Marrs Cycles M-2 Review

Marrs Cycles M 2 Electric Bike Review
Marrs Cycles M 2 White
Marrs Cycles M 2 Adjustable Length Kickstand
Marrs Cycles M 2 Battery Charge Port Cover
Marrs Cycles M 2 Backlit Lcd Display Panel
Marrs Cycles M 2 Extra Long Chopper Style Handle Bars
Marrs Cycles M 2 Battery And Controller Box With Heat Vents
Marrs Cycles M 2 Chopper Style Ebike
Marrs Cycles M 2 Close Up Battery Box Airflow Vents
Marrs Cycles M 2 Custom Pedals And Fold Out Foot Rest Floorboards
Marrs Cycles M 2 Motorcycle Chain Single Speed
Marrs Cycles M 2
Marrs Cycles M 2 Custom Motorcycle Saddle
Marrs Cycles M 2 Custom Vintage Pedals And Chain
Marrs Cycles M 2 Electric Motorcycle
Marrs Cycles M 2 Folding Footrest Platform
Marrs Cycles M 2 Closeup Display And Button Pad
Marrs Cycles M 2 Motorcycle Grips Brass Bell
Marrs Cycles M 2 Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brake In Rear 203 Mm
Marrs Cycles M 2 Single Speed Drivetrain Reinforced Dropout
Marrs Cycles M 2 Sturdy 10 Gauge Spokes Front Wheel
Marrs Cycles M 2 Electric Bike Charger 12 Amp
Marrs Cycles M 2 Electric Bike Review
Marrs Cycles M 2 White
Marrs Cycles M 2 Adjustable Length Kickstand
Marrs Cycles M 2 Battery Charge Port Cover
Marrs Cycles M 2 Backlit Lcd Display Panel
Marrs Cycles M 2 Extra Long Chopper Style Handle Bars
Marrs Cycles M 2 Battery And Controller Box With Heat Vents
Marrs Cycles M 2 Chopper Style Ebike
Marrs Cycles M 2 Close Up Battery Box Airflow Vents
Marrs Cycles M 2 Custom Pedals And Fold Out Foot Rest Floorboards
Marrs Cycles M 2 Motorcycle Chain Single Speed
Marrs Cycles M 2
Marrs Cycles M 2 Custom Motorcycle Saddle
Marrs Cycles M 2 Custom Vintage Pedals And Chain
Marrs Cycles M 2 Electric Motorcycle
Marrs Cycles M 2 Folding Footrest Platform
Marrs Cycles M 2 Closeup Display And Button Pad
Marrs Cycles M 2 Motorcycle Grips Brass Bell
Marrs Cycles M 2 Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brake In Rear 203 Mm
Marrs Cycles M 2 Single Speed Drivetrain Reinforced Dropout
Marrs Cycles M 2 Sturdy 10 Gauge Spokes Front Wheel
Marrs Cycles M 2 Electric Bike Charger 12 Amp

Summary

  • A sturdy, potentially high speed, motorcycle-inspired electric bike with lots of custom options including paint, saddle, bars and grips hand built in Southern California
  • Optional battery size upgrade for improved range (up to 100 miles), twist throttle is simple to use and a large hydraulic disc brake offers good power but there was only one brake on the models I tested
  • Single speed design is simple and durable but not much fun to pedal with, especially if you choose a lower saddle like the ones ones we saw, the fold-down foot rests are comfortable and solid
  • The batteries rattled a bit and aren't easily removable (to reduce weight when transporting or charge separately), the kickstand is easy to break if you back the bike up while it's down and just didn't seem that sturdy
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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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Marrs Cycles

Model:

M-2

Price:

$3,500 (Upgraded Batteries $4,500, $5,500)

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Urban, Cruising

Electric Bike Class:

Moped or Motorcycle (Class 4)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States, Worldwide

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

115 lbs (52.16 kg)

Frame Material:

4130 Chromoly Steel

Frame Sizes:

16 in (40.64 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

78" Length, 29" Stand Over Height, 26" Reach

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Custom

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid, Chromoly Steel, 10 mm Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

15 mm Skewer

Attachment Points:

Foot Rest

Gearing Details:

