Local e-bike maker... seems amazing, but is it?

bcsteeve

New Member
Hi. I just had a personal demo of a bike by a semi-local company. They are so new, so small... the guy was willing (no, eager) to personally drive a couple bikes 4 hours to show them off to me. We just talked for another 4 hours! He really seems to know his stuff.

Anyway, I realize as I'm typing this that it sounds like I'm leading up to a sales pitch, and I'm not. So I'm not even going to mention the name and actually I think that's what he'd want because he wants to start slow and sell locally to iron out the design.

What I'm posting for isn't to let you all know... its because I'm really interested in the bike and I want to know if the value is there. It is crazy expensive, but it also seems insanely capable compared to others I've seen, although I'm just a noob with all this. So I'm going to throw out some figures and let you guys tell me if this is something to consider.

Before I do that, here are some points that aren't so quantifiable:
  • The bike is nice looking. Not really slick and futuristic and I wouldn't call it "sexy", but it isn't ugly either. It looks more like a dirt bike than a pedal bike (and it is primarily meant for off road). Included in the price is custom powder coating of any color I want, and they give you full choice over things like seats, handlebars, etc to fit it to the rider and situation.
  • The company is small, but after talking to him I think they are pretty dialed-in. I have confidence that warranty and repairs and parts wouldn't be an issue, so don't bother commenting about that.
  • I realize some of the stats below may or may not be "illegal" or unsafe. We don't need to go there. I'm asking about costs vs capabilities, not whether it is morally OK for them to build it or me to ride it.
So here are some of the specs:
  • It costs about 10 grand
  • 60 Ah, 80V samsung battery
  • 90A controller
  • 7200W motor
  • 55 mph speed on level asphalt
  • 185 mile range on level asphalt (125 mile real world) without pedalling. Up to about 250 miles with.
  • Weighs 140lb
  • Comes configured by default to be street legal (20 mph, 500W), but configurable by the end user for offroad, uninhibited power.
To me that all looks very impressive, but $10k is a lot of coin! So are there other options as capable at significantly lower $? I want to support a local fledgeling company, but if there are bikes out there for $5k that do the same thing, then maybe not.

Thanks.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Once a bike crosses aprox 75lbs, it ceases to maintain bike-like handling and crosses over to Moto arena. HPC released their Revolution series of bikes and they resemble Stealth Bomber. Are you talking about them?
The specs (4.3KWhr battery, 7Kw motor) of that bike sounds great but you don't need to spend 10 grand to have that kind of fun.

There is a fine line between between having a feeling of bionic legs and some strong force pushing you.
3Kw motors give you a feeling of sitting on a motorcycle and for some people, who like to enjoy the process of pedaling, it takes away the joy but its all subjective.
 

bcsteeve

New Member
Some perspective then.... I'm not a cyclist. I haven't actually ridden a pedal bike in probably 15 years, and not much before then. Even as a kid I preferred to roller skate :) So I'm not so much looking for the biking experience. I thought of getting a bike a few times over the last couple of years for exercise and also to limit spewing out emissions from my car just to run down to the post office (which I do daily). What holds me back is that Gawd aweful hill I have to go up to get back home! It is looooooong and it is pretty steep and I see guys in much better shape than I am struggle to get up it on a bike. I'm looking for SOME exercise, not to kill myself.

Our insurance costs are high here so I'm not interested in getting another vehicle, otherwise I'd go get a Nissan Leaf or something like that. The prospect of having an electric bike that doesn't require insurance (again, legal fine-print aside) is appealing to me.

I'm a healthy 6'4" 260lbs so I think I need a more powerful bike than the sub-$1000 things we see on Kickstarter, but I don't really know. I am super-confident that this particular bike would do the job, but a) is it overkill? Maybe. b) are there others for less money that are similar specs?

To answer your question, no I am not talking about HPC, although I'll go take a look.
 

pocomo

Active Member
Hi Steeve -

I'm new to ebikes as well, in fact I don't have mine built yet. But what I can tell from a lot of reading is that this market is changing very rapidly and the tech and products will look significantly different (read: cheaper and more reliable) in 3 years. I'd be very reluctant to sink that type of money into an ebike today, when it is likely to be verging on obsolete (or at least depreciated all to hell) in a few years. Plus, for *half* that much you could get a very nice street legal motorcycle with money for years and years of insurance left over. Or, if you want to avoid scaring the folks down at the P.O., something like a Honda PCX150 for less than half the bike's price. Either of those choices will still hold resale value in 3 years.

