Dennis Savic is the 26-year-old inventor and founder behind a new breed of electric motorcycle, developed under the brand Savic Motorcycles, which is promising to shake up the motorcycle industry.

The young Australian entrepreneur has been dreaming about designing a vehicle ever since he was six, when he made his first sketch of the new and very different engine configuration. At the age of 14, Dennis shifted his interest to motorcycles. Since then, he has been working on a new concept for an electric motorcycle, which features impressively instantaneous torque and rapid acceleration, all with a vastly reduced environmental impact. This will be the first electric motorcycle company in Australia, manufacturing internationally and assembling bikes locally in Melbourne.

Savic Motorcycles, a young start-up, is currently in the design phase and will build their production prototypes in 2019, followed by their first production run in 2020. The company has already received seed investment and is preparing for a Part Series A capital raise. The plan is to focus on sales and production first in Australia, then take the offering to international markets.

Driven by his passion to do to motorcycles what entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Mate Rimac have done for cars, Dennis had completed a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and an MBA by the age of 25, while he was building motorcycles at night. He worked for three years in the oil & gas industry, and after some inspiration from Horacio Pagani, the founder of Pagani Automobili, Dennis decided to work in the automotive industry, while developing Savic Motorcycles in his spare time.

Meeting the challenge

The challenge was to develop Australia’s first range of electric motorcycles in order to address pollution issues that the world is facing and to capitalise on the exponential growth of electric vehicles at a global scale. Dennis aimed to develop a market-leading brand with unique and noticeable styling features, and electric motor technology that will set Savic Motorcycles apart from 95% of other motorcycles on the market.

To obtain access to the most sophisticated engineering software available to prototype and build his vision, Dennis applied for Altair’s Global Startup Program and was successful at gaining access to leading simulation design tools and computer aided engineering software used by the likes of Ford, Airbus and Samsung. Access to Altair’s technology has enabled the Savic Motorcycles team to reduce development times and lower costs through the entire product lifecycle from design to in-service operation.

“Altair has enabled us to get quickly trained in the platform within just a couple days,” says Dennis. “We’re using the software to develop CAE analysis, simulation, stress testing, topology optimisations and load testing.

“We want to offer our customers the most advanced technology in our products, because that is our point of differentiation. We will be the first Australian motorcycle manufacturer to feature a metal 3D-printed component. In 2019, we will progress several research projects with various universities to further develop our technological advantage. As an early-stage company, we’re agile and can quickly pivot and position ourselves and our products to ensure customer satisfaction and retention.”

In the realm of virtual product development and simulation, there are several technology tools that can be used to develop a market-ready product. Using Altair’s HyperWorks and Altair SmartWorks software, the team at Savic Motorcycles used Altair’s software to create a digital twin that is very close to reality, thanks to coupling the physical with the virtual world.

“Creating a digital twin means we can gain valuable insights and make powerful predictions about failure risk, functional safety, and durability,” Dennis explains. “The virtual prototype knows the ideal state of the product and therefore becomes a prediction tool for that product across its entire life cycle.”

Dennis and the team have created a unique design featuring a perfectly rolled backbone frame, and developed their own electric motor and energy storage system. Multiple capacities will be available for all their models to ensure a personalised solution for every rider.

Compared to the traditional internal combustion engine, the Savic Motorcycles technology drastically reduces operational costs. For example, a single charge of 9kWh would cost the rider only $3 and will take the rider 200km, as opposed to the equivalent internal combustion engine costing approximately $15. Being electric, the Savic Motorcycles powertrain delivers near instantaneous torque, with the bikes able to accelerate from zero to 100km per hour in four seconds (and even quicker if a customised gearing ratio is requested).

Ready for launch

The first product line that Savic Motorcycles will take to market is the C-Series, a Café Racer-inspired design, which was launched at Moto Expo in Melbourne in November. On show at the Expo was the C-40, the concept prototype for the vehicles they intend on taking through to production. Savic Motorcycles also took pre-production orders at the event.

Customers can choose from four models, including the C-FE (founder edition), the Alpha (60kW, from $20,000), the Delta (40kW, from $15,000), and the Omega (LAMS, 25kW, from $12,000). C-FE models are limited to ten orders, and will be delivered in 2019, while the Alpha, Delta, and Omega orders will be delivered in 2020.

Each model comes with several battery pack options. Larger pack size will provide a range of 170-200km, while the smallest will have a range of 50km. Customised styling will be key, with each vehicle coming in a range of options for brakes, suspensions, wheels and tires, and a choice of three colours – Spectre, Stealth, and Rustic. Aftermarket upgrades will also be offered.

Savic Motorcycles intends to take the product global by 2022, but the team is currently focusing on becoming the leader in electric motorcycles in Australia. The aim is to close their Series A round by the end of February, collect 50-100 production orders by the end 2019, and begin production in 2020.