1 Single Speed

Cranks:

42T Chainring, Rennen Design Group

Pedals:

Plastic Platform, Custom Upgradable

Handlebar:

Custom

Brake Details:

Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brake in Rear with 203 mm Rotor, Shimano Lever on Right

Grips:

Custom, Flat Rubber Motorcycle Style

Saddle:

Custom, Spring Option

Seat Post:

Alloy

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Motorcycle, 53.5 mm

Spokes:

10 Gauge

Tire Brand:

Motorcycle, 275 x 21

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Custom Chain, Foot Rest Floorboards, Optional Kicker Soundsystem

Other:

5.5 lb 48 Volt 12 Amp Charger, Raked Out Head Tube and Fork for Low Rider Appearance, Louvered Battery Box with Inlets and Outlet Holes for Cooling

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

1000 watts

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

20 ah (Optional 40, 60)

Battery Watt Hours:

960 wh (Optional 1920, 2880)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Estimated Max Range:

120 miles (193 km)

Display Type:

Fixed, Backlit, Monochrome LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Time, Ambient Temperature, Battery Level (4 Bars)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

30 mph (48 kph)

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Written Review

The Marrs Cycles M-1 and newer, more affordable M-2 electric bikes are custom, American made hot rods… They deliver a lot of power, range and comfort depending on how you set them up. The stock motor is a 1,000 watt direct drive gearless hub mounted in the rear wheel. It’s supported by sturdy 10 gauge spokes connected to wide rims and true motorcycle tires measuring ~27.5″ in diameter. The battery is a 48 volt Lithium ion type that starts at 20 amp hours but can be upgraded to 40 ah or 60 amp hours for increase range, it’s made up of aluminum battery boxes stacked inside the mid-section of the frame and these packs resemble those I’ve seen on some of the early Pedego ebikes.

On the one hand, Marrs electric bikes are like art because they are so unique and custom and on the other, they resemble electric motorcycles because the control system can be unlocked for higher speed operation (up to ~30 mph). The challenge here is that they aren’t truly motorcycles… they don’t have lights, turn signals or other DOT required equipment that would truly make them road worthy. And as far as electric bicycles go, the powerful motor used here may not be allowed in some states but if you ride with the 20 mph setting and aren’t too reckless (or just use it on private property) it could probably go unnoticed. Frankly, I’d prefer behavior enforcement on ebikes vs. technology requirements just like we have for cars but coming back to the DOT safety measures around lights, seat belts etc. I can see how the lines get blurred. Anyway, I love how clean the frame looks and appreciate the black motor casing, spokes, rims and tires that blend together. While the M-2 does have pedals, the models I saw only offered one gear so that’s going to limit your unassisted power and speed significantly. This is not a bicycle I’d want to pedal at all, the custom saddles (which were taken from actual motorcycles) offer comfort but tend to be mounted lower – designed to support a more upright ride and let you extend your legs forward onto special platform rests. You can see this in action during the ride tests in the video review above. In short, you sit down and use your feet to stabilize the bike then push off and twist the throttle which is a full grip design (like a motorcycle). This is another area that could probably be customized if you prefer a trigger or half-grip as many other electric bicycles have.

The bike feels solid but I noticed a bit of rattling from the battery boxes inside the frame when traveling over bumps. The units shown in this review were numbers 1 and 2 in the series so it’s possible that newer builds have resolved this. I bet those little rubber bumpers sold at the hardware store would probably do the trick if yours is rattling. I love the extra large 203 mm hydraulic disc brake but was a bit concerned about actual stopping power given that you only get one in the rear. Many times, electric mountain bikes I review have a larger more powerful front brake because inertia sends weight forward during heavy stops… you get more traction and stopping power from the front wheel. With the Mars Cycles you don’t get a front brake at all, for me this is an area you might want to ask about customizing if you plan to ride fast in varied environments. Another area where hardware felt a little underwhelming was the kickstand. Sam Townsend, the owner of the two models shown here, had broken the kickstands a couple of times by backing the bikes up with it deployed. thankfully there’s a standard heavy-duty mounting point to swap in a new stand but the ones used here felt a little weak and sensitive. You can see it rattling in the ride test when I show the motor view.

