A vision realised: Dennis Savic profile

Dennis Savic is happy to admit that if it weren’t for a stint at Ford Australia, where he worked on the 2022 Everest SUV program, his eponymously named electric motorcycle would likely still just be a doodle on the back of a notepad.

Ford’s Broadmeadows headquarters is rarely thought of as a hotbed for young techpreneurs, but the Perth native credits his stint there for providing the skills and confidence to pursue a dream he’s dedicated the past decade of his life to.

That dream is to create an Australian designed and manufactured battery electric motorcycle that Dennis Savic believes will delight riders with its powerful performance, data smarts, and head-turning looks, while going wheel to wheel with the best from BMW, Harley Davidson, and others.

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“Our number one priority is to play a leading role in the e-mobility revolution, and we want to do this by delivering future-proof motorcycling to riders who love the art of classic motorbikes, but want a reliable vehicle to get from A to B safely, comfortably and affordably, with zero emissions,” says the 30-year-old company founder and engineer.

Now, after a decade of effort from Savic and his small but dedicated team of like-minded engineers, designers and software developers, Savic Motorcycles has gone from thriving start-up to a company about to begin assembly of its C-Series electric cafe racer at a new facility in West Melbourne later this year.

Savic said the genesis of the idea came at a ‘Cars of Tomorrow’ conference he attended as a fresh-faced 19-year-old engineering student in 2012.

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“Back then I had an idea, a concept, and a final year student project… and no idea how I was going to build motorbikes,” he said.

The journey has had its share of twists and turns, but one of the more significant came in 2017, three years after Savic completed his engineering degree at the University of Western Australia, where his final-year thesis was on electric motorcycle chassis design.

The young entrepreneur moved to Melbourne to work for an engineering firm, which in turn led to a meeting with a Ford manager who shared Savic’s passion for design and motorcycles, and offered him a role at the Blue Oval.

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“I was brought into Ford as a weight attribute engineer working on the 2022 Everest, and I stayed in that role for about 12 months, but was then fortunate to have a role created for me as an optimisation engineer, so I got quite involved in trying to lightweight individual components on the vehicle,” he said.

By then Savic and his Perth-based designer Dave Hendroff had penned the initial design sketches for the Savic C-Series and in 2018 they debuted a concept to critical acclaim at the 2018 Melbourne Moto Expo.

“I was aware of the benefits of electric vehicles quite early on, but doing an EV from the ground up gave us way more freedom in terms of design,” he says.

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By mid-2020 Savic felt he had the necessary skills, contacts, and confidence to step out on his own, and last October Savic Motorcycles confirmed the C-Series would move from prototype to production, following the completion of a $1.83 million capital raising.

“Now that our first production run is funded, we’re aiming to have at least 20 bikes delivered to their owners in the last quarter of 2022, before scaling up manufacturing in 2023.”

One of the challenges Savic says he and his team grappled with from early on was designing a head-turning motorcycle that would combine the power, handling, and stripped-back style of a traditional cafe racer, with the latest electric battery and power conversion technologies.

“With the C-Series, we wanted to recreate the distinctive pared-down style of a café racer, with clip-on handlebars, a broad ‘fuel tank’, and a vegan-leather cowled seat, enabling riders to adopt a low racing stance,” he said.

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The main engineering challenge was weight, specifically integrating the bulky 80kg powertrain – more than one-third of the bike’s overall weight – without detracting from the lines and distinctive racing style of the iconic 1970s motorcycles it emulates.

“We did this by casting the bike’s frame in lightweight aluminium, and incorporating the powertrain enclosure – containing the motor, the motor-controller, and a 144-volt battery pack – into the frame, as a structural chassis element.”

This approach allowed Savic and his team to use the same fully integrated, stressed, liquid-cooled motor and energy storage system to construct two models with different price points, power outputs and range.

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The top-of-the-line Alpha costs $26,990, has outputs of 60kW and 200Nm, sprints from 0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds, and has a 200km riding range courtesy of its 16kWh battery. The lighter and more affordable Delta costs $16,990, boasts 40kW of power, and has a 9kWh battery delivering 150km of range.

Savic’s target is to grow to a production volume of 5000 units per year over the next five to 10 years.

“Our first target is to grow to the size of MV (Augusta), but our longer-term aspiration is to grow to the size of Indian motorcycles. We think that if we could grow to the size of MV in the next five years that’d be a pretty good achievement.”

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Dennis Savic says the absence of gears or clutch means the C-Series offers a simpler, more seamless riding experience than a traditional combustion motorcycle, and that his company wants to make the dream of electric motorcycling accessible to younger, more price-conscious consumers, with its future products.


Dennis Savic says the C-Series has been designed to “fulfil the promise of ethical, pollution-free transport,” and that more than 80 percent of the bike’s structure is made from fully recyclable cast aluminium.


CREDITS: Mark Quinlan