January was a big month giving us plenty of content to create our first ever Production Update. We’ve made steady progress since first opening up our international presale and these updates are to bring you along with us on our journey from production to delivery.
The Hydrofoiler XE-1 is a world-first on so many fronts, with approximately 80% of the XE-1 being entirely custom design and comprised of over 100 different custom parts to ensure the purest on-water cycling experience! The month began with the return of our electronic engineers who revisited Taiwan to finalize the last piece of design work; the custom motor and battery combination.
With our New Zealand pilot production being delivered in Summer 2019, we’re excited to have a tightly knit group of customers to test our production model, enabling us to determine any last tweaks and improvements before scaling.
We’ve been working very closely with our suppliers and developed an even cooler custom tech to add into the bike. Our latest part is a custom designed hybrid battery connector. We’re also working towards integrating a new Heads Up Display for the XE-1 that will be wireless and be able to sync to most devices. Enabling riders to log rides using common tracking apps all whilst seeing info such as real-time heart rates as you foil along.
Another significant development is our new battery power button, which is pressure sensitive and designed to cope with the dynamic impacts of water. A mechanical switch isn’t an option given the water pressure changes that occur when performing a submerged launch. So instead, our electronic engineers and suppliers worked to create a customized button which works based on differential instead of absolute pressure, in the same that the button on a iPhone XS typically works. Meaning no grit, sand or water can get into it.
Another awesome feature built into the bike battery is tilt sensors. The XE-1 uses tilt sensors which detect if you’re falling into the water. As the bike falls into the water, the system disables the electrical motor assist, and when the bike returns to a riding position, the motor re-enables so that you can get back up and foil.
Looking back, when we first reached out to potential suppliers, they thought what we wanted to achieve was impossible; now they are working alongside us proudly. Waterproofing a battery and motor for a bike and then transforming into more of a hydrofoil water plane is no easy feat to achieve.
We’re looking forward to our progression in the next coming months!
The Manta5 Team