Operating the bike is fairly straight forward and I appreciate the charging port near the lower rear end of the main box (which has a rubber cap to protect against dust and water). It’s not super easy to reach so your hands could get greasy but it does seem well protected. Charging is quick thanks to a powerful 12 Amp power supply but the trade off is size and weight, it wouldn’t be fun to carry the 5.5 lb charger around. And that’s where the battery size options come in again, you don’t need to bring the charger at all if you’ve got a 100+ mile range on a single charge. Inside the battery box there are rectangular packs daisy chained together and a controller at the back with a circular vent. Up front there are several louvers that catch air as you ride and pass it through by the battery boxes then out the rear. So once the packs are charged and you’re ready to go you just press and hold the center button on the control pad and watch the LCD display panel come to life. It shows your speed, battery level, odometer and offers assist settings which aren’t relevant since this is a throttle-only electric bike, that means the up and down arrows on the button pad don’t get much use. The display itself is large which makes it easier to read even with super-long cruiser bars positioning your head further back. If you go with longer bars however, the button pad may not reach to the grip for easy interaction while riding… but again, no reason to adjust assist here so that’s fine. I like having the ability to remove displays and batteries for when you transport a bike or park it outside but this thing is so large and unique I’m not sure it would be sitting outside or used as a commuter as much as a showpiece, neighborhood cruiser or special trip rider.

I love the creative approach with this e-bike and enjoyed riding it with Sam. The optional spring-saddle design was very cool and comfortable but even the unsprung motorcycle seat felt good. Sam is a big guy measuring over 6 feet tall and 260 lbs but he looked happy and comfortable riding the Marrs Cycle. The only thing I might add besides the bell, Kicker sound system and battery upgrade would be a bar mounted drink holder. But then, real motorcycles don’t have those and this thing could easily take you down to the local restaurant for refreshments with friends. We got a lot of positive attention cruising these ebikes around in SoCal where the hot rod, low rider and custom low rider bike scene has deep roots. I’m sure that anywhere in the country people would be excited to see this thing and curious about what it offers. It’s a great next step for Marrs Cycles and one that balances utility with style and art quite well.

Pros:

  • I appreciate the larger display panel considering the option of super-long cruiser bars which put your face and eyes pretty far back, I was still able to see the display but might have mounted the button pad closer to the grip (which might require an extender wire or might not be possible depending on the bars you go with)
  • The battery pack comes in three different configurations to increase your range (20 amp hour, 40 ah or 60 ah) which of course adds to the price and weight, each configuration runs at 48 volts so you get a lot of power
  • The battery packs themselves are pretty sturdy and tough, they appear to be similar to the older rear-rack style batteries used on a lot of electric bikes with aluminum cases, I like that they are hidden inside the frame box along with the controller
  • The tires I saw on both M-2 Cycles were extra large, thick and tough (borrowed from actual motorcycles) so you probably won’t have to worry about thorns and other minor puncture threats that impact traditional bicycle tires
  • Each bike is custom and something of a work of art, you can choose the color of the frame, the pedals, saddle, handle bars, grips and more
  • Given the heavier footprint of this ebike, especially with the larger battery pack option, I appreciate the 1,000 watt hub motor and 48 volt battery combination as well as the foot-forward fold out rests, pedaling with a single speed drivetrain isn’t much fun
  • The M-2 model here is a bit more affordable than the original M-1 (which cost ~$8,000 or so), that model was completely custom and hand built whereas the M-2 is still very custom but relies on some standardized parts to lower the price and speed up build time
  • Depending on the battery pack size you choose this electric bike can reach 100 miles, this was confirmed for me by Sam Townsend, owner of the Electric Bicycle Center in SoCal who rode from Trestles to the Mexican border in 2016 with his wife (Sam weighs ~260 lbs)
  • I love how they were able to integrate a Kicker sound system on one of the bikes and have it run directly off the main battery pack! It matches perfectly and even the control panel for the speakers was made to match
  • The battery box has louvers and a rear vent allowing air to pass through and cool the packs, I’m not sure how well it actually works but they look awesome… like a vintage sports car
  • I like that the motor casing is black along with the spokes, rims and tires because it looks seamless and almost hides the motor which operates fairly quietly so it can fly under the radar if you need to pedal for a bit in public places
  • They kept the wires to a minimum and ran them through the main box to improve the look, it doesn’t look tacky or messy thanks to this custom work
  • I love that they can actually customize the saddle mounting point to build in springs and improve the comfort that way, yes it does have a traditional seat tube at 27.2 mm but a normal bike seat or suspension post on this thing just wouldn’t look right
  • The motors I tested start gently and almost require some rolling movement or they will stall, at first this seems disappointing but I think it’s a safety thing and speaks to the faster gearing design vs. power at low speeds, it makes accidents less likely when you’re mounting or moving the bike since the right grip is a full twist vs. half or trigger design (again, all of this could be customized probably including motor power vs. efficiency and speed)
  • The weight on this bike is fairly well distributed, considering the heavier motor the rest of the weight is low and forward in the frame box which improves handling and stability

