EDAG and Baier Motors develop motorcycle with ICE, electric power for African markets | Autocar Professional

Global independent engineering service provider EDAG Group of Switzerland and the Bavaria-based Baier Motors GmbH have developed a motorcycle concept designed specifically for Africa. According to the two partnering companies, the prototype Oryx Concept sets new standards in robustness, reliability and sustainability.

Interestingly, the final product will be available with a choice of electric or internal combustion propulsion. The motorcycle’s platform spawns two variants – an internal combustion engine and also electric – which ensures the product is future-ready.

The EDAG Group and Baier Motors state that the Oryx Concept motorcycle, unlike the mid-range products already available there, meets all customer requirements when it comes to robustness, reliability and product features. The next stage of the project will be to finalise the concept development of the new model and put the prototype into series production. Baier Motors is currently scouting for additional investors.

Baier Motors’ cooperation with the EDAG Group began in 2022, during the initial planning stage. Working on the basis of the previously defined requirements, concepts for the new motorcycle and the production plant were jointly developed. The two partners then built a mobile prototype with an electric powertrain. Final assembly of the top-quality components is to be carried out at various sites in Africa in the future. The first models of the motorcycle should be available to customers in two years – with the option of either a combustion engine or an electric powertrain.

Commenting on the special features of the project, Philipp Berchtenbreiter, one of the EDAG Group’s motorcycle project leaders, said: “Using the Oryx concept, we have built a fully functioning motorcycle by means of which it is already possible to experience what Baier Motors GmbH will be bringing to the market in two years’ time. The concept bike provides a foretaste of the wide range of other vehicles that can be generated from the modular system. This modularity will enable Baier Motors GmbH to react flexibly to changes in the market.”

According to Torben Baier, managing director of Baier Motors GmbH, “There is currently no truly suitable motorcycle for Africa. We are the first manufacturer, along with EDAG, who truly want to meet the needs of African customers. It’s not just about the price, payload or reliability. It’s about flexibility in usage. The customer can decide – does he take passengers, luggage or both? With a platform with two variants – electric or combustion engine – we are flexible for the future.”

Growing demand for personal mobility in Africa
There is a huge demand for individual mobility in Africa, and for many people, having a motorcycle is the ideal way to transport people and goods. Baier Motors states that it “will be marketing its new motorcycle in the future to meet precisely this demand. It has a significantly higher payload than its competitors and also offers impressive robustness, reliability and sustainability. As it is based on a long-lasting, robust design in combination with a local supply chain and production, its environmental impact is minimized. With its favourable starting price in line with market requirements, the motorcycle will also be an affordable option for customers. In addition, its first-class design will make it stand out.”

Baier Motors scouts for new investors
As far as marketing the new motorcycle goes, Baier Motors will not be selling its new motorcycle itself but will use independent local dealers which will help secure and create jobs in the region. According to the company, the first pre-contract relating to this has already been concluded, while others are currently being negotiated.

“We are delighted about this cooperation. In this project, we were looking for a partner with experience, technical expertise and reliability – and have found these requirements to be met in full by the EDAG Group,” said Torben Baier, Managing Director and founder of Baier Motors GmbH. “We are now planning the next steps we need to take to access the large market for our new motorcycle that exists in Africa. In this context, we are currently looking for additional investors who share our vision, to enable us to take the next steps.”

The styling for the Oryx Concept is the work of Anyma Design of Italy.

The styling for the motorcycle is the work of Anyma Design of Italy, a leading motorcycle, automotive, transportation and industrial design house. Baier Motors plans to source most of the components primarily from Europe. This Baier Motors’ project is also supported by the Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft (Berlin, Germany), The University of Kiel, The University of Aachen, Germany as well as The University of Flensburg in Germany.

Growing demand for personal two-wheeled mobility in Africa
Demand for two-wheelers in key African markets is growing rapidly, driven by the need for personal mobility for daily commutes even as motorists face issues of road and traffic congestion amid a decline in public transportation services. Recent years have seen a surge in demand for motorcycle taxis, even as personal ownership of two-wheelers continues to rise.

According to a recent Mordor Intelligence report, the size of the African two-wheeler market is estimated at US$ 3.69 billion in 2024, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.3% to reach US$ 5.94 billion by 2029. Demand for Indian as well as Chinese two-wheelers continues to be high. African countries remain strong export markets for India’s Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor Co and Hero MotoCorp. While the specific country-wise export data is not available, Bajaj Auto has shipped 1.34 million two-wheelers in the April 2023-February 2024 period, while TVS has exported 803,860 units and Hero MotoCorp 169,758 units. The bulk of these made-in-India exports would have been to African markets.

At present, electric mobility levels in Africa are very low and traditional IC-engined two-wheelers continue to hold sway. Nevertheless, with growing health and environment concerns, as also the need to reduce reliance on costly oil imports and the wallet-friendly nature of e-mobility, there is likely to be a shift towards two-wheeled EVs in the future in the region. This is what the EDAG and Baier Motors’ motorcycle project is banking on – offering both ICE and EV options.

Photos: Courtesy Baier Motors

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