- An approachable, stable, go-anywhere electric fat trike with a low stand over height and rear cargo bin for hauling supplies, maximum carrying capacity of 350 pounds including rider
- 500 watt hub motor in front wheel can take the bike up to 20 mph (up to 25 mph if the top speed is adjusted in settings) with cadence sensing pedal assist and a half grip twist throttle
- Comfortable ride thanks to the front suspension fork with 80 mm of travel, seat post suspension with 30 mm of travel, and extra wide fat tires, the larger 24" front wheel provides stability while 20" rear wheels lower the basket for easier loading
- Integrated lights keep you safe at night since trikes tend to be lower than traditional bikes, the company can be difficult to communicate with and direct order only means the bike must be assembled by the buyer, only one size and color option
Hi everyone! This is Brent. The MOTAN M-350 from AddMotoR is an approachable fat tire electric trike that offers good power thanks to the Bafang 500-watt front hub motor and a comfortable ride thanks to the front suspension and seat post suspension, not to mention the extra cushy fat tires. At the time of this writing, the 500 watt version of this bike is priced at $2,599, but interestingly the 750 watt version, which also has a lager capacity battery, is on sale for $2,099. The front suspension has 80 mm of travel, and in conjunction with the high air volume of the front 24 inch by 4 inch front tire, tackling small bumps feels like almost nothing at all. The seat post suspension has about 30 mm of travel, which may not sound like a lot but it does a fair job of soaking up some of the extra shock that the rear 20 inch by 4 inch tires miss… And, that’s a good thing because the body position can be more upright with tricycles, and you can dial this in with the adjustable stem. All in all, it’s a pretty soft ride and the bike is incredibly approachable. It has a sort of mid-step frame with a low stand over height of 22 inches. I’m 5’10” and it’s very easy for me to stand with both feet flat on the ground without hitting the top tube. It’s also easy to balance at a standstill since it has three wheels! This bike screams “fun” and it has been just that for me. It reminds me of riding three wheelers when I was a kid — super stable at low speeds but boy do those rear tires love popping up when taking turns. This of course is true of all three wheeled vehicles that have only one wheel in the front, so it’s not unique to the M-350, but I definitely want to caution against the tendency for this trike to tip on uneven ground at medium and high speeds. I really needed to throw my weight from side to side when going over uneven sidewalk entrances, for example. Thankfully though, despite the M-350’s hefty curb weight of 82.2 pounds, the bike is pretty well balanced since the motor is in the front wheel and the battery is located behind the seat post. I haven’t loaded up too much weight into the included rear cargo rack, but I suspect that loading it to the 350 pound capacity will make it feel quite back heavy, as well as increasing the potential for the front wheel to lose traction on loose terrain.
The brakes on the M-350 are mechanical disc style with a 180 mm rotor in the front and a 160 mm rotor on the rear. Since these brakes are mechanical, it does mean the brake levers aren’t as adjustable or easy to pull as hydraulic, which might make them difficult to use for riders with extra small weaker hands (especially with the heavier weight of the bike). Also, the rear brake only applies pressure to the right rear wheel, leaving the left rear wheel to spin freely. I closely inspected the rear axle to see if there was a screw or something I failed to tighten, or perhaps something I didn’t assemble correctly, but it appears this is by design. I found that having brake pressure applied to only one of the rear wheels makede for uneven stopping, leaving the bike with a tendency to sort of sag and pull towards the right when stopping. That being said, I feel the braking power with this bike is ample when there is not weight in the back, but again, I’d caution against going too fast when this thing is fully loaded as the brakes are not exactly overpowered. I’ve been running through the AddMotoR line and reviewing all their bikes (I think this one makes number 6) and there’s a few interesting talking points about assembly and the company I want to bring up. First and foremost, AddMotoR is a direct order only company with no physical brick-and-mortar shops at this time. Generally speaking, this means the prices are going to be noticeably lower compared to if they did have brick-and-mortar shops, which require more inventory around the globe (or country depending), more employees, and all around more overhead. Adding to the savings, AddMotoR doesn’t charge for shipping in the US! I’ve seen other companies that compensate for lower prices by charging several hundred dollars fo shipping. So the potential savings is a huge bonus. However, direct order only does come with some potential pitfalls. Namely, and this is true of my experience with AddMotoR, there can be a communication barrier that makes getting clarification on certain specs difficult. This might be an issue for some folks who want to really do their research before swiping the card to buy a bike, and since there are no shops to see the bikes beforehand, the company itself is one of the few lifelines for information and warranty support. Furthermore, with direct order only companies, there’s also the assembly to consider. The M-350 assembled fairly easily and all the components fit together well enough. However, on some other AddMotoR bikes, I have seen issues with tolerances for fenders and racks, and getting them to fit was difficult. Also, the box for this bike is quite large and looks almost like a refrigerator. I had to get this thing up my stairs and into my apartment and it was, without exaggeration, the most difficult thing I’ve brought up the stairs so far. With two people it would of course be easier, but this is just an experience I wanted to share with you all incase anyone else lives on a second story or higher. A couple more things I want to point out before really diving into this review here… the M-350 only comes in one frame size — 16” — and one color: matte black with red accents. Having only one frame size will limit a bit who can ride this bike — extra tall or short riders might not be comfortable — but thankfully, the stem is adjustable and can be lowered to extend reach and lower the posture, or raised to shorten the reach and raise posture. Ok, let’s dive in!
