Hydrofoil E-Bicycle [Hydrofoiler XE-1]

Maker and role
Manta5, Manufacturer
Production date
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Object detail

Accession number
Production period
Hydrofoil E-Bicycle [Hydrofoiler XE- 1], for use on water.

Part 1: This is a hydrofoil bicycle invented in New Zealand. It is the world's first example of an electrical pedal-assisted hydrofoil bicycle. It can be operated manually or with electrical assistance. It operates as if you are riding a bike on the water, with the foils the only part of the craft under the water. This bicycle is a watercraft, built to withstand being fully submerged, with a plastic shell and aluminium components. It has two buoyancy modules at the front which keep it afloat. It is designed to be assembled by hand, with plastic buoyancy clips to hold the parts together.
The hydrofoiler has a seat, pedals and handlebars like a bike. It has two sets of carbon fibre foils - one at the front [Part 2] and one at the back [Part 3]. The body of the item is white with a stripe of black at the back. The rear of the bike has a seat made from white plastic with circular and triangular holes across its surface. Under this is a grey support frame for the seat with "YOUR AIR" printed in grey. The seat is attached to an adjustable black metal seat post. There are black plastic pedals below, with "FSa" in white on the stem of each pedal. On the right side of the bike is a clear grey plastic window, revealing the chain and inner mechanisms of the bike. There is a black propeller below this, and a large foil at the back of the bike, supported at the centre by the rear frame of the body. To the bottom right of the foil is the “manta5” logo in white and red. In the middle of the bike's body is a rectangular battery pack which clips into the frame. There is a silver coloured release button at the front of this. Under this is the “manta5” logo on the right side in black and red. Above the two buoyancy modules at the front is the black metal handlebar stem with white handlebars at the top. Beneath the buoyancy modules is the front smaller foil attached to a metal stem support, and a tiller mechanism which protrudes horizontally outwards. The tiller is white and black plastic, and is steered using the handlebars. The "manta5" logo is repeated in white and red on the bottom right of the front foil, with the same wave pattern.

Part 2: Carbon fibre foil, black, with a white wave pattern along the top edge. To the bottom right of the foil is the “manta5” logo in white and red. This foil is attached to the front of the hydrofoiler. The ends taper inwards on either side.

Part 3: Carbon fibre foil, black, rectangular, with a white wave pattern along the top edge. To the bottom right of the foil is the “manta5” logo in white and red. This foil is attached to the back of the hydrofoiler.

Part 4: Large flat rectangular white cardboard box with integrated lid opening from top. This box stores the disassembled hydrofoiler E-bike. On the top right is a rectangular block of navy blue, which extends over the top edge of the lid with four “+” signs in the corners. Near the bottom is printed "CYCLING'S NEW FRONTIER”, with a diagonal line dividing the section below, which has “manta5" printed in white. To the left of this is a large navy outline image of the hydrofoiler, with cross hatched shading. On either side of the box are handling instructions displayed vertically, with a navy blue background. The instructions read: "LI-ION / CARRY THIS WAY / FRONT / FRAGILE / HANDLE WITH CARE”. The "manta5" logo is printed in horizontal text at the top, with a handle for carrying below.

Part 5: Thin flat rectangular white cardboard box. This box stores the two hydrofoils. Lid: On the top, there is an outline of the large foil on the box in navy blue, with a square of navy on the far right side of the box. This has four “+” signs at the top, and this is divided by a white diagonal line. Below this is the “manta5” logo in white. A strip of navy with "REDIFINING HUMAN / POTENTIAL ON WATER" is printed along the top edge. The short edges of the box are navy blue, with “manta5” printed horizontally, and “FRONT / FRAGILE/ HANDLE WITH CARE” vertically oriented. This is repeated on both sides, with a small gold circular sticker on the top right corner on the left, with “20” written in permanent marker. Base: The edges are white cardboard, and on the left is a square of navy blue, with “REDIFINING HUMAN / POTENTIAL ON WATER”, and another section underneath with four “+” signs in the corners. There is an outline image of the smaller foil on the white background. Interior: There is a cardboard insert with slits in it to hold the smaller foil. The larger foil sits underneath. On the left is text, “REDEFINING HUMAN / POTENTIAL ON WATER”, and there is a hole on the right for lifting, and a cross-hatched arrow indicating where to lift.

Part 6: Additional part – black metal seat extender for taller riders.

Part 7: Metal Allen Key set. Three different sized fold-out keys. "manta5" logo printed on the front.
Brief History
The Manta5 hydrofoil is the world’s first electric water bike, developed and designed in the Waikato, New Zealand. Manta5 founder Guy Howard-Willis teamed up with bicycle designer Roland Alonzo to create this water bike. After eight years of creating prototypes, design tweaks and thousands of tests, the hydrofoil cycle was launched in late 2019.

The hydrofoil electric bike replicates the cycling experience, but on water. The aluminium bike has two carbon fibre hydrofoils and a propeller that lift the craft out of the water as the rider picks up speed. A similar technology was used for Team New Zealand’s 2017 America’s Cup yacht.

Design challenges included how to get the bike moving in deep water, and after numerous trials, the 'submerged launch' was created. This relies on the hydrofoil technology and electric motor enable the rider to climb out of the water. The hydrofoils work like airplane wings underwater, the faster the bike moves, the more life is generated by the hydrofoils.

Innovation is at the front, centre and lift of this ingenious cycle.

Tech lowdown
Materials: carbon fibre hydrofoils and aluminium frame with plastic buoyancy modules
Dimensions: 1.4m high x 2m wide x 2.2m long. Weighs 29 kgs with battery
Power: seventy cell Lithium-ion battery gives 60 minutes riding time. Takes three hours to charge
Max speed: Up to 20km/h and can be launched from shore, jetty or in the water
Transport: The hydrofoils come off allowing the bike to fit in a station wagon type vehicle
YOUR AIR Printed
FSa Printed
manta5 Logo
20 Hand-written
manta5 Printed
Record level
Credit Line
Manta5. 2019. Hydrofoil E-Bicycle [Hydrofoiler XE-1], 2020.1. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).


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