2014 Motiv Sleek Review

Motiv Sleek Electric Bike Review 1
Motiv Sleek
Motiv Sleek 500 Watt Motor Disc Brakes
Motiv Sleek Removable Battery
Motiv Sleek Handle Bars
Motiv Sleek Disc Brakes
Motiv Sleek Seat And Shock
Motiv Sleek Shimano Cassette
Motiv Sleek Rim Colors
Motiv Sleek Electric Bike Review 1
Motiv Sleek
Motiv Sleek 500 Watt Motor Disc Brakes
Motiv Sleek Removable Battery
Motiv Sleek Handle Bars
Motiv Sleek Disc Brakes
Motiv Sleek Seat And Shock
Motiv Sleek Shimano Cassette
Motiv Sleek Rim Colors

Summary

  • Cruiser style electric bike that's well balanced with mid-mount battery, well priced and quite powerful
  • Strong 500 watt geared hub motor is a capable hill climber, made even stronger with optional 48 volt battery upgrade, front and rear disc brakes provide good stopping power
  • Soft oversized tires, swept back handle bars, plush seat and seat post shock offer a comfortable ride

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Motiv

Model:

Sleek

Price:

$1,749.99 USD

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, 2 Year Electronics and Battery

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

20132014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

48 lbs (21.77 kg)

Motor Weight:

9 lbs (4.08 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Hydroformed Aluminum

Frame Sizes:

17 in (43.18 cm)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Green, Black, Red, Light Blue, White

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

6 Speed 1x6 Shimano Tourney TX

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index Thumb Shifter on Right Handle Bar

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform

Stem:

Truvativ by SRAM

Handlebar:

Truvativ Riser

Brake Details:

Tektro Novela Mechanical Disc Brakes with 180 mm Rotors and Electronic Motor Cutoff

Grips:

Rubber

Saddle:

Oversized Comfort

Seat Post:

Suspension Shock

Tire Brand:

Kenda K-Rad, 26"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Puncture Protection, Reflective Sidewall

Tube Details:

Pre-Slimed

Accessories:

Adjustable Length Kickstand, Matching Chain Guard, Integrated Bell on Left Brake Lever, Optional Kevlar Lined Fat Frank Tires

Other:

Can Choose Rim Color (Green, Black, Pink, Purple, Red, Burgundy, Blue, White, Yellow) and Tire Color (Black, Brown, Cream, Gray), Quick Connect on Motor and Display

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Peak Output:

500 watts

Battery Voltage:

48 volts (Optional 36)

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah (Optional 15)

Battery Watt Hours:

480 wh (Optional 360 or 540)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles (72 km)

Display Type:

Three LED (Red, Yellow, Green)

Readouts:

Voltage Level

Drive Mode:

Twist Throttle (Half Twist on Right Bar)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Motiv Sleek is a step-through cruiser with a smaller frame size that’s comfortable to ride and available in a myriad of color choices with custom frame, rim, tire and seat color choices. An ultra-powerful 500 watt geared rear hub motor offers plenty of power with enough torque to climb moderate hills. The battery pack is mounted mid-frame helping to distribute weight evenly and maintain a low center of gravity and is also removable for charging or transporting the bike. Aside from the dual disc brakes, battery positioning, custom color choices and generous two year battery warranty what really sets this bike apart is its excellent price point under $2,000.

Geared hub motors offer more torque and tend to be lighter weight. In this case, the smaller physical size of the motor has left enough room for a rear disc brake and six speed Shimano Tourney cassette. Considering the modest 48lb weight of the bike, the gears actually come in handy for pedaling and it doesn’t feel like a drag. I should say, the weight of this bike actually varies depending on which battery combination you choose.

Batteries come in three configurations for both the Motiv Sleek and Spark (both cruiser bikes). You get to choose from the less expensive 36 volt 10 amp hour or upgrade its range to 15 amp hours. And if you’re really looking for power you can get the 48 volt 10 amp hour pack. This is the fastest most powerful option but it costs a bit more and adds weight. Still, if you weigh over 160lbs or have a lot of hills, you’ll get more value with the larger pack and it will probably extend your ride beyond the 36 volt 15 amp hour option because at 48 volts, the largest pack won’t struggle.

