs based on today’s technology, a further testament to Dan’s thorough research. As with all electric vehicle designs weight and energy density of batteries will come down and specs will only get better.


Be sure to have a look at the gallery below as there is a lot more information in the sketches and renderings. He includes ergonomics analysis for average, large and short riders, analysis of stressed members of the construction and a view of how the motor is fitted inside the swingarm pivot.

Dan told me I have the most information of any site on the net so let me know if I missed any information contained in the pics. I’ll also mention Dan is in his fourth year and looking for a motorcycle company to begin his career with and he is open to any form of propulsion. Someone might want to snatch him up before he gets together with Tom Miceli and Tony Helmholdt and creates more competition in the market.

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Posted on December 7, 2009 at 10:20 am by John Adamo · Permalink
In: Design · Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

12 Responses

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  1. Written by James NomadRip
    on December 7, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    That is one of the most beautiful bikes I’ve ever seen.

  2. Written by skadamo
    on December 8, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Yeah, this is one of the bikes i will be linking to when people say electric is ugly.

  3. Written by Brammofan
    on December 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Aesthetically pleasing, for sure, but it looks a tad uncomfortable if you want to get into a tuck position. And sleeping on it is completely out of the question.

  4. Written by wreckah
    on December 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    fantastic looking bike,

    neat idea on the swingarm pivot,

    and wonderful drawings!!!

  5. Written by Mihir Prabhu
    on April 4, 2010 at 8:31 am

    i must say that this is the most splendid and astonishingly beautiful design i’ve seen for an electric bike… well done Mr. Anderson…. hats off to you!

  6. Written by Donald Branscom
    on November 2, 2010 at 1:51 am

    I like it except for the orange tubing on the top.
    Everything else makes sense.
    The tubing on the top makes me think of play ground equipment or a turn style at Bart station.
    I think the tubing on the top could be a little lower and conform to the shape of the motorcycle more. You know..emphasize the shape of the bike. I would also like to see that top orange tubing continue around the seat edge to make the rider feel more secure that the seat is secure and won’t just bust off.

  7. Written by donald branscom
    on May 17, 2011 at 9:49 am

    One more comment.

    Why is the seat so high up in the air?
    Makes no sense.

  8. Written by DaveW
    on June 22, 2011 at 6:12 am

    I love this design. I love the tubing on the top, as this bike, like all iconic motorcycles must consider form as much as function. It is a beautiful design study as well as a practical blueprint for a real production motorcycle. The only thing that I think will be changed for actual production is the swingarm pivot. The complexity and weight of producing bearing carriers all the way around the motor that would also support the swingarm’s side loading is not worth the pay-off of having a constant chain tension. That design won’t isolate chain pull forces from acting on the suspension anyway.

    And to answer Donald’s question about the seat being high up in the air. That’s where it needs to be to provide adequate distance from the footpegs for your legs.

  9. Written by Sankalp
    on July 25, 2011 at 5:40 am

    AWESOME !!!! neat !!! very neat design…mind-blowing concept….I want this on roads…lets start production… future is near..

  10. Written by Fabian
    on December 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Beautiful bike. I think this would look even better with a classic round headlight. It needs some tough of classicism. It would go well withe “cafe racer” looking tail. Just my 2 cents.
    Also I can imagine putting a zippered bag inside the tank skeleton for carrying stuff. Very nice

  11. Written by Macs
    on July 31, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Great project. Simple and beauty. Will work!

  12. […] concept motorcycle, this one by Dan Anderson, is another in a series of prototype designs that have not found their way to production with that […]

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