- Powerful and fast electric fat bike with fun color scheme and capable 4-inch wide tires that help float through mud, snow, sand, gravel and other loose terrain
- Bafang 1,000 watt mid-drive motor offers a top throttle speed of ~30 mph and the larger-than-average downtube battery gives you the juice to enjoy it and go a bit further
- Entry-level front suspension with lockout, fat tires and wide saddle make for a comfortable ride (especially if you lower the PSI), good weight distribution with the motor and battery low and center
- Good ebike option for hunters who want to go deep into the woods without getting slowed down by soggy terrain, the smell of gasoline, and the noise of an ICE motor, only sold online so expect some DIY and limited support
Warning, in some configurations this electric bike is classified as a moped or motorcycle and may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths. It may require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.
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Hey guys, this is Brent! The MOTAN M-5800 is the second electric bike from Addmotor that I’ve tested and is by far my favorite so far. Aesthetically, I really appreciate the black with striking orange accents, and I also dig that this electric bike is one of excesses. It has a larger than average battery capacity of 17.5 amp hours, more powerful than average 1,000 watt motor offering up to 160 newton meters of torque, higher top speed of 30 mph with the throttle, huge 4” wide tires and decent suspension with 100 mm of travel and lockout. It’s just all around fun to ride. However, one thing to point out with this bike right off the bat is that because of the “more than” features here, it’s beyond class, which means it’s likely not going to be legal on sidewalks, bike lanes and most trails. If this were my bike, I’d carefully check my local laws to be sure it’s legal to ride where I want, and then I’d also check out my local OHV parks to see about riding there. I hate being a negative nelly, but the reality is that with a bike like this, with so much power and top speed, there’s definitely some potential legal ramifications if I were to get into an accident. Injuries aside, having a lawsuit on my hands would be seriously unfortunate. Another interesting point that comes along with this bike, and all other bikes offered from Addmotor, is that they are a direct order company. This is great when it comes to price as it typically affords companies like Addmotor to shave down the price since they don’t have the overhead of physical shops. I think this is evident with the MOTAN M-5800, which runs for $2,699. That’s definitely not the most affordable price, but I think if I were to pick this electric bike up in a shop it would cost quite a bit more. Now, there’s also a handful of downsides to this setup as well. First and foremost, I’ve found there can be somewhat of a language barrier when trying to communicate with the company. This is of course no fault of there own, but it can make getting specific details about a bike before pulling the trigger to order it a bit difficult. Assembly can be another downfall to ordering direct. Not only can it be time consuming (the first electric bike I put together took me about an hour, but now it takes me only around half an hour) but there’s also the aspect of not having it pro tuned from a shop. Specifically, I find there’s a little bit of rattle in the brakes in almost every bike I put together myself. This can be worked out by carefully adjusting the front wheel, and even the calipers if needed, but it is time consuming and sometimes a pain to get just right. Lastly, and this is something I experience with the MOTAN M-5800, sometimes the accessories don’t fit exactly right. In this case, the included rear rack just didn’t want to fit. The included screws were just a tad too short to thread into the rear rack bosses, and the rear rack itself seemed like it was too narrow overall. I spent about 45 minutes trying to make it work, but just couldn’t get the screws to set. I’m not trying to bag on direct order bikes — actually I think they can be a great money saver — but I just want you guys to be aware of the potential pitfalls, as well as the potential benefits. Getting back to the electric bike at hand, there’s quite a few cool features about this one that I really enjoy. So here we go!