Driving the M-350 to a top pedal assist or throttle speed of 20 mph (the top speed can be adjusted to 25 mph in the settings for those who want to go a bit faster) is a Bafang 500 watt geared hub motor in the front wheel. This motor is actually quite peppy, especially off the line thanks to the 80 Newton meters of torque it can crank out. Accelerating fast like this however, will drain the battery faster. In pedal assist mode, the motor responds to a 12-magnet cadence sensor. This has a higher resolution and is more sensitive than the common 6 magnet and 8 magnet cadence sensors I’ve seen elsewhere, but it is still slow to start and stop power from the motor compared to a torque or multi-sensor. From a dead stop, it takes about .5 second to 1 second before the motor kicks on. The throttle was defective on the M-350 that was delivered to me, but based on the other AddMotoR bikes I’ve reviewed, this throttle is likely live at 0 mph, which is great to override the pedal assist and get the bike moving from a standstill. I think this would be especially useful when there is heavy cargo in the back or if you position the saddle low for easier mounting and stability (which would limit pedaling comfort and leg extension). The motor itself one of the louder Bafang motors I’ve tested and has a noticeable buzzing whine at the higher RPMs. Also, since this motor is located in the front wheel, there’s a higher chance of slippage compared to a rear hub motor, particularly on looser terrain — which this bike can definitely tackle thanks to the suspension and fat tires. I wouldn’t be too concerned about slipping, however, because the front wheel is larger 24″ vs. the smaller 20″ which keep the basket lower and provide more stability. With a larger front wheel, you get a lower attack angle and more stable turning. I haven’t noticed any slippage whatsoever on pavement so far in my rides, probably because the tire patch is just so large and the trike weighs more than average.
Powering the M-350, the integrated headlight, and the backlit LCD display panel is a 499.2 watt hour silver fish style Lithium-ion battery pack that weighs approximately 7.4 pounds. Normally with these silver fish style batteries, the seat post has to be completely removed before the pack can be taken off. With the MOTAN M-350, there’s a quick release on the seat post to flip up the saddle forward and make room to slide the battery up. Nice! The headlight is a Spaninga Trendo and has a fair beam pattern with a focus on throw and some spill that looks striated, kind of like a bar code. It’s not optimal in my opinion, for illuminating my path, but it does do a good job of increasing the overall visibility of the bike, especially since this is a black frame which is harder to see at night compared to brighter colors. The headlight is mounted to the arch of the suspension fork, so it may bounce up and down more than if it were positioned on the handlebar or steering tube of the bike. There’s also an independent taillight that takes two AA batteries and turns on and off with a depressible button. It’s a steady on and doesn’t blink. With trikes, the rider is usually positioned a bit lower, so the inclusion of lights is a great way to improve safety… but the rear light will be easier to forget (both turning on and off) because of the manual button there… it doesn’t run off of the main battery pack like the headlight and could easily be forgotten and drained to zero if you aren’t really paying attention. It’s nice that the main battery is removable to allow for charging separate from the bike, especially since the M-350 is wide and heavy. And on that note, I want to mention that the width of the M-350 is just about 30 inches, which is also about the same dimension for the handful of door frame that I’ve measured. I’ve tried pulling this bike through the house and have found that it fits through some doors, but not all. Just something to keep in mind! The charging port on battery is located on the top, which is great for keeping the cord clear of the cranks when it’s on the frame and plugged in. In order to operate the electronics on the bike, the key must be left inserted into the battery. I’ve noticed that with this type of setup, my ankle and shoe can sometimes strike the key when pedaling (especially if there’s a keychain attached). I haven’t found that to be the case with this bike, but just throwing it out there as it would be unfortunate to have someone hurt themselves or damage the battery itself… and you may still get some key jingling as you ride.
