Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Review

Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Electric Bike Review 1
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Side Shot
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Impulse 2 0 Mid Drive 250 Watt Motor
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Impulse 36v 17ah Removable Battery
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Impulse 2 Lcd Brooks Grips Bell
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Basta Riff Steady Led Light
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Bm Lumotec Retro Led Headlight
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Full Length Chain Guard
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Integrated Mini Air Pump
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Rs 451 Cafe Frame Lock
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Shimano Dynamo Hub
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Shimano Nexus Eight Speed Hub
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Shimano Nexus Revo Shifter
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Tour 3 Leg Rack With Spring Latch
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Green
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Electric Bike Review 1
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Side Shot
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Impulse 2 0 Mid Drive 250 Watt Motor
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Impulse 36v 17ah Removable Battery
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Impulse 2 Lcd Brooks Grips Bell
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Basta Riff Steady Led Light
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Bm Lumotec Retro Led Headlight
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Full Length Chain Guard
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Integrated Mini Air Pump
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Rs 451 Cafe Frame Lock
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Shimano Dynamo Hub
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Shimano Nexus Eight Speed Hub
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Shimano Nexus Revo Shifter
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Tour 3 Leg Rack With Spring Latch
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8
Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Green


  • One of the most capable step-thru cruisers around, excellent range, stiff frame, good weight distribution and safety features
  • Aluminum alloy fenders and rear carry rack are painted to match the frame (and they don't rattle while riding), dynamo powered LED lights function without battery power, integrated mini-pump and cafe lock are delightful extras
  • Internally geared hub stays clean and keeps the chain tight, adjustable kickstand is solid, battery pack is removable for reduced weight during transport or convenient charging off the bike, hydraulic rim brakes work very well

Video Review





Tasman Classic Impulse 8


$3,799 USD

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Cruising, Urban, Commuting, Touring

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes


2 Year Comprehensive


United States

Model Year:


Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

56 lbs (25.4 kg)

Battery Weight:

6.5 lbs (2.94 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.4 lbs (3.81 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)19.5 in (49.53 cm)21.5 in (54.61 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Small: 460 mm, Medium: 500 mm, Large: 550 mm

Frame Types:


Frame Colors:

Pink, Lime Green

Frame Fork Details:

Aluminum Alloy Rigid

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses, Front Fork Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Nexus Internally Geared Hub, Gear Ration Front 38, Rear 19

Shifter Details:

Shimano Nexus, Revo Twist Shifter


Aluminum Alloy


Aluminum Alloy Platform


Concept SL, Adjustable Angle


Stuttgarter, Swept Back

Brake Details:

Magura HS11 Hydraulic Rim Brake, Magura HS 11 Levers


Brooks Leather, Oversized Flat


Brooks B67S Leather

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm


Rodi Scorpion with Eyelets

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe City Lite, 28" x 1.75"

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

Kevlar Lined, Reflective Sidewall Stripe


Adjustable Length Kickstand, Full Length Aluminum Fenders with Mud Flaps (Matching Paint), Integrated Rear Carry Rack with Pannier Blockers (Matching Paint), Integrated LED Lights Powered by Shimano 3N31 Dynamo Hub in Front, Front: B&M Lumotec Retro, LED with Parking Light, Rear: Basta Riff Steady, with Parking Light

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Impulse 2.0

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Torque:

70 Newton meters

Battery Brand:


Battery Voltage:

37 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

17 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

629 wh

Battery Chemistry:


Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Estimated Max Range:

120 miles (193 km)

Display Type:

Fixed, Monochrome Compact Backlit LCD with Adjustable Angle by Impulse


Speed, Battery Status, Trip Distance, Odometer, Drive Mode (Eco, Sport, Power), Walk Assist (Hold the + Button)

Display Accessories:

Backlit Independent Button Pad Near Left Grip

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Cadence, Pedal Torque and Bicycle Speed, Offers Physical Shift Sensing)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

