Snowmobiling is a popular winter sport that allows people to enjoy the snow and the scenery. However, it also has some drawbacks, such as noise pollution, environmental impact, and safety issues. Many snowmobile enthusiasts are looking for a better way to get around on the slopes, and one of them is Nicolas Muron, a French aeronautical engineer who created the MoonBike.
The MoonBike is a unique snow vehicle that combines the features of an electric bike and a snowmobile. It has a steel frame that encloses a hub motor and a track system that allows it to glide over snow. It weighs only 87 kg (187 lbs), which is three times less than an average snowmobile. It also has ten times fewer components, half of which are available off-the-shelf.
The MoonBike can reach speeds of up to 42 km/h (26 mph) and has a removable battery that can last up to 90 minutes on a single charge. The battery can be recharged in a regular socket or with an optional double battery system. The MoonBike operates on a 72 volt architecture and has 90% fewer moving parts than a combustion engine powered snowmobile.
Why did Nicolas Muron create the MoonBike?
Nicolas Muron came up with the idea of the MoonBike in 2015 when he visited his grandparents’ farm in the French Alps. He noticed that most of the transportation options in winter were either cars or snowmobiles, but he was not satisfied with either of them. He wanted something like an e-bike for the snow that was lightweight, easy to maintain, and sustainable — but with plenty of power.
After two years of research and development, he arrived at his final design. He said: “We’re on a mission to democratise snowmobility. The average snowmobile user is male, over 50 years old, and a powersports enthusiast who loves gas, fumes, and noise. We’re a little different.”
How does the MoonBike compare to other snow vehicles?
The MoonBike is designed to be simple and reliable for beginners and experts alike. It has three riding modes: eco mode for low speed and low power; sport mode for high speed and high power; and manual mode for custom settings. The bike also has regenerative braking that recovers energy from braking.
The MoonBike is not meant to replace traditional snowmobiles or other vehicles on groomed trails or ski resorts. It is more suitable for off-road riding on deep powder or steep slopes where gas-powered machines struggle or fail. The bike can also be used as a fun mode of transportation in mountain towns or urban areas where parking spaces are scarce.
The MoonBike has received positive feedback from users who have tried it on various terrains and conditions. They praised its quietness, lightness, maneuverability, performance, and ease of use. Some users even said they preferred it over their own cars or motorcycles.
What are some challenges or limitations of the MoonBike?
The MoonBike is not without its challenges or limitations. One of them is its price tag: $9,000 USD for one unit or $12,000 USD for two units (including shipping). This may deter some potential buyers who are looking for more affordable options.
Another challenge is its availability: only about 500 units have been produced so far by Bosch’s factory in France. This means that there may be long waiting lists or limited stock for those who want to order one.
A third challenge is its regulation: there are no specific laws or standards for electric vehicles in many countries where snowmobiling is popular. This may pose some legal issues or safety concerns for those who want to use their bikes on public roads or trails.
The MoonBike is an innovative product that offers an alternative way to enjoy winter sports without compromising on quality or sustainability. It combines the best features of an electric bike and a snowmobile into one sleek machine that can handle any terrain with ease.
If you are looking for something different from your usual snow vehicle this season, you may want to check out the MoonBike website or follow them on social media for more updates and information.