This bike is really well thought out. The Motiv founders have been working in the ebike space since 2008 with the release of their first models 2011. The Sleek being sold in late 2013 (at the time of this review) is actually a second gen iteration with braze-on rack and fender mounting points with a slimmed down handlebar profile that’s easier to fit through doors. Improvements like this make the bike easier to use and more versatile. I’m also a big fan of the dual disc brakes, mid mounted battery pack and upgradable kevlar lined tires.

In conclusion, for the price it’s hard to beat this bike. It does have some limitations which are congruent with most other cruiser designs out there (no pedal assist, limited number of pedaling gears, upright position with enlarged seat that makes pedaling less efficient, key has to be left in the battery pack when riding). The Motiv Sleek electric bike is really about relaxed neighborhood riding. It’s the kind of bike you can loan a friend without any learning curve or concern for fragility. The bike is simple, solid and with the money you’ll save over most other cruisers you’ll have no problem grabbing a pair of lights, rack or fenders to make it your own.

Pros:

  • Ships worldwide, only costs $175 for the lower 48 states in the US (or free if buying at a dealer)
  • Excellent 2 year battery warranty with lifetime frame warranty
  • Well balanced weight distribution, mid mounted battery keeps weight low and centered
  • Removable battery can be charged on or off the bike, additional packs cost $595 to $890 depending on size
  • Powerful 500 watt geared motor is light weight but also a capable hill climber
  • Twist throttle design is simple and durable, makes bike very approachable
  • Larger tires, swept back handlebars and soft plush seat with seat post shock make for a comfortable ride
  • Tires are pre-slimed and puncture resistant with upgrade available for kevlar lined Schwalbe Fat Franks
  • Chain guard looks nice and keeps your pants or dress clean when riding
  • Large metal Wellgo platform pedals offer excellent traction and plenty of surface area to reduce slipping and fatigue
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes offer smooth, reliable stopping power
  • Thumb shifter is easy to understand and use, stays out of the way and works well
  • Oversized handlebars create a “head’s up” riding position reducing back and neck fatigue and making it easier to look for cars. Bars are medium sized making it easier to pass through doorways
  • Multiple braze-on screw holes at front and rear of bike for fenders and racks to be added

Cons:

  • Key has to be left in when riding the bike, jingles a bit but stays out of the way
  • No built in water bottle mounting points on the downtube
  • No lights, fenders or racks standard but all can be added easily to the braze-on mounting points
  • Stem is not adjustable (handlebars cannot easily be moved higher or lower but can be rotated down or up) side benefit here is that the handlebars feel more sturdy and do not come loose as easily as some other ebikes
  • Seat shock feels nice but is more fragile than standard tube, seat twists off more easily if lifting bike by the seat
  • Twist throttle mode only, no pedal assist (though this is standard for most cruisers)
  • No LCD display for range, speed, battery capacity etc. simple LED light indicator for battery capacity

Resources:

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Comments (3) YouTube Comments

Lewis D
6 years ago

How tall can one be and still ride comfortably on the Sleek?

  Reply
Court
6 years ago

Hi Lewis, it’s really hard to provide more than an opinion here because the truth is nearly anyone could fit on an average sized bike (anyone who isn’t a small child, say under three feet tall). The step-through Sleek is a bit smaller than the high step Spark from Motiv and I think that attracts women who tend to be more petit than men. I enjoyed riding the bike (I’m 5’9″) and I think anyone up to 6 feet tall would be alright but it might start to feel a bit close (the length between the seat and the handle bars). Still, if you prefer the upright positioning and don’t mind adjusting the seat to be higher, it could work just fine :)

I actually asked one of the co-founders of Motiv for an official response on this and they echoed the general advice I’m giving here stating that “we have riders that are 6ft on the sleek and haven’t had any complaints”. Hope this helps! Again, I think the application of use and rider preference matters a lot when choosing a frame that feels right and ultimately, there is some level of adjustment and adaptation that goes into riding any bike.

  Reply
John Aldean
5 years ago

Best electric bike I’ve ever ridden

  Reply

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