Written Review

The Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 has a very long name and equally lengthly list of features. This bike is awesome… and pretty. It comes in three frame sizes so you can truly dial in fit and with a range of 60 to 100+ miles (they estimate 130) it’s incredibly capable. From the integrated carry rack (that’s welded to the frame and paint matched) to the premium leather Brooks saddle and grips there’s a sense of balance between function and form here. Compared with the Electra Townie Go! or Pedego cruisers in the US it’s more expensive and lacks throttle on demand but in my view, this is much more capable as a commuter and nearly capable as a touring bike. The battery and motor are perfectly balanced, the integrated lights are dynamo powered for uninterrupted use, you get a mini pump built right into the rack and an internally geared eight speed hub that stays cleaner and won’t drop the chain as easily. The only downside I noticed was a stiffer ride (no suspension fork) but you could always soften that up with a seat post suspension and the sprung saddle isn’t bad. Kalkhoff is a German company that has become very popular in Europe where bicycles are truly used as car replacements. It’s interesting to see a bike like the Tasman Classic here that appears fun and comfortable with its swept back bars, two fun colors (pink and lime green) and flowing frame. It’s like a dressed down version of the Aggattu Impulse 8 (which does have a suspension fork and also costs less). If you want a tough, reliable and capable ebike that also looks fun and you’re willing to spend some additional money, the Tasman Classic Impulse 8 is an ebike that almost stands alone in a sea of lower quality, less well balanced competitors. I mean, it has hydraulic rim brakes and physical shift sensing technology… it’s in a class of its own in the US right now.

The motor driving the Tasman Classic Impulse 8 is a 250 watt mid-drive Impulse 2.0 offering 70 Newton meters of torque (which is quite a bit!) While there’s no true throttle mode (just a slow walk mode) the bike is fun and responsive in one of three pedal assist settings. I didn’t struggle at all to climb with this bike even in higher gears and I’d estimate that it performs well even when loaded with cargo if you use the higher assist settings. The motor control system measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque to activate and power the bike which makes it very smooth and responsive. In my opinion it’s a little less satisfying than the Bosch system with an emphasis on efficiency vs. performance (also Bosch offers 350 watts of power in the US vs. 250 here). It is perhaps quieter than Bosch however and the shift sensing technology felt a bit smoother because it’s using physical readouts along the shifter cable in the downtube (I’m told). I especially like the chain guard surrounding the front sprocket and the smaller profile of the Impulse 8 motor which nearly disappears at the bottom bracket. Both rider and motor benefit from he Shimano Nexus eight speed internally geared hub at the rear. It’s clean and elegant, though perhaps heavier than a traditional cassette (this ebike weighs about 56 pounds total depending on the frame size). Because it doesn’t require a traditional derailleur the chain is kept short, tight and secure. The one complaint I do have about this drive system is that neither wheel on this bike offers quick release… likely due to the dynamo hub in the front and geared pedaling hub in the rear. Use that rack to bring along some tools but rest easy that the quality tires should resist punctures. The miniature pump could help to extend your range slightly if you got a slow leak but you’d need actual tools to swap tubes.

The battery powering the Tasman Classic is made with high quality Lithium-ion cells and benefits from a two year warranty (also covering the rest of the bike). The pack offers 37 volts of power and a whopping 17 amp hours of capacity! The overall watt hour size isn’t higher than some of the new 48 volt systems seen on cruisers in the US but given the efficient and lower powered mid-drive motor you end up with amazing range. The pack itself seats just behind the seat tube and is actually shaped to follow the curve of the rear wheel and fender, the fender actually protects the pack from water and mud which is great. At just 6.5 pounds it’s not super heavy and the integrated plastic handle is very useful when taking the pack off for charging or bike transport. Built right into the side of the pack is an LED power indicator and this is useful for determining whether the pack is full or not if you end up storing it inside (which I recommend, especially during hot and cold seasons). The pack locks to the frame (as mentioned earlier) and uses the same key as the cafe lock which is very handy and it’s one of those inward cut “routed” keys that should be more tamper proof.

Operating this electric bike is quite easy and doesn’t tend to take your focus off of riding. Once the battery is charged and mounted you can press the rubberized power button on the control pad near the left grip. This pad is easy to reach so your grip isn’t compromised for steering and it’s backlit with a nice blue LED system that’s easy to see at dusk or dawn. The real focus is on adjusting up or down between assist levels (for more or less power) but you also get readouts for speed, distance and time when navigating through the display using the set button. The primary readouts are battery level and speed which are large and easy to read even though the Tasman Classic Impulse 8 uses the smaller of two Impulse LCD displays I’ve seen. It’s designed to be minimal and simple. There’s no need for climb assist or other detailed menus that some of the mountain and high speed bikes are offering now (see the Thron Impulse Speed for the more advanced screen I’m talking about). All in all, it’s a great system and my only thought is that it would be nice to remove the display easily for moments when the bike is parked outside. This would reduce sun and weather wear while deterring vandalism. Still, I love how solid this display feels (it seems to be made of metal and plastic) and considering that it’s mounted directly to a custom stem the weight is kept down and the cockpit is incredibly clean… which makes room for the enormous bell. I like the bell but it’s one of the most unique things I’ve seen out there, large and in charge ;)