Cons:

  • The battery powering this thing is made up of multiple box-style packs inside the frame box and I could hear them rattle a bit when riding, perhaps some extra padding or mounting brackets could reduce this (this may be resolved ongoing, we were looking at model 001 and 002 for this review)
  • These bikes are heavy and the drivetrain only offers one gear so pedaling isn’t really practical… especially with the low saddle designs I saw
  • The bike can be set to 20 mph to comply with electric bike laws and some states do allow 1,000 watt motors (I believe California and Texas might) but it can also unlock to ~30 mph top speed but does not have DOT approved lights and signals so it’s not really legal in many situations, ride safe
  • It’s great that you have so many choices with the Marrs Cycles, you get something that’s completely unique but the build time is a bit longer as a result, the M-2 can be made faster than the original M-1 but you still want to plan ahead or get a second hand bike from someone like Sam
  • The turning radius is somewhat limited by the swept back head tube and rake of the fork but this also improves stability and brings the bars back towards you creating a more upright seating position
  • The battery charging port is protected (low and behind the box) but is also a bit tricky to reach, you might get some grease on your hands or fumble with it
  • The battery packs (inside the frame box) aren’t designed to be taken off for charging separately, you probably could get them out to lighten the bike for transport but even that would take some extra time and effort
  • The bike is heavy and potentially very fast if you’ve unlocked it but there is only one brake! A 203 mm hydraulic disc brake (which is powerful and durable) on the rear wheel, it would make sense to have a front brake as well and it sounds like that could be added, also I noticed that there were no motor inhibitor sensors on the brake so you could end up fighting the motor vs. having it cut out if the throttle was twisted accidentally
  • Considering the size and weight of these bikes the kickstands I saw weren’t adequate, they rattled a bit and struggled to support the frame
  • Be careful backing this bike up if the kickstand is down… you can break it off or loosen it (that is the case with many bicycles not just the Marrs but since this bike is so much heavier and larger it might be more common)

Resources:

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VB Ebikes
1 year ago

dude, those straps hanging down from your backpack are going to kill you when they get caught in the rear wheel. Watch out!

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Good point, thanks for pointing that out! Sam also mentioned it during filming and I tied them up so it wouldn’t happen once we stopped. He actually called out to me during the test ride because he was so freaked out about the possibility of a big crash. Anyway, thanks and hopefully it’s solved now with the straps out of the way ;)

Reply
Nirmala
1 year ago

No front brake? You have got to be kidding. That sounds like a disaster and lawsuit just waiting to happen. To build something this heavy and this powerful and then leave out a front brake is just plain stupid. I sure hope you are right that they will add a front brake as a custom feature, and I hope no one buys one without it. By the way, what is the weight? I did not see it listed.

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Hi Nirmala! I wasn’t able to weigh the bikes because we had limited time at the shop and they were unwieldily. Also… since each bike is custom I decided to cut my losses and just get out there for the ride tests. I’m sorry, it bugs me when I miss details like this, especially knowingly. I believe they were at least 80 lbs but vary by the battery load-out. And yes, I think a front brake would be a GREAT idea and am glad that in addition to the other custom options Marrs will probably add one for those who request it and pay a bit extra.