But hey, sometimes you gotta do what's right for you and it sure sounds like fun - illegal, dangerous fun (but that is what makes it cool).
 

bcsteeve

New Member
The use of something that requires either gas or insurance is something I would immediately dismiss even if it were offered to me for free. Insurance is an ongoing cost, and I have a particular hate-on for our state-run monopoly insurance scam so I do my best to not participate.

I hear what you're saying about a changing landscape, though I simply don't subscribe to the "wait for better" doctrine. I went through that in the late '90s, early 2000s with computers and realized it is futile to wait for the "right time". It is what it is. I just bought an electric car that I know will be worth half of what I paid in a few years. Within reason, dollars aren't really the point.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
You're probably going to at least get some more practical feedback if you took the topic over to the endless sphere forum. 99 percent of discussion here revolves around bikes that meet, or at least come very close to meeting their jurisdictions legal e bike definitions. The bike you are discussing is for all intents and purposes a motor bike. If they can sell it to you without license, registration and insurance, I am sure that will include a waiver stating the bike is being sold for off road use only.

If it looks like a dirt or other motor bike, and you have no plates or insurance on the road at thirty plus miles an hour, you'd probably have to have that insurance money saved for a hefty ticket.

Also, I'm bigger than you and am enjoying my radrover just fine. I can get a workout, or not, depending on the circumstances...either is my choice though!
 

pocomo

Active Member
The use of something that requires either gas or insurance is something I would immediately dismiss even if it were offered to me for free. Insurance is an ongoing cost, and I have a particular hate-on for our state-run monopoly insurance scam so I do my best to not participate.

I hear what you're saying about a changing landscape, though I simply don't subscribe to the "wait for better" doctrine. I went through that in the late '90s, early 2000s with computers and realized it is futile to wait for the "right time". It is what it is. I just bought an electric car that I know will be worth half of what I paid in a few years. Within reason, dollars aren't really the point.
Understood, everybody has their own perspective. The computer analogy is a good one; I would say right now ebikes are in the '80286' stage (mid-80's) and everyone is still running MSDOS. The 386 is right around the corner but Windows 3.0 is still a ways off ;)
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Some perspective then.... I'm not a cyclist. I haven't actually ridden a pedal bike in probably 15 years, and not much before then. Even as a kid I preferred to roller skate :) So I'm not so much looking for the biking experience. I thought of getting a bike a few times over the last couple of years for exercise and also to limit spewing out emissions from my car just to run down to the post office (which I do daily). What holds me back is that Gawd aweful hill I have to go up to get back home! It is looooooong and it is pretty steep and I see guys in much better shape than I am struggle to get up it on a bike. I'm looking for SOME exercise, not to kill myself.

Our insurance costs are high here so I'm not interested in getting another vehicle, otherwise I'd go get a Nissan Leaf or something like that. The prospect of having an electric bike that doesn't require insurance (again, legal fine-print aside) is appealing to me.

I'm a healthy 6'4" 260lbs so I think I need a more powerful bike than the sub-$1000 things we see on Kickstarter, but I don't really know. I am super-confident that this particular bike would do the job, but a) is it overkill? Maybe. b) are there others for less money that are similar specs?

To answer your question, no I am not talking about HPC, although I'll go take a look.

I'm 230 and my 3k Stromer ST1 hauls my butt up to 30mph with ease. Very powerful, though a direct drive hub motor isn't the best for long climbs. How long is it? I have 3 good 4k bikes and all are 3-4 times stronger than your output pedaling. Which is going to be minimal on a 140lb motorcycle. ;)
My Stromer is a heavy E bike at over 60lbs.

That is most definitely an E motorcycle and at 10k you get into KTM and BMW electric cycles which are awfully good with premium suspension and such. Don't know how their motors compare. Those are some extreme E specs! :)
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
@bcsteeve You should steer clear of this flim flam and report him.. What he is trying to sell you is a giant fat lawsuit. Instead of just adding the necessary lights and plate holders to make this ebike what it really is, a legal motor scooter, he's trying a cheap workaround with a "road legal" ebike switch.

A 7200w motor is about 10 bhp, which is enough for 60 mph+. Do you really think it's a good idea to ride that fast on a road with no insurance, no registration, no certs?

If anyone gets into an accident in the high power mode with that bike, whether or not it is your fault, you can expect full legal attack. And your homeowner's insurance may not protect you. Your car insurance certainly won't.

Can't respect people who knowingly put others in danger.