The control center is a Bafang C01.UART backlit LCD display that has a full size USB Type A port below and a good amount of information at the ready. However, it’s not adjustable without tools, which means angling it on the fly to avoid glare is a no go unless it’s not tightened down all the way. Normally at this point I talk about how the screen can get scratched as well if it’s left at a public bike rack, but that might not be as much of an issue with the M-350 since the wide back end will likely force other bikes to give it space on the rack. The readings for this display are assist level (0-5), current speed, max speed, average speed, battery level (4 Bars), odometer, trip meter, timer and watts. Holding up and the Mode button activates the lights, holding up toggles between current speed and max speed, holding up and down enters into settings, holding down enters into walk mode, and tapping the Mode button toggles between tribometer and odometer. Whew! That was a lot. :) Out of the box, the M-350 has a top speed of 20 mph making it a Class 2 product because it also has a throttle, but that can be adjusted up to 25 mph in the settings menu. I’m not sure I’d want to raise it at all though, because there’s a higher potential to tip as you raise the speed. The pedal assist modes feel unique, with 1 being noticeably tamer than 2, 3, 4 and 5, respectively. Also, in order to use this bike without the motor, it must be placed in 0. Interestingly, this is the first electric bike where I DON’T want to keep it in the top pedal assist mode because it’s too powerful and too fast. It just gets moving too quickly for me and at higher speeds and the trike configuration can feel a little squirrely. Instead, I would prefer the more controlled and possibly gentle acceleration of the twist throttle (just based on twisting slowly) but again, the throttle on my demo unit didn’t work. The button pad is on the left and snugged up nicely to the edge of the grip, and I can hit the buttons without having to reposition my hand which makes it feel safe and controlled. There’s a bell built into the left brake lever that is easy to reach and satisfying to chime, I really like this configuration because it doesn’t clutter the bars or force the control pad in further.
Normally when I go out riding with electric bikes, people stare. Especially with the bigger ones, or if they’re brightly colored. But never have I experienced reactions before like I had with the M-350. Several people have literally pulled over and gotten out of their car to engage me and ask about this bike. “Is that electric?!” “What is that?!” This thing is seriously a head turner. The M-350 feels like a fun electric trike that would work well for those who want stability at lower speeds and the confidence that comes along with being able stay in the saddle at a dead standstill. I also think this bike would be AWESOME for those with smaller animals who could ride in the back. Honestly I can think of nothing cooler than that. But since the load capacity is 350 pounds, it can also easily handle a heavy load of groceries or whatever else you can think of that can fit in a space that’s 17.5 inches in length, 14 inches in width and 8 inches deep. Lastly, I think the M-350 could also work for hunters who need to carry a lot of gear with them but still be able to get deep into the woods, or just for those people who want to cruise along the beach and throw a cooler full of drinks and food in the back. For me though, I just appreciate how approachable and fun this bike is, and that since the stand over height is so low, it’s easy for me hop on and off without tweaking my back. At $2,599, this bike is definitely on the pricier side, but it feels like there’s a lot “fun” value here with a fair amount of practicality as well. I want to thank AddMotoR for partnering with me on this review and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you all have below or in the AddMotoR Forums! Ride safe!
