The motorbike is back in Turin. In the ‘Twenties there were a hundred and twenty manufacturers here; these fell to twelve in 1950, two in 1970 and zero a few years later. The heaviest of silences broken in 2015 by César Mendoza, former director of the IED of Turin. His idea: to set up a new motorbike firm (Nito) responding to urban mobility demands while respecting the environment. A blank sheet, a few trusted associates, the support of the Polytechnic and a number of Italian and foreign companies, loads of ideas and one certainty: electric drive guaranteeing sustainability, convenience and enjoyment.

Nito bikes

So NITO (an acronym for Nuova Industria Torinese) was born. It made its debut at the EICMA in Milan in November with four “ecological” products that will be marketed in 2017 through e-commerce and monobrand stores. Two human powered: the N1 kick-scooter and the N2 convertible bike; two motor-driven, the N3 folding moped and the NES scooter. The common denominator, the pursuit of maximum functionality through style and materials. In a word, design.

The kick-scooter was designed by Mendoza in person with above all an adult public in mind. It combines a sturdy tube structure with a wooden board; it fits handy 10” wheels with inner tube and bicycle type brakes. It weighs 7 kg, it folds up and offers fully 24 personalisations.

The Nito N2 convertible bike is an evolution of the project developed some time ago at IED by Daniele Morselli and Luca Tomatis who also worked on this second stage. As in the original project, it can take on three configurations: standard, scooter type (including pedal function) and fold-up for transport. Transmission and frame have been extensively revisited; the 20” wheels are caster-type and there is a disc brake at the front.

The Nito N3 moped, approved for one person, can also be folded. Derived from a Chinese vehicle it was designed with young people and entertainment in mind. The aluminium frame houses the battery and is topped by the long saddle of cross-country inspiration. The mono-shock rear suspension and front disc brake are noteworthy. The motor (in the rear hub) delivers 1.5 kW for 45 kph; range varies from 40 to 50 kilometres and recharge time goes from 3 to 6 hours.

Topping the offering here is the Nito NES scooter, approved for two. “It offers a personal styling language that harks back to the concept of Italian seaside holidays”, explains Mendoza. Outstanding is the streamlined front zone with integrated headlight and the “free” rear with saddle (three variants available) that seems to float on the wooden footboard. The 4 kW motor reaches a speed of 45 kph and range is about 80 kilometres, with a recharge time of 3-4 hours.

Full article in Auto&Design no. 222