Tony Stark wouldn’t be caught riding a scooter — who would when you can fly? But when he’s 92 and can’t get into his suit while wearing adult diapers, he’d still be the talk of the retirement center rolling past the bridge table on this contraption.
This is the STILRIDE 1, brought to you by the Swedish group STILFOLD (pronounced “steel fold”). They are a design and fabrication firm specializing in shaping metal in novel ways. The forms they conjure from steel plates would impress the finest Japanese Origamists. (Yes, that’s a real word!)
Motorcycles transcend transportation, they are art, and they tug at our heartstrings. STILRIDE is tugging hard. This expensive and boutique scooter is all about getting eyeballs — and a flex of manufacturing prowess.
With an MSRP of $16,500, it’s destined for a select few, but those interested will receive a well-equipped machine. The STILFORM STILRIDE 1 is a delightfully sculpted toy — but it’s also a promise of what the future holds for manufacturing.
Automakers are hunting down ways to reduce carbon emissions. Every component and process is under scrutiny and chassis material is a glaring target. Motorbikes (and cars) can be made from steel, aluminum, and composites like carbon fiber. Each material has pros and cons. While we all appreciate how recyclable aluminum cans are, there is compelling research suggesting that steel produces fewer carbon emissions for structural applications.
But, you say, motorcycle frames have been made from steel for years. True, but not like this. STILFOLD’s novel process wields industrial robots and AI algorithms to bend curves into metal, yielding structures that are both beautiful and strong. STILFOLD claims 40% lower weight, 70% fewer components, and 20% lower costs. It’s in the business of licensing this technology to the world.
Like origami, It all starts with paper. STILFOLD’s designers can rough out most shapes by hand before cutting steel. The STILRIDE chassis starts as a single sheet of stainless steel which is laser-cut, then formed and welded. Fewer components means less to assemble, lower weight, and fewer ways to fail. Tesla’s “mega casting”, where fully half a Model Y’s structure is cast as one piece, follows a similar methodology.
Sustainability has value. It’s way easier to recycle a bare metal frame free of paint and adhesives. The Sondors metacycle does this too — its frame is bare cast aluminum. This is often called a “cradle-to-grave” design, and it’s sorely needed in transportation engineering.
STILRIDE 1 Scooter Specs
Enough science — this scooter should really scoot to boot.
A rear hub motor makes 8kW (10.7 horsepower) peak 6kW (8 horsepower) continuous with 210Nm torque. That should make for very healthy acceleration, and the claimed top speed of 60 miles per hour is believable. My personal niu MQi GT scooter feels darn quick and has just half that power.
A 5.1kWh battery will deliver approximately 75 miles of range (based on WMTC stage 3 profile). An off-board charger takes 4 hours to fill the “tank.”
Under the skin, the engineering and outfitting looks top-shelf. It’s like they ran a Ducati through the wash on hot — pint-sized performance. Proper four-piston brake calipers up front and two in the rear, along with Continental ABS, will give you the confidence to ride fast, as you should be able to stop fast.
The integrated turn-signal-brake-lever from ISR is a work of art by itself. Many brands omit signals and mirrors in promo photos because they’re a tacky distraction. It’s refreshing to see STILRIDE wear them proudly as design elements.
The true multilink rear suspension with THE Ohlins damper looks dreamy — scooter suspension is so often lacking. The claimed weight of 286 pounds isn’t so bad for an all-metal machine with this power and energy.
Naturally, you’ll find all the features you expect from an upmarket e-scooter. Smartphone app connectivity is standard with antitheft features, ride logs, and more. All STILRIDE bikes also ship with a 3-year warranty.
STILRIDE 1 Pricing & Availability
All said, for a humble scooter the STILRIDE 1 is well-equipped and very well-powered. You should expect nothing less given the base MSRP of $16,500. A list of to-be-confirmed options includes a passenger seat and a cargo rack.
The estimated start of deliveries in the spring of 2024 will land the STILRIDE 1 in EU countries first. Expect U.S. certification to take a bit longer.
STILFORM’s engineering looks proper, but I am always hesitant to bet on an industry newcomer. At this price, I’ll wait for a ride review — fingers crossed we get a sample in the U.S. soon.
STILFOLD STILRIDE 1 Scooter
In many ways, the STILRIDE 1 is just another overpriced electric toy from yet another little-known brand. The raw design language won’t appeal to many. Warranty or not, with any software-controlled vehicle, you run the risk of losing technical support if STILFOLD folds (pun intended). Although, if you have $15,000+ to spend on a scooter, you can afford to take the risk on what most might agree is a very thoughtfully engineered machine.
I suspect that STILFOLD profits far more from the eyeballs this draws in than it will in selling scooters. It’s a perfect way to flaunt its technology.
My tenure working in big auto has taught me well that big ships turn slowly — more slowly than our planet can tolerate. The moto industry should take note of these crafty Swedes. The STILFOLD STILRIDE 1 is an inspiring vision of how we might reshape transportation — and it all starts with the humble art of folding paper.
Stay up to date on all things STILRIDE here.