All of the good features of the original WAW have remained, the separable nose and tail, the narrow wind profile, agile steering and sexy shape. The state of the art Bries air suspension confirmed that the intrinsic passive suspension of the WAW was actually the better solution regarding comfort*efficiency to weight*losses ratio so we happily kept it. The Bries's front suspension was working great but it was too expensive, a little heavier, and the disk brakes were just too much trouble; so again we decided against fashion and stuck to the velomobiel.nl McPherson struts with drum brakes. The steering has continuously evolved over the years into a clean, durable and weatherproof construction with a smooth, accurate and intuitive feel. Although the light mounts are going in against the car design paradigm we and our clients are actually very satisfied with the current modular, accessible setup.
The principal improvements to the WAW architecture are the optimization of the interior space while maintaining a minimal volume, new carbon and aramid fibre lamination techniques and aspect, and the new canopy.
Taller people fit in better, the youngest BeWAW was delivered to a 1.89 m Belgian commuter. We redesigned the wheel wells resulting in four cm of extra leg space while maintaining the short turning radius.
Better Weather protection and Ventilation.
The most attractive offspring of the Bries and WAW liaison is the new canopy. By means of a flexible and tough mechanism, the position of the visor and cap unit can be continuously adapted to the varying circumstances. Moving the cap forward or backward and lifting the front and/or the back or even one side only, directs the air flow for optimal ventilation and rain protection. Perhaps the best feature is the possibility to take apart the cap and the visor. The visor can be left on the canopy for wind deflection or rolled up and both can be stowed away under the seat. In this way the rider can modulate from complete protection against to a complete contact with the environment. Our clients are very happy with it.
A handy feature is the faculty to flip over the entire canopy for stable and comfortable in- and egress. Two little tugs on the hook-and-loop hinges and the canopy can be slid forward again as usual for open air riding. The new naked carbon fibre dashboard adds a great touch to the interior space and doubles as the rain water gutter from the nose. We made a flip-away mount for speedo's and gps as well so the WAW can be left parked without worries. We're still working on a lock for the entire canopy, more to deter the curious than for real theft protection: a chain to the world remains the best option there.
Light and Smooth.
Our greatest pride, however, is that we managed to reduce the weight of the standardBeWAWs yet produced to under 30kg. With a finer choice of components and options we can build a 24 kg WAW! Dries applied all of his seven years of WAW building experience to new lay-up patterns, glueing methods, insight in the force vectors and shape and materials interaction in order to achieve the lightest currently possible construction of a safe, rigid and lossless velomobile.
All moulds were reworked to achieve a better finish, omitting the considerable weight of paint or gel-coats. We were so happy with the results that we decided to ditch the paint alltogether, leave the sexy carbon look apparent and gain two kilograms in the process. The finished aspect of the carbon weave again reflects a delicate balance of weight and glossiness, preferring lightweight efficiency over car industry dictate.
We continued to building the lower part of the shells in aramid fibre. Aramid is tougher, more impact resistant than carbon, but comes (for the moment) only in a less than pretty yellow. A growing share of our clientele has been applying printed adhesive foil for publicity purposes, often with fantastic results. We learned from them and hence the Aramid sides are covered with a tough high quality foil we know from the ubiquitous publicity on cars and busses.
Further enhancements have been made to the rear wheel well, better sound insulation of the rear bulkhead (between gears and rider), new moulds of the canopy with a tighter fit, and a meticulous mixture of carbon tubes and Kevlar skin inside the semi-monocoque body. We achieved the following weights in standard production: Canopy: 450g, Nose: 1050g, Body: 4450g, Tail: 560g or a total weight of the shells of 6.51 kg. Subsequently some inner beams have to be added, the rear wheel well, dropouts, suspension struts, bracket subframe and the seat, adding up to a total body weight of 17.55 kg. After that it's a question of components choice, tires, lights, etc.
Since the notorious bakmobiel, we've gained quite some experience at building human-electric hybrid vehicles. We believe this concept has a place next to the sports-oriented human powered version as it can extend the possibilities of velomobility, as well as make a car free lifestyle achievable for a much larger public. The model on our photoshoot was equipped with a Crystalyte e-assist (BionX is available as well). Our customised Crystalyte offers four modes: weightless velo, Mondeo, F16 and reverse.
WAW's for All.
We have an handy online Waw configurator now, showing approximate weights, prices and information about the building proces. It's meant for our direct customers, your local dealer will provide you with a custom version. We use it as service and version tracker as well. We will share a personalised Waw configurator with you if you can give us a gmail address.
With all the options we grew to offer, we feel the BeWAW has such a broad application field that it may become confusing. Ranging from the purely physical and mental benefits to the plain economic logic, there are as many backgrounds as there are riders. Although we're keen to offer tailored solutions to our clients, we may split up the BeWAW line in three sub categories: the C-WAW as a no-compromise human powered speed machine; the A-WAW, with hybrid propulsion and full electronics, as a car replacement; and in between those the BeWAW, composed to the specific demands of the rider.