Japan-made motorcycle takes electric bikes into the future

A man rides the newly developed electric motorcycle "Zecoo" during a test drive event at the Nihon University in Funabashi in suburban Tokyo on April 18, 2015.

TOKYO - The zecOO electric motorcycle wouldn't look out of place cruising the streets of a futuristic anime or sci-fi flick. The brainchild of a former Toyota Motor designer and produced at a small Japanese workshop, the bike could help open up the global market for beefed-up electric motorcycles.

Designer Kota Nezu, president of znug design, took his blueprint for the zecOO to Auto Staff Suehiro, a motorbike sales and repair company in the city of Chiba, near Tokyo.

"We are proud because we produced [the bike] without sacrificing any element of the design," Auto Staff President Masaki Nakamura said.

Having released the zecOO for 8.88 million yen ($73,759) in March, Auto Staff plans to produce 49 units on a made-to-order basis. It has already received one order.

A new future?

Electric motorcycles have drawn strong interest from riders in the US and Europe, and Harley-Davidson of the US is developing its own electric bike.

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