Driving this bike is a super powerful and torquey Bafang 1000 watt mid drive motor with 160 newton meters of torque. Yes, 160. I tested a similar Bafang mid drive motor (the Ultra Max) on the FLX Blade and loved it just as much then as I do now. I think this motor is a good choice for this bike. It almost needs this big of motor to deal with the 4” wide tires and a larger rider like me, who weighs ~200 lbs. Those tires are dope and offer tons of extra suspension thanks to their massive air volume and lots of traction because of the huge surface area. But that extra surface comes at a cost: drag. I can definitely feel the extra resistance with these tires, even when they’re inflated to the maximum recommended 30 PSI (they can go all the way down to 5 PSI for those extra soggy trail conditions), and that 160 newton meters of torque is great for helping get this bike started from a dead stop and for powering through mud, snow, sand, gravel, etc. You’ll still want to shift gears to the lower ones to really empower the motor though. It’s more like a manual transmission car with the mid-motor than hub motor setups like the Surface 604 Hunter that Court reviewed. Anyway, I think this Bafang middrive motor is apt for this particular bike because of how heavy it is. The M-5800 weighs in at 67 pounds and it is a heavy beast. Not only was is difficult for me to load and unload into my truck, but that extra weight means the motor has to work that much harder to drive it. The torque sensor on this motor is effective and does a good job of quickly giving and cutting off power when I start and stop pedaling, respectively. This motor can get the M-5800 up to a top speed of 30 mph with the throttle, or 20 mph with the pedal assist. And again, because there’s so much power on tap, I was able to hit the top speed pretty easily. Given I weigh 200 pounds, that’s a pretty cool feat. Another great aspect of this motor is that it’s a mid drive, so I can really leverage the gearing to be efficient and get decent range. I think this is particular important given the philosophy of use for this bike, which I think is going through slushy terrain like mud, snow, sand, gravel, etc. and for hunting or bikepacking. Being able to really leverage the power against the gearing is important for when I’m trying to get through those extra muddy sections. One thing I worry about with this motor, and all mid drive motors really, is the potential for a rock or log strike. This motor hangs pretty low and there isn’t any sort of protection underneath it. So if I get a strike on a rock, log or whatever, it’s going to come in direct contact with the motor casing itself. This could crack the casing or even potentially damage the internal gearing if it’s severe enough. Granted, this bike isn’t a stump jumper or anything, but it’s definitely something I would keep in mind while riding. The good news is, if I do damage the motor or anything else on this bike, Addmotor offers a 1 year comprehensive warranty… I haven’t tested that out, and given the communication barriers, I welcome your feedback if you have had any issues with the company.
Powering the bike and the backlit LCD display is a 48 volt, 17.5 amp hour battery pack, offering 840 watt hours of power. Waaaay more capacity than the average battery, most are around 500 wh these days. But again, because of how heavy this bike is — 67 pounds — and because of the extra wide 4” fat tires, it really needs a higher than average capacity battery. Anytime you’re riding above 20 mph, air resistance also starts to become a factore. So I’m glad Addmotor went with this setup. The battery itself is pretty hefty, weighing in at 8.5 pounds. This could be great if I’m in the middle of the wilderness and need an improvised bludgeoning tool to fend off a wild animal, but honestly I’m not too keen on lugging this battery around town in my backpack, which is a bummer because it does have a USB port to charge accessories! I do love my USB ports. Of course I’m exaggerating and I could throw this in my bag and walk around without too much trouble, but still, 8.5 pounds is pretty heavy, and it doesn’t make me want to buy a second one. Now, the upside of the battery being this heavy is that I can remove it when loading and unloading this bike to make the process easier. It’s the first time I’ve done this because of the overall weight of a bike, and I can tell you that in this instance it does make a pretty significant difference. Loading this bike into my truck without the battery in is much, much easier. Having a removable battery also means I can charge it up either on or off the bike, and I can keep it stored in a nice, cool, dry environment. The battery is locking and fits nicely into a recess in the downtube and doesn’t bulge out at all on the sides. The other upside to the battery is the location. In conjunction with the mid drive motor, most of the weight is kept centered and low on the M-5800. So, while it’s heavy, at leasts it’s not too unwieldy. It’s hard to estimate the max range on a bike like this that’s often ridden in off-road environments where the terrain is constantly changing, but I think I could easily squeeze 30 miles out of this if I was riding conservatively. Of course, if I were to keep the throttle wide open the entire time and cruise around at that 30 mph top speed, it would drain much, much faster. The charger for this bike has an output of 2.5 amps, which is a bit higher than the average 2 amps output, but it would be nice to have a 4 amp charger just because of how high of a capacity this battery is, expect 7+ hours for a full charge from empty. I’ve heard that it can stress Lithium-ion packs if you let them drain below 20% so maybe an average charge is 6.5 hours?
Turning the bike on is simple enough with a long press of the power button on the independent button pad, mounted to the left side of the handlebars – within reach of the left grip. For the display, Addmotor opted for the Bafang C961, which is a backlit LCD display that shows most of the pertinent information, including speed, assist level (0-5), battery level (1-4), trip distance and total distance. Unfortunately, the display isn’t removable without a tool so it can’t be swiveled to adjust for glare, and it also means the screen could get scratched up if the bike tips or you’re riding through low hanging branches and sticks. Maybe you’re just walking the bike through or pushing it up a hill? The display is large and subject to more damage than some of the other off-road displays and control pads on other products I’ve seen. Tapping the power button cycles through the readouts, holding the – button sets the bike into walk mode (but the twist throttle is also convenient for walking the bike or pushing it up steep paths that are unrideable), and holding the + activates and deactivates the backlight. The M-5800 does come with a headlight and taillight, but they are both independent of the control center and are push button operated. They each require three AAA to run and don’t offer too much in terms of actually illuminating my path, but should help to increase visibility at night. Since the headlight is mounted to the arch of the front suspension, it may also bounce around and come loose easier than if it were on the stem or handlebar and “sprung”. Depressing the brake levers activates the motor inhibitors, which shuts off from the motor and ensure I’m not fighting against it when braking. This is great for emergency situations, especially with a powerful bike like this that has a throttle, where I might forget to stop pedaling or let off the throttle.