- Approachable trike with mid-step frame that offers very low stand over height and allows most riders to comfortably place both feet flat on the ground when seated, also makes getting on and off the bike much easier compared to a high step
- Motor inhibitors cut power to the motor whenever the brakes levers are depresses, ensuring the shortest possible stopping distance, this is especially important on a bike like this that is meant to carry heavy cargo
- Display is pretty bright and can be seen in broad daylight and also at night since it’s backlit, also has quite a bit of information on hand and is larger which makes reading easy
- Half grip twist throttle on right allows the trike to be ridden more like a moped or a scooter instead of only like a traditional pedal assist electric bike, also works well to help get the trike moving from a standstill and to override the pedal assist when in lower settings
- Flick bell is located in an ergonomic position between the grip and the brake lever, making for a natural reach that allows the bell to be used without repositioning hands, also keeps the handlebars a little less cluttered
- Stem is adjustable angle and can be raised for a more relaxed and upright riding style and to reduce reach, or lowered for a more efficient and streamlined riding style and to extend reach, this is great since the frame only comes in one size and should help accommodate a larger range of rider heights
- Headlamp runs off the main battery and is controlled through the display panel, it offers a decent beam pattern and makes you more visible, this is nice since the bike only comes in black which isn’t the most visible color at night and is lower (as with most trikes) so cars might not see you as easily
- Front steel fender is rigid and strong and doesn’t bounce around when riding, the rear tires may splash up, but they aren’t directly behind you so you could still stay dry and clean
- Fat tires offer tons of traction and increased suspension thanks to the high air volume, they also help to ensure the front wheel doesn’t slip since that’s where the motor is located, if you lower the tire pressure this e-trike can actually ride on softer sand, snow, or loamy trails
- Front suspension helps dampen some of the shock from bumpy roads, this is especially useful for trail riding or just for less than ideal streets
- Seat post has suspension and quick release to adjust the height, as well as a hinge to flip the saddle forward for removing the battery without having to take the entire seat post out, the suspension here helps make for an even smoother ride as well
- Battery is locking and removable and has the charging port at the top so it stays clear of the cranks when it’s plugged in, this helps ensure the cord doesn’t get snagged when it’s plugged in which could potentially damage the battery
- Included rear cargo rack bolts down to the frame to keep it nice and sturdy, it also has an included liner with a vinyl coating to help keep rain and moisture out and reduce rattling, theres also a zippered top which helps to keep cargo safely inside the bag and lower the center of gravity for improved stability
- Bike is surprisingly well balanced despite the 82 pound curb weight as the motor is in the front and the battery is behind the seat post
- Double sided plastic chain guard helps keep the chain from popping off towards the inside and outside, also helps to keep pants/legs/dressed clean while pedaling
- Mostly entry level components like mechanical disc brakes, Shimano SIS Index Trigger shifter, Bafang motor, etc., though it does come with Shimano Altus derailleur which is a step up from the base Tourney model
- Mechanical brake levers don’t offer as much adjustability as hydraulic and can require more hand effort to pull, this might make it difficult for riders with extra large or extra small hands to grasp the levers and might reduce their braking efficiency
- Display isn’t adjustable without tools and can’t be angled on the fly to eliminate glare, I do love that it’s large and easy to read, and the integrated USB port below
- Grips aren’t locking and can spin around under heavy torque, stitching might also wear over time and make the grips unravel entirely, they are just more basic parts but could be easily and affordably upgraded with something like this which can accommodate the twist throttle on the right
- Headlamp is affixed to the arch on the suspension making it unsuspended and therefore more prone to bouncing around and potentially even coming loose and dipping down when hitting a big bump, it could rattle loose over time and the beam just won’t be as steady
- The rear light is independent and requires the extra step of turning on and off for each ride, it’s easier to forget or to run the batteries out
- Steel fender in front is sturdy and quiet, but it can rust over time if it’s scratched through the paint all the way to the metal
- Motor placement in the front wheel makes the wheel more prone to slipping when tackling loose or wet terrain, motor is also quite noisy at higher power and speed compared to some others I have tested
- Only comes in one frame size — 16 inches — and one color: black, this might limit some riders from riding the trike comfortably and the black and red color scheme might not be to everyone’s taste
- Cadence sensor has a delay of about 1 second from the time pedaling begins to the time the motor actually activates and deactivates, this can make it feel like the bike is working for the rider instead of with them, also can make for a jarring back and forth ride, the first level of assist feels natural but 4-5 can feel too powerful
- Rear brake rotor is smaller 160 mm and only applies braking pressure to one of the rear wheels, this makes the bike pull towards the right side when braking and can increase the tendency for it to tip if braking while turning
- Trike design is prone to tipping and this can be extremely dangerous for people unfamiliar with this design, strong caution is recommended to riders for when they first try this bike out and I probably wouldn’t raise the top speed
- There is a bit of a communications gap with the company which can make getting questions answered sometimes difficult, also the direct order only nature means the bikes must be assembled by the buyer and sometimes not all the pieces fit correctly, the box is huge and heavy when it arrives
- When riding off-road, the front fender bounced around a lot and made some noise, same with the long chain and maybe the basket? I could just hear a lot of rattling noises as shown in the video review above