There’s so much to say about this bike, it’s packed with features. I love that they reinforced the bike with two downtubes and two cross members because it stiffens the ride. The mid-drive and mid-battery position improve balance and free up the rear rack for lots of cargo (that can also be hung low). The front braze ons (along the fork) enable you to seriously outfit this bike for tours and long distance riding but it almost feels like a joke given the bright fun colors and cruiser look. Again, this thing is super functional, it’s like a professional tennis player who gets dressed up nice for a formal dance but you can still see the huge muscles and intense glare from the court. If you do plan on going the distance, it’s great to have a choice of frame sizes and the sprung saddle definitely softens the rough terrain. It would be nice if there was a bottle cage mounting point on the downtube or lower portion of the seat tube but that might have compromised frame stiffness. This would be an excellent bike for someone who commutes further but wants to look cute while doing it or maybe a weekend warrior touring type who cruises around town for fun during the week. The only trade off here is cost and that lack of throttle, the Tasman requires more active pedaling and will give you a workout depending on the mode you choose but it could save your knees, reduce your sweat and get you further, especially if you bring along the light weight charger for a quick top off.


  • Excellent weight distribution! The mid-drive motor and seat-tube battery pack keep the bike balanced and improve handling compared with rear racks and hub motors
  • Reinforced “double-downtube” keeps the frame stiff, you don’t get the flexy feeling that some other step-thru models have
  • Fun colors, pink and lime green help you stand out in traffic and add a level of personalization (unless you’re color blind)
  • Fancy upgraded saddle and grip touch points from Brooks (both are made from matching leather)
  • Great carry rack… it’s welded directly to the frame which reduces rattling and the potential to get loose over time and it’s painted to match the frame!
  • The rear rack has an integrated mini air pump for use on the go if you start losing presure, works great if the tires are Slimed (goop that plugs leaks)
  • Beautiful full length matching fenders feel solid, don’t rattle and include mud flaps for maximum protection while riding in wet or dirty conditions
  • The headlight and tail light are both powered by a dynamo hub in the front wheel! This means you’ll have light for safety no matter what, most cables are integrated through the frame so everything looks beautiful
  • Awesome hydraulic rim brakes, excellent stopping power that’s very easy to actuate (compared with mechanical cables that take more effort and can corrode over time)
  • Neat cafe “frame lock” that can be used for quick stops to immobilize your bike, perfect for dashing into the “cafe” it uses the same key as the battery pack which is convenient
  • Comfortable and durable tires with kevlar lining to reduce the propensity for getting flats, great reflective sidewall stripes for safety
  • Internally geared hub stays clean and doesn’t require the same sort of tune ups that cassettes and derailleurs need, fewer chain drops due to single front and rear sprockets
  • Available in three frame sizes for improved fit! This is wonderful for riders who plan to travel long distances with the 100+ mile range
  • Battery features a sturdy handle for easier carrying, the pack has a built in LED power level indicator so you know if it needs topping off even when it’s not on the bike
  • Extremely responsive drive system measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque for quick motor activation and cutoff
  • Proprietary shift detection system works with cassettes or geared hubs (like the one used on this bike). It functioned very well during my ride test, no mashing or banging
  • Light weight charger only weighs 1.5 lbs and runs cool and quiet, will easily fit into a bag for extending trips – charging at the office etc.
  • LCD display panel is backlit and swivels to reduce glare, it feels solid and is small enough to stay out of the way but the readouts are clear and well executed, rubberized button pad is also backlit and easy to reach without taking left hand off the grip
  • LED lights stay on temporarily when parking for added safety by running off of a capacitor, this is referred to as a “parking” or “standby” system


  • The cafe “frame lock” is neat but because the key stays locked into it until you use it… if you don’t activate it a stranger could lock your bike for you and steal the battery using the same key
  • For those individuals who do not want to interact with leather products this bike might feel uncomfortable given the saddle and grips are made from animals (though it is a kind of recycling and the animal was likely used for food and other products as well)
  • Excellent features all around but this is a more expensive electric bike, for someone interested in short trips and basic cruiser functionality it might be overkill
  • The smaller 250 watt motor is capable and efficient but requires more rider input than some other electric bikes with larger motors, I noticed that I got a better workout with this bike
  • Magura HS11 Brake levers do not offer motor cutoff, I’ve noticed that while stopped it is possible to accidentally activate the motor by pushing the pedals for stability
  • Neither the front or rear wheel offer quick release, the mini-pump could allow you to deal with slow-leaks but you’ll need tools to do real service while out and about