I really enjoyed testing the MOTAN M-5800 and think this would be a great pick for those looking for an electric bike that can handle extra muddy terrain, sand, snow or taking long trips in the backwoods… but there are lots of fat bikes to choose from now, and some of the companies have excellent support. For this specific bike (with the higher top speed), I’m thinking of hunters who might need an electric bike to get way into the woods in places where ATV’s and other off-road vehicles are allowed. This bike feels pretty stable, even at the max throttle only speed of 30 mph, but I can definitely feel the decreased mobility from the 4” wide tires compared to a bike with thinner tires. The axles are standard 9 mm compared to the thicker 15 mm and 12 mm thru-axles on a lot of nicer fat ebikes. I was happy with the fact this bike could actually get me up to that advertised top speed without too much trouble and I like the style and reduced weight of the double walled punched out rims. Again, for a 200 pound rider, the bike performed pretty well overall. I dislike the large plastic thumb shifters because they take more flexibility to reach and can compromise the already unstable half-grip twist throttle hand position on the right grip… but sometimes these big shifters are easier to use if you’re wearing gloves. The plastic fenders do rattle a bit on this bike, the rear rack was tricky install and I wish the front and rear headlight were wired into internal electronics, but overall I had a lot of fun with this one and appreciate the “more than” mentality that comes along with the M-5800. Big thanks to AddMotoR for patterning with me on this review, and if you have any questions, drop them in the comments either here, on YouTube, or in the AddMotoR Forums and I’ll do my best to answer them! Just to be completely clear, assist level zero has no throttle and no pedal assist active… each step up in pedal assist gives you more power and speed for both assist and the throttle, and at level 5 (the highest level) you get 20 mph in pedal assist and 30 mph with the throttle.
- The black color scheme helps to hide cables, the battery, and motor casing but I like the sporty orange and yellow accents (reminds me of the Toyota Prerunner paint job that Ivan Stewart drove)
- Comes standard with front and rear fenders and a rear cargo rack, and since most of the weight is kept in the middle of the bike, adding weight to the rear shouldn’t make it too unbalanced
- Larger four-inch wide fat tires add more cushion because of their increased air volume and add tons of extra traction thanks to the increased surface area, making traveling over mud, sand, snow and gravel a breeze (especially with lowered tire pressure)
- Includes an independent headlight and taillight to increase visibility in low light conditions, improving overall safety for those who like to ride at night
- Front suspension coupled with the large tires makes for a cushy ride overall, and the wide seat adds further to the comfort but you could take an additional step by adding a seat post suspension
- Powerful middrive motor gets the bike moving fast if you’re in a low gear and allows the gearing to be leverage agains the power of the motor as you shift (these tend to be more efficient than hub motors), the low and centered location of the motor is ideal for handling and stability
- Larger than average capacity battery means the bike can travel further if you don’t max out the speed (it will still lose some efficiency because of the tires), hunters could always bring a second charger to go deep into the woods or buy a solar charger like one of these
- 180 mm hydraulic disc brake rotors do a good job of stopping this bike, which is important given its very heavy curb weight of 67 pounds and higher top speed, the hydraulic brake levers allow for adjustable reach (which could be handy if you’re wearing gloves and want to bring them in)
- Aluminum chain guard should help keep the chain from popping off towards the outside, as well as provide some protection to the chainring itself (acting as a bash guard)
- The control center is backlit and easy to operate, the screen is large and easy to see (which is nice if you’re wearing glasses or goggles), I appreciate the independent button pad because it’s easy to reach without taking your left hand off the grip
- 1 year comprehensive warranty is nice for those “just in case” scenarios, especially with the motor hanging so low on the bike
- Throttle-only ability means the bike can fill more roles, it can be used as a traditional bike with no power, pedal assist, or using the throttle like a moped or scooter, the throttle is also live at 0 mph so starting from a standstill is easy (especially useful in deep snow or sand, or if you have to push the bike up a hill)
- Torque sensor is accurate and does a good job of starting and stopping power when pedaling starts and stops, this is particularly important for powerful bike like this especially when navigating tricky terrain at slow speeds
- Bike feels overall well balanced despite its heavy weight, and because the battery is removable it makes it easier to load and unload into a truck or onto a bike rack, no quick release on the wheels, so bring some tools if your truck bed or cargo space is limited