Reply
Michael Moore
1 year ago

Reminds me of the early 1900 Motor cycles, Love the design, but not sure of it’s use. Not quit a electric motor cycle yet, Maybe a small market for this bike. I like that the Idea of using battery packs to give you different amp options verses a single pack. That way if a battery cell went bad, you could unplug or remove the effected pack for repair or replacement and continue on. I don’t know if possible on this bike , but it is something I would like to see on all electric bikes

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Great point Michael, yeah I’m sure the packs here are more modular and could be swapped out. From what I’ve been told the latest Marrs cycles can be setup to go even faster and truly rival gas powered motorcycles. I’m not sure what else is being changed to accomplish this (and hopefully strengthen the brakes and frame) but it’s exciting to see and I do love the design.

Reply

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Start a new m 2 thread on the Marrs Cycles Forum page

Tom Purcell
1 month ago

Sure wish I had one of the M-2's.  If  only knew they existed before I got the Super 73!  Lithium's Super 73 is sweet too - just sayin.

Don Mega
2 months ago

this thing can hold a monster of a battery!

Leevan Morris
4 months ago

what price will like to know low price..for me who ride a bicycle all year around...please help in the good lord name... Amen..the good lord will bless you...brother

Michigan Mister
4 months ago

Court, Sam, would that Harley seat fit a Pedego Boomerang, and if so Sam, do you carry it, or have a link to them? thanks always...

Ernesto Rodriguez
5 months ago

ugly

Jr.BLAST COATING 🚀
7 months ago

I like the style and I like the bikes but my opinion is they are overpriced because I 3500 and if you want to add a light and brake what is going to cost me $4,000 for just lights and front brakes the speed limit of 20 miles so I want to spend that kind of money I would like to hit at least 30 35 40 miles and I know what I'm talking about because I got my own one and I'm clocking 45 miles per hour with a 1500 with 2 batteries is the same ones that's my opinion but if you guys had all that type of money to spend in one of these bikes go ahead they are so many options with half of the cost and if you know how to use a drill in a couple of tools you can make your own one with a kit but it is a good-looking bike I have to admit it

Ham R.
10 months ago

Very cool. Now that's my kind of E-Bike right there. Of course I do ride a Harley. So that's probably why I like it.

Devin Lindstrom
10 months ago

By the way you can still get a DUI for riding a bike drunk in some states.

tastemysaucer
11 months ago

Cool, but low torque and only 1000w when pedaling isn't comfortable doesn't compute with me

Valliken Corvus Kane
1 year ago

you can get a DUI on a bike... promoting bar hopping, drinking and riding... might want to realign your thoughts.

samuel Townsend
1 year ago

Yes you can get a DUI while ridding an E-bike in California it's the same as if you were ridding an bicycle $250 ticket without a point on your drivers license. We have customers who can not afford to loose their CDL.

patbouc
1 year ago

Love the videos with Sam.

Some One
1 year ago

What's with the nylon straps hanging into the spokes at 14:05?

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

I think that's from my gear backpack, I have since shortened and tied off the straps for safety ;)

shrey2smart
1 year ago

Do we need to register this vehicle because of its speed? I view a lot of this videos but never quite catch details about bike laws.

BRICKCITY9MM
1 year ago

BIKE CHAIN THAT'S A FIRST.

Roy Bird
1 year ago

Looks like something from the 1930's. Does the dated look really add to its appeal?

koolstup
1 year ago

How about a hub brake on the front to match the motor form of the rear motor?

Kyle Sherman
1 year ago

I'd be in the last category...the don't care category..i'd definitely buy one and ride one regardless if they created some unconstitutional law against them...unconstitutional laws will not stand...the dude does not abide

DaYDreaMz
1 year ago

wow those things cook

D Man
1 year ago

I can appreciate the craftsmanship with these, but honestly, why even bother putting the peddle and chains on them? Like you even said in the review, they are not exactly practical as an actual bicycle and they are obviously meant to be more of an electric motorcycle/scooter. I guess they are just trying to skirt motorized motorcycle/scooter laws or something?

Max
1 year ago

Ugliest bike)