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Comments (16) YouTube Comments

9 years ago

ADD CON: Rim brakes for steep, long hills? No! Especially on a $4K bike. DELETE CON: Respectfully, the no-animal-product audience is <1% of buyers. (For those … who do not want to interact with leather products … saddle and grips are made from animals …) Sounds like a great bike in Version 2, with a better hub motor, minor improvements and a more realistic MSRP.

Court Rye
9 years ago

Appreciate the feedback GatorBob! My experience with hydraulic rim brakes is admittedly limited, my impression was that they offered improved stopping power due to the friction point being further out towards the edge of the wheel (compared with disc brakes) and that this dissipated heat more effectively. In your experience do they wear out more quickly or squeak more or stop worse in wet conditions? I’m curious why they wouldn’t be ideal for steep long hills or other conditions, where do you feel they are optimal and why not always use disc brakes if they are better in your view? Also, yeah, the leather stuff just struck me because it really stood out and I felt like the demographic interested in this ebike might also be more sensitive to animal products, I was digging deep and exploring different considerations here :)

9 years ago

First, you do a wonderful job of reviewing e-bikes. Thank you, Court! Full disclosure: I failed to note “hydraulic” rim brakes. My bad! My experience is exclusively with manual rim brakes and I found them less than reassuring on long downhill runs, most especially if grit, oil, grease or even water has been anywhere near them.

Court Rye
9 years ago

Fair points! I agree that rims may come into contact with water and debris more readily than discs (which are elevated). I believe this is how disc brakes came to be preferred for mountain biking. Not only do the discs stay dry and clean, they also stay clear of rocks, ruts and other trail obstacles. Still, you get great leverage with rim brakes and while they might squeak or scratch the rims if they get wet/dirty they still perform very well and may require less physical effort in optimal conditions due to the leverage thing we talked about. I wonder how quickly the pads might wear down compared to disc but they should be easy enough to swap out :)

9 years ago

Hi Court, I’m having a hard time deciding what kind of ebike to get as my daily commuter. I went to a ebike shop in nyc and was dissuaded from purchasing a pedego city commuter, which was my first choice. I really like the look of a low step, relaxed commuter style bike. My commute is 11-15 miles total depending on the day. I live in the north east so I will be riding in wet and maybe even snowy conditions too. I decided to purchase an ebike because there are hilly areas that would be uncomfortable for me to get over on a regular bike due to an old knee injury. Also, I am 5’8” 160lbs. I love this bike because it looks like a cute cruiser but it seems like it is capable enough to be a daily commuter. I can totally imagine putting a pannier and a basket on the front. However I’m not sure it would be good for when its slightly snowy or icy. I guess I would just have to buy snow tires? But the fact that is doesn’t have a throttle or a motor inhibitor puts me off a bit. Would it be an exorbitant amount of money to have a throttle put on (if at all possible)? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Court Rye
9 years ago

Hi Denise! In my opinion the Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 is an awesome ebike… but no, you probably won’t ever be able to put a throttle on it. There just isn’t an easy way to update the software and wire it in. This ebike does have shift sensing technology and with the fenders, lights and adjustability of the stem you can really set it up for a comfortable and clean ride. The Pedego City Commuter is an awesome bike but the hub motor won’t be as efficient for hills or longer distances as this or some of the other Kalkhoff bikes with the Impulse 2.0 mid-drive motor. Is there a shop near you that carries these? Definitely check one out if you can, they’re really well made. Also, I don’t think you’ll need snow-specific tires, most bikes work alright in snow or slick conditions if you ride slower an have larger tires :)

8 years ago

Thanks Court for your in depth review and made it easier for my purchase decision. I’ve had the Tasman Classic for two weeks now riding 40km daily to work and want to add my thoughts here. The great thing about this bike is the classic look, vintage headlamp, powerful engine and amazing long range battery, all these have been noted by Court. I can get 200km out of the battery on eco assist mode which is what they claimed in the marketing material. It is also built like a tank. Now on to the cons.