- Steel derailleur guard extends over the derailleur to add protection against strikes, this piece should also help protect the power cable that feeds into the motor
- Even though the frame only comes in one size and style, the top tube is angled down (because the battery sort of comes out the side vs. straight down), so the standover height of the bike is a little lower and you won’t get hung up if you have to hop off
- Many off-road ebikes and electric mountain bikes skip kickstands because they add weight and can bounce and be noisy, but I like that the MOTAN M-5800 product comes with a stand that is both adjustable and positioned far back (clear of the left crank arm) because it is easy to remove if you don’t want it but difficult to buy and position a stand like this on your own
- The motor controller responds to shifting by pausing motor power to decrease wear on the chain, sprockets, and derailleur, it seems like very few motors offer shift detection but it’s super important for such a powerful drive system on this particular bike
- Very heavy at 67 pounds, especially considering that it has punched out rims, the weight makes transporting and servicing the bike more difficult, but most fat tire ebikes weigh more (the high capacity battery and spring fork add to the weight)
- Rear rack was difficult to install, which is one of the potential pitfalls for bikes that are direct order, brakes also rattle slightly since they weren’t pro tuned in a shop (a complete tuneup can cost $100 at mainstream shops)
- Both the front and rear lights are independently powered by AAA batteries, you have to remember to press the button to turn on and off which can be tedious and easy to forget, it’s nice to have integrated lights (especially with such a high capacity battery pack) but those can get damaged easier in shipping, installation, and rugged use
- Powerful motor and high top speed is great, but this makes the bike a class 4, which means that using it on the roads, bike paths, and sidewalks is probably illegal in most areas and could be a liability if someone gets hurt or property is damaged
- The motor hangs low on the frame and has no skid plate or roll cage to protect it from strikes, leaving it vulnerable to being smacked by rocks, logs and other obstacles if you truly are riding through the woods
- Big 4-inch tires are great, but they come with much more rolling resistance and reduced maneuverability compared to normal sized tires, you don’t want to run out of juice and have to pedal home with these, they also create a bit more noise on paved roads
- No chain guide leaves the chain vulnerable to popping off towards the inside, especially since the chainring doesn’t have a narrow-wide tooth pattern, the rear cassette and derailleur are entry-level components with larger steps between and a limited gear ratio range
- I struggled a bit communicating with this company and had to build the bike which takes additional time and effort, there was some technical detail that I just couldn’t get from them that I have with other companies
- Control center isn’t removable or adjustable without a tool so angling it to eliminate glare or removing it when parking isn’t convenient, for off-road use it could be exposed to more scratches or damage if the bike crashes, smaller sturdier displays are being used for higher-end off-road models from other companies
- Price tag of $2,699 isn’t particularly affordable, although the bike still feels like a good value overall because of the powerful motor and high-capacity semi integrated battery pack
- Twist throttles are comfortable and familiar to people who ride motorcycles and do other power sports, but there’s a reason that jet skis and some ATV’s use triggers, they are less likely to get activated if you panic-grip when the bike is out of control… but at least the brakes both have motor inhibitors
- The AddMotoR website can be a little overwhelming and confusing, so many choices and slight variations, this particular model only comes in one frame size and color option (which helps keep the price low)
- It may be difficult to replace the stock suspension fork with a lighter (and nicer) air fork because it uses a straight 1-1/8″ headset vs. tapered 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″ and 9 mm skewer vs. 15 mm thru-axle
- The grips aren’t locking, so they might twist and spin if you really bear down, and the ergonomic stitched design feels pretty hard, they’re just cheaper parts
- I guess there wasn’t room for bottle cage bosses on the seat tube, but it would have been nice on the top tube or below the downtube just to bring an accessory… especially since the rack didn’t work with the bike (screws were too short and the rack seemed tight and too small to really fit securely), finding a fat bike specific rear rack can be difficult
- I wish that the throttle power and speed wasn’t dependent on which level of pedal assist was in use, and I would like to have a throttle only mode so I could just use it like a scooter and not worry about activating the motor with any stray pedal strokes