This unusual retro cruiser, built by an Austrian emporium, makes use of 'hidden' handlebars and has a 100km/h top speed. No pricing or launch date just yet

Another day, another electric bike? Well, not quite. Yes this Austrian-made Biiista is an electric motorcycle but it's a little different from what we've seen thus far, particularly in terms of packaging.

While most electric motorcycles adhere to the traditional shape and layout dictated by internal combustion engine bikes, with handlebars placed on top of telescopic front forks (to allow room the engine, radiator etc) the Biiista takes advantage of its electric underpinnings to deliver a unique design.

The handlebars don’t connect directly to front forks, with the Biiista instead using a type of hub centre-steering setup that hides the bars connection to the oversized front wheel.

Underneath the ribbed body shell a basic aluminium chassis holds everything together, and the rear wheel is connected via a single-sided swingarm.

Built by Austrian firm Hammerschmid Maschinenbau, the Biiista's design is not the only intriguing aspect of the vehicle -- the bike light, tipping the scales at around 140kg and the 80-volt battery pack is also a fast-charging unit which takes two hours to full charge according to its maker.

The Biiista has been in development for almost three years now and looks production-ready, showing off stylised retro body work, asymmetric front lights and high right bars and mirrors.

It's a single seat retro cruiser with a minimalistic take on the finer details, with the seat, pegs and instrument dial all very low key.

During testing Hammerschmid Maschinenbau says the Biiista is capable of reaching almost 100km/h, and has a 100km range as well.

As one of the first electric bikes to take advantage of electric packaging to push the design envelope, it's a model that could well pique the interest of riders looking for something a little left of centre.

The Austrian company behind the Biiista electric bike has not revealed pricing or a launch date as yet.

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Published : Monday, 14 May 2012
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