The frame feels very stiff, may be too stiff for comfort. The frame geometry seem to be best suited to a more lean forward position, given the seatpost angle being very steep. I measured it at 77 degrees on my phone app and look obviously steeper than my other bikes. To get comfortable, I lowered the handle bar so that I lean forward more, which is fine given the long distance I ride. The stock seatpost had no setback (a must for a Brooks saddle) but my dealer swapped one with setback for me. If I wanted to ride bolt upright, I would choose another bike with a slacker seat tube angle.

Overall, I still enjoy this bike as it allows me to ride daily to work despite the long distance. The let down was it took a lot of adjusting to dial in the fit right, which was surprising because I expected a bike like this to feel right out of the box. Would I have chosen another bike? Well, I do like the look of the Tasman Classic :-)

Brock Fisher
8 years ago

I have owned this electric bike for about a year. I ride it 9 miles each direction to work and back everyday. I absolutely love it. My bike riding days ended during my childhood until I purchased this bike. My commute includes a long hill in each direction. I don’t need the electric assist until I climb but then I only need the lowest assist setting. The electric assist is wonderful and intuitive. My battery range is about 70 miles between charges.

The lights/Dynamo work very well. The brakes are amazing – smooth and strong. I can hit 35 mph on my way down the hill and the brakes can slow me down very quickly. The 8 speed shifter is slick and precise.

I found a sale on this bike for $3100. It is very expensive but I have ridden it almost everyday since. I have over 1000 miles on this bike with out any problems at all. It feels brand new.

Court Rye
8 years ago

Wow! I really enjoyed reading your testimonial here Brock… I agree that this and many other premium ebikes seem expensive but the way you’re able to use it and the fact that it hasn’t required expensive fixes is great. Kalkhoff seems like a leader in terms of utility performance, I love the integrated lights and durable battery and motor designs. I usually look at newer stuff so longer term feedback like yours is important to hear and I appreciate you sharing it :)

Brock Fisher
8 years ago

It has been a few months since my earlier post. I got a flat back tire and found out about “presta” european tire valves. They are not American “schrader” valves and do not fit any gas station or home air pumps.

The hand pump that comes with the Kalkhoff fits the presta valve but it takes a ton of hand pumps to get the tire inflated – especially when it is leaking. constantly. You can buy adaptors for the presta valves that convert to schrader. I had my bike shop change the inter tubes to American/schrader tubes and bought a new hand pump (tubes changed; $40, new pump $30).

I think that the back tire on this bike must take a lot of pressure. I have a big basket on the back of my bike to carry my satchel, lunch, lock and the like. I weigh 180 pounds. The Kalkhoff weighs 57 pounds. I figure that the rear tire sees around 200 pounds of weight so it takes a beating.

I love this bike.

Brock Fisher

Brock Fisher
6 years ago

I have owned and ridden this bike nearly everyday for three years now. No problems whatsoever. It is solid and reliable as a commuter bike (20 miles/day). The battery seems to keep it’s charge perfectly. The motor, gears and brakes still feel like new. I am not too compulsive about maintenance — I haven’t done any. There is nothing to do.

Brock Fisher

Court Rye
6 years ago

That’s fantastic Brock! I love hearing about ebikes that have withstood the tests of time and regular use. It sounds like you have a pretty serious commute, I hope it has been healthy and uplifting for you. Thanks again for sharing so that others may have some basis for spending the money and taking a risk on emerging technology :)

5 years ago

Great review. Well done. I’m interested in this bike, for about town and some local tourism, but I am 6′ 3″ with long legs. Would it be big enough for me, I wonder? At first sight I thought it was a ladies’ bike because of the “step-through” design, but I could see that you are quite tall yourself. Was height a problem at all? Does it come in various frame sizes?

4 years ago

Hi can you please tell me which ebike would be best for a very tall gal with very long legs 36-inch inseam

4 years ago

Hi Dee! You’re definitely on the right track here… look at any of the bigger brands like Specialized, Trek, Giant, Kalkhoff (or Gazelle, if you’re in North America). It sounds like Kalkhoff is pulling out of North America and the Pon Group is keeping their other brand, Gazelle. From there, you’ll be able to choose a size for many of the bike models… so you can focus on which model fits your needs and budget best, then get a large or XL. You do have a long inseam! Perhaps looking at the high-step models would be a good thing to do as well… they aren’t as approachable and the colors are usually more gender neutral or masculine. The Trek Verve+ is a great place to start and they have lots of dealers around the world, so it’s easy to go in and get fitted and supported. I think the Verve+ comes in mid-step or high-step, so more approachable if you go that way :)


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